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Guest blog: The Daily Mail implies that the Philpott tragedy is the logical outcome of 'benefits culture' - shame on them.

(160 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Apr-13 16:01:13

In a guest post today, MN blogger Rachel Coldbreath responds to today's Daily Mail front page.

Stop the press! Life's certainties have been updated. They now include death, taxes, and the Daily Mail trotting out a dollop of poorly-written hate speech, directed against the most vulnerable group imaginable.

On top of their already dreadful burden, today the Philpotts' surviving children have had to look at a front page that proclaims that they were 'bred... to milk the benefits system'.

We can only guess what must they think about their place in society and their worth to anyone. They are not alone in suffering as a consequence of these headlines, though. The Daily Mail's focus is as much on the notion that people on benefits are 'evil', as on the terrible crimes of the Philpotts and their friend Paul Mosley.

With the Mail insisting that Philpott's 17 children existed to 'net him £60,000 a year in benefits' (that figure is the Mail's), it is easy to lose sight of the fact that a large part of those benefits were for the care - the feeding, the housing, the clothing - of his children. Rather than a life of tax-payer-funded, sextastic Riley, the Philpott's living arrangements look more like crushing poverty.

They lived in a three bed semi with a third adult, Lisa Willis, and her children. Before Willis left that house (taking her children with her), there were three adults and eleven children living together. Even if we assume that the arrangement was cosy enough that all three adults shared a bed, that leaves two bedrooms split between eleven children. I am not sure under what circumstances this setup would be regarded as adequate housing. I am certain that it would not be regarded by any sane person as an incentive to stop working.

When Lisa Willis left the Philpotts' house, the DM informs us that she took with her 'more than £1,000 a month in benefit payments'. We are supposed to think this is an enormous amount of money. It's worth doing the maths here: between Willis and her five children, that £1000 is £166 per month, per person.

Each of those human beings was living on about £37 a week.

Yet the Daily Mail's headlines on this case suggest that murdering six of your children is almost the logical outcome of receiving benefits. As if people who are unemployed or poor for other reasons (disability, illness, being a carer for a sick relative), are an evil-eyed bunch, dodging their responsibilities, churning out children as fast as possible and, behind dirty net curtains, plotting their deaths for fun and profit while raking in great drifts of creased notes.

These headlines are perverse primarily for the fact that they paint Philpott's unique wickedness as an inevitable result of the system designed to pick us all up when we fall. And most of us fall, at some point.

Even as I type this with the BBC News channel on in the background, the presenter has just asked Ann Widdecombe: 'to what extent is [Philpott] representative of people on benefits?'

I am fed up to the back teeth with this rhetoric.

Anyone can lose their job. In fact, with the goverment eroding employee rights it becomes more likely every year. The job market is small and ferocious. Even if you are willing to take a zero-hour contract or part time work. 1,700 people famously applied for eight jobs at Costa, recently. There are 2.5m unemployed, and the government is cheerfully trumpeting about having created a million jobs, many of which are part time and of little help to people with children to feed (and 140,000 of which are people on unpaid internships, training schemes, apprenticeships and workfare schemes, and therefore still receiving benefit), while demonising the 1.5m people for whom there simply is no job.

The Daily Mail is singing backing vocals against the main melody coming out of the Palace of Westminster, from both leading parties. We hear of 'workers and shirkers', 'strivers and skivers'.

What we don't hear about is the people who are too ill or too disabled to work, or who are trapped in a jobless state by having to care for others who are. We hear about people dropping off the disability benefits list - always couched in terms that suggest that they were there fraudulently, never that their condition may have improved. We don't hear about people's already difficult lives being made impossible by the 'bedroom tax' and by ATOS assessments. Westminster and press rhetoric are complicit in the steep rise in the number of hate crimes and attacks against the disabled. We don't hear about that from the Daily Mail.

We don't hear about the people who are on benefits because they work, but are simply not earning enough to survive. Nearly a million households are in this position, and this group forms the majority of benefit claimants.

We don't hear about the people desperately searching for work, and failing to find it.

What we do hear about is the 120,000 'troubled families' the government is investing money in. We hear about the 190 families (out of a population of 56 million) with more than 10 kids, who are on benefits.

And we hear about Philpott. Not in the context of his being a violent human being who knowingly ended the lives of six of his children in order to 'get back at' a woman; but instead we hear him described in terms of how much welfare he took.

It is worth pointing out that the DWP's own figures place benefit fraud at 0.7%. There is little doubt that Philpott himself was in that 0.7%. He was a healthy man who simply did not wish to work. But to hold him up as an example of a whole class of people, the majority of which are on benefits AND working, is a vile trick to play on society. Its effects - not just on the poorest in society, but on us all - are profound. We are sold the same story again and again: that poverty is a choice and it is an immoral choice. That the poor are therefore immoral. That we should require them to suffer for having made this choice, that poverty is not sufficient punishment, they should also, as a class, be loathed.

This attitude fractures our society at its most fundamental level: the assumption that everyone else in it is a human being, that a stranger who falls in front of you on the street should be helped up, not kicked as you pass by.

Finally, I would urge you to read this excellent piece by Ricky Tomlinson. If only there were more like it.

Rachel Coldbreath spent 20 years working internationally as a technical specialist for law firms, before becoming disabled. She blogs on a variety of topics - from the news and politics, to gardening and how very annoying it is being disabled - over here. She tweets @Chiller

PetiteRaleuse Wed 03-Apr-13 16:08:14

Great post.

libertyflip Wed 03-Apr-13 16:17:20

Great post thanks. I never really got the hatred towards the Daily Mail on Mumsnet, now I do.

Takver Wed 03-Apr-13 17:01:27

Really good post. Its not just the Mail, either - note how the Express managed to work the word 'scrounger' into their headline about this awful case.

Dawndonna Wed 03-Apr-13 17:27:23

Thank you, a bit of common sense!

Xenia Wed 03-Apr-13 17:30:03

I think you need to read the press reports. Mr Wonderful slept in a caravan in the front garden to get some peace away from the women and children. He then spent alternate nights/or sex sessions with the wife and mistress until the mistress left.

This case has brought it home to hard working full time working mothers that these scroungers exist. Most benefit fraud of course is never found out and not in the figures. The sooner we limit benefits to two children only the better.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 17:34:04

I thought Ann Widdicombe summed it up very sensibly. But she is a sensible person.

Dawndonna Wed 03-Apr-13 17:36:08

Go away Xenia we're bored now.

Choccyjules Wed 03-Apr-13 17:51:40

Interesting list by Ricky Tomlinson too.

Great post.

Xenia Philpott has a 35 year history of violence and abusive behaviour do you really think capping benefits would have changed that? How would capping benefits have stopped him stabbing his ex-girlfriend 13 times whilst he was working?

AnAirOfHope Wed 03-Apr-13 18:01:21

I totally agree with that post and i wish more people relise that most people on benefits WORK

AnAirOfHope Wed 03-Apr-13 18:05:21

Lets get everyone fighting each other so noone notices what the government is doing to our country and the rights they are taking away.

Varya Wed 03-Apr-13 18:08:06

How sad these poor children were murdered in this way. Words fail me for the perpetrators, a really horrible crime.

AnAirOfHope Wed 03-Apr-13 18:11:37

Workfare found to be illegal in a court of law. The Govenment is now trying to change the law.

Assessing disabled people if they can work by nonedoctors.

Bedroom tax without making smaller council housing available so people have no chose but to pay.

Child Benefit is more for marraged couples than lone parents.

tungthai Wed 03-Apr-13 18:34:49

Both of the women worked didn't they?

tethersend Wed 03-Apr-13 18:54:10

" Most benefit fraud of course is never found out and not in the figures."


