Hard work never killed anybody (or, Can we ban X Factor?)


Our guest daddy blogger for this week is Rob Fletcher, who is more than a little concerned about the X Factor generation… (warning: rant enclosed)

It’s Sunday as I write this, a day of rest for some – certainly for my family and I. I feel that I deserve this day of rest. Throughout the week I am in work from around 07.30 to at least 17.00. Mrs F begins her working day around the same time, ending at 16.30 before preparing the family dinner etc. A lot of our evenings and down time is willingly devoted to our three children, and administering a family home inhabited by all of the above.

Most of you reading this will relate to that. Some will probably think that that it sounds like luxury compared to their own work-life patterns, others may be a few years away from this but looking forward to it. Some of you may squirm in fear, but it is My Utopia.

The X Factor generation

But then there are those who think that they shouldn’t have to work – that the country owes them a living. Those that feel that they can conquer the world without having ever done an honest days work in their lives. Those just like the ones we see on shows like “X Factor” who feel the need to parade themselves on our TV screens, and in certain red top newspapers in a bid to whore themselves to any media willing to pay.

I mean, what concept of reality do some of these kids have? How can they possibly grow up to become valued and respected figures if they don’t know what it is to contribute to the working world? For every one with a natural talent (whom I admire greatly), there are 10,000 or more of these wannabes with no respect for their leaders, their peers or each other. They snarl in the face of the rest of the rat race, demand thousands of pounds for achieving nothing and generally walk around with the nonchalance that we all love to hate. In fact I don’t love to hate it, I just hate it.

Today’s Great Britain

It disgusts me that we as a country condone and supports this new attitude. Ask the generation aged 6-16 now what they would like to be when older, and I guarantee that there will be many who seriously think they have a chance of becoming a multi-millionaire star, or a WAG as they have seen it on the TV. They have been fed the false hope that you do not have to work for a living in this new world.

When I was a boy, the delusions of grandeur extended to probably one in 20 with a serious talent for football or the like, some of whom made it, but most of whom landed with a bump and then settled into full-time, paid employment. I believe the generation of today are being damaged by this false hope that shows like X Factor offer, and are being led into a world where they dont have to try hard, or listen, or be respectful to those in authority.

Time for change

The phrase “Hard work never killed anybody” is often used by the generations before me, but I feel it needs a new airing.

Toughen up, Great Britain! Stop pretending it’s OK to push your children into a world where they don’t have to work to earn their living.

Support your children and encourage them to do well and get “a proper job.” It’s not easy – children can be challenging – children may not see the benefits of working hard at school at such a young age, but as parents it’s up to us to work hard, and not take the easy way out, not let them think they can be a pop star if they really don’t have one iota of talent.

And to the trash tabloids, report on successes, not on which 17 year old is sha**ing which footballer. Stop showing our younger generation it is OK or funny to behave like a spoilt diva who has never known what it is like to struggle for money. Be proud of a Great Britain that can be great, not of one that condones this superficial image of a youth that is destined for nothing other than a bumpy landing and ultimately failure.

I hear the phrase Broken Britain regularly, I’m not sure if this applies to the above, but if it does fall into that pigeon hole, I can begin to see why.

  • Kate Scott

    This is very apt for me as this is the first year that, as a family we have decided to watch the X-factor, never having bothered before. And we love it!! My husband, two boys (aged 9 and 11) and I come together every Saturday night and enjoy discussing, laughing, crying, debating….but most of all TALKING about it all. So, as with all trends since the beginning of media culture, it depends an awful lot on the atmosphere in which these things are experienced. Whilst watching, we discuss the pros and cons of fame and fortune with our children, we talk about lack of privacy, pressure to perform etc. as well as the more mundane ‘omg what IS s/he wearing??’ ;-)
    So, again, as with all things, perhaps it does come down to the parents and their attitudes, and I do actually have faith that the majority ARE the sensible ‘hard work never killed anybody’ types :-)

  • http://twitter.com/TFGRobFletcher Rob Fletcher

    I admire your optimism Kate!! The fact that X Factor provides your family with debate is a great thing, there are lots of children that spend lots of time (So my kids tell me) in their own rooms virtually denying their parents exist! I am so pleased that you feel that the majority are the sensible types, and in our family circle I believe that to be the case too, our two girls go to one of the country’s top schools, and the attitude to learning and mentality of the ethos surrounding it does not lend itself to children having pie in the sky dreams of wanting to become a WAG or pop star! No doubt the school would support the child in any natural ability they had, they are nurtured to become bright academics first and foremost, a grounding which all children should have before embarking on life’s varied paths. Our attitudes as parents is to support our children in anything they want to achieve, but by being brought up in our surroundings, attending the school they do, with the company they keep. it is no coincidence you will not see them on X Factor, and highly doubtful that if they did appear, your children would be there also! That’s what makes us “Us”. So…… It’s not me, it’s not you…….where do all of these kids come from that so shamelessly adorn the aforementioned red top newspapers…….

  • http://www.birdsontheblog.co.uk/ Sarah Arrow

    Well said Rob, the mantra in our family has always been “you can do what you like, so long as you have an education to fall back on”.
    Actress Rachel Weisz went to Oxford or Cambridge, her education didn’t interfere with her acting career and she has her own safety net, just in case. Her parents were pretty grounded and did the absolute best for her, I have no doubt that if she had failed as an actress she would be contributing to the world in other great ways.

    Fame is fickle, it won’t last forever or beyond the Warhol 15 minutes.

    A good work ethic is the best gift you can give your children, it’s a gift that will stay with them their entire life