The Despair of Unemployment


At the time I didn’t even own a suit

Like many another I am a confident person when I have a pound in my pocket and a miserable wreck when my pockets are empty, such is life in a capitalist system where the rich get richer and the rest reduced to passive consumers or welfare ‘scroungers’.

Use you imagine

For freelance ‘creatives’, as bureaucrats are wont to categorise those of an artistic bent,  unemployment is a constant stalker. I am used to hearing his footsteps, though I should add that when not commissioned by anybody to write anything, that is, unemployed, I am not without work.

Unemployed but creative presupposes having the ability to create tasks that keep mind and body together, and by imagination, innovation and industry achieve income no matter how meagre.

And so when push came to shove I made good: designing a garden for a friend, an Edo period Japanese garden replete with thatched Tea House, moon window and red footbridge over a stream. I was very proud of it. It appeared in a full page newspaper advert months later. “If your garden is this good get it insured!” ran the legend. I emptied gardens of unwanted weeds and concrete into skips in monsoon rain, carrying bags of gunge carefully through well kept house halls that had no back gate, and enjoyed the physical activity. Now and then I noticed women who engaged me to ‘clear out the overgrown backyard’ had husbands not pleased to see a healthy male Mediterranean type around their wives when they came home from work. Perhaps I shouldn’t have worn a green one-piece overall unbuttoned to the belly button and nothing underneath.

I moved on. I had writing skills. Could I put them to good use? I wrote formal letters for those in need of a wordsmith, legal letters, pleading letters to council officials, letters complaining to the Gas Board of excessive charges, helped some fill in complicated forms applying for welfare, tasks undertaken in return for a pack of six or a bottle of wine, or literally some food. That’s the most many could afford. They had very little money. Charging fees was out of the question. Hard to believe that in this day an age there exist adults who can barely write. “You were a teacher, an’ that’, you ken better how tae do this”, they would say. Some were in the throes of terminal poverty.

Being a factotum kept the wolf from the door and self-esteem reasonably intact. When people ask for your help, you are somebody again, not a statistic.

Cars as life’s distraction

A love of well-designed cars – a hobby interest – and the ability to write about them with some degree of satire brought me to the notice of magazine editors and regular fees as an automobile journalist, followed by franchised columns in USA car magazines.

But on reaching middle-age, the time we should be comfortable enough to become expansive in interests and in community spirit, I was hit by a two-year spell of no work offered at all. Magazines wanted young, trendy, arrogant writers. Life ground to a halt. It was an extremely low time.

I lost my home. And everything in it.

In one desperate evening a long, distraught call to the Samaritans at 4am resulted in a £40 telephone bill. And I was stony broke at the time. Double jeopardy. You feel events are conspiring to ensure you don’t rise again. The elderly voice at the other end was very sympathetic. No matter what I said that was negative, despairing, he commiserated, he understood my predicament and plight. “Oh, I can see how that must have felt hopeless.”

How narrow the gap between success and disaster

There are two anecdotes I can relate that are emblematic of how survival can hang by a thread, or become an excruciating humiliation.

After some weeks collecting my fortnightly unemployment cheque I was offered an interview for a lowly temporary job, the kind that requires no mental ability, just stacking shelves. I had £1.50 to my name, just enough to cover the bus fare to reach the interview. As I tied my shoes one lace snapped. It was too short to knot. New laces cost £2.10. I was 60p short of a pair of new laces, a tiny amount between hope and disaster.

I remember sitting on the outside doorstep immobilised by self-pity, mortified, humbled. How could such a trivial, insignificant incident take on the mantle of a full-blown crisis so easily? Gripping the loose shoes with my toes I reached the interview, laceless shoe hidden as best as I could manage.

I didn’t get the job, considered ‘overqualified’. The store interviewer looked perplexed when he read my curriculum vitae. “You should be store manager”, he said. No, I thought, store owner. I’d have all long-term employees profit shareholders.

A kind of wilderness

The second incident involved a visit to the Job Centre, (a misnomer of a title if ever there was one) to sign and collect that life-sustaining unemployment cheque. On that occasion I did not have the bus fare at all. My pockets were empty, not as much as a dead moth.

