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PM blamed for Mass Wisteria

Emma Dent Coad writes about the ‘culture of entitlement’
 
Emma Dent Coad writes about the ‘culture of entitlement’.
 
A lot of trite and self-righteous nonsense and lazy sophistry has emerged over the past week: first we had ‘sun-lounger’ expressions of confidence in the police, followed by quite shocking vilification of our depleted and exhausted forces in parliament as politicians played the blame game. 
 
We have heard politicians, community leaders and media commentators discussing the ‘culture of entitlement’ that allegedly has made a generation believe their mere existence entitles them to free money in the form of benefits, flatscreen tvs and Nike Air trainers. 
 
Some have pointed out that greed and avarice is rife from the top to the bottom of society. When the MPs expenses scandal hit last year, and the duck house, moat cleaning, and other less extreme but equally distasteful claims came to light, we discovered that our inherited millionaire PM, who married an inherited millionairess and has never held down a proper job in his life, had claimed for the pruning of climbing plants in his constituency home. 
 
Why? Well, because you can. 
 
When the Queen evades her taxes then tries to claim winter fuel allowance for Buckingham Palace (this happened people), and you count the number of her useless children who do eff all but live on the public purse (let’s count Prince Charles’ massive tax evasion while he postures with various charities), not to mention the work-shy scroungers living in Kensington Palace, yes, there is a culture of entitlement, no less distasteful at the ‘top’ than at the ‘bottom’ of society.
 
Of course there is a world of difference between claiming for something you are entitled to but don’t really need, and picking trainers out of a window someone else has smashed; one is ‘merely’ opportunistic, the other is a criminal act. But the perfectly legitimate claim by a large family for Housing Benefit on a house in Kensington last year was treated with shock and disgust by the media, and the family vilified. How much worse is this than the £6k/month mortgage the public purse is paying to keep the PM’s North Kensington home empty? He has Downing Street, he has Chequers, he has his grand Witney house, he has his £145k/year pocket money, why are we paying for a fourth home? 
 
Perhaps we need a new term for this; perhaps we can call it – MASS WISTERIA
 
My next blog will focus on the genuinely selfless and positive actions by countless ordinary citizens, who will give their time and energy, and even put themselves in danger if necessary, to protect their neighbours and neighbourhoods and everything they hold dear. 
 
Emma Dent Coad ia  Labour Councillor for the Golborne Ward. She has her own blog at http://emmadentcoad.blogspot.com 
 
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