The Curmudgeon


Friday, February 17, 2012

Supportive Measures

Plans are being drawn up by the Department of Workfare and Punishment to compel people to undertake "work experience" for charities, public bodies and, most importantly, high-street retailers. Those eligible for such helpful treatment include accident and stroke victims, some sufferers from mental illness, and those with terminal cancer who have more than six months to live. There are no plans to limit the amount of labour that can be extracted, although benefits will be cut in cases of people who disagree with the Idleness Police about what sort of work is suitable for their personal circumstances.

A spokesbeing was duly extruded, and threw up a superb, smelly clot of New Labour goodspeak: "It is clear that some groups wish to label people with a variety of illnesses and conditions as unable to work. This is not only wrong, it is unfair to those individuals who despite their illness want to keep working." That must be why, according to officials, "ministers feel sanctions are an incentive for people to comply with their responsibility", thereby ensuring that everybody knows what is right and fair for them.

The DWP said that although there was nothing to prevent terminal cancer patients from being financially penalised, it would be "absurd" for job centre managers to apply sanctions just because they're not forbidden to do so. At the risk of sounding all relativist and multicultural, absurdity tends to be in the eye of the beholder. Some of us might think it absurd that entire economies should be placed at the unconditional disposal of those who have previously wrecked them; or that a senior politician should get up before her party conference and regurgitate a discredited non-story from the Daily Mail; or that Tony Blair should be outside a prison cell; or that Iain Duncan Smith should be running a government department instead of a hosepipe or two; yet here we are.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home