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Thoughts on the BBC Programme (ongoing)

This is an open entry regarding the recent Future of Welfare programme presented by John Humphreys and broadcast on 27/10. I'm cautiously dipping into this programme, but it does warrant examination.

So I'm watching the sequence with our man as he goes to an American jobcentre. Here he seems surprised that the jobcentre would ask claimants to look for work as a condition of their benefit. But if he's been researching this for a year in the UK he'll know that's always been the case, not just in America, but here. So why is this 'foreign' process being sold as some welfare revolution? This is just spurious nonsense. Again with the idea that up until now there's been a sense of entitlement.
Well hang on, people pay taxes and make contributions are entitled to make a claim for JSA. Even then that doesn't guarantee their claim will succeed and, for as long as the claim runs, the individual must meet the requirements as notarised in the Jobseeker's Agreement which is countersigned by the DWP. So why is there allowed to exist this twisting of the word 'entitlement' into something uglier, like a spoilt child wanting a bigger toy?
I don't understand why people should feel resentment toward welfare or guilt for claiming it? Where does the money come from - taxes and insurance. We all pay at least one of those two. If claimants aren't entitled to claim then why are the government entitled to it.
Now I'm watching as a jolly big black bloke running a (presumably, correct me if I'm wrong) Work Programme class. Again the curriculum wouldn't seem out of place in Royston Vasey, though perhaps presented with a less ugly sneer. But the conditionality is clear: a two year course of 30 hours weekly sitting in front of a whiteboard making primary school pictures, collages and even cupcakes. All with the idea that you will believe work, however it is defined (and they didn't define it at all), is the best thing for you. Those participants spoken to seemed cautiously unimpressed (and probably mindful they were being filmed). A one size happily clapper fits all approach the centre manager seemed oblivious to, even when she admitted there were half a million jobs (as of April) available.
Interestingly most of the people in the footage of the WP were previously employed - so why is there this bizarre focus on indoctrinating them with the belief that 'work' is better than 'not work'. But again, no definition of terms. Washing up and hoovering the house is work, but I don't get paid for that.
Then Humph is talking to a Tower Hamlets GP with a south African accent who claims, even though she deals with some of them, it's unbelievable that 2million people are genuine sick benefit recipients. She of course presents no evidence to back this up and would probably balk at a charge of being complicit in benefit fraud, but if she does, as was claimed, deal with such people, she or her surgery colleagues must be colluding in benefit fraud.
The idea that if all these millions, sick or scrounging, were in work that society would benefit in many ways, financially, emotionally, whatever, is just pie in the sky when placed in the context of the recent riots. 60% of those rioting were working. Is that the symptom of a hard working society?


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