The Public Humiliation Of Iain Duncan Smith

pauline-pensGeorge Osborne’s public humiliation of Iain Duncan Smith will be a bitter blow for the bungling Work and Pensions Secretary as his welfare reforms along with his credibility both continue to disintegrate.

Whilst Osborne stole the show with a flagship headline grabbing workfare scheme costing approaching half a billion pounds, Iain Duncan Smith was reduced to announcing a small pilot scheme which seems to be based on the type of Job Clubs that have been around for decades.  The type of pilot scheme that would usually be announced in a memo to the relevant Jobcentre staff, not from the podium at a party conference.

IDS’ latest crazy scheme will see unemployed people sent to sit around ‘job searching’ in Mandatory Attendance Centres for 35 hours a week.  This is the kind of expert help for unemployed people that was so savagely satirised in the comedy show The League of Gentlemen featuring Pauline, the jobsworth jobs counsellor who took delight in humiliating and demeaning her ‘clients’.

There is no bigger comedy show currently than the shambles at the DWP and this latest scheme reveals the joke to be wearing desperately thin.  This type of provision has a long and illustrious history of not working for anyone except the profit hungry sharks in the welfare-to-work sector who will be rubbing their hands in glee at today’s announcement.

Whilst exact details are so far unclear it seems likely that claimants could be sent to one of these Mandatory Attendance Centres in the first few months of their claim.  Companies like A4e, Ingeus and Working Links will have already spotted how lucrative this could be.  All they have to do is encourage Jobcentres to send them people likely to get jobs anyway and they can pick up fat job outcome payments for doing nothing at all.  Jobcentres will play ball if the figures look good and it helps them meet referral targets.

For those who aren’t ‘job ready’ the welfare-to-work sector has the answer, which is to do as little as possible as cheaply as possible.  Tony Blair’s New Deal often included large chunks of mandatory supervised job search.   This led to unemployed young people sitting around in A4e’s offices, sometimes for weeks on end, doing little more than talking amongst themselves.

If welfare-to-work companies don’t think they can get a job outcome from a claimant then the most profitable thing to do is nothing.  And if they think a claimant is likely to find work then they still do little more than nothing, knowing that the claimant themselves will do the work that makes them the money.  Workfare and benefit sanctions can be used to make sure there is no slacking for those most likely to get jobs, who often end up in low paid insecure work rather than the sector they have skills and experience in.

This is the business model of the welfare-to-work sector that has had billions of tax payer’s cash shovelled into their grubby pockets over the years.  Provide scant help those who don’t need it and leave the rest to rot.

In the case of the New Deal this meant claimants were packed into offices with a few out of date newspapers lying around and a couple of cheap computers.  Supervision meant a handful of poorly paid and untrained staff scurrying around in back offices doing everything they possibly could to avoid the punters.  Even asking for a stamp was met with indignation from the penny-pinching poverty pimps in charge of the New Deal.  Every single penny spent on claimants was less money for the likes of Emma Harrison who made millions from this racket when she was still head of the scandal ridden A4e.

This is Iain Duncan Smith’s latest big idea.  A resurrection of the biggest benefit fraud in living memory.  And all done not with the intention of helping people find work, but instead to make life as unpleasant as possible for unemployed people.  To establish the Victorian principle of ‘less eligibility’, meaning that life on benefits must be made far worse than the life of the most exploited and lowest paid worker.  The spirit of the workhouse has been alive and well at this year’s Tory Party Conference.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

153 responses to “The Public Humiliation Of Iain Duncan Smith

  1. Landless Peasant

    The public execution of IDS would be preferable.

    • Tell it how it is.

    • Maybe his lifeless body could do a tour of village, town and city lampposts around the country to be spat at

      • Eric Greenwood (4727)

        I think his body should be shown around every town.. will have to cut him up very small to make sure

    • Frank Psychosis

      I’m no fan of the IRA, but where the fuck are they now? As Frankie Boyle quipped on The Kaiser Report in relation the Thatcher’s funeral, “judging by the guest list you can see what a shambles the IRA were”.

    • there is far to much hot air on this site. and not enough action. the system got you frightened.

      • Action takes many forms… what do you propose?.. another riot?… all that does is destroy our own neighbourhoods, that only hurts good people not to mention ourselves and costs money again to fix it which the government will always underline would cost the tax payer millions.

        Voicing opinions and making constructive criticism is important because the only way this can end is by a VOTE.. yes as simple as that.. when 2015 comes around and hoping there is still a country left that is not just one big privatized mess.. you can vote the Tories OUT.. instead of the mistake of tactical voting which partly created this disaster, the country deserves better… and so do good people who are fighting to survive.

