workshy scroungers and the truth about the unemployed it was with despair and much frustration that I viewed the recent vindication plans by the government. If they spent even half the amount of money they have thrown at this disastrous and Victorian style welfare reform on tax evasion and creating new jobs, the economy wouldn't be in such a pickle.
One of their overused phrases that brings the taste of vomit to the mouth is 'we're in this together' Really? How exactly does that work? what exactly have the mp's lost? What are they going without? where is their hardship? How many mp's are facing the eat or heat decision this winter? The phrase suggests unity yet they're intent on a barbaric divide and conquer of society through their actions.
The so-called work programmes are an utter corporate sham designed to temporarily alter the unemployment statistics to give the illusion that it's decreasing. Long term unemployed are outsourced to companies where they're often patronised, condescended and bullied. Underhand tactics are employed such as imaginary appointments being set up without informing the claimant with the purpose of sanctioning them for not attending etc. They cast the illusion that they're there to help you. If you are literate and can use a computer, there is nothing offered that you can't do without them whatsoever. It is tying up both funds and resources that could be put to better use to do something more proactive to help the unemployed rather than used to beat them with. Once upon a time it was the job centres job to help you find employment, so why pay private firms to do the work that should be done at the jobcentre? Spending yet more of the money the government supposedly don't have. Don't forget whilst attending the work programme you still have to attend the job centre fortnightly to sign on too.
The government are stamping down on the so called entitlement state, yet despite popular belief foisted upon you by the media, many of the unemployed have worked and thus paid into the pot that thus pays out to them now, so in a sense, they are bloody entitled to welfare. I find the hypocrisy of the ending of the 'something for nothing mentality' quite frankly absurd, especially coming from those who receive an incredible amount of something for nothing, living a privileged lifestyle at the vast expense of the people they are intent on taking from. They take with one hand only to take with the other too. Lets not forget the lovely payrise they gave themselves too, but of course, we're all in this together. Honest.
So should you complete the work programme without committing suicide or finding a job, which by the way there simply aren't enough of, you then may be mandated to attend the job centre daily, 9-5 for up to six months. Yes, really. Have they for one moment truly thought out the logistics of this farce? The majority of job centres have no public toilets. To keep people there full time they'd need to give them access to both toilets and kitchen facilities. Where exactly are these about to spring up from? at what cost? Then there's the space, where on earth are these people supposed to stay all day? Surely there is an immense security risk should they be integrated with the civil servants workers who already populate the buildings? Then there's the general lack of access for the disabled. How exactly are these people supposed to afford to get there five days a week?
Not to worry though, they can go on training! Or not. What about the long term unemployed man who for years has been begging to get help to re-train yet was basically told that yes, you can go to college and study a new trade, however, should a job (because he would still be expected to look for full time employment)... any job in the meantime turn up you would be expected to accept it and jack in your course. Well isn't that terribly inspiring and motivating.
So the long term unemployed man, asked for help with short courses that would make him more employable. Yes, they said. They like to say yes, sometimes. A bit like banks. Of course you can go on these short courses, you utter pleb. Yet the courses never occur.
So he's still one of millions of fish in the vast sea of unemployment, who's applying for jobs after jobs after jobs with not so much of a sniff of interest, not even a 'sorry but no' letter from the minimum wage job that involves 180minutes of travel to get to and from, just like the other 200+ applicants for the same position. Whilst feeling the drowning pull of the recession, he pro-actively tries to keep afloat by increasing his employability only to be told no. So no, there aren't any jobs. No, we aren't going to actually do anything constructive that will get you a job. We will however, treat you like a second class citizen and make you feel like utter shit, for not having a job. Then, because we can, we'll punish, exploit and vindicate you for not having a job.
Don't worry, you can do mandatory community work in the meantime to earn your benefits. Is that not community service, something until now reserved for criminals? Community 'work' suggests a job, which would necessitate a minimum wage, yet no. You'll do it for your benefits at around £2 an hour. Great, so now we're are villainising the unemployed! Banishing them to the gutters with those on criminal community service instilling the message that they are worthless and will be treated as such.
He probably still won't have a job because, there aren't enough jobs. At least this way however, there is a higher chance the unemployed will top themselves thus eradicating the need for plan C.... which would probably be the bringing back of The Workhouses.
But don't worry, we're all in this together, the Tory MP's (on a basic annual 66k wage rising to 74k in 2015 plus expenses) tell us, from their second homes.