Welfare state of mind

Life

I have become another sickly infant, crouched at the cold, chapped teat of the welfare state.

A scheduled phone call from Universal Credit:

“Where do you live?”

“Hounslow.”

“Mmhm…”

I have simply confirmed the fate I was pre-ordained by my unenviable postcode. 

I understand, that whilst being on benefits is a sort of novelty for me, considering the fact that I have lived under a privately-owned roof, don’t pay any rent, don’t have any children, and don’t have any disabilities, it is a horrible labyrinth of a system that many people find themselves lost and forgotten within. The tone that I would quite like to avoid is one that suggests I’m reporting back from a novel experience, like sharing a steam room with Steven Seagal after completing the five Tibetan rites. This overly apologetic introduction is a symptom of my residual centre-left liberalism (I have now seen the enlightened path of socialism, paved by Marxism and street-lit by Trotsky) that usually has one believing that the compromise of allocating unjustly limited resources fairly is more virtuous than fighting for more.

I believe I have begun to understand what it means to be thrown into the pit of the undesirables. You are either going to be plucked by the great claw of the civil servant and dropped into the routinely open vacancy at KFC, or you’ll have to claw your way out of the pit by auditioning for the X-Factor, and hope that he-who-must-not-be-named outside of brackets (Simon Cowell) shows mercy on the Eldorado of your young soul, which glimmers on the sheen of his irises. So far, all £450 of my state benefit per month sounds like I will get that Cath Kidston pyjama set after all. Besides, between the social distancing and job-searching, it’s probably quite wise to at least invest in the uniform of the unapologetically unemployed. 

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