Haven’t We Been Here Before?

Do any of you old enough to remember the 80’s and 90’s have a feeling that we’ve been here before? Do the rising unemployment figures remind you of a time we all thought would never return again? I’m glad I’m not the only one.

I’ll begin with a few quotes from the past:

Labour leader, Michael Foot, said: “When Mrs Thatcher came into office there were five people chasing each job and that was bad enough. Today there are 32 people chasing every vacancy and in some parts of the country, it’s double that.” Michael Foot – January 1982 (Just 3 years after she became Prime Minister)

“I grew up in the ’30s with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking ’til he found it.” – Norman Tebbit – 1981

More recently:

“The North may replace the Romanians in the cherry orchards. That may be a good thing.” David Shakespeare – December 2010

“There was a very good programme the other day that talked about Merthyr Tydfil and the fact there were jobs in Cardiff; But many of them [the unemployed in Merthyr] had become static and didn’t know that if they got on a bus for an hour’s journey, they’d be in Cardiff and could look for the jobs there.”  Iain Duncan Smith – October 2010

They are just snippets. If it wasn’t so late and I didn’t have 3 children to get up with in the morning then I could find more tonight.

Mr Tebbit’s father must have been one hell of a cyclist! I wonder how many times the Tebbit household went hungry while daddy was out on his bike looking for work. I wonder how much his bike actually cost because all the unemployed people I know can’t afford one.

Mr Shakespeare would do well to remember that unemployed people have brains, and dignity and some of us still have our pride. Working in the fields? I suppose he would like us to sweep his chimney while we’re at it would he?

And IDS. Well, we didn’t really expect any better did we? Do you think that he actually knows how much the bus fare is from Methyr to Cardiff? I doubt he does. Out of £65 JSA a week a daily trip to cardiff is likely to lead to a claimant not eating due to the cost! In any case, won’t the people of Cardiff be a bit miffed when they have to commute because all the local jobs have been taken? Travelling for an hour for work from where I live would mean Huddersfield, Pontefract, London, Wales are all prime targets for a job search. Oh dear. Interestingly, you are now required to be available for work, on JSA, with a maximum travel time of 90 minutes. I’m not sure if that’s a round trip or each way. Its ridiculous however you look at it.

The above shows the before and after attitudes of the Tories towards the unemployed. We should get on our bikes, spend an hour on a bus, move our familes to other areas (even though David Cameron himself opposed such an idea a short time ago). We are lazy, ‘feckless’ is the word they really like to use, and irresponsible. It’s all our fault!

It is worth noting that in 1982 there were over 30 unemployed people for every vacancy. Unsurprisingly, when Margaret Thatcher came into power in 1979 there were around 5 unemployed people for every vacancy, a figure that has been used in 2010. Coincidence, or a sign of things to come?

Margaret Thatcher’s administration skewed the figures aswell, don’t forget that. Millions were thrown onto incapacity because they wouldn’t show up on the official figures, as they were deemed unfit for work. Very convenient I’m sure. David Cameron is not following that pattern, he appears to be doing his best to make the figures rise, but it’s not his fault is it? No, it’s ours for being so lazy and ‘feckless’ for not whipping out our magic wands and making all those imaginary jobs magically appear before our eyes! Honestly, for someone with such an expensive education he really does show and immense lack of intelligence sometimes.

I do scour the job sites. There is little point checking the paper because there hasn’t been a single job advertised in our local papers for months, not even a paper round! The only jobs available seem to part time cleaning at minimum wage, temporary warehouse work, usually night shifts, and there are a couple of driving jobs, but you have to have the correct licence for that and the job centre are unwilling to help any unemployed person with that particular problem (I know someone who begged for months for any kind of training and was turned down flat). But remember, that’s our fault, nothing to do with the government. It is also our fault that they are going bananas with the axe, cutting everything they can get their grubby little hands on. I had no idea we were that powerful!

Here’s an amazing, new fangled idea for the government: You could try a scheme that garauntees every unemployed person, who is fit and able to work, a proper full time job. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? You could probably slash the unemployment rate in half. It might take a little investment into the youth of today and the forgotten long term unemployed, but surely it would be worth it to revive a thriving workforce in Britain, wouldn’t it? Oh, silly me, I forgot, they want to introduce a “Work For Welfare” scheme instead, where you work for your JSA. A full weeks work for £65 a week. Well, I suppose that’s a step up from the £15 a week wages my engineer father earned in the 1980’s.


Posted on January 1, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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