Being the infamous Inspector Gadget has its compensations. For example, last year I was lucky enough to meet ‘Generation F’ author and Orwell Prize winner, Winston Smith. We don’t often think about where our ‘customers’ come from or how they ended up behaving as they do. After speaking to him about his experiences working in supported housing for teenagers, I came away detesting the system more than ever.
His frustrations highlight perfectly the clash of ideals between traditional, working class Labour voters (of which he is one) and the new polytechnic left who, he suggests, now run most of the public services.
â€œThe most absurd thing I heard in supported housing was the staff congratulating a 19- or 20-year-old for filling in their housing benefit form. I found it infuriating that we are praising someone for claiming free money. There is no hope.â€
What seems to drive his writing is a firm belief in the welfare state, coupled with a deep frustration with what he sees as a dependency culture that is being perpetuated among a generation of young people.
â€œWe would have young teenage girls absconding in full view of the staff and we were not allowed to restrain them as that would be assault,â€ he recalls about residential care homes he worked in.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who suspects Britain is broken but is not quite sure. The evidence is on every page. It’s also an excellent read; I have a copy and it goes everywhere with me along with my copy of 1984.
If you read this serialisation you may actually weep with frustration; it’s what we see but ten times worse.
Note: Generation F is available as an eBook from amazon.co.uk and .com. You donâ€™t need a Kindle to read it; thereâ€™s free andÂ software available at amazon to allow you to read on your PC, Mac or iPhone.