I rarely watch daytime TV, but this morning feeling a little worse for wear decided to watch BBC's Saints and Scroungers 9.15 am.
Why in the first do documentary productions made today find the need to repeat themselves by showing various shots several times over? Do they believe that people's memories are unable to hold information after it is given to them for over twenty minutes? So many programme makers do this, it makes me see red!
My main reason for writing this is part of the content shown in this mornings edition of ""Saints and Scroungers,"" 17th August 2009. One disability claimant is a young man of 18 who broke his back, leaving him paralysed from the waist down at 15 years of age, whilst taking part in motorbike rallies. Obviously after his accident his life was changed for ever and he and his family would require help and support so that this young man when recovered could lead a good quality of life. Whilst recovering in hospital this young man and his family were visited by an advisor who worked for CAB.
During the interview between the CAB advisor and the presenter she states that she helped the family fill in the benefit forms with the RIGHT ANSWERS so that the young man would get the higher rate of disability benefits, because the family on their own probably otherwise wouldn't have achieved this. I feel this statement rather misleading when being watched by the general viewing public, because it gives the impression that there are right and wrong answers when completing such forms. What I feel should have been portrayed is that each person's claim should be completed in such a way that the benefits department are able to understand how a person's life is affected by their disability, therefore awarding the appropriate monies.
The other thing that really annoyed me about the portrail of this young man was his lifestyle, despite his tragic accident involving motorbikes he is now being sponsored by BMW to race cars. Whilst I applaud this young man in picking himself up and doing something he loves, I feel that this makes life on benefits look like all those who have benefits live a life of luxury. And as many of us know on here from experience that is quite simply not the case. What many people may fail to realise is that sports that involve motorbikes can be very expensive, and this young man came from a family who were able to finance this hobby, and today he is still able to enjoy his hobby only this time racing an adapted car (Not the mobility one also featured). He is still living at home and if he wasn't the likelihood of him still enjoying a hobby of racing cars whilst living on only disability benefits would be impossible.
I also believe strongly that anyone who partakes in dangerous sports should be legally obliged to take out insurances that payout in the event of a life changing accident to cover future living costs. This young man has needed help from the state because of the accident, and still continues (which is his right) to pursue a dangerous sport. Already he requires a considerable amount of support to lead a good quality of life, should he further injure himself requiring yet more support who pays? Our Welfare State system is already under considerable financial pressure, and of course those who suffer illness through no fault of their own should have government support, but those in partake in dangerous sports I believe must take at least some responsbility for life changing issues.