Sunday, 21 July 2013

Common sense politics. Guest post

Yoohoo, it's me again, Auntie Nellie from Stating the Bleedin Obvious. Sorry I haven't been on for a while, bet you thought I'd croaked didn't you, not chuffin likely, I've been on my hols to Vegas. Saw my old pal Elvis I did, yep he is still around, we had a good chinwag. Saw him several times actually, funny how he never seems to look any older. How he manages to be in two places at the same time I will never know, clever bloke, chuffin amazing.

Anyway I'm back. Meanqueen asked me to do another guest post, and I said okeydokey, because I need the dosh to pay for another trip. 'I hope you've got a good one', she says. 'Of course', says I, 'do I ever let you down'.

So, what's the topic today? I don't normally get all political, but I'm going to have to say something about this present government, or perhaps I shouldn't blame the mess the country is in on that lot at the top we have in now. It's been a long time coming. To be honest there isn't any mob which has made a good job of getting to grips with the disharmony that now seems to be sweeping the nation. The problem is, no one with any power ever listens to us lot down here at grass roots level. So this is my big chance to make a stand, to open my big mouth, and say it like it is.

For a start, does anyone in Parliament, Whitehall, Number 10, or wherever it is they hang out, know the meaning of the words, full up? They should look it up, because it might help them to understand why a big chunk of our countrymen, and women, are fed up. Maybe I should spell it out to the men in suits, because if they can grasp this it would give them the key to sorting out the whole sorry mess we are in, and when they realise I am talking old fashioned common sense, they will beg me to take over the whole chebang, ha ha.

So get an eyeball of this, you lot down there in the capital. Full up, means.....chocablock, bursting at the seams, crammed, crowded, packed out, packed to the rafters, congested, loaded, overflowing, teeming, swarming, up to the hilt, wall to wall. Do you want any more, or do you get my drift?

So, how many more people are you planning on inviting in, how many more can you fit onto our tiny island, because I think it is not far off sinking. We, the United Kingdom, are full up. We have no jobs, we have nowhere for them to live, oh I forgot, they will probably be able to get a few square feet of floor space in a shed somewhere in a London suburb. Either that or there are plenty of disused railway arches.

So what happens next Mr Government Ministers? Open the doors and welcome everyone in with open arms? It's a recipe for disaster. There will be anarchy on the streets, more riots, more plundering and looting, gangs roaming free robbing and killing. It's already happening, open your eyes. Get out of your safe posh houses, see for yourself. People are struggling because there are no jobs, they have no money, the ruthless with no morals will steal to get what they want. We give shed loads of money to people, virtually as they walk off the boat, or get out of the back of the lorry that they just travelled half way across Europe in.

Prime Minister, we have a time bomb waiting to go off, and all you do is open the gates and let more in. Now look, don't go all mardy on me, this is serious. I am trying to inject a bit of humour into my post today, but I am struggling, this is no laughing matter. It is not chuffin funny.

Prime Minister, how can I get through to you. I am getting on in years, brought up in the back of beyond, with a common sense mum who taught me how to survive on not much money. I have lived the life of an ordinary working person. You however are a young whippersnapper, gone through the education system, got your degrees or whatever, lived in nice houses, and mixed with all the toffs. Here is my challenge, get your ass out of that chair and come and live with me in the real world. And there will be no swanning off to the father in laws mansion, namely, Normanby Hall. I challenge you to go undercover, no posh suits, no tv cameras. Dye your hair, get your clothes from a charity shop, whatever it takes. I will show you the town on a Saturday night where youngsters drink themselves into oblivion because they have nothing better to do. I will take you to the job centre to see the look of despair when there are no jobs to apply for. I will show you the shops which rip vulnerable people off with extortionate interest rates. We can't get a doctors appointment for weeks, have to wait months to get a hospital bed. And why is all this happening? Because we are full up.

That's me done, stating the bleedin obvious again. I'm going to get myself into trouble one of these days, wait for the backlash.
Love from Auntie Nellie. Toodle pip

76 comments:

  1. I completely agree Ilona. Sorry, Nellie.
    It is time to close the gates as we just dont have the resources, unfortunately, to cope with more people. I wish we did, but we don't.
    Well said
    Ruth x

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  2. I have visited the UK three times since emigrating.Each time I've gone it's seemed more and more crowded...in some places chock a block with people who don't understand each others language...people who don't make eye contact with one another....I felt claustrophobic,uncomfortable and a bit at risk to be honest (I know you like honesty Ms Know-it-All,and won't be upset by my words).
    Jane x

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Jane.

