Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Work Camps for the Unemployed: a Forgotten Past.

with 28 comments

People have been talkling about “RESIDENTIAL TRAINING COLLEGES FOR THE DISABLED AND THE UNEMPLOYED.”

Tobanem comments,

Back in the 1970s, the old DHSS (Department of Health and Social Security) ran what were called “Re-establishment Centres” for the long-term unemployed.

One was located in Newcastle, and another one near Glasgow inside an “open” prison! No doubt, other Re-establishment Centres” existed elsewhere. I suppose you could easily have called them “Residential” centres – given that the inmates had to be transported away from their homes to serve their “sentence”.

“Candidates” had to spend several months away from home while they were transformed by the State from workshy idlers into something more productive.

Don’t underestimate how easy it would be to create modern “Work Camps” for the unemployed in this country today.

I recall one person in Coventry who I knew around that time who was long-term out-of-work.

He was sent off to a camp, where they made doll houses.

However I think that Lucy is right to say that there is no talk today of compulsion and that in some cases we may (I say may) be referring to real training for disabled people.

Apart from anything else anything like this today will be expensive to run, what with all the palms of private contractors to grease, and legal challenges.

But Tobanem has already mentioned the 1930s.

 

Here is some detail.

BBC (2009)

As unemployment nudges closer to two million, the government is being forced to re-evaluate ways of helping those out of work to get jobs.
But as the recession deepens, the concern is about how to maintain the skills of those thrown out of work.

BBC Scotland’s Social Affairs Correspondent, Reevel Alderson, looks at the way the problem was tackled in the Great Depression 80 years ago.

It may seem incredible to us now, but it was Ramsay MacDonald’s Labour government which introduced work camps – officially called “Instructional Centres.”
A network was established throughout the UK with a number in Scotland. They were at Carstairs in Lanarkshire, Glenbranter near Strachur in Argyll and Glentress near Peebles.

Prof John Field explains how the work camps of the 1930s operated.

Ministers were concerned that many men who had been unemployed for long periods were no longer fit for work.

An official at the Ministry of Labour wrote of “the younger men who, through prolonged unemployment, have become so soft and temporarily demoralised” that they required to be “hardened” or “reconditioned.”

Those attending the camps came from the depressed industrial areas of Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Glasgow. They stayed away from home for up to 12 weeks – and if they refused to go, their dole money was stopped.

But many were in such poor physical shape when they arrived, they needed decent food before they could carry out the work.

Professor John Field of Stirling University’s Department of Lifelong Learning, who has studied the work camps, said: “They were certainly successful in getting people up to a better standard of physical fitness.

“There were medical reports which showed that people had put on quite a bit of weight, for example. We’re not talking about obesity, we’re talking about muscle.

“They were doing very hard heavy manual labour in the hills and in the forests.”

Typically the men worked for 10 to 12 hours from 6am, living in dormitories in wooden nissen huts, and they were supervised in military-style discipline by former police officers or sergeant majors.

They received part of their unemployment benefit, with the remaining nine shillings being sent to their families.

And they were provided with suitable clothing for their work, including corduroy trousers and waterproof boots.

‘Voluntary basis’

In total about 200,000 men were sent to the camps, which continued in operation until 1939.

But it is estimated that fewer than 10% of those who had been trained there were able to get work when they went back home.

The camps were reviled by the Left. The Daily Herald called them “concentration camps,” but Prof Field dismisses that notion.

“It certainly wasn’t forced labour in that people could walk out at any time,” he said. “And certainly after 1932 when the Labour Government fell, it was only on a voluntary basis.

“That said, it was obviously not the best experience; it would have been far better to get a job, and most people would have preferred to get a job.

“And one of the reasons for not coming here that people gave was that they were more likely to get a job if they stayed at home and hung around and waited for their uncle or their cousin or their friend to tell them of an opportunity, and they were right.”