        Get the greedy rich and out of touch party back to the opposition benches and something resembling a democratic party or coalition in power.. one thing is for sure… this current coalition is not working nor are many people who wish to beyond enforced volunteer work, working for their JSA which is below the minimum working wage, which the chancellor was happy to spout ages back that nobody on benefits should be getting more than somebody in employment on the minimum working wage…. that was a lie wasn’t it?… see how provisional it all is from this coalition.. it’s like painting by numbers and boasting you are better than Van Gogh… reality being this coalition has cut off both it’s ears and will never listen.

  2. Would IDS notice he was dead? Or would he just carry on claiming for haircuts and underpants?

  3. Dear lord, I can’t believe they’re resurrecting the New Deal Full-Time Jobsearch lark with a straight face. There’s even fewer vacancies around now than then. Anyone who experienced them will know spending 35 hours a week searching for next-to-non-existant jobs is a short cut to mental breakdown for the claimant. Of course, this is the whole point. It’s a form of kettling and guarenteed to produce the desired results for the DWP – ie: people losing their rag in the jobsearch centre and losing their benefits for “gross misconduct”. Still, it’s a good chance to read the paperor a good book, provided the staff turn a blind eye. One such centre I attended was run by an ex-Rhodesian military type who took exception to my reading the Guardian, he referred me back to the Jobcentre. Soon after, he died of cancer. Not that there’s a moral, or any sort of pleasure to be derived from all this, but it did reinforce my faith in Karma!

    • overburdenddonkey

      kettling, now more akin to pressure cooking…sowing mail sacks, to earn our benefits..
      ahh..job clubs them were the daze, in the late 80’s, computers? lucky to get a pencil and a raggedy old newspaper, being lectured on the virtues of aspiration, “what car would you like to own?”, fantasise about it, buy the same car, from the small ads for 300quid now..”oooh, i’m inspired”, still there was always the extra tenner/wk for attending buy 6/7, hsb’s (beers) back then, for that…and magically did not show up as unemployed for a few weeks…
      all easy street compared to where we are now…

      • something survived...

        I’ve been in some that don’t let you use your time to surf the net and some that don’t let you talk. More recently I was criticised for reading the Guardian and was told “That’s not a real paper”. (It has 2 syllables too many for him perhaps? His favourite paper is something like the SUN, they had been going to call it the ANUS but, ‘our readers struggle with long words’. Steve Bell once suggested the ‘Bum’ as an alternative name.) Some non-WPP people I’ve run into, think the Guardian is the same thing as the Morning Star. Actually when I can get access to someone else’s copy I’ll read both!

        If random untrained people had to sew mail sacks (these days they’re plastic so we can’t), they’d be lousy sacks, so no mailman would want to use them. ‘ASPIRATION’ – That’s a joke. ‘Aspire’ (!) to working in a shitty McJob, for a crap boss who can fire you at will, under conditions that would make a masochist want to go to the human rights court. ‘Aspire’ to being stuck in the same crap job till they fire you for being too old, but you’re too young for a pension and nobody will hire you again; then finally reach the new pension age only to be told ‘you do not qualify for any state pension’. With or without crappy pittance pension, struggle on for decades in old age in a crap house that gets hit for bedroom tax and that they try to bully you out of. Get in-house or institutionalised ‘care’ from low-paid or workfare people. Then finally die. Is that ‘living’?

        Of course if you have relatives you even slightly get on with, who would be willing to help: They probably can’t, because of: Bedroom tax, so you lost your home that had room for them to stay over/live in. Care costs, so they nicked your home to pay for the ‘care’ they claim they’re providing (so your family won’t inherit so much as a grain of rice). Postcode lotteries, shunting people around the country. Laws banning your welfare-dependent relatives moving to another area (loss of benefits and place on waiting list), and banning transfer to another authority area or to do a home swap with those in areas moved to. Policies requiring your welfare-dependent relatives to move to another area, see ‘Get on your Bike’ (Tebbit and the Zombies/rivers of blood powell speech). Relocation of your kids’ company so they must move to keep a job. Being apart due to house prices, work, relationships, university – and settling in those areas.
        Forced relocation to another area at short notice following an EDL demonstration (nazi rally), possible firebombing of your house. Council relocating people who lost their home in an accident etc., in another geographical area. (They do this sometimes, even if far from your college, family, work, jobcentre…) Not to mention separation/divorce, domestic violence, young people fleeing abusive parents, people in witness protection or unofficial equivalent of having to disappear.

        Aspirations about cars are really easy for me to answer: cars are pretty much the same and I am a nondriver so ‘no car’. Apparently it’s a disease not to aspire to having a car or lots of other things you ‘should’ aspire to. Giant televisions? Botox? Costa Del Britcrap? 2 weeks of sunburn, vomiting, fights, then repeat each year.

      • O.B.D I remember the extra £10 a week. It wasn’t brilliant, but it was o.k. It paid for a few meals on the table and maybe if we were lucky, a bottle of ‘Blue Nun’ God I am so old!!!