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  3. Well Auntie Nellie, round north Lincs way i blame Scunthorpe Steelworks and Grimsby fish docks. Although it all traces back to politics, they're more interested in financial institutions in London than industry in the North and EC fish quotas finished Grimsby.
    My theory is that because of the falling birthrate and the looming pension crisis they could get immigrants working here to boost the coffers. As far as i can see, the baby boomers (born 45to65) are the problem for the next 20 or so years but it would have tailed off again naturally anyway.
    But what would a thick Northern lorry driver like me know?
    Dave.

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    1. Dave, I am also a thick northern lorry driver. I wasn't a problem when the government took money out of my wages for 45 years. I naively thought I was paying into a pot, that there would be something there for me when I no longer worked. I didn't know that it would disappear into a black hole.

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    2. They expect us to pay into a private pension but not everyone can afford to and it all went pearshaped in the 90's anyway. Its a few more years before i retire and goodness only knows what things will be like then. BTW i can tell from your blog that you're quite intelligent (for a lorry driver haha).
      Theres a bit of upset on todays subject, it seems that a point of view is now taken as an insult. I thought we had freedom of speech in this country.

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  4. As I understand it - people were brought here after the war to do the jobs that the British did not want to do. There was also a shortage of workers as men died and were injured fighting. The NHS, British Rail and London Transport would have struggled without these willing workers.
    Recent immigration has included refugees fleeing from Uganda and Rhodesia among others.
    Not a very Christian post for a Sunday or any day - we are all human beings made in the likeness of God.
    Shame on you Nellie.

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    1. no need for anyone to be ashamed of a realistic viewpoint point - we did need people in the 1950s - then had a baby boom and haven't needed anyone since - we take our fair share of refugees when other countries don't! nellie is right - the country is full up and was years ago

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    2. Correct-it has nothing to do with faith or religion. We needed people after the war, and i , for one, am very grateful that people came here from the Commonwealth.
      However, we now have too many economic migrants, who come here as they know they can easily get work by undercutting British workers.
      Unfortunately, due to our membership of the EU, many people now come here to take advantage of our benefit system. How do i know this? Its what i do for a living. I have lost count of the number of people who have turned up, often with several children, as they want a house, money and a 'better life' in the UK. Its a nice idea, but i'm sorry, it is no longer sustainable.

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    3. As a refugee shouldn't they be fleeing to the first country they come to - not picking where to go? I agree with Frugal Queen, we needed people in the past, we don't now so time for a rethink. Good post Nellie.

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    4. Refugee, Asylum Seeker call them what you may. BUT the idea is to reach a place of safety. NOT escape through 10/12 different countries to get to The UK.
      I have no problem with us taking our fair share of people in need. BUT the majority of the cases they are economic migrants. They are quite safe where they are but fancy a better standard of living at some one else's expense.

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  5. Evenso I came to these shores myself years ago, I now agree with Nellie completely! The boat is overly heavy now and we shall sink if this continues. There has to be a stop to it sometime!

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  6. Well said Nellie,, and Froogs!

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  7. I would not deny anyone the chance of a new life as long as they are legal immigrants of course. The chance to live and work in another country within the EU is reciprical, so there is nothing stopping you going to live in Bulgaria or Poland Nellie, I am sure you would be very welcome, especially as you are so frugal. We are all human beings and as long as we are legal and pay our way, what is wrong with that?

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    1. Exactly, Quilting Cat - there's an old Scots saying - "We're a' Jock Tamson's bairns" which can mean we are all the same under the skin. I'm not being sentimental about immigration as I work in local government and I see at first hand the problems that do arise. But I'm glad that my next door neighbours (who are originally from Mauritius) are here, as they are such lovely folk, and my family doctor (Indian/Scots) also a great chap.

      Lesley H in Livingston

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    2. QC I agree with you. There is nothing wrong with people moving to a different country if they have a job to go to, or a pension, and are able to pay their way.

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  8. Anyone sticking up for the poor immigrants should spend a couple of weeks in a northern mill town in amongst the leaque of nations. It is multi cultural Britain in action. They don't seem very poor to me with their latest i-phones etc. Somehow though i'm not sure that they arrived with suitcases full of money, nor were they forced here to the land of milk and honey.

