I've got some time off work at the moment. Not due back 'till next week. I can catch up with all those little jobs that need doing, like lying on the sofa and watching day time telly. I have always been employed, worked full time since I was sixteen. My job is pretty much recession proof so I have never signed on. I used to be proud of this little fact. Not any more.
In the street where we live, there must be well over one hundred houses. A few are empty, after all it's not exactly a highly desirable area. But the houses are large well built homes, dating from the 30's, with large gardens. By my estimations there are only a handfull of families like my household. Working families.
I work hard to provide for my family, I don't expect a pat on the back nor should I get one. It's what you are supposed to do. It's what generations of men have done in times past.
Now here's the rub. Apparently I have an extended family. A family I didn't even know I had. A family whose names I don't know. A family I support via my hard work. A family I support through no choice of my own.
I put food in their bellies. I support their offspring. I support their habits, legal or otherwise. I pay for the roof over their heads. I put the latest fashion on their backs, the new trainers on their feet. I pay for the medical care they receive, the detox programme they may be on. I pay for their entertainment. I pay for their sky telly and 50" plasma telly. I pay for their dogs that shit in my garden. I pay for their broken windows and doors.
If the righteous do gooders are to be believed, this family of mine do not choose to live in this fashion. They are 'victims'. Bless. My area has been designated a 'deprived' area. It has been given a label. The victims are delighted, after all they have been labelled, so surely they can't be blamed. It's the fault of others. Not them. No.
If it was up to me, I would label the area as 'depraved' other than 'deprived'.
It makes me sick.