Wednesday 9 January 2013


Some people might call me a bleeding heart liberal, although after what the Liberals have been up to recently, I very much hope that it is with a lower case "l". 

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 What an insult to people who are out of work because their company has closed down, or the government has withdrawn funding.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


  1. Well, CH, if they are getting their advice from that pack of idiots, it won't be long, despite all their oil wealth, before they are as flat broke as this oil rich country. No one, it seems, knows how to waste money like UK politicians.

    Someone in the comments on that article points out that these were 'expenses', but if they were, they must have been flying first class and staying in the gulf's most expensive hotels.

    Brown's expenses were paid into a company which pays for staff to run his ongoing public life... but he has a generous allowance from the UK to do that, and in any case he already has a well paid job as MP for Kirkland. Time for an ongoing public life when he is no longer a serving MP.

    Miliband, the Margaret Thatcher of today, also has a job, paid for by the UK taxpayer. Why he would be considered for giving advice on foreign affairs, god only knows. I seem to remember he made a complete mess of them when he was foreign secretary, to the point of having to be rescued by Lord Meddlesome.

    And no, that wasn't in the dim and distant past, and he's matured and learned much since then. It was 2009.

  2. I saw that Express headline yesterday and was disgusted by it. It really does underline the lengths currently being gone to develop a scapegoat.

    I just can't believe people are swallowing this crap.

    And again, through voting, Scotland's different priorities shine through.

    (I'm not even going to start on Call Kaye's chat this morning about the worth of oil and the stream of unionist lickspittles that contributed to the short segment I subjected myself to. Fergus Ewing was on for the SNP and was rubbish.)

  3. There are a few scary things happening at the moment, Pa...well, probably a lot... but one of them is the demonization of anyone who needs help from the state.

    This is frightening because, unless one is at the top, I mean seriously rich, anyone might need this in the future. You, me, anyone we know...

    But for some it will become like the poor house was in my great grandmother's day, ie a matter of terrible shame to ask for help when you need it.

    And it shouldn't be.

    As I say, most of the people who are there don't want to be there.

    People are already suffering hate crime for being scroungers (whether they are on benefit or not) because they are in a wheelchair.

    Now hints have been made that older people, who are apparently living till they are 105, should, in their half lifetime of leisure, be made to do something for their pension (apart from pay for it all their lives I mean).

    Cameron won't penalise them this parliament, but after the next election, when presumably Ed Miliband (try not to laugh) will be PM, will we see pensions being reduced for any old people who won't get out there and volunteer for the Big Society?

    Oh well, let's hope we are free of it by then...

  4. I can't listen to that kind of programme knowing that it is slanted in favour of the UK, using my money to do it.

    I'd end up throwing the radio through the window.

    Time we stopped paying for the BBC here. It's an idea well past its sell by.

  5. As a former Striver, current Skiver I really hope this concentrates the minds of the people of Scotland in 2014. Swinney will protect us in 2013 but his pocket money budget is going to be slashed and he can't help indefinitely. My worry is a UKIP/Tory coalition in 2015, I just hope it won;t be our problem by them.

  6. Hi Panda.

    Exactly my point. Today's striver can be tomorrow's "skiver".

    It only needs a place to close ... Jessops and Comet most recently.

    Or maybe it's a bout of ill-health, but today all is well, and tomorrow you have become some sort of social pariah.

    And it won't ever affect them, because they are never unemployed. Chaps look after chaps doncha know and the family money will guard against any kind of hardships.

    Lord knows it's uncharitable of me, but I hope some of them someday end up being the recipients of some of the misery they are handing out to other people.

    Yeah, John can't protect people forever. They will probably try to find some way of stopping him do this, but they will make sure he can't next year.

    More resentment will build up between well and fairly run Scotland and the shambles of teh rest of the UK.


    Anyone like to propose to me that Labour will reverse any of these cuts?

    Yeah right.

  7. Good god CH...

    It just shows how similar this bunch of tossers was to the last bunch of tossers, and how they are similar to the 3rd Reich.

    probably the next Tory government will actually be the REAL spitting image of 1930s Germany.

    The part of Hitler played by that evil little toad Gove