The Shoe Snob Blog

June 24, 2016

Written by , Posted in News

World Politics – Brexit

Septieme Largeur

all pictures of shoes by Septieme Largeur, which have nothing to do with the post at hand

As a shoe blog, I probably should not really talk about taboo subjects like politics but as the idea of Brexit will most likely have a direct impact not only on my business but quite possibly also my life, I feel that it should be discussed as it is on my mind and the only way to get rid of it is to unleash my thoughts on a platform that shares to many people around the world. And many of you might not like what I say about my thoughts on the subject at hand but I feel that it should be said anyway as I have two stories that sum up what I believe to be the problem with the UK, yet is often blamed on the EU.

Often people will blame someone else to not have to look into the mirror and know that the fault often lies within. This is common psychology and human nature. Such is one of the great issues (in my opinion) with the EU and the UK situation. Many inhabitants of the UK feel that the EU treaty has much to blame with the way that the UK is and much of the immigration that comes to the UK, that truth be told is indeed overpopulating the country (particularly London) even in my own humble opinion (says an immigrant).

But in my opinion the biggest problem with the UK (which is why everyone wants to move here) is the amount of free money they give to all of the freeloaders/lazy people/moaners and those that in my opinion drag this country down, foreigners and British people alike. So let me tell you two true life stories that made me think and feel the way that I do.

  1. Once I was with my French friend and we were in Pimlico looking for a pub to shoot pool. We found a typical pub directly underneath a massive council high rise (for those of you in the US, this would be called a ‘project’ building).  We enter and see a guy playing pool by himself. We ask if we can join him. So we do and start talking. He was a Londoner who had been unemployed for 8 years and not really looking to change this lavish lifestyle. He told us that he comes to that pub everyday (as I believed he lived right above it) and drinks about 10 pints daily. (That’s about £40-£50 alone on beer, daily. £280-£350/week). He said that he had no intention of looking for a job as there were none to be had and moaned about everything under the sun that was wrong with the UK, but failed to mention that he basically got paid to do fuck all, all day while drinking his life away at the pub each night. And guess who is paying for him to do that? The 2 foreigners that he is shooting pool with (as well as the rest of hard-working, tax-paying individuals that live in the UK, many of which are foreigners). Why does the government allow this? Why do hard working individuals have to pay for people like this? Why is he not working at McDonalds or anywhere else that hires all of the time? Because he gets paid by the British government to do nothing. And why would anyone in their right mind look for work that they feel is beneath them when they can get paid to do nothing?
  2. I once knew a young mother (she was 31 at the time) who had two boys. She was living in a nice council flat in Brighton (paid for by the government) and was earning like £1100-£1200/month for having her children as a single mother. Now I know how hard it can be as a single mother and my argument is not that but part of it is the fact that that some people in this country abuse the system by having kids in order to not have to work as they know that they will be paid for it and taken care of by the government. Now I am not saying that the girl I knew did this either as she was actually trying to get back into the workforce (she was previously a midwife) and got offers for new positions as a midwife but only paying her £100/month more for working full time, than to what she was already earning as a single mother on the dole doing nothing. I don’t know if she took the job in the end but I remember her asking herself (and discussing with us) whether it was worth it to work 40 hrs/week to only be £100 more a month? Any sane person again would not do it as it does not make practical sense. And this is part of the problem.

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Based on these two stories, I would be curious to know how many people are unemployed in this country and being paid livable wages with free rent? And how much of that is costing taxpayers? And how much of those taxpayers are foreign? If all of the foreigners left tomorrow could the UK handle that expense? Who knows? I don’t….but I am asking? If they took away all of the Mexicans in the US, the country would be screwed big time. I do know that. California would shut down.

The US also had this problem of giving people free housing and money until they wised up to all of the piss-taking going on. So instead of issuing dollar bills that people could go spunk on whatever they wanted, they started only issuing coupons to be exchanged for goods that were necessary for survival. And that helped the piss-taking to stop. Why hasn’t the UK attempted the same?

Many people complain about the immigration. I know that I do. There are too many people here (in London). But the reason that people come to the UK, as opposed to all of the other great cities in Europe, such as Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Rome, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels, Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen and the rest is because the governments of those countries don’t make it so easy for people to come, do nothing and some how get free housing and money. But the UK does and for me that is the main problem which drives in loads of lazy freeloaders that come and destroy the country (economy/positivity/quality of life etc) and make it hard for international immigrants like myself to actually stay in the country despite having my own business, creating jobs, bringing in foreign income, paying a shit load of taxes and being entitled to nothing (outside of being able to run my business through small bank loans).

And I agree that something needs to be done on immigration as London/UK gets the worse of it from the EU. Maybe a point system or a cap per year or whatever. But I don’t feel that leaving the EU is the answer to all of the UK’s problems. The UK’s problems can only be fixed by everyone in the UK looking at and starting with themselves and for the British government as a collective, to do the same. By blaming others and the situation that is being supposedly imposed on oneself, no one can ever better their situation. One must look at themselves first.

