Useless bludging pommy bastards

Channel 4 in the UK has made a documentary looking at welfare bludgers, their attitude and the state of welfarism.

I’d love to see it broadcast here. We’d never get our TV stations to do a similar documentary, they’d go out of their way to find people to blame their useless, miserable lives on John Key.


Karen was a care assistant for 22 years, but has been out of work for seven years, during which time she has claimed £155-a-week disability living allowance. Her car, too, is paid for by the state. Karen feels benefits are her right, that she has done her bit by working in the past. Now, she says, it’s the state’s turn to support her. ‘I’ve done my f***ing share for Britain,’ is the way she puts it, in her blunt Midlands accent. ‘I’ve worked for me money, I want me money.’

Far from thinking them generous, Karen doesn’t think her benefits nearly bounteous enough. But the fact is benefits are more generous today than they’ve ever been, or indeed were ever intended to be by the founding fathers of the welfare state.

The level of welfare payments is now higher, in relation to earnings, than ever before. The average amount claimants receive has more than doubled in real terms over the past 50 years, according to recent statistics.

Projected costs suggest benefits will cost taxpayers £348 billion this year.

Our extended welfare payments must be horrendous as well.

The results are both depressing and heartening. In episode one, Karen, Melvyn, a cheery 71-year-old widower, and Craig, a 24-year-old in a wheelchair, have their 2013-level benefits taken away for a week and are put through the 1940s system.

All three are from Nottingham, where half the population is on some kind of benefit.

Yes, half. Even though we have become inured to the dependency culture, that single figure tells a terrible story. For benefits were originally conceived as a temporary helping hand in times of trouble, not a lifestyle choice. Joblessness allowances, pensions and the NHS were meant to provide a safety net, but were something the individual should aspire well beyond.

[William] Beveridge described welfare payments as ‘an attack upon want’. But want was only one of five giants he was trying to slay. He described the others as ‘disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness’. Yes, idleness.

How unwilling we are nowadays to talk in those bald, almost biblical terms. Indeed, we seem to avoid applying any kind of moral principle to state handouts today.

But the early welfare state did just that. And it did so partly to keep the welfare bill down, but also because its founders believed we benefited from having a purpose. Work was seen as therapeutic; even those who could only do a little were encouraged to try.

Things certainly have changed. Today, people believe they have a right to give up work and live off the state, as if they were taking early retirement. They want benefits that are not just good enough to live on, but generous enough to fund luxuries like alcohol, cigarettes and modern status symbols such as huge widescreen televisions.

Sigh…supposed to be a safety net, the welfare state has been turned into a trampoline.

When a welfare officer visits Karen and remarks that her house is clean, and her lawn mown, she reveals that this has been done by her son.

Strikingly, Karen, who is very overweight, has long acrylic nails, immaculately painted with a different shade of polish on each finger. Her hair is freshly braided and her manicured hands glitter with enormous rings.

There’s no doubting she suffers from pain and discomfort, but it’s also obvious that the demoralisation caused by her various ailments — which she refers to officiously as ‘my health issues’ — is exacerbated by lack of purpose.

Karen’s ‘new’ 1940s weekly handout is deemed to be £38.48 — compared to the £155.34 she currently receives. The car she has courtesy of today’s mobility allowance is also taken away.

She is furious. Expletives rain down on the welfare officers as she insists: ‘I can’t live off that.’

But this is not the worst news. If she wants to keep even this small  payment, she will have to be assessed for work.

Her response is a tirade: ‘I’m not well, I’ve got a list of illnesses what are wrong with me. Go to the younger people, what are they doing? Leave me alone, I’ve done my f***ing share for Britain, I’m doing no more. They can f*** off.’

Her pleas fall on deaf ears. Conditions recognised now as disqualifying someone for work were simply  not recognised when the system  was established.

Despite Karen’s protests that she’s ‘in pain every single day 24/7’, she is forced to complete a 1940s-style medical assessment. It is toe-curlingly fascinating to watch.

‘Would you be able to climb ladders?’ asks the doctor.

‘Oh no,’ said Karen.


Karen laughs at the sheer idiocy of the idea.

‘Throw something?’


‘Pull an object?’



‘I would find that a struggle.’

The doctor puts a 12lb bag of potatoes at her feet and asks her to lift it.

‘No, struggling with that,’ she says, not even getting it off the floor.

The doctor then places one potato on the desk in front of her and asks her to pick it up. She pauses, unsure what to do.

