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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

They have given the vote to the underclass...

They have given the vote to the underclass that is dragging this country down. Whatever party promises to give these people better giros and more benefits will win the election.

written 13th Apr 2005


John Dee replies: Er, how many people on benefits do you think there are in this country? It is a fraction of the number of Daily Mail reading, reactionary idiots who seem to think that everyone else is taking "their money" and "their country".

written 13th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: Never read the Daily Mail in my life. Tell you what, the problem is there are too many people in this country who are eligible to vote who couldn't read the daily mail if they wanted to - they can't read English!

written 13th Apr 2005

John Dee replies: Wasn't implying that you read the Daily Mail, merely that the election is decided by a largely uniformed and self-centered middle class.

You may not read the Daily Mail, but you certainly dance to their tune. How non-English speakers are there currently resident in the UK? You have no idea, you just like the sound of your own xenophobia.

written 13th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: Now, either you are daft or you cannot read and understand. Xenophobic? You could not be further from the truth. You have made an asinine knee jerk assumption. The standard of Education in this country over the last twenty years has led to a higher number of adults OF ALL ETHNIC ORIGINS who cannot read.

These people are all eligible to vote and many do so whilst due to their intellectual deficiencies being unable to contribute to the country in any way.

A saying I heard many years ago that is becoming a truism is "If we do not reach down and pull these people up, they will reach up and pull us down".

The problem is in many ways these people are becoming the ones with power as they are the ones the major parties now want to pander to.

written 13th Apr 2005

John Dee replies: Myopic rather than asinine; you did say "read English" rather than "speak English", so your bigotry isn't as clear as I hastened to assume.

Most pepole CAN read English perfectly well; the ability to critically examine that English is what they lack. This is exemplified by: a) all Daily Mail readers, b) myself c) most human beings no matter what they might think, as in Robert Anton Wilson's "what the thinker thinks, the prover proves". This is not a function of recent standards in education, but, seemingly, a function of the human mind.

I, like you, think that most humans are just monkeys, but I am in the unenviable position of recognising the monkey in me. And I am smart enough to know that I know nothing.

I do, however, know that the politics of hate is wrong: do not abdicate responsibilty by blaming other people. What have you done recently for the betterment of us all?

*pus his troll firmly back in his box*

written 13th Apr 2005

Gavin replies: I don't think the Tories pander to the Chav minority.

And to be fair, John, some of these people are taking "our" money - benefits come from the public purse, which is basically funded by the middle classes (which, these days, is almost everyone).

Some of these people deserve "our" money, because they cannot work for some reason. Some of them don't. They're really the ones who make it hard for those who genuinely need help to get it.

There aren't a lot of these people, though and as far as I can see only the Lib Dems are trying to appeal to them with their "let's get even more money from the wealthy to solve all of society's problems" policy.

written 14th Apr 2005

John Dee replies: To be honest, most of the people I have known who have been on the dole were long-term "scroungers"; a particularly bad example would be an ex-housemate who worked part-time for a sales company and claimed both unemployment benefit and disability benefit for a bad back - something which didn't prevent her from attending dance classes twice a week.

I was as horrified by this as many people would be. I don't think we should cheat or bend the rules to our own advantage whenever possible - I believe in scrupulous honesty. But this also applies to corporations and the well-off and very well-off, those who are in a much better position to cheat AND get away with it (and often do): roughly 10 billion GBP a year in unpaid corporation taxes, for example; maybe the Duke of Westminster would like to give the common land his forebears stole and the billions derived in rent therefrom back to us peasants; or perhaps we should talk about tax havens; or the amount of money the government spends proving how good a job it is doing when it isn't - also known as "targets"; or the outright corruption common in both national and local governments.

My contention here is that claiming that that those at the bottom of the heap with little power or influence (not even by sheer weight of numbers) are dragging this country down is idiotic at best.

Oh, and I whole-heartedly agree that giving more money to the government is utter folly (see above accusations).

written 14th Apr 2005

matt replies: A well reasoned debate from people who have strong opinions and the stregnth of mind to express them in a convincing way... that's what democracy is all about.

There are a hell of a lot of white, Englsh underclass people who will do as little work as they can, and live off benefits and crime- I'm a teacher now in an inner city school in Northern England, and I used to be a Police Officer in another inner city area.

