TV: Skint – Generation Y – Be afraid because this is our future

So, unless you’ve been under a rock for the past two weeks you would have heard about Channel 4’s groundbreaking “fly on the wall” documentary about the lives, loves and other tax-payer funded pastimes of the folks living on the Westcliff Estate in Scunthorpe.


The series is following the people who live on the estate and how they survive in one of the UK’s most deprived areas where crime, drugs and poverty are rife.


Episode two aired last night and we were treated to Ex-steelworker Dean and his brood of 7 getting all pissed off because his disability claim for his wife Claire was turned down! “Looks like ‘Plan B’ to fleece more benefits has failed eh Dean?  Bet you’re happy that you had your vasectomy aren’t you? Because you certainly won’t have baby number 8 cart wheeling out Claire’s cavernous snatch now! How will you ever cope?”  One thing is for sure, you won’t be getting off your fat, lazy, gut-rot whiskey drinking arse and get a job like the rest of us will you? Hell, No because Dean has worked all his life (Read: 23 years) and chose to give up his job to live on benefits!


Now, forgive me, but I was under this misguided impression that in order to claim out of work benefits you had to be actively seeking work?  Dean is far from active unless there’s a bottle of Stella or cheap whiskey involved then the fat fucker is off like a whippet! So why is his feckless lifestyle still being funded?


We were also introduced to the utterly delightful Jamelia.  A 16 year old runaway who had her baby taken into care and who is now living in a doss house with crack addicts and all other manner of miscreants! Jamelia was preparing for her date in court to try and get her daughter back.  To aid this cause she had gotten back with Liam, the baby’s father.  Liam is a real catch.  He’s well groomed, eloquent & educated! Actually I lie! He’s a grubby little skip rat with all the charm of a dog turd that has dried in the sun!  The two seemed a perfect match for each other!  Long story short: Social Services actually did their job for once and ruled that the child should not return to its parents and was placed in care!


Next up we had Hayley.  21 years old with 5 kids from 3 different fathers. She boasted that she received £1,600 a month in hand outs & her rent paid too. ‘You are being paid basically to sit on your bum and I can understand why people at work get angry about it,’ she admitted! No Shit!!


Later it transpired that she had had her benefits stopped because she was actually living with her boyfriend and had not declared this to the social.  Minutes later she is shown crying that she has no money for baby food and only £4 in her purse, she didn’t know how she was going to cope… All the while her boyfriend was sat on his arse playing his X-Box on their 50” flat screen TV! No doubt paid for by the tax dollars of hard working folks like you and me.  In the end she had to resort to a local charity that offered her prayers as well as tinned spaghetti and hula hoops!


Now, please do not get me wrong, I am all for an accessible welfare state that can help those that fall on hard times.  What I cannot stomach are those that use the welfare state as a lifestyle choice and refuse to help themselves. No they’d rather sit in squalor and when things get bad they just blame the government because they can’t afford a bag of weed, 20 Lambert & butler and a 2.5L bottle of White Lightening!


OK, so the blood is boiling now! As Jamelia said in a piece to camera, “There’s only so much anger you can hold in” I feel this statement rang true with everyone watching the show last night.  It’s fair to say that it wasn’t only this culture of greed and contempt that made the blood boil. The cynicism infected everything and everyone! A life of crime, violence and misery were what the young folks of Westcliff Estate expected.  Even when it came to the dating game, a young girl called Katie summed up her future marital aspirations; ‘Bad boys, that’s what girls round here go for,’ she mumbled. ‘Fighting. Jail. Burgling.’ Her friend added ‘Lads battering lasses,’ Katie agreed ‘Yeah, that happens a lot.’


Ladies & Gentlemen, this is Generation Y – Be afraid because this is our future!


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Written by Daren-Marc

Daren-Marc is an intermittent blogger who you would never have heard of! He’s usually found on Twitter bitching about everything from reality TV to wanting the feel up Chelsea Handlers tits! Daren has a job, lives in a house with his husband, 2 spaniels and a cat called Derek. His interests include Shiraz, gin & Kylie. He once went to Spain and his favourite colour is green.

  • Rachael Phillips (@rachaelphillips)

    TV: Skint – Generation Y – Be afraid because this is our future | TheSpinAlley via @thespinalley by @thud_hardbutt

  • Pedro

    To a degree you may have hit the nail on the head, but my heart just aches when it comes to Jamelia. I fear she has too much to deal with and is probably in great danger. She still has a spark in her eye, but given her situation I can see that going soon. So very sad.

  • Rachael Phillips

    Agree with you there, I felt so sorry for her. Of all the people who deserved help. Just hope she does well in her new flat.

  • Daren-Marc

    I agree with you Racheal, I hope the new flat works out for her & that she has the sense to steer clear of trouble but I don’t hold out too much hope! She’s a very angry young woman who needs a break but she also needs to grow up in order to understand & accept the consequences of her actions. Something I feel she will find difficult.

  • Lizzie

    Only just seen this and discovered this review. Disagree with you on all points. Jamelia is a tragic case. Bad home life, living on the streets at 15, living in a crack house and having her baby taken into care. (Don’t disagree with the decision, just that it would have been a huge heartbreak, too much for such a young person to deal with.) As for the job situation, after the steel works shut down in that region, the jobs market basically collapsed. No alternative training/investment has been made and there aren’t enough jobs to go around. Education is poor and it becomes a vicious cycle- easy to see why. If these people had a real shot at an education and a future, they wouldn’t be in this state. We should be investing in education, youth programmes, employment training- anything to get people out of this horrible cycle of deprivation. This is poverty and it’s not an active choice. Yes some people make bad decisions but don’t we all at some point? Without the support to get back on track that’s not much left.

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