Grumpy Old Sod Dot Com - an internet voice for the exasperated. Sick of the nanny state? Pissed off with politicians? Annoyed by newspapers? Irate with the internet? Tell us about it!

Send us an email
Go back
11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
30th August 2013: Isn't sarcasm a wonderful thing?
25th August 2013: Operation Yewtree has turned British justice on its head
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Why 'human rights' is nothing of the sort ...
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
6th August 2013: How the British nation treats its friends ...
8th July 2013: The BBC biased? How can that be? They're so NICE!
26th June 2013: Think this country is a bastion of freedom and justice and a shining model for the world? Think again.
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th June 2013: is the end finally approaching for this evil woman?
31st May 2013: Now it's official - the BBC really is a left-wing propaganda machine
31st May 2013: Those evil bastards are at it again. Yes, you've guessed it - social services!
27th May 2013: Well-known TV presenter talks sense. No good will come of it.
24th May 2013: British justice is best? Only for the very poor, apparently ...
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
Captain Grumpy's bedtime reading. You can buy them too, if you think you're grumpy enough!
Readers wives. Yes, really!
More Grumpy Old Sods on the net

 

 
Older stuff
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
We don't suppose there's anyone in the country today who doesn't know who the Chawners are. We particularly appreciated a thought-provoking article in the Times last week by Alice Thomson ...
 

Be afraid, be very afraid ...

 
Michael's alarm still goes at 5am every morning, by 7am he has cleaned his Notting Hill house, at 8am the children have a three-course breakfast and by 9 he has walked them to school and is sitting at his desk sending out his CV. Six weeks after he lost his job at Goldman Sachs, he still works a 14-hour day. He now waits tables at his favourite restaurant, sweeps the leaves from the communal garden tennis court and helps the neighbours' Filipina housekeeper to clear the drains.
 
Paul Bright, a factory manager for a paper doily factory in Essex who has also been made redundant, has the same drive. At 60, he could retire. “All I want to do is work again,” he says. “I am like a smoker who doesn't know what to do with his hands once he's quit. I need to feel useful.”
 
The Chawners wouldn't understand. Mr and Mrs Chawner and their two daughters insist that they are “too fat to work” because they have a combined weight of 83 stone - so they watch television all day living off their £22,000 benefits. In the past 11 years, only the youngest daughter, Emma, has attended a job interview and that was on The X Factor, where she was kicked out in the first round. Mr Chawner explains: “Often I'm so tired from watching TV I have to have a nap. I certainly couldn't work. I deserve more.”
 
These are Britain's two nations. Not those born abroad and those born here, not black or white, rich or poor, men or women, North or South, public or private sector. But those who belong to the world of work and those who are alienated from it, living off the taxes from other people's earnings.
 
In the past ten years a chasm has opened up between the workaholics and the quaintly named “work-shy”. Labour still isn't working, claims a revised version of the classic Tory poster, as unemployment passes two million. In fact, nearly eight million people of working age in Britain have been “economically inactive” for the past few years. More than 2.5 million of them are on incapacity benefit - of these 2,130 people are too “fat” to work; 1,100 can't work because they have trouble getting to sleep; 4,000 get headaches; 380 are confined to the sofa by haemorrhoids; 3,000 are kept at home by gout; and half a million are too depressed to get a job. According to Dame Carol Black, the National Director of Health and Work, one child in five now comes from a family where neither parent works, yet at the end of last year there were half a million job vacancies.
 
The BNP's message over the past decade has been loud and clear - your job is being stolen by the Somali next door. But it's just not true. The Somali and the Romanian, Chinese and Ukrainian are doing jobs that many British won't now contemplate. The majority of migrants to Britain - more than 80 per cent - are earning less than £25,000 a year in industries that have become unpopular for British people to work in.
 
That is why immigration in Britain rose by 2.5 million in the past decade and why English is now a second language for one in seven pupils in primary school. Immigrants have kept Britain working. It is also why the Tories couldn't turn immigration into a vote-winner in the past two elections. People recognised that we needed the Chinese to pick our strawberries, the Czechs to blow our children's noses, the Pakistanis to sweep our hospitals, the Afghans to drive our minicabs, the Australians to pull our pints and the Poles to put up the scaffolding.
 
Only last year £13 million of British fruit and vegetables went unpicked because farmers couldn't find enough British labour to harvest their crops, forcing the Government to raise the quota for migrants under the seasonal agricultural workers' scheme. As one man outside a Jobcentre Plus in Peterborough explained: “I'd prefer to sign on than do that. I don't want to work in no cornfield for £25,000 a year.”
 
Now, however, everything has changed. The new unemployed aren't those who don't want to work, they are the committed, driven employees who are horrified at the thought of no longer being able to commute into the office. They are the 3,000 people who are prepared to queue for 150 part-time jobs at Twycross Zoo in the Midlands and who bitterly resent having to sign on.
 
These are the unemployed who keep Gordon Brown awake at night. The millions of British citizens who are already economically inactive will be eternally grateful to the former Chancellor for having provided them with such generous pocket money, but those now joining the unemployment statistics won't be bought off so easily.
 
