Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Channel Four Makes ‘Gobshite’ Attack on Unemployed.

with 31 comments

Gobshite” is how one respected commentator (see pic)  described last night’s Channel Four attack on the unemployed.

A group of Tory boys filmed on their mobiles  an “exposé” of how not to fill in your ‘Job Search’ .

They called it “Tricks of the Dole Cheats”.

With hand-writing that would take an expert in palaeography to decipher they struck on the wizard wheeze of not really trying to get a job.

That is by scribbling something down that the hard-pressed Dole Assistant couldn’t be arsed to read.

Given the amateur status of their efforts we would say: can’t you toffs find something better to do?

Channel Four used to be highly respected.

I am told, though I was not in England for most of the 1980s, that it was  left-wing.

Now it’s mainly about  Come Dine With Me.

Plus they see fit to broadcast this complete and utter right-wing gobshite.


31 Responses

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  1. Just in case there were not enough press articles and TV shows (of which the Murdoch titles, the Mail, the Express, BBC’s “Saints and Scroungers” immediately spring to mind) that demonise the unemployed and everyone claiming benefits, Channel 4′s Dispatches will tonight screen “Tricks of The Dole Cheats”

    “Reporter Morland Sanders investigates Jobcentre Plus, the organisation tasked with getting Britain back to work and cracking down on dole cheats. With the help of jobseekers, undercover filming and a former insider, the programme reveals the shirkers’ tricks that make it easy to cheat the system.”

    Well, if it is so “easy to cheat the system” and there are so many “shirkers” at it with their “tricks”, then you would imagine that to justify such a story, that benefit fraud must surely be very widespread and a bigger problem than tax-dodging by the rich.

    The fact is that fraud accounted for just 0.8% of benefit expenditure in 2011.

    This figure is so small that it is almost matched by the amount lost in benefits by Government error which cost 0.6% of benefits spending in 2011.

    Surely Dispatches have not made a programme to reduce a level of fraud that is a tiny fraction of £120bn that is dodged by the wealthy in taxes?

    Tonight’s programme can only serve to strengthen the Tories resolve to make the lives of all benefit claimants even more miserable, as if they needed any encouragement.

    It will no doubt be followed by an even more vitriolic press campaign against the most vulnerable and poorest in Britain today. Every claimant will be tarred with the “benefit cheat” brush and further harassment and more benefits sanctions will be the result.

    And for each column inch and every millimetre of footage that creates an atmosphere of resentment against the poor, less coverage is devoted to the real Tory crimes that are destroying jobs, destroying vital services and allowing the richest in our society to grow richer with their bonuses and their tax havens.

    One of the antidotes to this atmosphere is today’s strike by more than 6,000 contact centre workers in the DWP, who are fighting for the right to serve those in need of help. Their strike is against the very target-driven bullying led by DWP senior managers that prevent them from fully and professionally supporting those desperate for their benefits or a crisis loan.

    PCS contact workers should be supported and messages of solidarity can be sent to solidarity@pcs.org.uk

    Secondly, anyone that is disgusted by the Dispatches attack on the unemployed should make their feelings known.

    Combat Channel 4 Dispatches’ “Tricks of The Dole Cheats” have set up a Facebook page which has all the relevant contact details for makers of the programme.

    Channel 4′s switchboard, emails and Dispatches twitter feed should be flooded with complaints:

    Telephone: 020 7396 4444
    Fax: 020 7306 8366
    Minicom: 020 7306 8691
    Web site: http://www.channel4.com

    You can send free faxes here: http://www.freepopfax.com/

    They are using the twitter hashtag #HowNotToGetAJob ???

    Channel 4 facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Channel4
    CH4 Dispatches twitter: http://twitter.com/C4Dispatches

    hashtags #dispatches #HowNotToGetAJob #c4news #ch4

    Krishnan Guru-Murthy @krishgm
    Alex Thomson @alextomo
    Peter Heneghan Comm & Social Media Ambassador for @Ch4dispatches @PeterHeneghan

    Journalist behind the programme: Morland Sanders @morlandsanders

    Daniel Pearl is the Commissioning Editor for Dispatches
    Programme Coordinator: Kate Surfield
    Telephone: 0207 306 8647
    email: ksurfield@channel4.co.uk

    CH4 Dispatches website: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/articles/home

    Right to Work

    August 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    • I think the programme was great although i dont share the views some hold here on it.
      The programme was not as i originally thought dew to the title and im glad as JCP do have a lot to answer for. Im not on dole anymore but that does not mean i have forgotten all those still struggling to come off it.

