IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

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IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Doorstop » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:53 am

During the past few days I have found myself becoming increasingly more incensed with Ian Duncan Smiths shining new flagship of stigmatising the long term unemployed by forcing them, under threat of cuts in benefits (at the point of a loaded gun basically), to perform basic menial cleaning tasks in their locality gratis calling it a 'New contract with the unemployed'. The actual term 'contract' is also a bone of contention - surely a contract is an agreement of minds on an issue to the benefit of both parties involved - I don't see this fitting the bill in any way, shape, type, manner, form or description.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the unemployed being recruited for various local amenity projects but it would have to be on a 'rewards for gainful work done' basis .. strongarming people who are unable to find work in the presently increasingly exacting and rigorous job market is nothing short of Governmentally sanctioned bullying and is, quite frankly, beyond the pale.

If this is the start of 'everyone being seen to do their bit' for the good of the country where are the long awaited recalculations of the inheritance tax or the almost universally called for 'Robin Hood' tax on the banking profits?

I think we, the general public and the 'everyman' in general, need to start making more of a noise about this level of disparity which, I have to say I thought was going to be inevitable under this particular puppet 'coalition' (and I use the word coalition very, very loosely indeed) Government but even I, a dyed in the wool socialist with a small 's', am appalled at the alacrity at which this type of socially divisive policy farming has been shoehorned in. And to auspice same as 'for the good of us all' is galling to to the point of nauseum.

What are your views, good people, I'd be interested to know?
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Doorstop » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:47 pm

30 views and not a single response.

What was that I was saying about apathy in the UK?
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby BenCooper » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:07 pm

You know, I grew up a socialist, brought up by socialists, and I'd still call myself a socialist. However, I don't have a fundamental problem with the idea that state benefits should in some way be tied to doing something for society. When I was on the dole, I was still doing voluntary work while also looking for a job.

Obviously, it depends a lot on what the jobs are, and how they will be organised. If this turns out to be a cheap way of getting rid of council workers and replacing them with unemployed workers receiving below the minimum wage, that's a very bad thing. Equally, they shouldn't be make-work, they should be truly productive jobs that need doing, preferably with some training or work placement thrown in.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Doorstop » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:15 pm

This is the point I'm trying to make Ben .. I don't have a problem with the fundamental precept of the unemployed being gainfully utilised whilst claiming benefits but to do it in a form that is morally, fiscally and psycho-socially demeaning is disparagingly humiliating for the individuals involved.

It smacks sorely of chain-gangs for the crime of not being able to find a job .. of course, there are individuals for whom not finding gainful modes of (legal) employ is an art form and this particular 'sanction' would be ideal for them, but this whole construct seems to be being aimed with a broad sweep and a wide barrel.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby potatojunkie » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:17 pm

This policy was rolled out under Labour in 2009, as part of the Flexible New Deal. It's called "Mandatory Work Related Activity". From the DWP site: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/fnd-section-6.pdf

BenCooper wrote:When I was on the dole, I was still doing voluntary work while also looking for a job.

The fact that you can't do more than seven hours' voluntary work without losing some of your benefits doesn't really help.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Bankie Boy » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:19 pm

Im with you on this one Mr Stop or is it ok to call you Door. Just heard a debate on the radio on this very subject. An eminent human rights lawyer stated it would be illegal to force prisoners incarcerated for any crime from shoplifting to murder to work as this would infringe on their human rights. He stated it would be interesting to argue the case that the unemployed who have perpetrated no crime other than loosing their job or becoming unwell were less entitled to human rights than any prisoner. It was also argued that some would be better off as criminals being looked after by the state than being unemployed. The cutbacks being made by this country is throwing tens of thousands of government employees on to the dole and will only make things worse. I agree this squeeze on the poor of this country MUST stop.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby aland » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:45 pm

typical tories

as for voluntary work the buroo tried to give me hassle as I am volunteer race marshal and they dont believe we are volunteers, trying to say getting lunch is a form of payment. yeah a £1 steak pie and cup of tea
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Doorstop » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:59 pm

I've said this elsewhere but it warrants saying again ... we need to take a leaf from the Frenchmans' citizen handbook.

They went batshit crazy and started riots because they were moving the retirement age up to 62 from 60 and yet here they're raising it to 68.. and not a peep out of the plebeians.

They could lead us into football stadiums at gun-point and force us to dig our own graves before being shot... and the only thing we'd complain about is how slow the queue was moving
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby BrigitDoon » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:19 pm

Doorstop wrote:I've said this elsewhere but it warrants saying again ... we need to take a leaf from the Frenchmans' citizen handbook.