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  9. Ilona,I am so so upset about your today's post. I myself am immigrant, so please excuse my English. I am still struggeling with English grammar, but believe me, I do my best to improve my language. I came to England 5 years ago, there were a lot of jobs around, no problem at all, within 3 weeks me and my husband had a job. In fact, my boss came to me and ask me, if I could bring more people from my country to his place, because of work ethic..etc. We had jobs English people did not want to do at this time...and since then I have been promoted twice. I do my job best I can, take any overtimes which are available, pay taxes, I spend my money in English shops, go to English restaurants. Dear Ilona, I do not claim any benefits, do not live in the council house. I live in a rented property, so guess what, English landlord has got profit. I came here to work and I believe, you would do the same if you had no job, but you can not imagine how it feels to be on the other side. I am constantantly subject of abuse because I was not here. I absolutely love England , its history, countryside, people. I have contributed to English economy

    ... shall I now leave, because I am an immigrant?

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    1. Annon, I don't know why you are upset, I said nothing about people leaving. I'm sorry that you took it as a personal attack.

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  10. Governments (of any flavour) love immigration. These people have cost nothing to educate, they pay more in taxes than they take in benefits (as a group) and they usually leave before they claim a pension. If you haven't retired yet then immigration might well be what pays for your pension as our ponzi scheme requires an ever increasing younger population to support the old. However the downside is that wages are depressed as there are more workers than jobs (Governments don't really mind this either because it means the workforce remains flexible and unwilling to ask for higher wages and so both wage inflation and employment rights are curbed) and resources are stretched. What we need is an honest debate about immigration rather than mealy mouthed Government using it as a campaign stick in opposition and then encouraging it once in power. Our current economic model relies on growth which means we rely on immigration. Rather than complain about immigration, I'd rather see a post acknowledging that there are both pros and cons to immigration and being a bit more honest about what life would mean with no immigration - less money for state benefits (including universal ones)v possible full employment would be a good start for example. Sou

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  11. Anonymous at 18.47, if you are in my country ( the Netherlands) i would not have a problem with you. I mostly have a problem with those who came and do nothing and expect the government pick up the bill for their luxury life. In my street there are many Morocan families. Usually the older people are polite enough to me. It's the second, third and fourth generation that are the problem. They think they own the place. Their children can be a real nusance at times, play in the road, with sometimes cars speeding, leave their bikes on an already narrow pavement, so I have to walk on the road. If you even dare think about complaning about it they all give you a big mouth. It seems their children can do no wrong. They are not raised properly and can get away with murder. They also lie. They can kick you to kingdom come,a nd if you complain to the parents they just deny it. And the parents believe them, no matter what.

    With those people, yes, I do have a problem.

    People who want to work and adapt to our way of living and pay taxes, fine. Adapt doesn't mean giving up your own culture. But please have respect to ours. Don't atempt to convert us, respect our women and our ways of live. Do not feel superiour becaus of your religion. Every person has his and her right to live the live that is best for him/ her.

    End of rant ( for now).

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    1. Our country is filling up to fast with people that we don't need.

      If you want to come to our country then live the life we do. Do try and change the way we are, that's what makes us who we are.

      I am fed up of people coming to The UK, taking from our system with out putting anything in it. I am so sick of flogging myself to death to keep my family afloat. While people appear to be given anything they need for free.

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    2. One of the easiest thing for a Govt to do is have the electorate at each others throats, rich v poor, workers v unemployed, indigenous v immigrants. This means we spend so much time moaning about each other that we don't look to see what's going on in Parliament. The entitlements of an immigrant is not as great as most people think. If you are not from the EU or a refugee then you don't come in without earning enough points or marrying a British National. Once you are in then you don't get any recourse to the public purse until you have indefinite leave to remain and often you can't get a job under most visas apart from marriage. Even though you have no recourse to the public purse (ie benefits), any income is still taxed as normal so you certainly put into the public purse. Divide and rule - that's the prime policy of our (not so) honourable members. Sou

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  12. I agree with Ilona, this country is full. We are one of the most densely populated countries in the world. France for example has the same population and is almost twice the size as the uk. Water shortages almost every summer are an indication of how we are putting our land under strain. I have no problem with immigration, its the amount and the rate we are struggling to absorb. Problems abound, from lack of opportunities for the young, to the lack of integration due to massive unprecedented influx.

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  13. Oooh! What an interesting point of view Sarina.
    So when would you shut the door to incomers? An hour after you arrived, two days, a week or ten years? Doesn't really matter does it because you are fine so all is well.

