[DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread

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Eighthours
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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:04 pm

[iup=3577291]Fatal Exception[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577276]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577217]Fatal Exception[/iup] wrote: Is coming from a poor family a lifestyle choice? Because you seem to think it is.


No, it isn't a lifestyle choice. But neither is it your 'right' for the State to fund you to move out of the family home, just because you want to live elsewhere but don't have a job that allows you to afford it yourself. It's what you said earlier: The benefits system should be based on NEED.


This is such a selfish attitude to have. It should be the 'right' of everyone to get the same opportunities in life. Benefits should help to increase social mobility, not just act safety net.


It's not selfish at all, what is selfish is to expect other people to pay for your lifestyle choice. The benefit system was designed to be a safety net, nothing more. Everyone has the opportunity to get a job, save up money and move out. We all get a free education and a health service that is free at the point of use. Everyone has opportunities.

It's easy to argue what people do and don't 'need' when you want a race to the bottom for the poor on the grounds that it might be cheaper. I'd argue that moving living on your own is an essential part of development. I really don't think you understand how hard it is for some people to continue living at home, I guess because you're lucky enough to have had a childhood free from poverty or abuse.


It's not a race for the bottom at all. 18-21 year olds have plenty of time to live on their own. Life is hard for many people who have moved out of home and have other challenges more deserving of the State's money.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:10 pm

[iup=3577296]Moggy[/iup] wrote:You are seeing this solely as some young bloke that wants a bachelor pad. I would agree with you that you probably shouldn’t move out of a happy family home until you can afford it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this country that did/do not have the happy family that most of us here have had.

Not everyone has a family home. Not everyone gets on with their families. Not everyone is safe in the family home. Not everyone is able to be accommodated in the family home.

Your need to own a car to see your son is irrelevant to a discussion on housing benefit.


It was relevant to the discussion about different needs for the State's money, and what constitutes a need as opposed to a choice. I'm not suggesting for a second that children from abusive homes should be forced to remain there. All the exceptions you have mentioned can be accommodated (no pun intended) - I'm talking about the normal circumstances of a bog standard ordinary Joe who is 18 and living with one or both of his parents. There is absolutely no reason why the State should pay for him to move out of home, and I think it's a ridiculous suggestion that this could be a 'right'. The starting point should be that 18-21 year olds don't get housing benefit unless an actual need is identified.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Karl » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:15 pm

It doesn't matter how "Johnny" the eighteen-year-old became homeless, once he is the state should give him somewhere to live. Shelter is an essential need.

I would put it to you that no-one "chooses" a grimy council flat and £57/wk JSA over the love and support of their parents. Having witnessed youth poverty first-hand, I know people personally who were claiming Housing and JSA at 18 and I can assure you none of them were doing it because they wanted a nice place of their own to host parties in. Off the top of my head, one was being beaten by his mother and the other was being raped by her step-dad. These are the people you are hurting by voting for wheezes like "no youth benefits!", not some imaginary straw-teenager who wants his own place so he can turn his stereo up louder.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Moggy » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:16 pm

[iup=3577297]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:Money to help you afford food and live, yes. Housing benefit that enables you to move when you are perfectly capable of staying at home (even if it not ideal), no. That's not support, that's supporting a lifestyle choice.


If they are staying at home, why do they need to be given any money? Surely their parents can pay for their food, clothes, etc?

Need versus choice. I agree that an arbitrary age cut-off seems strange on the surface, but we have these cut-offs for so many other things in society, like alcohol consumption, ability to watch certain types of media, getting married, joining the military, voting age, having sex, etc etc. All of these age limits could go down a year when you consider individual circumstances, but they don't because we judge that in the round they're about right.


We are talking about adults that can vote, fight in the army, have children etc etc. Why have the cut off for housing benefit at 21? Why can't a 25 year old live at home? Why can't a 30 year old?

All the limits could go down if you consider individual circumstances? What circumstances are there where alcohol, adult movies, getting married, joining the army etc etc could be dropped a year? And how does a 17 year old watching Die Hard for a college project compare to a 19 year old rape victim getting out of the family home?

Why should the minimum wage be lower for 18 year olds, for example?


It shouldn't. It is disgusting that some adults are treated differently just because of their age.

I do agree that under certain circumstances, 18-21 year olds should be given housing benefit. But those are the exceptions. Normal Johnny, living with his parents, should save up to move out like everyone else has to.


