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Mark Steyn: America must learn from our laziest woman
The Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 02/24/04 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 02/23/2004 3:26:35 PM PST by Pokey78

The other day the Sun bestowed the title of "Britain's Laziest Woman" on Susan Moore of Burythorpe, North Yorkshire. Miss Moore had come to the paper's attention courtesy of its Shop-A-Sponger Hotline: as Alastair Taylor explained: "Super-sponger Susan, 34, has not done a day's work since dropping out of college in 1988."

Despite receiving "Jobseeker's Allowance" for 16 years, she does not seek jobs, and never has. She was offered one by a supermarket, but it was five miles away so she wasn't interested. Ryedale Jobcentre put her on a "New Deal" course and, to make sure she attended, sent a taxi for her every morning. But one day the cab didn't show up, so Susan gave up the course. She lives with her divorced mum, who's also on "Jobseeker's Allowance", though she hasn't sought a job since giving birth to Susan in 1969.

Sportingly, the Sun offered Susan the chance to make a few quid manning the Shop-A-Sponger Hotline over the weekend, but she didn't fancy the disruption. "I shop on a Saturday," she said, "and on Sunday I sit at home and relax a bit."

But then my eye fell on the amount "scrounger Susan" had managed to scrounge: £30,000 in 16 years - £2,000 per annum. Forty quid a week. She and her mum get another £45 housing benefit to live in what looks like an attractive and spacious semi, and she's trying to claim "income support" on medical grounds, because she suffers "monthly painful spells". But if an average £40 a week is the best a "super-sponger" can do, it should remind us of a basic truth: the greatest crime of welfare isn't that it's a waste of money, but that it's a waste of people. Forty quid wasn't enough for a "welfare queen" to queen around on, but it was just enough to enable her to avoid making anything of her life, enough to let her sit around all week "listening to CDs and watching videos".

"I just haven't been given a chance," says Susan. But when the space on your CV for the period from adolescence to early middle-age is one big blank, no one's ever going to give you a chance. It's hard to think of anything capitalism red in tooth and claw could have done to Susan Moore that would have left her worse off than the great sapping nullity in which Her Majesty's Government has maintained her for her entire adult life.

When welfarism becomes the organising principle of society, as it is in much of the West these days, the danger is that a Susan Moorish inertia descends on the entire state. I see that the Duke of Edinburgh has called for schoolchildren to play more team games because they learn so many "valuable lessons" - effective co-operation, self-discipline, rules, competition, etc. Good luck to His Royal Highness commending those to Britain's educational establishment.

Primary schools have given up on the egg-and-spoon and sack race because, under the great Cult of Self-Esteem, it's too much to ask a child to endure the sting of defeat. A third of London schools play no competitive sports. Teachers are uncomfortable with the notion of an "opposing side" one must strive to "beat" - just as, in the war on terror, many grown-ups are uncomfortable with the notion of "the enemy": to the progressive mind, there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven't yet fully acknowledged.

If the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, it seems unlikely victory in Afghanistan owed much to the playing fields of Tipton Comp. Assuming the schools of Tipton and Luton still have any playing fields, their main contribution appears to have been to the losing side - the British Muslims captured among the Taliban and al-Qa'eda forces. Even when it's not specifically teaching you about the millennia of atrocities committed in the name of British imperialism, the modern multicultural state at the very minimum absolves you of any meaningful allegiance. So it's not surprising some of us seek it elsewhere.

As an idea, the multicultural welfare state is too weak to have any purchase on us: that, indeed, is its principal virtue in the eyes of its few fanatical zealots - Polly Toynbee, Baroness Kennedy, etc; politically speaking, it's an allegiance for those who disdain allegiance. Most of us give a shrug of indifference and go back to watching the telly, like Susan Moore. A few look elsewhere, like those Tipton Talibannies. On the Continent, they're just beginning to wake up to the looming iceberg of unsustainable welfare systems. But, like the Sun's Shop-A-Sponger Hotline, they're missing the point. It's not the cost, it's the system itself. The cradle-to-grave welfare society enfeebles the citizenry to such a degree you can never generate enough money.

Happily, not all recipients waste their time on the dole: Muhammed Metin Kaplan set up his Islamist group, Caliphate State, while on welfare in Cologne; Ahmed Ressam, arrested in Washington State en route to blow up Los Angeles International Airport, hatched his plot while on welfare in Montreal; Zacarias Moussaoui, the "20th hijacker" currently on trial in America, became an Islamist radical while on welfare in London; Abu Hamza became Britain's most famous fire-breathing imam while on welfare in London; Abu Qatada, a leading al-Qaeda recruiter, became an Islamist bigshot while British taxpayers were giving him 10 times as much per week as Susan Moore. It was only when he was discovered to have £150,000 in his bank account that the Department for Work and Pensions turned off the spigot. If only the Susan Moore-ish super-spongers were as purposeful as the neo-Moorish super-spongers.

