Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Nick and Margaret ‘Very Fair’ Says Ipswich MP.

with 25 comments

In today’s Ipswich Star (print only) the headline is that there are 7,500 children (it says ‘kids’ – not a word used for the offspring of the wealthy I imagine) are  in jobless families.

Inside there is an article about the Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford programme. We All Pay Your Benefits.

We learn that ace reporter Paul Geater got the above figure through the hard work of looking at the borough council’s own State of Ipswich report.

Geater says that the programme was “widely praised” (by whom?).

He also alleges with the mind-reading ability that can only come from his daily  walk from his office in Lower Brook Street to Upper Brook Street that the “programme went down well in Ipswich.”

Labour Ipswich Borough Council leader, David Ellesmere is less impressed.

He is cited saying that there are “major difficulties” for people looking for work. “There are many more people who are looking for jobs than there are jobs available…”

However Ipswich Tory MP Ben Gummer says that the first episode of the programme “We Pay Your Benefits” was “very fair”.

Citing opinions that can be found, with ease, in the Daily Mail, he talks of people’s “Genuine irritation” (as opposed, we suppose,  to fake irritation) at the poor who sit at home and “live off benefits”.

He says that changes in the benefit system will not make people worse off if they work.

Who would have thought that working could make you better off than getting the dole!

He praises (the Star generously giving him three times the space of Labour’s David Ellesmere) a drop in local youth unemployment, from 1,320 in February 20123 to today – 900.

We wait with interest the figures after this year’s school leavers join the queue for jobs.

With the wisdom that can only come from Gummer’s expensive public school education he adds, that we need the creation of “genuine jobs”.


Written by Andrew Coates

July 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

25 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Its all a Tory propaganda campaign – too bad Ipswich likened the opportunity rather than fended it off. Many will read in between the lines, understand that people featured are diversely sampled to represent a whole wide range of social backgrounds etc. BUT the vast majority will just see it as Ipswich full of these benefit scrounging scum.

    What would be a final nail in the coffin of the downfall of Ipswich, if it wasn’t decided that instead of 8 nails… why not use 800?!

    I am still thinking what letters were missed off the obvious typo “ace” lol – I don’t think Geater will understand the sarcasm and would be proud to read this post… “Someone in Ipswich actually loves my reporting” before side tracking to the self-styled “Mr Ipswich” and “I Love Ipswich” campaign the paper ran. He doesn’t exactly live in reality.

    It basically come downs to two groups… Leaders and Followers… some MPs do well in their constituencies (albeit the high cost to the taxpayer for simply implementing EU directives 95% of the time) are natural born leaders… others, the majority, are Followers… the sheep, who will force policy on their constituency simply for extra responsibility – read: more money.

    Ipswich has always had this sort of MP in recent times, Labour or Conservative.

    There is a post on this here: http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich_nearly_7_500_children_living_in_jobless_homes_shock_report_reveals_1_2284057

    IBC Labour leader blames the lack of jobs, but has done nothing to improve this – probably delegated by negligence to Ipswich Central BID that has a poor record of upwards job creation.

    The issue here is, the counts of jobs and unemployed are easily tampered with. Sometimes, fulltime job means just 16 hours or more, or FTE basis (such as 2 part time workers being treated as one sustainable fulltime job). Sometimes long-term unemployed means 6 months, other times it means 2 years+. Sometimes unemployment means the JSA claimant count minus those on the work programme etc. other times it means (less likely for statistics) those without a job.

    There is a job problem in Ipswich – in addition to companies going out of business and the recession – big employers such as AXA, BT and Directline/churchill are all getting rid of staff. Old factories or industrial units that have shut down that once employed thousands, are replaced largely by homes that don’t employ anyone except the odd retail units (most of which are empty still) or by retail parks employing just a small percentage of the jobs lost.

    Universal Jobmatch

    July 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    • Actually Universal typo apart I should have written “top investigative reporter Paul Geater” – the Big Fella, who can read and …write!

      Yet Mr Ipswich, is very touchy about Internet comments on his good self.

      He recently whinged and moaned at great length in the paper that some oiks had posted rude remarks about him on his section of the Star site.