        • overburdenddonkey

          blue-nun, so aspirational….what’s wrong with 6 gallons of snakebite and a curry…? i’m glad something survived, wasn’t triggered by the aspire, word, i’ll never mention it again, honest…

    • @timefrom, are you proposing, that, the joyous experience of ‘losing’ ones ‘rag’ is not the way to go?
      I beg to differ. Smash the jobcentre to pieces, kick the security staff in the goggles, (assuming they are male), sorry boys, And, Karma will definitely follow. Look what ‘Buddha’ did in Thailand?

  4. Whoops! 4th sentence from the end : should be “paper or”
    3rd sentence from the end: should be “who took such exception”

  5. Doesn’t IDS stand for IDiot Savant, without the savant?

  6. Off topic: does anyone know why my 2nd comment above is accompanied by a different icon from my 1st? Not that I’m paranoid or anything…

    • @timfrom ‘Paranoia is your best friend.

    • wordpress just randomises them unless you pick one specifically I think

      • Hi JV. Let me walk you through the scenario and then you tell me what you think. [PLEASE REDACT MY SURNAME/E-MAIL ADDRESS IF PUBLISHING] You know how when you want to leave a comment you fill in the 3 lines below the comment box (including your e-mail address on the 1st line) and then if you want to make any more comments, your e-mail address is there automatically? Well, of the 3 comments I left y’day, the 1st (4.26pm) went fine. No problems. With the 2nd (4.29), just after clicking Post Comment and before the screen changed, I caught a glimpse of something not quite right with my (automatically-generated) e-mail address. So I made a 3rd comment (4.37) and, sure enough, what I thought I’d seen was true: my e-mail address had magically changed from *******barlow******* to *******barhigh*******, which I changed back to “barlow”, thus getting my old icon back. The icon by the 2nd comment is the only time I’ve noticed that icon. Every other comment has, as far as I’ve noticed, been accompanied by the icon you’ll see next to this (I can be reasonably confident of this as “barhigh” hasn’t cropped up yet today and I’m on my 2nd comment already) and I probably did select this icon when I joined.. I’m just worried your site (possibly even my e-mail account, I’ll have to check) has been hacked again. If you can find any trace your end of someone using this site with an e-mail address identical to mine except for “barhigh” where “barlow” should be, would you please delete and bar it from the site in future? We can be pretty sure it’s bogus, I think. Cheers & keep up the good work. Tim

  7. Another Fine Mess

    Looks like he’s trying not to draw any attention to U.C. which was supposed to be getting rolled out this month! Perhaps reality is beginning to dawn on him.

  8. IDS speech could be classed as funny if it weren’t connected to hundreds of sick and disabled people that have died over the past 3 years over welfare reform

    i have just be listening to Eric pickles speech about someone he knows aged 93 flowy and Newnham council who said she owed them 50000 pounds which stressed her and killed her ?

    Eric was so upset ? that a labour council killed her through stress

    this is the very first time in my life that i have heard a conservative politician speak out for someone who has died through negligence

    Eric must surely know of all the hundreds of deaths that have happened to the sick and disabled and he hasn’t uttered a word ?

    • something survived...

      Well of course if they are Labour areas they’re bad and Tory areas they are good . “These is not just cuts deaths, these are Tory cuts deaths!”

    • overburdenddonkey

      it’s thousands of people pa, and then there is winter…


      Eric is my MP unfortunately and he is as gormless a representative of his party as they come. He didn’t dare try to get a safe Tory seat up in Yorkshire from where he came from as there are so few of them nowdays so he went down to Essex and bagged himself one here instead.

      • it was just so odd Eric making a remark and showing anger at newham council killing off an elderly lady when Cameron and co have killed off thousands

        sending people every day to a job centre where there are no jobs will spell disaster has those exposed to this type of treatment will just up mentally unwell and be a danger to the staff and themselves and to the rest of society as a whole

        those that do not pose a danger will just end up committing suicide so this act by IDS needs to be stopped and fast if were to save life

    • Nick, given time, Mr Pickles will be outed ,and join the priest hood .

      • it’s a shame as i detect that Eric is not all bad but you cant have any mp standing and making remarks blaming another council for the bad treatment of a person when your own party does far worse which kills people through negligence

        • Nick, I think you need to sharpen your pencil. And delve.

          • your probably right Ron
            we have just had the pride of Britain awards on the TV and you guessed it David Cameron was there

            the Hillsboro disaster killed 93 people and has taken over 20 years and still they will fight on for justice David Cameron did look a little awkward as well he might

            IDS has been in charge overseeing thousands of sick and disabled die i wonder how many years it will take to get him before a court to explain these deaths and how they have occurred

            as for getting justice for the families you will be looking at around 30 years if your lucky

  9. They want to bring back slavery. Abolish the Human Rights Act under some false pretence and they are free to commit any atrocity they wish. Where the hell are these LibDems? I thought Thatcher was bad but this lot are nasty beyond anything I’ve seen.

