Grayling’s Lies Will Come to Haunt Him

With all the ferocity of a blancmange wielding kitten, Chris Grayling has pounced on critics of workfare on Radio 4 this morning.  Today’s big lie is that the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) hacked his email.  Except they didn’t.  He also appears to think that the public outrage directed at forced labour is down to an internet campaign being run by SWP front operation, the Right To Work (RTW) Campaign.

On this single point he’s correct for a change. RTW are indeed one of many SWP front organisations.  Unfortunately that’s where his insight ends.  The SWP couldn’t run an online campaign if their lives depended on it.  Stuck as they are somewhere between Kronstadt and the Soviet invasion of Hungary, it’ll be 50 years before most of them work out how to use a computer.

There is an ever increasing number of claimant led groups both on the internet and in the real world who have long been fighting the never-ending (perhaps until now) war on benefit claimants.  Boycott Workfare, pictured above outside last year’s workfare industry conference, have been campaigning against forced labour since before this government weren’t elected and issued the call out for the upcoming National Day of Action on March 3rd.  Protests have been taking place around the country for well over a year against the government’s welfare schemes, including workfare.  And when the public finally realised what was going on they acted in their thousands to threaten boycotts, protests and direct action, all precision targeted at the companies profiting from the scheme.  It was benefit claimants and twitter what won it.  Not the SWP.

But this is no time for sectarian bickering.  Everyone, even liberal dimwits, should be welcomed onto the bandwagon.  Workfare is only one aspect (albeit a vital one) of the government’s pernicious welfare reforms.  The abuse of sick and disabled people carries on unabated and must be resisted with equal ferocity.  Just like A4e’s milking of workfare schemes, behind the scenes a private company Atos is making millions out of abusive and shoddy benefit eligibility tests which have driven some claimants to suicides. This fight must not end with the collapse of workfare.

That the fall from grace of Emma Harrison should come now of all times is the icing on the cake and it is entirely fitting to gloat a bit.  Pressure must now be maintained, not just on A4e but on all the other workfare providers.  The likes of G4s, Indus Delta, Best and A4e are making far more money out of workfare than Tesco ever did.  The charities involved in delivering the Work Programme must also be held to account.

Grayling managed to duck the question of forced labour on the government’s flagship Work Programme this morning when he was interviewed.  Under this scheme, some claimants can be expected to work for up to six month or face loss of benefits.  The Tories, who last year were boasting of tough new measures aimed at benefit claimants, are now falling over themselves to pretend they aren’t happening.  Grayling also neglected to mention the new Compulsory Community Work scheme currently being trialled which will see claimants forced to work for six months without pay.  This seems a strange omission, since only last year he seemed rather proud of it.

Whilst Tory lies are not doing much for the party’s disappearing credibility, the real damage will happen in the implementation of the Work Programme.  Grayling, Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP’s repeated that claims that no-one is mandated to work for free will resonate through the offices of every workfare contractor in the land.  A4e may say you have to work for your benefits, policy may even dictate it, but the DWP and ministers responsible have given a very different message to the public.  Every claimant forced to stack shelves or face benefit sanctions will repeat  Iain Duncan Smith’s fib in the Mail this week that: “work programme is purely voluntary.”

The chaos this kind of double speak will cause at grassroots level will be unprecedented.  Whether Iain Duncan Smith intended it or not, the teeth of the Work Programme have been removed and every contractor paid to carry out the scheme knows it.  Which means they’ll be back for even more money and when targets go unmet they can blame the Secretary of State.  This story is set to run and run.

The Tory backlash against public outrage at forced labour has revealed stark evidence of the ineptness behind the spin of this government.  Cameron and Grayling have been jumping up and down like spoilt children having a tantrum with nanny.  Furious that they aren’t getting their own way, they have resorted to lies, begging letters, smears and ludicrous conspiracy theories about the enemy within.  Only  recently they were deriding and downgrading vocational qualifications, now they are accusing people of job snobbery.  It’s almost comical and it seems anything they do or say just makes it worse.  If this is the kind of fucking idiots Oxbridge turn out these days,  give me an NVQ in Fish Husbandry any day.

15 responses to “Grayling’s Lies Will Come to Haunt Him

  1. I Need a new badge. I am not nor have ever been a member of the SWP.

  2. Credit where credit is due: the SWP can organise committee meetings like pros 😉

    • HA Ha Ha , remember their local branch going off in a strop in the 80’s when we the local poll tax campaigners refused to change the night of our meetings as they wanted it the day after theirs so they coud “Form a unified position”. we had a vote, and they lost out to the fact that the pub we held our meetings in had a cheep beer night.

      Was most insulted to have a tory MP imply I’m a socialist worker member the other night on Newsnight. but that’s the party line taken up by Grayling and his band of useful idiots. Showsd they are deluded not only about what they are doing, but about who they’re up against too.

      • How to fight. We need money. £10,000’s . £100,000 would be good. We need to get together to organise German-style music-politiking gigs to raise money; to rattle cans in the street too. We need a group who will fundraise from sympathic companies. We need a group to integrate our work with that of Black Triangle and the other radical groups. Then we need to found and fund our own lobby and direction action groups and interface (politely) with the existing ones. – ie Sprtacus Report and Direct Action Network. We need to make international links with people like Gegen Hart IV. Then we need hoddies, wheelchairs and to hit the fuckin streets. I don’t want to sit here waiting for the letter in the morning that’ll have my head in a plastic bag by the evening. I want to go out fighting and die like a man. That’s nine sub-committees for passing SWP’ers to set up… Let’s go people, people are dying:

  3. Brilliant write up – These amount of crap that spills from the mouths of these politicians with regards forced labour is ridiculous. I also agree that anytime one of the pimp organisations tries to mandate someone to work for free all we need to do is produce one of a million (so called denials) that any of these schemes are compulsory.

