I have just seen an advert for a new Channel 5 show featuring Tamara Ecclestone Billion Dollar Girl and find myself mystified as to who the hell watches this crap. At a time of recession, where the government is slashing the services and benefits of those at the bottom of the heap, who really wants to see a “reality” show about a spoilt little rich girl? Why would any TV company think that this is the right time to make such a show?
Last weekend I compared at the Hardest Hit Rally in Brighton, where a large number of disabled people came out to make their voices heard about how the government’s policy of cutting benefits is really effecting them and making their lives incredibly difficult. I heard many people talk about their worries and panic regarding how the cuts and changes will make it impossible continue to live independent and happy lives. Speaking to many of the people there I discovered facts about the proposed changes to those benefits awarded to disabled people and some of them made no sense. One shocking change is that the Mobility part of DLA, or the new PIP, will stop at the age of 64. Now what actually happens to people with mobility issues at the age of 64 that means they no longer need help with getting around is beyond me. I would have thought that many people, even non-disabled people, will end up becoming worse at getting around as they get older and so be entitled to more financial help not less… or none.
But then that is what is really behind these changes and cuts. It’s not making the benefits system fairer or target those who really need it, it’s just a way of saving money. As we now live in a society where the number of older people is growing massively, any payment that goes towards helping people who develop problems with mobility will end up being paid to more and more people who really are entitled to it. Oh dear, that will cost us more… what shall we do? Just get rid of the benefit, not caring if this means more and more people are left in real financial difficulty and loose their independence. (I feel at this point I should mention that many people who receive the mobility payment put it towards getting a Motability hire car. Motability is one of the biggest fleet car companies in the UK and plays a massive role in keeping the UK car industry afloat. With out it countless jobs will go, damaging our economy hugely) And that’s just one of the changes that will have a real effect on people who do not have much money to start with.
Now maybe that would be OK if we lived in a society where everyone was poor or at least feeling the effects of recession, but it is criminal that while some are living in fear about how they will be able to afford to live others are so rich they can throw money away. How can it be OK that billionaires are out buying massive yachts, ridiculous sports cars and house after house costing huge sums that they only live in for a few days a year when others are terrified about being able to heat their home this winter? Ms Ecclestone is currently redecorating a mansion in Kensington that is worth 45 million pounds, so she will never have to worry about making ends meet will she? Yes I know I’m a rabid lefty, and so obviously this huge disparity in wealth offends me but even if you don’t think there is something wrong with the rich being so rich while others freeze, surely you do see that making a TV show about the rich spoilt daughter of one the those billionaires is in bad taste?
As well as the timing and subject, the thing that really grinds my gears is that the star of this show is already super wealthy, yet she will be getting paid for the show and will earn even more money because of the publicity she will receive from it. We already have the awful Made In Chelsea on Channel 4, filled with vacuous rich kids hamming it up for our “entertainment” but Billion Dollar Girl is a step too far. I for one will not be watching this waste of time and have no idea who will.