This is just my two cents as a foreigner living here. I am neither right nor wrong and believe the UK to be a great country with many great people. But I do know that all problems start within (as a person/country/entity etc) and until the people and government of the UK can realize that, nothing will ever change despite being in or out of the EU.

EDIT June 27th 2016: I think that some people are misconstruing my words. I am not against immigration by any means. How could I be? I am an immigrant. But I do believe that London is overpopulated and suffers from the immigration. I don’t believe immigration to be a bad thing though. I believe that it is good. We all need to know what other cultures are like and immigration helps with that. If we are only around ourselves for too long, we become too close-minded and ignorant. But the problem is a poor government structure when it comes to giving people money and have unlivable wages being the norm in cities like London where cost of living is ridiculous. Problems like this often make people start blaming outside things like immigration and the EU instead of their own country. That is my argument. And leaving the EU won’t solve that.

On a positive note for all people who buy British products, today the pound fell to an all time low since 1985, so it’s like getting a nice little discount on all of your purchases until it rises back up again.

A nice weekend to all

Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

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  • Jonas

    I agree and can observe exactly the same issue in Sweden.

  • Adam Jones

    Your bang on dude. Especially about lazy Brits. I have a lot of clients who rely on unskilled migrant workers. Not because they want to to save cash, but because they have to. Young Brits do not want the jobs, and the well paid compared to some. It does annoy me that they are a drain on our society and nothing is done about it and then on the flip side a friend of mine has to fight to stay here, especially when that person is contributing so much to our economy.

  • VarAway

    Right on Justin, nail & head.
    It is not ONLY in the UK!
    Why not crossing the Channel and look around in France and The
    Netherlands, for that matter?
    It is a well known fact, that ” people ” ( natives, migrants from the
    former colonies AND newly admitted asylum seekers ) prefer NOT
    to work for a living and are calculating like your welfare queen and
    single mother midwife ).
    Is it worth WORKING for your money, while you can get it for “free”
    from the taxpayers?
    A classic example of Socialism at ” work “.
    Look at workers paradise Cuba and now Venezuela.
    As Mrs Tatcher would say: Socialism works until they are running out
    of spending other people’s money.
    I rest my case.

  • CDN guy

    Good for you buddy. Good for you. It’s the same here in Canada. Your forced to be a giver (work and pay taxes or worse employ people and pay employment taxes too) or a taker, like you have described. The safety net has evolved into a better lifestyle than working in average jobs. It makes no sense in an evolved society.

    Unfortunately more are motivated to take than give. I agree the issue is not being part of the EU or not. It’s way bigger and deeper than that as you have well pointed out.

  • Juan Manuel

    You nailed it, Justin. Totally and humbly agree with you.

  • Tony

    I don’t have a dog in this race, but it seems that the Leave people are looking at the very same issues from an entirely different angle. They are asking: why are real world wages so close to welfare payments? If the single mother in question could go out and get paid twice the current rate as midwife, would she still stay on welfare? To many people, the answer is that blue collar immigrants are suppressing the wages of native Britons. Therefore they want Brexit and end the free flow of migrants.

    I do think you bring up a very good point though. It’s a point that I haven’t seen much in this debate.

    • TheShoeSnob

      yes, I did forget to mention that the so-called ‘livable wage’ here is appalling and it does not match the standard of living (at least in London). This is yet another issue here.

  • Diego

    I quote you: “But the reason that people come to the UK, as opposed to all of the other great cities in Europe, such as Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Rome, Madrid, Vienna, Brussels, Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen and the rest is because the governments of those countries don’t make it so easy for people to come, do nothing and some how get free housing and money. ”

    I suggest you read some newspapers and you will notice that in other countries you mentions things are exactly the same if it isn’t better, because no European country has a health and education system as poor as the UK. I understand that as an American you think the UK is far better, but on the continent it is even better (anglosaxon system VS social democrats system). This year Germany took up 1 000 000 (1 BILLION) immigrants, giving them home, money, education etc etc If a country should leave the EU for an abuse of the system, it would be the Germans, not the asocial Britains. You’re so wrong on this Justin…

    • TheShoeSnob

      first of all, 1 billion people are not even in Europe so that is wrong. I believe you meant MILLION. Of course; exaggerate to make my argument and opinions felt and heard but that was not the basis of my entire argument. I know that Germany is a shining example of how a country takes the immigration problem yet deals with it correctly and continues to thrive. They are an example the UK could take from.

      My argument was that people often blame outside sources to their own problems when one’s own problems ALWAYS have to be fixed by the person/entity looking at themselves and not blaming others. So I am not wrong, you are only looking at one statement that I made, which I believe you misunderstood anyways. I am not saying that the UK has it the worse. I do believe London does though, but regardless of that, leaving the EU won’t solve their problems. That was my argument

  • Giorgio

    What I would like to know, are things that you really
    can tell about. What do YOU, Justin, expect to be the influence of BREXIT on
    your business and on your life? I would really want to hear about that, and so
    I was so happy to see your title.

