I wrote this when I was single mum at 17 studying at Wyke 6th form in Hull. at the time there was a programme on BBC 4 called ‘benefits street’ which was extremely controversial. I think it really annoyed me at the time because I was pushing against opinions about benefits that where negative. Views that made people on benefits look really awful. Obviously the worst cases and attitudes of people would be shown on TV otherwise who would watch it?
Benefits Street claimed to be a reality TV programme, I think lots of people played ignorant and didn’t realise the damage and stigma it was causing across the UK. I think I wanted to highlight that actually people on benefits aren’t just sat around on benefits ‘claiming streets’. Anyone could be on a benefit, you wouldn’t know unless you asked, or are close. Even then they don’t have to tell you. The power of judgement, ignorance and bad media is more damaging than you think.
I maybe on benefits,
but at least I’m not on benefits street,
I may take your money to get back on my feet,
it may take time,
but at least I am trying,
wait with me awhile and lets see where I’m heading,
Just so long as you keep out of my face,
I don’t appreciate the yelling,
another statistic you say,
another single mum,
on the way,
another sign on day,
well I will prove you different,
and when I do,
I’ll give all the tax money back to you,
and when I do,
I’ll help others do that too,
I maybe on benefits but I am your neighbour,
yeah, I could be a single mum,
or an old man in a wheel chair,
could be a professional that lost their job,
I could be married,
I could of been a millionaire.
don’t judge me, it could be you.