1949 benefits programme on C4 now..who is watching?

(390 Posts)
Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:13:17


Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:14:43

The guy with spina bifida should have been given something surely!

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:16:41

I'm watching. I think the man in the wheelchair will be okay.

Gingerandproud Mon 12-Aug-13 21:16:53

we are, very interesting so far.

Just switched over.

Shinyshoes1 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:18:05

I'm watching ... The man in the wheelchair should have been given more help

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:20:31

So benefits are now roughly a fifth of what they were in 1949. That's interesting.

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 21:21:35

I'm watching - I think it's good that channel 4 have chosen 3 people who are clearly entitled to benefit - not a hint of benefit bashing about it ( for a change!)

alemci Mon 12-Aug-13 21:21:36

me too, should be interesting. pensioner scenario is different. like the idea of ni contributions being considered.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:22:08

A fifth? hmm

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:25:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shinyshoes1 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:25:52

Oh no not the grandfathers watch ! sad

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:26:15

oops! £38 now and either £137 or £177 then (for the disabled lady and man respectively) so nearer a quarter?

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 21:26:28

I don't think it is being held up as an example - I think it's showing how far the welfare state has come from inception until now.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:26:37

Feeling really bad for the pensioner. sad

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:26:38

I think 1949 is the start of the welfare state

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:27:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:28:35

schmalts I think your prediction is about to come true...

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:28:56

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ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:30:27

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Really interesting, I was just saying to my DH it kinda explains why disabled children were put in homes etc. In reality they would be a 'burden' as they would be entitled to no money & if the family were poor anyway it would tip them to total poverty sad sad

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:31:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:31:32

I think at the moment its quite a mild programme however I think that will change in the next programme.

flowery Mon 12-Aug-13 21:32:23

"So benefits are now roughly a fifth of what they were in 1949. That's interesting."

Er, don't think so! Haven't they swapped £137 or whatever they get now for £38 the equivalent to what they would have got in 1949??

EeTraceyluv Mon 12-Aug-13 21:32:35

I've worked since I was 18 - that's it I've done enough grin

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:32:39

i'm not sure I understand the point of the programme? confused

yes benefits in 1949 were shit- we know that. we know people who were born with a disability got sod all help! hmm are they trying to make out that today's benefit recipients should be bowing down and kissing the feet of david Cameron for allowing them to eat?

also, have they also altered the costs/bills these people will have to pay to fall inline with 1949 costs in the same way they have altered their benefit payments and removed their food and cars? or are these people being made to pay for and live a 2013 lifestyle on a 1949 pay? because if so then it's a ridiculous programme and makes no sense.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:32:43

Is this a one off programme then, or part of a series?

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 12-Aug-13 21:33:37

I don't believe that in 1949 gas and electric bills would have been nearly £100 a month...

They've adjusted the payments in line with inflation.

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:33:49

Nicky I am very glad that the atitude towards people with a disability has changed for the better since then

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:35:15

I think its part of a series

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:36:16

I'm crying now. Poor Melvin!! sad

It's actually really upsetting me not even premenstral sad
The pensioner bloke & the guy in the wheelchair are lovely smile

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:37:43

why did they keep an eye on pensioners in 1949?! did they think they were lying about being pensioners? hmm it's not as if they can do anything about being a pensioner FFS!

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:37:49

Its upsetting that they are interrupting hom as he grieves

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:38:21


What doesn't make sense? They've taken what the person would have received in 1949 and adjusted it for inflation etc which gives £38 a week.

I started full-time work in 1974 on £7 a week. Benefits would have been very small amounts in 1949.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:38:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nenevomito Mon 12-Aug-13 21:40:48

Its makes me realise how damaging it would be to go back to how it used to be and how the screwing over of the sick and disabled that's going on at the moment is a huge step back.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:42:15

I agree babyheave.

I'm getting angry now

TeamEdward Mon 12-Aug-13 21:43:58

Flashy nails lady seemed determined to fail that "medical" grin

Flashy nails + typewriter = not a match made in heaven wink

twistyfeet Mon 12-Aug-13 21:45:06

Do we really want to go back to absolute poverty for pensioners?

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:45:39

It just shows how the gov need to do more with regards to support that people with a disability need to help them find work

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:45:40

sad Melvin. it feels like they are exploiting his grief tbh. typical channel 4. angry

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:46:32

i'm a bit behind everyone else I think. I've paused a few times.

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:47:13

That lady is not presenting herself very well.

TeamEdward Mon 12-Aug-13 21:47:28

Why is flashy nails woman even on this programme if she's determined to be so negative?!

Shinyshoes1 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:47:39

I'm getting angry at sweary woman ... She's not even trying

EeTraceyluv Mon 12-Aug-13 21:49:16

'I'm not being blackmailed' Does she understand why she is on this programme?

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:49:27

I didn't know that the 3% minimum quota for disabled workers had been abolished. It should be reinstated immediately.

Why would an employer pick a disabled person and maybe have to make some adaptations under the DDA, when they could have an able-bodied one with no additional costs? That's not right.

Shinyshoes1 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:49:44

She's resigned herself to the fact that that she's worked for 22 years , she's done and the state can keep her

Peachyjustpeachy Mon 12-Aug-13 21:49:51

She is annoying me.

gamerchick Mon 12-Aug-13 21:50:04

Ah man that potato thing was pure gold. grin

I don't agree with the slaughter on welfare but have to hand it to them for cherry picking the people.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:50:25

The man is coming across much much better than the woman.

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:50:27

Exactly Shiny.

Peachyjustpeachy Mon 12-Aug-13 21:51:04

I wonder how they were selected for the programme

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:51:20

Wet while I appreciate your point I am not sure a quota would be a positive change. I thimk more radical changes are needed.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 12-Aug-13 21:51:29

Surely she picks up potatoes to cook at home without her am hurting?

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:53:17

I think the difference is that the pensioner would work if he could, the man in the wheelchair wants to work, and the woman with the amazing nails really doesn't see why she should work, doesn't appear to want to work and feels she is entitled to be supported by the state.

Not saying what is right or wrong btw, just a stark difference in attitude between 2 people who each have perfectly legitimate reasons to be supported by the state imo.

smokinaces Mon 12-Aug-13 21:53:44

Oh god, they have killed the moral in the old guy haven't they?? He had such bright eyes and attitude at the beginning and just seems resigned now :'(

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:53:54

Well, we need some incentive for employers to take on disabled staff. There's a difference between wanting to work and finding an employer who will take you on.

OK - I'll voice it. She's taking the piss in many respects.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:54:07

Meant to say 3 people. Sorry. blush

If Melvin was my neighbour we'd help him, he's lovely.

His whole attitude is the total opposite of flashy nail lady yes, I know that's the point

duchessandscruffy Mon 12-Aug-13 21:54:37

Are these real people or actors? The coloured nails lady in particular seems like a bit if a caricature.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:56:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 21:57:08

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Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:57:18

Remploy are still active but I beleive that many of the factories have been closed or are closing

littlemisssarcastic Mon 12-Aug-13 21:57:27

So happy for Craig!!!! grin

EeTraceyluv Mon 12-Aug-13 21:57:36

Awwwwwwww sad

Allthingspretty Mon 12-Aug-13 21:58:02

Good for Craig!

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:58:46

oh god!! my heart is breaking for Melvin. sad

smokinaces Mon 12-Aug-13 21:58:47

So happy for Craig :-D

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 21:59:14

I suppose in very blunt ways the Sate did look after Craig and the pensioner. It didn't look after people who weren't prepared to help themselves - like the lady who will have her benefits withdrawn because she wouldn't even try the job.

It's crazy though - while Melvin had sufficient pension he could actually look after himself - but without his pension he was institutionalised.

gamerchick Mon 12-Aug-13 21:59:17

The dudes have perked up grin so happy that guy got offered a RL job.

TeamEdward Mon 12-Aug-13 21:59:54

What WetAugust said ^^

smokinaces Mon 12-Aug-13 22:00:26

Karen for me is the typical attitude of entitlement that some people "on the sick" have. Sadly.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:00:54

how is fake nails woman able to sit there facing that woman with the missing hand and tell her she doesn't want to give the work a go because she is tired!?

TeamEdward Mon 12-Aug-13 22:02:29

If Nails Lady struggled to reach & pick up a single potato, how does she managed to drive that big car?

Shinyshoes1 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:02:43

I enjoyed that'. It was a real eye opener .

I shall be watching next week

EeTraceyluv Mon 12-Aug-13 22:03:07

It was obvious why she was chosen of course, but people are going to be even more riled by what they perceive as 'benefit types' now because of her.

smokinaces Mon 12-Aug-13 22:03:14

It was when she was arguing in front of Craig that she needed more help than him as he only had a wheelchair and she was more disabled!

ProphetOfDoom Mon 12-Aug-13 22:03:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 12-Aug-13 22:04:34

So pleased Craig got a job he really deserves it!

Melvyn broke my heart when he pawned the watch. It was so sad to see him deteriate so quickly

I think that's probably why she didn't give the work a try. Because if she'd been seen on national tv able to work, her claim would've been totally stuffed.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:05:43

ok- proper crying now Melvin has his watch back smile

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 22:06:38

Worth pointing out that Craig most likely wouldn't qualify for ESA hence why he was on JSA. Karen almost certainly would.

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 22:08:10

I think you're right Flouncy. I think she realised she'd bitten off more than she could chew there.

But the fact remains that whatever we think of her behaviour or work ethic she has been determined by 'the system' to be unfit for work.

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:09:15

I believe it's called prpaganda.

And you fell for it, suckers.

OrangeJuiceSandwich Mon 12-Aug-13 22:09:21

I love the fact Craig was described as 'disabled' and Karen was described as 'a disability benefit claimant'. Says absolutely everything.

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 22:10:12

Craig would have qualified for Incapacity Benefit in Youth which was awarded without any NI contributions having been paid. When IB was replaced by ESA he would have transferred to ESA.

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 22:11:17

Sure usual. Absolutely everyone is totally genuine and entitled.

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 22:11:55

Why propoganda, usualsuspect? I watched it as a damning indictment of the early welfare state and a warning against the current gov't policy which seems to seek a return to that.

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 22:13:23

WetAugust if Craig's "only" limitation is the fact that he's a wheelchair user he most likely wouldn't qualify for ESA. Unless he has other physical limitations which weren't immediately obvious.

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:13:36

She was entitled.

I enjoyed it but couldn't understand why miss nails was getting so angry.

alemci Mon 12-Aug-13 22:13:57

that women was really annoying and particularly awful when she compared herself to craig and seemed to think she was more deserving not. he was probaly born that way. wondered if her son worked

also how does she think that she doesnt have to work anymore and has paid enough in. other people have to work til they are 65. I think ahe could do some work and has got a mindset she cant. why does she need that huge car.

WetAugust Mon 12-Aug-13 22:15:34

True - on the abolishment of IB in youth he'd have been reassessed and awarded JSA / ESA in the working group or ESA in the support group.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:15:49

I have to say I agree with usual- they made it very clear at the end that the 1949 system was one that 'worked' where the 2013 system didn't. but as I said earlier- typical channel 4 shite.

RandomMess Mon 12-Aug-13 22:17:53

Of course in 1949 nowhere as many people lived long enough to get the state pension nor did they receive it for very long...

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 22:18:14

I refuse to watch it. It's propaganda which ultimately will lead to people's perceptions making my life harder than it is now.

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:18:20

Typical wind up them benefit bashers and watch them go ,media tosh.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 12-Aug-13 22:19:13

I don't know, I think the 1949 system worked for Craig, didn't really work that well for Melvyn (yes, he liked the home, but not the bit that came before it!) and I don't think we can really count Karen as it's unlikely somebody in 1949 would act like that.

I'm not presuming to declare whether or not she was capable of work. I'm merely pointing out that she was in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't ' situation. Attempt the work, and take the risk of someone saying 'Aha, so you CAN work (even if she had been in pain and putting a brave face on)', or refusing and looking as though she was a shirker.

That said, her angry attitude did nothing to endear her to me.

Faverolles Mon 12-Aug-13 22:20:11

I agree with usual. We've had a steady drip feed of propaganda in the last few months, focusing on the feckless benefit claimants hmm

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 22:20:37

Ah maybe I took it differently then. I thought the fact that Melvin had to pawn his stuff and move into a nursing home, that Craig wasn't entitled to any immediate help etc was scandalous. Even Karen, who admittedly didn't come across well, I felt was badly served by the 1949 system. I mean you'd expect that most people would realise that unless the gov't was going to plumb billions in to the welfare system there no way the level of personal service could be matched in 2013.

Wonderstuff Mon 12-Aug-13 22:20:53

I think it's very sad that Craig has never felt able to work, but wanted too. We do need to raise aspirations.

I can't believe there are many people able to work who just don't want to.

Fact remains that it isn't the cost of the welfare state that has put up the deficit, it's the lost revenue from the collapse of the financial sector.

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 22:21:23

And that should read pumb billions! Silly iPhone smile

I think the programme raised some valid points and just dismissing the programme as propaganda without elaborating just adds to what a hugely contentious issue discussing any benefit has become.

I personally think the benefits system needs a radical overhaul...but I'm very glad I'm not the one who has to do it!

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 22:25:46

I had my own mother crowing this week about how she'd been loudly illustrating all the nice things you can have if you WORK in earshot of her neighbours, who are on benefits.

When I responded that if anyone said that to me I'd tell them to fuck off she was really shocked and said "oh but you're different".

Funny that. I'm not different in the eyes of people on here, in the eyes of people in real life and I'm not different legislatively (some of the reductions are affecting us as we need top ups from benefits not classed as disability or Carer benefits).

So the govt can say they're not reducing disability benefits yet are still taking money away from my family and those like us.

Smoke and mirrors. Propaganda, the lot of it.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:26:06

"We've had a steady drip feed of propaganda in the last few months, focusing on the feckless benefit claimants hmm"

I totally agree with this- it's almost hmm funny how obvious they are being about it, if it were'nt so fucking damaging.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:26:56

or maybe weren't? confused

timidviper Mon 12-Aug-13 22:27:37

The problem is that, even if people like Karen are classed as able to work, she is never going to make the effort and there are loads of people who will make that effort already competing for far too few jobs. Karen has come across as dreadfully rude and entitled. I do wonder if benefits should be used somehow to discourage people like her

I am so pleased for Craig that he got a job offer!

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:27:47


The comments on this thresd branding Karen as a feckless scrounger, who could work if she wanted to proves that people fall for the propaganda every time.

She was in constant pain,she had several health issues that were invisible. But posters chose to ignore that.

Nothing to debate really is there?

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 22:28:40

Wonderstuff I had all the aspirations in the world when I was a school leaver. Didn't stop my first boss cutting my wages from £140 a week to £100 a week when he found out I had a disability and telling me I was lucky he did that rather than sack me.

It didn't stop the company 'relocating the position' that had already been offered to me when they found out about my disability, either.

Those thinking all it takes is for people with disability to aspire more are deluded.

alemci Mon 12-Aug-13 22:33:05

yes but karen had a bad attitude and one of entitlement. a bit of humility and gratitude for the system we now have would be a step in the right direction.

the young guy in the wheelchair probably is in pain and struggles but has a different mindset

MaryBateman Mon 12-Aug-13 22:34:26

I didn't watch it but if the programme followed the actual rules from the National Assistance Board which started in 1948 you were expected to sell everything you didn't need before you could get any help.

When you put in a claim for assistance an assessor would visit your house and inspect everything you owned. Two people in a household and you had three chairs. Sell a chair. Two adults sharing a bed and a single bed in a spare room. Sell it. Until you did so you got no help. I started working for the DHSS in the mid 80s and some of my older colleagues were former NAB assessors and even they said it was tragic to ask that people sold stuff before they could claim the pittance of help they were entitled to. They even asked men to sell tools that they would've needed to have got a job that they were qualified to do. Joiners, carpenters, plumbers etc.

The NAB was better than anything that went before it - the workhouse - but it was brutal and lacked any intelligence or foresight. Do not wish for those days back.

But usual - she was a willing participant and there was only an edited snap shot of her situation.

As you chose to see her pain so others saw her reticence to work. You have decided to brand other posters as incapable of seeing through the propaganda. What is to say that your response is not the programme makers desired response?

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:37:02

Oh come on, we all know what the programmes required response was.

Read this thread. It's all here.

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 22:37:34

Oh, and to add, before I had to give up work to be a Carer my disability didn't prevent me from reaching management level in two positions I held.

Nothing wrong with mindset or aspiration there.

Didn't stop two employers treating me as lesser because of my disability. It affected my employment prospects and each time it was done so cleverly as to evade the DDA.

Bruthastortoise Mon 12-Aug-13 22:37:46

I think we're heading in a bad direction if we're expecting humility and gratitude from people who claim benefit. People who claim benefit whether it be JSA, ESA , CTC or whatever are entitled under the current legislation (barring cases of fraud obviously). Gratitude doesn't come in to it.

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:38:51

Desired not required *

alemci Mon 12-Aug-13 22:39:41

also she has alot to lose if she did work. she may not have any qualifications and she couldn't go back to being a carer and could she still keep that car. the welfare state has trapped her in some ways

flowery Mon 12-Aug-13 22:41:09

"Flowery what doesn't make sense?"

Nothing, all makes sense to me thanks.

"Benefits would have been very small amounts in 1949."

Er, yes, that's exactly my point. Much less than now, not five times as much!

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 22:42:36

Fleshwound - you used the word - edited.

Karen may have participated hoping to illustrate what life was like living with invisible disability and been edited so as to be unrecognisable.

Just because she wasn't sackcloth and ashes humble makes her a bad person?

I'm combatitive and bolshy too. Because cuts ARE being made to disabled families, people ARE suffering but people are either going around with their fingers in their ears going la la la OR swallowing the government propaganda wholesale.

I have done some media work about the cuts but each time was terrified they'd misrepresent me. I was fortunate in that Polly Toynbee, BBC News and Channel 4 news were sensitive to my situation and reported accurately. I know others who haven't been so lucky.

alemci Mon 12-Aug-13 22:44:57

no I think those qualities should come into it what if gb ended up like Greece. she should count her blessings and shame on her for swearing at that guy interviewing her. this is the problem in 2013 the money still comes however she behaves unlike being in the workplace

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 22:46:40

Fuck gratitude.
How's that?

Too right I feel angry and defensive. I paid tax for years, so did DH. We're saving the system thousands of pounds a week and sacrificing our mental health into the bargain.

I'm entitled to free prescriptions at the moment. We also have received a lifeline through child tax credits. I'm very grateful for this - should I just be bolshey instead?

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:50:06

I think if you are in constant pain and someone sends you to work in a factory you are entitled to be a bit bolshy.

She was bolshey before she ever went near the factory.

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 22:51:28

Depends if you're under constant attack for doing so, Hels.
Makes a biiiig difference cos you get bored of the superiority merchants who know precisely bugger all about your circumstances.

difficultpickle Mon 12-Aug-13 22:51:42

Just watching it now. I don't understand why Kaern rejected working when she didn't even know what work was being suggested. Fair enough if they had discussed it but she cut off the benefits man before he was able to tell her about the work he had found for her.

I'm afraid I have little sympathy for her as I know people who work who are more disabled than her and struggle to work but still want to contribute to society even though it is physically very difficult for them and painful.

I think a lot of it comes down to attitude. Craig wants to contribute to society and make a difference whereas Karen doesn't really seem to care about what contribution she could make.

Melvyn is fabulous.

usualsuspect Mon 12-Aug-13 22:54:13

You know her then do you?

Or just the bit you saw on the telly?

Like I said. You fell for it.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 12-Aug-13 22:56:10

I am not watching as I think it is more propaganda to encourage the benefit bashers, of which there are too many already.
it is also pointless comparing benefits today and when they first began because hopefully we have improved since post war rationing

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 23:01:27

" Fair enough if they had discussed it but she cut off the benefits man before he was able to tell her about the work he had found for her."

oh come on! that was very badly edited at that part- very clear that there was something said between him saying it and her saying she wasn't going there.

difficultpickle Mon 12-Aug-13 23:02:39

No of course I don't know her but I do know people who are disabled and in pain and don't claim any benefits at all.

Fair enough it may well be that Karen is just making an amazing effort to mask her suffering for the purposes of a tv show. That makes sense as why would you put yourself up for something like this if there was a risk of being spotted for benefit fraud. If she really is suffering as bad as she says she is then I feel sorry for her that her spirit is so broken that she genuinely cannot make any attempt to contribute.

I wouldn't know about being constantly criticised for being a benefits claimant, when I had a breakdown I was unable to claim a penny in benefits.

Maybe she is angry & defensive but she did seem totally unwilling to consider any alternative to her current situation.

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 23:08:06

Ahh, you have issues, then MrsH. Much more to it.
Unless you've actually been in Karen's situation are you in any way qualified to gauge how she 'contributes'?

For eg I contribute by saving the local authority approximately nine thousand pounds a week.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 23:10:48

" I contribute by saving the local authority approximately nine thousand pounds a week."

I wondered this about Melvin- wouldn't it have been more expensive for them to house him in a care home than to give him adequate money to pay his bills and eat properly?

ImNotBloody14 Mon 12-Aug-13 23:12:23

although I've just realised you mean you save money by being a carer? rather than saving money by not taking space in a care home or being cared for?

difficultpickle Mon 12-Aug-13 23:13:56

True she may do something that contributes to society and you are right that the programme is no doubt edited to reflect a particular viewpoint. It would have been interesting to be told why she was no longer able to participate in the programme. Maybe the producers chose her to give some contrast to the two hugely sympathetic and enthusiastic participants that they had with Craig and Melvyn.

TheSecondComing Mon 12-Aug-13 23:14:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 23:16:27

Yes. Residential care x 3 would be approx 9 grand a week.

GobbySadcase Mon 12-Aug-13 23:21:40

Nothing is going to change though whist people think all it takes to get disabled people into work is aspiration and effort.

Only 14% of adults with Autism are in employment.

In a work market where far too many people without disability are being 'treated' to part time hours and zero hours contracts then do you REALLY think that employers are going to want to make reasonable adjustments to employ people with disability? When there is such a large pool of other candidates out there?

I've encountered two piss poor employers. Friends far more.

And closing down Remploy? Really bad move.

You also have to accept there are people out there who really cannot work.

AcrylicPlexiglass Mon 12-Aug-13 23:32:39

Did Karen say what her diagnosis is? Or does she have lots of different things going on?

She did come across incredibly badly. The editing made her seem relentlessly negative. If it was not the editing and she is like that all the time her life must be very hard indeed.

WetAugust Tue 13-Aug-13 00:20:42

She had lots of problems : diabetes, arthritis, back pain etc.

I just didn't like her rudeness to the DWP staff/actors - she had no need to be so rude to them.

WetAugust Tue 13-Aug-13 00:24:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Tue 13-Aug-13 01:11:31

Actually, I've just thought of sometjing I didn't understand.

When they were saying 96% of disabled people worked, did they just mean physical disabilities? And would both Craig and Karen have come under that umbrella?

I'm just thinking that there are some disabilities where working probably wouldn't have been an option in those days, things like severe CP, some communication disorders etc. Would those really have made up less than 5% of the disabled population?

Although presumably there would have also been more people with wartime injuries, so I don't know.

Lol @ 'you have issues'. It was 16 odd years ago & whilst I get a bit annoyed if I think about it, it doesn't affect me on a day to day basis. MH problems yes I continue to have problems but I work part time as well as bring up 2 gorgeous boys. I don't have a problem with Karen getting benefits, just the fact that she was so negative & rude to everyone.

I assume they'd refer to physical disabilities. People with mental disorders/special needs/ whatever the terminology would have been in those days, would have been either looked after within the family network or institutionalised. Employment would not have been an issue for them.

Allthingspretty Tue 13-Aug-13 08:26:04

I stated a thread in aibu last week about the trailer for the programme last week. Tbh it was not as bad as I expected it to be. I do think that we are moving towards a 1949 attitude towards benefits. The whole spying on people seems very real in 2013 and the benefit tax just reinforces the deserving and undeserving poor that has been around since the days of the poor law and the workhouses. The governemnt to some degree has succeeded in turning people against one another and it would be interesting to know how many of our neighbours would be prepared or could help out in a case like Melvins.

Bruthastortoise Tue 13-Aug-13 08:30:13

MrsHelBels why were you unable to claim a penny in benefits if you were unwell?

This was 16 odd years ago, I'd not paid NI, couldn't claim JSA as I wasn't well enough to look for work & my fiancé earnt too much for me to get disability benefit. The details are a bit hazy now but I definitely didn't get anything.

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 08:49:16

They're also very conveniently forgetting those that were put into institutions. Which would have been the vast majority of physically and mentally disabled people as the family wouldn't have had any support to keep them home.

So these people would still have had to be paid for, but via health budgets not welfare. Would have cost more, too.

Remember the Tories implementing care in the community in the 80s to save a few quid?

Bruthastortoise Tue 13-Aug-13 09:06:05

Ah right MrsHelsBels the same would apply now, which is hard but at the same time if Karen's circs were the same as yours I.e. not enough stamp or a partner in employment she wouldn't have been entitled either. The system, which admittedly has flaws, is at the very least applied equitably to everyone.

Bruthastortoise Tue 13-Aug-13 09:09:54

Gobby I think they made it clear that people like Craig, had he been found unfit for any employment, would've ended up institutionalised. I also thought that when they went knocking to see if a neighbour could care for Melvin it made it clear that society now is not geared towards the "big society" that the con-dems blethered on about - everybody is too busy trying to keep their own heads above water.

forevergreek Tue 13-Aug-13 09:17:58

It was ridiculous. The lady was just lazy IMO. Sure she might have some ailments, but so do many people. Surely having diabetics and arthritis doesn't stop you doing most jobs if sitting down? Even part time. Sure some people have pain sitting down, but she managed to sit down and watch tv fine, so Im sure a few hours offuce work would be manageable

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 09:48:43

Do you have all of Karen's conditions, Karen? If not what makes you qualified to comment?

I'm glad they touched on the use of institutions. They weren't exactly shiny happy places and the use of them didn't end until the late 80s/early 90s.

They were an expensive option, frequently subjected to abuse scandals and tens if not hundreds of thousands of people were thrown into them with no expectation that they deserved a normal life.

Yet the current govt seems to want a return to this system...

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 09:49:14

Karen forevergreek

(Steroid fog)

forevergreek Tue 13-Aug-13 10:16:28

No of course not, everyone is different. But I do work with disabled people . If someone who is quadriplegic can work a computer via voice recognition and work, another serverly epileptic can volunteer reading to children, another with mentality of 8 year old plants strawberries. I'm not saying she should have to work full time, but she should at lease be contributing to society. Does it stop her volunteering to read to the elderly or children? Or working as cashier? Or from painting others nails? Iv no idea what she could do, but of the 1000 and 1 options I'm sure something is available.

My father is the quadriplegic I mentioned. After injuries in a car crash. He was horrified that everyone assumed he would never work and would fund everything he needed. He does get some things ie disability but he also works 40 hours a week via a headset and computer. He is proud that he pays himself for carers and his mortgage etc.. That is why she annoyed me that she couldn't type a line as her nails might break and that a pototoe was crippling her!

The deserving disabled recieve a lot less than they should I'm sure due to others claiming when try shouldn't. That money IMO should be going to parents of disabled children for respite or funding extra therapy or equipment for those who genuinely really need it.

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 10:20:51

It's great that he has an employer that facilitates that, many aren't that fortunate.

twistyfeet Tue 13-Aug-13 10:28:42

We have no idea of Karen does voluntary work. She is certainly a mother and cares for her kids. They looked clean, fed and loved. People with invisible disabilities get picked on a huge amount and in 1949 their pain would have been dismissed. I, for one, dont want to go back to those days.

And trotting out the odd 'inspirational' disabled person does not magic up jobs (half a million vacancies, mostly zero hours contracts, for 4 million unemployed) nor compliant employers. My son (not disabled) sent out 300 applications after A levels and only Sainsbos replied to tell him he didnt have the experience to fill trolleys in the warehouse hmm. I dont rate my daughters chances highly (no movement, no speech, constantly in hospital but much brighter than my son is is predicted 4 A* this week <small stealth boast>) in the jobs market. The next person who compares her to Stephen Hawkings might get a slap. She loathes physics.

Wannabestepfordwife Tue 13-Aug-13 11:26:04

I think with Karen people underestimate how serious conditions like arthritis can be.

My mum has a form where her white blood cells are attacking themselves and other parts of her body. She has to take pills where you have to have blood tests very regularly as the side effects include liver and kidney failure.

If my mum doesn't have them she struggles to drive, to dress herself and using syringes (she's a nurse) is agony for her.

My mum intends to work as long as possible but it's very unlikely she will cope to retirement age.

K8Middleton Tue 13-Aug-13 11:26:10

"Deserving disabled"? Did you really mean to write that forevergreek because it just sounds so thick narrow minded.

Some of the job suggestions on here are plain ridiculous. Where are these year round strawberry planting jobs that can pay £6+ per hour minimum wage? And voluntary work is unpaid that is the nature of it.

Also getting people into work is much more than can they use a computer or do a basic, unskilled, manual job. Other factors need to be considered including are there any jobs and is the person able to reliably fulfil an employment contract of X hours per week? Some chronic conditions like diabetes, epilepsy or arthritis can flare up causing people to take massive amounts of time off work. That is a huge issue for employers and employees.

Fwiw I think many, many employers could manage sickness and disability better but putting people into jobs they cannot reliably do can have severe consequences for the employer, employee and other employees.

One final point, just because you think you know someone disabled who isn't claiming benefit doesn't mean you are correct. They might just not have told YOU.

forevergreek Tue 13-Aug-13 11:33:06

Yes I did mean that.
If someone needs help they Should be getting it and more, the neighbours around the corner who apparently can't work due to bad backs yet climb ladders ever year putting up thousands of Christmas lights should not.

K8Middleton Tue 13-Aug-13 11:35:37

Err, did you not read the bit about reliable employees? Or does do

K8Middleton Tue 13-Aug-13 11:37:14

...Or do you think every employer can afford to employ people who may/may not be well enough to come to work?

Bruthastortoise Tue 13-Aug-13 11:42:35

See I think that people who either can't or don't want to work should be allowed to claim benefits without having to sign on or go through 3 monthly reviews. I fail to see the point of making people who don't want to work jump through hoops to claim their benefit - it's a massive waste of time and resources. Equally I don't think that there's any need for the DWP to carry out their own medical checks - a doctors line should be enough. Surely we would be better putting that time and those resources into helping people who want a job but can't get one.

forevergreek Tue 13-Aug-13 11:44:09

Did you not read about volunteering? I didn't say work, I said contribution to society. So someone with arthritis could still claim, but when not in pain could try and get to the local school/ vets/ old people's home/ local neighbour etc to help a few hours. It's doesn't have to be fixed days. I just mean if you claim, you should try and give something back. If that means you can take milk to an elderly neighbour and check they are ok instead of more money being spent on a carer then surely that's they way forward.

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 11:56:49

As I say I do contribute by saving the local authority several thousand pounds a week.

Who's to say I don't volunteer?

K8Middleton Tue 13-Aug-13 12:00:56

Yeah I read that. How do you know they're not volunteering? How do you know they're not contributing to society? It's worth noting job centres do everything they can to put people off volunteering. You should see the form!

It is also quite stupid naïve to think volunteering is accessible to all. There are often indirect costs associated with volunteering such as child care and travel. People on very low incomes don't always have access to phones or IT to offer help remotely. There can also be issues again with reliability.

It is not as black and white as you believe.

K8Middleton Tue 13-Aug-13 12:03:04

Some of this mandatory volunteering stuff sounds a lot like Community Service... a state issued punishment. Just an observation there...

Bruthastortoise Tue 13-Aug-13 12:05:37

I really wouldn't want a bunch of random people who are forced to do it volunteering in my child's school. Can't imagine they'd be the most enthusiastic crowd.

JustBecauseICan Tue 13-Aug-13 12:05:38

Well, I walked past SEE ticket sales this morning, the very one that Lovely Craig is I hope still working in, and I gave them a cheery smile for being lovely and giving him a job.

<wonders off naively>

I am guessing that Karen wasn't quite as repulsive as she came across and had perhaps been groomed to make good telly, but who knows....Melvin and Craig didn't seem to be acting up.

forevergreek Tue 13-Aug-13 13:09:33

No one is forcing anyone to do anything. Surely as a society you could just use your initiative to help others if you can. It's not rocket science

usualsuspect Tue 13-Aug-13 13:19:37

She worked as a carer for 20 years.No doubt on shit pay.

I think she has done her bit for society.

forevergreek Tue 13-Aug-13 13:37:02

Usual- so if I work for 20 years in a caring profession ( I do), I can retire at 38? Who is going to pay for me for the next 30 years until 68? ( which will be retirement age I'm sure by then)
I thought you didn't even qualify for retirement anyway without 30 years work?
I'm sure many many people work for shit pay in shit jobs, doesn't mean you get 30 years not to work. It simply doesn't work that way

24joy Tue 13-Aug-13 13:37:12

She worked as a carer for 20 years.No doubt on shit pay.

I think she has done her bit for society.

Ha ha!!! So WE'RE meant to be grateful!! 20 years? What planet are you on? - that's not the way the world works! That's why the country's bankrupt. Unbelievable!!

williaminajetfighter Tue 13-Aug-13 13:44:17

I found the program interesting if only for revealing what the initial intentions of the Welfare State were and the changes that have taken place since then. Would be interesting to do the same with the NHS.

Of course the program was meant to stir things up but what's wrong with creating a debate? The majority of Brits believe an overhaul of the system is required and debate is inevitable.

There seem to be a %ge of posters on here, though, that don't want any change at all, are satisfied (usual suspect) that if someone paid into the system for 20 years then they can coast for the rest of their lives, that it's not necessary to pay into the system in any or much way before taking out, that an attitude of entitlement is okay, or that they are 'saving the govt money by acting as a carer for relatives.' Sorry when was it the government's job to care for relatives?

usualsuspect Tue 13-Aug-13 13:46:47

Well if you have a disability and are entitled to claim benefits then,you know, that's what you can do.

Just like Karen is claiming the benefits she is entitled to.

Is that too hard for you to understand?

ImNotBloody14 Tue 13-Aug-13 13:50:48

" Sorry when was it the government's job to care for relatives?"

they aren't 'relatives' (how insulting to them to be referred to only in their relationship to others rather than as a person in their own right!) they are UK citizens and the Govt has a duty to care for those that cannot, for whatever reason, care for themselves. the fact that there are many with people in their lives who step in and relieve the Govt of that duty is something to be grateful for as they are indeed saving the Govt money.

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 14:57:11

William do you think you're being original?
I've had this shit pulled before, and people wonder why I'm bolshy.

We live in a supposed civilised society. As it stands if I was or some reason unable to fulfil my care duties then the local authority would have to do it. At vastly higher cost than I can.

It's cheaper to keep me home doing the care (for 3 I might remind you) than the alternative. Doesn't stop the persecution I face for doing so.

Being as I am meeting the care needs of three people (and only getting carers allowance for one) there is no way I can possibly work for now. That is not to say I haven't contributed (at higher rate, actually) and that I won't again.

Please in your superior wisdom advise quite what should happen if the local authority shouldn't provide care or family do the same. Euthanasia? Or kick those grasping elderly and defectives in the gutter? What should happen, ultimately?

williaminajetfighter Tue 13-Aug-13 15:00:51

usual I think you and I just have a different notion of what 'entitled' means or how it is interpreted.

Imnot I honestly think family should have precedence over the govt to support individuals. Only if family cannot and people have NO support system should the govt intervene. If the govt has 'a duty to care for those who cannot care for themsleves' then what role does family have at all? I just think we need to stop going to the govt/local authority for so much, it's not financial tenable; we need to get over the assumption that the LA is there from cradletograve andtry as much as possible to responsibility back to families. Sorry if my view is unpopular.

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 15:02:42

But that's precisely what I am doing. Caring.
That doesn't keep a roof over my head though, or heat it. Or feed us.

Again, what is your solution?

ImNotBloody14 Tue 13-Aug-13 15:08:06

ok wilemina- define family? who decides whether your step-sister, as your only surviving family, aged 68 should have to provide care for you when your arthritis has you bedbound? who decides whether it's your mum or your dad (they're separated btw) that must bear the responsibility for you when you have an accident and cant work anymore? I don't hold out much hope for that to be decided fairly when the govt cant even make NRP's pull their weight if they don't want to.

who decides what 'cant' means when it comes to family saying they cant look after you? does cant encompass cant afford to give up work? does cant encompass having a young family of your own with additional needs to care for?

GobbySadcase Tue 13-Aug-13 15:10:29

Plus when my kids reach adulthood what then? Should I continue as I am doing or get them into local authority funded sheltered housing?

If the option is to carry on as I am then what happens when I'm no longer around?

Bruthastortoise Tue 13-Aug-13 15:23:08

William are you talking about financially or physically supporting the extended family? Or both? Do you think 3 or 4 generations of family should be living in the same household being supported by 1 wage?

Bruthastortoise Tue 13-Aug-13 15:26:02

An that's only talking about a "traditional" family - so grandparents, a working age couple and children. How do you propose a family which consists of a disabled child with complex care needs and lone parent support themselves? Should the grandparents/ siblings / aunts / uncles be financially supporting them? Where are the jobs which allow people to financially look after more people than their immediate family?

expatinscotland Tue 13-Aug-13 15:52:20

We've had deserving disabled, calls for humility and gratitude, the 'ol you should care for them yourself (because that worked so well in the past when disabled children had to go into institutions because caring doesn't put food on a table), HOUSE!

twistyfeet Tue 13-Aug-13 15:59:01

So family should care. Yet on other threads we're told why should grandparents help out with childcare because they've done their bit and deserve a life. Cant have it both ways you know.

And if families should Care then Carers need support as clearly they cannot work. £58 a week doesnt cover all bills and food you know.

pussycatwillum Wed 14-Aug-13 13:55:17

Coming to this thread late.
We aren't comparing like with like.
In 1949 they were desparate to get people into work because there weren't enough people to fill the jobs. Now the reverse is true, and it is a sad fact that with such competition for jobs those with diasabilities are likely to get passed over. (I say that as a parent of someone with AS).
Also the attitudes were different then. There was a lot of pride and for many people accepting state handouts would have made them feel ashamed. That would certainly have been the attitude in my family. Even now my mother refuses to apply for any extra financial help even though, at 87, caring full time for my 96 year old father, she is probably entitled to it.
Melvyn would have been fairly typical at the time.
I did wonder if the participants had been given a part to play.

goodasitgets Wed 14-Aug-13 23:38:34

I get that Karen may have been in invisible pain I do. But she refused to try. I work with 4 diabetic people, one with breast cancer, one with MS, one with a condition that's so rare they couldn't tell her whether she would survive having children
Surely you would try at least

AcrylicPlexiglass Thu 15-Aug-13 07:58:19

Are you an American republican, williaminajetfighter? You sound like some of those right wingers in the US who defend the right to carry guns but hate health insurance for the poor.

JakeBullet Thu 15-Aug-13 08:25:14

I think williamjetfighter originates from outside of the UK from what he/she has said on previous threads. Wherever this is they don't have the same support/welfare structure we do here and so the concept is alien to William.

I have family in Switzerland where life is very expensive and children for example are considered a family event and no money is given by the Govt. I believe that it different if you have a child with a disability though. On the other hand all my relatives work and even in very normal jobs they earn enough to pay rent etc. They don't seem to pay the same proportion of their income in rent as we do in the UK. Make of that what you will as I am certain there are not rent controls etc.

In the UK our housing costs are high, we have one of the poorest level of wages in the EU and as such the Govt has to step in and top up wages to ensure people can afford something as basic as a roof over their heads.

I have no answers, I just believe that those who CAN work should do so but I also believe that wages should cover the basic cost of living which includes affordable housing.

I am in a very fortunate position because two years ago and in my mid forties I was allocated a HA property. At the time (and still) I really needed that support (having never expected to in the past). When I go back to work I now have an affordable rent, I wont be giving this property up as my son is autistic, he might always need to call this house home. Obviously if I ever earn the sort of money I did before that would change and I could go back to the private sector.

I am grateful for the welfare state, I never expected to need it but am so glad it was there for me when life was difficult. Life is settling down now, I am beginning to do some work again....not easy with my son but thankfully I have a qualification which means I can more or less pick my hours.

JustBecauseICan Thu 15-Aug-13 09:39:02

I think Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece might beg to differ about UK wages levels.....Read yesterday that Spanish minimum wage for full time work is something like 600 euro a month.

And as far as I know, their welfare states don't come anywhere near ours.

alemci Thu 15-Aug-13 11:23:43

I think it was Karen's attitude that irked people but then again it is edited car crash tv. Why did she need that massive car?

ImNotBloody14 Thu 15-Aug-13 11:36:11

maybe she needed a car and massive was costing the same as a 1 person car hmm

why do people do that? ooh she's only got two feet she doesn't need 3 pairs of shoes. fgs

JakeBullet Thu 15-Aug-13 11:44:43

I am only going by a news story I read the other day. If housing costs are low in other countries then correspondingly low wages won't be such an issue. It'sthe pproportion of those wages which go on rent that is an issue . I think the article took all those things into account before working out that our pay in the UK is very low.

Again I have no answers

alemci Thu 15-Aug-13 11:55:35

do you honestly think it would cost the same. A fiesta doesn't cost the same as a Saloon style car to buy or people carrier - come on. Why can't I say it if it is being provided by the taxpayer!

ImNotBloody14 Thu 15-Aug-13 12:02:21


no. I don't think a massive 7/8 seater costs the same as a one person car. I was being very sarcastic.

who said the tax payer bought her car? was the car even mentioned on the programme? I didn't hear it.

pussycatwillum Thu 15-Aug-13 12:06:22

A mobility car has to be easy to get in and out of, and in many cases have room for a wheelchair, and often a hoist or ramp, so they tend to be bigger. To get the mobility car she would have to be receiving the higher rate mobility component of DLA and then use that towards the cost of the car. It wouldn't be additional to the benefits she gets.
For Karen clearly a Fiesta would present some difficulties.
What kind of car was it anyway? I wasn'tlooking closely but it didn't look like a 7 seater.

pussycatwillum Thu 15-Aug-13 12:09:51

They did call it a mobility car on the programme I think.

ImNotBloody14 Thu 15-Aug-13 12:14:12

it looked to me like a 7/8 seater taxibus which I assumed was so that she had room for a wheelchair as she was using a crutch so I guessed there were times where her pain was worse and she needed a chair. I could be wrong. maybe she's just greedy and entitled and likes as much of the road as possible to herself hmm

ImNotBloody14 Thu 15-Aug-13 12:16:02

I also think her son was a carer for her? he seemed to be on the programme and she was quite specific in saying she couldn't manage without him so obviously a one seater car would not be sufficient for them.

EeTraceyluv Thu 15-Aug-13 12:16:41

It was a very nice car.

williaminajetfighter Thu 15-Aug-13 13:08:00

Just coming back to this thread - didn't think I'd get such an angry response by saying that I thought more emphasis should be on family supporting family members than on local authority involvement.

As Jakebullet notes I'm originally from another country (Canada) but in UK for 15 years, now a british citizen. I'm not a gun-toting american and am actually very liberal but more libertarian as I want to reduce the state.

I appreciate my experience has been very different and I grew up in a country where cost of living was less, housing was less an issue and there was, possibly, less state involvement. However I'm still always baffled living here but people's attitudes by the level of involvement the state should play in their lives. Work at the council, get council housing, get assistance from the council - council on speed dial! Yes, in principle if no one is available to look after someone then the state should intervene but I always assumed that the state was the 'last port of call' as it were and as it should be. I ALWAYS see on MN carers writing that by looking after a relative or close family member we are 'saving the LA/council money'. That's like me saying that by treating my daughter well and looking after her I'm saving social workers and the foster system the cost of having to intervene!

My primary worry is that the state can no longer afford the kind of provision that people expect. Britain is wealthy but seriously in debt. And I think some people are deluded about the cost of this level of support. Usualsuspect above stated that Karen on the show has paid into the system and Karen may feel she has paid into the system and is now due.

The thing is Karen hasn't paid that much into the system. She said she was an Asst Carer for 22 years, right? Just say she was working full time and was on a salary of £20k p.a. On that salary she is on a very low tax rate and her annual contribution to NI would be around £1,470 pa. Over 22 years that is £32,340. Now she's been on disability for 7 years, I think she was getting something like £155/week which works out to £56,420 over the last 7 years and that doesn't include all the associated administrative costs or, potentially, her housing. So Karen has paid into the system but not nearly as much as she's taken out in the past or will do in future.

Obviously the premise of NI is obviously everyone pays into the system and only a few have to tap into the funds when they need to, regardless of what they put in. I'm not suggesting Karen is not deserving, I'm not suggesting she should have paid more in taxes but I am saying that some people THINK they have paid in and can get out and don't realize what the costs are over time. People can bark at me for daring to put a 'price' on an individual but the more people use the system long term, the more it costs and the less taxpayers there are out there to cover costs. I'm not a fan of Gideon but I can see that they are looking at this long-term and thinking: '...frig, this just aint tenable, somethings gotta change!'

alemci Thu 15-Aug-13 13:13:19

I think I tend to agree with you to some extent Wilomena. I suppose though anyone of us could end up ill in our lifetime and not be able to work. I just didn't like her attitude and sense of entitlement. Also her 'f' ing at the guy in the office did her no favours.

I think because the money keeps on coming she isn't accountable and can behave how she likes which is different to someone in the workplace.

pussycatwillum Thu 15-Aug-13 13:47:35

Helpful post william. I think you are supposed to pay in for 30 years to get the State pension, which presumably Karen will also receive so she will be taking out even more (I think they said she was in her fifties).

JakeBullet Thu 15-Aug-13 14:35:40

I think if a disabled child needs extra care which isn't given then indeed the Carer is saving the taxpayer money. My friend has a severely physically disabled daughter and has seen the support she gets cut massively. We can all argue about support but fact is that our society is founded upon the principles of supporting those most vulnerable. My friend needs support to help her care for her DD, if that help want there she would go under and that would mean a massive increase in costs for her care to the taxpayer. There is nothing "entitled" about saying "help me" in that situation.

Likewise with an autistic child I receive Carers Allowance and DLA for him. This has enabled me to spend more time with him and have a period of time out of work in order to meet his changing needs as he grows and develops. All children grow and develop but the changes can be massive for a child with a developmental disorder and his/her parents or caregivers.

Obviously I would care for my son even if I didn't have Carers Allowance and DLA for him, he is my son, he copes with a lot and I am proud of him. Trying to hold down a full time job with a child who doesn't sleep, has bowel issues, is challenging, anxious and emotional is hard, add in phone calls from the school at various times for ad hoc meetings, hospital appointments and you can get a small idea of how it feels to live my life. It got so bad that I went part time...I tried all way of working those hours before realising that I couldn't manage. Even then it was a leap of faith and has taken me over a year to stop feeling guilty about being "on benefits".

Looking back I can see how close I was to a massive breakdown. I have recovered, sleep is still an issue but better for DS and I am doing some voluntary work and putting the feelers out about gong back to work part time. Financially it is far better for me to work but it isn't just the money, in work I felt useful, I had adult conversation, I had a life. Work is about so much more than money.

So we can say that Carers would or should care for their relative anyway but we need to factor in what that does to the health of the Carer in the long term and which might end up costing far more than supporting them financially during a time of need.

GobbySadcase Thu 15-Aug-13 17:35:49

Either I provide care or the state does.

I'm cheaper. The care needs are still there, still cost more for the local authority to provide. There needs to be a certain amount of knowledge in place to deal with their needs too, not just anyone can do it.

I am unable to work as I have three children all with needs sufficient to merit middle/higher rate DLA.

Caring for the kids doesn't put a roof over my head, food in my tummies. So stop my benefits. We're homeless and STILL can't actually work so have to give up kids. So local authority legally obliged to step in.

What is the magic solution? Euthanasia? (And yes I've had it suggested)

pussycatwillum Fri 16-Aug-13 11:32:37

Interesting viewpoint Gobby.
My son has AS. I took early retirement (on a reduced pension) to look after him. He gets middle rate DLA but I have not claimed carer's allowance because I think that as he is my child it is my responsibility to look after him, not the State's.

JakeBullet Fri 16-Aug-13 12:58:24

Lucky you pussycatwillum, many of us are NOT in a position to "take early retirement" (with any lump sum which might come from that) and HAVE to claim Carers Allowance until we are in a position to work again.

Nice to have the choice NOT to claim but mine helps pay the bills while I concentrate on my son's needs. It also means I am there at the end of the school day to deal with any issues which arise. It helps me in all manner of ways and my DS as well.

You don't have to claim CA....great. Many of us have no option and it doesn't make you superior or us inferior morally. We do what we have to do to meet the extra needs of our children.

JakeBullet Fri 16-Aug-13 13:02:08

....if you could do with the CA but don't claim out of some misguided moral superiority then you are a fool. It's there for you if you NEED it.

I didn't need it all the while I was in work but I bloody well need it now and I have no pension to replace it with as I am still too young......and as the goalposts have moved with regard to pensions I will remain "too young" for many years yet. Lets say I still have a good 10 years on top of the 30 I worked even if I wait until DS is 16 before returning (unlikely).

In the meantime I claim CA.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 16-Aug-13 13:15:34

i'm really sure what your point was pussycat

carer's allowance is there for those carers who need it. you don't need it so you don't claim it- gobby does need it so she does claim it.

carers allowance isn't there as a payment to those that hold the opinion the state has a responsibility to care for your child. it's there whether you hold that opinion or not. and whether you need it or not has nothing to do with whether you hold that opinion or not. if you need it you need it, so you claim it. you clearly don't need it, that doesn't mean those that do have different morals than you.

"I think that as he is my child it is my responsibility to look after him, not the State's."

CA isn't just available to parent carers- your child might be your responsibility, but the woman up the road who is cared for by her SIL isn't her SIL responsibility is she? SIL didn't bring her into the world and make a commitment to care for her for life- she is choosing to provide the care for her at the cost of her career, pension, family life, free time, sleep, relationships.

twistyfeet Fri 16-Aug-13 13:18:16

Not all of us have pensions so we do claims Carers Allowance. DD requires 24 hour care and multiple hospital and hospice stays. CA doesnt even begin to cover the cost of lost earnings/her costs. And we will care for her as an adult rather than put her in a Winterbourne View type establishment (she has severe cerebral palsy and is tube fed and on oxygen)
I do think as a society we should all pull together to help vunerable members like elderly and disabled people and that is what DLA/Carers etc is for.

GobbySadcase Fri 16-Aug-13 16:16:14

I'm not quite sure how you expect me to answer that. Should I give up my CA (and with it lose into the bargain my IS and HB) to starve on the streets so I can be somehow superior?

This is what I don't get. Nobody who is against the current system can give a viable alternative apart from 'stop the money' but then what do you do when the family then has to go to work to survive and can't provide the care if the state isn't supposed to do it either?

People with disabilities will still exist. More will be born or acquire disability later in life. They will still need care - so what do you do with them? What is your solution? You never say.

Oh, and I do care for my kids because they are my kids, of course I do. Pride doesn't put food on the table, and carers not claiming CA are no more superior to me. CA also helps protect my pension (if it still exists in 30 years).

pussycatwillum Fri 16-Aug-13 16:44:32

The reason I said what I said was that I hadn't thought of it from the other angle, that I am saving the state money by not claiming.
I did not mean anything else.

JakeBullet Fri 16-Aug-13 17:06:00

Fair enough pussycat, things don't always come across as we mean them to when we write them down (am guilty of that lots) smile.

pussycatwillum Fri 16-Aug-13 19:24:16

Thanks Jake. smile

Pixel Sat 17-Aug-13 21:38:13

But pussycatwillum some people who spend a lot of years in a caring role wouldn't get a state pension if they didn't claim carer's allowance as it entitles them to national insurance credits (or home responsibilities protection, not entirely sure now). You can still earn a small amount when claiming carer's so it's also protecting those who can manage to work part-time while caring, but not earn enough to pay national insurance. Fair enough if you were nearer pension age and able to take early retirement but not everyone has that option.

pussycatwillum Sun 18-Aug-13 18:26:44

OK so I am very lucky and I shouldn't have put my point of view.
I am sorry to have said things which clearly upset a lot of people.
I appreciate Jake's gracious response.
I will not contribute again.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 19-Aug-13 21:07:08

Housing this week.

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:12:18

I'm watching.

I'm not convinced that single parents are priority on housing lists - it's not been like that for a long time where we live.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 19-Aug-13 21:12:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Mon 19-Aug-13 21:14:08

That single mother was in 'how to get a council house' last week, i'm sure of it.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 19-Aug-13 21:14:45

The programme doesn't really work does it? I mean, they'd never have been given council houses in the first place, so wouldn't have them to leave.

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:14:47

I did chuckle a little at her attitude to be honest. Thinking that she's hard done by now.

It's not going to look good for single parents is it? I did like it when the woman officer pointed out that it's the women that get the blame and have to suffer the consequences.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 19-Aug-13 21:14:50

Omg how can they live like that or let children live in that environment!

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:16:14

I've no idea Wannabe.

It's lazyness, nothing else.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 19-Aug-13 21:16:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 19-Aug-13 21:17:50

Its making my skin crawl!

If you want to live like that on your own but don't disrespect your children like that

Tell me how to tidy up and I'll do it hmm

ProphetOfDoom Mon 19-Aug-13 21:18:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AcrylicPlexiglass Mon 19-Aug-13 21:19:50

I want a rehabilitation officer to come and help me tidy up!

sassytheFIRST Mon 19-Aug-13 21:21:03

It's interesting, isn't it - that house was AWFUL and yet when the bloke started questioning the dad - "you've been unemployed for 6 years...some of this dirt just needs a cloth.." - it was v uncomfortable viewing. We are so much more sympathetic to depression issues etc and yet maybe some tough love might help a bit more in certain cases?

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:21:43

OK. We've all been there when everything got on top of us, some more than others, where the housework has been the last thing on your mind, myself included..but I think from what I can see, a lot of that is just not throwing things out.

There's going to be a lot of stuff there that they've forgotten about. Her partner did say that they are getting round to it, maybe they were, there's only so many hours in a day and it could be one of those jobs that gets put back all the time for one reason or another.

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:24:25

I think we need caretakers on estates and rehabilitation officers now!! The state some tenants let their houses get into and then demand to be fixed is awful.