Of course.

If the facts don't back up my naive rhetoric, then the facts are wrong.

How silly of me not to have realised.

jennywren45 Wed 03-Apr-13 18:58:07

Both of the women worked didn't they?

But sporadically, temporarily and part time. Certainly not enough to keep a family of 11 children and three adults.

Xenia Wed 03-Apr-13 19:14:23

Workfare was not found illegal in that court case. It was just found that the consultations or something had not been done so that is being corrected. The judgment did not say workfare itself is wrong and thank goodness. Most hard working tax payers are very much in favour of workfare as why should people be paid to do nothing? There is huge public support to make work pay and Labour and the Tories both know that. It is a topic that unites most people (except Guardian reader mumsnetters)

JakeBullet Wed 03-Apr-13 19:33:33

Because of course without workfare, benefit claimants go to seed eh Xenia? hmm

I was a "hardworking taxpayer" now I am a benefit claimant so shoot me!

JakeBullet Wed 03-Apr-13 19:35:35

...and you are wildly off topic anyway, fact is that the crappy Mail laid the blame for the deaths of six children on the Welfare state. Because of course the middle and upper class worker never ever commits murder/manslaughter/any crime.

Me23 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:42:48

Excellent post rachel, very well put.

tethersend Wed 03-Apr-13 19:50:12

I'm a lazy taxpayer.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Apr-13 19:56:39

FFS why can't we just have a conversation about something being wrong or offensive with out Xenia and her merry band wagon of 'hard working mothers' (because of course the rest of us don't count as hard working) turning it onto a benefit bashing thread.

Fine come on and say oh its not offensive because I agree that yes benefit claimants are murdering scum. But why the fuck do you consistently have to derail every single thread that contains the word benefits. Just for once can you not stick to the point. that very clearly being that the op thinks the way this was reported was wrong its really not got much to do with the rights or wrongs of benefits.

This man is a abuser and a murderer with a long history of abuse he also claimed benefits of some description none of these make it ok to dehumanise 6 dead children he already did that himself.

chiller Wed 03-Apr-13 20:00:22

Thanks for the positive comments, everyone. It's always a pleasure poking my head above the parapet on Mumsnet!

stella1w Wed 03-Apr-13 20:08:58

Great blog

FrubesOnTheCouch Wed 03-Apr-13 20:17:46

great post

mercibucket Wed 03-Apr-13 20:26:43

shame on them and those who agree with them

moondog Wed 03-Apr-13 20:31:17

I look forward to the time when Mumsnet puts up a sticky from a blogger with an opposing view.
Nah, thought not...... the George Foreman grill effort is about as challenging as it gets.
Not quite as morally indignant but equally important

nancerama Wed 03-Apr-13 20:54:14

There have always been awful, depraved, evil people in the world. There were no benefits in Victorian England, yet the debauched underbelly of society is well documented. That the benefits system should be blamed for what happened to those poor children is disgusting.

nenevomito Wed 03-Apr-13 21:09:58

I'm a hardworking mother who gets disability benefits. I've never wanted to screw someone else over so badly that I end up killing my own children.

That's not because I work full time, therefore somehow negating the evil nature that claiming benefits bestows upon me.

It's because I'm not an abusive, murderous cunt.

I'm a hardworking mother who gets disability benefits. I've never wanted to screw someone else over so badly that I end up killing my own children.

That's not because I work full time, therefore somehow negating the evil nature that claiming benefits bestows upon me.

It's because I'm not an abusive, murderous cunt

me too, babyheave, well said

letsgetreadytoramble Wed 03-Apr-13 21:39:52

Excellent blog - we all need to raise our heads above the parapet with regard to this topic in order to prevent society becoming all about the rise of the individual - I don't see the point of existing as a human being if I don't support others who are less fortunate - it's morally reprehensible (to say the least) to make people on benefits feel even worse than they already do.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Wed 03-Apr-13 22:28:24

I am thinking about lodging a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission, but I have looked up their code online and it is about much use as a chocolate teapot. Anyone else done this or considering it?

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 03-Apr-13 23:53:40

Great blog, we need voices raised to counter the insidious rise of hate in this country.

"I'm a hardworking mother who gets disability benefits. I've never wanted to screw someone else over so badly that I end up killing my own children." me too I thought i was the only one in the world, after all the media tells me people like me don't exist!

Shame on us for daring to be disabled and continuing to exist. I see people judging me everyday... And talking to me on very different ways depending on what they decide I am.

Am I a dirty freak show disabled scrounger who is a bottom feeder at the deep dark depths of society? Or am I a valued, productive professional who therefore can't make people understand how ill & crushing my life is?

I feel like 2 completely different people, and both aren't great places to be.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Thu 04-Apr-13 00:07:05

I did complain to PCC after all, identified 7 breaches of code. If anyone would like a copy, pls feel free to PM me.

mamakirsty Thu 04-Apr-13 06:14:18

It beggars belief. shock
what an awful publication! One would think these people were actually educated.
What kind of social agenda is this?
A vile human was responsible for killing his children ... not his income or how it was received! This is absolutely disgusting "

Great job highlighting this!!! May it long last till they see sense and apologize for being so juvenile and disgusting

insanityscratching Thu 04-Apr-13 09:22:17

Great blog post. Shame on the DM for treating the deaths of six children so shabbily and shame on their readers and advertisers for supporting them in this.

katett77 Thu 04-Apr-13 14:20:50

Excellent article highlighting the never ending 'bashing' of the welfare state.

The Mail using the deaths of these innocent children and the case of a psychotic sexual predator to further this attack on the welfare state is truly hideous......

FantasticDay Thu 04-Apr-13 14:37:42

Just as an aside, if anyone would like to complain to the Press Complaints Commission about the DM tarring tens of thousands of people struggling to survive on benefits due to unemployment or disability with the same brush as this degenerate man then there is a link here:

FantasticDay Thu 04-Apr-13 14:40:20

Return of Emerald Green - yes, I have. I think the Mail violates 1i of the code by being misleading and 1iii by conflating opinion and fact.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 04-Apr-13 15:01:48

very good post OP, very concise. I can't bear this divide and rule tactic by the govenment

Thanks FantasticDay, agree. It is becoming increasingly hard to tell difference between Daily Mail front page and Daily Mail spoof. However, real tragedy is how these children died, nothing to do with benefits.

Xenia Thu 04-Apr-13 16:57:33

Most people in the UK want things done to remove the benefits culture and the DM seems to have caught the spirit of the nation despite the views on mumsnet.

letsgetreadytoramble Thu 04-Apr-13 17:17:53

You can also sign this petition to boycott the Daily Fail for blaming the Philpott killings on the welfare state -

Philpott is quite probably a sociopath / has sociopathic tendencies that has bugger all to do with the welfare state.

The death of those children did not occur because of the welfare state.