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    1. Oooh! That's a nasty comment, Anon. I will answer that question. Those who arrived yesterday are in, those who arrive tomorrow will find the door firmly bolted shut and the drawbridge pulled up.

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    2. Personally I fancy closing The Channel Tunnel and building a very high wall all around this island I love.

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  14. Hi Nellie/Ilona. I think you are going to get a lot of different views on this one, and a lot of visits. I've tried to comment 3 times, and the wifi failed on me, and probably just as well, because I think this is an issue you can comment on all too quickly.

    Firstly, I'm replying to both your personas as you wrote as one but seem to be replying as the other or both. So I think Nellie has been invoked to put across a point of view you have, but it's really Ilona's. If so, I'm a bit disappointed because I love reading your walking posts and you seem really nice, and I'm sure you really are, but the 'we're full' rhetoric is so often indicative of intolerance. I would hope that wasn't true of you, but these are the things you said that worried me:

    "We have no jobs, we have nowhere for them to live..."

    "We give shed loads of money to people, virtually as they walk off the boat, or get out of the back of the lorry that they just travelled half way across Europe in."

    "We can't get a doctors appointment for weeks, have to wait months to get a hospital bed. And why is all this happening? Because we are full up."

    This would seem to indicate a point of view that people who live here but weren't born here are consuming the things that Nellie feels she is more entitled to (jobs, hopsital beds...). You don't say you fear losing these entitlements, you say they are *gone*, and you are also disparaging about how people may or may not have come to live here and how they come by, what effectively, isn't theirs according to Nellie. So when Nellie/Ilona says "There is nothing wrong with people moving to a different country if they have a job to go to, or a pension, and are able to pay their way", there's a bit of a logic fail.

    Either people are coming here and taking our jobs, or they are coming here and DOING their jobs, and good on them. Which is it?

    I'm lucky to be British by birth (well, I think so), but some of my family are migrant citizens and so I tend to think that there's no us and them. This is my family you're talking about.

    Okay, so global population is increasing and you're concerned about resources, but you say the government is just letting people in and not doing anything about border control. This just isn't true. Here are the latest stats which show the decrease in net migration recently: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migration1/migration-statistics-quarterly-report/may-2013/index.html and of course, a few years before the higher net migration, we were actually in credit, with more people migrating abroad than coming here. Where we are seeing population increase of non-UK nationals is in the birthrate, but only since 2004, and not only are those kids are not claiming benefits, but they are going to help support the ageing population. Which I'm happy about, because they currently have me down to retire no earlier than 68 years, 3 months (I was born in low birth rate times, too), and this will probably increase to 70. But hopefully not 75, now.

    I agree with Sou that resources are threatened because the cradle to grave idea was indeed a ponzi scheme. We realised that 40 years ago, though, didn't we?

    This is another threat to NHS resources: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/08August/Pages/half-of-uk-predicted-to-be-obese-by-2030.aspx

    Very complex issue, I'm sure you'll agree.

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    1. well said Donna. Ilona's blog is my first stop every day, but I am disappointed today. I am trying to work out just how serious Ilona is in this post, or is she using Nellie to be controversial. So much misinformation in the post and in many of the replies.

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    2. "I agree with Sou that resources are threatened because the cradle to grave idea was indeed a ponzi scheme. We realised that 40 years ago, though, didn't we?" Thanks Donna, I think some of us did but short term gain is always voted for over long term investment. We might not be in this situation if all the public sell offs and oil money had been invested into the public's pension fund or at least gone into paying down the national debt. Alas we prefered to spend it now, so now it's gone, along with options for exploring a different kind of economy. Sou

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  15. Impressive Donna and beautifully informed. No Ilona it was not a nasty comment. I find it extraordinary that someone who has settled here as an "outsider" cannot empathise with those who find themselves in the same position. Won't be reading again (bet you are thrilled) so , as know it all Nellie would say, toodlepip!

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  16. Ohhhh Nellie/Ilona! I think you have put your foot in it this time. I had nothing to do whilst waiting for my eye appointment at the local hospital this week and so began to think about the high proportion of NHS doctors and nurses who have come from other countries to work here. If they weren't here the NHS would surely collapse. The same is true of our transport system. My husband would not be alive today if it hadn't been for an Indian doctor who put right the mistake of a young English house doctor. My own open heart surgery was performed by a caring and highly skilled Pakistani heart specialist and believe me, I wouldn't have cared if he had come from outer space. I agree that both the immigration laws and our benefits system need a thorough overhaul. We have a right to free speech in this country but we still need to be careful and to respect the feelings of others.
    I normally enjoy reading your followers' comments but they worried me today.