The BBC is naturally not to be wholly  trusted about the political details (or, since the judgement on The Future  State Of Welfare, written and presented by Radio 4’s John Humphrys, about anything to do with the unemployed).

Here is the real, more complicated,  political background (from Tobanem’s link)

During the prolonged unemployment of the 1920s the British government proposed a scheme for transferring labour from the worse effected areas to training schemes in the South of England. For this purpose an Industrial Transference Board was set up in 1928 to monitor and control the transfer of labour form unemployment black-spots. The ITB soon brought to the attention of the Ministry of Labour a ‘class’ of men not easily fitted into the broader scheme, men deemed ‘soft and temporarily demoralised through prolonged unemployment’. These men were considered a danger to the morale of the other men and were considered unfit for transfer until they had been ‘hardened’.

The scheme for ‘hardening’ in Labour Camps (on penalty of loss of the dole) was devised by Baldwin’s Tory government, but was carried through with Ramsay MacDonald’s Labour Government and expanded by the 1931 National Government. They were supported by the TUC as well as the Labour Party, and were opposed and exposed only by the National Unemployed Workers Movement, in which the Communist Party was the leading influence.

Between 1929 and 1939 25 secret concentration camps were built in the most remote areas of Britain and more than 200,000 unemployed men were sent to these camps. The Labour Camps were conducted under military discipline and men were interned in the centres for three-month periods, working for up to nine hours a day breaking rocks, building roads and cutting down trees. In August 1939, in preparation for the war against Germany, the Ministry of Labour issued instructions that the managerial records of its own concentration camps should be weeded out, and much of the documentation was destroyed.

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28 Responses

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  1. Maybe the naïve have but that’s not to say it doesn’t score some merit.

    For starters what exactly defines a concentration camp, who says its occupants have to stay their 24/7,who says that the WORK PROGRAMME AND OR MWA aren’t todays modern forms as face it that you still are forced to go (mandatory), still punished if you fail to respond to an advisors help.

    I would say your already living it as todays government don’t need a fence when your actual benefit payment will do. Also don’t forget London councils last year were looking to relocate their housing benefit tenants so for all I know their already transporting people around Britain so that coupled with that areas existing unemployed will dramatically decrease a claimants chances of getting work thus needing stronger measures to combat it, thus increases governments chances of getting such measures into real life with public blind and manipulated support.

    Im like this Lucy not saying it will happen, especially in the form prescribed back in the 30s, but things as a group do cost less than singles so what evers on the board will be of the broadest sense if you catch my drift.

    For the next six months until changed (ie, proves successful) any leaving the WP are entered into whats trailed as TRAILBLAZER where as the claimant faces one of 2 choices be it that not all things are in place yet so don’t expect it straight away guys and girls.

    The 2 choices are and so you know you aren’t the one making the choice, oh what a shock, will be either work search 35 hours a week and or MWA so as to teach the claimant focus and discipline towards finding work, applying for it and keeping it.

    Anyone not up to speed on work activities do expect to see the same old faces like A4E,Serco,Ingeus,etc running the show and get this, they can put you where ever they like as its got nothing to do with actual work skills people, its all about improving your state of mind or at least that’s what they seem to think and the trailblazer reports suggests.

    SO HAS IT, WILL IT OR IS IT,THE CHOICES ARE YOURS

    gaia

    August 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    • Thats just what used to be done with slaves in the Roman empire. Rather than being locked up in compounds, slaves were generally paid a tiny pittance and then expected to rent hovels for themselves in the local ghetto. And like those of us on the WP they were compelled to show up for forced labour every day,

      Most of the toffs in our gov’t know all about this because their posh private boarding schools would have indoctrinated them with the Cambridge Latin Course – a happy cartoony romp which glorifies the kule lives of wealthy centurians, senators and patricians, in contrast to the crap and brutalised existences of the slave class.

