Henry's Songbook

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On The Dole

  • (Frank Hennessy / Claire Worsfold)

    On the dole, on the dole
    It can break a man, destroy him heart and soul
    No sweets for my sweet children and no flowers for my wife
    At twenty-five it seems that I'll be on the dole for life
    On the dole, on the dole

    I wander through the streets, through all the factories and stores
    Asking, Can I make the tea, boys, or can I sweep the floor
    I'll do anything you ask, boys, and let the devil take my soul
    Just to say I have a job, boys, and not, I'm on the dole

    But life can be so cruel, for everywhere I went
    They said, There's nothing for you here, lad, your time has been badly spent
    We're laying people off, son, for we cannot pay the rent
    So back I go for handouts from the good old government

    The giro comes on Wednesdays and it don't go very far
    We're owing six months' mortgage and we've had to sell the car
    I'm losing all my self-respect, a man without his pride
    And nothing seems to ease the bitterness I feel inside

    (as sung by Frank Hennessy)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1986:] [A] poem by the young Merthyr poet Claire Worsfold which reflects the experience of so many in Wales today. (Notes 'Valley Lights')

  • [1998:] The Benefit 'giro' - symbol of the 'dependency culture' detested by Thatcherites - is to be scrapped in a bid to root out fraud and cut costs, following fresh evidence of abuse of the system. [...] In some areas, dozens of giros are sent to the same address - known by insiders as 'giro drops' - which on investigation turn out to be uninhabited, with the culprits simply collecting the cheques every fortnight. [...] The Department also hopes for significant cost savings by encouraging claimants to opt for direct payment into their bank accounts. These cost a few pence per transfer, compared to more than £1 for drawing up and sending a giro. It is expected that giros will have been entirely phased out, at least for new claimants, by 2002. Giro abuse costs £102 million each year, said the spokesman. Some 418,000 giros were reported missing each year, of which 227,000 were replaced. In just under a half of these cases, the original 'lost' giro was also later cashed.

    [Small] post offices in rural areas [...] rely on cashing giros and order books for a large part of their income. Claimants without bank accounts may therefore be given automatic rights to a simple, free post office account, and cash machines may be installed in post offices. [...]

    Abolition of the giro cheque will remove a touchstone of the benefit culture and a seam of British life frequently mined by comedians. In Sue Townsend's book 'The Queen and I', Her Majesty is forced to queue with her giro after the revolution. [...] Adrian Mole wrote a poem called 'Waiting for the Giro'. [...] The giro cheque originated in Austria in 1883 and was first introduced in the UK in 1968. (Richard Thomas, Observer, 22 Nov)

Quelle: Wales

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aktualisiert am 26.04.2002