Many middle class people would be shocked to know how widespread various forms of drug and alcohol dependancy are in these areas, and that there are huge swathes of population who are perfectly happy to live off the state, and never get a job.

The only reason this underclass is not going to vote itself a huge increase in the amount of money the government pays it, is that they are too idle to get out and vote!

I wonder how many of the contributors to this site, who say they'll not vote because of this reason or that reason are not working..? How many are, for example, university students doing some sort of dead end degree having scraped into Uni with a clutch of D and E grade A-levels?

written 14th Apr 2005

PapaLaz replies: I come orginally from a part of the North East where it is the norm rather than the exception to leave school, go straight onto benefits, spend your spare time stealing cars and drug dealing, constantly in and out of court and prison, never make a single solitary attempt to find gainful employment - and at the same time complain about what a depressing place it is to live. This is not a guess or a knee-jerk xenophobic reaction - these are things I have actively observed over the past 30-odd years. And I'm not talking about any kind of ethnic or cultural minorities here; I'm talking your everyday "working class" homegrown dole-scum. These are the very people who steal from those who HAVE bettered themselves - and then it is those same middle-classes who pay for their benefits, colour TVs in prison cells and wasted "community initiatives" to boost the image of local councillors in the eyes of the rest of the country.

And you know what? I don't even really blame these people. I can see why they are as they are. I know they have nothing to look forward to; with no education, no hope, no-one to give them any hope, no-one to show them there are ways to get out of a rut; what else can people do except look for the easiest route through their desperate and meaningless lives? I'm not making excuses for this "underclass"; merely pointing out that there are reasons why it exists. And to my mind the primary reason is education. I don't mean schooling in general - we all had a chance for that. I mean rather social education; the passing on of social standards, and acceptibly social ways of enforcing these standards. Sadly, the root of the problem lies squarely in my opinion at the feet of our elders and betters.

It is obvious to all and sundry that Tony B.Liar has consistently lied like a cheap Japanese watch to the whole country; and yet "taking responsibility" consists of uttering those words. I accept responsibility. That's it. We have fat-cat business executives getting 7-figure bonuses for driving their companies into the ground. How many MPs have been sacked or forced to resign because they are just shits in general - only for them to be offered a new post a few weeks after the dust has settled. Mandelson springs instantly to mind. There are countless examples.

And all the while these people who are at the root of many of our society's problems spend even more vast sums of money on "presentation". Politicians employ spin doctors to distort their message. Business managers employ HR people to maintain the status quo with countless self-protecting rules and regs. In the company I work for, after spending 2 years in bankruptcy and numerous rounds of redundancies the management decided to form a new department whose task is - wait for it - generating statistics. And so on and so forth.

When there's real accountability in the top echelons of society, then scoiety might have a chance. Unfortunately, there's as much chance of that as their is of plaiting diarrhoea; the same chance as we have of Tony B.Liar telling the truth. And in my opinion the only way to change this is if no-one votes. Voting someone else in in his place is no solution - they're all the same. Who remembers Maggie refusing to answer questions from the public over the General Belgrano? And because of that the rules changed. Just shows how they close ranks to protect themselves. Rather than voting a new government in we should all be doing our utmost to turn our backs on them, to show them that we've all had enough of their elitist school-tie clubs which have so thoroughly destroyed our society, industry and reputation all in the name of personal greed and corporate profit. Sod the lot of 'em...! Don't vote - let them all know that, like them, we don't give a toss any more.

written 14th Apr 2005

Bri replies: You're always going to have a few bad eggs in society. That's just the way it is. But the reason we see entire communitys crumble under crime, drugs, murder is because there are very rarely reasons to strive hard at school as there are very often no suitabel jobs for these people to slot into.

It was bloody Thatcher who basically ripped the art out of the mining towns of the North leaving nothing but settling coal dust as they rode out of town.

The boarded up streets with one family living half way down, with a bulldozer idling at the top of the road is a very sad sight to see...but in Northern towns in England it is an all too familiar site.

