nick's blog

How they do it in France - unemployment with respect

Wed, 03/09/2014 - 14:14 -- nick

The UK is one of the worst places in Europe to be unemployed.

Attitudes towards these victims of the country's financial problems and industrial change have been hardening for years, led by politicians and papers desperate to distract people from the fact that it is the richest who have been benefitting most from the downturn.

It is instructive to look across the channel for a comparison; France is a country with about the same number of citizens and around the same-sized economy, and yet its benefit arrangements are very different.

Tory ideas for next election? A business tax giveaway to promote jobs

Tue, 02/09/2014 - 14:25 -- nick

The Tory think tank, ConservativeHome, has published its ideas for a manifesto for the 2015 election, and it could be a template for the government's work and benefits policies next year.

It isn't the benefit-bashing tract you might assume, although that is partly because it has decided not to consider welfare reform as part of employment policy, a welcome departure from the current government's policy which implies that all you need to do to promote work is to make unemployment unbearable.

Why can't you get a good job? Wrong school

Thu, 28/08/2014 - 15:15 -- nick

Alan Milburn's Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has finally released its report into how people's backgrounds affect their lives.

If you have ever wondered why you can't get a top job, it turns out that unless you went to one of a handful of the most expensive private schools in Britain, you stand very little chance of breaking in.

Despite the fact that only 7% of us go to these schools, their ex-pupils make up 71% of top judges, 62% of top armed forces officers, 55% of top civil servants, 53% of top diplomats, and 44% of those on the Sunday Times rich list.

Fake recovery continues - two-thirds of jobs created since 2008 are self-employed

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 16:32 -- nick

The UK's fake recovery continues.

Even as the coalition crows about 'long term economic plans' and 'turning the corner', the truth of the matter is revealed - by the government's own information service.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released information on changes in self-employment, and confirms what we have said for years: the increase is an issue more of desperation than any 'entrepreneurial spirit'.

What does the government think of Dr Who, unemployed man?

Wed, 20/08/2014 - 13:35 -- nick

We are living through an unprecedented time of hatred of the workless, a group that used to receive sympathy for the shock their finances and confidence received.

The government deliberately stokes this, whether through endless speeches highlighting statistically-insignificant benefit fraud, partnering with tabloid newspapers to ensure a constant stream of anti-claimant stories, and describing unlikely scenarios like unemployed people "sleeping away a life on benefits" as if their sanctions system ever allowed such a thing.

Shock as workers' wages turn negative and they follow workless into poverty

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 15:49 -- nick

The latest quarterly unemployment figures have been released today - and show a shock fall in real wages for the first time since the depths of 2009.

Pay fell by 0.2% as employers continue to understand that in an economy in which the unemployed are treated as pariahs, with their tiny income at risk of being removed for no reason, firms can pay what they like as their workers fear the alternative.

'Outraged' Express manufactures fake controversy over unemployed again

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:11 -- nick

The Express has expressed its 'outrage' today about a story it has entirely manufactured.

A group of unemployed people in Bridgend, South Wales, have been offered places on a course which provides an introduction to working in a growth industry, tattooing.

That may seem perfectly reasonable to you, but the fact that the money comes from a Labour-controlled source provides all the fuel the paper needs to go into full splutter mode:



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