      And a ‘caveat’ to all Atos lackeys – just as in pre-revolutionary France, the downtrodden slavey underclass included ‘middle class’ jobs such as doctors. All were ‘servii’ – a word which, curiously, can be translated equally as ‘servant’ as well as ‘slave’.

      anon

      August 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm

  2. If claimants want something to worry about then how about this.

    As we all know currently if you gain a part time job of say 12 hours a week (equals over JSA for over 24s at national min) that you could and am free to stop claiming JSA while still receiving housing and council tax benefit meaning same as before except now you’ve traded JSA for 12 hours pay meaning you are nolonger under the rule of JCP so no more evidence gavering or threat of sanctions.

    Now I would say even though it doesn’t totally solve the claimants issue, nor the taxpayers it does at least put this claimant in the right steps to making a change for the better and well any saving is better than no saving.

    Well it appears the tories are none to pleased about this and openly see it as a loophole for dole spongers to circumnavigate their regulated terror plot. As a result they are looking at ways and have been and this includes one of the premises for universal credit (tying benefits together) to plug this hole as they call it.

    The plan is to re brand part time work as not work in reference to actively seeking work and that whether part time or workless completely all wishing to draw benefit including housing and council tax must actively seek work of some 30+ hours a week (thats the jobs hours and not job search) or face sanctions to their entire benefit.

    I can tell you now that they have around a 87% chance of getting this passed currently be it that a few more laws need changing but hey you are already witnessing in real life how the public have supported starvation if a claimant doesn’t seek work so aren’t likely to feel any different about a roof over ones head, Not to mention the plus side as after arrears mount they can send in the baliffs to cart of anything you did have of worth and sell it for peanuts meaning you still owe a debt to them meaning its more profitable to get you sanctioned than it would be under the old system.

    SO I HEAR YOU ASK WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS.

    Well we all know most jobs currently created are either part time or zero contract meaning that despite proving you are a grafter which is in stark contrast to IDS s and the rests claims to the contrary that you are still infact a burden on the state and taxpayer what with the budget in the single case only reducing by a mere 71 pound a week meaning if all the claimants had a part time job that the government would only save around 106.5 million pounds a week (1.5 million people) meaning they would still be well below the 10 billion saving they wanted. You see the government like to claim huge amounts are spent and they are as the last time I checked it was 117 billion spent on welfare, sadly what they fail to point out that im not afraid to is that actually all those payments to the hand aren’t whats costing us, its the actual system of collecting it, maintaining it and dispensing it that costs the billions. We have already witnessed how companies wishing to tender for such contracts now do so on a payment on results basis so it only stands to reason why they will claim its fair citizens do to. So coupling this with the other benefits mean this government couldn’t quite achieve this reduction in budget which im sorry to say is far more important to them than whether or not you can put food in your mouth and a roof over your head be it that these words will never be uttered by them.

    So I would have thought this pending reality might be of more concern than concentration camps and other yet to transpire fear mongering be it government or otherwise as if they pass it you either do it or sorry your have to go and break to law and even then they wont care as you play right into their other plan which is super max prisons and if you ve never been to prison the traditional smaller ones we have then your really going to like how they care about you even less. Either way they get you and they will as you and I am not the majority so are viewed as nothing more than dissidents, activists, terrorists.

    NOW HOWS THAT FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE ?

    gaia

    August 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    • I agree Gaia. Under the current system securing enough hours of work above a certain threshold takes you out of benefit conditionality, but under Universal credit people working as many as 25 hours per week (for example) at the minimum wage will still have to perform jobsearch or other “work related activity”, and the same brutal sanction regime will be applied to people working hours approaching those of full time workers. This could even see people holding down one or even more jobs being sent on workfare, and could see the possibility of forcing people to give up long-standing part time jobs to take up unpaid workfare.

      The government seems determined to regulate the lives of not only the unemployed but the low paid. The government says people should look for “more or better paid work”, but for many this is impossible to attain because of their circumstances, and instead of making people more independent will actually make people more dependent on government, and have them at the beck and call of advisors in the JCP or those working for Work programme providers. What’s more the government knows this, since they themselves have championed the “flexible labour market” for years and are desperate to reduce further the meagre protections enjoyed by workers in the UK.

