I was reading recently an article in the Guardian, where the writer, Andy Hull, executive member for finance at Islington council tells the Government, “Don’t scrap crisis loans just because some councils fail to use them.”
The article highlighted one of the problems I have noticed that plagues our society today! The attitude that if something is true about one person, it must apply to all!
This has led to strange pronouncements and policies that label a group of people, just because a minority within that group has acted a certain way.
An example being the erroneous idea that ALL on benefits are scroungers and have no intention of finding jobs! This has led to the Compulsory Work Programme; where people are just placed in “jobs” regardless of their qualifications or experience. This idea while good on some level does not really help in the long run as in many ways it prevents those who really want these jobs from getting them. As the companies providing these jobs are getting cheap labour hence encouraging them not to take on properly contracted staff on full-time basis.
Now we see the idea being floated that because some Councils are not fully utilizing the funding for Crisis Loans, it might as well be scrapped! Totally ignoring the fact that the economic situations in different parts of the country are not the same, with some richer than others.
Even here in south-east London, some wards in Southwark, Lewisham and Royal Greenwich are richer that their neighbours. Even in some cases, such as the wards along the river Thames in Southwark, one can see the marked difference, as flats along the river could cost well over a £1million whilst just across the road you’ll find a council estate.
Another thing that I have noticed is the blame culture that is being propagated. If there is a problem, find someone to blame; preferably a whole group of people, that you can demonise and vilify daily for all the woes that have befallen our society!
So when it comes to crime and street violence; emphasise the youth aspect, so that it looks like that is all the youth are involved in.
If it is a shortage of jobs, blame the immigrants for taking all the jobs, especially in the building trade. And also point out how they are willing to take a cut in pay.
And when it comes to Government spending…that’s easy! Blame those on benefits and are out of work; as they are the voiceless who cannot speak up for themselves. Don’t forget to ensure they never have the chance to speak by cutting Legal Aid just in case they realise that they do have something to say!
The tragic thing is, many buy into this blame mentality and develop a veneer of self-righteousness when it comes to believing what is poured out daily in a lot of the media outlets.
As those who are slightly better off actually believe others are not striving to better themselves, or believing that every job out there has been taken by some foreigner. I purposely avoided the “terrorist” label that many believe erroneously should be put on every Muslim they meet.
And things are getting to the point, that many have no sympathy, let alone empathy for others. Simply believing that, “If I can get on with it despite by troubles, they should be able to” or “I don’t know why you keep on banging on about your problems? I’ve got mine!”
True, many of us have problems, but if we allow ourselves to become a society divided against itself, we would begin to pull each other down the way crabs in a barrel do. We have to realise that the problems each person faces impacts on that person in a way we may not fully understand and thus we should not be so dismissive.
And when reporting youth stories, we should be balanced and remember that not all young people are involved in crime; some who receive benefits are working and are legitimately claiming to top up that low pay they get at work!
And as for that immigrant, many do create the jobs they do, as some have started their own businesses. Just in case you did not know the current Government is keen on attracting foreign investors, and if they do come they too will be immigrants!
Now back to the beginning…Politicians, Members of Parliament and Government Ministers…when thinking up policies do not be so ideologically narrow-minded! Open up your eyes and see what is really going on instead of burying your heads in Party rhetoric.
It may be true that in some areas, fewer people to no one need the Crisis Loan, but there are other areas where the funding provided may not even be enough!