This system needs a fundamental change and I don't think Labour will provide it since they are wedded to the same capitalist ethics as the Tories. Their silence and indeed capitulation since 2010 speaks volumes: it was they, for example that facilitated IDS' 'emergency' legislation re: workfare. Preserving his image was the height of this emergency. Labour sat there and voted in support of denying £130mn worth of money wrongly withdrawn from jobseekers incorrectly sanctioned - never mind the legitimacy of forced labour and penury.
That said Labour is the only game in town for 2015. The whole rotten system needs changing, but that's not on offer next year. The priority must be: ousting this vicious lying incompetent government - both the aristocratic murderers led by Cameron, and their supposedly liberal quislings.
Vicious: they have ushered in cuts and 'reforms' the like of which we have never seen, all designed to erode the safety net and the meeting of social necessities. The bedroom tax was facilitated by a man later put into the Lords who has no experience of benefit, welfare or government, nor was he even elected to any position, let alone the House of Lords. Yet the BT doesn't even account for people who have no alternative place to move into.
Lying: IDS and McVey have made a career out of spin and outright deceit. IDS was interviewed by Andrew Neil in front of a graphic regarding child poverty that plainly said the opposite of what he claimed. Evidence means nothing to him, what he believes is what is. McVey is a grotesque 'yes' woman, a harridan whose ego thrives on the nastiness of her words who shrieks even louder while egged on by her masters. She so desperately wants their respect it's almost misogynistic.
Incompetent: IDS couldn't and cannot even make his own schemes become reality. The aforementioned Mandatory Work Activity scheme was implemented incorrectly, yet he thought nothing of wasting thousands on endless rounds of lawyers to prove his case in courtroom after courtroom. Anyone that challenges his assumed authority is immediately denounced and scorned. He will not listen and he will not learn. UC was 'on time and on budget' for 2013 - or so he promised. It still hasn't been signed off on while its directors (such as the odious Howard Shiplee) have made hundreds of thousands.
Meanwhile the DWP has turned into something straight out of Kafka. Targets for sanctions are an open secret and, when the spotlight shined on the evidence, the managers pretended it never happened and, ironically, wouldn't happen again. However there is report after report, anecdote after anecdote, from individuals and organisations all confirming the awfulness of the current regime. People are treated like scum, sneered at, judged, and then automatically found wanting. People are living in fear of the sanction that will take them below the breadline and into abject poverty, with no guarantee of any support at all. The Tories refuse to explain what help is offered to people that have been sanctioned - and people are subject to these penalties at a frightening rate.
Clearly there have been orders given, by the likes of IDS and the Tories, to facilitate this new brutality, yet what sense does any of it make? The Tories would like you to believe that sanctions are corrective, even character building; they are on record as saying that they have been, in some unbelievable cases, even welcomed. The way an abuse victim, I imagine, welcomes the fist of his abuser.
Sanctions are there to drive people out of society; out of sight out of mind. That no support is systemically offered to people in that position - who still somehow have to sign on if they have any hope of claiming afterward or appealing - is telling in the extreme. They do not want these people to have support; they want them to quietly fade into the night, to turn to dust like hollow souls lost to society.
They will hold these people responsible for their fate because welfare is weakness; money is not a mere energy of transaction, abundant in a society such as ours (while not governed by plutocrats and mandarins), it is the emblem of good character. It is the reward for following the Christianity of capitalism, the supposed work ethic of the entrepreneur. The hypocrisy of it all is breathtaking as these people lap up every benefit they can, arguing they have earned it. IDS deserves his million pound land subsidy, his expensive breakfasts, his underpants, etc; the mundane nature of such expense claims masking the venal nature of the man.
The poor are to know their place; to fight for scraps from the masters table. For the very chance to work for nothing - just to show, skinny and callow, their willingness to say 'how deep' when the rich man with the golden shovel says dig. If you're lucky you might even get the chance to earn a pittance.