It gets to the point where I haven't much to lose. I was close to starting the revolution the other day anyway.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby BenCooper » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:37 pm

aland wrote:typical tories


That's the thing - it's an idea that might have some merit to it, if it wasn't being proposed by the Tories who only ever propose stuff like this to benefit themselves and their mates, and because they don't like poor people. Done properly, it could both benefit society and help unemployed people to learn skills and routines that'll help them get a job. From what's been said, though, it looks more like a punishment.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby The Egg Man » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:55 pm

Doorstop wrote:30 views and not a single response.

What was that I was saying about apathy in the UK?


Not everyone has the time to rush out a response the first time these see a post, especially one on such a complex subject.

For my part I'm not in the least surprised the Tories are looking to roll this out. Ever since they began to trot out the 'the books are much worse than we ever imagined' lie, we've known they been looking for ever deeper ways to stick the knife into the unemployed. I believe those on disability related benefits are getting a good kicking too.

The idea of compelling people to perform menial tasks in return for substantially less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a disgrace and, in a time of high (and getting higher) unemployment can be seen as being designed to put low paid local authority workers and others in the firing line. Why pay street sweepers NMW when the buroo will supply them at no cost? Even if the temporary employer has to pay the benefit money it's still a good deal for them. Why stick to menial tasks/ There's a plentiful supply of fully trained and qualified teachers out there who can't find full time work. Why, the Tories might argue, should they not be working in schools in return for their benefit? You could extend the plan to anyone with any skill or trade who could be slotted into what would otherwise be a properly paid job.

What does surprise me is how seldom anyone has pointed out that the large sums (up to £400 per week in some instances) being quoted as being claimed by people on housing benefit aren't actually income to the claimants - they pass the money they receive onto their landlords, many of whom will probably be Tory voters.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby hungryjoe » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:01 pm

[quote="Doorstop"]I've said this elsewhere but it warrants saying again ... we need to take a leaf from the Frenchmans' citizen handbook.

They went batshit crazy and started riots because they were moving the retirement age up to 62 from 60 and yet here they're raising it to 68.. and not a peep out of the plebeians.


They could lead us into football stadiums at gun-point and force us to dig our own graves before being shot... and the only thing we'd complain about is how slow the queue was moving[/quote]
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Doorstop » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:13 pm

On the sauce Joe?

Good egg. ::):
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Dave » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:28 pm

So one day you find yourself jobless, so you totter off down to the job centre and sign on. You sign into a contract whereby you agree to take steps to find yersel' a job. If you fail to comply with your agreement you face getting your benfit stopped.

If you come from a particular field you'll be given grace to find a position within your area of expertise as this is in the long term benefit for you and the country. If after a period of time you find that there are no vacancies within your particular calling in life you will be asked to consider other options. If those options don't work out (due to the prospective employer looking for a particular skill set for example) then there is no harm in being offered a state sponsored position.

Surely it would be better to get out and sweep the streets (as an example) and have a sense of worth rather than sitting at home wondering if the job market might ever pick up, all the while wondering how long UK PLC will keep you.

And before I get the run of 'typical tory bastard' thrown at me. Yes I have recently found myself unemployed (I also lost my business), yes I went through the whole benefits thing, yes I have taken on work which I consider well below me, no I do not earn any fanatastic amounts of money, in fact, I would probably be better off sitting at home reading the odd paper 'trying to look for a job'.

If you can work you should work, and in these times of austerity it shouldn't matter what you work as so long as you do your bit.
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Re: IDS calls "War!" on the Great Unwashed.

Postby Doorstop » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:47 pm

No-one (well not myself in particular) is saying it's not a good idea in principle Dave .. it's the draconian implementation that's the issue.

The Egg Man wrote:
The idea of compelling people to perform menial tasks in return for substantially less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a disgrace and, in a time of high (and getting higher) unemployment can be seen as being designed to put low paid local authority workers and others in the firing line. Why pay street sweepers NMW when the buroo will supply them at no cost? Even if the temporary employer has to pay the benefit money it's still a good deal for them. Why stick to menial tasks/ There's a plentiful supply of fully trained and qualified teachers out there who can't find full time work. Why, the Tories might argue, should they not be working in schools in return for their benefit? You could extend the plan to anyone with any skill or trade who could be slotted into what would otherwise be a properly paid job.

What does surprise me is how seldom anyone has pointed out that the large sums (up to £400 per week in some instances) being quoted as being claimed by people on housing benefit aren't actually income to the claimants - they pass the money they receive onto their landlords, many of whom will probably be Tory voters.


Pertinent points, well made and further food for thought .. well played that man.
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