    But the article is about another subject, general politics, and not very well
    informed, as others have pointed out before me. And it is not good to write
    about people being “lazy”. This is not fair. THIS is the internet
    here, and you do not see into the faces of people living on social benefit
    reading your lines. You will hurt them, and the hurt will be deep. You do not
    know in detail why they are in this position, and, believe me, they are not
    happy. So show some kind of empathy when you write about politics and than
    refer to individuals. And, as I would kindly ask you to: I would be very
    interested to hear about your life and what will be the effect of brexit on it.

    Your reader,

    Giorgio

    • TheShoeSnob

      Unfortunately Giorgio, I am not as sympathetic as you are. There are TV shows in this country that show people who can’t stop eating and expect to get paid by the government because they are too fat to move, people that intentionally have 10 children so that they don’t have to ever work again and the list goes on and on. I am sorry but I do not feel sorry for these people and they are the ones complaining about being in the EU even though it really doesn’t affect them at all. Now, of course, I am not going to say that I am not generalizing because of course there are many good and intelligent people out there that are arguing out of the EU but none of this was the argument of my post. My argument is that people often blame outside sources to their own problems when one’s own problems ALWAYS have to be fixed by the person/entity looking at themselves and not blaming others.

      Leaving the EU will affect my business as I will then have to pay import duties on all of the products that I source from the EU which in turn will make my products more expensive. And personally, I am on a VISA that is dependent upon the treaty of the EU and should that break, then my visa just might go out the door and then I might have to leave the UK. That alone will be detrimental to my business, my family, my everything really

      • giorgio

        ” I am sorry but I do not feel sorry” is an essential phrase you say. I am NOT making fun of you, believe me! But it tells an essential thing if you stop feel the feelings. Because, of course you are not even sorry that you are not sorry. If people point at each other, blaming them to suffer, they cannot feel the suffering any more, not the suffering of unemployed having a substantial crisis of self conciseness and trying to deal with it, or if you cannot understand, that a person who eats too much has a disease, that has natural science reasons (Eating disorders, Classification: Specialty: Psychiatry, ICD-10 F50, ICD-9-CM: 307.5, MeSH: D001068), than we are away from the facts but just talking our heads of. Than you are not sorry at all any more, except for yourself.This is the stuff that leads to civil wars – when the actual people stop to understand each other and blame the bigger problems, politics has, on random chosen other groups they think “guilty” of a problem.

        • TheShoeSnob

          you again mistake me. Yes I am not sorry for people, nor am I ever sorry for myself. You have no idea what I go through in life but I accept that everything that I am going through, I put there and have to get out of myself. I do not make excuses nor blame others. I get on with it as there is always a solution to every problem. You asked how it affects me and I told you. I was not complaining about it.

          AGAIN, I was blaming the government as they are the ones encouraging this behavior. People will never get out of what is comfortable. It’s like people that live with their parents until they are 30, never truly looking to get out of their comfort zone that they are in because the parents are too busy babying them instead of teaching them to go out and work/learn/fight for living life.

          I see that you love a philosophical debate but this is where it stops as I don’t have time for it.

          My only argument was that leaving the EU was not the answer to the UK’s problems. And that is the truth, plain and simple

      • giorgio

        While, of course, the problems you tell me about and that you have, are quite concrete and serious. This is something a political nation, like GB AND the EU will have to deal with in the future. Concretely.

  • TheShoeSnob

    You also missed the entire point of my post, only focusing on one statement as opposed to the final closing and reason for my writing. It was about UK fixing themselves instead of blaming the EU for their problems.

  • Andrey

    Interestingly, the people who disagree the most seem to be non-Brits…

    As a non-UK resident, I won’t be expressing any opinion other than that the extent of the EU migration into the UK (at least as far as the “lazy” benefits-seekers are concerned) may be somewhat exaggerated. At the same time, living in the country with social benefits being at the other end of the spectrum, I can tell you that the xenophobic debate about ‘them’ coming to ‘steal our jobs’ is pretty similar here.

    But in any event, I hope things will go well for you and I wish you best of luck with this new challenge!

  • Jp

    Hello Justin,
    I agree, Brexit won’t make any difference to that problem. Great Britain is not into the Schengen zone, so there is no reason for the flow of migrants to be any discontinued. EU citizens are free to settle, but there are border controls, plus it seems the vast majority of new immigrants are coming from outside the EU Schengen zone, so for these ones, whether Great Britain is or isn’t in the EU makes absolutely no difference.
    I guarantee this issue is global in the EU, for it is the only place on Earth where social welfare is so helpful. My country is also very generous, I would say the most generous in Europe. But from an outside point of view, compared to the situation in Northern America or Eastern Asia, any European country is the promised land for people from less economically efficient parts of the world.