Entitlement and Dependency

“Traffic Warden! That’s whit ye can dae!” Thus spoke the Fish Man when I told him I’d been writing to the great and the good. My flurry of correspondence instigated by this government’s insistence that all disabled, with the possible exception of zombies, be declared fit for work.

The chap behind me in the queue offered still more advice. “Ref! A fitbaa referee! Ye’re the ideal candidate!”

Off I went, Miss Pupkin in charge, content in the knowledge that, although the general populace think this particular governmental wheeze is mince of the thickest, they know their public duty, doing their best to set me off on the right career.

There will be those, journalists of a certain ilk and others led by Messrs Cameron and Clegg, who are now jumping up and down, desperate to point out that there I was, stravaiging around the streets; talking to men, inciting the lieges in anti government ideas; whilst doing my weekend shop. True, but without Miss Pupkin, I wouldn’t have made it onto the pavement across from my door. And remember, both Miss Pupkin and I are female; multi tasking is our forte.

With those delightful old public school chappies in Westminster intent on shoving me off benefit dependency and onto the dole queue, perhaps I should have a career in mind?

Not easy, with eyesight so jiggered, I need assistance to navigate my own garden. On a dull, autumn morning I’ve problems deciding whether the curtains are still drawn or it’s just normal, Scottish dreichness. Strewth! Only yesterday afternoon, I was reduced to gibbering helplessness at my inability to disentangle the sections of the clothes horse! And this morning, I discovered some of the washing which I’d meant to festoon over said gadget was still hanging outside on the birly. When it comes to the laundry, I should do as Mr. Hanrahan did. Count them all out and count them all in. Excellent advice, whether applied to the RAF on sorties over the Falklands or freshly washed knickers taking advantage of a brisk autumn breeze.

Perhaps I should consider a political career? After all, my worries have arisen because inept politicians are tinkering with a system, whilst not perfect, is certainly better than their intended replacement.

I don’t drive, do more walking than most in my age group, and work constantly with a member of the animal kingdom. Surely my party would have to be the Greens!

What else appeals? I’d happily sit here, pecking out a string of best sellers on the latest all talking, all intuitive computer system. I’m not fussy. I’m not interested in the Booker Prize nor becoming a set text for Higher English. Film rights, a series on the telly and a bank balance worthy of our most noble financiers will suit just fine.

Or there’s tourism. My fascination with both local history and gossip means I can drege up from memory every juicy Gallovidian scandal since the Dark Ages. Surely, the concept of a guide guided by a Guide Dog would be unique enough to appeal to at least one of those carnapscious old dragons? Or would I fall down, literally, over Health and Safety?

I shouldn’t complain. After all, my political masters are dragging me out of benefit dependency. Despite my reliance on sighted guides, Miss Pupkin and various expensive but not always trustworthy bits of gadgetry. it’s most immoral of me, presuming entitlement to anything, even although I worked for years. Oh yes! I, like thousands of others, have been quite joco, sitting around. Listening to the audio description on the big telly for which I pay a reduced licence. Chomping biscuits delivered by Food Train. Stravaiging around the county by taxi using my Taxi Card discount.

If I belonged to the ruling elite, I wouldn’t stop at cutting disabled benefits. No way! Read through that last paragraph again. Tote up what that’s costing the nation. And that’s not the half of it! There’s the cheap swimming, free bus travel, even free use of directory enquiries ... I could go on. Journalists on certain tabloids would. Aye, all those disabled wee persons had better watch!


© Charlotte Bennie 2011