Tag Archives: benefit culture

Starting blogs is a habit of mine

me and Archie

I know I started one (or three) somewhere with lots of links and things, but can I find it or them? Nope. Though I have found, I only make up just less than one page on a google search. Not a great web presence then, which brings me back to why I have started yet another blog. You see the problem is this: I need a web presence to create a platform for my writing – literary agents apparently google you, when you send a submission (covering letter and first 3 chapters of your novel, for non-writers reading this) – but (and there are two):

In between working full time as a teacher and running the home and everything else known to man and woman, as well as writing short stories and a novel or four, keeping up with writing groups on and off line, reading blogs about writing and publishing, entering competitions and preparing submissions, and reading lots and lots of books, where do I find the time to write a weekly blog posts, with links and pictures and other exciting things?

Well, here I am anyway – avidly reading blogs on blogging for writers, like this one from Ann R. Allen’s blog, which is why I have used my name in the title, ( it should also aid me finding it, though I hope this time not to lose it in the first place); and this ‘get started’ guide from Jane Friedman.

Yet already I am getting cold feet.

Which brings me to my second ‘but’:

Why would anyone want to read what I have to say (says the aspiring author)? I don’t know what I think about most things most of the time. There are fundamental things I am sure about, hurting other people, physically and psychologically is wrong (excluding consensual acts of S&M); the only person who can make you happy is you; no one is all bad, or all good; and, every pudding should be accompanied by clotted cream. But beyond that, I am a bit airy-fairy, prone to seeing the other side of the argument.

Most recently, I have found myself wavering around the whole benefit debate. I am proud my country has a safety net. As has been said by many, including Gandhi and Pope John Paul II; a civilised society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. I have often used the argument that benefit fraud is  a very low incidence (despite what the papers say) and any system that protects the weak will be abused by the minority (and should not be reason not to have one). But, I can’t deny the fact that there are some families in the second and third generation of career unemployment, collecting their ‘wages’  from the state, with no compunction to get a job or an education; their lives lurching from one self-inflicted crisis to another.

The state protects many vulnerable people, but in doing so, infantilizes and institutionalizes some. These kidults (having children of their own) are locked in an egocentric world, where their needs are paramount and those of others, not so much ignored, but not perceived.

So I don’t know what to think? And I don’t know what the answer is? If we don’t have benefits then the most vulnerable will suffer. But if we do, then we sustain, and possibly create, an underclass.

If you have a view on this, then please pile in. I have feeling a number of my posts will end, not with an answer, but a question and a plea for help to unravel what it is I think, I think.

Until next time. Au revoir.