SunnyCarrie Thu 04-Apr-13 21:08:39

You would not believe how offensive the Daily Mail feels to people like me,disabled since birth, unable to pull my own pants up etc.I have genuine compassion,perception of others struggles,have a degree in Psychology, took uni finals whilst having my latest annual major surgery and belive in trying all out whenever and however I can.I have great compassion for tax payers struggles,the system is unfair to them occasionally ,and I am tuned in with the plight of the unemployed but most of all I am so desperately worried for all groups of children who are affected by this feeling of hatred towards others,who are learning to be incredibly dark,self opinionated individuals who may one day need compassion themselves and find they are in a world of terror to even go outside. The UK should feel ashamed,thank goodness for this blogger and other mumsnettets.I am scared,scared when am in and out of work,terrified when my organs and joints are attacked over night and I have to return on benefits and have major surgery,terrified when am working because I need DLA to have someone help in the loo and I am yet to meet those that really grasp this is one of several benefits given to individuals in or out of work. I am terrified for my two year old who has a mother that is frightened to be seen smiling or trying to play in the park with him,frightened to meet others,we don't go to parent and baby groups where I need a carer to help me get out with my son and then because we will be judged by the healthy as being scroungers. Sometimes I consider giving my son to my doctor sister and taking an overdose of my morphine, I would give up all my money ,sallary or benefits to just feel compassion and support but to be honest I feel I need to protect my child..I don't know if one day we will have to hide under floor boards because we are not far off from the hatred of Jews in the World War Two, the propagander machine has been rolling and working nicely, line up the masses to hate minorities and what on earth is the next step?!?

Xenia Thu 04-Apr-13 22:17:53

Ah my calculation that he got £91k of income before tax equivalent (£60k net) was off the mark. In fact is it £100,000 equivalent. this must stop. Even the new benefits cap is far far too high ad £34k of before tax income.

"Killer father Philpott banked cash equal to wage of £100,000

A jobless father facing jail today for killing six children in an arson attack received the equivalent of a £100,000 salary in benefits and wages that he forced his wife and mistress to pay into his bank account.

Mick Philpott, a violent drug user, spent most of his days watching television in the home he shared with his wife, Mairead, his lover, Lisa Willis, and their 11 children.

But the former soldier, who fathered 17 children by five women, had the only bank account in his household, so all benefits and earnings were paid to him.

Philpott and his wife set fire to the family home in Derby in an attempt to frame Ms Willis and secure a larger council house. The exact amount received by Philpott has not been disclosed, but the manslaughter trial at Nottingham Crown Court was told that he lost £1,000 a month when Ms Willis moved out of the family home with her five children.

Philpott had been receiving £20.30 a week child benefit for the eldest of the 11 children in the house and £13.40 for the other ten, totalling £8,023.60 a year. His wife and Ms Willis had cleaning jobs. According to the HM Revenue & Customs website, his wife, with six children, was entitled to up to £20,560 a year in tax credits, and Ms Willis to up to £17,870 a year, totalling £38,430.

So Philpott, who had not worked since 2004, could have been receiving up to £46,453 in benefits as well as his wives’ wages, which could have taken his “income” to about £60,000 a year. Housing benefit covered the estimated £150-a-week in rent for the three-bedroom house — a further £7,800.

Working tax credits and child benefits were paid tax free, meaning that Philpott’s account could have been similar to that of a man earning about £100,000 a year, putting him in the top 2 per cent of earners."

Dawndonna Thu 04-Apr-13 22:44:13

Most people in the UK want things done to remove the benefits culture and the DM seems to have caught the spirit of the nation despite the views on mumsnet.
Empirical evidence for your statement, please.

AnAirOfHope Fri 05-Apr-13 00:47:06

Xale i do not agree with you. I do not want to lose the welfare system.

The money was to house, clothe and feed the children. How much would it cost the government to have fostered these children? You cant stop people from having children as its a human right to repoduce.

Would you be ok to see children homeless living on the streets begging for food and blankets? Because you want to cap benefits to two children so parents must chose with child to feed and which to make homeless or put into care as they cant afford them?

Where is the money to pay foster carers, build childrens homes?

These will lead to civil unrest, crime and a brakedown of sociaty.

Its the same as “One German killed Jews so all Germans want to kill Jews“ it wasnt right then and this is not right now. People on benefits dont have children to get more benefits, most people would not set fire to the house their children were asleep in.

Xales you can bang your drum as often and as loud as you like but you will still be wrong.

AnAirOfHope Fri 05-Apr-13 00:48:19

Sorry iphone my post was to Xenia

Xenia Fri 05-Apr-13 07:48:08

It is not a human right to reproduce. The morality of having children is that if you have them you have to be able to keep and feed them otherwise you commit a moral wrong in having them surely?

If a man had two children with a first woman and then knew that he woudl not have state support if he had more with her or another then it is likely that she or he would ensure like working parents they did not have more children than they could support. Few benefits claimants have large families but it is still a problem to address with some of them.

My grandfather did not marry until about 40 as he could not until then support a family. My parents were married over a decade before I was born as they could not afford children until then. There is nothing to stop people continuing to do the same - only have children they can afford

jennywren45 Fri 05-Apr-13 08:07:11

I keep seeing people say about allowing children to starve and it's very silly.

If a cap is brought in ( when?) then it will be from a future point so that all existing children will continue to be supported.

You cannot speculate what MP would or would not have done if the benefits system was different. He is not your average benefit claimant and his logic and world view are probably alien to most of us whether or not we receive benefits.

The Philpott family were exceptional and so shouldn't be held up as an example of benefit claimants in general or be used to justify policies that affect all benefit claimants.

Should be ban all doctors from administering opiates because Harold Shipman couldn't be trusted?

Should we

Xenia Fri 05-Apr-13 11:33:34

The case is brilliant because it reveals problems with the benefits system. In fact as IDS says most people are on benefits for 1 - 2 years until they find a new jobs and most of us support them on that. It is the long term employed where there is the bigger issue. The poor and left may be wriggling on a hook on this example as they have been caught with their pants down if I can mix metaphors and I hope those who want to reform benefits and the entitlement culture can use the case fully to their advantage. It has been a wonderful opportunity.

No one suggests children should starve. You could feed the 3rd and older children at school. You could make them share rooms like children of working parents often share rather than the higher standards from which the poor currently benefit. You could say that the 16 year old girl who has a baby is not housed by the council but has to doss down on her mother's floor with the baby however much that might not be her wonderful life plan.

Viviennemary Fri 05-Apr-13 11:42:03

Most people agree that the benefits system needs to be reformed so the people most in need are helped. And certain people do not benefit from the system because they are irresponsible workshy and lazy.

AnAirOfHope Fri 05-Apr-13 19:33:23

Xenia you make me very sad that there are people with your pov in our country sad

If your life falls apart when there is nothing you could do to stop it, could you live on £72 pounds per week?

Noone can predict the future and there should be a safty net for everyone.

There are 16 yo with children in one room at their parents because their are no council houseing available in the area.

You are angry at a stereotype of people not the fact there is no jobs in areas of the UK and poor public transport and no social housing. You are angry at people for having children and not the employer that does not pay a liverable wage that the Government then top up.

You are angry at men who have two families and not the csa that need to enforce an acceptable level of support for their own children.

You are kicking people when they are down not supporting them to get up.

We need investment in the poor, higher pay, better education, better public transport and freedon and incentives for new small businesses in poor areas. Make areas become self relant and give people jobs that pay not take money of the poor, uneducated and disabled.

AnAirOfHope Fri 05-Apr-13 19:40:03

The public want the truth not lies that they know to not be true.

Linking a horrific dv crime with the benefit system is low and dishonest.

If condems want peoples support there needs to be more transpairity not the bedroom tax and 50p to millionairs. The government is inciting hatred for curtain social class and you have fallen for it.

Dawndonna Fri 05-Apr-13 21:27:15

The case is brilliant because it reveals problems with the benefits system.

You may want to think about that Xenia

jennywren45 Fri 05-Apr-13 21:53:29

I think that the left are very nervous and uncomfortable with the fact that a great many truly ordinary, decent people want to see a significant change in the benefits system.
They see their own salaries going less far than last year, they see the tax they pay and the cost of living, they see their CB being stopped and they see how hard they have to work.
And then they see those on benefits and the Philpott's of this world, enjoying a lifestyle and cash flow that is simply out of reach of your aveage full time worker and they are starting to want to see a stop put to that.