Call me sceptical, but I could almost see the cogs turning in her brain, as if she was thinking: ‘If I pick up this potato, I might lose my benefit, but if I don’t pick up this potato, that will look ridiculous.’

She reaches forward tentatively and picks it up, saying ‘there’s pain in here’ while rubbing her arm ostentatiously.

Karen’s medical isn’t finished yet, however. The assessor then gives her a piece of paper and pen, before getting her to draw a star and cut it out. This she does without complaint until he tells her the test will show if she could do tailoring work.

Her response is then instant: ‘This is actually hurting my thumb.’



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  • johnbronkhorst

    “….he tells her the test will show if she could do tailoring work.”
    I would have said nothing, until after the test, then just handed her a list of JOBS that she must apply for or lose her benefit! If offered any of these jobs (I would make sure she was),she MUST take it or lose her benefit. If she gets herself fired within 3 months… guessed it NO BENEFIT!!!

    • Mr_Blobby

      But my little toe hurts, and public transport is for those with a job.

  • Michael

    In the article you also have wheelchair bound Craig, who was treated as a human being capable of working by the old ‘cruel’ welfare system and ended the experiment with a real job.

    • Rex Widerstrom

      Well spotted, Michael. I was going to ask if any of the knee-jerk “they’re all bludgers blah blah blah” commenters had spotted that, let alone Cam.
      The guy had tears in his eyes and could hardly speak from the emotion of having been offered a job.

      Truth is, the current welfare system is failing both those enslaved to fund it, and those enslaved by being in it when they don’t want to be. For the latter it’s a series of pointless WINZ appointments with some dimwitted high school dropout (who, if you’re over 40, could easily be your daughter or granddaughter) who treats you with utter contempt even if you’re making every effort.

      Who sends you on a “course” to learn what you already know – like how to write a CV, or behave at a job interview – because the manual (and her own prejudices, formed from little or no life experience) tells her that all the bludgers that sit before her are alike.

      And when all this messing about combines to take your time away from looking for work and saps your will to try (let alone live) she’ll send you to some punitive low-wage no-skill casual job and heaven help you if you fail to keep it.

      Real welfare reform wouldn’t look like NZ under Paula Bennett. It’d look like that documentary (albeit with a more realistic level of benefit).

      [And yes, not all WINZ staff are like that. Years ago I had one gent who was so helpful, he had me in the same emotional state as the guy in the wheelchair. His helpfulness got him taken off the front line and sent to a job filing at DSW (as it was then) HQ. So the one’s you’re left with are exactly like that].

      • Hazards001

        Yeah, I went through that a few years ago after being laid off. After a couple of time wasting visits and some dimwitted new job seeker thing I told them to shove it up their ass I’d find something myself, wasn’t getting the dole as I’d saved my holidays + a small payout from my employer that I wasn’t actually entitled too so I was expected to live on them,,at the rate paid out by the dole. Borrowed some money from the bank to live on, went consulting and working part time in anything I could find until my current role turned up.
        And of course now I am paying that loan back plus the interest.

        • LabTested

          I got made redundant many years ago. At the time it was quite frightening, but it gave me the courage to do things I would have never tried before. Won’t say it’s the best thing that happened to me, but it changed my life

  • Harry B’Stard

    Obviously capable of lifing a knife and fork to her face

    • steve and monique

      or making ugly biscuits at the bakery.

    • Michael

      More likely she is able to lift many potatoes into her gob all day.

  • drummerboy

    I like the idea of this documentary. might make one on New Zealand bludger’s myself.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Good luck with that one. No Maori or Islanders allowed, no solo Mothers, no criminals, no disabilities, definitely no work testing.

      Would be easier to do a documentary on somebody who has a job.

      • drummerboy

        I would also like to interview high profile bludger’s such as the New Zealand Olympic team and corporations that receive corporate welfare. I want to find out how they justify using the power of the state to extort wealth from the population to further their own wealth and enjoyment. I wouldn’t want to just focus on the social welfare receivers but on the idea of “whats yours is mine” that is becoming more and more common in New Zealand.

  • Garbageman

    looks like this bludging hag has already smuggled 2 12lb bags of spuds

  • Col

    We all have disabilities in some form or another, but we work and live with them.

  • CheesyEarWax

    I am looking forward to see this documentary on TV3, straight after Campbell Live.

    • tarkwin

      Don’t get me started on Campbell Live after last nights pile of contrived shite.

  • Muffin

    Let he fucking starve in the street………..might take her a month to die. Bet she figures out out to work before that.

    • SteveWrathall

      She’ll work out how to pick up a potato even sooner

  • Rodger T

    It`s a safety net , not a fucking hammock!

