February 18th, 2012

In Praise of Workfare

“Boycott Workfare is a UK-wide campaign to end forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare” says the new campaign website. They’re planning UK Uncut style occupation of retail stores participating in the schemes. The schemes include DWP organised Work Experience, the Community Action Programme, Sector Based Work Academies and Work Programme placements. The left-wing rhetoric claims that this is exploitative slave labour for big business.

Slaves are forced to work for no return, workfare is what Ed Miliband might describe as “something for something”, long term unemployed young people without work experience, who are on benefits, are given work to do as a condition of continuing to receive those benefits. Is that so unfair?

Millions of working taxpayers on low incomes will think not. Cait Reilly was asked to work for three weeks at Poundland, doing five hours a day. Not too onerous. The 22 year-old graduated last year with a BSc in geology from Birmingham University. She had claimed £53.45-a-week Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) since last August and was asked by the Job Centre to work at Poundland. She objected and left-wing lawyers argued in the courts that her human rights were violated by being asked to sweep floors and stack shelves.

She got a chance to get some real world work experience, in the kind of job millions of less privileged, less educated taxpayers do every day. The people who work to pay taxes to pay her to be on the dole are the ones who are forced to slave.

There are two easy ways to boycott workfare; get a job or stop claiming benefits. When people say “there are no jobs appropriate for me” they’re really saying they don’t want to do readily available jobs. Walk around London and you’ll hear a lot of foreign accents, Poles digging the road, Latvians serving sandwiches, it seems like almost every entry level job is being done by East Europeans. The fact is many Britons don’t want to work hard for low pay.

Guido’s first proper job (after working in Westminster) was as a ticket clerk in a City brokers. Aged 25, earning just above minimum wage, overdrawn at the end of every month. Poring over spreadsheets for most of the day was pretty soul-destroying, running from dealing desk to back office with illegible tickets at the beck and call of screaming brokers, it was pretty lowly. It was also an opportunity. Chatting to the older brokers, trying to be helpful, showing willing. To get up at 5.30 in the morning for near minimum wages month-after-month is to believe that you can progress. One crazily busy day during the ERM crisis while waiting for a broker to get off the phone, a short-staffed head dealer holding two phones to his ears and looking at a bank of flashing lines, shouted to Guido “pick up that line”.

Mrs Fawkes worked three jobs in her summer holidays every year for three years, cleaning in the mornings, waitressing in the afternoons and babysitting in the evenings to pay her way through law school.  You have to start at the bottom.

If you want to boycott workfare, fine, get a job. If you are young there are plenty of entry level jobs for those who want to work. Take a job, any job. No matter what your qualifications, you have to start somewhere, however lowly, it is better than making other people slave to pay you dole.


  1. 1
    pintandapisstheorist says:

    Socialists will always get it right ………….. next time!

  2. 2
    Alan Wyllie says:

    Dear Lord.. Guido, I expected better tbh.

  3. 3
    Tuscan Tony says:

    UK Uncut: politic’s South pointing compass.

  4. 4
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Well said. Anyone on benefits should be made to contribute to society after a grace period, for example three months after they first sign on. It could be picking litter, scrubbing graffiti or proving you’re “work ready” with a job in a supermarket.

    These policies are vote winners and expose Labour lining up with scroungers, just like they did when they tried to block the £26,000 benefit cap.

  5. 5
    Alan Wyllie says:

    Capitalism depends on people being in paid for their employment.

    Why should the taxpayers pay for Tesco’s employees?

    Should it not be that the state stays out of it?

  6. 6
    Grommit says:

    Spot on. It is not working for free. It’s working for your benefits.

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    Sorry Guido, but if I were you I’d delete this post, sober up, and write another.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    With the greatest respect Guido, you’re first job was still a proper one, being paid by your employer. My first job was working as a labourer for 45p and hour, but a start, and not unusual for the time. People aren’t expecting to start jobs at £500 a week, but what they do want is to be paid for their efforts. You’re an employer, and have been an employee, and you’ll know that whatever else you may ask, or be asked, the one thing you don’t mess about with is someone’s money. So if Tesco want people stacking their shelves at night, pay them the going rate, after all, under this scheme, there is no incentive for the companies to actually take people on, if the government pays them instead.