Normal Johnny is not the argument and there are a hell of a lot of exceptions to the rule. Your statement was that you could see no reason for 18-21 year olds to move out of the family home. There are a lot of reasons and so a blanket ban on housing benefit for 18-21 year olds just doesn't work.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Moggy » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:21 pm

[iup=3577303]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:All the exceptions you have mentioned can be accommodated (no pun intended) -


So we have moved away from this comment?

I live in Bristol. There are absolutely fuckloads of jobs here, and no reason why any 18-21 year old who lives in a bad area in this city should be given a flat when they could stay at home and travel to work until they can afford their own place.


I still don't see why a 20 year old that wants to move out of home is any different to a 22 year old that wants to move out of home. Why be happy for the state to pay for one and not the other?

Housing benefit (imo) should always come down to need. If a 35 year old is still happily living with his mum/dad, I see no reason for the council to suddenly pay for him to have a flat. If a 20 year old is unhappily living at home with his mum/dad then they may well have a need to get out of there.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:27 pm

[iup=3577309]Karl[/iup] wrote:It doesn't matter how "Johnny" the eighteen-year-old became homeless, once he is the state should give him somewhere to live. Shelter is an essential need.

I would put it to you that no-one "chooses" a grimy council flat and £57/wk JSA over the love and support of their parents. Having witnessed youth poverty first-hand, I know people personally who were claiming Housing and JSA at 18 and I can assure you none of them were doing it because they wanted a nice place of their own to host parties in. Off the top of my head, one was being beaten by his mother and the other was being raped by her step-dad. These are the people you are hurting by voting for wheezes like "no youth benefits!", not some imaginary straw-teenager who wants his own place so he can turn his stereo up louder.


Talk about selective reading, KP! I've said more than once that exceptions to the norm should be accommodated ("I do agree that under certain circumstances, 18-21 year olds should be given housing benefit. But those are the exceptions." "I'm not suggesting for a second that children from abusive homes should be forced to remain there") - what I've been arguing is that housing benefit shouldn't be an automatic right for 18-21 year olds who currently live at home, which is what I understand FE's line to be.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:36 pm

[iup=3577310]Moggy[/iup] wrote:If they are staying at home, why do they need to be given any money? Surely their parents can pay for their food, clothes, etc?


Come on, Moggy. Play fair!

We are talking about adults that can vote, fight in the army, have children etc etc. Why have the cut off for housing benefit at 21? Why can't a 25 year old live at home? Why can't a 30 year old?


Why indeed? There are plenty of older people who lose their home and move back in with their parents for a short period while they get back on their feet. Without getting housing benefit. Actually, my mum and my step-dad did just that when I was 14. My step-dad lost his job in the 90s recession and was unable to make his mortgage payments, and so we all moved back in with my Grandpa for a year. 2 parents and 3 kids. It was a squeeze!

All the limits could go down if you consider individual circumstances? What circumstances are there where alcohol, adult movies, getting married, joining the army etc etc could be dropped a year? And how does a 17 year old watching Die Hard for a college project compare to a 19 year old rape victim getting out of the family home?


Just as one example, the different levels of maturity between different 16 and 17 year olds. It doesn't, I was pointing out that age cut-offs are present everywhere.

It shouldn't. It is disgusting that some adults are treated differently just because of their age.


It is an unfortunate disparity which doesn't help young adults gain their independence at all. While I don't agree with it, I can see the argument that it's a necessary evil - businesses would naturally be less likely to take a chance on someone very inexperienced if they had to pay them the same wage as someone who's older.

Normal Johnny is not the argument and there are a hell of a lot of exceptions to the rule. Your statement was that you could see no reason for 18-21 year olds to move out of the family home. There are a lot of reasons and so a blanket ban on housing benefit for 18-21 year olds just doesn't work.


But I haven't suggested a blanket ban. Normal Johnny IS the argument because there has to be a starting point somewhere in the spectrum between every 18-21 year old being entitled to housing benefit, and no 18-21 year olds being entitled to housing benefit.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Cal » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:41 pm

[iup=3577276]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577217]Fatal Exception[/iup] wrote: Is coming from a poor family a lifestyle choice? Because you seem to think it is.


No, it isn't a lifestyle choice. But neither is it your 'right' for the State to fund you to move out of the family home, just because you want to live elsewhere but don't have a job that allows you to afford it yourself. It's what you said earlier: The benefits system should be based on NEED.