I do understand that there are all kinds of good and reasoned arguments why that view is skewed ( and I have read a good many today) but the fact remains that this is very much how many people see it. And many will vote to support those changes. And the Govt know this which is probably why they have hitched themselves to the Philpott bandwagon .

Dawndonna Fri 05-Apr-13 21:57:26

And then they see those on benefits and the Philpott's of this world
One does not equate to the other and it is surely up to those with brains to educate those who think otherwise. So, everytime you hear someone going on about the Philpotts and benefits:a) put them right and b) point out that there are those of us on benefits who work damn hard for a pittance and save the government a fortune. I get carer's allowance. It's the only benefit I get. I look after four people with disabilities, for £53.00 per week.
50% of the benefits bill goes on pensions.
But you want people to vote that way, don't you Jenny so education will not be on your agenda.

jennywren45 Fri 05-Apr-13 22:05:24

If we are going to debate benefits the you have to be upfront.

If you are full time caring you will not be living on just £53 a week. i presume you have other benefits including Housing, child, TC?

I am not disputing you should have them for a minute, but it is disingenuous to suggest you are living on significantly less than you are.
And Dawn, the welfare state is there for exactly people like you and your family. Those that need support not those that choose not to work.
But yes, as a tory I want to see them stay in power, of course.

AnAirOfHope Fri 05-Apr-13 22:08:15

Some facts

3% of the budget is spent on benefits

0.07% is fraudlent claims

50% of that 3% is pensions

Only 190 families have 10+ children out of 52bn people in UK

3/4 recieving of the 50% are in work/paid employment

1.5m are on jsa with no job to get eg they are unemployed cos there is no job available for them.

Dawndonna Fri 05-Apr-13 22:11:01

I have none of those benefits, Jenny not one. I am lucky enough to be financially independent. Not that it's the business of anybody here.
I am still counted as benefit scrounging scum in the figures though, DH gets DLA, as do dcs. But it's interesting isn't it. YOU presumed I was getting everything else too, you even stated so.
I was not implying that I was living on less than I am. I was stating that the government pays me a pittance for what I do. It works out as .37 pence an hour.

AnAirOfHope Fri 05-Apr-13 22:11:26

Not all the 190 families with 10+ children are on benefits.

jennywren45 Fri 05-Apr-13 22:11:38

It's over a third on Welfare. More than education, NHS or defence.

In fact, we spend more on welfare annually (200bn and counting) than we take in income tax.

jennywren45 Fri 05-Apr-13 22:14:10

Dawn, well yes, your family ( quite rightly) get additional benefits so as a family you are supported.

I can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with that nor have I seen you referred to as scum by anyone.

I'll repeat, the welfare system is there to support people like yourselves.

Dawndonna Fri 05-Apr-13 22:21:54

next years spending

But Jenny, you are not going to change anybodys mind when they start on about the Philpotts and welfare are you, despite knowing that there are different circumstances. That is the point I'm making.

Just as an aside, I have absolutely no idea who I will vote for at the next general election. I used to be a John Smith type socialist, but the whole neo liberalism of all three main parties terrifies me, it is of course, anything but liberal.

moondog Fri 05-Apr-13 22:52:43

Don't forget that while the left wing elite are bleating about this, they are busy feathering their own nests
This is your money they are creaming off

Dawndonna Fri 05-Apr-13 23:36:42




Let's all play silly games, eh.

munchkinmaster Sat 06-Apr-13 07:21:17

Do the Children of benefits claimants never share room then. That's funny because it seemed to me the phillpots were crammed in 4 or 5 to a room.

Yep, 14 people in a 3 bed semi. The life of Riley.

Also discussing this case as great is shameful

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 08:35:51

They were only crammed in because they chose to have two women and their children shacked up together.

They were not a single family so had no right to expect the taxpayer to house them as one.
Can you begin to imagine the outrage if they were?

Xenia Sat 06-Apr-13 08:53:53

Indeed - a third of the nation's income is on welfare including the old. A huge amount of the rest of NHS and education. In other words free state provision NHS, education and benefits is a massive amount of what we spend. Then add in defence, wars and foreign aid and the EU.

The bottom line is we cannot afford it all any more at all.

The case has done wonders for benefits discussions in this country. It really has drawn out the majority view of working people that they have had enough of paying for so many people to be idle. Many full time working workingclass people also very much resent those not working being better off than they are too. This is not just a view of higher rate tax payers like I am. It is the view of ordinary British working families. It does not matter that most benefits claimants do not have 17 children there is still a problem that work does not pay for many.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 06-Apr-13 08:56:57

The case is brilliant because it reveals problems with the benefits system

Of all the heartless, soulless shit you've ever come out with, Xenia, that must be the most appalling.

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 08:58:04
munchkinmaster Sat 06-Apr-13 09:19:49

I agree would have been hard for a housing officer to work out how to house the phillpots with their odd living arrangements so the three bed was probably supposed to meet the needs of mick, his wife and 6 children between 5 and 12 (or 13 I'm sorry I can't remember). So still 3 kids to a room. I think you point that kids on benefits don't share rooms like the working poor are forced to is still undermined.

I'm sorry but the idea of feeding kids in school. Would they go in a special door marked 'mega poor',' what if they got hungry later or wanted a biscuit? Would they need to go up to the school after hours Oliver style?

I think your point is that there is a section (of unknown size) who have become distanced from society and have different beliefs about work, the need to earn your own money etc. I suspect there is some truth in this as there are families of 2nd generation unployment who have lost sight that a different life is possible. We need to think long term about how to re engage with them and especially thier children, bring them back into the mainstream. Demonising this group, equating them to murders, punitive benefits cuts will exclude and ghettoise them further and escalate the problem in the long term.

munchkinmaster Sat 06-Apr-13 09:21:04

Oh and make sure there are jobs to get and that you can live on the wages .......

Xenia Sat 06-Apr-13 09:32:27

I have never said children on benefits do not share rooms. I know the rules and the age limits and also that some are temporarily housed in crowded spaces because a permanent place with enough space is not available. However ultimately a good few do end up in places with more rooms than those not in receipt of benefits endure and that annoys many lower income workers.

I don't the problem with feeding children at school at all. My children have been in schools which can provide a breakfast and some kind of after school club snack and no one feels different for that. In fact it probably means you have a high earning working mother and get all your home work done before you go home if you stay in an after school club rather than some kind of low IQ non working housework at home. It could be a badge of success to have your meals at school. Also if you are very hungry and do not have much money and your parents are between jobs any food is better than none. I just read Escape from Camp 14 - boy born in North Korean prison camp escaped to the West. A lot of that book is about lack of food. As he said if food is short it is the only thing you think about all day long. You not worrying about embarrassment or human rights - you want food itself. If the state is going to give free food I doubt children woudl be rejecting it.

munchkinmaster Sat 06-Apr-13 09:49:57

To clarify I don't have an issue with school meals or free school meals. I however found the argument that it wouldn't be so bad, the kids can eat at school a bit laughable.

I'm not however sure we should adopt a north Korean model of the welfare state where the poor are just concentrating on where there next meal is coming from and forget about thier human rights. I'm sure that's not what you are suggesting though.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 10:26:12

Great article you linked to Jenny.
So true-the whole set up is patronising and disempoweirng to those it purports to support.
I like this quote from Grant Schapps.
‘It is not that these people were trying to play the system, so much as these people were forced into a system that played them.’

