Bob and Bobbette Move to Eastleigh

eastleighBob and Bobbette moved to Eastleigh after realising they would no longer be able to afford their London rent when the benefit cap is introduced.

Bob has been out of work for eight months now, despite over twenty year’s experience in the photocopying sales business.  He has been constantly appalled at the little Lenins, as he calls the Jobcentre staff, looking down their communist noses and forcing him to apply for jobs that are clearly beneath him.

The last straw came when Bobbette received a letter telling her she must attend a ‘work-related’ interview.  Bob was livid.  Their youngest child is only four for Christ’s sake.  Bobbette had said she was happy to look for work and let Bob look after the kids, and technically at least she was slightly more qualified, but Bob had reacted in fury.  He remembered only too well the seedy environment of the photocopying sales office.  He would kill a man before Bobbette had to endure the leering and barrage of crude innuendo the office receptionist had suffered.

Bobbette’s brother is a Lib Dem Councillor in Eastleigh, and after some string pulling had managed to secure them a rather nice Housing Association flat in the area.  Bob despises Bobbette’s brother and has vowed revenge for this humiliation.  With the debts mounting up however, they had little choice but to move.

Regular readers might remember Bob and Bobbette as the couple who were appalled when after Bob lost his job they discovered they were not better off on benefits than in work.  Realising the Government lied to them, they both joined UKIP despite being lifelong Tory voters.  Bob had filled out the application himself for the pair of them.  Bobbette, who had been convinced by Bob long ago that she was too stupid to understand politics, agreed with her husband and was only too happy to sacrifice some of the house-keeping to pay for the membership fee.

On arriving in Eastleigh a new political clarity had emerged in Bob’s mind.  For a long time he had thought that benefits claimants had been holding the country back.  How he had ranted at the tiny Lewisham Conservative club about paying for people to sit around at home with the curtains drawn, watching Plasma screen televisions and drinking and smoking away his money.

However Bob has applied for over 100 jobs in the last eight month, and rarely even received an acknowledgement.  This has been the driving force behind Bob’s political epiphany.  As if a veil has been lifted from his eyes, he has  come to realise that Britain is being swamped by immigrants and no-one is doing a damn thing about it.  That’s why there are no jobs for decent people like him.  The only people he blames more than the European Union for this fiasco are the current liberal-communist, as he calls them, coalition government.

He doesn’t believe for a second that David Cameron will offer a referendum on Europe if he wins the next election.  He’s heard enough broken promises in his life-time.  Bobbette agrees, although for slightly different reasons.  Bobbette thinks – and what does she really know – but she thinks -  that David Cameron is actually rather in favour of both Europe and immigration.  She doesn’t agree that this is because he is a secret communist as Bob sometimes shouts at the television, but that he believes in the free movement of labour as a way for bosses to undermine wages.  She might say, if anyone ever asked, that he is instinctively socially liberal and out of touch with traditional conservative values.  But she would add that he is ruthlessly right wing economically and sees the EU as a vital project to further market driven policies such as privatisation and reduced state spending.

She doesn’t agree with David Cameron about this of course.  She is concerned about the impact of immigration on jobs and wages and she doesn’t think it’s racist to say so.  But she’s not sure it’s quite the problem Bob sometimes makes out.  She does worry sometimes that UKIP is only too happy to scapegoat immigrants themselves as the problem.  She has even wondered whether some people in UKIP are a little bit racist.  She mentioned this to Bob once and he stormed off to who knows where and didn’t come back for three days.  She hasn’t mentioned it again.

Bob and Bobbette have settled happily in Eastleigh, although Bob has yet to find a job.  Bobbette has made friends with a nice lady next door who has children of similar age.  Bob doesn’t really approve of the friendship as she is a single parent with some strange views, but he is happy that his wife has settled down a bit.

Bob keeps himself busy as well.  When not applying for jobs he often walks down to the M3 to watch for any illegal immigrants who have been smuggled in through Southampton.  He hasn’t spotted one yet, but it makes him feel better.  At least someone is actually doing something about the problems this country faces rather than just talking about it.