They are the newly unemployed dry cleaners in Didcot and Devon, the estate agents in Christchurch and Cornwall, the factory-floor managers in Swindon and Staffordshire and building contractors in Brighton and Bedfordshire - people who won't vote Labour again if they can no longer pay their mortgages and don't appreciate being forced to watch flat-screen TVs all day.
 
The Government's response has been to blame the immigrants who helped Britain for so long. Only this week Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, brought up Sangatte again. Yesterday, as the unemployment figures were released, Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities, suddenly announced a new migrant tax of £50 on overseas workers coming from outside the EU to pay for their public services.
 
But the answer doesn't lie in supertaxing the migrants, cordoning off the white cliffs of Dover or forcing Ethiopians on to planes at gunpoint. Like drugs, immigrants will find a way into this country if the demand exists. They may be putting a strain on the NHS but many services wouldn't exist without them. In 2008, 14.7 per cent of health and social care workers were migrants.
 
Attacking immigrants and talking about British jobs for British workers won't help anyone but the BNP. What is required now is the courage to push ahead with welfare reform despite the recession, and close the only gap that matters - between the active and the idle. Michael and Paul will find a job in the end, it's part of their DNA. Tackling the Chawners is the real challenge.

 
Of course this isn't the first time the Chawners have hit the headlines. Their younger daughter Emma took part in X-Factor (twice) and was swiftly booted out by judge Simon Cowell who, even if he is one of our most-hated celebrities, is no fool. Watch a film-clip here (if you must).
 
And the family made themselves so unpopular with their neighbours that last October they were evicted from their council house.
 
They don't seem to be disposed to make much of an effort for themselves. "We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," Mrs Chawner told Closer magazine. "All that healthy food, like fruit and veg, is too expensive. We're fat because it's in our genes. Our whole family is overweight. We all love nibbling on biscuits. I once bought some pears, but they tasted funny".
 
They've become expert at playing the victim card. "I’m a student and don’t have time to exercise," Emma said. "We all want to lose weight to stop the abuse we get in the street, but we don’t know how."
 
Awful though this family is, and penetrating though Alice Thomson's article is, we'd like to suggest another scenario. We think the Chawners are just stupid.
 
They're so dim that they have completely swallowed the modern media's philosophy that all that matters in life is celebrity, that success doesn't have to be worked for, that all you need is a little luck and you'll be catapulted to fame and fortune, and that the fact that you "really, really want it" means you must be entitled to it. Most of us know this garbage for what it is, but to the Chawners it's real.
 
And they're so dim that they accept without question the modern left-wing belief in a benefits system that sprays money in all directions (unless, that is, you're an elderly invalid who has the misfortune to own a house, or a child whose parents are invalids and need caring for all the time).
 
They're so dim that it never occurs to them that while they and others like them live comfortably off the state, the rest of us are paying through the nose to fund their lardbucket lifestyle. It never occurs to them that the big white thing in the kitchen can do a whole lot more than just heat up supermarket pies and oven chips, or that millions of other people quite happily eat pears that "taste funny" so it might just be worthwhile persevering.
 
And they've bought in wholeheartedly to the modern craze for victimhood: if you're fat it's someone else's fault and you're the victim. If people shout at you in the street or snigger behind your back it's their fault and you're the victim. If nobody'll recognise your talent and give you a lucrative record contract, it's their fault and you're being victimised. If your shouting and caterwauling in the small hours of the night annoys your neighbours so they complain to the council, it's so unfair and you're the victim.
 
And they won't ever change, because in order to change you have to understand what the problem is. And the Chawners won't ever know what the problem is, because they're too thick.
 
Mind you, this is just a theory. We could be entirely wrong. Maybe they know exactly what they're doing. Maybe they've worked out what the system is and how to exploit it.
 
Maybe they're just having a laugh, and the laugh's on us.
 
Either way, it's possible that the Chawners are the face of the future, and that's very scary indeed. It makes you view Polish immigrants in a different light, doesn't it? When did you last see a fat Polish person?
 

 
The GOS says: I'd just like to add one little personal note. One Times reader, Katie from Frome, wrote in to say "Why are you suggesting that depressed people are workshy? Depression is a very serious and debilitating illness."
 
There's the nub of the problem, really, isn't it? We have come to accept that almost any ailment or unhappiness is someone else's fault, and that sufferers must be pitied, helped and treated as victims. Many years ago I was diagnosed with depression myself. I never missed a day's work, though, and with the help of the doctor's pills and some meditation classes I hauled myself through it eventually and never looked back. In my experience depression is as debilitating as you allow it to be.

 

 
Grumpy Old Sod.com - homepage
 

 
Use this Yahoo Search box to find more grumpy places,
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Copyright © 2009 The GOS
 
This site created and maintained by PlainSite
Grumpy Old Sod.com - homepage

 

Captain Grumpy's
Favourites
- some older posts

 
Campaign
 
Proposal
 
Burglars
 
Defence
 
ID cards
 
Old folk
 
Hairy man
 
Democracy
 
Mud
 
The NHS
 
Violence
 
Effluent
 
Respect
 
Litter
 
Weapons
 
The church
 
Blame
 
Parenting
 
Paedophiles
 
The Pope
 
Punishing
 
Racism
 
Scientists
 
Smoking
 
Stupidity
 
Swimming
 
Envirocrap
 
Spying