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Generation F
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on 9 February 2013
I read this book as I am a product of the care system. I am a well adjusted working member of society but this book just describes what I saw coming when I was in care. Back then Winston would have been able to discipline, and in doing this help, a lot of these kids. I went into the military at 16 after being encouraged by one of the workers who Winston reminded me a lot of. A man who spoke sense and realised that in helping us to deal with life and make our way he would have to teach some unpalatable lessons. I was an unruly kid, not a criminal or violent or mean but I needed direction and a steady hand. I was lucky to meet a level headed gent who cared enough to guide me and in doing so largely made me the man I am today. These people I belive exist in todays system but are kept down by the plitically correct system that is hindering and far from helping.

When I think of the 16 year old me I shudder to think what I would have ended up like had I been in today's system. I can only sympathise with the likes of Winston while greatly admiring them.
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on 2 July 2011
The clever humour in using names from 1984 e.g. Ocenia housing assocation and the fact that Winston makes it clear that he was left wing before reality mugged him mean that this is a very enjoyable book.

It also sadly makes me think about emmigrating. If I were David Cameron I would parachute Winston into the house of commons. If I were an MP I would think about retiring so Winston could have my seat.

Sadly Winston I am neither.
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on 25 September 2014
Great book, I have worked within the hostel environment for many years and can relate to Winston in so many ways. I understand the it is more policy and procedures that get in the way of the often vulnerable clients, we are supposed to be supporting to become independent and useful citizens. It is a hard and challenging job and takes allot of dedication from staff who often have the best intention. However I do agree that the bureaucracy is hindering the process of making a difference in the individuals lives. Winston gives some great examples of some of the daily challenges.
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on 20 January 2017
Hard to believe tax payers money is spent the way it is. What are these civil servants thinking?
All decent people in this country should read this book and learn how not to deal with young people.
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on 29 December 2012
I have just read this excellent book after reading Owen Jones 'Chav'. The two books are such contrasts. Where Jones gives excuse after excuse for the yobbish behaviour of an underclass (ADHD and many other ridiculous excuses as 'mental health issues') , Smith gives the real story of how these people are living in a 'take' culture and have no intention of ever becoming useful members of society. I don't know how he stuck the job working with social services and their nanny attitude. Social services need a total revamp. Although I found the cases Smith discusses infuriating from the paperwork to allowing thugs to act in the manner they do, I still read the book avidly and highly recommend it. It is sad,though, that there are many deserving people that require the assisted housing project but that due to social services pandering to adults who should be capable of taking responsibility for their own actions, they are being let down.
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on 3 December 2012
Call yourself a liberal,compassionate and caring ?,I did, then Winston gave me an insight on the sheltered housing schemes for our disadvantaged youth for whom he works .
This is a world where responsibility is turned upside down,where blame and consequences are a past memory and the customer/client (thats the disadvantaged youth of today )are king
Go with Winston on his journey of forms ,fights ,fornication,feral teenagers and families,you will laugh,cry,rage and question what and where the hell our liberal society has gone and what its become.

There is suffering and neglect in todays welfare system,but enough of the problems of the staff..........an eye opener and a very good read,recommended.
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on 13 October 2017
Very good read with an insight into the welfare state.
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on 8 April 2013
My whole family want me to shut up about this book ! I have not stopped ranting about our country's ridiculous system the book clearly shows the less you do the more you get. If anyone recognises themselves in this book they should hang their heads in shame then go and get a bloody job !!!
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on 16 June 2013
This is a brilliant book which is serious and told with a certain amount of humour although it's not funny. It's just what you would expect from an insider telling us what we already know about the nanny state.
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on 21 September 2015
An excellent read about the same client group I used to work with
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