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to think that maybe we all expect too much support from 'the government' with everything-childcare,healthcare, breasfeeding, the whole shebang?

(113 Posts)
moondog Mon 17-Aug-09 05:53:46


moondog Mon 17-Aug-09 05:58:37

I am reading about Ivan Illich's book 'The right to useful employment' in which he talks about 'the bondage of the client'. He argues that 20th century is the 'Age od Disabling Professions'. Submitting to the 'professionalism' of another, admits that you are weak in a particular area, thus you cannot decry your lack of autonomy as you have given it up.

Very interesting and I must say, I am inclined to agree. We look more and more to overworked public servants to solve problems that we could easily address ourselves. In fact, the enrgy we expend trying to get other people to do stuff for us, exceeds the enrgy we would spend doing these things for ourselves.

We are utterly incapaciated as a nation.

MrLSG Mon 17-Aug-09 06:06:26

We pay (as a nation and individually) massive amounts of taxes: we need to get something back for our money! I'd be quite happy to get less from the government - assuming that means we have to give them less of our hard-earned money.

moondog Mon 17-Aug-09 06:07:45

Yes, me too.
(Good God, does that make me a fascist right winger?!)

moondog Mon 17-Aug-09 06:11:54

I don't want leaflets on

swine flu
digital switch overs
healthy eating
reading to my kids

and so on and so on

More to the point, the people who ned to be reading this stuff, never actually do.

I am horrified at thr money wasted on the reading and play kits that HVs give to mothers. My kids went to the fire station recently and all came back with back packs full of games, toys and activity sheets.
FGS, what kid is gonig to pay more than 5 mins. attention to that stuff, and more to the point, why couldn't the trip to the station be enough.

Oh and ridiculous pencils, wrist bands, activity books and t shirts doled out in schools every time some dreary government drone comes to talk about road safety, healthy eating and stuff like that.

Get on with doing some bloody teaching!

Goblinchild Mon 17-Aug-09 07:38:09

Agreed, I'm a teacher.
The job description has changed a lot over the decades and I'd like to go back to doing more teaching and less of all the stick-on extras that used to be parental responsibility.

dweezle Mon 17-Aug-09 09:07:39

Not only do we expect this support, we then complain that the govt interferes too much.

Callisto Mon 17-Aug-09 09:17:49

I agree that we give up autonomy for 'support' from various govt bodies. I would far rather see small government and some real savings in public spending. But most people seem to think that if public spending is cut the sky will fall in. The more responsibility the state takes for our welfare the less able we all are to do things for ourselves. The Labour Govt is more than happy to play big brother and take away all of our choices because we can't possibly be trusted to make the right decisions ourselves. We are allowing this to happen by our general apathy.

expatinscotland Mon 17-Aug-09 09:27:18

I sort of agree. On GMTV today there were people bitching about the cost of uniforms.


When you have kids, part of the expense is clothing them. And uniforms are miles cheaper than having to buy them normal clothes to wear every day!

One lady wrote in that she had 4 kids and it cost £300 to kit them out.

Um, yeah. That's why a lot of people don't have 4 kids.

And this idea that paying taxes entitles you to a product.

As if it's a shop you go into.

You live in a peaceful society that allows you to go to out to work and get food without the possibility of being shot or blown up.

You drive on roads which are in one piece.

You have laws governing employment and, for that most part, your society runs smoothly.

THAT is what taxes are for, that's a very tangible product.

MrsBadger Mon 17-Aug-09 09:27:37

we have been chewing this over in the tearoom at work recently

we concluded it seems a tightrope between
- authoritarian fascism (where the State Knows Best and makes everyone do it),
- cuddly socialist welfare stateism (where the State Is Concerned but ultimately ineffective)
- weak-to-the-wall capitalism (where Every Man is For Himself and if you don't succeed it's because you don't deserve to)

there was something complex about the Protestant work ethic vs Catholic fatalism as well

expatinscotland Mon 17-Aug-09 09:31:40

that gal featured on the TV spent £150 kitting out her two kids. she said, 'I can't afford it.'

the inside of her house looked very nice, however.

I think we get used to having this help from goverment and then just assume they have a right to help because they need it.
I think we are right to exspect help with health care, but with parenting i think we should remember we are the parents and the kids are our resposibilty and not the goverments.

welshdeb Mon 17-Aug-09 09:33:51

I agree I think people need to take more responsibility for themselves. Living with the consequences of your life choices etc. I think a lot of the problems in today's society is that there is an expectation that someone else ie the state will sort our problems out.

But I do think that there should be a welfare state as a safety net.

AMumInScotland Mon 17-Aug-09 09:34:35

I think there's a difference between when you actually want some support/advice/help/whatever from the state, and all the unsolicited "nanny state" advice they give you about every aspect of life.

I think it's good that there are people you can ask for advice. But bad that you can't be left to get on with your life when you don't feel the need of their advice, without a constant drone of "how to wipe your bum" information.