Bobbette think he’s out knocking on doors looking for work.  The debts are starting to bite and even with their much reduced housing costs, they are struggling like never before.  For her sake Bob regularly re-assures her with made up tales of interviews and possible job offers.  She would only nag and start talking about getting a job herself if he told her about Project Enoch, as Bob jokingly refers to his activities with his new UKIP friends.

Bob is overjoyed when the by-election is announced.  Whilst he doesn’t quite understand what Chris Huhne did wrong, he is going to be only too happy to give this liberal communist coalition a damn good kicking.  He and Bobbette have handed out thousands of leaflets for UKIP  Well Bob has.  Bobbette has woken up in the middle of the night in terror at the thought of Bob looking in her neighbour’s recyling bin.

They attend the polling station together.  Bob is dressed in his best shirt and tie for the occasion.  He looks over at his wife’s long skirt and strange, almost dangerously ethnic looking earrings.  Bob would never dream of telling his wife how to dress but he would have hoped she might have made more of an effort.  Ultimately however, if her standards were slipping, he blamed this Government.

Inside the polling booth Bob begins shaking with rage.  He glances down at the voting slip in front of him, and despite being alone, makes a theatrical contemptuous gesture as he looks over the names of the three main party candidates.  Taking the pen in his sweat drenched hand he pushes down so hard he almost breaks the nib as he makes a cross next to the UKIP candidates name.  Breathing out he feels a sense of elation as he exits the booth to rejoin Bobbette.  This is the day the country says enough of these communist traitors he thinks proudly.

Bobbette is shaking in her booth for a slightly different reason.  For years she had just voted Conservative and never really thought about it.  Her mother and father had both been Tory voters and of course Bob was a staunch supporter.  But Bob’s conversion to UKIP has unsettled her.  And in that brief moment of political autonomy, as insignificant as that autonomy may be,  she starts to tremble, in anticipation as much as fear.

She realises that here, away from Bob and his temper, she can do as she pleases.  And Bob will never know.  Her pen flickers briefly over the name of the Trade Union and Socialist Candidates and she even lets slip a small giggle, surprising herself.  She’s not quite ready for that yet.

Instead she makes a cross next to the name of the Liberal Democrat candidate.  She’s not sure why.  She knows they lie.  In fact she is secretly appalled with them for the way people who are struggling so hard are being treated.  People like her and Bob, although Bob would never admit how poor they really are now.  She certainly won’t be voting for the Tory Party, and she can’t vote Labour, her father would turn in his grave.  And the truth is she is becoming slowly disgusted with some of the things that Bob and his new UKIP friends say.  A plague on all their houses she thinks with quiet determination.  And votes Lib Dem.

Leaving the polling station she grabs hold of Bob’s arms and squeezes excitedly.  Bob slips his arm around her waist and pulls her close.  Bobbette feels almost delirious at her moment of rebellion.  She can’t wait to tell her neighbour.  Bob is also brimming with pride.  We are closer than ever Bob thinks to himself and decides to show her how he has really been spending his time.   Patting Bobbette on her behind he steers her gently towards the path that leads to his spot next to the M3.

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43 responses to “Bob and Bobbette Move to Eastleigh

  1. Beautiful bit of prose / prosette……..’dangerously ethnic earrings….’

    “It was the fault of the Government / It was the Government’s fault………Jerusalem, Jerusalem…..”

    • something survived...

      A line in ‘Philadelphia’: A black woman speaks in court to give evidence that the company are bigots: She says she was bullied/harassed at work (for being black and female), and was told not to wear her earrings as they were ‘too ethnic’. In other words, please can you look less black!

      The lawyer representing Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks’ character, a lawyer sacked for being gay and having HIV/AIDS) is black, and notices this point. So do some jurors, who I think include some black people…

      Two nights ago I incidentally found out a friend, a student lawyer as it happens, was told to change his appearance in a massive way, as it is ‘not appropriate’ for being a lawyer! The profession has said recently it wants to get more diversity, but this is doing the opposite! If you are reasonably tidy, properly behaved, and are good at being a lawyer, what should it matter how you dress or appear, or what subculture you are from?
      (On NCIS the character Abby, who does the forensics stuff, is a really cool goth/punk/riotgrrl.) (if you like older sources: then, in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ the lawyer Carton is scruffy and dirty, but a hero…)

      • @ something survived… would you really want a scruffy, unkempt, “out there” lawyer representing you in a Court of Law where so much is at stake for you personally?

