Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Letter to DWP On Work Programme.

with 16 comments

Sent by E-Mail this Morning.

Dear DWP Ministers,
Ipswich Unemployment Action is a lively Blog run by the unemployed (https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/).
It posts news and comments (many hundreds) on issues to do with unemployment, state benefits and schemes (such as the Flexible New Deal) which are said to help people back into work.

We have grave concerns about the new Work Programme.

A major one is that Minister, Lord David Freud, describes the new system as a “black box”. That in a speech to providers he said, “We are determined that the “black box” approach, as it has been called, will really mean that we will judge you by your results and pay you accordingly.”
Does this mean that there will no public scrutiny of how it works, its effects on participants, and its outcomes?
As a member of Ipswich Unemployed Action I  would like to see any programme that affects the out-of-work operate with maximum openness.
I hope you can clarify the meaning of the phrase “black box”.
Yours faithfully,

Written by Andrew Coates

July 6, 2010 at 9:01 am

16 Responses

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  1. Dear Ipswich Unemployed Action

    Thank you for your query.

    To clarify a “black box” is a system which can only be viewed solely in terms of its input and output without any knowledge of its internal workings, hence my reference to the term “black box approach”.

    If you require further clarification or indeed you have any further questions do do hesitate to contact me directly at

    Very Best Regards

    Lord David Freud

    Lord David Freud

    July 6, 2010 at 10:32 am

  2. Thanks for sending the email.

    Has anyone got any more information on workfare scheme?

    Flexible New Deal

    July 6, 2010 at 11:12 am

  3. My Lord,

    The term blackbox has connotations of an air accident. After all is this not what the air crash investigators look for after a disaster.

    I am also concerned that with any impending ‘workfare’ programme, that the particpents will be not be able to be able to be told apart from those on the COMMUNITY PAYBACK as laid down by the courts,
    as the same activities will be carried out by those on the WORKFARE. How will the DWP/Providers Assist those on the WORKFARE PROGRAMME to help them be disassociated from those on the Community Payback Scheme.


    July 9, 2010 at 8:22 am

    • “How will the DWP/Providers Assist those on the WORKFARE PROGRAMME to help them be disassociated from those on the Community Payback Scheme.” Simple really, the bar code branded into the participants left arm will contain a programme identifying code.


      July 9, 2010 at 8:28 am

      • Marks under the left arm. ‘Barcodes’.

        “It’s Started Again”

        Germany 1930’s

        I always said the EU was the Fourth Reich


        July 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

      • Nothing to do about it except cover the head with tin-foil, and wait for the black helicopters?

        I am planning to start building a bunker on my allotment.

        Andrew Coates

        July 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

    • The MAXIMUM amount of Community Payback that a Court can impose is 300 hours, Workfare at 35×26 = 910, over 3 times the maximum legal limit.

      Workfare is PUNISHMENT, it’s not meant to rehabilitate lol, it’d be safe to assume that it will be done on the cheap, one way will be by sharing resources with the current Community Payback scheme, i.e. Workfare participants will just be tagged onto Community Payback gangs. Effective, simple and AND cheap. Unless you buy into the “individually tailored programme” bullshit, the only thing that will be individually tailored will be the fluorescent jacket – tailored by the victim.

      Judge Dread

      July 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

      • I hope, rather than expect, that enough jobssekers allocated to Workfare still have enough dignity and self-respect left to take legal advice as to whether compelling them to do the same work as CRIMINALS sentenced to Community Payback is even legal.

        Rmemeber, our government has fallen foul of European Human Rights legislation more times than any other EU country. So don’t there is nothing you can do.

        When your family and friends ask what did you do to fight workfare. What will will say?

        Funny A4e Photos

        July 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

    • Exactly. Just because the UK Government passes Legislation does not mean it is competent within European Legislation. Likewise, just because the DWP/Provider mandate something (as in the case of abuse of the Data Protection Act) does not mean it is competent within UK Law.


      July 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

      • I think it will begin to hit hard in people’s minds when someone finds that workfare ‘volunteers’ are doing work that was done by paid workers before the ‘cuts’.

        I can forsee this happening.

        Ipswich Borough Council has just got a job-freeze,, given the kind of people who run it I imagine they’d just love some scheme where they didn’t have to pay but still got people ‘volunteering’ to fill the gapsin their services.

        Andrew Coates

        July 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      • It not only wont hit people’s minds, but people won’t care less until they lose their job through workfare. In fact, if anyone is forced into Workfare it should be to displace someone else’s job. Most people probably think Workfare is all about forcing the unemployed to dig ditches then filling them up next day, and they are quite happy to go along with that. In the USA Workfare has even replaced the the police. If we are going to have Workfare, let’s have someone else’s job, even an (ex)-union one 🙂

        Death Star

        July 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm

  4. Black box just means that his Lordshit doesn’t give a flying spiderman what goes on on the schemes, he is not concerned with such trivialities as to how the participants are treated, respect for human rights…. Zzzz. Just so long as it gets a result.

    Judge Dread

    July 9, 2010 at 8:44 am

  5. Jobseeker’s Allowance (Work for Your Benefit Pilot Scheme) Regulations 2010


    failed to provide answers to questions asked by a Scheme provider and appropriate information about—

    P’s educational qualifications;

    P’s employment history;

    any vocational training P has undertaken;

    any skills or experience P has acquired which fit P for employment or self-employment;

    P’s work-related abilities

    Maybe this can be interpreted that the DWP has more loftier idea’s that John Bird’s UKIP-esque digging
    ditches crap.

    If we do get lumbered with Workfare I sure as hell hope that it’s the likes of UKIP/Con/Lab/Lib-voting shits that get displaced, always fancied editing the Big Issue. 🙂

    Death Star

    July 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    • They’re threatening you with sanctions for refusing to answer their questions. That must be a clear breach of your human rights.

      Don’t make it easy for them. Say something like ‘by what legislation do you have the right to ask these questions. And is that legislation compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights’.

      Funny A4e Photos

      July 9, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      • wot colour knickers u wearing not telling u am stopping ur money


        July 23, 2010 at 11:28 am

  6. Meeting started on Wednesday 21 July at 3.32pm
    ended at 5.55pm

    Support to incapacity benefits claimants through Pathways to Work

    Steve Marsland, Executive Director, A4e, and Chris Melvin, Chief Executive, Reed in Partnership

    Watch A4e and Reed in Partnerhship get a grilling from Margaret Hodge MP an others. Enjoy their embarrassment as they struggle to answer questions, this is as good it get, folks!

    You can only view the video in Internet Explorer, not Firefox!


    IB Claimant

    July 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

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