I absolutely do not blame people for claiming every benefit available to them. Who wouldn't? I would. The point is that this is not a life well lived. It is existing. A very different thing.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 10:34:06

'And the use of welfare as a way of allowing society’s ‘betters’ to govern the lives of the poor continues now. Indeed, today’s welfare state is even more annoyingly nannyish than it was 80 years ago.

As the writer Ferdinand Mount says, the post-war welfare state is like a form of ‘domestic imperialism’, through which the state treats the poor as ‘natives’ who must be fed and kept on the moral straight-and-narrow by their superiors.

Mount describes modern welfarism as ‘benign managerialism’, which ‘pacifies’ the lower orders. '

More excellent points. It's the new colonialism.

BagCat Sat 06-Apr-13 10:38:40

Errrrr. Who 'paid' him when he stabbed his first partner and her mother?

Answer - he was a fully paid up employee of Her Majesty's Forces.

Not unemployed. Not on benefits.

He killed because he is an abuser of women, always has been. No other reason. Bless those poor kids. I pity the people who are trying to force political mileage out of the death of children. Benefits are an entirely, 100%, separate issue. Utterly disgusting.

AnAirOfHope Sat 06-Apr-13 10:43:15

Xenia you want to make work pay increase the NMW dont get rid of the welfare state hmm

But you will not listen. I hope you get baned for your vile comment sad

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 11:09:07

No one wants rid of it just tightened up.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Apr-13 13:09:20

Here is what a bit of disempowerment does.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Apr-13 13:17:33

As for Jenny's lovely DM article. It's rubbish.
'You get sucked in" only by the rhetoric. It does not have to be a useless way of life. People do not start believing they are incapable, a number of paralympians have already proven that point.
Shapps quote is a none to subtle way of saying it's the fault of the poor.
As for not protesting, I wonder why. It's rubbish of course, groups like The Hardest Hit are protesting, they have conveniently ignored recent protests in Liverpool regarding bedroom tax. Oh, and there is also the fact that those on benefits now get longer sentences than those who aren't. Witness the riots a couple of years back.
So, congratulations Moondog, you must have felt extraordinarily superior reading that article.
Fortunately there are many of us that know the truth.

Xenia Sat 06-Apr-13 15:19:05

There is such a divide, isn't there by the majority of British workers who want benefits to be less generous and for work to pay and those who don't. It's like aid to Africa - what works best is small loans to women running businesses, not knowing you will always be handed food for which you don't work. We need to move the system into it paying people to try to help themselves some how.

The case is brilliant because it reveals problems with the benefits system
you make me feel sick, Xenia

fuzzypicklehead Sat 06-Apr-13 17:07:00

Good post OP.

Your first line highlights my main problem with the Mail's headline--the idea that MP's children were born and "bred to milk the system".

Have they forgotten that 11 of Mick Philpott's children are alive and able to read the papers? It's like the Mail is trying to say "Hey bereaved kids, sorry you lost your siblings and your dad is going to jail for life... BTW, did you know you were only born so he could get money from the government?"

These are innocent kids, their lives have been torn apart through no fault of their own... and here comes The Fail to kick them while they're down. Isn't their situation bad enough without half the country queuing up to tell them "you know, if the system worked better you probably wouldn't exist."?

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 17:21:26

So, fuzzypickle you reckon that they wouldn't have been screwed up by living in a group with two mothers, god knows how many siblings, open casual sex and violent, lying murderers for parents?

No, just by reading a headine in the DM. hmm

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 17:27:30

Quite Xenia.
The reality is that the original noble aims of welfare now trap people and crush efforts to break free.
Excellent Telegraph article

You are quite right about international development which is my dh's field. Handouts disempowere people. Truly successful efforts to lift people out of poverty involve schemes such as micro credit as begun in Bangladesh by the fantastic Noble prize winnig Muhammed Yunus

Key aspects of this were
1. encouraging entrepeneurial ventures
2. lending money and not giving
3. lending to women ad not men initially (he knew despite huge opposition that they wouldn't piss it up aganinst the wall like so many men do)

There's a long way to go but micro credit has made a huge difference on the Indian sub continent as I have seen for myself. It is the antithesis of the professional white charidee smart arse zomming around in his 4X4. By the people, for the people.

The ultimate irony is that bloody Labour did more than anyone to entrench the poor and disenfranchised of this nation even more firmly than anyone else in their state of hopelessness, in order to create a client state. May their like hange their heads in shame. These of course were the same people who wanted to bring a mega casino to the poorest part of Manchester.

BagCat Sat 06-Apr-13 17:41:20

Repeating the same mantra in slightly more sarcastic tones doesn't change facts.

Philpott is an abuser of women. Benefits have no connection to the fact that he stabbed two women (whilst employed by the Army), beat God knows how many other women senseless (whilst employed by the Army), manipulated women to the point where they were not allowed front door keys and he called their workplaces (yes, workplaces, because they worked) each day to check up on them, and finally took revenge on an ex who left him - by trying to frame her for arson and in the process, killed six of his own children.

Benefits did not cause that. He caused that. He caused it because he is an established abuser of women over the course of decades.

People in disagreement to this should read the judge's indepth summing up of the case. She is very specific as to the cause of this tragedy from all those decades ago till now - Mick Philpott himself.

The 'welfare' (an American term) debate is different and should be made separately and without reference to six children who died in a fire. It is nothing more than a stain on the memory of those kids to try and labour the cause as being anything other than what it blatantly was.

uncongenial Sat 06-Apr-13 17:46:26

Good post!
The Mail is vile rag, no decent person still reads it, surely.

Dawndonna Sat 06-Apr-13 17:50:21

The ultimate irony is that you can't see the wood from the trees Moondog. You don't answer anything unless it's a supporter. You read a Torygraph article and somehow manage to make it about the poor and the Labour government being to blame for their plight.
It's laughable, really laughable. Or it would be if it weren't so damned sad.

Xenia Sat 06-Apr-13 18:05:33

It is pretty clear to many people even using my analogy with aid to Africa that if you give people the tools to thrive you do them a lot more favours than handouts. I suspect that is the major difference between left and right.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 06-Apr-13 18:39:43

It is pretty clear to many people that normal people don't think 'oh what a brilliant case' when they hear abut six little children burned to death, and it's pretty clear to most people that people who do see that as an opportunity to vent their heartless mindless vain hatred are, generally speaking, arseholes. I suspect that is the main difference between idiots and normal people.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 18:40:49

Poor you Dawn, caught up in your own sense of moral outrage.
I read both the left and rightwing press.
How insular to pursue only that which you believe in and which does not challenge you.

lemonmuffin Sat 06-Apr-13 18:47:33

"it's pretty clear to most people that people who do see that as an opportunity to vent their heartless mindless vain hatred are, generally speaking, arseholes. I suspect that is the main difference between idiots and normal people"

Yup. AKA the difference between normal people and The Left.

The Mail is the 2nd best selling paper in the country. How does that make you feel?

Dawndonna Sat 06-Apr-13 18:53:12

Unfortunately Moondog so do I. I'm clever, erudite, funny.
Yes, I have a sense of moral outrage, I'm proud of it. Take a look at some of my other posts to check out what I have to do each day.

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 18:55:59

I snorted some tea at your post lemon thank you! grin

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 18:56:32

We only have your word for that to be fair, Dawn hmm

lemonmuffin Sat 06-Apr-13 19:00:49

You're welcome Jenny. grin

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 19:04:30

I think there is a great deal of fear and hysteria coming from the Left at the moment.
They know that the Philpott case has inadvertantly played into the Govt's hands on the welfare issue and they are all frothing at the mouth in faux indignation!

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 19:05:11

It's not about you Dawn.
This is an abstract political discussion between strangers.
I'm not discussing the individual circumstances of posters.

Indeed. A hell of a lot more people read the Daily Mail than Polly Toynbee's posturings. Fortunately that's offset by the other excellent parts to it. I'm looking forward to trying out that wood pigeon recipe on p. 15.

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 19:08:49

Wood pigeon - a real benefit bustin' recipe, no?

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 19:10:34

Polly Toynbee is the ultimate chattering champagne socialist twit. Which is probably why she's seen as a bit of a joke by both the right and the working classes.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 19:43:49

Isn't she just?
Ofg course it didn't stop her own spouse creaming off oodles of public money while she bleated about the plight of the proletariat.
You couldn't make it upl

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 19:44:39
lemonmuffin Sat 06-Apr-13 19:59:25

Oh Polly Toynbee, bless her. The patron saint of the left.

Do as I say and not as I do - has a phrase ever been as appropriate? grin

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:10:37

Never. Unless your name is Diane Abbott.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 20:11:43

The joys of telling everyone else what to do and how to live and then availingly yourself fully of the porcine trough.

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:13:11

Oh moondog will you marry me? grin

That nice little pay off should keep the loathsome Toynbee in Champers and cleaners for a while.

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:14:16

Indeed. but isn't that simply what middle class champagne socialist mothers do . * moondog*? *

* Diane Abbott on parenthood.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 20:17:48

Only if it is a same sex civil ceremony in a forest clearing and all the catering is organic and vegan.

The other thing that strikes me is how so many posters talk of all the money they save the government by caring for members of their family and yet foam at the mouth if anyone dares suggest that, by the same logic the likes of the Philpotts cost the same said government.

I pondered this as I supervised my severely diabetic child's fifth insulin injection of the day. Am I lessening the strain on the public purse by nursing her? Likewise with my curious habit of feeding my offspring. Another tiresome chore from which the governmet is relieved surely?

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:21:25

Indeed, Moondog . We must be saving the Govt. a small fortune by conscientiously feeding and clothing our own children hmm.

Xenia Sat 06-Apr-13 20:26:45

That is the difference between left and right. The right fulfil their responsibilities as a matter of moral duty. The left expect to be spoon fed and thanked if they deign to look after their own.

JakeBullet Sat 06-Apr-13 20:45:30

The Philpott case has virtually nothing to do with benefits though.

Instead it has all the hallmarks of an abusive and controlling man. When Lisa Willis left he didn't want her back foe the benefit money but because she had dared to leave him.

If we blame the benefit system then we need to blame the NHS for Harold Shipman and the Insurance industry for the Seddon case.

This is not a political case ... its a crime and shouldn't be cheapened by publishing crappy headlines which demean the memory of the dead children.

Changing the benefits system won't stop domestic violence. ...becausw that is what was occurring, through control and manipulation of the women. The only thing is that one of the women found the strength to leave

jennywren45 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:53:24

In your opinion jake

Some of us ( quite a large number, actually) think that it has quite a bit to do with it.

JakeBullet Sat 06-Apr-13 21:14:43

He was an abusive man....even if he had been wealthy he would have been abusive. He took control of the money as many an abuser does.....take a look at the Women's Aid website to see the evidence of how these men operate.

Many people claim benefits for various reasons (I do at the moment) but most of us don't want to abuse and control others for the privilege of getting more and more in. So if a debate is being had then it needs to be had in the knowledge that most people who have to be on benefits do not live like Philpott who would always have been abusive regardless.

I am not above thinking that some people will milk the system....perhaps Philpott did but I don't think its that clear cut when you have an abusive and dysfunctional man like this.

The welfare state is wonderful, I am so grateful that it is there to support me at the moment and I resent being lumped in with people like this man...which is what the DM did with that headline. The outcome off this family was not "a logical outcome of the benefits culture"... it was an abusive man, his abused but willing wife and a friend who made a stupid and tragic decision because they lived a bizarre life outside of the norm.
They'd have been the same even if they hadn't claimed benefits...he'd still have been angry that his mistress walked away and still have made whatever stupid decision he felt was necessary to get his revenge.

Viviennemary Sat 06-Apr-13 21:37:30

I agree with Ann Widdicombe on this point. When asked about Philpott and benefits she said something along these lines. Was his lazyness and workshyness a product of the the benefit system - answer yes. Was his wickedness - no.

letsgetreadytoramble Sat 06-Apr-13 21:38:12

Xenia, I don't really want to rise to you but your attitude makes me feel physically sick. You would probably define me as someone from 'the right' if you met me, but the difference between you and me is that I have something called Empathy - I care about other people, and I don't put anyone in a box. Everyone has the right to feel like a human being, that is what the British justice system is built on and it's why I used to be proud to be British - because people helped each other. Just you sit at home enjoying your heat and your light and your food and your genteel hobbies and your supper parties and don't give a thought to the people 'on the left.' There are enough people who still understand what the word compassion means to override your selfishness.

Xenia Sat 06-Apr-13 22:04:50

You care about the poor by helping them to help themselves though. There is not just one way to help the poor - benefits - the new consensus is that that that does not do them much good.

The FT has a good article today suggesting Labour have not noticed the tectonic shift in voters' views on the the welfare issue

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 06-Apr-13 23:29:52

Am I supposed to feel cowed that lots of people buy The Mail? I already knew there were a lot of twats in the country!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 06-Apr-13 23:33:34

This here is a brilliant case, because it highlights lots of issues about inheritance tax.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 06-Apr-13 23:38:27

And, lemon, although you conveniently ignored that bit, it's not the left who are thinking about six children burnt to death and then thinking the main issue here is that some people are given money when they have children, now is it? It's not the left who are frothing about that.

letsgetreadytoramble Sat 06-Apr-13 23:43:25

'The poor'?! Hate to break it to you, but lots of people in receipt of benefits are people who were previously in well paid jobs, who are just victims of the economic downturn. Each person on benefits has an individual reason as to why they've met hard times, they're not just a dodgy group of Dickensian villains, as you and the DM and the Cons would like everyone to think. 'The poor'. confused

letsgetreadytoramble Sat 06-Apr-13 23:48:33

What many people need and want in this country is a job, pure and simple. And to get one, they need a government that is prepared to create policies that will stimulate the economy, not a government made up of a bunch of private schoolboys who spend most of their time inhabiting a privileged world that is an Alien planet to most of us, and the rest of the time thinking up policies to help the rich get richer.

Darkesteyes Sun 07-Apr-13 00:14:50

Ive only just caught this thread. Brilliant blog post chiller.
Xenia can you answer me this please.
If most people as you say are for benefit reforms and in favour of workfare (as you suggested on another thread) then why do A4e and their ilk make workfarers sign confidentiality clauses.
If its such a popular idea that wouldnt garner bad publicity then surely these confidentiality clauses arent needed.

practicality Sun 07-Apr-13 00:33:30

Well this is tricky. On balance I believe the support system as it stands did contribute to the death of those children. It is entirely possible that the reason he and his partners had so many children was because they would receive money for doing so. It became almost like a job. When his partner left she took with her a large slice of the income they had got use to living on. It could be said he wanted those children back in his household and the money that came with them. That was part of his motivation for starting the fire it is claimed.

He also felt that a bigger house should be provided to house the children and that was part of the reason he torched it. It appears that this man was very much motivated by money. The lack of funds spent on the children also seem to point to this as well as his own expensive recreational habits. Also look at the actions. He chose to put his children's safety at risk for financial benefit.

Had he had to work in the community as a trade off for benefits he may have limited his family size and felt a less inadequate human being. Controlling partners often feel inadequate and overcompensate and he was clearing controlling.

The other thing is that although being on benefits longterm doesn't make a person do bad things, it can contribute if self esteem is eroded. Yes he had violent tendancies before hand-even more of a reason to make these choices non-existent for this character type.

In other countries where there are limits it has been proven that economics does effect the choices people make with respect to their family sizes.

In summary I would lean towards the idea that he was primarily financially motivated. Having children allowed him to 'earn' a living whereby his options otherwise were limited with a criminal record. His lack of care towards them seems to support this.
If these unlimited benefits were not available he would,in all likelihood,have made different choices and this awful tragedy wouldn't have happened.

Tortington Sun 07-Apr-13 00:41:29

harold shipman was typical of his class. middle class spongers - grants to go to university, no wonder people like him in the middle class murder old people. sense of entitlement that's what is was.

Tortington Sun 07-Apr-13 00:44:24

that anyone could see the daily mail headline and then focus on the welfare state is byong me - seriously i am apoplectic with rage over it. the daily mail george [cuntox] osborne and david cameron have ALL pushed their politics on the back of the murder of 6 dead children

what is the issue here is it benefits?


the issue is the vile deplorable actions of the daily mail, the vile speeches of osborne and cameron.
that and NOTHING else here - is. the. issue

Tortington Sun 07-Apr-13 00:56:46
Darkesteyes Sun 07-Apr-13 00:59:08

YY custardo Ditto Christopher Foster
Vile Product of Millionaires UK.

Darkesteyes Sun 07-Apr-13 01:00:40

Custardo thats fabulous link. Satire at its best. wink

practicality Sun 07-Apr-13 01:08:42

I think it has been suggested that he wouldn't have had so many children had the means not been available to him and that his reason for having children was financially motivated. His actions and the evidence as far as we have it seems to support this.

If a person has children, not because they adore them and are willing to make all the personal sacrifices,but rather as a means to an end then surely that is not the best environment for children to be raised in. They are a by product of a lifestyle choice. No child should be that.

In a climate where, people having children do so primarily motivated by fiscal reward rather than the needs of the child, the unscrupulous will gravitate towards this as a viable lifestyle choice. At very least this is very likely to attract those who are unable to provide adequately, in all senses, for those children.

I believe that this is one of those cases and as such benefits and the involvement needs due consideration.

Darkesteyes Sun 07-Apr-13 02:17:45

practicality his reason for having children was to use the women in his life being continually pregnant as a means of controlling them
Im getting really fucking pissed off with the domestic abuse aspect of this case being brushed under the carpet.
And only last year people were wondering how Savile got away with his crimes for so long.
Philpott targeted 14 year old girls too.
With the Philpott case society is brushing the domestic abuse issue and the fact that these children were killed under the carpet and focussing and frothing and pearl clutching about benefits.
With the Savile case he kept offending and getting away with it for years because people were focusing on his celebrity.
Philpott case.....blinded by benefits
Savile case .......blinded by celebrity.
When is society going to wake the fuck up?!!!

BagCat Sun 07-Apr-13 04:33:38

Well said Darkesteyes, custardo etc.

It is ugly to see the horrific abuse this man doled out, being ignored in favour of trying to grabbingly calculate how much benefits he might have claimed those times he abused whilst not in work (because we're not blaming benefits for those times he stabbed women whilst in employment, are we? And we're to discount the fact that both women worked, yes? Two of the many facts that don't fit in with the 'benefits to blame' theory.).

This thread is chock-full of hypocrisy, post upon post haughtily ignoring the facts of the case like they don't exist and somehow attempting to nail the comments of the judge (who was privvy to all of the evidence) as being opinion. Oh yes. We are discounting all of that, in favour of a deliberately slanted newspaper headline? Really?

And it's not about left or right either. It's about understanding the basic, black and white facts, and not trying to desperately create invisible links to fit the prejudices which already exist in the people who are attempting to make those links.

On that note, I bow out of the thread as I find comments supportive of this 'benefits theory' completely vile and they only serve to detract from the fact that a vengeful man took the lives of six of his children.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 09:50:33

Can I make a suggestion? Perhaps it is better to simply ignore certain people who obviously actually have no clue about real life (except for those who are lucky enough to be working 60 hours a week in a job that obviously pays way more than the national minimum wage so they can afford the, what was it? 14k for childcare a year) outside of their own blinkered reality?

If a working mother on NMW worked 60 hours a week (and good luck finding the hours) she would earn approx. £360 a week before tax and NI - hardly enough to pay that 14k in childcare without having to rely on free resources and, oh yes...benefits.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 09:55:06

Practicality - you are completely oversimplifying the situation. You clearly have little to no idea about DV and what it involves. Phillpott is vile, unhinged, arrogant, selfish, dangerous, narcissistic. Beneftis did not make him that way - it's who he is. And frankly I'm getting sick of people focusing on what benefits his children got that he stole. He's an abusive bastard and would have been an abusive bastard no matter which path he tread.

practicality Sun 07-Apr-13 10:13:12

I totally agree darkesteyes that he was abusive. He was a violent unscrupulous individual who financially abused his partners too.

An abuser with violent tendencies shouldn't be given the option to raise children in that environment. Unfortunately, he was funded in his choices and harmed as a result.

I don't believe he had children because he really felt a 'calling' but because they afforded him a certain lifestyle and an ability to control the women he was with.

If the money wasn't available allowing him to sire more children than he was able to even part support, it is plausible he would have made different choices. Evidence from other countries seems to support this.

People,generally,modify their behaviour depending on their financial limitations.

The actions of somebody who has a genuine concern for his children's welfare is not to ram them in sardine like and carry on procreating in already overcrowded circumstances. It is not with the children's interests in mind that already exist to continue having more with already vastly overstretched means. He was unwilling to make any effort to support them through work himself and his care for them was lacking from the accounts given in court.

I would like one day for it to be possible that a violent abusive person is considered not to be an acceptable person for children to live in a household with and that we actually do something about it.

I think limiting resources to two children in future would be, potentially, something that would affect change. Obviously not for the children that already exist. Maybe one other way would be to provide vouchers for clothing/food/fuel etc that have to be used to support the children the money is for. It would be less open to abuse.

practicality Sun 07-Apr-13 10:16:01

flam actually I do have direct experience.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 10:33:49

Practicality - then I apologise and am sorry you have direct experience. However, to equate this man with what is wrong with the benefits system is simply wrong. He's a small minority and this is the governments perfect golden opportunity to tar anyone who is completely or partly reliant on benefits with the same brush and drive them further into a hole. Wrong. Very very wrong. People who take the piss will do it no matter what walk of life they are in - the overwhelming vast majority of people who have to claim benefits are honest and don't want to be there

Xenia Sun 07-Apr-13 10:38:19

Dark, have never seen an employment contract in my life without confidentiality clauses and I have seen a vast number over 30 years. It is an employment contract without one which would be the aberration.

I was asked "If most people as you say are for benefit reforms and in favour of workfare (as you suggested on another thread) then why do A4e and their ilk make workfarers sign confidentiality clauses."

Most people are not on work fare or unemployed. Most people work or are pensioners so the Government of the day has to keep workers and old people happy if it want to get elected which is what tends to drive Labour and Tory policies.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 10:38:25

Practicality - what would you do with those families who fell on hard times (partner has an accident, job losses, some other unforeseeable disaster) and have more than two children? They most certainly can't be blamed for having more than two children as a means to get more money now can they? Or is it just tough luck for them - funding for two children only while you desperately try to get back on your feet and through lack of money have the barriers to work fall down one by one as you have less and less money to do things like, oh, get to the job centre etc etc?

