Come All Ye Workshy Peasants
It has recently come to my attention, as I’m sure it has to many people, that a new scheme will be put into place that will mean that job-seekers, or dole dossers as they’re popularly called, will be forced to work in order to get their benefits. The work will be “community” work such as litter picking, and other things of that ilk, and the benefit claimant will be paid roughly £2 per hour for their “30 hour a week” work load.
Now, straight away, this sounds fucking moronic. Not the idea of people on benefits giving something back to society, which as such isn’t a completely illogical idea, but the idea that you will essentially be working a full time job for less than a third of the pay. Why not just give them the damn job and pay them the minimum wage? This would mean that person would get off the dole, reclaim a few shreds of the dignity that hav been lost during an incalculable amount of Jeremy Kyle repeats, whilst also decreasing the official statistics relating the the percentage of unemployed people in the UK and by proxy making us look dead good and cool in front of bigger boy countries like the US and China. We could even start getting cocky and acting like the power mad mouth piece for the entire globe we used to be back in the Empire days, “Who gives a fuck what you think, Obama? We’ve got 0.001% unemployment and you haven’t even got a Government. And you can sit down and shut up too, Jinping, where’s your human rights?”
Another flaw in George Osborne’s “compassionate” plan is the fact that a lot of people in Britain already do these jobs, and are paid at least minimum wage for it. By introducing this scheme you will slowly push these workers out of their jobs as no employer in their right mind, struggling with their next annual budget, will think “hmm, I’m going to re-hire the £6 whatever an hour employee over this £2 scab because it’s the right thing to do.” This will make the people who were already working the job unemployed, which will put them on benefits, which will result in them being forced to do the job they were once doing for minimum wage for a fraction of the cost. You can’t argue with Osborne really, the man knows how to cut costs.
So I came up with a plan. One that I believe will satisfy everyone. Instead of forcing job seekers to do work like litter picking for their benefits which, apart from apparently giving them a “work ethic”, doesn’t benefit them one bit unless they want to go into a career of litter-picking, which won’t be possible for the above discussed reasons, the Job Centre set up charity fund raising schemes. The job seeker chooses from a list of pre-approved charities (MacMillan, MIND, Help For Heroes, etc.) and is placed in a group with other job seekers who have chosen the same organisation. Each group is overseen by a Job Centre employee, a far more useful and productive task than the monthly meetings for everyone involved, and the group spit-ball ideas on how to put together a fund raiser in their local town centre to raise money for their chosen charity. An action plan is set up with the local council and then the group is sent off to start putting together their awareness/fund raising event. This would not only raise money for causes important to the job seeker, giving them a sense of self-worth, but would also teach them the ins and outs of basic event management, give them something to slap on their CV like a shining badge of honour, increase both their intuition and team building skills, and also aid the council in giving their town centre a sterling image of goodwill and compassion. If this was implemented on a nationwide scale then the entirety of the UK would beam with charitable good vibes which in turn would be another arrow in the quiver of making this country look a lot better than crazy China or the stinky old States.
Ian Critchley for Prime Minister in 2015.
Until voting time feel free to pass the time playing this little gem:
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.