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    1. Working within The NHS, I can assure you that there are enough newly qualified doctors and nurses that can't get a job. Why import what we don't really need?

      There again their is a shortage of skilled hand car washers and pickpockets. No I am not being racist just truthful.

      You really do need to live in areas that have high immigrant levels to understand some of the problems. I mean how often do you go into shops where the staff/owner can't/don't speak English??

      Not often I don't suppose.

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    2. I agree about the nursing jobs ... It's nigh on impossible for someone like myself to get back into nursing. I would love to do a return to nursing course, but it's nigh on impossible, not just I my areas, but others.

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  17. If you look at the statistics the government issues, we have a chronic housing shortage, high unemployment, integration does not really happen between cultures, etc. etc. We can all see the problems but what can we do about it? We have no voice that can be heard because our 'elected' MPs sit in an ivory tower and do not want to hear what we are saying. So much for devolution of power to local authorities. I pay into the system and am frustrated that I cannot even see my MP (he's on paternity leave!!).

    We are seen as the most ethnic tolerant country in the world, is that true? I think if you come here and you work, you pay into our system then you are entitled to use the facilities. What about British nationals who don't work, and just take from the system? This is a subject with no end and lots of variables! Bring back Citizen Smith.....'Power to the People'!!

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  18. Nancy from Northern California ~
    Coming from a country full of immigrants (USA) and especially here in California, I understand totally how Ilona feels. I assume people leave their motherlands for another place in search of a better life which makes sense. And it appears only a few select countries (England, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.) are at the top of their list. And up until recently these countries have been supportive but now they need to consider their natural born citizens first. I am glad I live amongst so many cultures but if this way of life turns into chaos then all of our dreams will come crashing to a halt. Three or four countries in this world of 100s can not help every immigrant forever which I think is what Ilona is saying and I am in agreement with. Thanks for bringing up a touchy subject, Ilona.

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    1. Nancy, you read my post exactly how it was meant to be read. It was nothing to do with religion, or the fact that we encouraged immigration after the war, or about shipping people out who are already here, or the doctors who look after us. Like you, I don't mind living amongst different cultures, but if we continue to accept everyone who wants to come here where will they go, where will they work, how will they be able to earn a living? My post was based on pure economics. We can't offer refuge for the whole world, it just isn't sustainable.

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  19. Well bless my soul i'm all shook up, Nellie and Elvis hanging out together. You never see them in the same room and my suspicious mind thinks they might be the same person-Nellvis keep your Aaron Knowitsley. They stay in the pet friendly Heartbreak hotel on the end of Lonely st. where you can take your hound-dog and american trill-ogy bird seed for budgies.

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  20. I totally and 100% agree with everything in your post. Fact - we are an island, we can't expand our borders, we have a finite amount of space. It's not just a case of letting in 100,000 people - the government forgets that people have children and so the next year those 100,000 could become 200,000! We just do not have the means anymore to support such an increase in population, plus people are living longer too. It's nothing to do with where the immigrants are from or who they are, it's purely down to resources.

    I wish the government could understand this.

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  21. Brilliant post!!! Well written. Totally agree with you Nellie xx

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  22. Hi Nellie/Ilona,

    I think we need to consider that we are in a recession and are constantly told by the Government about the need to cut back. Of course there aren't any jobs and our economy is struggling. This is a global recession and I cannot blame anyone for seeking a better life. How brave to move to another country and try to start again. My gripe is our benefit system - and I am sure there are experts in the field out there. Does any EU citizen coming to our country have the full entitlement to benefits? I understand Universal Credit is being introduced, but as it stands, housing benefit, jsa, etc. The benefits system fails where you pay in all your life and can only get the contributary element, eg where your partner is working full time. Detracting a little here, but my that was all my partner could get after 23 full time work and contributions. I am aiming this at all, British people included. I do agree that we are only a small island and are creaking a bit now.

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  23. Hi Nellie/Ilona,

    I'm sorry to say this post has disappointed me. I feel like you are using all the easy scape goats i.e. the government and immigrants and not apportioning blame to others in society. I think some responsibility needs to be taken by us as individuals and our community, we have changed our morals and closed up our minds making incorrect judgments on things we dont know and our culture is all about blame, blaming others seems like the norm.

