The Curmudgeon


Monday, July 09, 2012

Bringing the War on Idleness Within Measurable Distance of its End

Daveybloke's Minister for Unemployment, who in present circumstances would presumably wish to stay hidden as much as possible even were he not Chris Graybeing, has taken advantage of the cover afforded by the Lords reform debate and the Chancellor's demeaning of his office to crawl out and make the obligatory token defence of his department's latest flop. Of course, like so many government initiatives over the past thirty years, Graybeing's employment scheme only appears a flop if you look at it from the wrong perspective, viz. as a scheme for increasing employment, rather than as a pretext for throwing taxpayers' money at private companies. Nevertheless, Graybeing did his best to keep up appearances, clunking out the minspeak ("continuous 13-week break in claim ... job outcomes is a lagging indicator") and telling us all about how wonderful it was that only seventy-five per cent of beneficiaries had failed to stay off benefits, while dismissing with a light laugh the idea that anyone should know or care how many on the chain-gang actually got jobs. Graybeing also said that officials were evaluating a scheme whereby those who were failed by the programme would receive six-month sentences of "community service", though it is as yet unclear whether this will mean picking up litter, stacking shelves, or participating in the sexual cleansing of Christian bed-and-breakfast establishments.


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