Remember when someone knocked Thatcher's head off on that statue? Pity it wasn't the real thing.

written 14th Apr 2005

Steve replies: I wondered how long it would take for someone to blame Thatcher. I work in a former mining town and this is a typical conversation i have with friends

friend: Thatcher killed this town
me: What did your dad do?
F: miner
M: What did your grandad do?
F: miner
m: how did he die?
f: affects of mining
m: how is your dad?
f: ill
m: why?
f: mining
m: what do you do?
f: i'm a gas engineer on 25k a year with a nice house and a van.
m: right....
f: Thatcher killed this town

written 14th Apr 2005

John Dee replies: Perhaps if managment had paid the miners more and given two wet monkeys for their health and safety they might not have died of chronic disease/grinding poverty.

And it is true that if you remove an industry upon which a town depends, poverty largely ensues. A few people will find other work, yes, but you can't magically create thousands of jobs out of nowhere. Obviously this last isn't true for the Civil Service and other non-industries, though you'll need a degree and several years experience of folding paper before your application will even be considered.

NB: by "Health and Safety" I am of course referring to the actual health and safety of people, not management-speak for "Lawyer Avoidance Policy".

written 14th Apr 2005

PapaLaz replies: With typical conversations like those, your nights out must be a blast, Steve ;o)

My point was that they're all the same. Thatcher, Major, Bliar, it really doesn't matter to the man in the mining town. Or rather, the North. Was it Prescott or Brown who said a few years back words to the effect of "Sod the North"? The truly sad thing is, as I remember from my own childhood, people get the idea "you MUST vote Labour, they're the working mans party" drummed into them from teething age by their parents.

written 14th Apr 2005

John Dee replies: Ah PapaLaz, I obviously agree with your sentiments (you prove what I think), but your "plaiting diarrhoea" metaphor warms my black, cynical heart so much I may have to forgive our glorious leaders their iniquities.

written 14th Apr 2005

steve replies: My point being papalaz that instead of being condemed to a hole in the ground from the age of 15 for 50 years on poor wages with little future young people in my 'crippled' town have a lot more hope and prospects than they would ever have had before Thatcher ripped the 'heart' out of our town.

written 14th Apr 2005

PapaLaz replies: Ok Steve I was generalising to an extent (how can you do anything else); another generalisation here - your town may be one of the lucky ones that has had some kind of fairly successful regeneration; there are lots more that haven't. And with the almost complete death of a lot of traditional industries and the state of flux the education system is in (both because of government and managerial mismanagement), it scares me to think what will be available for my kids when they leave school - especially if they aren't among the lucky ones to get a university place. Although having said that, if Bliar has his way having a degree will be worthless anyway if everyone and his dog has one.

written 14th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: Interesting stuff, have any of you thought that Thatcher in fact did not kill these places but that it might have been a combination of other things?

Cheaper coal from Poland, cheaper steel from USA cheaper almost everything from anywhere else. Now I am of course aware that denationalisation caused some of this but is it not also a fact that the unions did indeed become too powerful and simply made it too expensive to purchase British goods.

An example would be Ravenscraig, which when threatened with closure broke every produtivity record imaginable. This then poses two questions. 1) How many EFFICIENCY records did it break? 2) Where was all this amazing productivity before closure was threatened?

The answers to these I will leave to your imaginations.

written 14th Apr 2005

PapaLaz replies: John: I did specify management as well as government. Again this is a generalisation, but I'd suggest that the ills of most industries come down ultimately to bad management, whether in the board room, on the shop floor or at government level. We all know how management in general are willing to sing their own praises and give themselves stupid bonuses when they get something right (although the bonus thing doesn't always hinge on that...); yet increasingly they try to shirk responsibility when things go wrong (although of course that doesn't stop them trying to claim the bonus). I'd suggest that a happy workforce is a productive workforce; take away their happiness (crap pay, crap hours, inflexible management, crap conditions, too much work, not enough work, etc etc etc) and that's the point when trade unions start to get a hold. So while I accept your point I'd suggest that you haven't followed it through far enough.

written 14th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: OK so at the point that the unions get a hold things are bad for the workers and the evil managers are rubbing their hands and twirling their moustaches.

Things move on to a fair days work for a fair days pay and that is fine also. THEN just when things are OK the trade unionist from "Carry on at your Convenience" steps in and takes hold.

Strikes everywhere, a "that's not my job" mentality huge cost and labour increases and before you know it you are no longer competitive. So the management go back and say "listen, we can't compete, we have no order book" and alas it is too late.