I walked seven miles to the office and unsurprisingly arrived late for interview. You are sanctioned for lateness like a recalcitrant schoolboy. Regular interviews were a new thing back in the day implemented to determine you had evidence of looking for work, still breathing, still alive, not lying in bed or working abroad. Job Centre staff often half your age scolded you for being a bad boy. I doubt that has changed.

My time in the wilderness coincided with Westminster’s sea change of attitude to the unemployed. One day we were people made unemployed by the decisions of others, citizens receiving state aid from funds we had paid for in our taxes. Overnight we became a burden on the state, malingering work shy.

As I stood looking for the booth I should sit at the official in it spotted me, checked his watched, and bellowed across the space between us, “You’re late! What’s your excuse?!”

By a combination of theatrical speech training in voice projection and an inbred Sicilian reaction to indignities, I roared back, “Lower your voice! I am not a child!”

The official was startled, shuffled the papers on his desk nervously, face scarlet with embarrassment, locally known as ‘a big riddy’ or a ‘beamer,’ and asked me politely to take a seat. Then, as if to apologise, he looked up from his notes.

“Hey! Aren’t you the guy who made that film that was in the papers? You shouldn’t be here.” And as an apology for his error of character judgment added, “What are you doing signing on?”

I wasn’t sure what was worse, getting bollocked in public or thoroughly patronised.

Killing time

A few weeks later I stopped signing on. It was too painful. I have my pride. We all have.

You stand in the line of shame wondering if the elderly guy in front will ever recover from redundancy. You take a sly glance at the young woman behind, and wonder if her role in life will be a perpetual shop assistant not her dream of a vet’s practice. Perhaps she will succumb to the advances of an opportunistic bounder, his affection a con.

You look at that line of damp clothed bedraggled humanity and see dead people walking. You’re powerless, sandwiched between life’s vitality and life’s worst lottery. You feel a failure. Worthless. Your health suffers. You’re prone to prolonged bouts of depression. You can’t think straight.

I decided those living on the streets could do with the money more than me. My health was good, constitution strong. In any event, a friend offered a room till times improved.

The bastards and the pariahs

The unreconstructed Thatcherite administration currently in London manages to taint those without work and hope as unfit for sympathy. May has no plans to lift the stigma of being jobless.

The unemployed, the ill, the vulnerable, the poor, are dubbed pariahs.

The traditional ladder of individual improvement has been pulled up and away from the masses. The new generation of youth pay for a basic education, have few jobs on offer, and homes so expensive renting or living with parents the only choice. Who would want to live in a nation bereft of empathy?

Labour betrayed the poor and the unemployed

Without a shred of shame the Labour party under Tony Blair threw off its constitutional concern for the poor and equality to chase the Tory dream, middle-class Nirvana, a house, a car, private health care, a holiday a year and two kids.

Eventually that became two cars plus a holiday home, plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements, and a load of stuff  with nowhere to store it except in the garage.

No one needs a load of stuff to lead a happy life.

Austerity increases recession

The European Commission released a report on expectations for next year. It forecasts low growth and increasing unemployment. Unemployment is destroying a generation, no trivial matter.

The House of Gothic Horrors aims to undermine and unravel the Welfare state. Our elected representatives turn a blind eye to the consequences, the impoverishment of Scotland, the rise of fascism, neo-Nazi groups and sentiments arising across Europe and in their own backyard. Jews and refugees are denounced as part of the problem. The seeds of fascism lie dormant awaiting only water and nourishment.

But the politicians still plead for our vote.

Now we have food banks – a sign, according to one Tory politician, “we are a caring society”. The harm being done to individuals is incalculable.

Our imperial masters follow this path at their peril.

There are riots against unemployment and cuts in London’s streets again as I write…..

May all those without hope find it soon.



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30 Responses to The Despair of Unemployment

  1. hektorsmum says:

    I am glad you survived GB, life would be dull without you, but so many do not and it is a disgrace that we have seemingly lost our humanity.

    I have been fortunate in my life that apart from a month in which I signed on merely to keep my insurance stamp paid I have never been unemployed but we as in my Husband and I well we have had our hard times. At one time in the nineties we could not have rustled up enough money to buy a cup of coffee between us. I was surviving on my husbands ability to find five pence pieces people dropped at bus stops to get me to college courses my work sent me on, I would have been walking quite a distance otherwise. I had my Mum finding me clothes in Charity shops because I had no money for them.

