‘Scroungers’ irrelevant to the welfare bill. Why Govt’s REALLY obsessed by them..


I’ve written variously about this Tory-led government’s fetish for demonising the vulnerable in order to facilitate its attacks on their state support. Disabled people, young people, housing benefit claimants, the unemployed – all come under sustained propaganda attack from government spokespeople, echoed by the right-wing press and even, on occasion, by the BBC.

This demonisation usually takes the form of some kind of ‘scrounger’ rhetoric, although the perpetrators will throw in ‘shirker’ or ‘skiver’ occasionally, just to mix it up a little. It’s clearly a tactic aimed at the basest instincts of people who are able, or willing, to believe it and resent the ‘scroungers’ who are supposedly the opposite of the ‘strivers’, or ‘those who work hard and do the right thing’, according to the Tory mantra.

This kind of rhetoric is in every government statement about the ‘Uprating Bill’ that will be voted on today in the Commons, as ministers talk about whether it’s ‘fair that those who don’t work should receive better rises than those who work hard and do the right thing’, or whatever variant they pick for a particular statement.

Of course, the rhetoric has very little basis in fact. Most benefit recipient – 60% – are working people who are so poorly paid by their employers or so exploited by their landlords that they can’t manage without state assistance.

But is any of it true? More to the point, if it is – does it matter? And do the government’s stated  reasons for targeting them have anything to do with the real reasons?

There don’t seem to be any firm figures that indicate how many of such people there actually are, but certainly they’re far fewer than the government would like everyone to think.

For example, an article in the Guardian highlights cases in which the government grossly exaggerated ‘scrounger’ issues for political purposes:

Example 1

Ministers had made a big issue – in order to justify their benefits cap – of a supposedly high number of families that were receiving £100,000 a year in housing benefit.

The reality? There were only 5 such families, in the whole country.

Example 2

Ministers briefed that over 1,300 people had been ‘off work for a decade with diarrhoea.

The reality? They were suffering from cancer and other severe bowel diseases.

Anecdotal evidence also seems to back up the idea that people avoiding work by choice are a very small minority. For example, on a discussion forum for social care professionals, in a debate about ‘scroungers’, one wrote:

I expect our experiences depend a lot on the location and teams that we might work in. Personally I see a LOT more people who are not claiming the benefits that they are wholly entitled to. I’ve come across a few families that might have stepped out of the front page of the Daily Mail but that has been very uncommon in my experience.

There’s no real doubt that a small percentage of people living long-term on benefits do so (as the government likes to put it) ‘as a lifestyle choice’. But most of what evidence there is seems to suggest that it really is a very small percentage.

However, I believe that – at least now and for the foreseeable future – their existence is absolutely irrelevant to the benefits issue. Any reference to them by politicians and media as justification for any benefit reduction or cap is absolutely, and deliberately, misleading – and hides a true motive that’s much darker.

Here’s why.

The numbers game

For the sake of argument, and so that no one can accuse me of minimising the issue to make my assertion more convincing, let’s assume that every single one of the long-term unemployed are living on benefits as a ‘lifestyle choice’. It’s a ludicrous proposition, of course, but bear with me for the moment.

The latest ONS statistics indicate that there are 449,000 people who have been on unemployment benefits for 24 months or more. I’m sure you’ll agree that ‘lifestyle scroungers’ are going to be, almost without exception, in this category.

So, if every single person in  that category was a ‘scrounger’, choosing to live on benefits, that means we have, at worst, 449,000 scroungers in this country – out of a jobless total of around 2.5 million.

However, the number of available jobs in the whole of the UK – again according to the latest ONS stats – is 489,000For 2.5 million unemployed people.

This means that, even if you can get someone into every available vacancy, you would still have over 2 million people unemployed. Of course, you never will fill every vacancy – many of those jobs will be vacant because they require special skills and experience that aren’t available, or because they pay so badly that no person in their right mind would want them.

But, again for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the government cuts benefits so drastically that all our notional ‘scroungers’ decide they are going to have to take those jobs – and we’ll assume that they have the necessary skills to do them.

