As a shoe blog, I probably should not really talk about taboo subjects like politics but as the idea of Brexit will most likely have a direct impact not only on my business but quite possibly also my life, I feel that it should be discussed as it is on my mind and the only way to get rid of it is to unleash my thoughts on a platform that shares to many people around the world. And many of you might not like what I say about my thoughts on the subject at hand but I feel that it should be said anyway as I have two stories that sum up what I believe to be the problem with the UK, yet is often blamed on the EU.
Often people will blame someone else to not have to look into the mirror and know that the fault often lies within. This is common psychology and human nature. Such is one of the great issues (in my opinion) with the EU and the UK situation. Many inhabitants of the UK feel that the EU treaty has much to blame with the way that the UK is and much of the immigration that comes to the UK, that truth be told is indeed overpopulating the country (particularly London) even in my own humble opinion (says an immigrant).
But in my opinion the biggest problem with the UK (which is why everyone wants to move here) is the amount of free money they give to all of the freeloaders/lazy people/moaners and those that in my opinion drag this country down, foreigners and British people alike. So let me tell you two true life stories that made me think and feel the way that I do.
- Once I was with my French friend and we were in Pimlico looking for a pub to shoot pool. We found a typical pub directly underneath a massive council high rise (for those of you in the US, this would be called a ‘project’ building). We enter and see a guy playing pool by himself. We ask if we can join him. So we do and start talking. He was a Londoner who had been unemployed for 8 years and not really looking to change this lavish lifestyle. He told us that he comes to that pub everyday (as I believed he lived right above it) and drinks about 10 pints daily. (That’s about £40-£50 alone on beer, daily. £280-£350/week). He said that he had no intention of looking for a job as there were none to be had and moaned about everything under the sun that was wrong with the UK, but failed to mention that he basically got paid to do fuck all, all day while drinking his life away at the pub each night. And guess who is paying for him to do that? The 2 foreigners that he is shooting pool with (as well as the rest of hard-working, tax-paying individuals that live in the UK, many of which are foreigners). Why does the government allow this? Why do hard working individuals have to pay for people like this? Why is he not working at McDonalds or anywhere else that hires all of the time? Because he gets paid by the British government to do nothing. And why would anyone in their right mind look for work that they feel is beneath them when they can get paid to do nothing?
- I once knew a young mother (she was 31 at the time) who had two boys. She was living in a nice council flat in Brighton (paid for by the government) and was earning like £1100-£1200/month for having her children as a single mother. Now I know how hard it can be as a single mother and my argument is not that but part of it is the fact that that some people in this country abuse the system by having kids in order to not have to work as they know that they will be paid for it and taken care of by the government. Now I am not saying that the girl I knew did this either as she was actually trying to get back into the workforce (she was previously a midwife) and got offers for new positions as a midwife but only paying her £100/month more for working full time, than to what she was already earning as a single mother on the dole doing nothing. I don’t know if she took the job in the end but I remember her asking herself (and discussing with us) whether it was worth it to work 40 hrs/week to only be £100 more a month? Any sane person again would not do it as it does not make practical sense. And this is part of the problem.
Based on these two stories, I would be curious to know how many people are unemployed in this country and being paid livable wages with free rent? And how much of that is costing taxpayers? And how much of those taxpayers are foreign? If all of the foreigners left tomorrow could the UK handle that expense? Who knows? I don’t….but I am asking? If they took away all of the Mexicans in the US, the country would be screwed big time. I do know that. California would shut down.
The US also had this problem of giving people free housing and money until they wised up to all of the piss-taking going on. So instead of issuing dollar bills that people could go spunk on whatever they wanted, they started only issuing coupons to be exchanged for goods that were necessary for survival. And that helped the piss-taking to stop. Why hasn’t the UK attempted the same?
Many people complain about the immigration. I know that I do. There are too many people here (in London). But the reason that people come to the UK, as opposed to all of the other great cities in Europe, such as Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Rome, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels, Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen and the rest is because the governments of those countries don’t make it so easy for people to come, do nothing and some how get free housing and money. But the UK does and for me that is the main problem which drives in loads of lazy freeloaders that come and destroy the country (economy/positivity/quality of life etc) and make it hard for international immigrants like myself to actually stay in the country despite having my own business, creating jobs, bringing in foreign income, paying a shit load of taxes and being entitled to nothing (outside of being able to run my business through small bank loans).
And I agree that something needs to be done on immigration as London/UK gets the worse of it from the EU. Maybe a point system or a cap per year or whatever. But I don’t feel that leaving the EU is the answer to all of the UK’s problems. The UK’s problems can only be fixed by everyone in the UK looking at and starting with themselves and for the British government as a collective, to do the same. By blaming others and the situation that is being supposedly imposed on oneself, no one can ever better their situation. One must look at themselves first.
This is just my two cents as a foreigner living here. I am neither right nor wrong and believe the UK to be a great country with many great people. But I do know that all problems start within (as a person/country/entity etc) and until the people and government of the UK can realize that, nothing will ever change despite being in or out of the EU.
EDIT June 27th 2016: I think that some people are misconstruing my words. I am not against immigration by any means. How could I be? I am an immigrant. But I do believe that London is overpopulated and suffers from the immigration. I don’t believe immigration to be a bad thing though. I believe that it is good. We all need to know what other cultures are like and immigration helps with that. If we are only around ourselves for too long, we become too close-minded and ignorant. But the problem is a poor government structure when it comes to giving people money and have unlivable wages being the norm in cities like London where cost of living is ridiculous. Problems like this often make people start blaming outside things like immigration and the EU instead of their own country. That is my argument. And leaving the EU won’t solve that.
On a positive note for all people who buy British products, today the pound fell to an all time low since 1985, so it’s like getting a nice little discount on all of your purchases until it rises back up again.
A nice weekend to all
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”