    IDS would be on the dole himself if he wasn’t born privileged. He is pretty thick it’s clear and also seems to fail at everything.


  10. According to Osborne, welfare is IDS’s “life mission”. What a very pathetic, miserable life achievement that’s going to be. Not a life to be proud of for sure!

  11. Staffed by power crazy nobody’s no doubt and as much use as a chocolate teapot. I know who I’ll be voting for when the time comes. No wonder the big 3 are running scared they know its time for payback!! We should all use our vote this time round to oust these animals.

  12. Another precise and timely article. Thanks
    It would not be difficult for any smart opposition party to rip this lot to shreds and call for a vote of no confidence – but then new/old/poor labour are the opposition.
    However, the vile, repugnant attack by the daily heil against Miliband’s father may prove more damaging in the end as this highlights the real but often ‘underlying’ nazism in the tory party. Paul Dacre and Lynton Crosby have overstepped the mark here and their folly hopefully will rebound – but labour still have to get rid of it’s right wing because Liam Byrne isn’t even as ‘good’ as IDS

  13. When George (IDS) dies he better have at least a twenty foot wall surrounding his grave,to prevent all the trampling it will get from all the people dancing on it.Either that or it will have be buried deep in a bunker,come to think it a bunker (Arbeit macht frei) will probably be more appropriate.

  14. Never forget, those Tory bastards next have Pension Credit claimants in their sights. After IDS and his Atos henchthugs have seen off the disabled and sick, the unemployed have been evicted and sentenced to live and die in a cardboard box (that’ll do nicely for an environmentally friendly coffin), they’ll be after the OAPs. Mark my words 😦

    • overburdenddonkey

      they’ve captured pension guaranteed credit, already in the pension age escalator by 2020, when the retirement age for all is 66, 67 @ 2028..

    • Lord Bichard has been clamouring these past couple of years for OAPs to be sent on workfare to ‘earn’ their pensions.

  15. something survived...

    I doubt it. If you live in a cardboard box they will find some way to tax, steal or fine it off you. ‘Too affluent and aspirational’.

  16. It’s official then. IDS is a busted flush.

  17. We all have mobile phones. We can record images, film, and record not only the way the bastards talk to us, but the shite they tell us to do. Lets get busy!
    WE ARE WATCHING YOU, and we will bring it to the publics attention at every oppertunity. If you are a social rapist, then be warned.. YOU WILL BE CAUGHT.

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  19. Coming soon – Jobless made to bid like some perverse version of ‘Price is Right’ Cheapest tender wins chance to fill shelves . “Lord Freud also said the Department for Work and Pensions is working up an alternative to restrictive ‘zero hours contracts’, where workers are contracted to an employer but not guaranteed any hours.

    He said: ‘One of the things we are testing is something called “slivers of time”. It is a marketplace for short hours. You would get yourself onto Tesco basic training, so you would be able to work for Tesco. Then Tesco would say “right, we want three hours on Wednesday afternoon – what am I bid?”. That group would say “I’ll do it for £10 an hour, £15 an hour, £30 an hour, whatever, so there would be a marketplace” and we are testing that out.”

    • overburdenddonkey

      this has to be a wind up, “slithers of time”, jobs bid/fight club..fits in with the uc rhetoric though…sit @home on pc, bidding for hours, and pay rates..a few different sets of logalised, ready to go uniforms, that one has to buy, on spec, laid out in one’s spacious accommodation….who are these fcuking emperors?

    • Another Fine Mess

      Wow. I thought it was a wind-up aswell.
      I suppose those who haven’t been given any hours because they didn’t bid low enough will be sanctioned – to make sure that they bid lower next time. It actually makes zero hours contracts even worse. He’s a basket case.

    • ‘From welfare to Tesco-fare’, Corporate Watch, Dec 4 2010

      “The coalition government has revealed its plans to reform the welfare system, which will include an ‘ultra-flexible’ work system that will force people on benefits to sell their labour in ‘small blocks of time’. The government’s decision to throw its weight behind the scheme, which allows people to sign up for work for as little as two hours a week, comes as Tesco announced the opening of its own ‘slivers of time’ scheme for its 340,000 workforce. Any Tesco employee will now be able to sign up for short periods of overtime at their workplace or at any other Tesco store in their area.

      The Slivers of Time enterprise, based in East London, was founded in 2006 by former BBC producer Wingham Rowan through a government-funded programme to create ‘new types of marketplaces’. It is designed to tap into the ‘pool of people’ who cannot work the usual hours expected even of the average part-time employee. Customers include local authorities, primary care trusts, housing associations and increasing number of private businesses. The scheme will be piloted for disabled and lone parents at job centres across Britain from next April, with a view to rolling it into the running of the ‘universal credit’ from 2013”

    • Well, so far, Lord Freud has worked for NuLab, now he works for the ConDem government, will he work once again for ModLab…I think you will find he WILL!!!. You know why, when ModLab get elected NOTHING is going to change.