What situation do we then have? Simple: over 2 million people who want to work, and no jobs for them.

Unless and until we reach a ‘full employment’ situation – one in which there is work for every person who wants to work and is capable of working – the ‘lifestyle scroungers’ are absolutely irrelevant to the benefits or ‘fairness’ issues.

In the current situation, where we have more than 5 unemployed people for every available job, every ‘scrounger’ forced into work means one less job for someone who wants to work. Somebody is going to be on benefits – a lot of ‘somebodies’, in fact – even if we had zero scroungers.

The only time when it would be legitimate to spend Parliamentary time and effort even discussing the genuine ‘scroungers’ would be if we ever return to a full-employment situation. However, there’s a massive reason why we won’t in the foreseeable future – and why it’s incredibly hypocritical for anyone to use so-called ‘scroungers’ as an excuse to ‘bash the benefit claimants’ as the government and the right-wing press love to do. It’s tied up in the last 2 sentences of the previous paragraph – but all should become clear shortly.

The ugly truth

For all their ‘striver vs skiver’ rhetoric, right-wingers don’t want everyone in work – and that includes politicians. They just don’t want people to be able to live on benefits in the long-term – for a very specific reason. That’s possibly a shocking thought for you. However, it’s not just my opinion – it’s on record as fact.

In 1997, the Bank of England’s ‘Monetary Policy Committee’ (MPC) met to discuss its business. In the minutes arising from that meeting, an incredibly frank and extremely revealing couple of paragraphs were included:


According to the Bank of England’s MPC, high numbers of long-term unemployed people does not push down wages – to them a desirable thing – to the same extent as numbers in short-term unemployment.

Lots of people unemployed in the short-term means that those in work are more worried about their job-security – and are therefore more likely to tolerate lower wages and less likely to demand increases. High numbers of long-term unemployed are less ‘effective’ in holding the employed to ransom, because the long-term unemployed aren’t as much of a threat to their job tenure.

Another part of the same document talks about a ‘natural level of unemployment’, saying that if

“the level of unemployment [was] below the natural rate, increasing inflation would generally result.”

In other words, a certain level of unemployment is natural and desirable – the wealthy right does not want everybody to have a job.

The Bank of England’s motivation is, notionally at least, a concern that upward pressure on inflation might stoke higher inflation. These concerns have not gone away since 1997. In one of its 2012 reports on inflationary pressures, the MPC stated:

Since the second quarter of 2011, the number of vacancies had been broadly stable while unemployment had increased, suggesting that the unemployed were less able to fill those vacancies.

But for employers, and the politicians they donate to, there’s another, clearer, baser motive.


David Cameron, George Osborne, Ian Duncan Smith and co want there to be a lot of people out of work – because that keeps the rest of us ‘in our place’, and stops us expecting pay rises that will reduce fat, corporate profits. Whatever the rhetoric, the fiscal cost of that level of unemployment is perfectly acceptable to the bankers and CEOs, because it bolsters profits and executive salaries. The Bank of England says so.

They just don’t want there to be many long-term unemployed people – because that doesn’t do the job as effectively. So the Tories and their donors have a vested interest in targeting the long-term unemployed – one that has precisely nothing to do with fairness.

To you and me, if we had to choose which of the 2.5 million unemployed people to put into the <500,000 jobs that exist for them, would probably see it as best, fairest and most logical to fill those jobs with people that really want to do them – whether they’ve been unemployed for 6 weeks or 6 years – rather than have them filled by people who don’t really want to do them.

But the government and its wealthy friends have a different agenda. One that’s better served by having only short-term unemployed people who are desperate for work – so that a sword is always hanging over the rest of us that employers can use to dampen our ‘uppity’ expectations of decent pay and conditions.

Scroungers are irrelevant to the issue of benefits and fairness while we have our current level of unemployment. They are not irrelevant to the Tories’ real, strategic but hidden aims – which go against the very same hard-working ‘strivers’ whose side they claim to be on.

