Occupational hazard

Today, I had my first Vit B12 shot. It was less uncomfortable than I had prepared myself for, but still more uncomfortable than I’d like, given I’ve got to do this once a week for 9 more weeks. Needless to say, I’ve not noticed any difference yet, but when I got home, I did spend half an hour in the garden taking Birdie’s old bed to pieces with a jigsaw, which was immense amounts of fun. I’m still vibrating now.

Tomorrow is, as any of you living in the UK will have noticed, the day of the big three horse race, and let me tell you, I am sick to death of it already. All I keep hearing is how my benefits are going to be taken away from me if the Tories or Labour get in, and how a hung parliament is the worst thing that could ever happen, and that Nick Clegg doesn’t have enough experience and blah blah blah… Yes, I will be voting. But I am under no illusion that any of the potential candidates will be thinking of me and my situation if they win. I attended a BBQ this weekend past, and was discussing economic worth with a friend and realised that I check rather a lot of the boxes on that survey that I’m sure is privately known as “People we don’t want to help because they aren’t worth anything.”

Let’s have a list, shall we? Those are fun.

Why I’m the enemy of the state:

1. I’m an immigrant. There, I said it. 23 years ago, my family and I left our home country to start a life in England. Neither my mother nor my father had any desirable skills, and we weren’t well off. My father died within 2 years of arriving, thus putting my mother on state benefits, a position she has been in ever since then. Did we plan it that way? No. Am I glad we left our ancestral home? No. Am I going back? Fuck no. Their government is a lot worse than ours, and the weather is more tolerable here.

2. I was a teenage mother. Oh, don’t the politicians love to spout figures of how British teenagers have the highest rates of pregnancy in Europe. What on earth are we to do with all of these children who are having children? We are breeding an army of illiterates, ASBOs, wife-beaters, paedophiles and football hooligans. Well, you know what? I would have been just as useless at parenting whether I did it at 18 or 38. I’m not cut out for this job, I know that, but I do my damned best, and that’s a damned sight more than a lot of the 30-something mothers I meet.

3. I am sick with an invisible illness, and have been declared unfit to work. I am not contributing to the economy. I am not pulling my weight. How dare I do that? Isn’t every human being put on this earth to pull his cart and scrub his floors and bake his bread for the betterment of the country as a whole? If Stephen Hawking can become a multimillionaire while suffering from one of the most debilitating diseases known to man, surely I can contribute something? I’ll get back to you when I wake up and suddenly find I’m a leading expert on quantum mechanics, k?

4. I am in reciept of state benefits, paid for by honest, taxpaying citizens. Of which there are quite a few, I should point out. What there aren’t many of are disabled single parents, but why should we let law of averages taint the national statistics? Clearly, no matter how few of me there are, there should be less, as I am a drain on precious national resources. Let’s not even mention the fact that those benefits amount to less than half of the national average wage. Nor the fact that I still occasionally have to borrow money from my mother to make sure I don’t get kicked out of a house that is so run down, it would likely be condemned by council officials if I were willing to let any of them within 50 feet of the place.

5. I choose to remain in a large city, taking up prime real estate, rather than moving to some farflung suburban town where the most exciting thing that happens is when the local pub kicks out and some of the regulars steal the only traffic cone for 20 miles. And then put it back out of guilt. I’ve lived in those places, and for the sake of my mental health, I will never go back. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, David Cameron.

Of course, there are some reasons that the government like me: I don’t own a car (yet); neither myself nor my child have learning difficulties; I’m not currently in a homosexual relationship. So I probably won’t quite be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Maybe the third or fourth.

I hate politics. I hate it from a distance, and I hate it even more when it gets in my face and tells me I don’t deserve my place in society. I will vote tomorrow, because otherwise, I have no right to complain. I will vote tomorrow, because my peers will lose any remaining scrap of respect they had for me if I don’t. I will vote tomorrow for the same reason I play the lotto – because it couldn’t hurt, even if 99.9% of the time it doesn’t change anything. But what I won’t do is dwell any further on the implications. What’s done is already done. I can’t say it’s out of my hands, as it was never in my hands to begin with. I will not be counted; instead, I have been judged.


~ by surprisingme on May 5, 2010.

One Response to “Occupational hazard”

  1. Yeah, I don’t think any of us are really prepared for what’s going to happen next. Of course, if you are nicely buffered by an above average income and good health, including good mental health, you won’t notice much difference. If you rely on services, especially the more esoteric ones like the Enablement Service that’s in my area, you’re going to see them taken away if they haven’t already dwindled to nothing. I fear for my state benefits upon which I and my partner rely. Without them (and my DLA is currently being reviewed) I will be isolated and ‘parked up’ with no possibility of recovery.
    Thanks for the opportunity to rant. I like the analogy between voting and buying a lottery ticket by the way.

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