        • something survived...

          That was not my point. My (real) friend was neither of these things, but still got told the way he looked was not allowed.
          As for courts: so much of it (language, forms of address -ditto Parliament especially the House of Lords – wig/gown, standing for the judge) is BS that could be pared away, and still have something that made sense. So much of it is based on assumptions about the people in power being the deserving ones, the respectable ones, the ones with the right to be there.
          The people with money, power, status, influence, connections, powerful friends. It SAYS it is about equality but it really is not. Who you are determines what happens to you… even ‘I don’t like their face’ could be a reason to convict.

          As for me: I can’t get ANY lawyer, let alone one that would be hunted down by one of those makeover shows for crimes against fashion. And I can’t afford to sue anyone (representing myself) either, as there is now a fee, and it is what I get per YEAR on benefits. According to somebody who works in this field. Strangely enough though I have no money I can BE sued… and the government hold all the cards.

  2. Love it. Way go Bobette! Better to vote what you know than what you think you know.

  3. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Count now at 262

    e-petition:

    Scrap Universal Jobmatch:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/42705

  4. There are too many bob and bobettes out there for my liking, but I loved your little story jv.

  5. I warned many Bobs & Bobettes back in 2010, of the consequences of voting Tory.
    Now, in 2013, with millions of Bobs and Bobettes realizing they too are in the same boat as the “chavs, shirkers and spongers” they formerly ranted against after reading the Sun, Mail or Telegraph.

    I don’t say, “I told you so” because I too have found myself in that same boat.
    The life boat that only lasts 6 months before it sinks beneath you, leaving you to clamber onto your wifes life raft.

    The countless hours applying for jobs that never materialize.
    Dealing with the bills, the anxiety, the depression the feelings of failure and worthlessness that swamp you on your flimsy, temporary DWP life raft, with no dry land or rescue in sight.

    I feel for Bob & Bobette, but it may still take time before they understand why this socialist was so outspoken in early 2010.

    Capitalism maybe brought us the Titanic.
    Socialism might be the ideology behind the life boats.
    Its the arrogance of progress that shows us our universal interdependence and frailty after all.

  6. A very clever insightful piece of writing – thank you :) People aren’t very nice are they?! Always someone to blame or better off than themselves, when they who truly deserve it are completely let down by the welfare system (the reality being of course that we all get the same – very little); their neighbours on the otherhand, ……..well those lazy so and so’s don’t deserve anything yet get much more than they do.

    Goodness, we are all in such a mess and so much in fighting and squabbling – the government are depending upon it while they get on with the business of betraying the country. Even the poor people blame other poor people for their misfortunes. Oh dear. I wish I could see things getting better soon but I really don’t know how. I think things are going to get really unpleasant for a lot of people. Saying you should vote is all well and good but how can an intelligent thinking person put a tick to any one of their names? None of them are good enough and none will do. So none will get my vote. I want to use it but I will not endorse something bad and inadequate for purpose.

  7. Pingback: Bob and Bobbette Move to Eastleigh | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  8. Bob and Bobbette a left of centre political journey from ostentatious Thatcherism to the champagne socialism of NuLabour then onwards to an austerity respite at the UKIP lay-by before veering off into progressive totalitarianism.

  9. something survived...

    The papers seem to have a lot this week (tabloids) about blaming the immigrants, deporting them en masse, kicking them out of schools, banning them from NHS treatment, stopping them (the ones allowed to work) from working, stopping them getting housing…
    Add to that stories about people saying disabled people should be murdered for being disabled and a drain on the state. It costs money to keep the royal family and the aristocracy alive too – and they are visible parasites that do nothing and suck up poor people’s money.
    MOD saying we should cut welfare even further so we can spend more on ‘defence’ (Ministry Of Killing Those Further-Away And Darker-Skinned Than Us).
    Other people saying all of EVERYONE’s dole (unemployment benefits and disability benefits) should be STOPPED after 2 years on it – and then they should live off nothing, die, or get a miraculous job that will suddenly appear.