When you hear about the vote today, or think about the issues, or consider whether Labour is doing the right thing for the country by voting against the ‘uprating bill’, bear all this in mind.


  1. I think your arguments stand up pretty well and I agree with most of your sentiment. The major issue is your reference to ‘the right’ wanting higher levels of unemployment, but also your comment ‘even the BBC’ as though BBC reporting is what? somehow superior? Therefore: The left also need high numbers of people to rely on the state in order for them to be frightened into voting left for fear of losing out. Obama has done the same – The elites, whether of the traditional right or left want the same thing – to divide society. The unemployed are fodder to be used by elites to pursue their agendas. As for the BBC it is a bankrupt manipulated cess pool of wealth creation for the few out of the striving poor’s taxes.

  2. My grandfather told me all this many decades ago. He’d lived through the 30s, so he knew a thing or two about unemployment & poverty.
    It is so depressing that his great-grandchilden will as well.

  3. Of course in part it’s pour encourager les autres, but the real reason benefits are being whittled away is so when the public mood has been properly stirred up the government of the day, any day as both parties are in this up to their greedy necks, can do away with the benefits system altogether. This will open a multi-BILLION pound market for the insurance companies and no doubt those politicans who’ve most helped bring this about will be getting a beeeeg slice of this billionaire pie. It’s naked self-interest and greed at work here, not economics. These are people who would sell out their mothers for the right money and for the prospect of becoming multi-millionaires in their own right, well, selling out their country, the electorate to whom they owe their position, that’s just even a consideration. They should be in jail, the lot of them, and I include in this senior people at Unum, the gang of American crooks masquerading as an insurance company who’ve been acting as consultants on these so-called ‘welfare reforms’ since Peter Lilley got them in in the 90s (as Private Eye have been reporting since then too).

    1. the government of the day, any day as both parties are in this up to their greedy necks, can do away with the benefits system altogether.
      Billyboy, they can’t stop paying Benefit, where are the unemployed people going to get insurance from, if they can afford it? Think of the implications, there are 2.5 unemployed alone, plus millions on low pay claiming benefits, there will be riots in the streets! People should lok here; http://www.thebcgroup.org.uk and see exactly what is happening, get clued up and prepared.

      1. I have to agree with you, Bill. The Government has no qualms about spending taxpayers’ money on keeping people afloat as consumers.

  4. …and it wasn’t 5 families claiming 100 grand a year, it was UP to five. Between zero and five, to be precise, thanks to the odd way these things are counted, which could mean it was actually no families at all.

    1. And, therefore, the obvious conclusion which could be drawn is that Gidiot invented ’em!

  5. Sky – 10 / 10 (I’m not Lab BTW, I’m from the party that dare not speak it’s name L*bD*m), Another facet of the same logic (and a much more direct one, frankly,) is that whenever there is a prospect of significant redistribution of wealth via upwards wage-pressure
    the economic elites engineer another massive wave of immigration. This is the far-right’s single – and potent – valid point.

    1. Yes – take a look at my post on ‘Reform’ and its report on a ‘surplus’ of doctors being an ‘opportunity’ to drive down pay and advising that immigration of more doctors should be encouraged to enlarge the surplus and give health employers ‘freedom’ to pay how they wish.

    2. I’ve no problem with grassroots LibDems, btw – but your parliamentary party is a disgrace – though a few of your MPs went some way to redeeming themselves by having the guts to vote against yesterday’s uprating bill.

      I had a lot of sympathy for the LDs ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation – but I don’t think they’ve resisted hard enough on really important things like the NHS. And then the decision to hand Hunt his lifeline by merely abstaining from the vote on his position, rather than having the guts to vote against, was the final straw.

      It’s not too late to change parties – we’re welcoming lots of disillusioned LDs 🙂

  6. I agree entirely re Hunt. It is astonishing (and yet so un-astonishing) that this creep continues to weasel his way up the greasy pole, unimpeded. Miracle of the age. Mitchell, IMO, was entirely an irrelevant target. Will ponder yr kind offer re turning my coat to spiffy Lab colours – but really the bitter after-taste of public-schooled Anthony Blair QC and his chums still rankles !

