Lesser known residents of Benefits Street

“When I left Slade School of Art I had no choice but to sign on. Nowadays it’s normal for artists sign on but back then you were regarded as a leper.” – Derek Jarman

“The name “UB40” was selected in reference to the signing-on document issued to people claiming unemployment benefit from the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) at the time of the band’s formation. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40. Their first album was titled Signing Off, as the band were signing off from, or ending, their claim for unemployment benefit. Signing Off was released on 29 August 1980, and entered the UK Albums Chart on 2 October 1980. It reached as high as No. 2 in the UK and spent 71 weeks in total on the chart. Signing Off is now a platinum album.” – Wikipedia

“I was essentially campaigning for the right not to work.” – John Lydon

“In 1989 I had to sign on at Elephant & Castle after receiving an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art. And even when I did my job restart programme they treated me with kid gloves. All I had to do was prove that I could put together a CV and I was let off scot-free. Even though there was a level of dishonesty here, it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t know what you were supposed to have, and what you were not supposed to have, in terms of education. But I knew what I really did have. And the whole time I was on the dole I never once wasted a moment. And it’s really paid off.” – Tracey Emin

HOMOSEXUAL POLEMIC? BIRMINGHAM REGGAE? REPUBLICAN CATERWAULING? HOME-MADE TAT? THIS COULD ALL HAVE BEEN PREVENTED IF WE’D KICKED THOSE SCUMBAGS OFF BENEFITS STREET!

Richard LittledickThe Daily Heil

 



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