    I never thought to see the day when people became so self absorbed in their own wee world they could ignore others misery, but I have hope that the Scottish People, who are some of the most generous in the World are beginning to see the light. We hate foodbanks, people having to beg on the streets ( my own pet hate), I foolishly thought when Labour got in 1997 that this would be a thing of the past, how stupid was that and for that alone they deserved the punishment they got.

    In fact they had a wee rally on the streets in Dunfermline one Saturday and I pointed out to the wee girl who stopped me why they were not popular. There was a young woman and Staffie sitting in the corner by Primark, she sat there most days. I said look there, that was your responsibility and you did nothing, and that is one of the many reasons nobody likes you.

  2. donald says:

    I hear everything your saying in this essay and its fortunate that I was well trained in the art of self sufficiency at an early age. The neo con corporate agenda frightens me, really it does. I bailed on Thatchers Britain a Long time ago. It never got over the scars she left. Greed was normalized and became respectable. I have experienced bouts of unemployment and it’s brutally demeaning. When I left home I had to cycle hundreds of miles before I got my first job.

    So much of a man’s self esteem is invested in his trade. I have seen good men destroyed by long term unemployment. Its heart breaking to watch. It destroys families too. That’s the hardest part, seeing the kids suffer.

    But for me the most devastating thing emotionally has been the realization that its not enough to have creative talent and work hard to get recognized. You have to sell your soul to these people who pull the strings. I will never forget the day my business partner suggested joining the masons in order to advance the business. I politely but firmly refused. I knew that was the end right there. Despite all the work I had built up and energy/money invested. The game is rigged, the house is everywhere in control of who gets ahead and who gets left behind.

    I could say a lot more but its not very pleasant. I don’t know how they live with themselves with all that eye’s wide shut sick stuff they do.

    These people have no conscience. No decency. They make it their business to know your business and they really do hover like vultures waiting for you to slip up so they can feast on the carcass of all your effort.

    I saw down and outs a lot when I was at college in the east end of London. I was skint most of the time too. Lived in squats quite a lot. But what they endured I could not. I worked my way through college somehow. Managed to get laboring jobs, mostly cash in hand. Learned a lot of valuable skills doing that.

    Its a battle ground . My father was a victim of Thatchers Britain . Never forgave the bitch and surely she is the most hated woman in British History Now. I hate that middle class self righteous crap she used to peddle. “You know people talk about high unemployment all the time but I cant find anyone to fix my garden fence”.

    Here in Oz Abbott is dismantling everything that made this country a relatively fair place to live . Corporate capture is proceeding at a pace. Its carpet bagging pure and simple. Its Global now. There is almost nowhere left you can escape these bastards .

    People need to wake up while there is still time to turn this madness around. They steal everything. Your money, your home, your relationships, your self esteem, your sanity, your love for life itself if your not very careful to guard it.

    What keeps me sane is slowly making our country block more self sufficient. Growing more of our own food, keeping our dependance to a minimum. Its a lot to do now that greed has wrecked community spirit and turned everyone in to a social climber. So little loving kindness, so much vanity.

  3. mary docherty says:

    Ah, the shoelace moment of poverty that grinds the spirit… Thanks for you’re writing.

  4. Wee Jonny says:

    Oof, another stomper GB.

    These bastards are aided and abetted by our wonderful media and “normal” people suck it up, believing the “Greed Is Good/ Loads a Money” bullpish.

    I see it everyday with people (mostly over 50’s) who are earning the minimum wage yet still say they believe the Tories are the best party to run the YooKay. And they see themselves as Tories.
    I mean come on to fuck, how can yi!!!

    I’ve said it many times over the last couple o years on different sites and blogs that to speak to these people, and they are just normal working class people, who voted no then vote for the Tories when they have more in common with the windee cleenir than they do with their political masters is fuckin crazy.

    But they’re obsession with class won’t let them think rationally. They hear Davie, Boris and Doad talk the way they do and think that if you want to be taken seriously then one has to talk like them.

    The cringe is still alive and well in Bonny Scotland.

    With Mhairi Black and oor new team the future for Scotland is in safe hands and one day we’ll look back and say to the young anes “Some fuwk wir imbarrassed to speak their native Dundonian, Aberdonian or just sound Scottish back in 2015 but see them, they showed what real class wiz and it wiznay how yi spoke but how yi treat people.”