^This. But we have a whole generation now who lived through the carefree years of New Labour's social experiment; the obscene bloating of the public sector, a benefit for seemingly every type of claimant, a general sense that the public teat exists solely to be greedily sucked dry and damn the consequences. For a lot of the 'Blair Generation' the new harsh realities must be hard to take. It must come as a shock to learn that the fount of everlasting hand-outs is indeed finite. When I was 16 my own Mum couldn't afford to send me to University; it was never even talked about, it was just assumed that I would go out to work, straight from school (which I did). I didn't leave home until I was 18, and even then only because I could finally afford it (I never got any financial assistance from my parents) - I lived in a one-room bedsit for two years until I finally shared a flat with a friend at age 20 (both of us working). In my entire life (I'm now 51) I've only ever claimed unemployment Benefit for six months (15 years ago). I've never claimed Housing Benefit.

I agree the benefits system should exist solely on the basis of genuine NEED. I want it to be there for myself should I ever need it and I don't mind paying into it, on the understanding that I will 'qualify' for financial assistance when/if the time comes again that I might need to tap it. I absolutely disagree that 'everyone' should be automatically entitled to hand-outs, regardless even of whether or not they have ever paid anything in. I want to the benefits systems used to protect children and vulnerable old people - young people should get off their fat, lazy arses and get a job. Eight is quite correct: there are literally thousands of jobs out there, vacancies wherever you live and if there aren't then 'get on your bike'. I did - I left Plymouth aged 33 and spent the rest of my life to date either in London working or in the Home Counties - you know, where the work is.

This is the new reality. No such thing as a job for life, no such thing as a free lunch. Earn it.

Last edited by Cal on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Karl » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:45 pm

One does wonder, then, how these exceptions are going to be enforced. Do I need to go and tell the police that the man my mother is in love with is abusing me? Or a social care worker? Or do I just need to look really upset when I enquire at the council office?

In any case, I've seen no assurance that your idea of "exceptions" will be made policy - all I've heard is that childless 18-to-21 year olds will be barred from Housing Benefit. Forgive me if I am not immediately convinced to trust in the good-will and caring nature of this government. I do not believe exceptions will be made; I believe more young poor people will end up on the streets or trapped in abusive households.

If I am being harsh it is because I am angry that you - an intelligent man! - have been convinced to defend this nonsense. I don't have statistics on the matter to hand, but I will assure you - coming from a very poor background myself - that it is those moving out into a council flat for a laugh (if any even exist!) that are the exception, not those who you would deem to truly need it. The Tories are inventing a straw-teenager to appear to be tough on, and will undoubtedly punish the genuinely needy whilst doing so.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Moggy » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:52 pm

[iup=3577333]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:But I haven't suggested a blanket ban. Normal Johnny IS the argument because there has to be a starting point somewhere in the spectrum between every 18-21 year old being entitled to housing benefit, and no 18-21 year olds being entitled to housing benefit.


Yes you did.

I live in Bristol. There are absolutely fuckloads of jobs here, and no reason why any 18-21 year old who lives in a bad area in this city should be given a flat when they could stay at home and travel to work until they can afford their own place.




I think we actually broadly agree on the issue of that lazy sod Johnny B’stard who just wants a free flat so he can entertain ladies without his mummy knowing about it. That’s why the exceptions (and there are many) are so important in an issue like this.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Stugene » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:52 pm

When was the last time you were unemployed, eighthours? When you don't have a job, and your parents cannot afford to keep you, you either go to the state to ask for help (and be considered human filth by the "I've got mine"s) or you end up on the streets. The choice of leaving home doesn't exist for many people. Wages are low, costs of living are high, and you can't save enough money to move out when you're in debt from trying to make ends meet or from crippling student debt.

How can you decide that the needy in society should have to be forced to live in squalor and that the chains of poverty should be tightened because "if the middle classes can do it, so can the poor!"? They cannot afford it. But if they want to escape poverty or move to an area with more jobs (honestly, it takes like a minute to Google areas of the UK with high unemployment and low jobs. They exist. Your doubt that they exist is naive.) then old eighty says "no! All circumstances are the same. You should save up your wage. You could live with your parents who are close to retirement and live on the verge of poverty."