    1. Oh, that though rankles me too! But he was never really Labour, even though I can see why he thought he had to be what he was to win in 97.

    2. The problem with today’s Labour Party is that all the REAL Labourites have been forced to the back benches, and the public face is simply a (slightly) more purple version of the Tories.

      There ARE still a few (the Beast, obviously, Benn, Meacher, Glenda Jackson (I NEARLY typed Judi Dench then! I’d like to think she WAS on our side though – I’ve a strong feeling she would be…), Helen Goodman; Ian Mearns RESIGNED over Labour’s position on workfare… And if Helen Goodman can live on a food budget of £18pw, I think IDS should be COMPELLED to live on £53!

  7. I agree with all said here. However, this is not just the Tories, Labour used the same arguments when they were in power. I see nothing to distinguish them from All Politicians. They all belong to the same clubs, all wear the same uniform, and ALL fraudulently claim the same Expenses in self-serving barefaced contempt of the wishes of the General Population! No wonder we feel disenfranchised from the Elitist Political System.

    The old “Joke”: How do you tell if a Politician is lying? Their lips move. Has Never been so true as today.

  8. Is there an optimal number of people that shouldn’t work in order to keep wages high for everyone else?

    1. The nearer we are to full employment – everyone having a job who wants one – the better it is for the wages of ordinary people.

      1. With the onslaught of technology, we will never have that. We produce more people per year than jobs. Just last week Morrison’s sacked 700 due to technology. People can help themselves here, when in the supermarket DON’T use the self serve tills! Especially when it’s busy! Companies should pay a technology tax to fund ‘skill centers’ as they are making more and more profit with less and less labour!

      2. Yes, I’ve been thinking along the same lines. An ‘online business’ tax too, to generate micro-businesses and repopulate high streets, as online sales will never employ as many people as a physical network of shops.

      3. True and on that subject let’s not forget 3D printing or sintering threatens to put even more people out of work and very soon too. A basic universal income looks like becoming a necessity and it’s not even being seriously discussed in this country.

      4. @Bill Rollinson “People can help themselves here…” Perhaps that’s exactly what they should be doing, and bypassing the staffed tills too. It’s my guess that before long this will become something of a norm for many as many will no longer be able to afford to feed themselves any other way.

    2. I studied engineering in the seventies, but was forced to study economics as 10% of my degree. I always remember only one thing (apart from the crass over-simplifications and false assumptions which were ‘then proved’ by inductive logic) the existence of the ‘Phillips Curve’ the relationship of inflation to unemployment. The result of this is that economists regard there as being an optimum level of unemployment. I believe the figure is about 6.5% in a market economy.

  9. Good post. Aye, it’s the old Marxist reserve army of labour isn’t it.
    And when the ironically named Universal Credit kicks in in October 2013 many more people will become subject to IDS’s ‘conditionality’ regime and will further swell the pool of ‘available’ labour.

  10. yes but its ok for everyone to say get into a job, But jobs are only employing people who have years of experience, or in most cases qualifications no on as…… my point is. Yes there are handful of jobs that don’t reguire the blood of you. but come on over millions of people are on benefits yet there no jobs to fill 15% of the jobs advertised….

  11. There are indeed reasons to be fearful. The demonisation of welfare claimants is a cynical PR tactic to justify the mugging of vulnerable people to an entilement any 21st century democracy would want to be proud to have in place. The kick in the belly of the poor, vulnerable and disenfranchised, while the affluent recieve fur coats in summer in readiness for winter (unecessary tax cuts) is something that we here in wales are used too from the tories. What is a suprise, is the support it has recieved from the Lib Dems. Unforgivable!

