Never Mind The Labour Party, Come To The Fucking Fuck Parade

fuck-parade3If there’s one thing the British establishment hates more than Jeremy Corbyn it’s us.  From the corridors of power to the boardrooms in the city, they see our class as nothing more than mugs and scroungers who only exist to fatten their wallets.  Work hard and they’ll pat you on the head whilst picking your pocket with the other hand.  Refuse work and the punishment is economic destruction, with every avenue of survival ruthlessly shut down.  And if you can’t work, or find a job, then you will be destroyed as well, as a lesson to everyone else.  Don’t get sick, don’t complain, don’t ask for a pay rise, or you too could become a scrounger – a non-person to be bullied and tormented at will.

But beneath this seething contempt for the poor lies a terror that goes unspoken.  They know all too well that there is more of us than them, and that without our compliance the whole fucking game is up.  That in a heartbeat their mansions, and their assets, and their bank balances, could all disappear like smoke.  It has happened before.

So, as uncomfortable as they may find it, they would far rather tolerate a polite man asking difficult questions in parliament, than face a mob with pitchforks steaming down their leafy streets.  They will bluster and howl about extremism but they know all too well that if things become genuinely turbulent then the likes of Jeremy Corbyn may yet be their biggest chance of survival.  This has been the historic role of the Labour Party, to manage the wrath of the working class and fight on our behalf for things we don’t usually even want.

Whatever your views on recent events one thing is clear.  Escalation is now required on all fronts if we are to end, or even slow down, the onslaught on our living standards.  There will be no concessions to a movement that has no teeth.  Sitting around for five years on the off chance Labour might eventually save us is not an option.  No-one can save us, except us.

On Saturday 26th September Class War will be holding the third Fuck Parade, this time targetting gentrification in Shoreditch, a once working class area of London.  Meet outside Shoreditch Station from 7pm and please help spread the word by sharing the facebook page for the event.

Meanwhile this coming Saturday (19th September) A March Against Evictions is being held in Stratford, East London to mark the second anniversary of Focus E15 campaign.  Meet at Stratford Park, West Ham Lane, from noon, full details on facebook.

In October protests will be taking place in Manchester outside the Tory Party Conference.  I’ll get a seperate post up about these, but for now there’s details on DPAC’s website.

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The Forced Labour Party: The Day That Corbyn (And Half His Cabinet) Voted For Workfare


Almost every new member of Corbyn’s cabinet, including Corbyn himself, voted in favour of the above motion to force unemployed people into temporary jobs – which involve ten hours a week unpaid work – or face benefit sanctions.

Corbyn was joined in his support for forced labour by over half of his new cabinet, including John McDonnell, Andy Burnham, Angela Eagle, Rosie Winterton, and Tom Watson.  London Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan also joined the workfare frenzy as did Green MP Caroline Lucas.  She kept that quiet.  Never trust a hippy.

The vote took place in an Opposition Day debate introduced by creepy (and possibly former) Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms as recently as February this year.  In the debate Timms outlines Labour’s ‘tough plan’ for a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee that “will hold people responsible for accepting work when it is offered.”

These compulsory jobs would be set at the minimum wage and last six months with no guarantee of a real job at the end.  Instead unemployed people would then be expected to “pursue intensive job search” for six months. Appallingly, whilst these jobs would be full time, those forced to join the scheme would only be paid for 25 hours a week – meaning they would be expected to work for ten hours for free.  Labour said that these extra ten hours would be reserved for training, provided by the employer.  Employers like Poundland.  They must think we’re fucking idiots.

Compulsory jobs, that involve 260 hours of work for no wages, are workfare.  Jeremy Corbyn has said he opposes both workfare, and benefit sanctions.  Yet here he was, with all his so-called lefty chums, voting for both.  Not one Labour MP spoke up in the debate about the impact of removing benefits from those who chose not to, or were unable to take up a compulsory job.   Workfare is now so embedded within both main political parties that it no longer even occurs to them to ask what if these sanction backed schemes destroy more lives than they ‘help’.

There is a chance now for Labour to take a step back, admit they were wrong, and consign their support for benefit sanctions to the dustbin of history. Benefit sanctions kill and no amount of fucking job outcomes justify the horror of driving people to poverty, homelessness, ill health and even death in the hope of catching a scrounger.  The impact of sanctions are just the same whether applied by a leering Tory or a Labour do-gooder who’s convinced themselves that forcing people into poverty paid work under the threat of destitution is some kind of help.  If this weekend’s events represent real change then it time for Labour to call for benefit sanctions to be scrapped, without exceptions.  Otherwise, for unemployed people at least, then Corbyn’s victory is little more than meet the new boss, same as the fucking old one.