      We live in an ever continuing criminal enterprise one party state.

  20. “Metropolitan Police ‘stockpiling’ plastic bullets”

  21. Rosemarie Harris

    This should be interesting i am looking forward to it so i hope the jobcentre is warm in winter as i can’t afford the heating at home i am also thinking about the electric i am going to save by not using my computer at home!
    I don’t think the job centers are going to like people using their Toilets or space .I also hope all chairs are the proper ones for people who can’t sit to long without pain. I wonder if you get lunch…. LOL

    • Another Fine Mess

      He’s admitting there’s no paid work, so they’re going to simulate it!

      “That is nine o’clock to five o’clock – 35 hours a week – for up to six months, simulating the working day.

    • There are several points of major consideration with regards these new ideas about making unemployed attend jobcentres every day.
      1. Who decides who must attend? What criteria will DWP staff use to make this determination?
      2. What limits will be placed on the numbers asked to attend at any one given location? Health & Safety considerations mandate a numbers limit
      3.What will these ppl actually do? You cannot have a person spend an entire day sitting at computer searching for jobs(that often don’t exist) all day, every day. So what else will they be doing?
      4. Jobcentres do not have public facilities. No water dispensers. No restrooms (wc) for the claimants.
      The water dispensers is in fact a serious matter as it contravenes a European directive that all places the public use must have drinking water. DWP used to have them for staff, but have removed them as a cost cutting measure. Thus, hey are already breaking European law. DWP should be taken to court over this, and especially as they are fully aware of the directive.
      The restrooms, and recreation areas for having lunch or a tea break, etc, are all in staff only areas.
      DWP staff will certainly not allow claimants to use of these facilities.
      5. How then are claimants going to be able to have access to said restrooms, and be able to take a break of any kind? Many jobcentres are considerable distances from shops or cafes, etc. Are we really to expect claimants to go to these jobcentres and spend entire days without even a 5 minute rest? Not even a free cup of tea?
      6. Many jobcentres serve large geographic areas. IDS has said they are all near by. That ppl will not have far to travel.“We expect them (claimants) to be doing this anyway, even in their own homes” If that is what IDS expects, why call them into jobcentres all day every day? He contradicts himself with that line.
      Glasgow has already seen a reduction in local jbcenters. Folks in Garnethill find they have to go to Maryhill, which is several miles away, to give one city example.
      There is only one jobcenter for the whole of Greenock and Gourock. Many ppl live miles away from these places. Even a short bus journey can cost a lot of money.
      It simply is not possible for anyone on benefit to use bus services on a daily basis and many ppl in outlying areas do not have regular bus or train services to begin with.

      And, regards “community Service” this is for those convicted of criminal offences.
      Unless the law is changed, it will not be legal to make anyone not convicted of a crime attend to community service for anything, and certainly not for benefits.
      Did not the LibDems raise this very point when such ideas were first mooted?
      Or has the LibDems conveniently forgotten that?

      These are not matters of minor importance. Also, the present work programme initiatives are already costing Government up to £1 billion a year. This is certainly a profligate waste of money and for no genuine benefit save to punish poor ppl for not having jobs to go to.
      None of these points raised have been given the slightest thought by the politicians.
      It is therefore left to others including DWP staff and their unions to make it plain to Government these ideas are not only unworkable. Indeed, they are absolutely impossible.

        I wrote that as a general observation. But regards the DWP unions, they have been pretty useless to date. Maybe if they have to share their work places all the day long with the peasants, they might say something.
        Though, I note Gideon say daily to jobcenter, while George Ian talks of “assessment centers” Even the REGIME can’t seem to agree what they are talking about !

      • “4. Jobcentres do not have public facilities. No water dispensers. No restrooms (wc) for the claimants.”

        There’s a sign in my local jobcentre — “No drinks including hot drinks allowed” (strange duality hot drinks not hot drinks ? ) anyway they are not allowed (even hot ones !

        • Another Fine Mess

          Looks like by ‘drinks’ they’re hinting at alcoholic drinks, perhaps half the staff are alcoholics.

      • Exactly. Like most of these “getting tough” threats, it’s a lot of hot air, bluster and scare tactics, cobbled together without working out whether it’s feasible or not.

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  23. wank.

  24. “There’s a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us – the Nasty Party.”

    Theresa May – Oct 2002.

    Have the Tories learned nothing? I guess not! Perhaps Mrs May needs to have a word with her former self!

  25. Babysitting a bunch of jobseekers 9-5? Can’t see it working not in my Jobcentre. They like you in then out, not hanging around using their facilities.