  12. thanks for this, well observed “joining the dots” i agree with your arguments, but the thing i have felt all along most strongly a sense of blackmailing if you will the people in work to fear for their jobs. in fact showing those workers that the boss really is the boss, don’t you dare talk back etc. children of thatcher still showing the plebs that they are in charge. even though they only make their fat profits on the backs of those same workers. maybe that’s why they crack the whip so hard? in case we work that out… cheers

  13. A good blog which follows the veins of my own consciousness on economic policy.
    However, with the help of a robust media propaganda campaign, its proving tough to get the left wing message across.
    My father is 77, a life time Tory voter who struggled to find and keep work from 1982 onwards, eventually giving up in 1996, age 60.
    He never met a coal miner, a steel worker or a docker, working most of his life as white collar worker in London.
    The north/South divide and rule strategies of Thatcher and those politicians in power since, mixing up the Hayek economic model of a leaner, fitter economic system that exists with a 20% buffer of under performers and under achievers to keep us all in line.
    Those who do escape the circus to become mega wealthy, either by selling the circus, setting up a new one or becoming the headline act are the centre piece of mainstream media coverage, simply because its part of the big business mechanism which makes lots of money.
    Its very hard to be happy with your lot in life, when we have to compare ourselves with those who apparently”found their way out of the ghetto’ when your job is simply to care for children, the elderly, the sick, the dying.or doing the essential, the mundane or the unsavoury tasks that make society work.
    That’s the highest affront, that so many peoples lives are categorized as scroungers or shirker whilst wealth acquired by gambling on the commodity markets somehow makes you more legitimate and intrinsically valuable and aspiring?
    A quick glance down the Sunday Times rich list, published today, (check out the Duke of Westminster at no. 8 on £8 billions) tells you what austerity is for.
    A Tory once told me to my face, “the world don’t owe you a living”.
    I never met anyone who asked to be born either.
    Humanity thrives or declines depending upon the will and ability to help one another.
    The day when every child is born into this world with the money, love, food, medical assistance and education it needs to see beyond the next crisis, then we can start to call humanity a success.
    Currently, its looking a bit like Europe in the 1930’s and about to descend into chaos driven by greed and fear.
    If you take the media hype and propaganda at least.
    Perhaps its time to turn our backs on austerity and the media and those we vote in to allow them to steal from us and sell us their wares we don’t need or want?

  14. nothing else to say, drew has spoken for humanity and i applaud him, everyone should be made aware of his comments, and learn from history.

  15. what people also need to be aware of is why are the government really trying to get out of the court of human rights. It is not to get people such as the often shown and berated “hook hand cleric” out of this country. It is the usual smoke and mirrors, if we no longer abide to the court of human rights where else can genuine long term disabled appeal too when they are being wrongly declared fit to work and the government sanctioned appeals process turns them down.
    Ironically I do agree that the disability claims procedure needed overhauling and I also agree that everyone should pay council tax as everyone uses the local council services.

    1. I hear, though I couldn’t comment knowledgably, that only about 30% of council tax goes to providing services and the rest is profits for the collection companies. If true, this presents things in a different light.

    2. Unfortunately, a refusal to grant benefits is unlikely to end up (winning) at the ECHR. See for example http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-97704#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-97704%22]}. I’m not aware of any claims about benefits succeeding at the ECHR, except in cases where the law contained discrimination. (The harmonisation of the old-age pension age between men and women was imposed by the EU, I think, not the ECHR.)

      1. They need a scapegoat to blame to distract attention away from the theivery that is taking place at the top in order to scare the middle classes . The benefit cap is being legally challenged anyway

  16. Perhaps they should build a large concentration camp somewhere, so they can put all the terminally sick, the disabled & the long-term unemployed. They wouldn’t then have to see us on the streets & could therefore conveniently “forget” us!!

  17. I don’t agree that the short term unemployed are any less a threat to those in work than the long term unemployed, none of those in work want the public approbrium of being called a scrounger. Also most of the 449,000 jobs on offer are either temporary, part-time or fake.

    1. In economic terms they are, because the long-term unemployed are more likely to stay unemployed and to be considered unemployable. Totally agree with you on the rest, though.