      Why build a workhouse when you can bring it to people’s front rooms?

      Samwise Gamgee

      August 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm

  3. In terms of “real training” for the disabled, what would be wrong in the gov’t paying for us to attend our local FE colleges and universities to take bona fide courses and apprenticiships with the rich folks (without loss of benefits or nonsensical restrictions on study hours) leading to the prospect of actual paid work?

    Until Thatcher trashed it, the old Dept. of Employment used to operate a Community Programme (introduced by Labour and substantially subsidised by the Eurpean Social Fund iirc) which allowed long-term unemployed and disabled people to do exactly that. For those already qualified there were also REAL jobs at a fair rate of pay – tho usually part-time and on short-term contracts.

    There was no compulsion to join the CP – which generally had long waiting lists.

    If the gov’t (or Labour) were serious about helping the disabled, the CP would be reinstated.

    anon

    August 1, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    • Ok what im about to say applies to both fit and able and disabled claimants which I suspect your JCP advisor has never mentioned once.

      We all know when it comes to careers advice that you wont get it from a JCP advisor so lets talk education grants fellow claimants.

      To start with to gain access to college for trade type courses you must have had formal qualifications gained in secondary education, mainly the subjects in relation to your respective course (ie to be a plumber say you will require good English,math and science qualifications minimum).

      Now as the more mature of us know back in the day qualifications weren’t what they are today so in earnest may not be excepted by college but all is not lost as these very same colleges run government funded courses (meaning government foot the bill) to help people without formal qualifications gain them.

      I STRONGLY SUGGEST IN TODAYS SOCIETY THAT IF YOU THE CLAIMANT DOESNT HAVE THESE FORMAL QUALIFICATIONS THEN YOU NEED TO ARRANGE TO GAIN THEM THROUGH YOUR JCP ADVISOR IN THE FIRST ,THEN THE COLLEGE IN THE SECOND.

      WITHOUT these FORMAL QUALIFICATIONS you will struggle to gain employment so JCP cant say NO as this is a MAJOR BARRIER TO WORK.

      If you do have formal qualifications and see a college course you like that will help you gain employment or increase your chances of then I urge you to pursue it.

      Adult Level 2 Entitlement

      Students aged 19 and over on the first day of the course, who do not have a full Level 2 qualification, can enrol on a full Level 2 course free of charge.

      A list of full Level 2 courses is shown below

      GSCE/O Level (5 or more Grades A-C)
      CSE Grade 1 (5 or more)
      1 Advanced Level
      2 or 3 AS Levels
      Advanced VCE
      Vocational Qualification Equivalent
      BEC General Certificate with Credit
      BEC Diploma with Credit
      BTEC First Diploma
      City and Guilds Higher Operative/ Craft
      GNVQ Intermediate
      Intermediate Construction Award
      LCCI Certificate (Second Level)
      NVQ Level 2
      PEI Stage 2
      Pitmans Intermediate Level 2 Diploma/Certificate
      RSA Diploma

      Courses and funding vary so do consult your local college first.

      Adult Level 3 & 4 Entitlement

      Where you do already have a full Level 2 qualification, your first full Level 3 or first full Level 4 qualification will be free.

      Academic Qualification Equivalent

      2 or more A-level passes
      4 or more AS Levels
      AVCE Double Award

      Vocational Qualification Equivalent

      Advanced Construction Award
      BEC National ONC/OND
      BTEC National ONC/OND
      City and Guilds Advanced Craft
      GNVQ Advanced
      LCCI Diploma (Third Level)
      NVQ Level 3
      Pitmans Level 3 Advanced Higher Certificate
      RSA Stage 3 Advanced Diploma
      TEC Certificate/Diploma
      Access to Higher Education Certificate
      ESOL & Foreign Languages Advanced awards

      PLEASE NOTE YOU HAVE TO BE IN RECEIPT OF BENEFITS AND PROVIDE EVIDENCE AT ENROLLMENT TO BE ELIGIBLE AND PLEASE NOTE NOT ALL COURSES ARE FUNDED SO AGAIN DO CHECK WITH YOUR COLLEGE FIRST.