  26. Landless Peasant

    The Tories are full of shit, wind and piss. Nothing but hot air spouted from their anus/gob. They have revealed nothing really new, and bugger-all will come of it, as it’s all unworkable bullshit. They don’t want to spend any money so how can they implement a massive Community Work scheme? Who will administer it? Who will provide the necessary Training, P.P.E. and equipment? What about transport? My local Conservation Volunteers has one mini-bus and can take an handful of people, but not thousands!

    As for 35 hour jobsearch, again, who is going to run it? They need office space/training centres, computers/IT equipment, staff, etc or will this go back to the Work Programme providers? In other words, an extended Work Programme experience for everyone. Either that or just an extended form of New Deal, which was also bollocks.

    If you take the alternative option, as I might, and refuse to participate in either, then presumably your JSA will be sanctioned and you can then claim Hardship Allowance instead? That might be the better option if faced with 35 Hours jobsearch or full-time Community Work. If they order me to attend the Jobcentre daily I’ll go along with it for the laugh, because I can’t see how the Jobcentre can possibly cope with hundreds of extra people every day!

    • I understand your argument, but never underestimate the Tories’ willingness to spend money when they think it’s right – look at the millions/billions thrown at A4e, Serco etc under the Work Programme.

      Who’ll administer the scheme? Well my guess is either the usual suspects (G4S etc) or perhaps the burden will fall on local authorities as part of the “localism” agenda. They’ll find a way if they put their minds to it. Rest assured though the absolute bare minimum will be spent, so expect one shovel per five participants, or people being forced to walk to their local centre to save on the costs of transportation.

      The 35 hour jobsearch will probably end up being like the IAP (Intensive Activity Period) of the old New Deal, with 30 to a classroom sharing five old newspapers and a clapped out old PC running Windows 98 in the corner.

      All of this will be backed up with sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions. If and when this scheme does happen food bank usage, homelessness and even suicides will all go up even further – just as the Tories hope.

    • This is what I was thinking..that it is just the Work Programme extended. Just a punishment / a form of torture even. One cannot spend that amount of time repetitively searching for non-existant jobs without suffering mental problems.

      • There will of course be two computors that will be made available to all that attend. 90 seconds per person, and then to the back room that resembles that of the labour exchange in the full monty.

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  28. Just read this in the recent Private Eye (No. 1349/20 Sep-3 Oct):


    [10] Number of years’ prison sentence
    for benefits cheats being introduced
    as part of ‘unprecedented crackdown’

    [1] Number of the 20 ‘most wanted’ tax
    fraudsters announced in crackdown
    last year that HMRC has actually
    managed to catch

  29. Iain Duncan Smith

    Let me make myself perfectly clear, I wasn’t joking when I said I will haul you lot of good-for-nothing. lazy, work-shy scroungers into the jobcentre every fucking day!


    Let’s break this slavery before it starts!

    You can also email Raquel Rolnik regarding Atos and the WCA and any other issue related to welfare reform. She also wants to know about any experiences that have happened when you have not been allowed or able to speak out, as is your democratic right. I think that the poll tax-styled council tax benefit cuts are also having a dire impact on many people and this would be worth including, too. As would any experience with difficulties accessing legal aid, as that reform also breaches Article 6(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights: the right to a fair trial.

    Raquel Rolnik’s email address is:

    You can also write to:

    His Excellency Mr Ban Ki Moon
    United Nations Secretary-General
    UN Headquarters
    First Avenue at 46th Street
    New York, NY 10017
    E-­mail: sgcentral@un.

  31. I thought I would give you all some light reading.

    Start at the bottom of the link and work your way up.

  32. Can someone square this particular circle for me? There was word that jobseekers would have to travel up to 90 minutes away to sign on, but the means of travel wasn’t defined.Was it intended to be 90 minutes on foot? Or by bike, bus or train? 90 minutes by train for me would mean I’d end up in Dumfries! And this would be every day!How in the name of sanity is this possible?!
    Completely nuts & completely unworkable.

  33. “Cameron’s father was “instrumental” in setting up the Panamanian company, Blairmore Holdings, in 1982, which was exempt from UK tax, when David was a pupil at Eton aged 16.”


    John Anderson
    Jeroen Bos
    Ian Cameron
    Brent Haines
    James Hoar
    Andrew Hunziker
    Daniel Martineau
    Nicholas Peppiatt
    Betty Roberts
    Patrick Smiley
    Andrew Weight”

  34. Fellow sufferers,
    I and many others had to do a similar scheme in 2010 under a terrible company called TNG.
    20 plus decent, intelligent people were crammed into a room for 30 hours per week of meaningless ‘Jobsearch’. We were usually done by Tuesday lunchtime. Most of the staff were either thick or SS campguards!
    We also had to undergo the humiliating task of visiting local companies and asking for work (1930s style). We had to provide proof as well.
    I often wonder whether these schemes are less to do with work and more about crushing our already low spirits.

