The Future is Grey: Thoughts On This Month’s Unemployment Figures

youthunemploymntLouder Than War enters the murky realm of serious politics with a partly satirical but mainly serious (and all round very good) blog about this months unemployment figures….

According to figures released today by the Department of Universally Manipulated Bullshit and Statistical Spin (or DUMBASS for short), unemployment figures in this prosperous little island fell by somewhere in the region of 12’000 – 14’000 depending on reports.

Youth unemployment figures increased, but on the whole, we are told, this is encouraging news because, let’s face it, who really gives a fuck about illiterate spotty teenage glue sniffers anyway? They can carry on hanging around the park, doing donuts on the bowling green with those noisy fucking Peds they all ride these days. Who gives a shit if the conditions are rife for another surge in disenfranchised youth in a couple of years time, especially since this year’s lambs to the slaughter will be fresh out of the meat market in May and June to swell those figures once more?

Not us, say the corpulent, red-faced ministers as they count the rent money their Right Honourable friend has just paid them to avoid sleeping rough on a back bench.

Not us, the analysts say that grew the new crop of encouraging statistics in a Petrie dish on a radiator somewhere in London.

Not us, say the correspondents of the major networks who eagerly report this shit as news whilst simultaneously reporting that South African police found a substance in the bedroom of Oscar Pistorious which is both Testosterone and yet not Testosterone…

Well, I hate to be the one to spoil the party, but actually, I do.

I do because I know the figures are manipulated.

I know that nowhere in these encouraging figures do I appear.

As a recent graduate who hasn’t ‘worked’ in the last two years whilst studying, I’m not entitled to claim Contributions Based Jobseekers Allowance. I would be eligible for Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, which although hardly a King’s ransom would cover the mortgage, but sadly, the 20 hours Mrs Ploff works since she wasn’t officially diagnosed with the Multiple Sclerosis means we smash through the benefits household income threshold like one of the bullets that may or may not have deliberately smashed through the Blade Runner’s bathroom door.

In a world where politics is argued in black and white, we reside in a comfortable grey area. While doctors insist that Mrs Ploff’s condition is either one excessively long incidence of an Isolated Clinical Condition (the official diagnosis), or associative symptoms which are related to the initial illness which occurred 5 or 6 years ago (stop laughing at the back, this is exactly what one consultant said), she is not eligible to claim whatever disability allowance may be available. And because she’s determined to work her 20 hours a week and continue to provide the excellent levels of care and support her employer, the local government, insist they are unable to afford following cuts, I am not entitled to claim any unemployment benefits. Apparently, 20 hours a week is enough for a family of 4 to live on.

Maybe for an out of touch and overpaid MP or medical consultant it is.

Consequently, although I am unemployed, I’m not unemployed enough.
Not enough to actually be considered for the encouraging unemployment figures released today anyway. Just like Mrs Ploff isn’t actually Multiple Sclerosisy enough to qualify for the disabled status her pride would reject.

Here in our homely little grey area, we’re about as real or as unreal as the legally available herbal remedy that was or wasn’t discovered on Oscar Pistorius’s bedside table by the South African police.

I’ll bear this defence in mind should my entrepreneurial endeavours find me stood before the Beak accused of smuggling several kilos of Durban Poison into the UK in an effort to ease Mrs Ploff’s symptoms and pay the fucking mortgage.

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