      (IVE BEEN INFORMED COLLEGES WONT KNOW THE FUNDING AS PER COURSE FOR ANOTHER WEEK OR TWO AT THE TIME OF THIS POST).

      Please also be aware of the introduction of NEW FUNDING for certain LEVEL 3 AND 4 COURSES, again consult your college first. This NEW FUNDING is called the 24+ADVANCED LEARNERS LOAN and is open to all including people on benefit.

      http://www.marywardcentre.ac.uk/about/24-advanced-learning-loan/24-advanced-learning-loan-faq/

      PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A LOAN WHICH WILL BE INCURRED EVEN IF YOU LEAVE THE COURSE HALF WAY THROUGH SO MAKE SURE THAT JCP IMPROVE THIS ACTION (ie, must assist the candidate to find work or improve their chances of) AND ENTER IT ONTO YOUR AGREEMENT as under existing rules they expect you to give it up if an opportunity comes up for employment which would be ill advised considering the debt and in earnest your only studying part time so 8 hours out of 168 a week is hardly not available for work, especially considering what your doing is actually to help secure such or increase your chances of.

      If you are already level 2 and 3 or possess the correct amount of A levels then you might be eligible for HIGH EDUCATION (ie, level 4,5 (degrees)).

      If this is the case then you have 2 options:

      You could again apply for a 24+ advanced learners loan or if you are to study fulltime then you might be interested in a student loan.
      This loan not only covers the course but living expenses amongst other things to as anyone claiming benefit, you are very rarely allowed to attend studies fulltime so this will help cover the costs.

      Both loan schemes are a pay nothing while studying, then after the course pay nothing until you yourself earn over a certain amount (in the case of 24+ its 21’000 a year) and that after so many years if you cant gain this amount the loan is completely written off.

      (IF ANYONE IS THINKING OF USING THIS AS A MEANS TO AVOIDING JCP RULES THEN FORGET IT AS IN ORDER TO QUALIFY TO ACTUALLY TAKE AN EXAM THE ENTRANT MUST ATTEND 80 % OF THEIR CLASSES THROUGHOUT THE COURSE AND THAT JCP CAN AT ANYTIME RING THE COLLEGE TO CHECK ON YOUR ATTENDANCE AMONGST OTHER THINGS SO YOU COULD BE SANCTIONED FOR SUCH OFFENCES UNLESS OF COURSE YOU ARE STUDYING FULLTIME WHICH AS EXPLAINED YOU CANT DO AND STILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFIT).

      I believe you only get out of life what you put into it so strongly urge all claimants to begin studying for a brighter future while looking for work as you will find employers very much like this attitude as it demonstrates many qualities they wish to see in their employees and may even open the door on a vacancy that wasn’t one before you wrote to them prospectively (hidden jobs).

      In addition to this and may well be an entrance requirement like in the case of NVQs start talking to employers related to your chosen trade to see if you can get them to take you on a voluntary basis as again this will greatly improve your chances when studying skilled trades such as plumbing, hair dressing, engineering, etc. (please note this isn’t warranted when studying to gain new formal qualifications and or A levels).

      WHY WASTE 30+ HOURS ON JOB SEARCH WHEN YOU CAN DEDICATE AROUND 8 OF THEM TO BETTER YOUR CHANCES, BETTER YOUR FUTURE ?

      gaia

      August 2, 2013 at 9:26 am

      • If you have already received funding in the form of grant or loan for a previous degree level course, you won’t be able to secure a loan for a further course, even if it is a post graduate course/nvq level 4/5.

        So sayeth my local careers service.

