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Khandro | 11:59 Thu 22nd Feb 2024 | News
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I  used to love going there when I was a kid. Labour and the Tories held their conferences there; not any more;

'It’s mid-afternoon in the Royal Oak pub in Blackpool and Liv has arrived to sell a bag full of stuff she’s stolen from the supermarket. She’s got fabric conditioner, soap, Creme Eggs and a large bar of Dairy Milk. She pulls in a few pounds and then leaves to score some crack. ‘Everyone struggles,’ says a man watching her sell. Lots of people here don’t work. People earn money however they can.


In Blackpool, you see the worst of Britain’s welfare crisis. More than a quarter of the city’s working-age residents are on out-of-work benefits, the highest proportion in the UK and twice the national average. In parts of South Shore – right near the promenade, and home to a once-strong tourism industry – it’s closer to 60 per cent. There used to be circuses and casinos, and Peter Kay once filmed here. That’s all gone.....'

What's going wrong ?



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Sucessive goverments have failed the poor and needy in our society.

Did the guy not understand the difference between "earn" and "steal" ?


What did he think the wefare state is for ? (Not to mention job opportunities when they come up.)

Just off the phone with the welfare folk, they don't have a top-up for illegal drugs, purchase thereof.

It may surprise you to learn Khandro that shoplifting is not a new thing.


No one is poor in this country, even the lowest most skint is better off than 90% of the world. No one is short of food unless they choose to be by their own poor choices.

reminds me of that glasgow joke.

a family gets on the bus one day and are asked if theyve got the fare? and they replied ´Aye the 2nd week in July!´

Spent a week in Blackpool one weekend! Once was enough.

I'd be grateful is someone could explain the joke by piggynose!

11.19 Take those Blue tinted blinkers off.

Kardashev - play on words "fare" and "fair".  The trades holiday in Glasgow used to be called the Glasgow Fair when all industry shut down for 2 weeks.

I see, thanks.

Unfortunately, Covid did for many a business in Blackpool and there are scores of boarded up B&Bs. Add that to the high unemployment rate and the huge problem the town has with drugs & crime, and it's not surprising the resort is on it's knees.

Apparently, it's also one of the wettest coastal resorts in the country. Not a lot going for it at the moment.

As an aside, i dare say 'Liv' was stealing to order. Pointless knocking stuff that no-one wants to by. Every town has it's 'Livs'. Which reminds me, i'm running low on Nescafe😉

Sure i typed 'knicking' and 'buy'😑

The area being discussed is more or less where I live.

The Borough Council is the main culprit here. Expensive vanity-projects abound - money being poured into the wrong places.

We'll have a state of the art Imax cinema opening in the town centre in the next few weeks; a big new conference centre in the town centre; a new tram/train station interchange in the town centre; big new corporate hotels in the town centre......although Erik Von-Daniken-land has been kicked into touch and the millions spent even considering it have vanished into the ether......same as the millions spent bidding for the Super-casino.

And in the meantime there is no funding for things out of the town centre. We have hundreds of empty guesthouses because the Planners won't entertain any HMO conversions.

Covid lockdowns just about finished off a struggling town dependent on visiting tourists.

I could go on and probably will later.....

Question Author

But there is a fair amount of dishonesty in town too, further in the (Spectator) article he writes;

Geoff once worked in a car factory, making exhaust pipes that got sent on to Sunderland or Liverpool. After a day’s work, he’d go down to the job centre and say he was unemployed to give his salary a bump. He’d turn up in a high-vis jacket, coated in dust from the factory. They’d ask if he’d worked in the past few weeks. Not a minute, he’d reply. The official figures didn’t pick up people like Geoff: considered workless by the state but doing undeclared work to get by. They still don’t. High penalties, such as tax or the cost of coming off welfare, force people into an informal economy with low pay and little protection. 

‘You have to live off your wits in this town,’ says Geoff. There’s a ‘grey market’ for work in Blackpool, as in many other places in Britain. When a big show comes here, a Mercedes van parks up behind the promenade, opens its back door and drops people off to beg. At the end of the night, they return to the van and hand the cash to the driver. It sounds more like slavery than freelance earning. Locals say the off-licences are just fronts for drug money, too. Lots of work is cash-in-hand.

I know there has always been the work-shy and unscrupulous but it seems odd that it's so concentrated here. 

I worked as a welder, making exhausts and i do not recall ever getting any 'dust' on me, nor did i ever wear a high-viz jacket on the factory floor.

I think the author of the article just may be exagerating a tad. Either that or he's making things up as he goes along.

As regards the 'beggars' you mention; there are always a couple of beggars at either entrance to my local Tesco. Waiting for a taxi a few months back and a van pulled up, a lad and a lass got out and replaced the two beggars, who got in the van which then drove off. Probably happens all over the country.

Speaking of Blackpool ;-)

And I believe trouble at t'expenses mill is brewing for Paul Maynard (Blackpool N)

Question Author

ken, I think the idea was that the dust had been applied artificially to the hi-vis jacket to look more authentic.

The officials would not have ignored the evidence in front of them.

It might not have been challenged at the time but if they had suspicions, they could have called him in at short notice over the next few day or weeks to attend at different times of the day to test their suspicions.

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