Friday, 9 January 2009

The One That Wants A Yacht . . .

Well, I don't really want a yacht, I was just using it as a bit of allegorical illustration.

The story went something like this; A friend of mine had been exposed to the suggestion by a young lad of about 13 or 14, whilst he was on the way in to the late opening newsagents getting his pint of milk, that he should buy a packet of ten cigarettes for the boy who would then reimburse him for his expense. Needless to say my friend was doubtful that if he bought these cigarettes for this young gentleman that his money would be returned to him, the lad replied that the alternative was getting a kick in the head.

My friend is something of a martial artist and pointed out to the boy that police involvement or no police involvement, any attempt by the rosy cheeked little scamp to visit harm upon him would be met with an introduction to a level of physical pain hitherto unknown to him, or words to that effect. The lad wisely decided that it was time to beat a retreat and pick on a more vulnerable target.

My friend is one of those who looks at me a little oddly when I go off on one of my rants, but like so many others he is starting to 'get it' even though it takes him a short while to shunt his brain from the sidings on to the track. My friend isn't thick, far from it, he's just become so used to accepting what he is told that it takes him a while to shift out of neutral and drive for himself.

He passed comment on the young lad outside that newsagents and wanted to know, as this was approaching 11pm, on a weeknight, and during the school term, what were the parents doing and were they not in the least bit concerned that their offspring was out on the streets, unsupervised at such a late hour?

My friend was missing the point. The point (most likely) is that having been born, the lad has done his job, he has served his purpose and his only duty now is to exist. The chances are that the lad wasn't born because he was the result of a stable and loving relationship, he was born because his mother had the (probably subconscious, I'm not suggesting that many people are that cynical) realisation that his existence would provide accommodation and an income. I explained to my friend that I resented paying for other peoples' children when my lifestyle choices are not funded by the taxpayer.

My friend gave a wince and said to me 'I see what you're saying, but it was his mother's right to have a kid.' I explained the situation thus:

I want a yacht. It is my right to have a yacht if I so wish. My friend agreed that it was my right to own a yacht.

I pointed out that I don't actually know how to sail a yacht, so I'd be forever bumping into other yachts and squaring up against ferries and container ships. Any attempt to put a pilot on board my yacht to steer it for me would be met with hysterical abuse and hostility. I'd be damaging the berths in the marina, but as it was my right to moor the yacht I am entitled to, the Harbour Master wouldn't be able to stop me from using the marina, even though I'd be getting right on the wick of all the other responsible yacht owners. Also I can't actually afford a yacht. I can't afford to pay for its upkeep, for its fuel or its mooring fees, so the taxpayer will have cover those costs.

My friend made the entirely reasonable point that if I don't know how to handle a yacht and can't afford it, I shouldn't have one.

I then said that if people can just have kids and expect the taxpayer to fund them, I want a taxpayer funded yacht, thank you very much. My friend said I was being silly and that the right to have children is more important than the right to have a yacht.

'Ahhh' I said, 'We live in a country where we must promote and value diversity. You cannot say that my desire to have a yacht is any less valid or valuable than someone's desire to have children. It is my right to have a yacht and your responsibility to fund it. So give me the money.'

The penny finally dropped. People seem to accept that having children paid for and brought up by the taxpayer is perfectly reasonable. And yet, when you substitute the word children for the word yacht, the whole situation becomes quite absurd.

This is why I have no children, at the moment. I don't have the money, I don't have the houseroom (and to any of you tempted to point it out, I do have a willing parnter, thank you). I don't have a yacht for those same reasons, plus having lived in a town with a number of marinas in my youth I am well aware that yachties, on the whole, are utterly charmless individuals who have awful taste in clothing. I have no desire for any child of mine or my family to be in the thrall of the state.

Unfortunately children in this country have been turned into a commodity, they have ceased to be human beings with dreams and aspirations, indeed dreams and aspirations are discouraged. Children and their woefully ill-equipped, state dependent parents are just items for collection and control by Leg-Iron's righteous and it is quite, quite tragic.

1 comment:

Henry North London said...

I thought I was the only person who didnt want to bring kids in to this world

Thing is Id be scared I have enough problems with having a dog