I'm not saying every benefit recipient is a terrorist welfare queen. I am saying that the best bet at saving the next generation of Susan Moores is if the US declares European welfare systems a national security threat.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: marksteyn; marksteynlist; steyn; welfarestate
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To: Paleo Conservative
That (next to the last) paragraph was the most compelling to me too.
Terrorists on the dole...
51 posted on 02/24/2004 5:38:51 AM PST by MaryFromMichigan (Michigan ROCKS! A petosky stone is a good example)
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To: Timesink
Yes, that's really them.

Good God, she even looks like my ex-wife who’s name is also Susan. If it weren’t for all the child support I send her, she would be the American poster girl for public assistance.

Thanks for bring back bad memories; I feel the need for a shower.

52 posted on 02/24/2004 5:47:39 AM PST by usurper
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To: X-FID
She does resemble a younger Helen, the ugliness is there and ready to bloom, but at least Helen has a job.

On the other hand, even while working, Helen Thomas is no more a productive member of society than the lovely Moore ladies.

53 posted on 02/24/2004 5:58:49 AM PST by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
That's a true statement.
54 posted on 02/24/2004 9:56:28 AM PST by X-FID ( ". . . . I'm making steps. . . . I look at an issue. I'm not afraid to run away from it,")
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To: Timesink
I believe that dad is the dungeon keeper (Pit of Despair) from Princess Bride...

RG
55 posted on 02/24/2004 12:17:36 PM PST by RippinGood
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To: jolie560
>It's always amazed me how many career welfare prople >are 'fat'.

Maybe it's because career welfare people are 'lazy'.

Of course cheap food is usually fattening...

nah, they are lazy.
56 posted on 02/24/2004 12:54:19 PM PST by sandbar
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To: LonePalm
Pourquoi est-ce que tu ecris en Francais?
57 posted on 02/24/2004 12:57:42 PM PST by Sarah
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To: RippinGood
Have fun storming the, um, castle...
58 posted on 02/24/2004 1:02:42 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Timesink
Egad. They breed.
59 posted on 02/24/2004 1:05:19 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Terriergal; cyborg; concordKIWI
zing
60 posted on 02/24/2004 1:07:33 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: Timesink
It's reputed (according to my Italian professor...) that when Caesar undertook his first 'Grand Tour' of Britian he was heard to utter the following: 'My goodness, I've never seen so many ugly people or eaten so much bad food in my life!'
61 posted on 02/24/2004 1:16:17 PM PST by AlbionGirl ("Ha cambiato occhi per la coda.")
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To: shaggy eel
what a *lovely* reputation to have
62 posted on 02/24/2004 1:20:55 PM PST by cyborg
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To: cyborg
,,, working hard, earning a reputation for something whilst doing nothing. What's with that? Imagine a day off to relax!
63 posted on 02/24/2004 1:47:40 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: atomicpossum
I doubt it very much. This lazy female is one of millions on welfare in Britain where the work ethic is dead and buried there. My Brit son-in-law struggles to get people to work for him and when he does find workers, they are uniformly lazy and demanding. The US, under the RATS, could easily reach the English level of laziness and then the Republic would cease to exist.
64 posted on 02/24/2004 2:13:00 PM PST by Paulus Invictus (4)
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To: El Conservador
QUOTE OF THE DAY!!!

Actually, I prefer the following:

It's hard to think of anything capitalism red in tooth and claw could have done to Susan Moore that would have left her worse off than the great sapping nullity in which Her Majesty's Government has maintained her for her entire adult life.

This is the problem in a nutshell.

65 posted on 02/24/2004 2:28:11 PM PST by bondjamesbond
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To: mrustow
I think both of you are right.
66 posted on 02/24/2004 3:32:08 PM PST by Moonman62
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
The actor who played Onslow also did the voice for Paul McCartney in "Yellow Submarine."
67 posted on 02/24/2004 7:03:39 PM PST by Tony in Hawaii (Lookin' for the joke with a microscope)
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To: shaggy eel
If I didn't read the title, I would have thought it was in New Zealand!
68 posted on 02/25/2004 2:11:46 PM PST by concordKIWI
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To: shaggy eel
If I didn't read the title, I would have thought it was in New Zealand!
69 posted on 02/25/2004 2:11:51 PM PST by concordKIWI
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To: shaggy eel
If I didn't read the title, I would have thought it was in New Zealand!
70 posted on 02/25/2004 2:11:51 PM PST by concordKIWI
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To: concordKIWI
,,, it's a game the whole planet can play, if they're stupid enough to.
71 posted on 02/25/2004 2:23:51 PM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
You don't have to try very hard to learn the rules as there are government agencies that will help you!
72 posted on 02/25/2004 2:28:10 PM PST by concordKIWI
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To: Pokey78
In every socialist country..
(i.e. Canada, Britain, Germany, France, and the little URPean countrys etc.)

Gov't Contractors and their employees are even worse sponges.
They get much more per individual and the contractor can even afford to give money to "certain" political campaigns.. entitlements are just part of the story.. don't start up with the gov't worker Unions.. but the REAL glory hole of GOLD is the United Nations.. the wages are much more than U.S. State or Federal wages.. and the contractors are tapped into the main vein..

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.~Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

73 posted on 02/25/2004 2:39:22 PM PST by hosepipe
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