The Ones to Blame

When I first started posting articles on Medium, it was all meant to be light-hearted. Books I’d been reading and long, anecdotal stories were going to be the staples of my writing. I never intended to write angry, political posts — it just kind of happened. But as a result of it all building up inside, I had to release it somehow and this was how.

And now I find myself needing to vent once more.

I’ve mentioned the state of this country before and the attitudes of some people who live here, so forgive me if I tread on any familiar ground at any point.

I want to make sure people are pointing the finger of blame at the correct people.

There was once a time, I don’t know if you can remember it, that people weren’t at either one extreme of the political scale or the other. Before the Brexit vote there were people who believed all kinds of things and filled up every spot on this mythical spectrum, but now we’re either all Leftie Libtard Snowflakes (LLS) or Far-Right Goosestepping Fascists (FRGF). There is no in between.

The LLS have ruined this country because they care too much and want to include everyone, according to the FRGF. The FRGF are everything that’s wrong with this country because they’re aggressive, mean and hateful, according to the LLS.

Immigration remains a hot topic and neither side likes the other side’s ideas about it.

“Foreigners are treated better than the people who were born here,” the FRGF trumpets. No, we’re all treated equally badly unless we’re the super-rich elite. Can you not see that?

“We’re full and there’s no infrastructure to support them.” Firstly there’s a lot more room than you might think and as for infrastructure, how is that funded? Through taxes. And what generates more revenue from taxes? More people working. The need for more shops, schools, etc. creates more jobs. These jobs produce more tax revenue. And on and on we go in a system that supports itself.

The media haven’t made matters any better by pointing at foreigners and effectively making stuff up either.

Take for instance the stories of workers coming here from Eastern Europe and leaving their families at home in their country of origin. They’re claiming benefits for those children who aren’t even here, you know? Except they aren’t. It just isn’t possible. But if you choose to believe it anyway and it makes you angry what should you do? The FRGF approach is to demand we immediately stop letting people in from countries who send their people here in droves to steal all our Child Benefit. That’s one solution. But what about we turn around to the government and say: “Hey, why don’t you reform the benefit system so nobody can cheat it in this way?” If someone was actually robbing it, they would be far from powerless to stop it.

So-called health tourists come to Britain and use our NHS. The bastards. Never mind that their countries often have a reciprocal agreement so we can get free healthcare if we’re taken ill while visiting there. And those from countries where there isn’t such an agreement are presented with a bill for the treatment they receive here. They might well bugger off back home and never pay the bill, but who wouldn’t do that if they thought they could get away with it? Perhaps the government should be more on the ball when it comes to demanding payment and perhaps there should be a health insurance rule for foreign tourists and visitors. That’s what people should be saying instead of lambasting people who come to Britain and receive medical attention.

Foreign nationals who live here use the health service too. “They haven’t contributed anything towards it,” the FRGF might say. They have through their taxes, but I see your point. They haven’t paid in as much as you or I possibly have, but wanting to deny treatment based on how much an individual may or may not have paid into a system is ludicrous. While we’re on that, your kid hasn’t paid a penny towards it either. Should we deny them medical treatment too? No, I didn’t think so.

And of course there’s the staple of the FRGF: “bloody foreigners coming over here taking all our jobs”. They drive wages down (they don’t) and they are to blame for zero-hour contracts (they’re not). They all work cash-in-hand jobs (they don’t) and they all sleep in their cars to avoid paying rent (no, they don’t). They send all their money home (nope) and they pay no tax (no again). Some workers, both foreign and domestic, will be doing cash-in-hand work, there’s no denying that, but it’s the old “ok for us, but not for them” routine. And if a foreign worker does, let’s say a painting and decorating job for someone and gets £150 cash in his hand at the end of it, is it the end of the world, the downfall of Britain’s economy if they don’t declare it? Let’s not pretend it’s an outrage that a person paid no tax on a small amount of earnings while certain coffee shop companies operate within our borders and then sit safely just inside international waters, giving this country the finger while they count their obscenely large piles of somehow-tax-free cash.

The government love all this. While the LLS and FRGF argue with each other endlessly about these matters they can do whatever they want, free of blame for the most part.

It’s time everyone realised that the failings of this country lie squarely at the feet of the government and not with those who came here looking for a better life. And while we’re on that subject, how shit must the lives of some people be if they come here in order to escape them? With the attitudes of a lot of people in Britain I wouldn’t come here if you paid me.

The government needs to be held accountable. It might take a revolution or it might just take a sustained campaign of badgering our local MPs with tersely-worded letters. Either way it would be nice to go back to a time when there weren’t two camps of people in this country who despise and spit such vitriol at each other.

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