        Lucy

        August 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

  4. “Leaflet entitled ‘Concentration camps for the workers’, 1934”

    http://sites.scran.ac.uk/redclyde/redclyde/rc138.htm

    “The means test scandal : a scathing exposure”

    http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/redclyde/redcly069.htm

    “getting people up to a better standard of physical fitness”…”We’re not talking about obesity, we’re talking about muscle.”

    Has it crossed anyone’s minds that the powers that be done this as they knew that there was a good chance of a coming war with Germany, they needed fit cannon fodder.

    Annos

    August 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm

  5. Being a bit of a history buff, I first came across accounts of such institutions in the late 1970s. I also vividly remember getting into a furious argument with a rabid Thatcherite manager and some of his like-thinking colleagues at my place of employment circa 1986. Their mindset consisted of praising the Tories for “putting the unions and their bolshie, workshy members in their place”. I suggested they might like to see such people dispatched to work camps as had happened during the Great Depression. A remark that was met with predictable scorn; such things had only happened in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Gulags, not in “freedom loving” Britain, they insisted.

    And that’s the rub: history as tought via the capitalist education system careful omits such embarrassing facts. We can’t have the workers being enlightened as to their true subservient status within the profit system. Better to keep them in the dark, otherwise they might start to get ideas “above their station”, and that might just prove to be dangerous.

    Trevor

    August 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm

  6. The government have already managed to put a large portion of society into a ‘Physiological Workhouse’. How long before they start building the physical ones? And what will the Labour party do? The same as the scumbag Tories!

    A. Ellis

    August 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

  7. Sorry, that should be: ‘Psychological Workhouse’.

    A. Ellis

    August 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

  8. ” In 1936 Halifax visited Nazi Germany for the first time. Halifax’s friend, Henry (Chips) Channon, reported: “He told me he liked all the Nazi leaders, even Goebbels, and he was much impressed, interested and amused by the visit. He thinks the regime absolutely fantastic.” ”

    “In November, 1937, Neville Chamberlain, who had replaced Stanley Baldwin as prime minister, sent Lord Halifax to meet Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goering in Germany. In his diary, Lord Halifax records how he told Hitler: “Although there was much in the Nazi system that profoundly offended British opinion, I was not blind to what he (Hitler) had done for Germany, and to the achievement from his point of view of keeping Communism out of his country.” This was a reference to the fact that Hitler had banned the Communist Party (KPD) in Germany and placed its leaders in Concentration Camps.”

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWhalifaxL.htm

    The Halifax type of Tory is what rules the Tory party today, and the hijacked New Labour party/ LibDem party. The old type of VERY semi caring Tories have long been expelled, they are now an extinct species …

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7007648.stm

    Annos

    August 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

  9. Not on topic sorry but I want to share it with you all as you yourselves might have experienced it to.

    I recently sent off my CV through a well known jobsite for a vacancy in the Sutton in Ashfield area. Now when I received a reply the said company asked for me to resend my CV but as they must already have it as how did they know I applied in the first place and what my email was wrote back pointing out this very fact. I used no swear words, the grammar was good and clean and I thought I conducted its creation in a kind and informative way including pointing out that in the first instance that maybe they should contact the site they received it from if this is not the service they expected. Now I did get a reply but low and behold it wasn’t the one I was expecting.

    THE REPLY WAS I QUOTE “Enjoy Unemployment” and that was it, message ends.

    Can someone tell me what’s so wrong with us humans that would result in an employed person revelling in the fact that someone’s unemployed, how much hate must a person have to kick someone that’s already down on their luck ?

    Readers and posters: PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK

    gaia

    August 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    • this person has a useless and pointless life so the only way to get fun is through hurting others.
      ‘all my friends and all of their jobs and all the bloody waste’
      -Levellers ‘One Way’

      something survived...

      August 3, 2013 at 7:37 am

  10. There are only TWO places you are required to be by LAW… one is PRISON… the other is SCHOOL!

    Tomato

    August 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    • Or sectioned?

      something survived...