    I dont agree with what the government has done, I think they have made mistakes with their decisions. Though they have a very hard job of trying to do whats best for the country. You should vote them out if you dont like the government. Do something about it!

    Not all immigrants feel entitled from the government or society, some are in fact grateful for the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their family. If we are generalising here, I find non UK people have a much better work ethic than the Brits. I find some Brits feel entitled without putting the hard yards in. That said, I know some very hard working Brits. There are always lazy people as well as hardworking people in all walks of life, at work, in the government etc

    I read your blog heaps but now it's made me think twice knowing the way you feel and I dont want to reading something that upsets me. It was fun reading your blog over the past few years.

    Thanks and Farewell

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    1. Nellie/ Ilona - there is a point on this post I agree with...have you ever considered standing for election? A member, parish councillor, etc? People should stand up for what they believe in.

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    2. I went to a Parish Council meeting once because I was applying for the job as secretary. I nearly fell asleep it was that long winded and boring. Discussion after discussion, and it takes ages to get anything done. I am more of a, 'let's get on with it' sort of person. I don't have the patience.

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    3. That post did make me smile! Pity you couldn't 'gee' them up a bit to making decisions and doing something. You do such a lot of work to the benefit of the community, all the litter picking, for example, and lots more besides and have straight forward views. (Vote Ilona, I say! :))

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  24. Brilliant post - let immigrants come into the country but do not pay them any pensions/ benefits/ social housing and no nhs help until they've paid into the system for a set period of say 10 years - no N.I. payments/income tax payments = no benefits or health care and if they don't like it then they can always return to their homeland whenever they like

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    1. Great point

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    2. I totally agree with this post. I worked for DWP for years and people were coming in claiming benefits and complaining it was not enough! They also complained about how long they had to wait for benefits to kick in.

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    3. BRILLIANT !!!

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  25. Its the capitalist system and greed that causes the trouble. We are all a bit smug about the value of our houses but how could anyone afford to get by on minimum wage? Benefits pay more than work does so why work?
    We have a census every 10yrs which is used to plan for infrastructure etc but has become useless because of the large influx of immigrants.
    And there must be something really special about the UK if people are coming right across europe and over a stretch of water to get here, benefits probably.

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  26. Over 63 MILLION people in the UK. Over 65 million in France - but it is more than twice the size of the UK. The facts speak for themselves - too crowded however the population arrived.
    (population figures from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population)

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    1. HOLY SCHNIKES 63 million people??!!!!!! WOW. Canada is the 2nd largest country on the planet and we only have 34 million people. Guess the snow really keeps people away.

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  27. The point of the 2001 census is to plan for the next few years but we suddenly became over-run with poles which put a strain on resources. My lorry driving work was affected by both the economic migrants and the credit crunch. I also have future plans and needs but it felt like the rug was suddenly pulled from under me resulting in a drop in income. I don't begrudge people coming to work here but it upsets peoples financial affairs. The recession has lasted 5yrs up to now and people are only keeping their houses because the interest rate is low. Along with working our socks off and barely staying afloat how many think driven down low wages are a good thing. Charity begins at home.

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  28. There are two distinct issues here: individual immigrants and immigration policy. Think I am correct in assuming (correct me if I am wrong) that Nellie/Ilona is against the current immigration policy and NOT individual immigrants in themselves, as people. If people can legally settle in a country that offers them and their families a better standard of living, then who can blame them for doing so?

    At risk of opening up another (even bigger, ha ha) can of worms, it surprises me that Nellie/Ilona can be so opposed to overcrowding in the UK and the resultant lack of resources for each individual citizen, and yet choose to live alone in a house that would quite easily be sufficient for a family of three or four. This is not a personal attack, but I would be intrigued to hear your reasoning re your accommodation when there is such a UK-wide shortage of housing, Ilona. I in no way wish to offend you, but trust that if you believe in free speech, you can take it as well as dish it out. Would love to hear yours and Nellie's take on this issue, Ilona.

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    1. Ilona has bought her house and is not in social housing, therefore noone has the right to judge on the size of her house. As for social housing and the current 'bedroom tax', surely more 1 and 2 bed properties need to be built to meet the needs?

