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The Crack in the Window

Do you wear glasses? I do.
If you do, do you ever get those moments when you have something on the lens, a smear or a scratch or a speck, but it's so close you can't see it yet it obscures your vision. You can feel your eye trying to work around it. That's living in our society.
We know things aren't right.
Our sensibilities cannot correctly perceive the crack in the window, but we know it's there. We know it's there because, but for the ruling elite, consensus would agree its existence and a new pane of glass would be fitted. Fixing those cracks is not in the interests of the government. They are as alien to our experience as that crack is to that window.
Last night i heard Digby Jones, champion of 'Britain PLC' (what a way to traduce a nation), defend tax dodging by taking the act of personal gratuity, tipping, and accusing those that partake in that act as consenting to the same act. I find that reprehensible. But then Jones has form after witnessing him, almost gangland style, verbally 'execute' two unemployed young blokes on Panorama simply for being out of work. In some remote urban location, dressed in an overcoat, I half expected Vinnie Jones to pop out from behind Digby's vast maggot monied girth to shoot the two before disposing the bodies in the canal.
Tomorrow I have to attend a JC+ appointment on what is otherwise my normal signing day with a special adviser having been unemployed for a few months now. The appointment was booked behind my back on a system that has the flexibility of a brick. No consideration of the fact I cannot actually get there until 30 mins later without spending 3 hours sitting on a park bench in a very very empty town. At least if there was a cinema i'd have something to do. There is nothing. Of course they will tell me that I could have spent that time 'jobsearching' - how? They won't say; it's a convenient catch all phrase they use to shift blame.
I could turn up late and possibly get sanctioned, leaving me with £60 to live on...forever. Of course I could turn up and everything could be fine. Or they could kick up a fuss and hit my stress buttons. These days, dealing with the jobcentre (which is why i was on ESA before, dealing with these useless fuckers) is an exercise in anxiety.
I can't deal with their bullshit. My cup is full. I've had their crap before. I signed on a few years back and had problems with the same people who'd promised they could help fund a passport (for identification purposes in our post-911 everyone's a terrorist world). I even had the job centre manager called over one time because it was taking a while to get the form signed properly (it has to be signed by someone qualified, and that someone's wife had just walked out on him). She then proceeded to stand there and berate me, in the open plan environment, for signing on.
"This is a legal document!" She raved "Signing this is an act of fraud because there are loads of jobs, i could get you labouring work without the need for a CSCS card so you are signing that document fraudulently!"
I shit thee not. I had to listen to her accuse me of fraud while doing nothing to back up her bullshit. No jobs were offered at all. I have never committed benefit fraud (or any other kind) in my life. But these people don't care.
In the end they didn't bother to fund a passport. I was told they'd only refund me and that I'd have to fork out the £80 myself. Of course I didn't have it so they didn't bother - as if I would trust them anyway.


  1. I just want to thank you for your comments on the Guardian website's story about that awful channel 4 programme. I didn't watch it myself, but I saw some episodes from the last series.

    Programmes like 'Fairy Job Mother' buy into a right wing fantasy of unemployment being something that can be solved with the right attitude and a suit.

    Thank you for pointing out the reality of job seeking. It's a demoralising situation to be in even without the stresses of the system and condemnation of self-satisfied people who have jobs/businesses/pensions.

    Pushing people into unsuitable or exploitative work situations can destroy them. It's time that was recognised and the focus shifted to giving people genuine support (through job creation, training, careers advice, grants/loans for interview expenses, affordable housing, childcare, good provision of mental health care and addiction rehabilitation programmes, start up business advice and funding and willingness to find out what other barriers people have to employment)to find that they can have a sustainable future in.

    Beyond that, we have to treat people who can't work - either permanently or temporarily and those who haven't found work yet with dignity, respect and enough money to live on - whatever the Daily Mail says.

    We also need to appreciate the contribution to society (gosh that's a stuffy phrase!) that people make outside employment - it's not all about money, in fact the most important things rarely are.

  2. Thanks very much. It's an ongoing battle. What needs to happen is the socially minded progressive left needs to unify and find a proper voice (ie not ed milibland).


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