Workshy Alert!

Once more the British government is declaring that it will ‘get tough’ on the jobless. By rolling out the exact same six-months of compulsory ‘voluntary’ work that was first trotted out by Tony Blair over a decade ago. Somehow, it seems as if the media – and quite possibly most of their consumers – have missed the fact that not only is this an old idea, it’s one that Blair trumpeted at least twice as a new initiative after first bringing it in, followed by several more announcements by Brown and three or more previous announcements of this new initiative by the Tories since coming to power. I suppose it just goes to show the power of rebranding.

But, once again, it showcases how certain elements in society view the jobless. According to these people I am one of the workshy and feckless. Of course, none of these opinionated idiots stops to think that by propagating such ideas (and cleaving to them if they are employers) they make it a lot harder for the long-term unemployed to gain employment. The moment an employer sees that you’ve been out-of-work for any length of time, into the ‘no pile’ your CV goes. No matter what the local jobs situation is like and with no consideration for your personal circumstances, you are felt somehow to be to blame for your situation.

Never do we hear of the shortcomings of employers and job agencies! A deathly silence is the norm, even to the now-ubiquitous email submission where all they had to do was type “Thanks but no thanks” and hit ‘send’. Promised emails and phone calls never materialise, no matter how much you chase them. Nor are those supposed to assist use any better, with appointments cancelled at the last minute and not rescheduled for weeks, and no practical help or advice forthcoming.

But, apparently, no matter how much effort I put in only to be ignored or given the run-around, it is I who is lazy, useless and in need of punishment, according our glorious government of privately-educated toffs…


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