Thinking slavery (my definition: unpaid, manual or menial labour meted out in a punishing way) was abolished 180 years ago, I was gobsmacked to hear the government’s answer to getting people off benefits is to force them into unpaid labour.
A Short Rant
Taking out of consideration, statistics or pie charts that show that income support is not a big chunk of the public purse pie,
* that only 3% of people try to fiddle the system (them being the few who have the time and leisure to try and do so as they’ve probably learned the “neck verse” to keep receiving benefits anyway),
* that other countries provide more realistic support to combat unemployment and therefore enable people to get back into work, instead of being trapped.
* that numerous high earners in entertainment benefitted from reasonable income support to allow them to forge their artistic careers.
* that not many MPs seem to have jobs outside politics, except for professions made possible by their privileged backgrounds.
* that benefits are not enough to live on.
* that getting gradual work to leverage someone into full time employment is penalised under the benefits system.
* that the system criminalises people and crushes the self-respect, confidence, focus and presentation which are vital to finding paid employment.
* the system sets the English nation of people excluded from contributing to society under an unprofessional recruitment tradition.
* that employers are legally able to discriminate against capable candidates.
(takes breath) I could go on…..
The system is unworkable and this could be easily proven if MPs gave it a little of their decently paid time.
So the plan is (huddle round chaps) to threaten people with starvation and homelessness unless they take unpaid work to earn their benefits. Wait, wait. Here’s the best bit: there are plenty of companies out there who would not say no to some extra free hands.
Think about it:
1. What skills gained from no-brainer, unskilled labour are going to help get someone off benefits?
2. Any profiteering company is going to put the savings from paying people into their pockets and exploit people forced to work for them for free.
3. Gradually, paid jobs in private companies will wane, putting more people on benefits.
In 2003, I worked for a Deafblind guy with cerebral palsy who would have given his (almost solely working part of his body) left arm for even a voluntary opportunity to contribute to his community.
Instead of being allowed to volunteer to a charity shop, or go to learn computer skills at a centre for the blind 3 miles away (maybe the council wondered what the point was as it was impossible that this guy would enter the economic system), he was driven in a taxi, an hour each way at the tax payers’ expense, to work in a factory (yes, he was blind, deaf and had cerebral palsy. Imagine this for a sec) with severely mentally handicapped people. The factory sold items on a commercial basis. Items made by severely disabled people to earn towards their disability support.
Here’s my point:
If a company can find work for a pair of hands, they can blooming well pay them, like the rest of the staff.
That means, if companies like Poundland can use more manpower, there are some jobs out there. Luckily, as shown in the article Independent entitled “Government Poundland ‘back-to-work’ schemes ruled legally flawed by Supreme Court” The Supreme Court saw sense. (article on
It’s understandable to that people not working when they could be is discouraged. However, it is a human right for a citizen to be needed in some capacity. The benefit system denies people that right by employing conditions that make getting off benefits way too difficult.
It should be well recognised by now that power and money corrupts you average human being and that policy makers and corporations’ actions cannot be unmonitored.
Why is it called ‘common’ sense? It is help by the common person, yes, but certainly not present in the House of Commons.