The past few months in Britain have highlighted a great disparity between the country’s leaders and the country’s future generations. Defined as being a time when so many have no means to attain social emancipation and even political emancipation, the spotlight on British youth has never shone so brightly. But while the act of resistance to this can be seen by the thousands and thousands of young people striving to make positive rippling effects in their community, there are those and always will be those, who give the rest of us a very bad name.
Cue Young Dumb and Living off Mum, a BBC3 reality/documentary series that follows a group of young people, who are used to having everything done from them from the cleaning of their rooms to their own personal grooming, and puts them in a house together, where they are expected to live and work together on a tight budget.
Each week, the parents come together to set the young people work assignments, with the person seen to be doing the least work, eliminated from the competition. The idea is that week by week, each young adult grows more and more independent, so that when the series is over they can leave the house with a set of skills that will help them become active members of and contributors to society.
But be warned, because here you will find a bunch of 18-20 year olds living off mummy and daddy, with no respect for their families and evidently no respect for themselves. This isn’t me being a nasty spiteful hack; you only have to watch the programme to realise the proof is in the pudding.
In one of the opening episodes, when some of the housemates realise that they have spent all their budget within only a matter of days, they make a trip to the local newsagent, and ask for cigarettes for free. What I found most concerning was that one of the girls decided to use her looks for gain. With her cleavage out and war paint plastered on her face, it was no wonder she was successful on her mission.
Another great example of the group’s lack of awareness was their ill-fated shopping trip as they walked past the fruit and vegetable aisle and straight to the alcohol vodka section. Bear in mind they were given a job seekers allowance, totalling to £7 each a day, raising the question of common sense, or rather a lack of.
So when they were given the task of working in the well-known Billingsgate Market not only was it their first experience of working, but it also started to show a slight gap between those who weren’t willing to help out and a few who with a glimmer of hope, started to redeem their character by actually making a concerted effort. For some their lack of work ethic showed straight away with one saying:
I think work is pointless and boring really.
While one of them honestly declared:
I’m usually partying at 3am on Friday morning, not picking up fish by the eyeballs!
It became apparent that scaling, gutting and cutting a variety of sea species simultaneously took the young people out of their comfort free zone and exposed their lazy ways.
Let’s be honest, these kids would not have been able to become fully fledged brats without their parents encouraging such behaviour. Though I am not and probably far off from becoming one, I know and wholeheartedly agree that being a parent is without doubt the hardest job in the world. And I’m sure many of the parents gave in because the other factors of life such as working and having other children to look after meant their time and energy could not be spent on their one demanding child.
This leads me onto my point about individual responsibility. Once you reach the age of 18, as was evident with the young people in the programme, you are more than aware of knowing what’s right and what is wrong; it just depends whether you decide to put these ideals into action or rebel against them. So for that reason, the blame that we put on others as reasoning for our own predicament in life should be redirected into something positive. You can only accuse someone for so long before you have to take a look in the mirror and grab hold of your own life, taking responsibility for the things you have and have not achieved.