Thursday, 9 September 2010


It appears that, in an effort to get Mr Coulson off the front pages of the newspapers, Mr Osborne has come up with a diversionary tactic. Hit the dole scroungers. No one ever objects, Rupert loves it, and he’s the boss. Can’t go wrong.

So George announced that there will be swinging cuts on benefits.

OK long story as short as I can make it (and I apologize; it is a long post). There are cheats. Yes, loads of them. But there are far more decent honest people on the dole than there are cheats. I promise you. It’s my job.

The truth of the matter is that most people do not actively choose to live on benefits. Despite what the Sun and the Mail tell you, they are rubbish. Even worse than the kind of wages so many people get by on.

No, most people would prefer to have a decent job and a disposable income. Those who are long term unemployed are so because they:

a) do not have the kind of skills, or intelligence, necessary for the kind of work that today’s employers are offering;

b) were put on the scrap heap in the last great clear out of jobs, taken off unemployment benefit and put on to invalidity benefit, in order to massage the figures, and forgotten about. As a result of which they are now elderly and utterly unemployable;

c) have criminal records which, for most employers, immediately disqualifies them for consideration;

d) have appalling employment records which mean that they discarded by employers;

e) have drink or drugs habits which will exclude them from any kind of work;

f) are recovered drug users or alcoholics;

g) are female, and pregnant or single and have children under 10;

h) are HIV positive and their treatments make them sick


i) they are over 45, and most employers are dubious about employing them

or (and these
are things that should be actionable by government because they are the individuals fault, although that doesn’t increase their employability)

j) they have debts (that are held in abeyance while they are unemployed);

k) they are dealing drugs on the side and need the cover of unemployment;

The people who made this recession are sitting in the House of Lords or selling books, or raking in massive bonuses again like nothing happened. But savings have to be made and the idle poor are to be made examples of.

Maybe George would like some of them in the Treasury. Maybe he would like to explain to his colleagues why there is a paedophile and a rapist starting in their office on Monday, along with a guy who has a drink problem, and someone who is HIV positive and whose treatments make her vomit regularly.

If you are going to get the 5 million people that the government now estimates are idle (I seem to remember that the estimated it at 7 million when Labour was in power) back to work, iron lungs and all, there is a golden ingredient that is missing, and that is JOBS.

Unemployment is going up. Employers are paying off. The government is about to add to that. Vast numbers in the poorest parts of the UK (the BBC survey was all about England for some strange reason) are going to be paid off making the most depressed parts of the country more depressed.

I hope this is a ploy. It certainly was not planned and some members of the Liberal party are furious and predict resistance as they were not consulted. As for the public? Cutting benefits to the lazy is usually much welcomed, but there are a lot of hard working folk that the bankers’ recession has thrown onto the dole, while they take ever bigger bonuses like nothing has happened. I’m not sure that it will work so well this time.

Don’t take the prols for granted George. You’ve probably met very few of us, but we can be quite assertive when we are not tugging our forelocks.


  1. Add in the blindingly obvious point that most of the long term non workers are in areas of high unemployment where there aren't the jobs for them to do anyway and you have an extremely nasty bit of class politics. Just what you'd expect from the heir to a fortune called Gideon.

  2. Hello Richard T. Welcome to Munguin's Republic. Nice to see you here.

    Yes. I've seen people, sometimes young lads, sometimes older people in their 50s, who send letter after letter, cv after cv.

    Normally there is simply no reply, but I know that they have applied. Frequently I posted the application myself.

    The jobs day in our local paper is Friday. There used to be 4, 5 or 6 pages of jobs from post doctoral research projects to part time cleaners. Now your lucky if there is a page.

    Understand this Gideon THERE ARE NO JOBS

    It would be interesting to know from him (and I remember thinking the same thing of Gordon Brown and his New Deal, where everyone was to work) many of the long term unemployed, saddled with one of the above mentioned millstones, would Gideon or Gordon like to employ in the Treasury? Would they want them working in the next office to them? And if not, why on Earth do they think that anyone else would like to employ them?

  3. Remember J Murphy's boast about creating 150,000 jobs, as you say tris there are no jobs as the industrial revolution is over and a slow painful contraction of work throughout the World is all one has to look forward too.

    Part time work and job sharing is the only way to get everyone to contribute but that will never happen under global capitalism as excessive profits is its goal.

    Politicians understand nothing other than power and rule.

  4. Ah yes CH. Mr Murphy’s idea of a policy was to recount to us last night’s dreams.


    The present incumbent seems to be very quiet.

    That is what a Scottish Secretary should be. The government here runs the country, and he fights with heart and soul for the money that the people of this country expect him to get for us.

    I hope he’s good at fighting for money. He’ll need to be. I suspect he may not be though. Time will tell.

    I could do that job.... lovely. Loads of people get that for working all week, and loads get a sight less!

  5. Nothing to do with class from my point of view Dean. Facts. There will be a lot of middle class people on benefits too.

    Some that I have dealt with, with degrees, masters and ever post doctoral experience, who have had unfortunate things happen to them and have been left to moulder.

    Would you like to tell me why you think I have made it a class issue?

    Every survey agrees, indeed the government’s figures agree, that the poor will be hit disproportionately by the cuts. And it’s not all about the money that these people get. Remember that the hardship of losing a council library, when you can afford to buy a bookshop is not really a hardship. But if the local library closes down and you’re studying for your Standard grades and you don’t have a computer at home, that’s a serious problem!

    So maybe it is a class issue. Make it that if you will. I prefer to think of it as a poverty issue. Being rich doesn’t make you middle class and being poor doesn’t make you working class.

    At the end of the day the rich will come through this pretty much unscathed. It may well be the death of many poor people!