Last night I sat at watched the conversional program Benefits Street. Its been a weird one for me as part of me didn’t wish to watch it in protest of the appalling way channel 4 have used these people .Yet temptation and inquisitiveness won the battle and for the last four weeks I have followed the story of James Turner Street with millions across the country.
Over the last weeks I have felt so many emotions, I can’t work out if I’m cross with the nation or with the people. What I do know is that the television programme has been made in such a way that it has raised debate all over the country. It has been edited to raise negative attitudes towards the residents and benefit users in general.
The media are covering stories regarding benefit fraud as if it the worst crime in the country. That everyone claiming benefits is a thief or a scoundrel this is so very wrong and a terrible stereotype to create. Personally I think a closer look and more outrage should be turned towards the millions being lost through tax loopholes and uncollected tax. I think the image below speaks for itself.
Anyway less about this and more about the people, those who really matter. I want to talk about last nights programme. As I sat watching it I was in tears. James Clarke better known as Fungi is a man who is in serious need of help. The news have been full of his exploits the “big issue” con and so much more but all I saw was a very vulnerable man being used.
Addiction is a cruel disease and while many will talk about it being a choice using drugs they forget the stories behind the people. We should never judge the choices they made.
All I wanted to do last was night was hug this man. When the cameras entered his home I was heartbroken. Animals live better than him. How wrong is this world?
I don’t know James Clarke and I never will but I do know that he needs help. The newspapers are reporting that he has moved out of James Turner Street and his friends are worried for him and so they should be. The article states that the production team are in contact with him and I really hope and pray that this is the truth and he is ok.
I saw a man in need of help.
Addiction is a disease that needs treatment. Suffers need support not condemnation. It destroys lives everyday. I really hope Fungi is getting the help he needs and I encourage anyone who is suffering to seek help.
There are organisations out there for you, contact one of those, speak to your GP but please take that first step to recover.
Places of help.