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No mate, you’re just paid by Barclays. You don’t have a job. They just pay you to tell me that ripping people off while expecting me to honour my debts is reasonable. That’s not a job. That’s not contributing or bettering society or even this community. You’re no less a benefit recipient than I; the difference is you’ve got a name badge and a tie. I’ve got a Jobseeker’s Agreement.

That’s what I tell myself each time I pay my pittance to Barclays each month for making the mistake of getting into (a relatively small amount of) debt as a student. Interestingly at the time Barclays were part of the college infrastructure whose advice to students worried about how they’d finance themselves was to borrow.

We’re all dependent on money, and the money comes from on high. We’re like the Israelites weaned in the desert on heavenly mana, except our gods are the corporate elite and their politician acolytes. We need money to live – interestingly the words almost sound the same: mana/money. Weird.

These people, if you can call them that, control the world we live in. austerity is their current weapon of choice. You’d be wrong in thinking it doesn’t benefit them, because it does. It might not benefit my local corner shop, but compared to Tesco (who is rapidly squeezing out that kind of enterprise) they are overpriced. That’s because austerity leaves people unable to afford anything else. It also keeps customers compliant and susceptible to the latest slice of ‘every little helps’.

Unemployment means an equally compliant workforce. Apparently 5000 people applied for 275 vacancies in a new Tesco somewhere in Midlands. That means 4775 scroungers still failing to make the grade; they clearly need punishment them for their fallings. But it’s all going to plan: move public money into the pockets of the ruling elite and curtail opportunity for the rest who are to be nothing more than a cheap labour force. I have just been to Tesco’s careers page, though I have no intention of working for them, they have graduate programmes. So you’ve just spent several years learning cutting edge science or theory that you’d hoped to put to use repelling the boundaries of science, perhaps to create new medicines or devices. Nope, you get to be trained to process unexpected items in bagging areas.

What a huge waste. But again, it’s all part of the plan. We are not led by visionaries; we are led by one interest alone: profit. Anything that doesn’t suit that plan is disregarded and marginalised. People with dreams and aspiration, despite the use of that term by the government, are dangerous and surly. They need to rein those ideas in; that’s why Osbourne talks about striving and skiving; sublimate your ambitions – and with his final words Winston said “I aspire to TESCO!”

The clock strikes thirteen once again.

PS it’s bad enough they get my dole money as the only place I can afford to shop. You’d think then no one would complain: money goes out, money goes back in.

PPS Mark Littlewood, go fuck yourself you evil piece of scar tissue.


  1. This is the world in which someone like Kate Reilly can be described as a "job snob" by a Tory, just because she objected to being forced to give up a voluntary position in a place appropriate to her skill set and education to go and work for Poundland for free.

    This is a world where someone can be driven to suicide because some faceless nobody decided she had "too many spare rooms", and was charged £14 per week for the privilege.

    And this is a world where people like you and me have to give up our rights to data protection and privacy, just so we can continue to claim the tiny amount of money we need to subside.

    This world stinks.

    1. Subsist, not subside...

    2. The ruling elite simply cannot understand the concept of social security. They argue that starving people helps them improve their lot while cutting things that actually and demonstrably do improve their lot. They are callous incompetent and stupid and now people are stealing food to eat - and selling it in a black economy caused directly by austerity. What a surprise.

  2. Good piece, Ghost. I too had student debts when I first left education and signed on. Each time I had a problem and missed a payment I had a huge fine slapped on me and the bank did nothing even though I asked for leniency, explained my position etc. I think that's one of the reasons why I object to the "profit motive" and the belief we should all 'strive' for more and more money - it doesn't work, costs just go up and fairness, objectivity goes out the window. I'm lucky enough to avoid the likes of Tesco but it's very hard. I've been following who uses workfare, who avoids tax, who treats their workers appallingly etc. and the list of companies (and charities) I can access grows smaller and smaller. It's frightening to think that even those of us who support an alternative end up so hemmed in, we can't make any choice but the one made for us. Signing on and being 'mandated' to the WP would be another case in point.

    1. Who'd go to university now? Only the rich.

      I can't avoid tesco. There are literally no other shops that either have what I need or that I can afford. The local convenience store is pretty rubbish and sells what little it has at 3x the price of Tesco.

      Of course this is an unrealistic situation because Tesco can afford to charge such low prices. It's a no win situation. Benefits are low, Tesco pay low wages and low prices for their supplies. That's capitalism!

  3. Here's a link to an article from my local rag which explains what else happens when people are denied money (the other being the article featured on the guardian about food theft increasing).

  4. Sorry that should say 'another article'.


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