      Anyway I am told that last night’s Nick and Margaret show was marked by the pair being even more obnoxious than the previous time.

      Apparently Nick’s main contribution to the nation’s prosperity has been to host Countdown.

      Andrew Coates

      July 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

  2. Nick and Margaret ‘Very Fair’ Says Ipswich MP – complete rubbish.


    July 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    • No it what’s in a cows backside and what wpp are made of;

      Farmer Fred

      July 19, 2013 at 8:10 am

  3. Russian Jewish joke (also a USA Jewish joke):
    Yossel Finkelstein is in his lousy apartment one day when the secret police turn up,
    “Does Yossel Finkelstein live here?”
    YF: “No.”
    “What is your name?”
    YF: “Yossel Finkelstein.”
    “But you just said you don’t live here!”
    YF: ” You call this living?”
    Nick(erless) and Margaret (ThatcherLite) are fair when compared to the rulers of Belgian Congo, Vlad the Impaler, Ed Gein; and the religious courts of Portugal/Brazil condemning people (auto da fe).

    Hands up who likes Eric Pickles! (No Eric, put your hand down, there’s a good boy – why don’t you go and play with the plasticine animals while the clever boys do their sums….)

    There is a campaign by Shelter about Pickles, trying to make him improve things for tenants.

    Go to: ‘Shelter England’, then ‘Campaigns’, then ‘Fixing private renting’, then ‘Let’s fix renting’. It has an email petition to sign.

    something survived...

    July 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm

  4. “The “McDonald’s Budget”: Laughably Unrealistic But Also Deeply Tragic”



    July 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm

  5. “These measures go well beyond the savage austerity cuts imposed on workers in Greece and other heavily indebted European countries.”



    July 18, 2013 at 11:30 pm

  6. Civil Service Rank And File plan a week of action at Jobcentres in early August:



    July 19, 2013 at 10:39 am

  7. i thought it was a dreadful programme.it should never have been commissioned on licence fee payers money.while it was alright to attack claimants “looking for it”,any criticism back to the “taxpayer” was “hurtful”.

    that demanding dreadful cleaning woman ready to create for a minimum wage job was disgusting,”chelsea” didn’t look the type to dabble with a toilet brush in mother’s footsteps.

    expecting some with a lung disease to work in a warehouse was also ridiculous,it could go on.

    nothing gives the right for people to be treated like this for being out of work,its not a crime.this attitude has being going since the 1980’s in this venom,however it has been whipped up with great success amongst politicians and media in a nasty campaign of hate that’s seen abuse directed at unemployed and disabled.


    July 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

  8. The second episode of this farce was one of the most repellent things I’ve ever seen. Using the infirm and the elderly to manipulate both Liam (as he worked with Stevie the careworker) and the viewer was odious.

    Debbie seems to think of herself as the new business guru and yet, despite making Kelly work a 12 hour day, still couldn’t bring herself to be magnanimous. How many office workers do 12 hour shifts?

    ghost whistler

    July 20, 2013 at 6:54 am

  9. “This week, Labour attacked Conservative plans from the right, arguing that they were too soft on welfare. Labour’s Liam Byrne denounced the cap for not being hard enough because it would not affect those with very large families and would do nothing to prevent those “living a life on welfare.””

    “The pilot cap has already caused great hardship. Haringey Council reported that 740 families lost income during the trial, with just 34 people finding employment. The government’s own figures calculated that up to 56,000 families will be hit, losing an average of £93 a week, while in London, some 7,000 households will lose more than £100.”



    July 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm

  10. “The BBC1 programme Nick and Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits (11 and 18 July, 9pm), echoing the rhetoric of the Department for Work and Pensions, pits “taxpayers” against “shirkers” and asks how we can “make work pay”. Of these gristly little semantic nuggets of state propaganda, “making work pay” is the most noxious – a mantra that’s incanted by every jobsworth Tory in every debate, in line with the logic that if one repeats a lie for long enough it will function as truth.”

    More from Laurie Penny:


    Andrew Coates

    July 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    • I have have heard of an investigative journalist called DUNCAN CAMPBELL. He likes a good story. I think he used to work for the Guardian or the New Statesman. Patricia, Re your post of 21 July at 2:34am post number #11 subject Nick and Margaret. He was good at exposes. maybe we can get him on side for this site etc.