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    Too much dope. You’re in the wrong country. And in the wrong century, for that matter.

    Where the fuck is a job in Poundland stacking shelves going to lead?

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    I would’ve thought, given that Guido considers himself a Libertarian, he would be opposed to what is effectively a subsidy.

  12. 12
    lola says:

    Nope. Tesco’s do not ‘need’ these people at all. It is a cost to employ them, paid or not. What Tescos (or me for that matter) are/will do is to get someone familiar with what ‘working’ means.

  13. 13
    Rh- says:

    if there’s three things that labour and the left have taught us … its “entitlement entitlement entitlement”!

  14. 14
    Space_1999 says:

    An eloquent piece by Guido, and one that reflects my own experience.

    It seems one lesson you’re not taught at school these days is that you start at the bottom. You’ll never get a good job without doing a bad one first.

    Instead we’ve got a ‘rights’ and ‘entitlement’ culture that paradoxically harms kids’ ability to ever get on in life. Thanks Gordon Brown and New Labour, it’s another part of your poisonous legacy…

    Meanwhile all those Latvian street sweepers will be employing the likes of Cait Reilly in ten years’ time, as they invest their money and ideas in their own businesses and need staff to progress. Meanwhile the likes of her – if she ever gets a job at all – will be moaning about low pay and unfairness.

    What a life!

  15. 15
    Non believer says:

    Guido Fawkes is bob Crowe for corporations. Tax payer funded free workers for tescos?

    Another death penalty style brain fart.

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    Was the minimum wage really in existence when you started work Guido? Geology graduate? Maybe she just wants a job she is properly qualified for… Like breaking rocks…

  17. 17
    DuffMeister1965 says:

    I have no issue in people starting at the bottom for a fair wage; I have been in constant employment since I pumped petrol at the age of 11 for 40p an hour. My concern is that big business is profiting at the expense of the taxpayer. If they are receiving the benefits, let them pay the wages.

  18. 18
    Space_1999 says:

    To a full time paid job.

    And then to a better full time, better paid job.

    And with this the chance to be a member of society, take part, do something with your life.

    If you need to ask this question, you just don’t get it, do you?

  19. 19
    JH says:

    But you’re not him, are you.

    You are probably some self righteous leftie in a nice little public sector sinecure, carefully surrounded by multiple layers of bureaucracy which exist only to obfuscate your uselessness and insulate you from those evil Tory cuts.

    In other words, you are fuck-all except part of the problem.

  20. 20
    roy says:

    it will teach you what its like to get up in the morning and do a job. that might lead you to getting skilled up or educated so you don’t have to do it.

    we’ve all done shit jobs (my generation anyway) – it makes you value education.

  21. 21
    Jess The Dog says:

    Wrong, but I appreciate where you are coming from.

    1. It’s not benefit claimants talking about a boycott. It is shoppers and normal people with jobs talking about a boycott. We spent our weekly shopping budget at Sainsburys, who walked away from the scheme.

    2. Work experience is good, low-paid work is often necessary (and character building) but workfare creates a false and exploitative economy. Cait Reilly is a self-indulgent bad example. Three weeks of having a job – any job – is good on a new graduate’s CV and (as a senior professional) I would automatically employ someone who had done any work above someone who had done none. However, it takes no more than 2 weeks to learn how to do most low-skilled jobs (getting out of bed, timekeeping, following instructions, working reasonably hard) and anything beyond this is unnecessary. Tesco know fine well what they are doing, aiming to cut their costs and improve profit margins by using government slave labour to stack shelves, and sacking properly-employed workers… who will simply end up stacking shelves for state benefits. Low-skill minimum wage jobs are a vital part of the economy, shunted aside in our quest for “growth” and should not be treated in this way. They pay the bills of millions of people who happily lack qualifications, who put family before career, who are looking for a job more suited to their skills, or are paying their way through education.