    Cringe? no for much langir.

  5. donald says:

    So true Jonny. The Tories have always traded on people’s desire to rise through the ranks but its a lie. You dont get to rise through their ranks unless your comfortable with kiddy fiddling , isnt that right Jimmy Saville ?
    Common decency is treating others how you would wish to be treated . That’s true respect . Its the same everywhere really . People forget whats important and see a prize at the top of a greasy pole. Then they spend their whole lives sliding up and down on something that just leaves them looking stupid.

  6. jdman says:

    I believe you
    you have my sincerest apologies for doubting you.

  7. jdman says:

    When Thatcher was first in power in the early eighties I lost my job with three kids to look after we were dependent on the food that was being distributed at the time from the “common market food mountain”

    I really cannot imagine what we would have done without it but the self reliance and invention it spurred in my wife and myself created a steel forged in the fires of adversity which is as strong now as it was then, I was in a brass band and the chairman said why don’t you come for an interview with my company (building an oil cracker plant and sea terminal he was a draghtsman) when I began to protest I had no background in the industry and wouldn’t stand a hope in hell of getting in (wages were phenomenal) he shushed me and said “trust me” I went for the interview with renewed conviction since it would seem he believed in me, so I approached the task with vigour, I subsequently failed the interview.

    When I went to band practice that evening he asked me how I got on in the interview, I responded by bemoaning my absolute failure, to which he responded, that’s ok you’ll be starting on Monday. I was puzzled but excited, two days later I received a letter from the company welcoming me on board and I was to report to the security gate on Monday, I spent 2 years in that company making the best money I had ever made on my life, and it was the key to a further career putting raised access floors in computer rooms, again a high paid job (albeit with many hardships).

    That man is dead now, I have no idea what he did (or how he did it) but I and my wife are forever grateful.

  8. Wee Jonny says:

    Ha, you’ve now got me eating my cereal thinking about Jimmy Saville pole dancing😖.

    To tell people that they’re vote for the Tories is a vote to keep the child molesters and child killers in jobs and never face justice and for them to come back with “Yes well what about your Alex Salmond* – he’s no angel” just astonishes me. Because ruining hundreds, if not thousands of kids life’s is on a par with someone claiming £300 for a pair o troosers.

    But they’re Tories so the ken ahin, and they do think they ken ahin coz they’re far more intellectual than a Labour voter or God forbid a Nationalist. So a this stuff aboot Dolphin Square and Elm House was probably no true coz the bairns were trouble makers and just lookin for attention but even if it was true it was years ago. Mental.

    *I love when people say “Your Alex Salmond” because I believe he is a politician for me. A politician who speaks to me and for me. A politician of real integrity. I definitely couldn’t say that aboot DC, EM, NF, GG,……….

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    ‘Eccles’ is always welcome here. 🙂

  10. Yoda says:

    There are problems in our society. But nationalism never lifted a child out of poverty. We need solidarity and strength, not division and separatism. I care for the people of Liverpool as much as the people of Glasgow – let’s build a better country together.

  11. donald says:

    The stories I could tell you about child molesters Jonny. Makes my blood boil . I actually have had one make an offer to me for access to my daughter . That’s how the establishment rolls mate , Shame ,abuse , guilt and fear . Now the truth is coming out and god help the perps when enough victims break cover . There will hardly be anyone left in the commons ,the City or Buggeringham palace.

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    In all my life living in Scotland I have never know such solidarity and community spirit since the Referendum made the population aware of how their political structures, local and national, are organised.

    The people in Liverpool have their own council, and if the UK parliament is to be English-only – they have their own parliament too.

    The better country you talk of – the UK – will be better if Scotland can use its own wealth and skills to improve life in Scotland.

    Had we control of our own seas and oil reserves we might have had enough in the proposed fund to offer financial help to Liverpool. As things stand, we never will.

    So long as it hands what it earns to the UK Treasury and is given an allowance in return so will it struggle.

    I reject outright the false premise that we should all remain poverty stricken together.

  13. donald says:

    Solidarity , the old catch cry of communist commissars ! Yes we all know were that promise leads . Gulags and road gangs where honest people are ground literally in to the dirt for daring to question their ‘glorious leaders’. When George Orwell woke up to the reality of socialism/communism and the cynical capitalists who invented it , he wrote a book called 1984 . If you really think ‘unity’ and big brother will give you justice you need to wake up and realize you are being played for a fool.
    Socialism and capitalism are two sides of the same coin .
    The people of Scotland just want their assets back ,instead of being bled dry by the south. You should do the same . Labour betrayed its constituents long ago.

    Most of the profits of Scotland are being Laundered/off shored through the usual channels the City of London uses . Charities/foundations/research/casinos/art auctions/race courses etc . The tax man takes care of the rest . Doling out massive subsidies to corps while children starve in the streets . The money changers have no loyalty to the UK, England or whoever . Their loyalty is to Power alone. They laugh at you behind closed doors. They mock your culture ,your identity,your values ,your naivety.
    They congratulate themselves with your sweat in tax havens and leave their spin merchants to pacify you with fancy promises and MSM propaganda ‘hero’s’ like Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry . Carefully crafted personalities who ‘understand your pain’ and give you a ‘public voice’ to misdirect and diffuse your anger.

    Nobody likes being lied to and played for a fool. When the Scots reached critical mass and said ‘enough’ they finally got what they need . More power to them , literally . That’s how it should be for you too. Take back your power from the parasites. Don’t believe for one minute their empty promises .

  14. donald says:

    I think the most important point you made in your reply to Yoda GB was the word community. That’s the key to empowering the people . We cant love and care for people beyond our borders until we rebuild the mutual respect and caring for our neighbor’s.
    Throughout the British Isles there used to be this wonderful tradition of Common land shared by all for growing food and resources to sustain everyone .Communal gardening builds community spirit and maintains the understanding and value of sharing and caring.
    When the lairds betrayed their oath to protect and hold in trust their people’s land and assets ,they set in motion all the horror’s that have occurred since.
    Healthy communities respect diversity within them. They understand that everyone needs to be able to express their own unique talents and that everyone benefits form allowing that to happen.
    Its the distortions of this common knowledge that causes problems.

    Communism is a cynical corruption of Common decency . It masks its true intentions behind the noble. The traitor within the gates.

  15. daviddynamo says:

    Yoda, why are you using a picture of Stuart Campbell as your icon? (Stuart Campbell, founder of the Wings Over Scotland website.) That type of behaviour seems a bit strange, and perhaps, obsessive or stalker-ish. Campbell is not a pop star, you are not a pubescent teen.

    I use a pic symbolising my home town, Grouse Beater uses a pic of a car, JDman uses a pic of a puppet from the Goon Show. Places, hobbies, icons from the past. Things that are personally important to us. Not photos of other, living, people.

    If you want to be accepted, I suggest you grow up, and desist from winding people up. Oh, and stay on topic. That is always good.

    Secondly Yoda, why did you have the screen-name Truthy, or something similar, recently? Was that an attempt to obscure your identity when you wrote comments on the Wings website?

    You get short shrift from the commentators at Wings, due to your disruptive comments, and I predict the same here. So again, please stay on topic. You can put forward an opposing view, but make it relevant and back up your points with facts. We vile cybernats like facts. 🙂

    Apologies to Grouse Beater, my last paragraph looks bossy. It’s your site and your rules. But you will have seen Yoda’s comments over on Wings, which for me do not add much to the discussion. He needs to up his game if he wants to argue the case for Scotland remaining in the union.

    P.S. Great post, Grouse Beater.

  16. daviddynamo says:

    And I see that also, Yoda = Toad, in the comments on the previous article. Dear oh dear.

  17. Grouse Beater says:

    Except for stealing Stuart’s image, he’s brief and disciplined … so far. 😉

  18. Helena says:

    So sad to read this, I remember the unemployment during the thatcher era, it was horrendous, my dad was made redundant, it was devastating for the family.

    Now the unemployment is much higher, but the figures are well hidden by Westminster, by way of workfare, and sanctions. Every penny taken from the unemployed by way of sanctions, every penny taken from the sick, disabled and vulnerable by way of bedroom tax and the benefit cap, is money removed from our economy, both local and in the larger sense, as well as the fact it is utterly criminal to leave your people destitute.

    Universal credit which is starting to kick in now, is utterly disgusting, it will replace nearly all benefits, including disability, like ESA, PIP etc, and requires the victim to sign a ‘contract’ to look for full time work, if they do not comply, well you can guess the consequences. It will be paid monthly, by way of a lump sum for rent, and living costs, etc. So if someone cannot manage their money well, ie the vulnerable and some disabled, they may end up with rent arrears. Guess where that will have an impact? Yes, on councils up and down the land, here we come with evictions, but then if human rights go, no obligation to house people either. Universal credit is very complicated and is a very scary idea soon to become reality for many, the impact on services due to people needing support with it, will get much worse.

    In our family, we have just become victims of the benefit cap, basically both of my sons will have to use their ESA to pay the rent, which thank goodness is very reasonable, if it was as high as the market rents, well, it would be eat or keep a roof over our heads. As a carer and single parent, the household is not allowed more than 350£ a week for rent, food, bills, heating, everything. For three adults living under the same roof, ( and the ‘non dependants’ are considered as ‘not part of the household, bizarrely) it is keeping people at the edges of poverty, unable to afford to replace essential itens etc. If they reduce the cap, who knows what will happen, as a carer, living costs are inevitably higher as well as the stress and worry already having an impact.

    I am not sure the Scottish government will be able to cushion the blows coming from Westminster for much longer, it will be a big chunk out of the already reduced budget, ie pocket money they hand us, but the thing is some will blame the SNP for this dire situation, idiots.

  19. donald says:

    The bedroom tax should have started a national revolt like the Poll tax . I cant believe the Tories are getting away with it. Something will break eventually . Last time I went back to England it felt absolutely desolate . The pubs are dying , the joy is being sucked out of people’s hearts . You can feel the fear, tension and despair . Thatcher gave birth to Orwell’s 1984 vision. So he was pretty much bang on with the date.
    That’s why I just cannot cope with celebrity gossip and chatter anymore . Why do people live vicariously through them ?
    We banned TV in our house ,except occasionally through youtube to keep tabs on the degeneracy of the media. My god is it sliding now .
    I enjoyed watching Fry and Hitchens destroy the catholic church in that debate and thought okay ,that’s progress . Then I watched Fry sucking up like an A class sycophant to the City of London in another doco and I could have thrown the laptop through the window I was so disgusted.
    Talk about contrived. That day I saw another media whore pasting over the cracks and I thought , you bloody hypocrite Fry. Simpering sell out .
    National treasure ?
    National disgrace and MI5 propaganda tool. Another royal court Jester pimping to pacify the plebs.
    Its like those Keep calm and carry on posters that are supposed to remind us of Bulldog spirit. Like a stumpy dog wearing a union jack is supposed to make everything okay !
    F**** your Keep calm logo’s . I am sick of the sight of them. Is that an order from the Crown ?
    Keep calm or what ? Does starving make me a terrorist now too ?

    Quick Wills ,inseminate and procreate ,we need another feel good story to calm the mob.
    We need another transgender Miracle more like.

  20. Grouse Beater says:

    Bedroom tax: riots in London a few times, but imposing artificial austerity is another method of keeping population occupied and docile, a good ol’ neo-con doctrine.

  21. donald says:

    I left the country a few months after they introduced the poll tax. The landlords loved it. Huge wind fall for rentier’s/parasites .But mine refused to give me a rebate on my rent because I was now paying his rates , so I told him to get stuffed . I paid the first installment of the poll tax then I thought screw it like everyone else and just refused to pay a manifestly unfair tax on top of my meager earnings. I truly could not afford it .

    It was in fact a historic landmark where they abolished a tax simply because there was in fact a successful/righteous tax revolt. Now that’s what I call a popular vote without the rigging of election results. Of course the Tories wont admit that.

    What they are trying to do through criminal austerity measures , is criminalize poverty .
    Your right GB , its classic neo con fare . Riots are what happen when the patriot takes his Pat out of patriot . Personally I prefer confronting these criminals using common law .

    Legal definition of person is corporate entity . Do not register as a person but declare yourself as a man or woman. Forces them to treat you under common law where you have rights instead of privileges. Resume your common name , reject the corporate fiction foisted on you. Your not legally entitled to use it anyway because your parents sold it to the government ,who then sold it to the City. THAT’S the ultimate neo con dirty trick, Selling you down the river with a false name knowing that every time you use it your incriminating yourself. That’s what they mean when they boast about having you over a barrel. Your banded and bound inside a floating vessel , subject to tide time and their rules of commerce. Tolkien knew that when you wrote that chapter in the Hobbit.

    Ever wonder why there is an indecent haste on the part of the government to register your name at birth ? So they can register you on the stock exchange and sell you as ‘common stock’ . Your entire future productive life indentured while your still in nappies !

    Ever wonder why they ask you to sign in the box ? Because it means legally speaking you are declaring yourself dead/cargo.

    I don’t mind paying my fair share of income tax but there does come a point where people far worse off than myself are pushed to desperate acts . That’s tragic and the consequences I don’t like to dwell on to much.

    Its taken me a long time to fully grasp the concept of defending the right and standing up for your self as a man/woman. But we all know it deep down . That to me is what made Braveheart a powerful film then and now. Will we stand as men or crumble as weak pathetic dependents/wards of the state ?

    When Balian Knights a group of common men in ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ , its the same legal principal actually . What is your condition ? (who are you enslaved to ?) Servant to the PATRIARCH. (the pope and his representatives) Kneel. Arise a Knight (man of honor and integrity,master of his house and a freeman) That’s why all the men are grinning ear to ear .Because he gave them their freedom and honor back. Not many people pick up on that .

    When a man of worth recognizes another man of worth , they are brothers. We are what we do . Honor is the respect and dignity we give to ourselves by giving it to others.

    This is the common bond. There is no shame in being common. The shame lies with those who assume the title without merit. They buy their titles with a few yards of silk. Neither earned or proved ,they steal the seats of power and enslave those they are supposed to serve humbly.

  22. solrighal says:

    I’m the guy you directed here from WoS earlier.

    Thanks for this article GB.

    I can’t argue with a single word of it as I’m in much the same position myself. I can’t really write very well though and, at 50, find myself at a loss about what to do. Like yourself I have found some ways to bring in just about enough money to eat healthily & heat my house but it’s touch & go sometimes.

    This is so very far short of where I thought I’d be at this age but hey, I’m alive. And I’m always voting Yes. Not for my future as that seems somewhat sealed. Young Scots have to be shown that there’s a better way. How many TV channels does anyone need? Answer: none.

  23. Grouse Beater says:

    You must be ‘Grunt’. Welcome. 🙂

    I watch people once employed in large or small companies trying to make ends meet, using their severance pay to buy a van and wash cars as a travelling valet, or a window cleaner, or a Mr Domestic Fixit man, but you just know they do others jobs to make a reasonable living.

    Of course, what this tectonic shift means, moving from companies that supported the fabric of society now outsourcing or paying no tax, to every man for himself, is a vast increase in the black market with people accepting non-VAT deals that are above the minimum allowed. We perpetuate a loss of revenue to the public purse, we are all forced to become ‘entrepreneurs’ of one kind or another, keen to avoid taxation we can’t afford.

    The anger for me is how so many did not understand what is happening, and didn’t realise the British Establishment would be brutal in its recrimination if we voted No.

    How are things with you workwise at the moment?

  24. solrighal says:

    Things are not as bad as they could be. I’ve found a way to make ends meet but can’t really go into detail here. It’s legal though, lol. We’re also contemplating a change of location, to Provence actually. Whether that will work out we’ll have to wait & see but being skint in the south of France is not the same as being skint on this ungodly island. No need to buy jumpers 🙂

  25. Grouse Beater says:

    I have contemplated the south of Spain these last years before squandering savings embarking on building my own house on a strip of sloping ground, edge of Edinburgh, so I sympathise with you about France. Broke in a warm climate tends to be less of a hardship than broke in a cold climate.

    Just sayin’, as folk are apt to add on internet posts.

  26. solrighal says:

    Aye, it’s really that simple. And yet not. Is there a way I could talk to you privately?

  27. Grouse Beater says:

    I’ve been lax in creating an e-mail account – the site gets hit by extremists enough without giving them another portal – but will try to attend to it in a few days, so keep an eye open. You can always drop a message in the owl nest at the old oak tree on the green … just joshing.

  28. solrighal says:

    I’m there man! I can help with security. I have skills 😉

  29. Grouse Beater says:

    🙂 I could do with a gun for hire!

  30. solrighal says:

    Shhh! Don’t mention ****

    Go to

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