I think it’s about time I tackled another subject other than myself and the matter which is at the forefront of many people’s minds at the moment is our national debt and the state of our economy. As few, if any, countries of the world can isolate themselves from the global market.
Even Australia would be in trouble if it wasn’t for the massive exports of iro ore and other minerals to China – the state of our economy affects every one of us.
As we can see, at this very moment, Greece is in serious trouble and faces years of financial restraint in order to achieve economic equilibrium. Our own government is bravely tackling our debt and, as a result, tightening up on manpower in every aspect of society. This inevitably means more unemployment and strikes particularly hard at this generation of young people leaving school or university. Our problem is that we spend Â£81 billion annually on benefits or income support of one sort or another. We also have today the highest level of youth unemployment for very many years.
There was a programme on television last evening called the Fairy Job Mother where this lady selected four young people are you are in their early 20’s, who were unemployed and felt they were unable to get work or alternatively were content to live on benefits. Her task was to find them a job, but first of all she had to change their whole mind set towards work.
The UK has not made it easier for itself by allowing any one from the EU to come to this country, as of right, and to work. (I seem to recall that France and Germany opted out of this at least for some period after new countries joined the EU) As a result there are hundreds of thousands of young people here from that part of the Eastern Bloc, which is now part of the EU, who are happy to work here for the minimum wage, whereas, it seems that our own youngsters are not. As I say this government is tackling this problem but they should make it more attractive to work began to be on benefits or follow Australia’s line of stopping unemployment benefit if an unemployed person has been offered three jobs, which they are deemed capable of doing, and refuse them all.
I have certainly met one or two young people who boastfully admit they are self unemployed. There are quite happy to collect their unemployment benefit, or even a disability allowances if they’ve managed to convince their local doctor they have a bad back or something similar. They will then be able to top up their benefit with a little bit of black market working on the side for cash and never need to seek gainful employment. Presumably, if they drift through life like this when they get to pensionable age they become a heavy charge on the state having contributed nothing during their lifetime. This attitude must stop and we can only do it through education and tinkering with the benefit system. It should always be more attractive financially to work then to rely on benefits. Quite apart from the person’s self-esteem and the psychological effect on the individual who spent their life, living on state. .
I know there are jobs out there. As I have heard more than one farmer complain that as he can no longer obtain local labour to pick fruit or vegetables, he has is fly in a workflow force from Eastern Europe. As a young man I certainly spent time, in the holidays, doing such backbreaking work as picking up potatoes, or on another occasion, working as a skivvy in the kitchen at Butlins holiday camp and I am certainly none the worse for such experience. So I say to the young, get out there and be prepared to work for the minimum wage, if necessary, and start living properly. In due course, something better will come along.
Whilst I’m banging on about this subject may I say that I disagree with the government policy of sending as many young people as possible to university. It really is unnecessary. A number of young people are simply not suited for a university education. Many of them end up with some sort of Mickey Mouse degree , which is of little or no benefit to them in future life.
Far better that we emphasise the importance of learning a trade. What more satisfying way of spending your life than that of being a carpenter and joiner and seeing the end result of your physical labour. Of course, you need training for that, or any other trade, so there should be as much emphasis on trade teaching as there is on getting a university degree, which will be no value, in terms of employment, A person with a university degree is no more superior than a good workman who should not in any way feel inferior. We all have a job to do and some ot us use our brains and some our hands, both are equally important and necessary for a balanced society
At Wimbledon, when most of the outside courts were out of service due to heavy rain, the diminutive 40-year-old Japanese girl Kiimoko Date-Krumm, (can one still call a vetron of 40, a girl?) on the covered centre court after a 12 year layoff,, gave the number two seed, Venus Williams, a real fright in her first round match by winning the first set after breaking Venus’s service twice. Inevitably, Venus won the next two sets, but not without a brave struggle from the Japanese girl taking Venus to 8-6 in the final set