      July 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

      • See my reply below Philip. Forgot to link to your comment. I’m certainly going to chase this up!


        July 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      • Thanks Patricia. I am sorry I don’t know how to contact Duncan Campbell. Maybe a Google search may help. This does need further investigation ”allegedly’


        July 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

  11. Vile programme, hard to choose which bit was worse; the sight of a man with a lung disorder and back problems being bullied on camera into doing things that could damage his health, or the media student, obviously embarrassed, and with no training helping with personal care.
    But what I’d like to know is the name of Debbie’s cleaning company. She was by far the most obnoxious of the ‘taxpayers’ and claims to only pay herself £1300 a month. Barely above the minimum wage she says she’s worked so hard to get beyond. Something doesn’t add up and I don’t believe her for one second and anybody in Ipswich who knows who she is should expose her and the kind of lies this programme did nothing to dispel.


    July 21, 2013 at 2:34 am

  12. “The symbolism runs deep into the veins of the NHS. The government on Thursday sold off the NHS-owned company supplying safe blood plasma on which thousands depend. It was sold to a US private equity firm with a reputation for aggressive asset-stripping. Bain Capital owns Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and much else. Its predatory history dogged Bain’s founder, Mitt Romney, throughout the US election. – See more at:”



    July 21, 2013 at 2:36 am

  13. Just ten minutes online research reveals that the company Greenace Contract Cleaning has company assets of over £90,000. Debbie Abbott is joint Company Director with someone else (forgot to wrtite down the name, Jolyon something) this person also holds directorships of other companies with the Greenaces name. (relationship to Debbie?) That she said she paid herself £1300 per month is laughable and an obvious lie. I have written to the BBC and will be chasing this up as the premise of the programme was that the plucky taxpayers were only working for slightly less than the lazy claimants. A company director of a flourishing cleaning concern is NOT on £1300 a month.


    July 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    • She has obviously missed a trick.

      I run my own business and get paid less than £1300 per month… this means I also avoid PAYE and NIC payments!!! (Dividends etc. is another matter entirely though)

      For a company of the size she runs… (if that is her company) £1300 is a lot… she should consider reducing the money or getting a full time job elsewhere perhaps?

      The issue here is, if its only a lifestyle business (i.e. just to say you are your own boss) and not a real business, she needs to move on, and get a proper job. Times hard, if she is doing this still because she can’t get a job or cant get enough out of a cleaning job, she needs to rethink her stance on unemployed people without a job.

      This other guy… he is a garage sales person, he closed one company down and continued with another… quite strange move really. Think he fell out with a fellow business partner (he did run a company with an adverse credit history, seems fair enough).

      Universal Jobmatch

      July 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

  14. To people not getting their posts up.

    Sometimes comments get put automatically (by the system) into the Spam folder; sometimes Spam gets into the comments folder.

    Because we get so many, useful and valuable comments, it’s hard to keep up with this all the time!

    Andrew Coates

    July 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

  15. Greenace Contract Cleaning pays pretty low… £6.50 for a part time cleaner.

    Who will work for £91 per week for 14 hours over 7 days (2 hours per day)?

    To put that into perspective… its £13 per day. £4 for bus travel and around the same or slightly more for fuel and car parking, if by car. (works out roughly £4.50 hour – below NMW!)

    £6.50 is a good wage for a fulltime cleaner. The going rate in Ipswich was just under £8 for a part time high-frequency cleaner several years ago – the recession would have probably knocked it slightly – maybe 50p or so.

    So Ms ‘I only get £15,600 per year for my own business’ …

    Cleaning company or not, surely everyone deserves a fair wage? One cannot argue that as an employee you will have to match the cost of travel to and from work… (with most companies anyway) which knocks down your income… but when you, on a day by day basis, is getting less than the NMW after travel, I find that very offensive, indeed.

    Universal Jobmatch

    July 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm

  16. Meanwhile, here is the latest ATOS death – this time a woman with a brain tumour found fit for work just weeks earlier:



    July 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: