Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

John Bird: Someone Loves Yer!

with 9 comments

Champion of the Out-Of-Work  John Bird has many friends amongst Ipswich Unemployed Action.

His solution to mass worklessness: less dole, ‘voluntary work’ (David Cameron’s Big Society) and flog some his mag on street corners.

Bird is rapidly getting support.  Away with the Nanny State (not that we are too clear on what Nannies are)! Bring communities back in charge! Buy the Big Issue!

In Ipswich we JSA types and Flexible New Dealers are ready to volunteer to

  • Take over the Drink Squad from Busy Coppers. If we see people drinking in the street, we will confiscate all tinnies of strong cider and lager and put them a socially useful purpose.
  • Run the Local Library. To save space we will transfer all CDs and DVDs to our homes.
  • Food Safety. Our vigilant inspectors will pounce on the slightest infraction. We will confiscate all dodgy looking take-aways and bring them to our central depot for strict tastings.

We hope that Birdy will help us a Consultant.

Bird is man with a future. As his mate Gordon Roddick says

Life as John’s friend is a series of startling incidents. He is an anarchist who enjoys a drink – evenings out with him are always slightly dangerous. You’re sure to end up embroiled in arguments or heavy scenes in restaurants. John is part of life’s rich entertainment: he makes me laugh and I love the guy.

(More, yuk, Here)

What a scamp!

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Written by Andrew Coates

July 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

9 Responses

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  1. Not something to cry about if he happens to pass away.

    Flexible New Deal

    July 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    • Your wish is my command. Come along now Mr Bird, I am going to send you to a better place 🙂

      The Grim Reaper

      July 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm

  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jul/20/scrap-criminal-records-exoffender-employment

    Want to get ex-offenders into work? Scrap criminal records

    A criminal record does nothing more than recite the wrongs someone once committed without saying what they’ve done right since, says Mark Johnson

    The government and its burgeoning “back to work” service providers are right to try to get ex-offenders back into society through employment. However, they could be overlooking the fastest, easiest way to do this. Any number of schemes now teach prisoners employment skills and interview technique, but what’s the point when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is busy sending out pieces of paper that might as well be P45s?

    CRB checks have become such a feature of modern employment practice that no one questions them. Well, now is the time.

    Stop, right now. Look around you in the workplace. Ask yourself how many of the people you really know? How much do you know about their past and even their present? Admit that you know very little, so little that employers are probably safer with an ex-offender who has discussed his past and his new life openly. A clean CRB check gives a sense of security that may be entirely false, but it’s probably the narrowest way of measuring risk. The fact is that most employers only have to glimpse a criminal record and they run a mile.

    A CRB check does nothing more than recite the wrongs someone once committed without saying what they’ve done right since. Employers, like most of the public, are media-educated about crime. They’ve been subjected to self-righteous outrage without knowing anything about the factors that lead to the offence in the first place, or the hard work that has gone into overcoming those factors. When you put the facts in their hands, they can too often use them to discriminate. The offender has already been punished by incarceration, but society now continues to punish him for the rest of his life in slow instalments, simply by stigmatising him.

    Discrimination should be outlawed. I recently received a letter from a prolific ex-offender who has made it into a managerial position in a charity, but when her past was disclosed there was uproar. The chief executive asked her to write a “letter of atonement” to be read by everyone in the organisation. That’s discrimination. The ex-offender has served her time and is trying to give back to society much more than she ever took. Asking her to humiliate and abase herself before colleagues is a contravention of her basic human rights. And if she is one of the more able ex-offenders, what is happening to the rest?

    It is not always necessary for an employer to know about the past. There are many offenders who will slip easily into a working life and who pose little risk to employers. They should be sent out of jail without a stigmatising criminal record and allowed to get on with their lives. The service providers scrambling to reshape themselves in the new image of welfare to work demanded by the new government are rushing to work with this easy-to-help group. But true intervention should be more demanding than this. Many ex-offenders don’t have the emotional stability to work a nine-to-five day and they need therapeutic interventions, not superficial classes in interview technique. Organisations that commission services should discuss with the service users what their needs are.

    When employers must be informed by the CRB about someone’s past, they need a toolkit to help them interpret it, and a chance to familiarise themselves with the ex-offender’s new life so that they can put this information in context. But the CRB only provides information without giving help in using it effectively, so the employer inevitably tries to play safe by avoiding offenders.

    There are a couple more things the government can do. When large organisations bid for money for interventions to put ex-offenders back into work, those organisations should be employing ex-offenders themselves.

    Finally, the government should look to its own appalling record in this area. As the nation’s biggest employer, it has failed miserably to lead by example and put ex-offenders on its own payroll. The best way to show the UK that it’s time to stop discriminating against those with criminal records is for the government to recognise the special skills and contribution ex-offenders can make by lifting its bar and actually employing them.

    • Mark Johnson, a rehabilitated offender and former drug user, is an author and the founder of the charity Uservoice.

    Old Lag

    July 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    • B*llshit I’ve yet to meet anybody in this country who got sent to prison who was genuinly innocent, (certainly not my old man repeatedly) The truth is they got sent down for the tip of the iceberg crime wise the vast majority they got away with scot free.The odds favour the crimminal. But if you can’t live with the consequences of getting caught don’t do the crime in the first place, sounds like Tory style deregulation to me and lets not forget the present financial crisis was caused by one and the same idea.

      Grow a pair Mark Johnson and knock the cry baby act on the head you brought it in yourself .

      Lowestoft's Finest

      July 23, 2010 at 8:03 am

      • He’s not talking about “innocence”, he’s talking about “rehabilitation”.

        Old Timer

        July 23, 2010 at 8:17 am

      • Maybe not you personally, Lowestoft’s Finest, but there is a wider issue here, lest we forgot The Guilford Four, Birmingham Six, Stefan Kiszko, Sally Clark, Colin Stagg, Timothy Evans and numerous other miscarriages of justice, so it’s inaccurate to say that no-one who was innocent has ever been sent to prison (executed) . But as Old Timer says this is not the thrust of this article, as no where does Mark Johnston suggest that he was fitted up by the Old Bill.

        Paul Hill

        July 23, 2010 at 9:01 am

  3. I didn’t say anywhere in my post it doesn’t happen here, but the truth remains I still have yet to meet anybody inocent that got sent down. Mark Johnson new what the score was before he commited the crime if he showed more responcibility in the first place he wouldn’t have got a criminal record.

    I view him the same way as I view repeat crims who boohoo about prison not rehabilitating them, prison is not there to rehabilitate them, only they can do that themselves prison is there to lock up twats who arn’t adult enough to act like a human beings on the outside and give the rest of society who are the real victims a temporary break from them, life with a criminal record should be treated like a deterant to crime in the first place if you don’t want to be treated like a twat don’t get a qualification that proves to the rest of the world your a twat (criminal record)in the first place.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    July 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

    • I actualy know several repeat crims who in reality would be totaly gutted if Mark Johnson got the barrier of a crminal record removed as they use it as a get out clause to being forced into legit employment.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      July 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

    • I’m not sure I totally agree. A lot people who end up there (I am talking of people I know) are pretty er, sad cases – if pains.

      But it’s a fact that you have to try pretty hard to get into prison.

      Andrew Coates

      July 23, 2010 at 10:20 am


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