    3. This is doubly exploitative as the private-sector employability industry takes the piss. They are rubbish, they shuffle people from placement to placement and they just rake in the cash, cooking the books, shafting those they are meant to help and also the taxpayer.

    4. This isn’t just a Tory thing. Labour did this for most of the last decade: taking unemployable young people and shuffling them from pointless course to pointless course, to get them off the books. It is bollocks!

    Fair enough, make people get jobs rather than claiming benefits, but pay them the going rate. Workfare will be killed off through boycotts, but not by the usual suspects – this has angered most wage-earning tax-paying people I know!

  22. 22
    pooh to you says:

    having been there, the first question in job interview for a sales job “what experience do you have of retail?”

    waster who doesnt get out their bed: err … none!
    employer: NEXT!

    person who actually did workfare: I worked for 5 weeks at XXX initially just stacking shelves but what with illness and holidays, I got experience of A B C and I was volunteering to do D when my time ended.
    employer: So you feel you can take on more responsibility do you?

  23. 23
    roy says:

    its not a subsidy to tesco. they really don’t want these people. if they did they’d pay them. every one they take on needs looking after and that costs more than they’ll ever make from them

  24. 24
    Legion says:

    Yes well the left are always on the side of the feckless, lazy, criminal, selfish and scum.

  25. 25
    lola says:

    I’ll see you paid job, GF, and raise you direct selling. I was laid off from my draughting job with no other similar opportunities locally, with enough cash for three months to support my wife and two children and a mortgage. I needed to earn quickly. I did not sign on. Nope, joined Everest (excellent well organised and disciplined company when I was there). All my sales were generated by me knocking on doors. Average cold call contact 199 per week over the whole time I was there. That’s hard work. Today, now, when I employ ‘salespeople’ very very few of them have any idea at all how to generate business. So, knowing what I know I have almost zero sympathy for anyone on the dole, especially that smug wench with the geology degree. Love, go and and ‘knock some fucking doors’, you WILL find a job.

  26. 26
    Are you serious? says:

    Maybe a job at another supermarket. Where you could then be promoted to a team leader and maybe a manager. I used to work at a shop, and the Manager there had started at 16 and worked his way up.

  27. 27
    roy says:

    if she was qualified for a job she would get one. if nobody needs a recently qualified geology graduate she can either wait on the dole, work or do more study.

  28. 28
    Durr says:

    +1. Crap Guido.

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    Where the fuck is a job in Poundland stacking shelves going to lead?

    My son in law started out stacking shelves in Tesco. He is now a Manager of another High St. chain. No effort, no reward.
    Where the fuck is signing on every week going to lead?

  30. 30
    inside- out says:

    I wont to werk 9-5 for £500 aweek,an iv I get pissed at a parti on fursday nite I dont hav to werk the nex day.Its my right innit.

  31. 31
    Tuscan Tony says:

    Are you saying “Anonymous” is in fact Ed Miliband?

  32. 32
    David says:

    Anonymous always missing the point….” where is stacking shelves going to lead..” such a narrow view, I guess the leftie handbook should show the way so the individual can continue to absolve any personal responsibility for shaping their lives. Actually shelf stacking ( or low skill jobs per se ) leads to discipline, understanding team work, providing some framework of life skills and of course building a useful network for that next move.

  33. 33
    Andrew says:

    Well, I’m public sector, not self-righteous, not a leftie, and certainly not in a sinecure; and Guido is spot on. Public sector employees pay taxes too (yes, I know, a few have been dodging; the great bulk of us are on PAYE and that’s the end of it) and I am sick and fed up of subsidising NEETS, all of whom should be doing something useful. And failing that something useless; I don’t care if they whitewash coal or dig a hole and fill it in again, I want them turning up, day by day, for a stated number of hours, and working.

  34. 34
    MacGuffin says:

    What a load of horseshit.

    I do not want my taxes to subsidise Tesco et al.