It must be wonderful to be so wealthy that you don't encounter the poor.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Karl » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:59 pm

I might agree that in broad principle that "Johnny B'stard" shouldn't get a free flat, but in all practicality I would favour - infinitely - a system that granted Housing Benefit to a few Mr. B'stards but didn't miss any of the Ms. Being-Rapeds or Mr. Beaten-Every-Days out there.

When you start tightening rules and being selective, those in genuine need start to fall through the system. If we sliced the bureaucracy and gave reasonable benefits to - more or less - all those who asked, would we have such a problem with homelessness in our cities? Would we still have people using food banks, or sleeping in their cars?

The average poor person isn't lazy - they're just poor. Let's recognise that, stop demonising our working class, and start helping people out of poverty. Sure, we would need to make some changes - build more houses, stop spending money on bombing large stretches of Asia, that kind of thing - but I think it would be well worthwhile.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:05 pm

[iup=3577354]Moggy[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577333]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:But I haven't suggested a blanket ban. Normal Johnny IS the argument because there has to be a starting point somewhere in the spectrum between every 18-21 year old being entitled to housing benefit, and no 18-21 year olds being entitled to housing benefit.


Yes you did.

I live in Bristol. There are absolutely fuckloads of jobs here, and no reason why any 18-21 year old who lives in a bad area in this city should be given a flat when they could stay at home and travel to work until they can afford their own place.




I think we actually broadly agree on the issue of that lazy sod Johnny B’stard who just wants a free flat so he can entertain ladies without his mummy knowing about it. That’s why the exceptions (and there are many) are so important in an issue like this.


Sorry, FE. I thought the obvious exceptions (ie. abusive homes) would be taken as a given, but I should have made that clear. My bad.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Stugene » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:06 pm

"Let's cut benefits for the young and poor whilst getting rid of tax for the old and rich"
- Motto of the Conservative Party

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Fatal Exception » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:13 pm

[iup=3577373]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577354]Moggy[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577333]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:But I haven't suggested a blanket ban. Normal Johnny IS the argument because there has to be a starting point somewhere in the spectrum between every 18-21 year old being entitled to housing benefit, and no 18-21 year olds being entitled to housing benefit.


Yes you did.

I live in Bristol. There are absolutely fuckloads of jobs here, and no reason why any 18-21 year old who lives in a bad area in this city should be given a flat when they could stay at home and travel to work until they can afford their own place.




I think we actually broadly agree on the issue of that lazy sod Johnny B’stard who just wants a free flat so he can entertain ladies without his mummy knowing about it. That’s why the exceptions (and there are many) are so important in an issue like this.


Sorry, FE. I thought the obvious exceptions (ie. abusive homes) would be taken as a given, but I should have made that clear. My bad.


Most poor people wanting houses of their own fit into the obvious exceptions. So why bother making life harder for them? Do you want them to 'prove' that they come from an abusive home? Who will set the level of what kind of abuse is tolerable? Could you give an example of the maximum level abuse you have to tolerate before you get a house? Who's going to pay for all these extra people to assess whether people are allowed houses or not, since local authorities are already pretty much overwhelmed?

This is idea is a massively gooseberry fool idea which will cause way more problems than it will fix, many of them long term.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:15 pm

[iup=3577355]Stugene[/iup] wrote:When was the last time you were unemployed, eighthours?


2003, for a couple of months.

When you don't have a job, and your parents cannot afford to keep you, you either go to the state to ask for help (and be considered human filth by the "I've got mine"s) or you end up on the streets. The choice of leaving home doesn't exist for many people. Wages are low, costs of living are high, and you can't save enough money to move out when you're in debt from trying to make ends meet or from crippling student debt.

How can you decide that the needy in society should have to be forced to live in squalor and that the chains of poverty should be tightened because "if the middle classes can do it, so can the poor!"? They cannot afford it. But if they want to escape poverty or move to an area with more jobs (honestly, it takes like a minute to Google areas of the UK with high unemployment and low jobs. They exist. Your doubt that they exist is naive.) then old eighty says "no! All circumstances are the same. You should save up your wage. You could live with your parents who are close to retirement and live on the verge of poverty."

It must be wonderful to be so wealthy that you don't encounter the poor.


The choice of living home doesn't come easily for many people who you would consider to be above the poor bracket. We often hear talk of the 'squeezed middle', which I believe is the forgotten group in society. Those who struggle to make ends meet, but don't have access to the benefits system due to being in paid work and earning just too much.