      I while unemployed did begin piling info for a book on the failing system and like the lad in the programme wrote aload of nonsense down on my work evidence inorder to see what happens and low and behold like the programme my advisor never noticed.
      The work experience bit as we all know is true, find it yourself and their fight you tooth and nail to prevent it if it spoils their plans or should i say ill gotten games.

      The truth is they dont help do they, Not once was i given help on CV’s and COVER LETTERS (given booklet instead), Only once has my evidence actually been checked so whats the point of handing it in every 2 weeks and when i was on the work programme (sorry work programme didnt help me get off the dole so no money for them) JCP never checked it.
      The quote rules but when i ask to see where that is written,they clam up and hope i create a sanctionable offence.

      They are breaching DPA so should not be able to claim control of your data to third parties by quoting social security administration act. We could all go on about this couldnt we as each one of us has something bad to say about the welfare system.

      Getting back to the programme i thought the ending just proved how drone like JCP workers are as i have lost count how often i here the words isolated incident/s and how easily they lie (thought you said January). At the end of this programme JCP were left found wanting so job done i think,shame it wont change a thing.

      Screw JCP anyway and i hope like me even if short lived you all find something to get you away from them. peace.


      August 17, 2012 at 7:20 am

      • So what do you want, Gaia? I am assuming that you “sign-on” as unemployed? Do you want us to go through your “diary” with a fine-tooth comb? Do you want to be reported to DMA for any violations? Do you want to risk losing your income? Would that make you happy? It appears that it would make “Work Programme” happy. I really, really don’t understand you lot! I would assume from the title of this site that it is pro-unemployed? Or is their another agenda? – to get as many of the unemployed sanctioned as possible. Is whoever runs this site unemployed? I some how doubt it. Because anyone “normal” would not be not be vilifying JCP-staff for not hauling them over the coals every time they sign on. Either you are really anti-unemployed pretending to be on their side oor you are completely and utterly bonkers! Which is it?

        JCP staff

        August 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

  2. Benefit fraud must be at least 10 or 12%! It must be! In my area, I see many people pretending to be on sick or working on the sly. Thank fuck the WP has reduced this! But it’s not enough! I see sattelite dishes, wide screen TV’s and nice cars outside at least of a couple of dolites homes that I alone know about. Scale this up UK wide, and that’s a LOT of fraud!

    Why dont’t people here get a job rather than bitching at the world and everyone in it. My taxes go towards the lavish lifestyles of you shitbags!


    August 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    • If it is the function of the public realm to throw light on the affairs of men by providing a space of appearances in which they can show in deed and word, for better and for worse, who they are and what they can do, then darkness has come when this light is extinguished by “credibility gaps” and “invisible government”, by speech that does not disclose what is but sweeps it under the carpet, by exhortations, moral and otherwise that, under the pretext of upholding old truths, degrade all truth to meaningless triviality. Even in the darkest of times we have the right to expect some illumination, and that such illumination may well come less from theories and concepts than from the uncertain, flickering, and often weak light that some men and women, in their lives and their works, will kindle under almost all circumstances and shed over the time span that was given to them on earth. Eyes so used to darkness as ours will hardly be able to tell whether their light was the light of a candle or that of a blazing sun. But such objective evaluation seems to me a matter of secondary importance which can be safely left to posterity.

      – Hannah Arendt, Men in Dark Times

      Dark Time Indeed

      August 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    • Well I don’t have a cable TV/ sattelite dish. In fact in my part of Ipswich even our Digital telly couldn’t get half the channels until the Olympics came and they put a new booster in.

      About the only reasons why I can surive on the dole is that 1) I live by the centre of town so I don’t have to pay a fortune in bus fares and all the services are at my doorstep. 2) I have an allotment, so this time of year I get most of my food from the sweat of my brow.

      Andrew Coates

      August 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    • I have a car.
      I have a house (no mortgage)
      I have a TV (2 in fact)
      I don’t have cable/sky (because I don’t want it).
      I eat well
      I worked for 40 years and bought them (I also paid a lot of taxes and NI.)
      I have an allotment.
      I now don’t have a job (because there aren’t enough to go round)
      I claim my entitlement (note use of word “entitlement” – not “benefit”. not “welfare”, not “allowance” – ENTITLEMENT
      So what exactly flibbert is your problem?