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:25:01

I agree smoking.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 19-Aug-13 21:25:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expatinscotland Mon 19-Aug-13 21:25:44

Bring back the rehabilitation officer!

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:25:45

Why did this girl go on the programme and put her kids through all this???

spottygoat Mon 19-Aug-13 21:26:55

Those poor kids in that grotty house. They need a couple of skips and some cleaning bits!!

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:28:07

I think Respectable mean children born in wedlock, those who are widowed or divorced I assume will be given more understanding.

difficultpickle Mon 19-Aug-13 21:29:06

Interesting Matilda. I assume she would be treated the same as wasn't divorce frowned upon?

Poor Patterson. That is really shocking.

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:29:22

They need Kim and aggie. That house was scabby. Mine is by no means spotless, but im not ashamed to have people round like i would if i lived there.

sassytheFIRST Mon 19-Aug-13 21:30:01

Of course, there were lots of women who were bringing up children singlehandedly in the post-war years - "respectable" war widows.

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:30:15

That rehabilitation officer certainly told him he was the problem. :-/

joshandjamie Mon 19-Aug-13 21:30:29

Race relations act = good
The attitude towards single mums changing = good
But I think they should bring back some tough love and rehabilitation officers for people like the family that seem to expect the state to sort out the mess they live in.

Take some frickin' personal responsibility!!

spottygoat Mon 19-Aug-13 21:31:07

is he really going to sleep rough for the night?

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:31:43

I was just thinking that Spotty, surely they won't actually do that to him?

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:32:11

Patterson is respectful, calm, and wanting to work, I really feel for him. They obviously wanted him to react negatively. Good on him.

spottygoat Mon 19-Aug-13 21:33:02

I wonder how the man already had a council house before the woman and her children moved in?

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:33:29

Nicola seems like a really lovely mum.

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:34:27

Would the tv crew really have let him sleep rough??? Really????

spottygoat Mon 19-Aug-13 21:35:17

I hope not Farrow.

I find this programme interesting but distressing, that poor man crying last week and now patterson sleeping rough sad

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:37:48

Ok, this programme this week is wrong on so so so many levels. I disagree with both the single mum and the single man treatment. Disgusting.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 19-Aug-13 21:40:25

I would have walked off the program at the mention of care poor Nicola sounds like she's had it hard enough already

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:41:16

Wannabe, I would have left as well.

Waswondering Mon 19-Aug-13 21:41:27

We are concerned he really did sleep out .... We're hoping he popped into a travel inn for a few hours before filming resumed!

difficultpickle Mon 19-Aug-13 21:41:32

I would be gobsmacked if they really let him sleep rough shock

TheChimpParadox Mon 19-Aug-13 21:44:57

I watched last week. I think you will find that the people taking part actually get a lot out of the experiment. - new friends , new outlook etc

Katiebeau Mon 19-Aug-13 21:45:29

Does anyone else think this weeks program seems aimed at saying to some people "be thankful for what you have today". It seems so contrived. hmm

And the unsuitable single mum is just lovely!!

This is a strange programme. How real are these consequences? Did he really sleep rough ?
Was Nicola in serious danger of losing her kids?

Haven't they reintroduced something like the rehabilitation officer - people helping families get kids up for schools etc.

Poor single mums. Bloody crap - I remember the mum and baby homes in the 80s. The emphasis being it was the naughty girls who wound up there, in shame.

Waswondering Mon 19-Aug-13 21:46:46

I feel a massive urge to find a feather duster now! smile

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:46:48

Wow. Shit, I didn't expect the female officer to react like that - it's no wonder she felt uncomfortable at the first interview. She's experienced it first hand.

difficultpickle Mon 19-Aug-13 21:47:51

I don't think it is contrived it is just contrasting at the difference in society today and society in 1949. Some aspects are clearly better but some are worse.

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 21:49:12

Katie, a lot of benefit programes come across as that and I agree with you.

difficultpickle Mon 19-Aug-13 21:49:50

Waswondering you and me both grin

TheChimpParadox Mon 19-Aug-13 21:51:02

Having watched last weeks I think it is a very interesting social experiment. Yes there is an element of 'be thankful of what you've got today' but that of course will happen when comparing two different social eras. What else do you expect ?

IsabelleRinging Mon 19-Aug-13 21:53:25

Well, it it was real I would feel sympathy. How can they get that upset though, it's not real! They must have volunteered for the show in the first place so should be prepared to go through with the outcome, otherwise what would be the point ? I bet they have been payed to be in it too.

Katiebeau Mon 19-Aug-13 21:53:55

Apart from the rehabilitation officer this week's episode makes me cringe. Society simply doesn't accept discrimination like this today (I hope).

smokinaces Mon 19-Aug-13 21:56:14

But that £31 a day wouldn't need to just be childcare - as a single parent on minimal wage she would get 70% of her childcare paid for through tax credits.

TheChimpParadox Mon 19-Aug-13 21:57:15

Society doesn't accept discrimination like this today thank goodness but it lets people live in shitholes like that family !

gallicgirl Mon 19-Aug-13 22:01:05

I thought they treated the single mum dreadfully given her background. She was so upset!

Interesting experiment though.

difficultpickle Mon 19-Aug-13 22:02:13

"If I'm not feeling it I'm not going to do it" Yeah I feel like that every day hmm

Next week's programme looks interesting!

Katiebeau Mon 19-Aug-13 22:07:18

TheChimp - I agree! Stupid. Look what some help and some neighbours achieved.

EeTraceyluv Mon 19-Aug-13 22:16:36

I cringed when the messy house woman said at the end 'we just get money thrown at us - benefits keep going up' That's going to have the benefit bashers rubbing their hands with glee!

WithConfidence Mon 19-Aug-13 22:17:34

It's interesting what 1949 did better. Plenty of people could do with a stern auntie type who came in to teach them to cook or clean better or to organise decent work experience.

But I didn't like all that crap at the end about lifestyle choices. It wasn't my lifestyle choice for my husband to become abusive once I got pregnant. (Some interesting stats about working single parents and poverty here).

Interesting what someone said upthread about not forcing people to jump through hoops. I know what you mean as people who take the piss will not be phased about requirements and will just find a way around it. But the cost and the detrimental effect it has on people who have mental health problems etc surely points to a negative outcome overall?

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 22:25:51

Teaching them how to cook and clean was taught a lot more then. A lot of pride was taken in your home inside and out. You don't get that anymore and it is a shame.

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 22:26:17

them? Sorry. That's rude. Teaching people I mean.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 19-Aug-13 22:33:42

very upsetting programme tonight. i'm not sure I could have remained calm in Nicola's position when she was told her Dc would be taken into care. I got very angry just watching, but I suppose she knew it wasn't real.

one thing I am interested in is the effect of the rehabilition officer/unsuitable tenant thing.

I will be honest and say that in the worst stage of my depression as a LP my house just went to pot, I actively avoided having people in it. I hid when the doorbell went, I didn't answer the phone incase it was someone saying they would call over- this was all so that no-one found out how badly I was living. it was no where near as bad as the house shown tonight but for someone who used to be very houseproud I was ashamed of what I had let it become and I needed for NO-ONE to find out. I think if I had been bound by the rules of allowing a housing inspector or someone to pay regular visits I would have been far less likely to have let it get so bad, but more importantly I think if there was that dedicated support system there for once it was bad (rehabilitation officer and community support) then I would have gotten out of the rut far sooner than I did.

I know it isn't at all high on the Govt agenda but I definitely think that Is something we could take from the 1949 system. they can keep their racism and woman hating though!

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 19-Aug-13 22:36:53

it's funny, a friend and I were just talking about this today. we were saying how neither of us were taught to cook by parents, nor do we actually need to to survive as convenience food is very cheap and easy to do. we both agreed that cooking, running a home, caring for children, managing finances etc should all be taught from the earliest age (I said in school- year1- but I know some don't agree with this)

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 22:46:39

I think it needs to be taught earlier than year 1.

You can teach 2 year olds to put their toys away.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 19-Aug-13 23:11:10


I was thinking more the financial management, cooking etc.

but yes I agree with you, you can teach a two year old to tidy toys away. my point however was that for many- they aren't being taught any of these lifeskills at home which is why you do get situations where a person cant manage their bills when they leave home or doesn't know the basics of cooking which is why I said year 1 as that is the earliest every child legally has to be in school (if not home educated) so that is the earliest it can be taught if it's not being taught at home. (hope that makes sense)

IneedAyoniNickname Mon 19-Aug-13 23:58:19

Like StephenFrySaidSo when my depression was at its worst, my house was neglected. I also used to pretend to be out, and avoid letting people in. It was in some ways worse than the one on the programme, although my grill pan was never that bad.

I do think its different, in the sense that I was single, broken hearted, depressed, trying to cope with 2 very sad dc because daddy had introduced them to his gf less than 6 weeks after he left. That couple on the tv had 2 adults, surely between them they could have kept the house clean? Although, that said, I don't know what their mental states are.

In my case, ss got involved, and I had weekly planned, and occasional unannounced visits from them, and a family worker. They did things like make me a4 sheets to go on the walls in every room, listing what had to be done and how often, eg Hoover twice a week, that kind of thing. Similar to the rehabilitation officer maybe?

williaminajetfighter Tue 20-Aug-13 12:24:34

Yikes, just saw the show in full. The family with the filthy house were so depressing. Mum and dad looked like they needed a wash and a toothbrush and had such limited life skills - cleaning up is okay when the neighbors do it for you!

Felt dreadfully sorry for the kids who are going to have a really tough go with parents like that. I appreciate that some people grew up in hhlds where they may not have learned to cook but not learning how to clean? Dear god, I hope they don't bring in rehabilitation officers to show people how to clean. bonkers.

Also what's with the glut of ugly, puffy leather sofas? Are they de rigeur? Sorry, couldn't help myself.

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 20-Aug-13 12:40:52


how did you find the SS intervention? was it supportive? gentle? forceful? how did you feel about someone intervening and making you tidy up? were you relieved?

also how long did it take before SS became involved and why did they become involved? did someone report it you? would you have wanted it sooner or not at all?

no problem if you don't want to answer. this just interests me after seeing the effect on last night's show.

alemci Tue 20-Aug-13 15:59:51

did feel sorry for Hansen? He was a lovely chap.

the messy couple had a lovely house to go to. the guy could have made a bit more effort to clear up. hard to understand.

poor old Nicola. she seemed to have an unstable childhood.

salsmum Thu 22-Aug-13 02:27:39

I too thought Karen (nail lady) was making a little bit too much of an issue about what she cannot do...ironically she couldn't pick up a potato....but in the next clip picked up a largish handbag from floor level hmm and slung it on her shoulder.

salsmum Thu 22-Aug-13 02:29:32

This week the parents with the messy house...although they had 4 children 3 were school age so therefore only 1 baby was there at home during the day?????

Wickedgirl Sat 24-Aug-13 19:28:25

I really felt for the single mum. She was doing a good job with her girls until the state took away her flat and money. Very sad.

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:09:03

Here we go again....

Who is it this week?

RandomMess Mon 26-Aug-13 21:09:52

Hmm interesting so far!

twistyfeet Mon 26-Aug-13 21:10:36

goodness, the first woman!