Listen to yourself, though: 'The needy should be forced to live in squalor!' Nowhere have I said that, and it's pretty insulting to the poor to suggest that they live in filthy accommodation. 'The chains of poverty should be tightened!' Nowhere have I said that either. The fact remains that the benefits system is supposed to be a safety net, and that the requirement to work a lot in order to be able to afford things is part of ordinary, everyday life for the vast majority of people in this country. Which is a good thing. Being handed everything on a silver platter is what made benefits dependency such a problem during the New Labour years. Society is still dealing with the consequences of low aspiration and a low work ethic in a large number of families, which was never a problem before (to my knowledge).

One whole side of my family is working class. You have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to my personal circumstances.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Moggy » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:20 pm

[iup=3577373]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577354]Moggy[/iup] wrote:
[iup=3577333]Eighthours[/iup] wrote:But I haven't suggested a blanket ban. Normal Johnny IS the argument because there has to be a starting point somewhere in the spectrum between every 18-21 year old being entitled to housing benefit, and no 18-21 year olds being entitled to housing benefit.


Yes you did.

I live in Bristol. There are absolutely fuckloads of jobs here, and no reason why any 18-21 year old who lives in a bad area in this city should be given a flat when they could stay at home and travel to work until they can afford their own place.




I think we actually broadly agree on the issue of that lazy sod Johnny B’stard who just wants a free flat so he can entertain ladies without his mummy knowing about it. That’s why the exceptions (and there are many) are so important in an issue like this.


Sorry, FE. I thought the obvious exceptions (ie. abusive homes) would be taken as a given, but I should have made that clear. My bad.


No probs Cal.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Fatal Exception » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:20 pm

I should also point out that the system currently already makes it hard for these people. You aren't going to get a council house if you live with your parents in most areas. The only way you can do it is to rent privately and THEN claim it (as some friends of mine have done). I very much doubt most people from housing estates could save up the deposit and rent required to do this. Especially if you've never had a job.

Houses aren't being given away like they would have you believe.

*edit*

One 'whole side' of your family is *shudder* working class? How frightful. At least one side was able to marry into money ey?

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:29 pm

[iup=3577363]Karl[/iup] wrote:I might agree that in broad principle that "Johnny B'stard" shouldn't get a free flat, but in all practicality I would favour - infinitely - a system that granted Housing Benefit to a few Mr. B'stards but didn't miss any of the Ms. Being-Rapeds or Mr. Beaten-Every-Days out there.


OK! I disagree with you, based on two things:

1. The country's finances at present. In my opinion, there are many more important things to spend money on than a universal right to independent living for 18-21 year olds.

2. Finances notwithstanding, where is the incentive to contribute to society if you know you can get rewarded for doing nothing? I really think that a universal right to housing benefit sends out a bad message. I think that the so-called benefits culture that grew up under New Labour is a direct result of the State funding lifestyle choices.

When you start tightening rules and being selective, those in genuine need start to fall through the system. If we sliced the bureaucracy and gave reasonable benefits to - more or less - all those who asked, would we have such a problem with homelessness in our cities? Would we still have people using food banks, or sleeping in their cars?


I agree that bureaucracy and admin can lead to poor outcomes, but that's getting into the nitty-gritty of the efficiency of administrating a policy. I don't think we can afford universal Housing Benefit, nor do I think it's desirable for society. I think it would be ridiculously expensive and that the vast majority of potential recipients would not receive benefit based on 'need', and this is contrary to the reasons that Social Security and Welfare exist in the first place.

The average poor person isn't lazy - they're just poor. Let's recognise that, stop demonising our working class, and start helping people out of poverty. Sure, we would need to make some changes - build more houses, stop spending money on bombing large stretches of Asia, that kind of thing - but I think it would be well worthwhile.


I forgot a third reason above - we don't have the housing stock. I completely agree that we need to build many more homes, at a much accelerated rate. In many ways, those who demonise the working class are the people who think they need hand-outs to survive, and, like Stugene, are convinced the poor live in 'squalor'. The vast majority don't want hand-outs, have pride in their homes, and (according to polls) are the group who are most angry about benefit cheats.

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PostRe: [DISCUSSION] The Politics Thread
by Eighthours » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:32 pm

[iup=3577397]Fatal Exception[/iup] wrote:One 'whole side' of your family is *shudder* working class? How frightful. At least one side was able to marry into money ey?


:lol: Didn't marry into money. And it's hardly a shudder.


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