  18. AH the old numbers game (again) headline recently 900,000 workshy suddenly panic and sign off the dole , thus the welfare reform is working ranted in the rw press,,however its utter bollocks because end of 2012 it was found that the hidden unemployed were genuine incapacity benefit claimants..and can you guess how many?? 900,000 in fact now thats uncanny to be same figure..what this means is there are 3.4 (and rising) million out of work.not 2 million odd…

  19. it means that 900,000 ppl were made to disappear from register apparently buy there own doing..when in fact they were labelled as scroungers that panicked..no they were ‘re described.’

      1. @skywalker thing is i found this figure in a document called ‘the true level of unemployed 2012,, produced by sheffield hallam uni..in fact the same place govt often gets figures from..

      2. Yes. Take a look at my article though – it links to a source showing exactly the figures (mis)used by the government.

      3. @skwalker oic i read the y and short for yes..ok its a pdf doc and if i cant remember the weblink i will give its title so mebbe a google will get it..its uncanny how i came across it..someone in a forum was banging on about scroungers following the 900k crap in press, then someone replied and cited a book, and authors and the uni..i found book on amazon then noted the authors..also the uni sounded familiar as i had come across it before..with govt stats.anyways after googling authors up it came and when i read the first part it astounded me as the 900,000 figure int e right wing press matched what was in the doc..
        the doc was published 2012 and its about the real level of unemployment..the doc claims its 3.4 million..
        ok will try and get it 4 u..if not i will give u enough info for you to find it..

  20. typo error.
    I don’t agree that the short term unemployed are any”less” should read MORE of a threat to those in work than the long term

  21. @SKWALKER you got lucky..i just found it..

    see the bits with:

    An estimated 900,000 unemployed have been diverted
    onto incapacity benefits. These
    are men and women with health problems who claim in
    capacity benefits instead of
    unemployment benefits. They do not represent fraud
    ulent claims.


    tell me what you think..to me at that time that figure was uncanny as it matched what the rw press was saying..

  22. Milton Friedman won a Nobel prize for his work on the natural rate of unemployment. It’s an observation rather than a target, and is important for monetary policy because the BoE has a mandate to control inflation.

    In a free country, people can quit their job and look for another one whenever they want. And, because we provide insurance, they can wait a while until they find a desirable position. The same goes for new entrants to the workforce. This number of people, averaged over the long term, is roughly equal to the natural rate of unemployment. Above that rate, monetary policy makers may want to consider lowering interest rates to spur hiring.

    Of course, it’s impossible to know the natural rate for certain at any point in time, but monetary policy makers still need to think about what it might be in order to set interest rates correctly.

    Right now, I think most people would agree that rates are extremely low. The problem is that the government is pursuing insane austerity through fiscal policy — the opposite of what the Bank is doing.

    1. I agree with your last paragraph. The rest, hmmmm. Winning a Nobel prize during a time that spawned the McCarthy trials and many other evils is no guarantee of not being malignant.

  23. “In other words, a certain level of unemployment is natural and desirable – the wealthy right does not want everybody to have a job.”

    Talk about putting words in someone’s mouth – it doesn’t say “desirable”, it says “natural”. Say 1,000 people are fired every day, and it takes each of them seven days to find another job. At any given moment, you’d have 7,000 unemployed people – even though every single one of them can expect to find a new job within a week. There’s always going to be SOME unemployment, even in a thriving economy.

    I have the same reservations about your earlier quotation. All I see is a matter-of-fact description of economic theory, devoid of context. Fluctuations in unemployment affect wages: this is inarguably a thing that happens. Nowhere does it imply that the speaker thinks this is a good or a bad thing, you make that claim yourself. (Why would the Bank of England think that lower wages are a good thing on general principle? A healthy economy needs wages of all shapes and sizes.)