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:12:10

The boy is in for a big shock.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 21:26:44

ooh that lad needs a kick up the bum! silly boy- does he really think helping his mum around the house is a valid reason to turn down a job! because he's tired??

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:29:17

Agreed about the kick up the bum.

He wants everything instantly. A well paid job, all the benefits, the lifestyle and he wants it yesterday. Not prepared to earn or work for it.

No one seems to be prepared to work from the floor up as it were anymore.

twistyfeet Mon 26-Aug-13 21:32:52

I hope the average person watching this isnt thinking the 'bad claimant' potrayed isnt the usual.

Tasmania Mon 26-Aug-13 21:34:27

That Ashley boy - why on earth does he get housing benefit? I don't think he has ever worked before.

Are we meant to be sponsoring all wannabe rappers??? There's about one in a million chance he'd make it!!

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 21:34:30

i had to laugh when he said to the man "you want me to learn how to budget my money then... (something like) 'you should let me be in charge of it'

he totally missed the point that you have to earn money before you have any to budget! grin

RandomMess Mon 26-Aug-13 21:35:28

I work FT and it causes me pain in my back/arm/wrists and I have other aches and pains but I just get on with it, part of getting older, pay to go to the osteopath as it helps, pay to go to exercise class as it helps. So when I do feel that woman could be doing some work at something (or at least trying to get employment).

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:36:37

I wouldn't hold your breath Twisty. sad

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:37:18

OMG that grandmother!

Between her and her daughter the kids don't stand a chance.

Tasmania Mon 26-Aug-13 21:37:42

Oh - bloody hell. And the red-headed family. No one works?!? The grandmother (!?) is the worse...

RandomMess Mon 26-Aug-13 21:38:31

"I want to do something I want to" yeah don't we all...

twistyfeet Mon 26-Aug-13 21:39:08

Now Ashley is a pain in the behind

MissWimpyDimple Mon 26-Aug-13 21:39:20

Is this for real? I mean surely the red-haired family are actors? I'm genuinely shocked. blush

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:39:26

He doesn't want to be depressed in his work? Aww diddums.

No-one does but they get on with it and move on.

difficultpickle Mon 26-Aug-13 21:39:34

I'm loving this week's episode. Ashley's mum and grandma must have thought all their Christmases came at once when he agreed to participate in this programme. I love how they are getting him working to earn his benefits grin

difficultpickle Mon 26-Aug-13 21:40:55

The red-haired family are pretty typical in terms of no working role model in the family. It must be hard to go out to work when your parents and maybe your grandparents haven't worked.

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:43:41

Did she just turn up to an interview in tracksuit bottoms? Please say my TV needs adjusting and she didn't.

twistyfeet Mon 26-Aug-13 21:46:03

maybe thats her smartest clothes? I dont own anything remotely smart so I wouldnt know what to wear for an interview. When dh worked he could wear jeans and a t-shirt. He doesnt even own a shirt!

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:47:14

I hope so Twisty. After 14 years out of work I can see why she hasn't bothered buying smart clothes.

dandydorset Mon 26-Aug-13 21:48:40

im suprised the "bleeding hearts" of MN are not on here saying nobody knows how ill they are blah blah blah

a refreshing change

I can't believe the red headed woman is 39 shock

Having seen the Grandmother's attitude it explains it all tbh.

dandydorset Mon 26-Aug-13 21:50:30

that suit actually changes her whole look

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:51:20

Dandy, I'm one of the bleeding hearts but there's only so much you can be sympathetic with.

A suit and re dying her hair has done wonders. In her confidence too but the looks of it.

twistyfeet Mon 26-Aug-13 21:51:39

surely that goes without saying dandy. You cant see the pain of a slipped disc or spondyolythesis. Commonly reffered to as a 'bad back'. Its fucking agony and destroys your life.

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 21:51:52

by, not but.

Amazing attitude change - she looks fab smile

DIddled Mon 26-Aug-13 21:52:26

She looks really good!

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 21:52:45

i actually don't own anything I would be happy to wear to an interview. my last job was a uniform provided and I was there since I was 17. i'm a cleaner now so I wear jeans and comfortable tops I don't mind getting bleach on and my shoes are flip flops for as long as I can get away with and then trainers when it's colder. I don't own any boots or ballet pumps or black office type shoes and certainly no skirts or black trousers.

dandydorset Mon 26-Aug-13 21:53:19

well she seems to manage ok,or is this one of her "good days"

difficultpickle Mon 26-Aug-13 21:55:46

How old is the red-haired lady's son? I assume she must have a young child if she says she can only work part time (says I who's been working full time since ds was 10 months hmm).

RandomMess Mon 26-Aug-13 21:56:23

Office work could well be okay if her pain is managed now, or it has improved over the years. Completely different to working on the recycling line ie a very manual job.

difficultpickle Mon 26-Aug-13 21:57:41

Very different attitude to the previous week's apparently workshy candidate. Impressed that Vanessa has had a complete change in attitude.

twistyfeet Mon 26-Aug-13 21:59:00

No idea Dandy, I dont know what her illness is but many things you do get good days and bad days. Friend of mine has MS. Some days she cant get out of bed, other days she can dance the Macarena.

Ashley seems to have changed a bit.

dandydorset Mon 26-Aug-13 21:59:35

amazing the change,hope things work out

twistyfeet Mon 26-Aug-13 22:00:14

awww such a shame Michael is still looking for work

difficultpickle Mon 26-Aug-13 22:00:16

They said that Vanessa has fibromyalgia. Shame that Michael hasn't got a job.

farrowandbawl Mon 26-Aug-13 22:02:49

Ashley's not as cocky as he was. He's sitting straighter and not leaning forward resting on the table. I'm impressed with him as well.

I'm gutted for Michael, he's not workshy, his attitude is great, there is just a lack of jobs around for him.

The computer course will be brilliant for that woman, I went on it and even though I knew my around a computer, I still learnt a lot that's come in very useful time and time again.

Tasmania Mon 26-Aug-13 22:12:03

twisty You can work - even with a bad back. However, you also need to take care of your back.

Slipped disc - had that many years before being diagnosed with virtually NO discs in the lower part of back (i.e. they wore out in the end) which was my diagnosis a few years back... it's OK, definitely workable and I work more hours than many people out there.

Yoga, Pilates and a lot of determination work wonders for it.

alemci Mon 26-Aug-13 22:13:40

why is the grandmother puffing away if she is so ill plus her dd could work if grandma is around to look after dc. she does show claimants in a bad light and the family look unhealthy

AcrylicPlexiglass Mon 26-Aug-13 22:59:11

Vanessa's son seems like a lovely lad. Is he at school still or also out of work atm? I like her too. Hope she gets some good part time work.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 23:03:49

acrylic the very tall boy wasn't her son but a friend of the family- I agree he seemed lovely and very supportive/encouraging of her going back to work. she had two younger children a boy and a girl although I don't think it said their ages. at a guess I would say 13-16.

AcrylicPlexiglass Mon 26-Aug-13 23:50:08

Oops! They seemed so close I assumed he was her son! Thanks for letting me know, sfss.smile

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 26-Aug-13 23:56:18

I thought he was her son too until they clarified with the family intro that they do.

JakeBullet Mon 26-Aug-13 23:57:48

A friend of mine has fibromyalgia...some days she can't get out of bed and is in terrible pain but other days she does well. All depends on various things. ...she is better in warm weather and has had a good few weeks. Winter can be dreadful for her.
Terrible condition.

JustBecauseICan Tue 27-Aug-13 06:34:22

Hopefully after the programme lovely Michael will get a job.....I agree Vanessa turned out Ok....it was a shame she couldn't do the recycling thing, because she did come to life and really seem to enjoy it. She wants to get rid of the old grandma to be honest, it's probably been her holding her daughter back all this time, seeing her bad attitude. (she could maybe move in with gobby Karen from week 1? grin)

I think, channel 4 objectives and benefit bashing aside, it's been an interesting series because it's shown how the mindset has changed over the years. Vanessa I think summed it up when she was praising Mrs Townsend saying although she had been harsh, she had cared about the claimants and wanted the best for them.

alemci Tue 27-Aug-13 08:27:21

yes the grandma was toxic and she really lowered the tone when she 'f' ed at the lady. i think she was workshy. Also did you notice there were no older males around in either of the families which i don't think helped.

The single guy deserved a chance and he was lovely.

also with Ashley it was good that he did see the positives of working.

very interesting programme, i think the system does need a huge kick.

farrowandbawl Tue 27-Aug-13 09:11:12

What on earth does having older males around in the families got to do with anything?

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 27-Aug-13 09:19:00

why would older males have helped? and what would they have helped with? confused

Soditall Tue 27-Aug-13 09:21:47

I think it's a brilliant program,I wish they'd show the attitudes of the past now when it comes to claiming benefits.

They offered support back then for all sorts of reasons and helped people to help themselves back into work.

alemci Tue 27-Aug-13 09:23:59

because then Ashley would have a male role model possibly working. there has been some research around this subject. I know it is not fashionable or pc to comment on this issue.

Where is his grandad or dad? or in the other family lead by a mouthy grandmother who seemed quite controlling towards her dd.

farrowandbawl Tue 27-Aug-13 09:50:42

A working role model would have benefited him, the gender is irrelevent.

Nothing to do with fashion or PC.

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 27-Aug-13 09:52:02

"Where is his grandad or dad? " living in another house probably, maybe not willing to take part in the show because in fact Ashley inherited his lazy workshy jean from his father and the nation might see it?

how on earth do you know Ashley doesn't have a plethora (haven't used that word in ages grin) of male rolde models?

all you know is what channel 4 want you to know. remember your brain is being told what to think when watching this stuff.

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 27-Aug-13 09:57:43

soditall yes I agree- that was the difference I noticed between then and now- back then there seemed to be far more individualised support with people physically coming to your house to help and assess your needs for getting back to work. you rather than seeing you fortnightly for 90 seconds in their office without giving you any eye contact at all whilst they tick all the right boxes on their screen.

although i'm not sure how accurate it is that the welfare officers found all those jobs and work experience days for people. does anyone know?

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 27-Aug-13 09:58:39

grin workshy gene

Elsiequadrille Tue 27-Aug-13 10:12:23

"A working role model would have benefited him, the gender is irrelevent."

Agree with this.

williaminajetfighter Tue 27-Aug-13 10:22:27

I do think the thing a lot of these families have in common seems to be a background of poor parenting and/or a long history of not working in families. It is a hugely determining factor and it leads to situations where 3 and even 4 generations of families don't work.

In this case the rough grandmother couldn't have been a particularly good influence. Getting the daughter and her children mixing with others who provide an alternative worldview and perspective is so critical to them realizing that there is a life out there that you can have without benefits.

alemci Tue 27-Aug-13 10:31:21

True Stephen we probably only saw what they wanted to but it is still a question that I think is relevant and there has been research into this. There may have been the males off camera living elsewhere.