  • steve and monique

    So the poms have wasted money on making a doco about bludgers. Heads up you dumb fucks,these people are lazy,useless,dont want to work losers. Wasting the tax payer dollars on unmotivated people is a waste of time. There is work out there if you want to look. Hell over-stayers,and immigrants are working on orchards etc. Guess having to do mundane jobs is above these high achievers. About time we started up crews to clean up the sides of roads,and parks etc for the dole. Work out the hrs needed to do based on the minimum wage,and make them turn up. If not no money. This way even the ones who cant be fucked working have to do something,and be productive in society,and not a burden

    • Contractor

      Seemed to work during the depression. Some of the most iconic roads built here (Lewis Pass) and the US (pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur) were built then. Imagine the cost of building them now. Surely using those out of work for major civil projects would drastically reduce the astronomical costs we keep hearing about and seem to be getting taxed for every way we turn. Win win isn’t it? Unemployed get work, major projects get done…..cheaper.

      • blokeintakapuna

        It will happen on Transmission Gully… just as soon as Resource Consent is granted….

      • steve and monique

        Dad had a book called ” the sugar bag years”, about the depression years in NZ. Had pictures of guys with shovels doing roads etc by hand. Guess they wanted to be productive,and support their families. Not like these lazy deadbeats we have now, who feel they are owed something for nothing.

      • rockape

        Sadly its no longer pick and shovel work. You need qualifications in plant operating. However the principle is sound.

    • Muffin

      Could reduce the rates burden on productive citizens buy having dole bludgers doing awful menial council cleaning etc, street cleaning, rubbish picking, anything that’s difficult to get people to do.

      Don’t turn up/ pick up enough shit… No benefit that week!

      • steve and monique

        Would also help reduce costs to council. Might even bring a slight drop in rates etc.

      • Ducky

        them bloody do-gooders will scream -beneficiary bashing if you try that. Green Talibans will have Sue Moronic Bradford screaming beneficiaries are entitle to benefits and a way of life. Past govt. were too afraid of changing their lifestyle.

        • steve and monique

          That Bradford mutt needs to be muzzled

    • Jonathan Pull

      All the spite anger and name calling aside I’ve always strongly believed that if you receive a state funded benefit then you should be working for the state even if its gardening or general cleaning of state/council properties.
      May as well get something in return.

      • steve and monique

        Sorry if name calling etc offended you. Just gets my blood boiling to know these people will not work,and just bludge for a living.

        • Jonathan Pull

          No not offended at all, I just wanted to make it clear I was coming from a clear head space rather than emotional one.

          • steve and monique


    • Rex Widerstrom

      Work out the hrs needed to do based on the minimum wage, and make them turn up

      So you’re suggesting raising the rate of the unemployment benefit to match the minimum wage and providing 40 hours a week of work for everyone without a job?

      What a pity the National government isn’t as focused on job creation as that and instead just wheels out a woman who’s certainly also had more than her fair share of potatoes (since some people want to bring appearance into the issue) to indulge in a bit of vote-grabbing beneficiary bashing.

      But sarcasm aside, what you describe ought to be the end goal of any welfare policy: everyone fit to work able to earn at least the minimum wage for a fair day’s work. The left would find that very difficult to argue against and it fits the right’s ideology neatly.

      But perhaps it just suits both sides of politics to have the unemployed – the left to woo their vote with promises of an even bigger handout, affordability be damned, and the right to woo the votes of everyone else by promising to reduce the handout to below subsistence levels, human rights be damned.

      • steve and monique

        No, was thinking more if the dole is say $180 week, then divide it by whatever min pay rate is. For examples sake $13.50 hr. = around 13.3 hrs a week ($180) work required for payment.

        EDIT= Woman is in England,not rolled out by National

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Then that still leaves an underclass getting $180 a week and thus highly motivated to scam, burgle and rob the rest of us at worst, or at best to take cash jobs and erode the tax base.

          Better to tell that same person they’re getting a raise from $180 to $540 and they’re to show up Monday ready to work. Keeps them out of trouble, teaches them the discipline of getting up, showering, and getting to work every day, and the additional money gives them some self respect (and hopefully respect for others).

          Perhaps allow them to earn “time credits” by showing up and doing the job properly, so they can spend, say, a maximum of 8 hours a week doing stuff that might find them a job in the private sector, but ensure they provide evidence (rejection letters / emails) that show they’re applying for jobs.

          And yes I know the examples are from England. I’m simply making the point that the government here needs to focus on job creation.