      August 3, 2013 at 7:35 am

      • Jury Service?

        Lucy

        August 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm

  11. Next time you’re in your local JCP see if you notice what I did on thursday.

    Normal Adviser: Signing on one person every 3 to 4 minutes.

    Hit Squad Adviser: Seeing one person every 30 to 40 minutes.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    August 3, 2013 at 9:29 am

    • Don’t know if this is the case every but ive noticed they don’t like to give you the same advisor week in, week out. I wonder if that’s to prevent the advisor identifying with you as even they know this WP,MWA and now post WP (trailblazer) isn’t going to change the fact that they just isn’t any jobs and even when their is employers are setting the bar way to high.

      Take Ingeus for prime example, to work as an advisor for them their asking for a degree, any degree. The problem with that is firstly the unemployment sector isn’t recognised as a professional body and unlike such bodies doesn’t even have its own trade qualification which is saying something as even retail now has that. Perhaps its because it would probably only be a level 2 NVQ I suspect what with the requirement for knowing absolutely nothing that goes on in their sector or even own company being perfectly acceptable.

      I have to wonder what they have to talk about that lasts that long so hope mines that time scale as im dying to find out as so far my POST WP has been I hate to say it rather peaceful (do realise the calm before the storm saying).

      I did over hear one candidates interview or should I say hearing and during it the advisor kept pointing out you cant go for that job or that job so it appears now their telling not what to apply for. I know the plan or tact their using, their breaking down your previous skillset so as to force those people to apply for lesser positions away from their usual professions that are still regularly advertised. The problem with that is unless you take off your skills/qualifications no employer hiring for a non skilled position will hire you as their afraid of the law of average that someone offering more money inline with your original skillset will phone you and offer work. Take my work history, if I took my skillset away from it (related work history and quals) my CV would appear to show I haven’t worked for over 2 decades.

      My advice to claimants isn’t get a job, its get a trade education while the dust settles and jobs begin to flower again as at least then your be even more appealing to employers (ie, anyone can lift a box but not everyone can take a fresh trade, learn it and past tests). Take the opportunity to upskill while the masses stuck at 1% cant afford to either in time or cost meaning your be the better candidate on the long run as im sure what with business owners stating how uneducated their employees are that its only a matter of time before they replace them unless of course that was a lie in lew of the hope of more government funding which they did get hook line an stinker.

      gaia

      August 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  12. Universal Credit staff describe chaos behind scenes of flagship Tory reform.

    DWP employees criticise environment of poor management and high stress in leaked internal survey.

    Staff working on the biggest shakeup of the welfare state in its history have described the project as “soul-destroying” and “unbelievably frustrating”, with some saying they are under so much pressure that they can only engage in “firefighting and panic management”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/aug/02/universal-credit-staff-flagship-reform?CMP=twt_gu

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    August 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

    • Nice post Obi Wan Kenobi, sadly IDS is just to pig ignorant to care what a report says as in his tiny minds world these figures and statements are nothing more than vicious comments by tory dissidents, progress haters, and the likes.

      Just look at his recent outburst at the ONS, as usually the figures are sound yet now the figures don’t prove him wrong either, if that isn’t delusional I don’t know what is.

      How people fall for his word play is anyone’s guess as its not like he or his government reduced the tax/NI the public have to pay (new lower earning tier is a mask). I reckon the employed thought he actually could put tax/NI up when the truth was if they did unemployment would be a whole lot higher and or risk inflation going through the roof. People dont like excepting responsibility so blaming others which lets face it has been the entire tory rhetoric since getting into office acts as a coping mechanism for the millions stuck on wages only gaining 1% rise a year.

      I know my math and know it really well so aren’t beguiled by the way this and other governments hide the truth which is the debt of 2007 still remains (imagine putting it on a bus and road tripping it around the globe, country to country). To nutshell it without boring you all with figures and to put credence to the latest poll of families struggling, this 1% per annum rise is actually a 10 to 15% loss per annum when you factor all the things together.