Ashley did seem to thrive when he was working with the builder in a male environment

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 27-Aug-13 10:33:41

I saw 2 generations not working and the elder had health problems that prevented it. not sure where you are getting 3/4 generations.

did it say whether Ashley's mum worked or not? I know she had a very young child aswell so possibly not at the moment but she seemed very encouraging of him working as did his gran which made me think they both do work.

I didn't see any evidence of poor parenting in last night's show. what did you see?

alemci Tue 27-Aug-13 10:42:19

I think the grandmother wasn't a great parent and she just seemed to want to sit back and let other people pay. Her grandchildren are seeing this and what message does it send out.

also benefits bingo with her puffing and then saying she had angina etc. well give up smoking love. it may help.

also the mum said she was there for her dc which is great but they were teens not babies and they didn't need her to make them a sandwich. Also if the grandmother lived there as it appeared then the mum could have worked as she had someone to help with dc.

also malaise and lack of aspiration seemed to permeate.

how do other parents manage to work and have dc? what if we all had gradmothers attitude. where would we be?

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 27-Aug-13 10:49:49

the grandmother isn't a parent- she's a sick relative who is living with her daughter. she's done her parenting. the parenting is what Vanessa was doing and I didn't see anything that could be called poor. you could say the fact she didn't work was poor parenting because it sets a bad example but does that mean all SAHPs are poor parents? I don't think so. I agree her dcs were old enough that she can be working and she agreed herself at the end of the programme but I disagree that she was a poor parent.

alemci Tue 27-Aug-13 10:55:59

i don't think dd was a poor parent in a caring sense but lots of grandmothers look after grandchildren and i don't think grandmother was that sick. i think some of it is in the mind and they have told themselves they cannot work and why bother if they don't have to.

alot of parents work without any grandparents around and dd had a golden opportunity.

if they money wasn't so freely available from the state then they would have to do something and I think that is where the problem lies and always will.

twistyfeet Tue 27-Aug-13 12:10:26

if they had combined the grandmother with last week and poor Mervyn (?) where pensioners got hardly anything it would have been more interesting. I wouldnt want to go back to the days when the elderly practically starved or were forced into homes. The same with disabled people. If you cant work then the support should be decent. But young men like Ashley or older men like Michael or women like Vanessa then yes. But there werent any jobs for Michael. I was so hoping he would be offered a job or Ashley get an apprenticeship. The 1949 system with its personal help into work system would work for them but it was very harsh on elderly people, disabled people (into institutions with them) Carers and single parents.
It was also a different world then, with more work. My mum was 15 in 1949, left school with no qualifications and walked into jobs. If she didnt like them she could walk into another one. She joined the WRAF at 17 but had to leave at 19 when she got married but no biggie as the next day she walked into another job (telephonist I think). She was never unemployed until she had me in 1970 (when it was expected you gave up work) but she said when her grandparents and parents retired they were up shit creek without a paddle on the meagre pension and family were expected to pay. Can you imagine trying to support your parents and grandparents now? While raising your own children and struggling with today's mortgages and rents?
In some ways this programme is like comparing apples and oranges but certain bits are intersting.

williaminajetfighter Tue 27-Aug-13 16:51:12

Just to qualify:

1. While the families we say were just 2 generations out of work, I was just noting that intergenerational unemployment is a major issue and there can now be 3 generations of families who haven't worked which is disconcerting. Certainly an issue on major estates and from what I understand in places like Glasgow where I used to live.

2. In terms of bad parenting, of course I didn't see anyone hitting their kids and only had a brief insight into their lives. I just think part of parenting is providing an example and providing some form of aspiration and I didn't feel like the grandmother or the mother featured was doing much of that. I also think it's important for parents and grandparents to set the standard re: dressing, washing etc as it demonstrates what is and isn't acceptable to the kids. I'm not trying to sound victorian, just aware that parents are the main locus of evaluation for children and create a standard of what is 'normal.'

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:28:45

1- I would love to see your stats concerning 3 generations of non working families. I keep hearing people quote this on MN but have yet to see any proof that there are families where 3 generations have never worked.

2. are you saying that family were dirty and unwashed? I certainly didn't get that impression from it. yes her clothes weren't 'professional' but that's because she didn't have a profession or job to get dressed for so she wore comfortable clothing. it didn't look dirty to me. when the time came for her to dress for work she rose to the challenge and IMO did it very well.

williaminajetfighter Wed 28-Aug-13 18:11:15

1. While 3 generations of wordlessness is rare it does exist and having a look online there are policy documents produced for both Scotland and Wales that refer to them. Certainly it's possible - if you think of someone who may have been signed off sick when the shipyards closed in the early 80s. That person may have had a child who was 10 at the time, now in their 40s with children in their 20s. Having worked for a local authority in Scotland I can recall discussions about this phenomenon when discussing policies to tackle deprivation.

2. I did think the woman looked a bit unwashed, frankly. We all have different versions of clean but maybe washing her hair would be a start. Unless you're aware of some sort of malady whose primary symptom is greasy hair which I am therefore probably discriminating against, right?

williaminajetfighter Wed 28-Aug-13 18:11:30

Worklessness not wordlessness!

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 18:24:18

well I was thinking her hair resembled a bit what mine looks like after I've been out in the rain to be honest. if I wash it and tie it up it goes frizzy but cant completely frizz as it's restrained so bits stick out and those that don't look greasy cause of the rain. but maybe she's just a dirt bird. at least she was able to remedy that as soon as a job opp became available. her hair didn't look greasy at the job experience.

can you link to the proof of 3 generational workless families? it's one of those phenomenons that every tory other MNer has witnessed but the other half of us have yet to come across.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 18:25:30

or even tell me about the families you know personally who fit that group?

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 18:26:54

You're all still watching the shitty propoganda, then?

JakeBullet Wed 28-Aug-13 18:32:54

I think one of those fact checking organisations looked into this and said it was a myth. That said I find it very easy to believe that we now have two generations...possibly who have never worked. In my experience with people who are out of work it seems that they are in and out of work depending upon available jobs at the time. I think it would be rare to find a huge number of families where nobody has ever worked. That's not anything I can back up though.

eineschlampa Wed 28-Aug-13 18:33:13

You only think it's propoganda gobby because it doesn't fit in with your liberal lefty views.

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 18:34:56

You're all still watching the shitty propoganda, then?

eineschlampa Wed 28-Aug-13 18:35:00

Look at the shit Jamie Oliver is getting from the loony left all because he is telling the truth and how it really is.

JakeBullet Wed 28-Aug-13 18:35:19

It IS propaganda, I haven't watched it at all because of this. Being on benefits at the moment I am a tad sensitive to being stereotyped when evidence is slim to back things up.

The again if you repeat a "fact", however dodgy, long enough to people then a significant number will eventually believe that "fact".

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 18:36:06

Might have something to do with being on the receiving end of shit from being in the benefits system myself, actually.

JakeBullet Wed 28-Aug-13 18:36:44

He is also "getting shit" from my lifelong Tory friend who thinks he is being an idiot and stereotyping people.

twistyfeet Wed 28-Aug-13 18:37:56


GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 18:40:02

Yep. Cos having empathy and believing in fairness and supporting the vulnerable makes you loony, twisty.

Me, me, me, pull the ladder up and treading all over people, not caring if they live or die so you pay a few pence less tax is eminently the sane option.

JakeBullet Wed 28-Aug-13 18:41:18

I want a "like" button for your last post there Gobby.

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 18:42:28

Y'welcome ;)

eineschlampa Wed 28-Aug-13 18:44:41

Well with the amount of hyperbole and scaremongering they come out with then yes loony is one word I would use to describe them.
TBH this site has a tendency to make out everyone on benefits are saints and everyone else is just unsympathetic etc. I for one am glad all these benefit reforms have come in as it has been a very long time coming.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 18:45:16

me too for the like button.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 18:45:43

for goby's post- not just in general io mean.

eineschlampa Wed 28-Aug-13 18:47:37

Oh and the usual you have no empathy BS. I have empathy but only with people who generally can't help themselves or who have always worked but find themselves in trouble and not with the workshy scroungers.

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 18:49:57

Oh so you have empathy with most of the posters here who are carers for disabled children, then?

Thought not.

JakeBullet Wed 28-Aug-13 18:51:58

Not everyone claiming benefits are saints......but neither are those who work. Why would it be any different?

I worked for 30 years in a community job for the NHS before being on benefits, I have seen more poverty than can be imagined, children without beds to sleep in, houses so cold in winter because the key meter has run out and Mum cannot afford to put any more money on until her money come in, social housing (and private) with damp and mold growing up the walls.

I am not a "loony left" for having some concern about these people....and everyone should have concern because poor health in childhood leads to poor health in adulthood and costs society far more.

The way we tackle these issues is always up for debate but generally it isn't by decreasing the amount of money people have.

I am fortunate, I had 30 years of well paid work, I have all the basics for living life and I can cook. Many have not had my good fortune...and thing is, while I worked and paid tax it never once occurred to me to look down upon people and snottily think my taxes kept them.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 18:55:55

there is a difference between saying someone is a saint and saying they are legitimately entitled to their benefits. some people really seem to struggle to accept that there genuinely are people who are not defrauding the system. it's as if the words benefit recipient are automatically translated to 'theif'

JakeBullet Wed 28-Aug-13 19:04:58

Yes Stephen, I wonder why that would be.....oh of course, all the propaganda TELLING people that benefit claimants are scroungers and thieves. sad

It is awful for genuine claimants who have no choice BUT to claim.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 19:19:18

spot on jake

AcrylicPlexiglass Wed 28-Aug-13 19:25:16

I think the interesting thing about this 3rd programme is that it really gives the lie to the idea that being out of work is anything to do with attitude or laziness and shows that the main problem is that there are not enough jobs to go round in many areas. Yes, some people seem to have more positive attitudes than others (and yes, this could be propaganda/engineered for more interesting TV) but at the end of the day NONE of the people this week left the experience with an actual proper ongoing job. Neither help nor harshness enabled them to move off the unemployment register, despite all of them in the end clearly demonstrating that they are employable and wanted to work.

alemci Wed 28-Aug-13 20:09:01

I think that applies to Michael who had a good work ethic and the chap in episode 1 who was in a wheelchair but not so much with Ashley or Vanessa

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 28-Aug-13 20:18:32

it looks like Monday was the last episode- i was hoping for more than that tbh.

AcrylicPlexiglass Wed 28-Aug-13 20:23:19

Good attitude counts for f all if there are no jobs, is what I'm trying to say, alemci. And it seemed very clear to me that there were no jobs for these people. All of them did well on the work experience yet none were offered a job. Having an exceptionally diligent attitude hasn't helped Michael to get a job in years. Ashley and Vanessa did not get jobs either, even though both of them appeared to change their approach and move towards wanting to work during the process, to some extent. Changing people's attitudes will not get them into work, is my conclusion.

alemci Wed 28-Aug-13 20:38:24

yes it is quite depressing tying it in with Jamie Oliver being critical of our school leavers. it seems you have to work 48 hours in his restaurant, no happy medium

I still think grandmother came across as counter productive and a bad role model.

JakeBullet Wed 28-Aug-13 21:04:00

48hrs on a zero hours contract from what I can gather.

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