      August 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    • It’s a bleeding disgrace, flibbert… some of yon unemployed round Ipswich parts have even got colour TVs… bleeding disgrace. Even me bleeding unemployed grandson bleeding well owns one… bleeding filth. Now.. where did I put me bleeding teef…

      Andrew Coate's Old Grannie

      August 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm

  3. Flibbert, your perspective on benefit fraud is jaundiced. You’ve been reading far too many of these vindictive tabloid headlines about the “workshy bleeding the tax-payer dry”.

    More is lost through error and unclaimed benefits than through the allegedly lavish lifestyles of the vast hordes of fraudulent workshy layabouts you seem to know so much about.

    Have you also forgotten about the dishonesty surrounding bankers and politicians, or the Libor scandal – and these are just the tip of the corruption iceberg!

    What is your alternative to the benefit system? If there are not enough proper paid jobs to go around, and there are not, there seems to me to be only four grim alternatives (do correct me if I’m wildly wrong here):

    CRIME (Jail) – more expensive than the dole!

    MENTAL INSTITUTION – that’s if any are still left open after all the cuts in the public sector!



    Which of these grim alternatives is your favourite choice, Flibbert?

    Perhaps you might even become unemployed yourself one day soon..?


    August 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    • Flibbert is bleeding filth. Now… where did I put me bleeding teef…

      Andrew Coate's Old Grannie

      August 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  4. You know, just because a house has a satellite dish on it doesn’t mean the people living there are paying out for satellite telly now, or even at any time since they moved in. Once it’s up, it’s a fixture – nobody comes and takes it away because the subscriber stops paying, moves away or dies. The people living there now might not even have a telly, after all who would want one given the shite that’s on? Sometimes there are nice cars parked outside my house too, but they belong to people further along the street who can’t park any closer (because most of the c**ts have 2 or 3 cars). Just another example of the faulty gutter press logic that makes up the “dolescroungers” mentality.


    August 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    • yeah in our ‘rural area’ many people can’t get many channels even freeview due to crap reception, so end up having to get satellite. Also if you rent and your landlord decides the tv is going to be satellite, that is already decided. Has anybody thought that if you are old, a single parent, a carer, or sick or disabled, or just too poor to travel or ‘do stuff that costs money’….. then you are more likely to spend more time at home watching TV. Not often actually ‘doing nothing’ as that cam-moron likes to say! People are watching while doing housework and/or caring for kids/adults. Or while doing admin or any other kind of work. Or while doing ‘job seeking activity’, reading endless job ads and filling in reams of DWP and Work Programme forms. (the latter is the most usual form of activity in my case) Plus many are also doing student coursework. Though don’t say that at DWP, they kick you out of college even when you are only doing 8 or 2 hours a week. They say you have to be contactable for them to ring you (but they go home at 5) about mythical, fictitious, imaginary,
      nonexistent jobs. When maybe you don’t even have a phone. And at weekends when they are not in work at all. You are not meant to leave your city/town either, even to go to the other city/town to complain about a mistake with your Housing Benefit. Instead of praising you for having the initiative to get yourself into a course and study part-time (you can’t be fulltime and on the dole), they call it benefit fraud or ‘making yourself unavailable’. In my personal experience even when there used to be a phone, the DWP never miraculously found me a job overnight and phoned me about it. In all of almost 20 years…And all the ones in the day they ‘found’ me were ones they knew full well had been filled weeks earlier.
      The closest I got to an official paid job in the last decade was the other year. An agency I’d gone to found me a job, the only one they ever did. It was a phone interview and they hired me. I turned up on my first day and they dismissed me on the spot, they said the agency should not have sent me, they would not hire a disabled person. There are no real jobs here, most there are don’t hire you after you’ve applied but failed to get 7,000 jobs. There are ones you could actually do but they still refuse to hire you. And a good deal are McJobs.

      something survived...

      August 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      • Absolutely. People who live in rural Suffolk and are on the dole find that just to sign-on costs a fortune.

