Who said it could never happen here? Children are starving on the streets of Britain as the Tory-led Coalition’s hate policies bite ever-more-deeply into the poor [Image: Stoke Sentinel]. British children are sifting through bins left outside houses in search of scraps of food because they are starving, it has been revealed.
But Tories and their supporters in rich London won’t have to look at them – because they are in Labour-held Stoke-on-Trent.
The Stoke Sentinel reported that “Youngsters have been searching through bins in the Hollings Street and Brocksford Street area of Fenton before eating any leftovers.”
It said, “Dozens of hungry families are referred to Fenton’s food bank for help every week.”
What’s really sad about this story is that some of the people interviewed seemed to think the problem was with the mess left behind by these children – youngsters who are, remember, so hungry that they…
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Whoopee ! I have now completed my two-year stint on the Work Programme (WP).
Looking back, my initial reaction is: “what the hell was the point of that ?”
It is pretty difficult to see much point to it, either personally or on a wider level. A 2012 report found that only 18,270 people out of 785,000 people enrolled on the WP had held down employment for six months or more – a success rate of 2.3%.
Given that 5% of the long-term unemployed would be expected to find employment if left to their own devices the WP can be considered less successful than doing nothing at all.
“Less successful than doing nothing at all.” That says it all, really.
Of course it was always doomed to failure, simply because it was based on unrealistic expectations – that the only reason people are unemployed is because they are lazy / stupid / feckless, and all they need is a kick up the arse.
There was a fatal flaw in their plans – simply that there is something like 2.5 million unemployed and only 500,000 vacancieas. You can kick arses until your foot drops off, you still can’t fit a quart into a pint pot.
Mind you, my expectations weren’t very high anyway.
Prior to WP was New Deal (ND), and in this city we had two companies providing it. I had the chance to sample both, and found both to be pretty useless.
When I turned up for my WP induction I amused myself by spotting familiar faces – just about all of the staff in this new organization were formerly with one or other of the two crap ND companies that preceeded it.
And that’s how it works. A new company wins a contract to provide WP or ND or whatever, but doesn’t actually have any staff or premises. So they rent some cheap office space and re-employ all the crap advisers from the failing companies they replaced, and so the vicious circle starts all over again. Its the same old people, same old ideas (or lack of), same old same old…
The new WP provider with all the old faces in our town was called Ingeus. I was never quite sure how it was pronounced (in-ghee-us ? in-jhee-us ?) but it’s a suitably ugly name for an ugly organization.
All these WP providers are for-profit companies, and you, the unemployed, are commodities. You might be the most wonderful, talented, compassionate person but your value to them is purely financial. Get you into a job, any job, get paid for doing so.
Getting paid being by far the most important part from their point of view.
It has been argued that payment-by-results whereby companies only get paid for finding people work has meant that they focus on the “easiest” cases among the long-term unemployed with the most “difficult” effectively sidelined.
The term “creaming and parking” has been used to describe this process. The Department for Work and Pensions have denied that “parking” is an issue, but then they would, wouldn’t they ?
A study by the Third Sector Research Centre at Birmingham University found widespread “gaming” of the Work Programme by private sector providers. They argue that because providers are not paid until an unemployed person has been in work for two years it makes little economic sense to concentrate on the most “difficult cases”. study also found that the largest private sector providers known as “primes” were guilty of passing more difficult cases onto sub-contractors.
Furthermore “parking” means that charities are not getting referrals under the Work Programme as such customers are not considered likely to result in a payment for the provider.
One interviewee told the study:
“It’s not being PC but I’ll just say it as it is … you tend to get left with the rubbish; people who aren’t going to get a job … If the [prime] thought they could get them a job, they wouldn’t [refer them to] someone else to get a job.”
I got parked. At least I assume that was the reason why I heard nothing from Ingeus for a period of 10 consectutive months in the middle of my 2 years. It goes without saying that that was probably my most productive time on the WP.
When I returned it was with a bang…
To be continued…
We get all sorts of rubbish coming through the letter-box nowadays (obviously a growth area, considering the Job Centre vaccancies are dominated by positions for “self-employed” leaflet distributors !). But what we got to day was not just rubbish, it was nasty rubbish…
“Introducing The Northern Patriotic Front” trumpeted the flyer, going on to inform us that the NPF is “a campaigning organization based in the North of England and in Scotland. We firmly believe that the actions of politicians representing the so-called main-stream political parties are destroying our British way of life with the ultimate intent of collaborating in the destruction of our British race.”
You get the idea. It probably wont suprise you to hear that this sad bunch, operating out of a Sunderland PO Box, have been described as having “been set up by a number of disillusionedNational Front members” – disillusioned presumably because the NF aren’t right wing enough.
Its all the usual old rubbish –
“Britain continues to be swamped by immigrants”,
“The white British population will rapidly become a minority and be displaced.”
“White children are being taught to hate their own culture”
You know, as a white British male myself, I haven’t got a clue what this white British culture I’m apparently in danger of losing actually is, and the NPF dont define it, so I guess they dont really know either.
Since the NPF are operating out of a Sunderland adress, it may be instructive to look at some of the statistics for the city from the 2011 census…
The first thing worth noting is that over the period 2001 to 2011 overall, the North East population increased by only 2.2%: the slowest rate in the UK. Not exactly a region being swamped by anyone, let alone immigrants.
Moreover, Sunderland’s population actually declined by 3.2% (neighbouring South Tyneside also fell, by 3.1%). So wherever this alledged swamping is happening, its not in the NPF’s backyard.
But the biggest debunker of this nonsense is the figures of the city’s population broken down by ethnic groups –
Asian / British Asian 2.7%
Black / Black British 0.5%
Evidently those dastardly immigrants are going to have to put in a lot of work before they get to swamp Sunderland !
Of course anyone with half a brain can see through the NPF and their fellow travellers and their agenda of stirring up hate and divide and rule. Still, if you dont have the necessry brain cells and do want to join their crusade, the annual subscription is a tenner. But be warned – not just anyone can join their gang – you have to state that :
*I am 14 years or older
*I am of white parentage
* I am not an illegal drug user
*My spouse/partner is of white parentage
*I am not homosexual
*I am not a member of any other political party
Not just racist but homophobic too. They like to cover all the bases, don’t they ?
You can tell them what you think of them at: NPF, PO Box 1352, Sunderland, SR5 9NE
Or you might want to phone them: 0773 3511 761
And you know the biggest irony ? Their leaflet came through the door along with the usual flyers for pizza places, Indian takeaways, etc . Yes, they were swamped by flyers for “foreign” food, the most obvious and easily embraceable example of multicultural Britain.
Stuff your undefined “British culture”…I’m off for a Chinese.