Sunday, 7 November 2010

SlaveFare



The Government have announced plans to make people who have been unemployed for over a year do unpaid community service. They’ll be brought in to do litter-removal, gardening or serving charities for up to 30 hours a week. Those who refuse will lose their Job-Seekers Allowance. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11706545

The practical and ethical problems I have with this proposal are so numerous and vast that I hardly know where to start! Firstly it is so disappointing that the modern Con-Dem Government resurrect the ancient and condescending Thatcherite myth that unemployment is caused by laziness and if only people “got on their bike” the millions on the dole would soon be off it. It’s not! The level of unemployment is directly proportional to the economy; people don’t suddenly just become lazy when we get a recession. The Government are also effectively saying: “We can’t afford to give you a proper job, so can we just pretend we’re giving you a job and not pay you? Then it would look as if you were working; that’s what matters.” I’m also concerned by what happened when a system was tried out in America in the 80’s called “WorkFare”. A group of 20 long-term unemployed people were given unpaid jobs cleaning the streets in a city. However the city’s sanitation services had to make 20 of its properly-employed staff redundant to create vacancies for the unpaid WorkFare crews. As a result unemployment shot up as more and more working people were replaced by these unpaid… I’m going to say it... slaves!

So don’t give me any nonsense about Slavery being abolished 200 years ago! It’s alive and well and coming back. What will they think of next? The return of the Workhouse?... Shhh! I shouldn’t give them ideas!

Related HPANWO TV film: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.com/2011/04/get-job-you-lazy-scroungers.html

4 comments:

ustane said...

Slavery and the workhouse is what everyone is boxed in now and have been for a long time.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Yeah, Ustane. We're told to "work, work, work" no matter what.

Cabal said...

I agree, it is dodgy - with such J-S Allowance payment, leaves those people being paid around 2 quid per hour. It seems as very desperate move from goverment to lower level of unemployment - but one which may misfire. On the other hand, I think I told you about situation in Poland, so such way of treating people who are eager to work doesn't shock me that much. I went through being volunteer, then I worked from Job Centre, with payment lower than 3rd part of other staff salary - just because I didn't have better options. Untill today, sadly, many of my countrymen agrees to work with "slavery" wages, as worker's union in Poland became only a myth - even famous and once strong "Solidarność" movement practically... vapourised. Existst no more in goverment, has hardly any influence and power. It's leaders, notably Lech Walesa, either retired or passed away. That's wrong side of "free market" and democracy...

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Hi Cabal. Thanks for your comment, Bro Po. Whatever happened to Lec Walesa? I heard he sold out and became a playboy. This is the man who said: "Even the little man, the downtrodden, can make decisions and sometimes those decisions can have undreampt of effects." I remember as a child watching Solidarity marches on TV news. It was a scarey time because the Russians started getting edgy. We were afraid they might try to invade Poland like they did Czecheslovakia before. (Interestingly it was around this time that the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident took place!) It must very disheartening for the poeple when they give their country to Communism and it fails, then to seize the alternative, free-market democratic capitalism, and then it fails too. :-(