OrmIrian Mon 17-Aug-09 09:43:09

Oh I agree about all the little extras - leaflets and freebies such as the ones you mention. And I think that sometimes legislation forcing you to do something (that common sense should tell you to do anyway) weakens society as a cohesive unit - eg if I am forced to pick up my dog shit by law, it takes away my natural sense that I should do it because it is the right thing. The government shouldn't be our conscience.

However I do think that if some parents are unable to raise functioning families there needs to be help. We all suffer from the products of those parents.

And I don't want to pay less taxes - if we save money on all the ephemera, it could then go to school and hospitals and care for the elderly and vulnerable.

dawntigga Mon 17-Aug-09 09:50:58

Just a second, I wouldn't have been bf'ing now if it wasn't for the support given.

I don't want to be told I have to by any government but I want the support available if I need to.

AgreedToManyPeopleUseSupportOfferedAsACrutchAndWhatPeopleReallyNeedIsToBeTaughtHowToStandOnTh eirOwnTwoFeetTiggaxx

onagar Mon 17-Aug-09 09:55:14

I'd love a minimalist government. It's not just about taxes as many things do need to be organised centrally. I'd like them to prevent us being invaded and to maintain the basic structure. Schools, hospitals, police, water and power. None of these should promote anything. They should just be there quietly until needed.

Aside from that I'd sooner not hear from them at all.

And no laws except those to prevent harming others. Our risks are ours to judge.

colditz Mon 17-Aug-09 10:01:41

I object to being told by a cartoon 10 yearold that children need 'me sized portions'

Iobject to being told what and what not to put in lunchboxes.

I object(ed) to breastfeeding literature aimed at a denominator so low, it made me query whether it was in fact for distribution at primary school sex ed lessons.

And I object, every time I go to the dr with some minor physical concern (thrush, sore throat) to having my concerns completely overlooked and being blathered at about depression that vanished 3 years ago.

I object to having my children's weight 'monitored'.

I objecvt to the impression that you HAVE to send three year olds to nursery.


I also object to circumstances leading to malnourished, overweight, understimulated children of undiagnosed depressed parents who've never even heard of breastfeeding.

So really, Ihave to choose - which do I object to the most?

MrsBadger Mon 17-Aug-09 10:09:51

spot on colditz

I think we have to accept that we are not the target audience for some of these things but it is nigh on impossible to target them with absolute accuracy.

better some intelligent citizens are mildly annoyed IMO

proverbial Mon 17-Aug-09 10:11:31

"there was something complex about the Protestant work ethic vs Catholic fatalism as well"

Complex like being careful not to imply there is no Catholic work ethic? hmm There are places you could be in real trouble for a simple comment like that....

"And no laws except those to prevent harming others. Our risks are ours to judge. "
Well, there you are getting into legal moralism vs legal liberalism, and its far from clear cut. What constitutes harm to others? Whose standards are you using? Are there any lines to be drawn or is there a continuum between public and private behaviour? The risks you are judging impact on many other people in many seen and unseen ways.

MANATEEequineOHARA Mon 17-Aug-09 10:11:59

Oh the Change 4 Life thing is vile, really really vile on so many levels. I am having a hysterical anti- Change 4 Life moment anyway.

Also agree on the information type stuff that assume everyone is stupid! I think there probably is a better way to get around that kind of thing, but actually to distribute to all is probably cheaper than to find out where it is needed.

I am grateful for the government we have, there is a lot I disagree with but then I read 1984 (or other books set in a time/place with a crap/no government), and think that at least we have a nominated government, that on the whole act in the interest of the people in the country (although more for some than others!).

yes but change for life sent us a gaint snakes and ladders board to use with the kids grin glad tax money is going to a good casue hmm

MrsBadger Mon 17-Aug-09 10:24:56

no no no proverbial

I meant when we were kicking this about in the tearoom we touched on (eg) the principles on which America was founded, the American Dream, the perception that by dint of personal effort anyone and everyone could achieve etc etc
and were contrasting it with a more fatalistic attitude where everything was part of a divine plan and however hard you tried you could not alter your material station in life so might as well be happy where you are now, because this world is transient, and concentrate on the spiritual dimension in the hopes of making it to heaven and joy everlasting

[Disclaimer: we don;t half talk some crap in our tea room sometimes]

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 17-Aug-09 10:39:57

But expat - the school uniform issue is about the monopoly held by uniform shops. When asda sells jumpers at 3 quid and the schiool could produce a pack of school badges for pennies to be sewn/ironed on, it's not fair to make the parents pay 8 quid for a school branded one!

Callisto Mon 17-Aug-09 10:59:28

So why do we have to have literature aimed at the lowest common denominator (which seems to get lower and lower as each year passes) when the people it is aimed at are not going to read it. It seems a terrible waste of money. Surely there is an arguement for state schools teaching the least clever children how to function effectively in society? It is surely at least as important as learning to read, write and do simple maths - though I realise that state schools seem wholly incapable of teaching these children even how to read.

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