Having just watched an onscreen ad targeting benefit thieves I am of the view that it is a long time since I have witnessed anything so crassly stupid in the midst of those frustrating commercials that keep interrupting our television viewing. As if being brought to a halt every 12 minutes to watch Gary Lineker trying to flog crisps or something is not bad enough without this rubbish being thrown in on top of it.
The narrator, trying to behave like something out of Tales from the Crypt, spoke to us in the most sombre of tones. He maintained sync with the camera which homed in on the target. This latter unfortunate appeared to generate the highest security level alert of ‘critical.’ It all oozed Orwellian Big Brotherliness. The gravitas of the voice would suggest that whoever was being followed had to be captured or killed before he could commit mass murder. A bit like the unfortunate Brazilian the British police murdered a couple of years back and then lied about ever since to cover it up.
Had our fugitive a nuclear device up his coat or a vial of ricin concealed on his person that once unlocked would lead to a deadly assault on a civilian population of some British city? Maybe he was a potential suicide bomber but he looked nothing like what we are supposed to think such people look like. No beard, just a few whiskers, no djellaba, nothing of the sort. The fiend being followed had been doing the unthinkable – the double. Not placing a bet on the same team lifting the championship and cup either; something much worse than that. Benefit fraud.
When our despicable double-doer eventually got to his destination it was not some underground bunker but his home. It looked every bit as downbeat as the target who was clearly a member of the urban poor and was most likely doing the double to make ends meet in the midst of a recession caused by incompetent ministers, avaricious bankers and a greed fuelled economic system. Yet here he was in his unpardonable vileness, depicted as a furtive, shady character who had perfected the art of ducking and diving in his bid to shake off any surveillance as he went about stealing the state’s money. I waited in anticipation of the lazer guided missile carbonising his home and vaporising him for good measure; a salutary warning to all that this could be you if you fiddle the benefit system.
The makers of this ad should be sacked and their jobs given to people capable of actually working at something useful. The rapidly expanding dole queues are filled with such capable people. It seems not to have occurred to the ad makers that a better use of their time would be to follow some MPs around London as they spend the ill gotten gains made from the expenses scam. They have been conning the public for years, dipping into its purse and living the high life. Only for the Daily Telegraph the public would still be getting robbed by these parliamentary pickpockets.
Out of all the offences that take place on a daily basis in Britain benefit fraud hardly seems the one that is going to bring an end to civilisation as we know it.