    I don’t know why that moron, Nigel Farage, is so pleased with himself. All it proves is that they hate the Tories more than they hate Farage right now. It doesn’t mean they want him in government. People elected the LibDems, not UKIP: all it proves is that UKIP managed to prise enough racists off their Jeremy Kyle couches to come out and vote UKIP. Nigel Farage has a face like a skull that tried to badly paint on a clown mask but failed.
    Would Nigel Farage like to repay all the cash and benefits-in-kind he has ever received from the European Union? If that includes teeth or a kidney, should we yank them out?

    It would be a disaster to weaken/reverse/abolish our human rights laws. We should be making more human rights, not taking them away. There are things wrong with the EU, but they are things that people could fix. Like making everything work for PEOPLE, instead of governments and corporations. Like strengthening human rights. Like stopping Profit being society’s current god. Like being a welcoming and safe place for people fleeing persecution and/or seeking a better life. Like having education where individuals are valued and intelligence is seen as a good thing not as something to erase (= Dumbing Down). Like having a society where it is ‘not cool’ to smash things up or intimidate/assault people. Like having full accessibility and equality for disabled people, in everything (like for instance why do some couples with Downs Syndrome have to apply to a panel of social workers, doctors and council members in order to ask permission to have sex, get married, or live together? Why is it seen as bad for a person with disabilities to ask for conjugal visits, or a sex surrogate, or a sex worker; and why do some have to go to panels to ask for help with having sex?).

    What planet is Farage on, when he claims this is a brilliant result? Maybe from where he is standing. In the interests of protecting marriage, can we arrange his forced marriage to his friend Nick Griffin? Like a shotgun wedding? Something old: Mosleyite/Powellite Fascism/Nazism.
    Something new: The nazipedia website (Macropedia?), or whatever it’s calling itself these days.
    Something borrowed: Eachother’s policies.
    Something blue: The Conservative party (providing best man etc.)

    Wedding rings: like ones the SS officers had
    Wedding vows: To have (pure Aryan blood) and to hold (the canister of Zyklon B); in sickness (of other people, who we will exterminate) and in health (the only possible option); to love (Blood And Honour); forsaking all others (except skinheads and KKK for tactical alliances); for richer (us) and for poorer (the only ones we’ll let live, are ones like us who support us) .

    Are there any disused oil platforms we can maroon the happy couple on? Please?!!

    When Nick Griffin sleeps with Nigel Farage, why does Nick always have to go on top?
    Because Nigel can only fuck up.

    UKIP are so close to the BNP, they are like a ‘polite’ or more acceptable whitewashed/bowdlerised version of the BNP. Like ‘BNP Lite’. How many UKIP or UKIP sympathisers are hiding in the UKBA? UKBA and the police were officially meant to have kicked out all their BNP (not sure if this has actually happened, or if people go on finding ways to stay in the BNP secretly). UKBA is the perfect work environment for a racist. Strip, jail and mistreat immigrants. Hunt them down. Put them on a plane. Other places UKIP might work, include the DWP.

    It’d be so easy to have the BNP or UKIP (since BNP aren’t banned from DWP yet!) member of staff sitting at their desk, with free rein to terminate the benefits of every black or Asian claimant that comes to sign on there. Raise a Compliance Doubt. Put a Sanction on their claim. Or get them prosecuted for Benefit Fraud. If you are trying to fill your quota of ‘people to kick off benefits’, with the carrot of ‘to earn a bonus’ or the stick of ‘to avoid the sack’, then it would be LUDICROUSLY EASY to cherrypick those ‘clients’ who are black/Asian etc. or who have something else we don’t like (single mother, disabled, hippy, punk, leftwinger, gay) about them, and for those to be the ones to be taken off their benefits. The claimant will never know this was the reason as all it takes is a click of the mouse following a decision inside that DWP ‘adviser’s’ head. So of course there is no evidence and nothing provable, and each claimant would not know anything of the other claimants sanctioned in this way. So no chance of solidarity, information gathering/sharing, unions, or a class action suit.