      Well I bet the tories hope this new yank guru pulls off what he did for Obama as every post I read in connection with tory policy is full of hate and mistrust with an overall opinion of betrayal.

      gaia

      August 3, 2013 at 11:43 am

  13. Gaia – IDS and Hoban say a lot of things, I really don’t think they understand that they ARE going to be held accountable one day (In the second world war, the Naziz thought the same until it actually happened), but what the hell, they will be old men by then? think again IDS, Hoban, Freud and McVey – Oh yes McVey – we won’t forget you when the modern day Nazi hunt begin’s – and it will, it alway’s does for crimes against humanity.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    August 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

  14. Gaia – I’m reposting this video from last year regarding IDS, I don’t know if you have seen it yet.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    August 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    • I cant say I have Obi Wan Kenobi. I wish the wind wasn’t blowing so hard as it broke up in places and I would have really liked to have heard the whole thing.

      I watched a few others after the one you posted that I had also not seen but in America. I see the working haven’t any better a clue than ours.

      Interesting to notice that no one wants to mention the idea of why not pay a minimum wage which is mad I think if your going to use the phrase preparing you for work.

      With most drawing JCP/ESA, housing and council tax benefit, the 37 hours pay being 228.66 a week before breaks meaning even less its not that far behind the proposed benefit cap for a single person (350 a week) and lets face it that had it been an actual job that on this 228.66 we still would have had to approach government for housing assistance and council tax relief meaning we were always going to need that amount regardless of any views.

      I would so love to know why this government doesn’t do it as a similar scheme was ran for the youth under the then labour government and according to reports it was quite a success.

      The same goes for the old new deal under labour that back in blairs time gave claimants (all age groups) the opportunity to qualify for a trade in real stuff, not this ridiculous shelf filling and charity crap which lets again face it will never be used again once we do get back into real meaningful work more inkeeping with our skillsets.

      I have to be honest in saying that currently it is absolutely pointless to look for paid work, that’s why im telling everyone to go to college to upskill or newskill until the dust settles.
      Im not saying stop looking, im just saying 8 hours a week for skilling is a very good idea and one that does offer employers proof of what I think is focus and discipline as even courses have structures along with rules right.

      gaia

      August 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

  15. “The UK government’s attempt at broadening Internet censorship does not end with the “opt-in” button on a customer’s broadband account. Web site owners and bloggers who attempt to avoid the government’s filter will be confronted with one of two options—self-censorship or being blocked. Anyone trying to get around the filter will likely be identified, recorded and subjected to extensive network surveillance and online traffic analysis, and face the possibility of an array of allegations.

    The government’s firewall is set to block access by default to web censorship circumventing tools, such as proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs). It is highly likely that restricted access to the Tor software bundle, which is free software enabling greater anonymity and connects to the heavily encrypted Tor Network, will also be contained within the censorship filter.”

    “Together with the information made available by Edward Snowden, Cameron’s latest move is a clear indication of the British state’s advanced preparations to implement dictatorial rule.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/08/07/cens-a07.html

    Annos

    August 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

  16. Can someone please tell me what this means? I have to say I find it puzzling:

    “As I walked around the camp reflecting on this cold bureaucratic place of death. I was struck by one final absurdity. With munitions and men needed to fight the war in the east, shipping millions of Jews into Auschwitz and the other death camps tied up soldiers, railway trucks and engines and messed up the rail network – which must have had a disastrous effect on Germany’s war effort.”

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/iain_duncan_smith/

    Poor. Old. Tired. Horse

    August 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

  17. Agency wage slaves No lunch break,keep your mouth shut,backstabbing clients, blaming agency worker for for there own staffs mistakes,dispute over timesheets just finished this crap back to jobseekers allowance work program,sanction targets the uk system class war riots round the corner I be on the front of the que I had it with uk slave camp

    carlito

    June 20, 2014 at 4:23 am


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