Benefit Street and the Moral Maze

Posted on January 8, 2014

Who saw that programme on Channel 4 last night called Benefit Street?

Wow that was an eye opener and it came, ironically, on the day that £25 billion of Government spending was to be saved by increased benefit cuts.

Initially, it looked like a right wing party political broadcast to incite venom against spongers, but it soon became apparent that these were not people living in iPad and  flat screen TV luxury off the back of ripping off the state.

These people were destitute, turning to scamming and thieving to feed themselves with food, drugs and alcohol. It is an underclass that not many of us have had first hand experience of.

However, whilst it is easy to attack a feral underclass, it is worth us asking ourselves  the following questions on morality.

 1/ Is it okay to claim a couple hundred pounds a week off the state without any intention or indeed, hope of work?

2/ Is it okay for a builder to do a ten grand job for cash and deny HMRC four grand in tax?

 3/ Is it okay to pay your wife in Monaco £100 million and avoid £40 million in tax?


Benefit street as Seen on Channel 4

If you go by the current set of rules in our Government, it, bizarrely, works in reverse. In their book of rules, It is okay to avoid millions and millions in tax (providing you make a party donation and your mates are on the front bench).

If you are builder doing a cash job, it is morally unacceptable to accept cash and if you do, you are likely to get caught and chased to your grave for your taxable obligations.

If you are seen as useless and unemployable and you are claiming just enough to survive in destitution, you are morally repugnant and likely to be targeted by the Daily Mail for daring to claim benefit.

The first thing you always hear people scream when they see people on Benefit Street is “Get a fucking job you scumbag.”

However, would you employ someone who has a string of convictions for theft and drug use?

Probably not and it would be a logical choice considering the risk.

These people are in an inescapable rut with no way out and to simply take away the state benefits they are receiving won’t result in them working and getting out of the mire, it will result in a huge surge in crime and drug related incidents.

I am not saying that they are my cup of tea but by starving them, society as a whole, will be the victim.

This country chose Capitalism and like any ideology there are winners and losers and in general, it is the people from abused and depraved backgrounds who are the losers whilst the elite get fatter and fatter.

Personally I don’t have an issue with capitalism as an ideology, but for it to work, surely fairness must reign supreme, with people taking personal and moral responsibility for their tax and national insurance obligations.

If there has to be a wholesale fiscal review in the UK, the people at the top of the food chain surely have to take the same hits as the cash in the hand builder, public sector workers and alleged benefit cheats.

Sadly, the situation we currently have is a media dominated by the wealthy who target the insecurities of the working masses by inciting a class war on the people who are basically hopeless, unable to defend themselves and have been unable to cope with aggressive capitalism.

By doing this, the likes of the Daily Mail and the Murdoch’s can deflect the attention away from the fact the super rich are bleeding Britain dry by tax avoidance. Paul Dacre (the Mail editor)is the billionaire heir to the Rothermere’s. I’ll let you research where his wealth is stored.

The problem with Capitalism is that there will always be those at the bottom and for it to work, those people have to be funded and kept off the streets, whether we like it or not.

Stopping benefits will not cure the problem as we will have streets full of homeless people who, by human nature, will stop at nothing to survive. I don’t want to live in a country like that.

The problem, as I see it, is that Governments are now run by puppets for the major financial powers who, if they dared, challenge the corruption and tax avoidance, would lose all their funding and lucrative post parliament directorships.

Who would dare take on the Murdoch’s and the Dacre’s of this world? Media power is everything.

The G8 summit is supposed to solve these problems but sadly, it is self serving and does little to cure capitalism of the ills of the disaster that was deregulation.

We are told we live in a Global Village so if that is the case why then, is there not a global treaty to ban aggressive offshore tax avoidance?

If the cash in the hand builder and the benefit cheat could see those at the top of the capitalist chain getting there own house of corruption in order, then they might be more prepared to play the moral fair game.

The Murdoch’s and the Dacre’s will do everything in their power to deny fair play and those in the middle and the bottom of the food chain will pay for it, not them.

That’s where capitalism has gone wrong and that is why you get places like Benefit Street.


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