JakeBullet Sun 07-Apr-13 10:56:12

...and flamin you are right...that is WHY we cannot have a knee jerk reaction to this despicable, abusive and controlling man because he is massively outweighed by those who are on benefits through no fault of their own and who are not like Philpott.

People can look all they like at others and say "why isn't he/she working, why are they on benefits"? Fact is that unless you are living that person's life you cannot ever truly understand why.

People might well look at me, single parent, one child (autistic) and wonder why I am not in work when other parents with similar children manage. All I can tell you is that after several years of not enough sleep I began to make mistake after mistake. I had to leave before I made a major error of judgement. If I tell you I was a nurse who specialised in child protection you will understand why.

However, being on benefits does not make me want to have more children, milk the system or set fire to my house and yet I am a product of the benefits system too at the moment. This is why the headline was so lumps everyone who has to claim benefits in with an abusive man who would have behaved in the same manner regardless.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 11:12:11

People generally modify their behaviour depending on their financial limitations

To a point. To suggest that people generally modify their behaviour ad infinitum depending on their finances is ridiculous and oversimplifying. Psychology is way more complicated than that (even someone like me without a degree in it knows that psychology is not purely based on environment alone). I KNOW that if tomorrow, someone said I could have £60,000 for life free if I just killed a couple of people or so and was guaranteed to get away with it, that I'd do it. Why? Because I'm not Mick Phillpott, that's why, or any other sociopathic/psychopathic narcissist with absolutely no moral compass what so ever. And for every Mick Phillpott there are several like me - decent, honest, caring.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 11:13:21

That was supposed to be:

...that I WOULDN'T do it - apologies for the glaring typing error.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 11:31:21

However, being on benefits does not make me want to have more children, milk the system or set fire to my house and yet I am a product of the benefits system too at the moment.

It didn't do it to me, either, Jake. I used to dream about being about to get a full time job that paid enough so I didn't have to claim - I used to dream about having my self-respect back.

I'm beginning to wonder how many of the people I've encountered on here in the past few days who are; lumping claimants in with Phillpott; and calling for cuts; and saying taxpayers are being fleeced; and everything else they're saying about claimants being lazy and not trying hard enough, have actually been on both sides of the fence and actually know what they are talking about.

practicality Sun 07-Apr-13 12:26:12

flam I totally support the welfare state and the system in the sense that it was set up -as a safety net but not as a life style choice.

For families who fall on hard times then they should be fully supported. Absolutely.

I think if you choose to have a child/Ren whilst on benefits then that is wrong. You are adding strain to a system already overloaded and as such shouldn't be supported in, frankly, what is a choice.
Vouchers etc could be offered in this instance or a harder line of -this is the limit of support offered -two children.

I should imagine that the vast majority of people on here are recipients of government support in one way or another, or have been, whether they have had jobseekers, working tax credit or child benefit or any of the other sources of support for their families. A lot of people have limited their families in line with their limited incomes.

Xenia Sun 07-Apr-13 14:36:00

IDS says most people who lose their job claim benefits for 1 - 2 years on average. Most people agree that your past national insurance contributions should support you in such a case. It is the longer termed unemployed which are the bigger problems and the fact we draw state pensions for 30 not the 3 years we used to. Hence my retirement age is nearly 70 I think and will get older and older as time goes on.
There seems plenty of support for limiting benefits to two children although Philpott could have had 2 children with 10 women all living separately so that would not help - we might need to link it to one child per parent perhaps.

Darkesteyes Sun 07-Apr-13 16:26:38

Xenia i wasnt talking about a normal employment contract. I was talkiing about workfare.
You said most people are in favour so if thats the case A4e would NOT need claimants to sign confidentiality clauses.

Darkesteyes Sun 07-Apr-13 16:31:42

Xenia i just caught your comment about the Philpot case being "a brilliant case for benefits"

That has to be the most despicable thing ive ever seen on this site.

Xenia Sun 07-Apr-13 19:15:59

It's wise to have confidentiality clauses because yo do not want people at your premises telling others about all kinds of secret things from formulae to prices to internal business matters. You are very unwise if you have anyone to work for you without imposing confidentiality clauses.

The deaths of the Philpot children are very very sad and I am sure their parents did not intend them to die. No one suggests otherwise . However it has certainly helped all political parties to see just how many people are in favour of reduction in benefits - it is a massive vote winner in all surveys at present. If some good comes from the deaths it may be that the system is changed to mean that work pays and we can help people not into dependence but into independence and having to make their own way which is much much better for people than the current system which simply keeps them down.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 19:39:45

And how do you suggest making work pay, Xenia? I can't see the likes of Tescos and Starbucks wanting to pay a living wage any time soon....

letsgetreadytoramble Mon 08-Apr-13 07:53:05

Interesting point about helping people out of dependence Xenia - funnily enough, one of the best ways to do that is by stimulating the economy so that more jobs are created - that is one of Labours main aims. It is most certainly not the Con's aim. Their rhetoric is all about making things 'fair' for people who are currently in work - there's nothing about creating jobs for those unfortunate enough to be in receipt of benefits. So if you truly do want to help people to get off benefits and into jobs, you'd be better voting for the party who actually want to achieve that.

Xenia Mon 08-Apr-13 08:21:23

The Tories have a house buidling programme etc and Labour certainly has not created the climate for wealth creation - if you take over half of what people earn away they stop bothering to create jobs. Labour high taxes did nothing for the economy.

Apparently 1 in 17 are on disability benefits - 3 x when they first came out and yet medical advances surely mean fewer not more people are disabled. They obtained them until the rules change for life often without future assessment - that was plain stupid as plenty of people recover quickly and should be off them right away.

Other countries are cutting benefits and instead our benefits are going up by 1% and rise every single year when workers' pay has been dropping sometimes by 20%.

letsgetreadytoramble Mon 08-Apr-13 09:11:34

Ah, a house building programme etc - I can see the queues at the job centres decreasing before my eyes.

Not really sure why you think advances in medical science would reduce the number of people with disabilities - 20 years is not a long time in the world of medical science. Don't insult disabled people by implying that, if they suddenly got a miraculous cure, they'd still claim their benefits.

Most importantly Xenia, in the words of Suzanne Zeedyk, practical solutions are not achieved when we focus on who is to blame. Moral debate typically distracts us from being effective. Solutions are more likely to be achieved when we focus on how to lift ourselves and our neighbours out of misery. Poverty is not inevitable and it is not about punishability.

flaminhoopsaloolah Mon 08-Apr-13 14:55:26

Medical advances can get rid of permenant disability can it? Would you mind naming a few, Xenia?. Perhaps there are more people on disability because it has been realised that some conditions that are debilitating mean in reality for the person suffering form them that they cannot hold down a job no matter how hard they try.

Most people on disability, who are able to judge their position with a reasoning mind, would swap places with an able bodied person any day.

fuzzypicklehead Mon 08-Apr-13 17:56:00

jennywren no, I never said the surviving kids wouldn't be screwed up by what happened. What I said is that it isn't ok for anybody to decide to kick bereaved youngsters when they're already down.

Xenia Tue 09-Apr-13 13:46:20

That's the debate. The right would say policies which force the poor to help themselves work much better at taking people out of poverty -0 as indeed Thatcher achieved. We have never returned to the poverty of the 1970s. Living standards are much better for all since we had those policies in place.

I genuine don't see why there are more disabled people now than there ever were when medical advance increase, 90% of down's children are aborted etc etc. Surely there should be many manyfewer people with disabilities. I think 25% of those claiming have depression and I know that lack of good foods and sunlight and moving makes people more depressed I suppose the diet of junk food and never getting of a chair has in part increase the mental illness rates.

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