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    2. So you think that every home should be packed to the rafters just to house everyone that wants to come here, is that what we should be working for? If living space is the issue then there's plenty of it in Eastern Europe, they're not coming here to share our houses.
      But imagine you invite as many people as can fit to live in your house, you don't ask anything of them, they can contribute if they want but if they choose not to then you're fine with that, how long will you be able to support them all?
      How would you cope?

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    3. Correct. I chose to buy a three bedroom house. If I was very rich I would buy a mansion. If I wanted to downsize I would sell this house to whoever wanted to buy it. It wouldn't make any difference to those people who are waiting for social housing.

      I don't know what the current immigration policy is. It seems to me that our borders are open for anyone to walk in. All I'm saying is we are full. I don't blame anyone for trying to better themselves, as long as they are prepared to work. Trouble is that there aren't the opportunities any more, there isn't enough work.

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    4. I was not judging Ilona on the size of her house. I was pointing out that arguing that there aren't enough resources to go round in the UK is somewhat at odds with living in a property that is larger than you really need. Whether the property is rented from the council, a private landlord, a housing association, is mortgaged or is owned outright is totally irrelevant to the point I was making. If people have strong views and choose to express them publically, then they shouldn't really be surprised if others question those views and ask related, sometimes challenging, questions. I made it perfectly clear in my original post that I did not wish to cause offence, but merely wanted Ilona's 'take' on this important and, in my opinion related, issue.

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    5. We are cross posting here. I have no qualms about living in a three bed house, why should I? I worked, I paid for it. It is called freedom of choice. I can't be held responsible for people who have large families and not enough bedrooms.

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    6. Fair enough if that is how you feel, Ilona. I appreciate it that you are willing to give me an honest answer to the point that I was making, so thank you for that. We will have to agree to differ over the issue itself, as I don't believe it's about what someone can afford to buy, but about treading lightly on the planet, and only using the resources we need to. I was in no way holding you responsible for people who have large families, just pointing out that you could easily live in a smaller place, so freeing up badly needed accommodation for others to buy with their own hard-earned dosh.

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    7. An individual who has worked all her life obviously has the right to live in a house of her choosing. The issue that is under discussion (and in my opinion Anonymous you are not causing offence, it is a healthy and thought provoking debate) is far larger and wider impacting than the amount of bedrooms one has! I don't think agree that the issue that you have raised is relevant or proportionate to Ilona's original post and let's not get distracted from the point of topic here.
      Can we consider Austrailia's immigration policy? And look at the size of that country. More than anyone I cannot stand poverty, want to 'save the world', want equality, embrace diversity and cultures, love ambitions and dreams, but we are such a small island. Get your atlas out. How can we cope? There are better ways to address these issues, partnerships with other countries, etc, etc.

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    8. Sorry, Ilona, for going on! A shortage of housing may be down to: not enough new builds, not enough social housing being built and empty, unused properties standing idle. Look at the regeneration schemes that local authorities are implementing nationwide. Perhaps the issue is simply when we joined the EU the amount of people wanting to move was grossly underestimated by the Government. By extending the rights and EU membership, of course more people want to come. Compared to other countries we are tiny and suffering the effects of the global recession. Look at the amount of foreign aid we give. I would like to think we are a tolerant, compassionate nation. However, without really wishing to get politics involved here, look at the success of UKIP during the last election.Who knows their mandate apart from one issue? People are generally getting fed up.

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  29. You have earned everything you own, a pity more people can't get that mentality.

    I have also worked hard to own everything I own. I do not expect other people to pay for my one child that I can afford. Why should I subsidise other peoples life style choices. i.e. not to work, produce a baby every year or so and get everything including cash for free.

    If you don't want to work but still have children by the dozen why should I pay for it?
    I've paid into a pension fund so why shouldn't I benefit from it?

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  30. In this recession we need to strengten our economy, get the great back into Britain and then be in a position to help the rest of the world? The growth rate of India's economy is faster than our own at the moment. We have no jobs or the majority of ones we have are minimum wage, yet bills are going up, utilities, food, etc. Young people get degrees and have large student loans hanging round their necks for large parts of their lives with no jobs to go to. For a few benefits are more profitable than workng, for some it is not enough to survive. People can't afford to buy houses and are forced into privately rented. Other home owners daren't move due to fear of redundancy.People can't afford or are to afraid to spend. Invest in businesses, get some growth, stimulate the ecomony, get people working from the existing population we have. Train/ retrain people if there are a shortage of skills but do not let the benefit system creak even more or use the larger population as an excuse to push wages even lower. If people pay in they want some recompense, of course and why should they not?