        Andrew Coates

        August 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

      • Locally the village of M— is close, 3 miles or so, from the benefit signing on centres
        at B—–. Generally if you live in B. you sign on in B. But people who live in M. often don’t get
        allowed to sign in B. They get sent 15 miles to L. or 22 miles to H. In between these places it’s hard to get a phone signal, digital radio, etc. This week our council’s main bus company
        advertised passes for bus travel, £3 per day or £12 per week. If your benefit was cut to £30
        p/w then a weekly bus pass to go looking for jobs that don’t exist (hunting the snark?) and even sign on, costs almost half your benefits. That is before rent, bills, food. They say: ring up, but ringing a landline from a payphone costs from 60p, and a mobile/premium number can be several quid. They say: send CVs and applications. A packet of paper is £5.99, a packet of pens £1.99 (WHSmith), envelopes about £1.00 a pack, sellotape £2.00, photocopies and printing 10p/page, stamps 60p basic rate or more if heavier. To buy this stuff means missing several days’ food. ‘Use a home internet computer’. If you had the money to get one, it’s still up to your landlord if you’re allowed it or not. Many say no.

        something survived...

        August 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm

  5. So…..occasionally the JCP do not check or give you a hard time over your Jobsearch. They are human and do know there is bugger all out there. As for turning up to sign on in overalls. big deal, it is not big or clever but it does not constitute a crime. I wonder if the two idiots that took part in the programme declared their income from taking part (in the programme), to the JCP? Stan.


    August 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    • Stan, they are tasked to protect the “public purse”. The failed checks is due to ignoring this to make their lives easier. Yes, jobcentres have thousands of people to deal with, its a BIG case load of people to see. If they cannot cope they should quit and let some other unemployed person take their place whilst they join the dole queues. Turning tables – I am sure they wont like.

      They are no different turning a blind eye (i.e. the person who allegedly read off a phone the words (to the effect of) “I do not want this job” not raising this or the person who dealt with someone wearing work overalls and not reporting a potential fraud case; and putting their money through) than to the person who lies to claim JSA. They are part of the fraud too.

      Work Programme

      August 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      • And what is exactly the point of JCP-staff “giving the claimants a hard time”. It is only going to increase our workloads as well as our stress levels as all you are doing is creating a negative feedback of stress. In any other job you care to mention what employees want most is an “easy shift” and that goes for the police, fire service, teachers, whatever you care to mention. Why should JCP-staff send themselves and their clients to an early grave. Why are you focsing on the likes of Emma Harrsion, I sure as hell am not going to do that parasites dirty work or you, Work Programme for that matter. You sound like a nasty little right-wing JCP staff/unemployed hating vindictive clown. Go along to get along. Live and let live.

        JCP staff

        August 17, 2012 at 7:19 am

  6. hehe, just watched this…

    Its rather sad that Channel 4 had to stick a negative spin on what was otherwise a rather good (in mainstream terms) exposure of Jobcentre Plus. Although the programme seemed to be about seeing whether Jobcentre Plus would accept a shopping list and deliberately changed CVs… it was given the spin (one you would expect from a public corporation with that mandatory political charge) that jobseekers undertake these tasks on a fortnightly basis to defraud the taxpayer or otherwise do it to avoid working.

    Ruth Owen… someone who should be drowned in the Thames… no idea why she is the boss… she need to work on her poker face as it was clearly obvious even to the untrained eye that she was lying all the way through… and so bad at it she was really uncomfortable. In addition to lack of communication skills, she also had the cheek to attempt to substitute a job print out with an earlier one… but this backfired when the date was noticed to be older. A LITTLE lie about mishearing later, it wasn’t just a moment of embarrassment but one which was recorded for broadcast to be shown over and over again.

    (Ruth, vacancies that are not live (closed, removed etc.) remain on the system for 12 months. She surely had the ability to access the non-public accessible database entry. of course, she has not a clue what she is doing, she gets others to do her dirty work and in the case of a local jobcentre no one else knew how to obtain such information either.)

    I thought it was sad that the programme which mentioned Work Programme and Work Experience didn’t highlight how many vacancies listed in the database as jobs include such work experience placements and even listings for interviews and opening days (most of which wont show up on job points etc).

    As for benefit expenditure… one of the main reasons this is high, unemployment aside, is the high cost of living. If in the 90’s and beyond prices weren’t allowed to rocket and for a cap to be placed on prices (yes, a bar of dairy milk could be sold for a million quid… obviously no one is going to pay that, but £5 for a litre bottle of water at a convenience store/garage when you are dehydrating… you have no choice!!)

    As a taxpayer myself I do not like the fact that there is a huge annual benefit bill, but just because the figure is high its wrong to assume its fraud. Just like I don’t like the huge bank bonuses especially that made upon bank bailouts or the criminal cheap sale of northern rock… nothing I can do about it. Its not my money, tax has no ownership just because you paid it. There are 3 reasons why the benefit bill will always increase over time – 1) a growing population (births, immigration), 2) inflation (including fuel and food prices in addition to inflation itself), 3) the taxation system (i.e. benefits are for the poor, the poor always pays the most tax)

    Work Programme

    August 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    • With all due respect Worky it was a hatchet job done with a few mobiles.

      Andrew Coates

      August 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

      • I thought it was due to the £6.20 budget. Exactly how much I “won” on the lottery the other week.

        Work Programme

        August 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      • You play the lottery? I put aside a quid for every week I don’t play and you know what? I won over £50 last year!

        Andrew Coates

        August 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

      • £52? Well.. I don’t usually waste money on the lottery but have recently decided I have too much money and need to offload some.

        I see its my way of donating to “good causes”… LOL

        Work Programme

        August 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

  7. To be fair to Channel Four they have highlighted the plight of the jobless in the past, and their news service is more sympathetic to claimants than say, Sky or Auntie Beeb. This Dispatches episode was probably an attempt to stave off criticism of being too left-wing after a previous programme exposed the shameful attacks on the sick and disabled under the new Work Capability Assessment test being administered by Atos on behalf of the DWP.

    Still, every cloud has a silver lining and shows like this might just enrage bigoted bores like Flibbert (or whatever his/her real name is) to such an extent that they self-distruct with moral indignation and leave the rest of us in peace.

    Here’s hoping…


    August 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  8. Is Flibbert real, or is he/she/it just a wind-up – a satirical caricature of disgruntled Daily Express readers foaming at the mouth?


    August 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm

  9. >>Ruth Owen… someone who should be drowned in the Thames…
    Yuk…. poor Thames.

    >>no idea why she is the boss…
    Her incompetence, lack of conscience, and lies, make her the perfect candidate for her ‘job’.

    something survived...

    August 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm

  10. The programme title was really misleading and the ‘forged’ work sheets bit was pretty stupid, but not really getting at ‘dole cheats’ but actually a swipe at the JCP. That bit was a waste of time but some of the rest did expose failings in the JCP. However I feel that most of these failings are deliberate. JCP is being set up to fail as part of preparing it for privatisation. Why else would some complete numpty be running it.


    August 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    • Completely agree. When the thieves in this country want to steal a bit of public property they always do this kind of thing.

      Andrew Coates

      August 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm

  11. well flibert.here is a disabled shitbag replying. how dare you!!! i am disabled, i dont drink ,i dont smoke i dont drive or go on holiday, i rarely go out and have few friends. before you spout your disgusting crap walk in my shoes for a year, including the demeaning assesments, being spit at and called a scrounger. i say “walk” in my shoes tongue in cheek as i have great difficulty to walk. I do have sat tele. my company and access to the world beyond my door. dont begrudge me that. next year i could be homeless because of Gov policies so you cud see me and my 13 year old daughter on the street asking for a few coppers. bet you walk on by. I sincerely hope you dont have an accident tomorrow and end up in wheel chair or confined to your house or lose your job or would that be divine intervention. Stop reading silly headlines and look into it properly before you open your mouth.

    kate thomson

    August 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

  12. Andrew Coates, you must not have watched this programme at all judging from your comments. The entire thing was an attack on JCP, not on ‘dole cheats’ – even the section with them filling out a jobsearch with someone’s shopping list was done to show up the Jobcentre as incompetent, not to pass comment on those in receipt of JSA.


    August 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    • Well – I did watch it.

      And it wasn’t about ‘dole cheats’ then why did they use this as their title?

      Andrew Coates

      August 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      • “I can only apologize for the title of the film, which I can assure you was imposed on me very, very much against my will.”

        – that is a direct quote from an email to me, by the producer. (I participated in this film and appear in it.)

        I imagine that for political reasons this was the only way they could get the programme aired at all.

        I can assure you that the people responsible for the film were astounded both by how ineffectual they found the jobcentre to be and how overwhelmingly scathing (and apt) the criticism of JCP was from everyone they spoke to. One of their disappointments was how much people toned down their criticism once a camera was pointed at them!



        August 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm

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