    Also if we go to a court or tribunal how can they find against you with so much evidence from the SO CALLED GOVERNMENT insisting this is not compulsory which therefore means we cannot be sanctioned for refusal.

    I am also looking forward to the first legal challenge agains CAP. The government spout that this will mean working in your community for your benefit. I thought this was something that prisoners done – is the government no putting benefit claimants on the same level as criminals. I think the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 might have something to say:

    Forced or Compulsory Labour
    The ECHR in the case of Van der Mussele 8919/80 affirmed that the ILO conventions were the starting point for interpreting Article 4. The conventions, defined forced or compulsory labour as being ‘all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily’. To that end, the section 71 offence will require an element of coercion or deception between the defendant and the victim.

    • I *believe* that the get-out to ILO/Article 4 rights is the Job-Seeker’s Agreement, or as it becomes in UC (and coming soon to ESA) the Claimant Commitment. People voluntarily agree, without anything held over them, to take whatever steps. The fact it’s the only way to avoid impoverishment is the avenue into challenging that, as, I believe, is the terms of such an agreement being over-broad. IANAL, though.

  4. Where’s IDS hiding his head while this flak’s coming in? He’s likely being kept out of site lest all his credibility is lost even before UC is brought in.

  5. I’m affiliated to the Right to Work Campaign and I’m proud to know them. They have been 100% in defence of disabled people from the very outset when nobody else was on board!

    I know that many of them are in the SWP but they have NEVER in my experience attempted to shove their particular brand of politics down my throat or anybody else’s!

    On the contrary – RtW have been a united front organising a very effective campaign of resistance against this criminal government.

    And I thank them for that with all my heart and I am proud to call them my “comrades” because that is exactly what they are.

    John McArdle

  6. I am not a member of the SWP either,but Cameron,Clegg,Grayling and IDS are definitely members of the School for Scoundrels who tell lie after lie and try to rewrite history to cover up their tracks.

  7. I love Johnny Void.

  8. I might be one of these people forced into work in the near future, I’m 58 years old and was sent a form to fill in to see if i am still entitled to my sick money , I am now waiting to go for a Atos assesment as they call it but i fear that i may lose my sick money regaurdless of my illness’s , these past few months i have seen a lot of sick people being told there fit for work when clearly they are not one man has heart desease another is teminal with chronic obstructive pulmernary desease and on oxygen but there money has been taken away , yet a young woman who is a drug addict who claims she has depresion and has no problem going out shop lifting also works in her local kebab shop on the side has been told she wont need a medical she has just been placed in the support group, there welfare reforms are clearly not working because it’s the people who are really sick that are loseing out , My C.V will read like this , 58 years old in need of a job but i must warn you that i have several illness’s
    Ischemic heart diseases, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, High Blood pressure, Angina , osteoarthritis , type 2 diabetes:, and sciatica, not good but they dont care, I know of disabled people loseing there benifits and being forced to work park time one man 59 with sever osteoarthritise lost his money was sent to B&M’s for a job 16 hours a week at the moment he still has the job wages topped up with tax credits but has been told his tax credits will end in April he now fears he will lose his home because he wont be able to manage on the paye he gets , Cameron really needs to get a grip open his eyes to what he is doing before something terrible happens to someone , Idont know if i will lose my sickness benifit but there is a good chance i might and i know i would never be able to hold a job down .

  9. Pingback: DWP Rewrite History – Mandatory Work Disappears from the Work Programme Provider’s Guidance | the void

  10. Boycott Workfare
    If you can’t wait til next Saturday and you live in north London – here’s another chance to voice your disgust at workfare.

    Friday 2nd March anti-workfare protest at IDS visit to Haringey, 9 AM outside Tottenham Town Hall

    The government workfare schemes of forced labour for benefits (pushed by Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling) are starting to collapse under the pressure of protest and recent bad publicity.

    On Saturday 3rd March there will be a national day of action against workfare, with protests in 20 towns in the UK. But we have the opportunity to show our opposition locally when IDS visits Haringey on Friday morning. He will be spinning the government nightmare at a lecture ”Building for the Future” at the Dream Centre in Tottenham Town Hall (9.30 am to 12 noon).

    Join the 9am picket/protest outside Tottenham Town Hall (5 minutes walk up the High Road from Seven Sister’s tube station) – called by Boycott Workfare

  11. Pingback: 20 Towns And Cities Line Up to Take Action Against Workfare | the void

  12. From the moment this government came into power I knew they would be up to no good but didn’t realise they had stooped so low until the Tesco fracas kicked off. I have since been looking into things and I am horrified at the degree of criminality they are getting away with, it beggers belief. I’m not an extremist and find it offensive to be branded as such, I’m a carer on £55.55/week and struggling to keep my head above water and to hear these arrogant, patronising, arseholes tell people they need to do something for their benefits makes my blood boil. In a so called civilized society Workfare surely must be against the laws of this land and making terminally ill people work is not just obscene enough to make you puke, it’s bordering on genocide via the backdoor. They have to be stopped and I hope to God they can be because I truly fear the consequence’s if they aren’t.

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