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  31. In response to comment:Anonymous @ 21.38 and comment regarding a light footprint on the world. The blogger talks constantly about frugal living, leading a full life on a limited budget, reduced food, making art from abandoned objects, recycling, caring for animals, litter picking, living a healthy life and is an inspiration that many should take heed from. She talks of hard work through her life and being self sufficient in the world. Not quite sure how a lighter footed approach could be had.

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    1. Which is EXACTLY why I was questioning Ilona's take on owning such a spacious (for a single occupant)property, given her otherwise admirable attitude towards frugality & using the minimum resources necessary. I was INTERESTED on her take on this area of her life, and she has politely replied with her view.

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  32. I agree entirely with Ilona/Nellie.

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  33. [Original 'can of worms' poster]Perhaps I didn't make myself clear in earlier posts, but I was asking Ilona WHY she CHOSE to live in a house that was larger than she really needed, when she (in my opinion,correctly) perceives the UK as extremely overcrowded and under-resourced. I wasn't asking her to GIVE HER HOUSE AWAY or share it with other people who don't contribute to its running! I wasn't questioning her LEGAL RIGHT to own any sized house she can afford & chooses! I was asking her WHY, MORALLY she chooses such relatively spacious accommodation in the light of her other frugal ways and her views on the lack of resources in the UK. For the record, I agree with Ilona that the present immigration policy is far too lenient, and was in no way advocating a 'free for all' of new immigrants taking over our present housing stock or moving in with her like sardines! My question is still relevant even if we were to 'pull up the drawbridge' today. Although it's LEGALLY OK, I am NOT of the opinion that it's MORALLY OK to buy anything one can afford, even given that one has worked for one's money; ethics should still come into one's buying decisions - If a wealthy tycoon was able to afford to buy all the food available in the UK in a single week with money he had earned, it clearly wouldn't be morally right of him to do so, as he would be depriving others! I was asking for Ilona's moral take on it, and she has politely replied that she thinks she has a right to buy any sized house she chooses with money she has earned. I respect her differing opinion, but thank her for replying, as I was intrigued to know where she stood on this issue. [For the record, my capitalized words above are a substitute for italics, and not shouting!]

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  34. Please can I ask your opinion on the 'appropriate' house size for a single/ divorced/ widowed person? You are stating three bedrooms is unacceptable. Would you say one or two and how about overall floor space to the property? Where are all the one and two bed properties?Presumably you would allocate more if someone met a partner and had children, etc. What about when the children left home? Presumably you would want them to downsize immediately? I still say that someone who has worked and contributed all their life has the right to live in a 'reasonably' sized house of their choosing. I am in agreement if you are talking multi-millionaires with numerous properties. A three bedroomed property for this blogger, in my opinion, is not unreasonable and entirely her choice.

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    1. I think house size is a matter of personal conscience,if self-financed, but don't think a single person occupying a three bedroom property is morally in line with Ilona's otherwise frugal lifestyle and beliefs, which is why I asked her the original question. One person occupying a property that has two spare bedrooms whilst publicly complaining about lack of resources in the UK is somewhat surprising to me. Ilona has stated (post on 23/7 at 20:11) 'If I was very rich I would buy a mansion', so clearly thinks house size choice in the UK doesn't need to be morally justified, as long as one can afford to finance it, a view which I acknowledge she is perfectly free to hold, but which I personally disagree with, & which I find to be at odds with her otherwise highly frugal and ethical lifestyle. I wasn't supporting the 'bedroom tax' or advocating allocating housing space by the square metre; I was just intrigued to know Ilona's personal moral take on this interesting issue, which she has now given me.

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  35. This country is a socialist and capitalist society with freedom of choice for those that can afford it. Meanqueen seems to hold those values and lives frugally in some ways so that she can afford the perhaps luxuries. Her being an ex lorry driver, i'm sure she has had many a 3am start on a winters morning, scraping ice of her truck to help to get the goods into the shops that we expect to be there when we all wake up and go for our bread and milk. In my book she should be able to treat herself.
    Some of the posters seem to want communism.
    Dave.

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  36. Well said, Dave and completely in agreement.

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  37. I had a neighbour who immigrated here(Canada) from Scotland. She told me that new immigrants are given a class in which they learn basically how to beat the system and rip off taxpayers. It made me sick. That being said, not everyone is dishonest. I would hope anyone suffering persecution in other countries had an opportunity to move to a democratic nation.

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