    UKIP/BNP (let’s treat them as the conglomerate, in the geological sense, that they deserve to be) is a TERRIBLE party to vote for. It shows you care nothing whatsoever about Britain, Britishness, British values, or the British people. It’s the opposite of patriotic, and practically tantamount to treason. To really examine your origins you need to take a detailed DNA test; we are from everywhere. The human gene pool is strengthened by diversity. Genetically there are advantages of reproducing with the most different-looking people from oneself. Also we gain culturally: the benefits of mixing with other cultures are important. And if we became so mixed we could no longer tell what country we were from or where the borders start or end, when Everyone lived Everywhere, it would be so much harder for us to start a war, because ‘the other place’ would be part of ‘us’ and vice versa. (It actually already is, but we just don’t see it yet)

    Do these elections bring the racists out of the woodwork, do they show how strong the support is for the (far) right, or do they indicate that the right are scattered and delusional – or all of the above?

    • Once we reach the stage that the indigenous population are out on the street with no where to live and they see Poles, Slovak, whatever out working, earning and living in their former homes that is when the trouble really starts. The Masterplan?

      • Housing Association Tenant

        Too right, love… Housing Association round here keeps threatening us with: “Don’t let someone else get your home!” Wonder who that “someone” is?

  10. rainbowwarriorlizzie

    Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & POLITICAL JOURNAL and commented:
    In Solidarity!!

  11. Pingback: Bob and Bobbette Move to Eastleigh | HUMANITY & RIGHTS FOR INDIGENOUS ABORIGINAL PEOPLES | Scoop.it

  12. Pingback: Bob and Bobbette Move to Eastleigh | Human Rights & Political Journal | Scoop.it

  13. I really enjoyed this piece. Couldn’t the lady Bobbette have her own name though? I think this touches on something interesting – you can never really know the true political affiliations of your loved ones and family members. You think you know someone and then find out of the blue that they are not really what they say they are – politically speaking. I have found that discussing politics over dinner really is a no go in our family – the last time we did – we didn’t speak to each other for two weeks!

  14. One of my best mates works for an recruitment agencies in my town, he was telling me a few weeks ago that he was told to give priority to migrant workers as not to discriminate against them. Where I live there has been a couple of major distribution center built in the last two years and through the job center has been schemes to get people into these jobs. At the same time they were advertising these jobs in Poland ect. Everyone who attended through the job center went on a 3 day a week course for 6 weeks with a interview at the end, after all this most of the jobs had been taken by the Europeans by the time the scheme had ended. To top it off there was a drugs test before the interview and if you failed no interview, but for the migrant workers there was no test!? Now there are over 75 percent migrant workers in these 1000 plus jobs, this was ment to bring work the local population, local jobs for local people as our local tory MP said in the papers. There are 1200 jobseakers here and rising and and a growing European workforce? It makes no sense to me??? Ukip all the way I say

  15. i found this a little dissapointing, too much bob bobbette

  16. antix

    Do you think the government (who is also extreme in it’s dealings) is not deliberately provoking thiis reaction in the unemployed English people, just so that you will vote for the more extreme wing of the Tory party i.e. UKIP.

  17. And Chris Grayling wants to scrap Human Rights.

    I think we can already see that in action.

    • Theresa May too – she wants to see the UK withdraw from the ECHR “before the next election”. Bearing in mind it’s the European Human Rights Act that is one of the few things that prevents the UK Government bringing in even more draconian laws against the poor and unemployed of this country this is another line of attack the Tories hope to open against the poorest in our society.

  18. I’m in 2 minds here, something survived puts forward some very good points but so does antix on the subject of his friend as a similar thing happened to my ex, he applied for some agency work some time ago & was turned down flat as he wasn’t Polish. This agency was for Polish workers only. And there’s very high unemployment in the area. How fair is that?
    My ex has been a lifetime tory voter (in a Labour dominated area) even he has become disillusioned over the last few months even more so now as he’s about to affected by the bedroom tax.
    In a discussion on Sky News this morning there was a consensus that there has been a recent lurch to right, the tories are bound to follow this lurch. We’re on the road to fascism & there seems to be nothing that can stop it.

