In this article in the Daily Mail Richard Littlejohn picks on a single mother in an unpleasant attempt to reinforce the prejudice of his readers against people who claim welfare benefits.
In this case he “got the wrang soo by the lug”, as my granny used to say, because his victim turns out to be more than capable of defending herself as you can see from her blog: A Girl Called Jack
My blood will boil as quickly as any curmudgeon from East Grinstead when faced with a true scrounger. I can’t abide people who sit about doing nothing useful while they whine about their entitlements.
This includes benefits scroungers and people like Richard Littlejohn.
Wikipedia (OK, not the most reliable source of information but at least I’m trying to find some facts – take note, Daily Mail) tells me that Richard Littlejohn has been working as a journalist (sic) since the age of 16, which means he has spent the last 40 years or so doing nothing more than writing words.
It could be argued that when he was a lowly reporter his efforts had some social value – gathering information on the issues of the day and presenting it to his readership – but his output over the last couple of decades has been nothing more than self-indulgent opinion that falls firmly into the category of entertainment (if you like that sort of thing) rather than useful journalism.
So here we have a man who does nothing, absolutely nothing useful for society whining about people on benefits being given taxpayers money to sit about and do nothing. The motor that drives his whine is his absolute certainty that he’s entitled to the money that he gets for “working” and that none of it should be taken from him and given to anyone else, especially to someone who’s on the dole.
This sense of entitlement to money in exchange for turning up at a place of employment is deeply ingrained in our culture. The idea that we get paid what we’re worth is accepted as a fact of life, but if you stop to give it any thought you quickly realise that it’s nonsense.
There is no logical relationship between the amount of money that we get paid to do a job and the value of the work that we do. You can pick any number of examples where the absolute value of the work is indirectly proportional to the money that’s given for doing it – toilet cleaners v. city traders; farm labourers v. supermodels; nurses v. brand managers – but let’s go with A Girl Called Jack v. Richard Littlejohn.
Jack, when she was claiming benefits, was looking after her son. Childcare must rank as one of the most valuable things that a human being can do, even if we ignore the moral and emotional value and consider it in terms of mere utility: without children we will have no-one to make and do all of the things that we need for our security and comfort in our old age.
Not content with doing one valuable job, Jack also started a blog where she shared her skill in producing tasty nourishing meals on a very limited budget. This was appreciated by hundreds of people who were trying to feed themselves and their families on shrinking incomes.
If Jack hadn’t done these things someone else would have had to look after her wee boy and hundreds of people would have missed out on her useful ideas for cheap, nourishing meals.
Contrast the value of Jack’s contribution to society with that of Richard Littlejohn. The words that Richard writes have no practical use whatsoever. Would the world be one iota worse off had they never been written? Nope.
The truth is that Richard Littlejohn is a parasite, a scrounger who lives off the backs of the people who spend their active years doing stuff that’s essential for our survival and comfort: farmers, fishermen, miners, roughnecks, technicians, engineers, builders, nurses, doctors, teachers, carers, cleaners, cooks, home-makers, the list goes on and on, but it doesn’t include people who assemble words for the titillation of a few economically illiterate Daily Mail readers.
That Richard gets paid more than most of these productive people demonstrates how arbitrary our system of financial rewards is. In a logical world Jack would be paid handsomely for looking after her son and providing useful recipes while Richard would be forced to do something productive for a living.
But our world isn’t logical. I slave away and pay my taxes and what does the government do with the money? They give it to that curmudgeon of a pensioner in East Grinstead who uses it to buy the Daily Mail. My taxes, my hard earned taxes, pay for that balloon Littlejohn to sit at his laptop and spew his infantile bilge across the nation twice a week. You couldn’t make it up.