Thursday, 16 February 2012

Slave Britain

Arbeit Mach Frei, the Nazis proclaimed above their concentration camps. Well, in 21st century Britain we now have a government offering cheap or even completely free labour to employers using the most vulnerable people imagineable - prisoners, the unemployed, the physically disabled and the mentally ill. And the dying.

No, it is not a sick joke. Cameron and Clegg's Britain has today seen three blows to what little civilised restraint remained among Coalition policymakers.

1. The "Justice" Secretary hosted a seminar for employers on his plans to create 10,000 new jobs in British prisons where employers of all shapes and sizes can boost companies' profitability by in-sourcing their work to jails. Prisoners are exempted from the national minimum wage and have no employment rights. So, anything from call centres to finishing kitchen units will be carried out by prisoners earning less than £1 per hour.

2. Tescos in East Anglia had the audacity to advertise PERMANENT "jobs" paying out of work people - nothing! The jobs were advertised in partnership with the appropriately named "Monster" website. As part of a government workfare scheme, they will continue to get their unemployment benefit - Jobseekers' Allowance - plus unquantified "expenses" in return for working all night. If they turn down the work, their benefits will be cut. Tescos made profits of £1,900,000,000 in the six months to October 2011.

3. And now, sneaking in behind the controversial Welfare Bill, the Government has briefed a range of charities that disabled people will be forced to work for free for charities, public bodies and high street retailers on open-ended work experience placements or face losing their disability benefits. This will include people who are terminally ill with cancer, but assessed as having more than six months left. 

These provisions have been voted through the Commons with the support of nearly all Lib Dem MPs and all voting Conservatives. When disability campaigners objected to the work experience plans on the basis they penalise and exploit vulnerable people, the cold-hearted response was Ministers felt sanctions are an incentive for people to comply with their responsibility.

The terrible, inhumane thinking behind these "schemes" is bad enough. But the fact that the Government feels it has demonised  the weakest people of all in our country to such an extent that it can pursue them so vindictively and so openly and unashamedly is beyond appalling - it is positively chilling. If this is what they are like after 18 months, what about another three years of people with mindsets like theirs running our society?

1 comment:

  1. I am having strange visions of wheelchair users stacking shelves and people using walking sticks and crutches trying to carry boxes to the shelf stackers and sensory impaired people unloading lorries and people with learning difficulties pushing trolleys and brooms around the huge TESCO Stores across the Country...I wonder what will happen to all those people who were initially employed to do those jobs?...I can see TESCO looking on this idea as a good option for their bottom lines, a free work force to replace all their employees and then those employees who were forced out of work also coming back as slave labour...the TAX PAYERS of the UK are going to be helping TESCO SHAREHOLDERS to realise huge profits and then not have to pay any Employer TAXES or NATIONAL INSURANCE or other EMPLOYER COSTS to the TREASURY...what will happen when the TREASURY COFFERS ARE EMPTY?...