  19. I’m not racist or a fascist, I’m a protectionist. Protect the jobs for british folk and our children to come. To look after our own before everyone else!!! My Slovakian friend here agrees with me on this, she said most people coming here from overseas come here for an easy ride to abuse our nhs and benefits, and most recruitment agencies now will take on polish ect to a british worker as they don’t know there employment right unlike the the british and will abuse that and make a big profits from them. Now with the ujm and uc its the brits getting punished for not being able to find jobs because of the migrants here, due to are useless government not doin anything to help us and not standing up for us and rather line there pockets from there own people’s suffering……

  20. “She is concerned about the impact of immigration on jobs and wages and she doesn’t think it’s racist to say so.”

    Is this suggesting that it is racist to analyse or question the economic impact of unfettered immigration on a community?

  21. Maybe not all of them. But it’s fucking hard when all I do is my best to secure a job before I lose my home in the place I grew up in and where my children live. 2 years ago I loss my job where I work for over 6 years.along with 20 or so other employees, and the same well known company i worked for now has a majority foreign work force. It’s fucking sicken me

    • Well go to Poland, Spain, or any other EU country then. You’ve got the same right as they have to work anywhere in Europe. Off you toddle!

  22. Sanctions Must DIE!!

    Sanctions are KILLING the poor!! Sanctions must STOP NOW!!

  23. Antix
    This government is not about fairness to the British worker it’s about reducing his bargaining power in employment and needs the immigrants to do this, will you work for the paltry wages immigrant workers work for? Most Tory MP’s are closet UkIPers but they also have financial interests in Europe and third world countries, so are all in it together when it comes to selling the British worker down the river and keep their own public sector jobs and pay in order to control us.
    migrant workers should be controlled and allow immigration from all areas of Europe fairly not discriminate between countries.

  24. Where will all the migrants go when the NHS is privatized and the Welfare state is no more?

    They won’t be coming for the weather.

  25. Frustrated and Pissed-off Jobseeker

    What the fuck is going on? Universal Jobmatch is fucking DOWN! How they fuck are we supposed to get a fucking job when we can’t even look for one. Sack these fucking incompetent Monster cunts and give the fucking job to someone who knows what they are fucking doing. I am SO FUCKING ANGRY!!!!!!

    • It’s down for “maintenance” until 10PM tonight I think. The DWP are probably introducing the necessary changes needed for it to go “mandatory” from tomorrow…

    • I know exactly how you feel F&PO.
      How may jobs have been cut, leaving departments dangerously under resourced?
      How many jobs are advertised which pay 20% less than the job you were doing in 1998 but expect you to manage staff and carry greater responsibility?

    • Confused Jobcentre

      “We are upgrading the Monster site at the moment” No mention of the DWP/Jobcentre! The is not even displaying a DWP/JCP logo! So, how can jobseekers be “directed” to sign-up to a site that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the DWP/Jobcentre?

  26. Though it seems that many of those expressing notes of concern about the effects of immigration on the UK jobs market would deny it, it appears that the UKIP effect is working. There is free movement for citizens of the European Union, in both directions. Of course an influx of workers is going to have an effect, but surely a much wiser approach to ‘the problem’ would be to engage with those workers to inform them of their rights, that it is illegal for employers to pay them less than the minimum wage etc. All workers in every country have the same common interests.

    The xenophobic approach of closing the borders is not the way; it only plays into the hands of UKIP and the BNP. What would happen once you’d achieved that goal? Would you then seek out other national identities to accuse of taking English people’s jobs? The Irish? The Scots? The Welsh?

    It’s the economic and political system that is at fault, not the fault of poor immigrants who are only trying to do what you are; that is to find a job in order to at least have a chance at achieving a semblance of a decent living. All of us here has more in common with these immigrant workers than we do with any of the political parties who spout vile British Nationalism, which by degrees includes all of the major parties.

  27. sibrydiomawr

    It is not xenophobic to want control of British(not English) borders in an effort to alleviate joblessness in our own country and it should be the duty of immigration to inform migrant workers of minimum wage law and other employment laws such as safety laws for those that are allowed in.

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