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If Jeremy Corbyn Is The Limit Of Our Imagination Then We Are Truly Fucked

spoilt-ballotJeremy fucking Corbyn.  Seriously?  It’s like finding out your old geography teacher just got made leader of the Labour Party.  The one you half remember, and then only because of that time he cried because some kid pissed in his slippers on the school camping trip.

If Jeremy Corbyn is the limit of our political imagination then we are well and truly fucked.  He might well be a nice bloke, but he is Labour to his core and the Labour Party have long been enemies of the kind of mass working class self-organisation that is needed if there is to be any meaningful change in our lives.  It is only a sign of how much ground we have lost that Corbyn is considered radical at all.  And as for those around him, well there will be no pleasure in watching him be kicked to death by his own side but that is what they will attempt to do.  Should he manage to stagger on for the next five years he will be so beaten down and stained by compromises that it will be a very different Corbyn who stands in the next general election.

That doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom, not by a long way.  Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves has gone already and good fucking riddance.  As have her Oxbridge chums Yvette Cooper and Tristram Hunt.  But there are vermin waiting in the wings, including the rumoured return of Liam Byrne.  Remember him?  Probably not, but he’s a cunt.

It will be where Corbyn stands on social security that will show the kind of direction that Labour is really about to take.  He has rightly condemned the Work Capability Assessment and claims to back groups like DPAC and Boycott Workfare who have taken action against welfare reforms.  But he has also voted for Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, although admittedly as part of a package of measures.  Nice bloke then, shame about the workfare.  If Corbyn means what he says then Labour’s policy must be for an unconditional social security system.  No more workfare and no more sanctions.  And doctors and their patients deciding who is fit for work, not bureacrats at the DWP and Maximus private health sharks.

Since 2010 there has been a resurgence in collective direct action and grassroots campaigning that has won real results.  Whether property developers chased out of buying up housing esates and hiking rents or private companies like Atos handing back lucrative contracts in the face of widespread protests, politics has happened on the streets, estates, universities and workplaces.  If that energy and anger is now sucked into the Labour Party political machine it will be a disaster.  Corbyn himself could have a role to play in stopping that happening, but the temptation of the old left to control and dictate resistance will need to be hard fought.

An alternative is that Corbyn’s victory could ignite exactly the kind of struggle which is needed.  That we see this not as the road to a Labour government but as a sign that there is genuine hunger in the UK for change.  If half of the people who have attended Corbyn’s rallies had taken militant and disruptive action against workfare, the Bedroom Tax, or any of the raft of welfare reforms then they would have been stopped in their tracks and Iain Duncan Smith would be unemployed.  That’s not a whinge by the way, just a reflecton on what could be achieved if this weekend’s events are used as a springboard to create a radical working class movement with real teeth.  That cannot happen within the Labour Party, party politics is the road to defeat.  But it can happen and then we won’t need a party at all, we can do politics for ourselves.

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Male Applicants Only! The Government’s Job Seeking Website Is Still Breaking The Law

UJ-male-onlyOver a dozen job vacancies on the government’s job seeking website are advertising for male only teachers in Saudi Arabia in breach of UK recruitment laws.

The teaching vacancies, which ask for “MALE Applicants only”, appear on the DWP’s Universal Jobmatch website, the scandal hit online recruitment service run by Monster Jobs which unemployed people are bullied into using by Jobcentres.

In an embarassment for the government these vacancies have come to light on the same day that the DWP published a Privacy Impact Assessment for the website outlining how potential employers using the site are vetted.

Previously any dodgy bastard could post a job advertisement to Universal Jobmatch with barely any checks on whether they were a genuine employer.  This led to a predictable series of spoof vacancies along with many outright scams.  In order to prevent this the DWP have said that staff now check the first advert placed for each new employer.  Yet as these vacancies show, that hasn’t worked.

The problem is that most of the job adverts are automatically generated from other recruitment sites, meaning there is little real checking of whether the positions are genuine or legal.  These ‘male only’ teaching jobs have been harvested from but originally came from the employment agency Alderwood Recruitment. currently have over 40,000 other vacancies posted on Universal Jobmatch.

Alderwood Recruitment boast that they also specialise in hiring staff for the fraud-ridden welfare-to-work sector.  Says it all.

If you are required to sign up to Universal Jobmatch you still do not have to tick the box giving the DWP access to your account and can untick the box giving them permission to send you emails.  You should only be forced to use the website in Jobcentres.  To save time when using the site you can  download Universal Automation.

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Threatened With A Benefit Sanction For Going To Hospital? Now It’s Government Policy

sanction-hospitalStaff working for welfare to work companies are being advised to threaten benefit claimants with a sanction if they are unable to attend work related activity due to an emergency hospital appointment.

