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They Don't Get It

The Tories will simply never understand the reality of unemployment.

Firstly cutting people off of benefits will only create further problems. These people will still exist as will their needs which, if not met by the welfare state, will be met by the street and by criminality. That itself will bring increased cost (and of course increased opprobrium from the right wingers) for everyone else through increased insurance premiums, retail prices (to cover the costs of shoplifting for example) and perhaps prison time. They will be alienated from society and thus more motivated to antisocial behaviour and to move against society through criminality. This is why we have a welfare state. The Tories do not understand this. To them it, and thus the poor and the weak, are only ever a burden.
The Work Programme is clearly a scam. I've said it before: the unemployment gravy train. It is obviously a money making scheme for a group of businessmen and women, some of whom may be naively idealistic. What was advertised as the antithesis of a one size fits all programme is clearly just that. Compelling people to spend time on crappy computers searching for the same jobs as everyone else while moaning about the fonts on their cv isn't helping anyone achieve anything. Why not fund these people through the education system, through university? Instead they'll be given courses in lifting cardboard boxes, counting money, and sitting on the checkout. It is the privatisation of the welfare state by the back door. I've yet to hear one positive anecdote regarding the Work Programme against a backdrop of dissatisfaction. Will the government listen? Work Overgruppenfuhrer Chris Grayling thinks that the WP is 'intensive activity' - doing what? Forcing people to learn about the world of work in a charity shop? Been there, done that. You know what, it was boring as hell even if it was for a good cause. I didn't really learn anything and no one is going to take that seriously as experience when they can employ someone with more relevant experience easily enough.
Then we come to the idea of workfare. Cameron is now proposing 6 months of 30 hour weekly unpaid work! This is just preposterous. You cannot expect people to work for nothing - well the Tories seem to. But the bottom line with this awful scheme is that if there is work for people to do why are we not offering it to them in return for a proper wage, rights and liability? Surely if these people are working you pay them! 30 hours for £65 is clearly not the minimum wage or even close to it. Is this the standard we want to lower ourselves to? It's forced prostitution - it's just slavery. What kind of quality of work will you get for this kind of treatment? People that don't want to be there aren't going to be motivated to 'help their community' - and why should they? Why should the unemployed be given the responsibility of cleaning up after everyone else? It's fine to talk about responsibilities, but they aren't the ones (or the only ones at least) making a mess. But it's ok for long term unemployed in hi-vis vests to clear up the cigar butts tossed from the Bentley's driven by posh Tory wankers on their way home? There's something deeply divisive about this allowing people to abdicate their own communal responsibilities just because they have a job and others don't.
We must fight this.


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I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
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I Hate James Bartholomew

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I started this blog thinking I could do something useful, provide some decent citizen journalism, or at the very least offer something credible for, at the risk of stroking my own ego, posterity. But in truth I have found it very difficult to keep up with my own standards. This is true of all the writing I engage in. It isn't that I don't enjoy it, or that I don't know how (YMMV), but that I just struggle to maintain the concentration. This is part of the problem, mental health-wise, that I have tried to address in recent years; all to no avail. Unfortunately it is simply perceived as an excuse by our society. In response to that, I offer none. I am what I am, and if that means I'm lazy then lazy I must be.

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