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(26 Posts)
DorothyParker1 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:13:19

So many threads/comments on here full of anger and bitterness towards those who claim "too many" benefits/live in SH/have more kids than they can afford etc. etc.

A couple of threads about things like the 11% pay rise for MPs, but very little on the super rich evading tax, big corporations behavingly disgracefully, a tiny elite manipulating political decision making in their own self interest...

Now I know much of the media encourages us to focus on one and not the other, but are people really that blind? Why direct so much anger at those living pretty tough lives? Why believe everything you're told about how much we need austerity, and every story you hear about people "taking advantage" of the benefits system whilst ignoring those making vast profits at the expense of others?

Seriously makes me want to shake people.

AnnabelleLee Tue 17-Dec-13 14:14:29

and your aibu is......?

DorothyParker1 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:15:36

Errr, if you can't work it out, maybe try another thread?

Bowlersarm Tue 17-Dec-13 14:15:48 now you've started another thread.

AnnabelleLee Tue 17-Dec-13 14:21:31

I don't need to work it out, you need an actual aibu. The clue is in the forum name. hmm

arethereanyleftatall Tue 17-Dec-13 14:23:39

I think it's because we're exposed to benefits all the time, through the media, or in real life when you see eg a man and a woman in the middle of the day pushing umpteen kids round asda. We're not exposed to tax evasion.

MelanieCheeks Tue 17-Dec-13 14:29:01

"AIBU to want to shake people" is I guess the aibu.

DorothyParker2 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:29:49

You don't need to actually say "AIBU". Clearly, when one posts an opinion on AIBU, like the opinion that people over focus on the least fortunate in society, one is asking whether the opinion is U or not. Not rocket science hmm.

DorothyParker2 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:30:33

Exactly, Melanie.

littleblackno Tue 17-Dec-13 14:30:55

LTB grin

DorothyParker2 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:31:46

And I see what you're saying arethereany. But I guess in my view we are all pretty clearly impacted more by the rich getting richer than we are by the people with umpteen kids.

DorothyParker2 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:32:06

Haha already done, littleblackno!

farrowandbawlbauls Tue 17-Dec-13 14:34:41

Why have you name changed?

quesadilla Tue 17-Dec-13 14:35:40

I basically agree with you on the point that much (not all) of the ire directed at people on benefits is misdirected.

On the other hand welfare spending comes out of taxation so I wouldn't say its not a legitimate topic for debate. It's possible to disagree with the most egregious benefit cheats while still believing in the need for welfare to exist.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 17-Dec-13 14:37:21

Why have you name changed half way through?

struggling100 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:40:38

I am struggling to articulate my thoughts on this, but I think it's in part a result of people being very self-absorbed, and emotionally 'one way'. I believe the idea is that it's 'good to vent' emotions like frustration, anger, irritation. I am by no means speaking from a moral high ground here: I am absolutely not immune to a tendency to do this myself, unfortunately grin, and on a regular basis too.

However, I think sometimes those things stop us (again, me included) from seeing life a different way, and being better people. Being irritated at someone stops us from being compassionate to them, from trying to understand why they are behaving the way they are. Seeing the person pushing umpteen kids around Asda as a benefits cheat prevents us from looking at it another way: it may blind us to the fact that they are an amazing foster mum who is looking after loads of kids that need love Sending teenage carol singers away unpaid prevents us from building bonds with our community. Tutting at homeless people in the streets as hopeless druggies stops us from being able to see the precariousness of our own lives, and to understand the desperation that can drive someone to lose themselves night after night in an altered state of mind.

And I really think we lose something valuable to ourselves when we act like this: we lose the opportunity to learn patience, to be more disciplined in our emotions, to be more charitable, and ultimately more happy as human beings. My new year's resolution next year is therefore to be more compassionate. I have a long way to go with it and much to learn!

Millenniumbug1 Wed 18-Dec-13 05:31:48

YABU, the multi-millionaires & billionaires need their tax breaks so that they can spend more, apparently angry . Indeed, it is alleged that 1 ex-prime minister had their house, (worth millions), registered in Antigua as something to do with an offshore company, to avoid those little trifles like inheritance tax and stamp duty. Honestly OP, can't you see that they need the money more than folks with young families wanting to get their 1st foot on the housing ladder! shakes head in disbelief

Millenniumbug1 Wed 18-Dec-13 05:36:01

Just checked the news website, it was registered to an offshore trust, not a company.

daisychain01 Wed 18-Dec-13 06:50:11

Struggling, great post. Can I join your NY Resolution.

I have to say, MN has started to give me greater awareness of the RL hardship in people's lives in their own words. For that I am grateful.

merry Christmas

PresidentServalan Wed 18-Dec-13 09:24:22

I have found it to be the opposite on many threads - if anything negative is said about benefit recipients, the poster is accused of benefit bashing.

I have been called some very unpleasant names for not supporting the 'compassionate' view of benefits, FSM etc.

neunundneunzigluftballons Wed 18-Dec-13 09:28:38

Excellent post struggling

GobbySadcase Wed 18-Dec-13 09:32:55

I call people a lot worse than 'benefit bashers'.

This is because far from being words on the screen this is my actual life.

When you are struggling to survive on benefits it's really hurtful that people believe that you are cashing in. Pair that with meeting the care needs of three disabled children with everything that entails and these kinds of posts really do affect your life significantly.

Quite why people believe that families like mine do this for fun I do not know and why people cannot have empathy with situations they have not experienced themselves I cannot understand.

I react because for me this is personal. I take it very personally comments which allude to me and my family being on the streets with nothing as the best possible option.

These posters might see us as being somehow other or less than them this is not true and I deeply resent this implication. I fight strongly against it. It's ignorant and heartless.

GobbySadcase Wed 18-Dec-13 09:34:48

Oh, and that family in Asda have you not considered that it may be a working family on shift work on a much-needed day off?

Who is to say that they are not working in the small hours while you're happily tucked up in your bed?

mewmeow Wed 18-Dec-13 09:36:02

I agree with you, the benefits scapegoating is a massive misdirection. People do need to wake up and realise they are being exploited, and it's not by miss single mother of 8 kids in a council flat jones. We need a better work ethic in this country, but that is secondary to a proper job market and economic structure, which we really do not have.

Seff Wed 18-Dec-13 09:38:37

Society is greedy and obsessed with money. Emotive phrases like "taxpayer's money" are thrown about and everyone believes they are entitled to their bit out of the pot, as if there is a pot in the first place.

We will never be able to fight back against the people in power (is it a coincidence they are also the ones with the money?) as we're too busy arguing amongst ourselves about the other things. And the ones in power are too busy basically telling us that only those people with plenty of money work hard.

And because the general public like to believe what they read in the sun/daily mail.

I don't want to vote for any of the party leaders in the next election, so what is my option if I want to make a change? Join them? I'm too poor and working class for that.

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