Ian O'Doherty: Well, that's one way of looking at it. . .
As the economy continues to become increasingly bloody scary, we all recognise that we need to cut back on spending.
And one of the areas that we are all agreed we need to examine is benefit fraud.
Here in Ireland and also in Britain, there are whole areas that make Shameless look like a documentary and there are multiple generations of the same family all on the dole.
The Tory government wants to bring in a plan that would ultimately lead to removing benefits from those long-term unemployed people who refuse to go to work.
It makes perfect sense, obviously.
After all, you can't legitimately expect to receive Jobseeker's Allowance when you refuse to seek a job, can you?
Well actually you can.
That's the view of the Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee which says that removing benefits, even from those who refuse to work, "would be discriminatory and in breach of Article Three of the European Convention On Human Rights".
So, they're going to continue to cosset lazy-ass idlers who stay in bed till noon, contribute nothing of any substance or value to anyone while receiving money for old rope which they haven't earned and will inevitably spend on drink?
That's what I do as well.
Glass houses and all that . . .
What a delightful child. . .
This is the one time of the year when you want kids to think about Santa and not worry about family finances.
After all, you want them to be as innocent as possible, to cling on to their childhood for as long as they can and, most importantly, to maintain that uniquely childish sense of wonder.
Or, alternatively, you could have a kid like Mekeeda Austin.
The 13-year-old showed an interesting approach to her Santa letter -- it's a death threat.
She has a rather long list of presents she wants and she signs off the letter by noting: "Two of these or you die."
She also threatens Santa that she will: "Kill and cook your reindeers and feed them to people for lunch."
Her mother insists she is not spoiled, and whimpers: "You don't want to get on the wrong side of Mekeeda," while the kid remains unrepentant, adding: "I have a lot of things I want and I if I want them I don't see why I shouldn't get them."
Two things spring to mind -- firstly, send her to bed with no supper, ground her and show her she cannot demand things like that and secondly, maybe we could get her to negotiate for us the next time the IMF is in town?
She certainly sounds like she'd offer tougher opposition than the current lot.
Oh right -- so now he's the victim?
For some reason there seems to have been a huge spike in the spate of weird incidents on British public transport, and all of them seem to have ended up on YouTube.
There have been a couple of examples of drunken, racist verbal assaults which are as pathetic as they are obnoxious. Then the other day, someone posted a clip where a passenger on a train in Scotland had enough of a drunken lout abusing the conductor and forcing the train to stop.
Exasperated commuter Alan Pollock finally lost his patience and asked the elderly conductor if he wanted him to throw the lout off the train, which he duly did and people were then able to resume their journey.
But now the family of Sam Main are demanding that Pollock be charged with assault and his uncle says: "What happened was a disgrace and he deserves his day in court. Okay, he had a few drinks and he swore but he's not a ned ('non-educated delinquent') or fare dodger."
Sure -- because nothing indicates good character like getting pissed and then abusing an old guy who is only trying to do his job, right?
Not much of a surprise there, then
I must admit, I'm rather amused and, indeed, bemused by the response of people in the West to the so-called 'Arab Spring'.
After all, when you consider that the Yanks practically invaded Libya yet continue to allow Assad to kill at least 5,000 of his fellow Syrians, then you can see that consistency is in short supply.
But even more pertinent was the naïve bleating of Western liberals who acclaimed the introduction of democracy into these countries despite the constant shouts of "Allah hu Akbar" from the demonstrators.
And now Al-Nour, Egypt's second largest party, have come up with some interesting ideas.
They want to ban all alcohol and bikinis in the country, particularly in tourist destinations like Sharm el-Sheikh, with their leader saying: "A five-star hotel with no alcohol, a beach for women -- sisters -- separated from men in a bay where the two sides can enjoy a vacation for a week without sins."
I'm going to take a wild guess here and suggest that maybe they're not going for the lucrative stag-party market.
Oh for God's sake, let it go
It's that time of the year again -- Christmas specials are appearing on the telly, we're beginning to start thinking about presents and, inevitably, there are the usual attacks on the idea of having a religious element to the occasion.
The latest, utterly daft row about this issue comes to us from South Jersey, where a bunch of locals put up a sign saying: "Keep Christ in Christmas."
This horrible, sectarian piece of hate speech has now been attacked by the heroic atheists of the Freedom From Religion foundation because, as they say: "This is an endorsement of a religion in a public place."
Now, as readers may know, I'm a happy little atheist and have no truck with any religion but really, ask yourself this: do you really want to spend the month of December wandering around your area making sure that there is no mention of the baby Jesus or a manger or, even worse, a road sign that mentions Jesus?
Seriously, lads, there's better things to be doing with your time.