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Stuff from This Week

IDS appeared on a World At One broadcast (no link, the programme isn't available anymore, sorry) recently where he talked to some unemployed youth types in Hackney. Yet more propaganda for the Work Programme, which, it seems to me, is not quite the panacea the tories want it to be. However they continue to fall back on propaganda whenever the issue of youth unemployment rears it's head, as it has this week with the reported increase in the number of such people.
IDS was quizzed by an ex prisoner about the obvious difficulties of finding work. He seems, like all tories, ideologically incapable of understanding that right wing policies have bred the problems people like the prisoner have had in their lives, problems that compel people - without making excuses - into crime (no one's born a crook). We have a society with a climate of fear, division, envy and resentment - envy of the lot of the poorest in society because they don't have jobs the rest of us resent. Fear that those jobs will be taken (ostensibly by immigrants, or whatever other bogeyman the Daily Mail would like to set up).
Within that climate, as we have seen this summer, we have riots - and not for the first time (or the last, I fear) under a tory government. So what does the government do? Lock up two people for the crime of being incredibly stupid in exercising freedom of speech despite the consequence being that noone took them seriously (no riots occured from their facebook messages). These two will be facing IDS in the same way in a few years time, with the same questions about finding work. People that IDS describes as having distorted values - as though they were savage aliens! In this climate how are people such as ex-prisoners ever going to find work?
In a week where the Guardian has a simple and sublime expose on workfare, Junior WorkFuhrer Grayling (opposed - hah! - by David Miliband) appeared on Newsnight discussing youth unemployment. Again, amid the experiences of young graduates and kids out of school, the Work Programme was championed. Again the myth that it will provide one to one tailored individual support was championed. Is this even happening? Not from where I'm sitting.
Instead we are consigning graduates to menial unskilled work for no wage in places like Poundland - employers that don't even offer a wage and are all too happy to take free labour on! What a waste! Why bother even going to university (and thereby shutting down the education system which won't make any money because people won't be borrowing increased tuition fees to go). At every turn this government shows a paucity of economic knowledge that borders on the frightening. What business do these Work Programme providers have in sending people onto workfare schemes (or, as they probably call it, work experience)? They aren't therefore delivering the service they are supposed to!
When I was at school i did a week's experience at a signwriters. Boring as hell (because I couldn't get involved due to the complex machinery). But it was one week - and I was taken to every department to see what it was all about. Not the same as being made to stack shelves for 6 months! We are destroying our own futures.
In other, perhaps less exciting news, my last signing session with my 'adviser' (seriously, what do these people advise?) and I have been booked to see a 'work psychologist' in a month's time! I have no idea what such a person does, though it will probably be an attempt to brainwash me into believing that menial work is the future. Nope sorry, don't agree. I have nothing against people doping such work, just the work itself. I aspire to more than that from life, but that would require the government invest more money - money it probably needs to invest in a bigger wine cellar in the Houses of Parliament.

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