The above paragraph comes from the guidance handed out by the Department of Work and Pensions to the companies running the Work Programme* instructing them when to refer claimants for a benefit sanction.  According to the department, it may be possible for a claimant to re-arrange mandated activity without facing a sanction, however it warns: “not taking compliance doubt action and allowing a participant to arrange an alternative appointment on a number of occasions weakens the link between cause and consequence.” 

It then goes on to say that even if the claimant has an emergency hospital appointment, staff should process a sanction if they have ‘any doubt’.  Whether this means doubt over whether the appointment is genuine, or doubt over whether somebody arranged a medical emergency to get out of workfare is unclear.

According to te DWP sanctions should only be handed out if a claimant has previously given the same, or similar reasons for re-arranging mandated activity.  But chillingly, these rules are not just aimed at people who are unemployed, but also sick and disabled claimants in the Work Related Activity Group – exactly the type of people who might have a lot of hospital appointments.

Welfare-to-work companies do not make the final decision on sanctions – that responsibility lies with the DWP.  If evidence of a medical appointment can be provided by a claimant to the Jobcentre then it is almost certain no sanction would be imposed.  But that doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that welfare-to-work dickheads are now being given a green light to threaten people with benefit sanctions if they are unable to attend mandated activity due to health reasons or other emergencies.  And where it counts, on the front line, that will mean scared claimants missing medical treatment so they can go and work for no pay in the local Salvation Army fucking charity shop.

*This guidance only applies to claimants on Universal Credit who have been referred to the Work Programme, which is currently probably about six people.

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It’s Never Been More Important To Ask What’s Wrong With Work

work-makes-meIf work was really so fucking wonderful then nobody would resent people living on meagre unemployment benefits.  It might even be seen as a noble and selfless thing – to give up the wonderful opportunity that work offers – so that another can bask in the joys of daily toil.

The truth, that now goes almost unspoken, is that hardly anyone wants to go to  work.  Nobody who wins the lottery really carries on working in ASDA.  For those at the lower end of the jobs market work is a shit deal – poverty pay for a lifetime of monotonous and often back-breaking labour.  That is why the entire apparatus of the state is now being mobilised against those who can’t find work, or worst of all don’t want it.  To be unemployed, or workless, is now akin to being a criminal.  And if the economy doesn’t provide enough jobs, then that is the fault of the worker, for not working hard enough.

The capitalist class regards us all as nothing more than thieving scroungers, ever ready to skive if we are given half a chance.  And it is not the payment of benefits that really irks the rich – it is the refusal to put our human capital – our minds and bodies – into their service that enrages them.  How dare we not work to fatten their wallets.

As wages and working conditions decline then unemployment will be seen as an ever greater sin.  The Victorian workhouse principle of ‘less eligibility’ – meaning the life of somebody unemployed must be less eligible (more shit) than the life of the lowest paid worker – must be maintained.  The screw is being tightened for everybody and as benefits shrink so will wages.  It is more important than ever that we start to question what’s wrong with work.

An evening at the Wellcome Collection in London will be doing just that this Friday 4th September.  This will form part of the free Friday Late event at the museum which will explore noise, tumult, rest and relaxation.  The organiser’s say:

Fed up with work? Don’t want to work? Actually hate work? Maybe work isn’t ‘good for you’. Explore and express what’s wrong with work: record your thoughts on tape, do a video or write a post card to your boss, the Chancellor, your work mates telling them what you think. Or just start a debate with the person next to you about everything and anything that’s wrong with work.

You can tweet about what’s wrong with work using the hashtag #wrongwithwork.  The Friday Late will run from 7-11pm at The Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE.  Nearest station Euston, for accessibility information visit their website.

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How The DWP Is Trying To Hide Even More #fakedwpstories


Click to enlarge.

Panic seems to have set in at the DWP after the department was caught out making up case histories to justify the use of benefit sanctions leading to the hashtag #fakedwpstories.  With Iain Duncan Smith promising heads will roll for the blunder – but not his own of course – the DWP now seems to be carrying out a purge of previously published propaganda.

One victim of that purge is a bloke called James, who had been drafted in to explain how Universal Credit will make work pay in a handy infographic.  Unfortunately James has now been disappeared with a notice saying ‘We are reviewing this publication.

The only reason James’ disappeareance has come to light is because evey time the DWP updates a document it is automatically republished as new on their website – which is a real pain in the arse just by the way.

Luckily, as can be seen above, the ghost of James lives on in google’s cache (be quick).

If only we could rewrite history to not include Iain Duncan Smith this easily.

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