          You mentioned the book “The Sugar Bag Years”. Did you ever read it? I did. Those men were given real, constructive work – building roads and rail lines – not pointlessly chipping weeds at the side of a motorway. And thus they were allowed to retain their self respect while still being on welfare.

          National could do worse than to simply look back in NZ’s history for an answer.

          • steve and monique

            Yeah agree full time is better then part time. Read the book years ago( to many to remember) and was quite young. Still remember the images, and left the impression it was tough times. Still think doing something for better then doing nothing.

      • johnbronkhorst

        Except is NOT the govt.’s job to find you a job….It’s yours.
        “PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, take some a go and get YOURSELF a fucking job, you LAZY bastard!!!”
        How’s that for the title of the next WINZ benefit application form!

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Of course not. Please point me to where I said it’s the government’s job to find someone a job.

          It’s the government’s job to manage policy settings and legislation in such a way that the job is there in the first place to be applied for.

          Right now there are any number of examples – off the top of my head, the RMA but there are many, many more… and then there’s the tax system – that bind job creators in red tape and soak them for so much money that expanding their business isn’t worth it.

          So it’s a bit rich for said government – and you – to heap all the blame on the shoulders of the job seeker. Many, though by no means all, people on the dole would like a chance to work (as evidenced by the teary guy in the wheelchair in the doco promo). It’s just that Paula Bennett and her mates are standing in their way.

          • johnbronkhorst

            It’s irrelevant as to how hard it is!!! It’s still YOUR job to go get a job.
            The last time I was job hunting, the stack of applications was, at least 8″ high on my kitchen table. The job I eventually got (after 3 months), I had to research as to when and why I applied.
            In the mean time I did casual scrub cutting, truck driving, news paper folding, instrument repair in a college and many other casual jobs to pay the bills. Others turned them down.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            We seem to be talking at cross-purposes.

            Yes it’s irrelevant how hard it is.

            It is however relevant if there are 110 job seekers and 100 jobs.

            It is especially relevant if those extra 10 jobs would be created if only the government (and I don’t just mean this government) stopped regulating, fining and taxing everything to a standstill.

          • Ducky

            yes, those poor deserving unemployed people, we should top up their benefits so that it is the same as the average worker, then they won’t bleat about too much. It is the bloody govt.’s fault that these people are being picked on. shame on the govt. for picking on the unemployed. I say tax the workers more so benefits can be increased!!!. ..oh I missed my Tui..

  • Never in the dark…..

    It’s no better across the Atlantic either:

  • ozbob68

    I will admit, I have a crush on a tv personality, Her name is Hayley Taylor, she was on telly last week showing job-shy liverpuddlians how to get work. (OK I saw it first 2 years ago when I lived in England, but it makes for fascinating TV.) Some who are work-shy and some who genuinely want to work but have never had their specific shortcomings addressed. I would love to see a NZ version (You will need a maori woman to take the role of Hayley though, to avoid any of that “you don’t understand my culture” BS).

  • philbest

    The worm is turning in the UK. I reckon the Jeremy Kyle Show has a lot to do with it. That is as good as this documentary and it is on weekly. Mick Philpott and wife and mistress were on it once. Just a particularly good example of what gives Poms the message about the bludger constituency.

  • cows4me

    I wonder if these people ever question where the welfare comes from. Do they consider for one moment that the welfare spend along with other state costs are actually greater than the tax take. I wonder if they give a moment of consideration to just how precarious their positions are ?. Karen is a grasshopper and her lifestyle will eventually be her end it’s only a matter of time. I would pay could money to see this woman try to do the work my wife does everyday, Karen’s ring gear would blow a casket and for the first time in her sorry life she would feel real pain.

    • Sponge

      Do they think (or care) about where the money comes from – No. They believe in a fairy called “the gummint” that owes them a living. I doubt that many even understand that the dollars paid to them had to come from someone else.

  • Marty

    A bullet is too good for these oxygen thieves. Line them up and apply the old fashioned compressed air cattle gun to the forehead. Grind them up for burgers and feed them to the bludgers waiting for their turn to be put down.

    • Sponge

      Possibly just a tad more extreme that would be acceptable public policy to most???

      • Marty

        Not in the slightest Sponge. Britain is No Country for Old Bludgers.

        • Sponge

          Always happy to be corrected Marty!

          I look forward to the upcoming change. Feeding the unemployed to themselves really does have no downside that I can see (Except BSE perhaps?). That fat slut would feed a family of ten for a few weeks at least. A bit like eating muttonbirds I expect but all the same….