    • “I often wonder whether these schemes are less to do with work and more about crushing our already low spirits”

      Do you really need to wonder greyhoundsmith? Isn’t the answer obvious?

  35. GK Chesterton once commented that the forces that create slavery never entirely disappear they are always beneath the surface. From 1979 onwards we have been descending to the ‘New Slavery’. And state tyranny to back it up!
    Blair continued Thatcher’s work. He finished off manufacturing. Him and Brown sold over 600 billion in assets in the last decade.
    We should create autonomous zones where we don’t have to be dependent on state or big business.

  36. “Chancellor George Osborne’s disgraced brother has bought a £1million townhouse – even though he doesn’t have a job.”

  37. So, for example, Working Links could get a contract to run a Mandatory Attendance Centre. It then gets claimants in the months prior to them being ready for the Work Programme. Then those claimants are sent to Working Links, same place, on the WP and Working Links get a payment for that as well. This is odious.

  38. I wonder where this will end up. There is a new, vicious vendetta in place against the long term unemployed, so I can only wonder where this will take us. We have a clear trajectory already – squeeze the incomes of the long term jobless via sanctions, now the plan to curtail people’s personal freedom via what they call a Mandatory Attendance Centre, under which they will be subject to expert supervision (these are all IDS’ words not mine). So what next? There are already some pretty strident, though thankfully isolated voices saying the long term unemployed should be stripped of the vote:

    These may be voices in the wilderness, but how long will it be before other more mainstream people start thinking the same way? What all of this means – mandatory attendance centres, community service, and if it happens removal of the vote – is the effective criminalisation of the long term unemployed. The way things are going now I wouldn’t be at all surprised if all this had happened by 2020.


      Where will it end-up? Well, the clear line of direction obviously leads to gas chambers for the unemployed. Call it the ‘Final Solution for Unemployment’! The Tories have clearly been studying the Fuhrers methods though as Tories are apt to do they have forgotten that at least Uncle Adolf PAID people on his workfare schemes!

  39. “Nick Clegg: I’d like to wring the necks of greedy bankers”

    “United Trust Bank has a highly experienced board of directors who are responsible for the growth and development of our business.

    Nicholas Clegg CBE


    Nicholas Clegg, 75, was previously a Director of Hill Samuel & Co Ltd, Co-Chairman of Daiwa Europe Ltd and Chairman of Daiwa Europe Bank plc. He has served as a Director of the International Primary Markets Association and a senior adviser to the Bank of England on banking supervision. As well as other appointments he also served as a member of the supervisory board of Bank Insinger de Beaufort NV and a Director of Insinger de Beaufort Holdings.”


    I also have never been a Labour supporter and whilst I dislike them intensely if this shower of unthinking and unelected cretins stay in office then we may see riots and civil disturbances on a scale we have never seen in this country before. It is abundantly clear the Tories have lost the plot completely. Infact, I am beginning to suspect Cameron, Osbourne and IDS are actually Labour Party supporters who have inflitrated the Tories in order to bring it down permanently such is their ability to hand votes to Labour on a plate.

  41. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    What rumours i have been hearing from some dwp staff i know, is that the government is planning to privatise the job centres, and have them run by a4e/g4s etc it will “create” jobs moving public to private..

    • Eric Greenwood

      I heard awhile back that the WHOLE of the DWP was being lined up to be privatised. Lets face it, it was only going to be a matter of time.

  42. I have written a letter which I intend to email to any potential placement providers in my area who may feel tempted to exploit the unemployed via the chancellor’s Help to Work scheme, so-called. I will know exactly who to contact when he announces more details in his autumn budget forecast. Please feel free to copy and paste.

    In the meantime, I have emailed a copy to Chris Philip. He’s the gentleman, and I use that term loosely, who wrote the Work For The Dole report, which is now government policy. The contact page on this self-satisfied cunt’s website says please feel free to get in touch. So that’s what I’ve done.


    Call: 07996 56 55 54

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I understand that you intend to exploit the unemployed and use them as a source of free labour via the government’s so-called Help to Work scheme. I strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to take part in this scheme. Allow me to explain.

    On the day that Chancellor George Osborne announced the details of his ludicrously named Help to Work scheme, I was attending the Work Programme. I overheard one jobseeker say that if he was forced to take part in this scheme, he would carry out a series of carefully calculated acts of vandalism and sabotage that would end up costing the placement provider thousands of pounds. And furthermore, he made it absolutely clear it would happen in circumstances in which he would escape prosecution.

    Other jobseekers who were listening murmured and nodded their heads in agreement. Let me make it clear I do not condone this kind of behaviour, which I can only describe as reckless and irresponsible. Not to mention illegal as well. However, people who are going to be forced into taking part in this scheme under threat of having their Jobseekers’ Allowance stopped if they refuse will almost certainly harbour a great deal of anger and resentment. Quite how this anger and resentment will manifest itself remains to be seen.

