Sunday, 7 November 2010
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