  24. Reblogged this on The SKWAWKBOX Blog and commented:

    DWP and benefit issues are front and centre at the moment, with (Duncan) Smith due to appear before a parliamentary committee and a supposed ‘hit squad’ announced to ‘work with’ unemployed people by getting even tougher on them and draconian sanctions set to force hundreds of thousands into penury.
    Meanwhile, the right-wing media continue to parrot the ‘scroungers’ issue to try to fool the ignorant into believing these measures are anything but wantonly cruel. But the whole issue of ‘scroungers’ is a nonsense – even the few that exist are irrelevant to the benefits bill, as this post of mine from the beginning of this year shows. It also shows why the government is obsessed with them – and it has nothing whatever to do with reducing the benefit ‘bill’.

    1. Anyone believe in statistics ? despite having gloomy unemployment figures the Chartered Institute for Personell Development (CIPD) is telling us there are all these jobs to be had, it says…”However, looking at vacancies for February to April 2013, there were 503,000 jobs advertised, which is the highest level since 2008. According to the labour market outlook report by CIPD and Success Factors, expected increases in employment levels this quarter are strong in manufacturing and production and private sector services; especially in IT and consultancy services.”


      Ermmm thats funny because they seemed to have changed their tune now. This is what CIPD said before.in 2009 “The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CPID) warns there is a “distinct possibility” that weak economic growth and fears over a double-dip recession will lead to further redundancies in the coming years.

      Its new analysis of the effects of last year’s global financial crisis also discloses that the state has continued to grow while private sector workers have borne the brunt of job losses.
      (they are obviously not a fan of public services it seems either)

      John Philpott, Chief Economist at the CIPD, said: “Unless the economy rebounds from recession far more strongly than most economists expect the likelihood is that the recovery will be broadly jobs-light, resulting in a slow grind back toward the pre-recession rate of unemployment. ” pretty grim, eh? so that quite a lot different from recent eh?


      Well now, only not so long ago
      on the Public Accounts Commitee (PAC) a report stating that DWP Work Programme was rubbish and a waste of money as the results were ”as if they had done nothing’ (which they had done nothing except take the govt money that is) but look !! someone leapt to the defence of the useless DWP work program, can you guess who?

      Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CPID) , said: ”Our research suggests that there is more that can be done by Government and providers of the Work Programme to increase awareness amongst employers of its existence and the benefits it can bring. (er its useless mate the PAC just said so)

      Just shows how people can keep changing their minds doesnt it?

      1. @skwalker i may well do that, what seems apparent to me is that CIPD is pretty much aligned with this non-elected govt thats for sure….i will look into it and get back to you..

  25. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here, Steve. I’m currently doing some research into the origin of the whole skivers/dysfunctional families/broken Britain discourse and why Cameron/Osborne/IDS have promoted it. I came across an interesting academic paper which has pointed me in the direction of evidence that suggest IDS has been building up to this since he started the Centre for Social Justice after his ‘Damoscene’ moment on Glasgow’s Easterhouse Estate back in 2004. It seems a decision was taken in the Tory party to follow the American workfare model as opposed to the more generous and socially democratic European approach to welfare. I need to do more and will blog about it soon but what I’ve found so far certainly backs up your argument about large corporations wanting a significant downward pressure on wages in the West.

    1. Sounds fascinating – let me know when it’s up! Also wouldn’t mind a look at the academic paper if you fancy sending me the link?

  26. Perfect reasoning and the highlighted paragraphs clinch it. I need only add two related points. First, that the short- and long term unemployed rotate, with often the same people periodically out of work, others permanently unemployed. Second, that this instills fear of joblessness in those employed at a given time, making them compliant and submissive to their bosses’ demands. Likewise, that those out of work at a given time are so bad off–often due to benefit cuts or denial–that they are willing to grab almost any job, no matter how poorly paid and no matter how bad working conditions are. This cycles. I fear that the rich want this. If so, it is another part of the explanation of cuts, low wages and easy sackings.

  27. BoE statements and policy documents are amazing. I started getting interested in them in 2010 and quickly became radicalized. Once you see through the misleading language an anger takes hold that drives decent people leftwards. Natural rate of unemployment my arse! Ducking bastards was my first thought.

    Great article, nicely explained

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