The mad Orwellian world of the Child Support Agency functionaries
Ever had one of the nightmares where you fear you will never awake? Mine has
now been going on for seven years courtesy of the justifiably much-maligned CSA.
Imagine a world enmeshed in the state apparatus, where logical reasoning is replaced by doublethink and where petty officials pursue the individual to the extreme – yes, just like in Orwell’s vision of socialism gone nuts in 1984 .
My latest exchange with these pen-pushers comes seven years after I parted company with an ex-wife and six years since I took full responsibility for the children after a social services intervention.
As a gesture of goodwill I gave her a farewell £20,000 which was soon pi**ed up the wall. Since then she hasn’t given the two boys as much as a birthday card* (see footnote). Oh sorry, I’m being unkind, there is the £20 a month maintenance which I’m truly grateful for.
Actually, this princely sum is cancelled out every month by me paying £20 on arrears apparently ‘owed’ by me.
I had never really got to the bottom of this notional debt until recently when my eldest son asked why we couldn’t get the CSA ‘on to her’ in terms of providing more support, even a bit of pocket money now and again.
I wrote to the bunker in Chester and copied in my MP Angela Eagle which guaranteed I would get some kind of proper response.
The result was enlightening. A hugely impressive breakdown of figures were involved, which themselves must have cost much more than the net £0 loss/gain that applies in this case.
As the position stands, the state machine has decreed I owe £620 to my ex wife – this follows a period years ago when I was absent but paid the mortgage and gave her £350 a month plus the £20,000 parting shot.
I also ‘owe’ a similar sum to the Treasury because she didn’t inform them she was on benefits for a period while collecting maintenance – and therefore I am responsible for reimbursing the government.
I don’t whether this is more Orwell, Kafka or Fred Karno’s. Are these people serious? Maybe the officials should start thinking outside the box a la Winston Smith.
I know reforms are coming following the Henshaw review but whether this behemoth of wild inefficiency can be truly tamed remains to be seen.
Oh yes, almost forgot. My response this this, dear reader? Not exactly unprintable but I think you can guess neither the ex nor Gordon Osbourne will be getting a Xmas bonus from me…..Im more inclined to an ‘organised hate’ session……
*For legal purposes, one bicycle has been provided during her time as a non-resident parent. Also she donated a laptop which cost me £100 to have made fit for use.