OK, so I have worked for 20 years with people who for one reason or another are unemployed. Sometimes I've been teaching languages to help them get jobs in tourism, sometimes "job readiness skills". Sometimes I have been a "recruitment consultant" for unemployed, getting vacancies and filling them from my clients, and sometimes I have run courses designed to help people who had been ill, return to the workplace.
I've worked in some fairly sleazy places and I've met some dodgy characters and yes, there are some people who are swinging the system for all that it is worth.
But in honesty, in my experience they are relatively few, and even then there is usually an underlying reason.
The great bulk of the people I've had to do with have been honest enough in their endeavours to get a job that would keep them, and where they have one, their family.
|Ha ha ha , isn't this fun. We're stuffing the poor.
I've worked hard to help people who have had to face huge obstacles to getting a job. Some because of illness or disability; some because their early days have scarred them for life; some because there just aren't jobs for people like them any more.
The latest campaign by Westminster to blacken the name of anyone who has to apply for help, by setting "strivers" against "skivers" has sickened me beyond measure. I never thought I would see such heartlessness, not even from the nasty party. What an insult to people who are out of work because their company has closed down, or the government has withdrawn funding. What a kick in the teeth to people who have worked all their lives but been put out of that work by the bankers' and politicians' incompetence and greed.
Or even worse, the disabled people who were thrown out of work and on to the scrap heap when the government withdrew funding for Remploy. What are they then, skivers? Well clearly yes, if they are claiming benefits.
What the hell kind of country is this?
In any case 70+% of people in receipt of benefit in the UK are already in work but either earn such low wages that a full working week's money isn't enough to live on, or their employer can only give them 10 or 15 hours' work a week.
All the way through the debate yesterday the creeps on the Tory - Liberal benches laughed and jeered at the way they are making the poor pay for the mistakes, greed and theft of the rich.
If ever any decent person needed another reason to persuade them that Scotland should get the hell away from this united kingdom, this display of Tory and Liberal scumminess must surely be it.
In Scotland there were 12 votes for the government and 47 against. (The SNP and Labour voted together against; the Liberals and the Tory voted for; Charlie Kennedy abstained, voting both for and against.)
In the UK 328 voted for the government and 262 against.
So you can see from the figures that although Scotland voted against this, which should mean that it won't happen in our country, unfortunately the UK as a whole voted for it. As the poster says: Bill passed... Any questions?
As I said in the heading of this post, I have a feeling that some may live to regret their smirking and cat calling at the expense of the poor. I most sincerely hope that they do.
(Alistair Darling, incidentally, was too busy in Inverness working on his Buggered Together Campaign to bother his lazy fat privileged arse to go to London and vote for his constituents who pay his salary. Maybe he is as confused as to what his job is now, as he was to where he lived when he kept changing the address at which he could claim public money in expenses for home improvements.)
As I understand it, in Scotland some of the privations will be escaped, as where it can legally do so, the Scottish government will help. This will mainly be in Housing and Council Tax benefits which are the responsibility of the DWP, but which are dealt with by local councils in Scotland and in the UK. John Swinney has, I think, found enough money to give councils the extra necessary to minimise the reductions to these benefits for the year to come. A policy for which Mr Salmond wrung a reluctant acknowledgement from Mrs Lamont.
Edinburgh however can do nothing about benefits paid directly by London, so although we may avoid the homelessness that will certainly ensue in England, we won't avoid hunger and cold.
|The newspaper for the less cerebral blue rinses