    People don’t want Help to Work; they want work. Paid work!

    Yours sincerely

    jj joop

  43. Given that Duncan Smith was not allowed to announce the Help to Work scheme, I think it’s safe to say he’s been sidelined. He should have gone to Eton and been a member of the Bullingdon club, then he’d be well in. Now he’ll just have to be content to playing Gollum to Osborne’s Sauron.

    Apologies for the Lord Of The Rings analogy.

  44. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    thats an insult … Gollum and Sauron

    • A thousand apologies, my friend. I meant no offence. I have been a fan Of Tolkien for many years. I am currently listening to the radio version on CD, which was adapted by Brian Sibley. I crave your forgiveness, sir. Forgive me, for I am but a worm.

  45. j jonah jameson

    I hate to say this but i liken Duncan Smith to Goebbels, as IDS seems to want to finish his final solution.

    • there will be many young people through no fault of their own just give up like the sick and disabled and die just because of an extreme government

      somthing will have to be done at some point to save the lives of many

      • overburdenddonkey

        the chances of finding work under any of their schemes, is the same if not, worse, than doing so under ones own steam…these schemes only have an impact if there is near to full employment, which clearly their is not…

        • where i live in the south east my 16 year old son will tell you you stay at collage and learn and then off to uni knowing full well that there is no job waiting for you so if at the end of it all you may have to live abroad and fully understands and excepts that view

          as for going to the job centre to claim job seekers allowance neither he or his friends would ever do that so he says they would take whatever work what was on offer either at home or abroad

          my view point is that where there are no jobs in parts of the country young people will just end up mental and kill themselves as David Cameron has no emergency back up plan at this time

          thousands of sick and disabled people have already died prematurely by this government so we all know first hand that this government will kill you by whatever means and at best destroy your family and the lives of the very young children that live within it if necessary

          the bottom line is from IDS is very clear go to work or die and in reality it’s as simple as that

          • overburdenddonkey

            so they create a place so bad, that no one wants to go..

            • the government are Crystal clear in what they wont and will go after all people who are out of work and that is plain to see

              Once they repel the human rights act it the UK will become a very brutal place to be and if this country is to remain fair for all things will need to change big time

              the governments main aim is to shrink the country of vasts amounts of people as it’s so over populated and no other country in the world has ever been successful with such a large population in such a small country

              if we were all of a high standard of education it would still be difficult country to run even Japan struggles today

              to be successful today the government has to go along the lines of china with cheep unskilled labour as no big business will touch the uk with a barge pole as the costs are to high

              there are no easy fixes but to make or force people to do work for free or low paid is not the answer all one can do is to get the best qualifications possible and then leave the uk and put your expertise in to a developing country to make there lives better staying in the UK for most is not the way forward at all and never has been






    11. All the letter actually says which bears on the requirements that must be met in order to qualify for conversion is that “To decide if you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance we need to assess and understand how your illness and disability affects the amount and type of work you could do”. In particular, it is of note that this says nothing at all about the degree to which a persons illness or disability must limit the amount or type of work they could do. As such it does not bear at all on what the requirements for conversion actually are.
    12. It is plain that the purpose of Reg 4(2)(c) is to ensure that a claimant knows about the nature of the test they are to be assessed with so that they can prepare for the examination. A further purpose is clearly to put in legislation a requirement that a claimant has been given a clear and accurate explanation of the process into which they are entering (the anxiety caused to long term ill claimants by the process having been widely anticipated.
    13. As the notice does not do this, it is submitted that the claimant is not a “notified person”. Therefore, the SSWP had no power to make a conversion decision in this case and the tribunal is invited to find that the purported decision is of no effect.



    “To decide if you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance we need to assess and understand how your illness and disability affects the amount and type of work you could do.


    • good point Geoff
      I’m still waiting on my ESA outcome it’s been over a year and I’m still on IB and yes it is stressful and for people like me who have been in receipt of this type of benefit for the past 33 years will always be extremely stressful for the very reason i value my dignity i don’t wont a handout if at all possible as my nature is very dominant in the art of giving and not receiving so mentally I’ve struggled more then most and with my type of mindset it’s been a living hell

      Just to be repeatability told by the DWP on what i can and cant do with them popping round the house at various times of the day over a 33 year period is not something i would wish on anyone
      There’s 2 people in my marriage my wife and the DWP. just imagine 33 years of talking about the DWP it’s no wonder people commit suicide

      when i brought the rope the DWP just took it away and sent the police round the house and told them keep an eye on him and make sure he don’t buy any more rope

      so now i have the police looking in on me to see how I am at least their decent

  47. Oh dear, this would be fun to see.

  48. Pingback: Mass Workfare Begins Next Monday … Or Does It? | the void

  49. Pingback: What a fucking shambles, the rise and demise of Community Work Placements | the void

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