I found for a couple of days after that post, my brain was doing that classic and another thing… thing it is wont to do… so here are some more points I’d like to raise:
- I dislike people who resent me for living in a council flat while they are still on a waiting list, or can’t even get onto a list. As if this is my preferred location, as if I wouldn’t much rather be able to afford to rent privately or even buy, somewhere with a garden, a bit of space. And not a stair well full of piss and neighbours from whom S is sure to learn a questionable vocabulary even if all windows are kept shut.
- People seem to hate the fact I’m entitled to benefits, as if the £71 Income Support or £60 Child Tax Credit was the reason I had a child. You may not get financial help from the state for your child, but you have a husband/partner who, even if he is the most shit other-half in the world, can still be left in the house with the child while you run out for milk, or can still hold the baby or make sure he doesn’t fall off something while you nip to the toilet. At the very least, he can answer the door to the postman while you’re elbow-deep in poonami.
- I can’t stand it when people think it’s ok to question where something I own came from – or even to imply I have stolen it, as in the comments to this post. It is as if my entitlement to benefits somehow removes my right to spend my money as I see fit, or the right to privacy of my financial affairs. The media looks at people who claim benefits, and seems to expect that all claimants should be clothed in rags and living off rice. The fact is that many of us have had reasonably well-paid jobs at one time or another, and in a previous existence were able to afford such niceties as a TV or dvd player.
- It’s reasonably well reported that actually, the largest burden on the benefits system is people drawing the old age pension; but nobody comments that an OAP has bought their bingo card “with my taxes!” Do please explain to me how a pensioner is more entitled to assistance than I am. Yes, they may have paid into “the system” for a number of years, but so have I – and I will continue to do so, once my childcare costs do not outweigh my income.
- One of the worst things is when people stand in front of me and complain about feckless benefits scum who defraud the system and get help from “my taxes”… and then look at me and say, “oh, but not you!” As if, because of the circumstances surrounding my becoming a single mother, or perhaps because I work in an office and not an off license, or because I don’t smoke, or because of something else I’ve not considered, I’m a “deserving” single mother. It’s ok for the state to help and support me because… I try hard? Because I blog about it? Because I have a reasonable enough grasp of the English language as to be occasionally eloquent in my arguments? Because I use cloth nappies? Why am I deserving of help, and not a blight on society, but many of my contemporaries are scum? At least people who hate all single mothers have the decency to not discriminate between us based on some random, arbitrary standard they are secretly – perhaps unconsciously – holding us all to.