Is that followed through enough?

written 14th Apr 2005

PapaLaz replies: More like it ;o) Although you forgot the bit where the management sack all the staff due to being non-competetive, keep themselves on and award themselves a bonus because of their cleverness at keeping the company afloat (ring any bells?!?!)

written 14th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: So, we are agreed then, however we have digressed. What about this mob of scroungers and charlatans that are dragging this nation to its knees? What do we do about them?

written 14th Apr 2005

Steve replies: Whether we like it or not there are always going to be 'Lizzie Bardsleys' in this country who have 4-5+ kids and never plan to work (We all know at least one family like this). It undermines the plight of decent honest people who genuinely need help from the state. The problem is people (like the original poster of this message) struggle to find a distinction between the two and call them scrubbers / scroungers etc.

My mother used to be a midwife and in the 60's if these people were on their 3rd or 4th kid then after the birth they were swiftly sterilised no questions asked so they could have no more :) not the answer i know but made me chuckle how brutal they were back then.

Maybe the problem is social attitudes have changed so much that being on the dole is no longer seen as a bad thing and i don't honestly think there is a solution.

written 14th Apr 2005

PapaLaz replies: Educate them? Invest in the areas they live in? Stop them claiming benefits their whole life and force them to get off their arses? A combination of all three and other things which I haven't mentioned, including giving them a good slap from time to time?

written 14th Apr 2005

PapaLaz replies: Steve: maybe that is part of the solution. Personally, as Draconian as it may sound, I firmly believe that it is NOT every woman's right to have children - if she cannot support them without having to resort to the state. Should then this not be part of means-testing; if a girl goes to her doctor (as all must during pregnancy) and she has no means of support (family shouldn't be counted) then she should be given the choice of carrying the baby full term and giving it up for adoption, or to abort. That would solve at least part of the prob.

That should get some heckles up :o>

written 14th Apr 2005

Bri replies: Ha ha! This is the sort of letters people write to the Glasgow/Edinburgh Metro just to get a rise out of people. A valiant effort my friend.

Oh and by the way...I agree with the lot of it!

New Party: The Anti Lizzy Bardsley Party!!!
Our policy (yup just one): Stop the scroungers by any means possible.

written 14th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: Steve, I do not struggle with the distinction, I am well aware of it. The thing is, if I am, how can the "powers that be" fail to be? When I was a kid it was very rare to see a beggar on the streets of Glasgow, now it is not.

The thing is now, we give them a magazine to sell "to give them dignity" any chance of just giving them a shovel and getting some of the holes in the road filled up?

written 14th Apr 2005

Gavin replies: Management do NOT like unions; they may be fueld by greed, but it's clever greed that relies, usually, on a lot of people being in work. The management do need money in order to award themselves bonuses. It's the unions that killed the manufacturing trade in this country, by becoming over-powerful, nasty, greedy, short-sited political organisations that only thought a day ahead.

It would be good if we still had mines to chuck all the Chavs down, though...

written 14th Apr 2005

Michael replies: I don't think 'we' give them a magazine, John. Unless you're suggesting you work for the Big Issue charity that provides this help to those who are on the street and have proven themselves to have no reliance on drink/drugs. I would much rather they were selling magazines and earning a living than begging. Oh and perhaps being a little pedantic here but on every Big Issue I've bought it clearly states the vendors actually buy the magazine and then sell for a profit. They aren't given them.

written 15th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: Michael, listen mate, where do you think the cash to run the whole big issue shebang comes from? Joe Q Taxpayer, thats where.

"We" in fact do give them them. Oh and as for not begging, you must never have heard the conversation

"Big Issue?"

"No thanks, mate I've bought one already"

"Ok, any spare change then?"

written 15th Apr 2005

Colin replies: So the decline of British industry is all the fault of lazy, greedy workers. Short term tactical management and an unwillingness to invest in infrastructure that takes longer than 5 years to give a return had nothing to do with it? Glad that's cleared up then.

Getting back to the original topic, perhaps it all started to go downhill when they gave the vote to women, or those without property. Actually, teaching the lower classes to read, write and potentially think was a probably bad idea too.

written 15th Apr 2005

Michael replies: nope never heard that conversation, i usually buy the magazine and have other damn good conversations with the vendors.

written 16th Apr 2005

John Brownlie replies: Yep, I'm sure you do, I know two guys who stay in 150,000 houses from selling the big issue. They buy then for 20p and sell them for 1 and bob is your uncle!

written 18th Apr 2005

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