    If all the low-level jobs in London are taken by East Europeans, then perhaps it is time to send some of them home so as to increase wage levels.

  35. 35
    We''re all in this together scam says:

    Nobody is arguing about working for minumum wage etc but retailers and firms (and it has to be said politicians)are taking advantage of the present high proportion of young unemployed,,the fact is that if you are being used to serve in a shop;stack shelves or work in a Tesco Depot on night shift you may well be gaining work experience but equally you are fulfilling a function that presumably is required by the employer and you are contributing to the profitability of that employer(by keeping wages bill less and thus avoiding them having to pay overtime to paid workers).You should therefore be paid. This bollocks about working to gain experience is all very well but people should be expected to be paid for contributing to a large organisation like Tesco’s profits;bonuses for the bosses and share holder dividends…..and that they are not that is a national scandal

    PS. And I do not belong to a union; I have never belonged to a union I do not work in the public sector,never have worked in the public sector or vote or have ever voted Labour but I say to Cameron et al that I know what’s fair and this whole process stinks….employers and government are just taking the piss out of desperate young unemployed

  36. 36
    Fuct says:

    “it is better than making other people slave to pay you dole”

    Erm.. The people who are forcing “us” to pay for “them” are the fat cat fuckers in government who are too busy lining their own pockets and those of their cronies to properly sort out a fair tax regime and get rid of the pool of “unemployed” which allows businesses to pick and choose and pay such low wages.

    “long term unemployed young people without work experience, who are on benefits, are given work to do as condition of continuing to receive those benefits. Is that so unfair?”

    * Introduce a £10 per hour minimum wage = no need for tax credits or armies of civil servants to process collections, claims and payments of said.

    * Cap private rents to get rid of the buy to let bubble speculators = affordable housing.

    * No income tax for anyone earning less than 50% of average wage = more money spent in the economy.

    * Drop VAT back to 10% = massive economic stimulus.

    Is *that* so unfair ?

  37. 37
    Some Geezer wot can't always get what HE wants, either says:

    They make Her Majesty work for the allowance she gets; why is it infra dig for anyone to take a job of which they are physically capable? Have these claimants never heard of a stagecoach station owner named Hobson, a few centuries back?

  38. 38
    Gordon Brown says:

    I’ve got a great job. I get paid a salary to be an MP and I never turn up to work.

  39. 39
    smoggie says:

    OK then explain why you don’t agree?

    Doing a menial job is better than sitting at home with your feet on the table. It helps yourself, it helps others and it even looks better on a CV.

    If as an employer I saw that a person was not too proud to roll up his shirtsleeves and do some graft then he would get preference over someone who felt his human rights are being abused.

  40. 40
    Durr says:

    JH, you are an opinionated twat – and quite wrong.

  41. 41
    Tachybaptus says:

    Pouring what over spreadsheets? Tea, glue, tears?

  42. 42
    Alan Douglas says:

    … and almost every one of those Poles and Latvians when asked says yes, they have a degree.

    Alan Douglas

  43. 43
    durr brain watch says:

    Why don’t you fuck off and get some sleep, you need to sign on early Monday morning, you cuпt.

  44. 44
    Anonymous says:

    Blimey, 5 hour days? That’s fairly strenuous after a degree nowadays. No wonder she thought her human rights were being violated.

  45. 45
    smoggie says:

    No, there is incentive to take more on.

  46. 46
    Greychatter says:

    Young people with no work experience are subsidized by their fellow workers, until they start to pull their weight.

    Whether it’s in Poundland or running around a city brokers office it’s a start to earning your own living. Expecting other workers to pay you a subsidy (“Dole Money”) for having some obscure qualification is no excuse for not working.

    Experience is more valuable than qualifications.

    Some of the “Thickest” people we come across in life are the highest qualified.

    The most valuable qualification in life is the C.S. diploma – Common Sense.

    Get a job – any job and start your experience with education repaying the people who paid for your life at Uni.

  47. 47
    Hava Nagila says:

    This isn’t workfare. This is the taxpayer subsidising Tesco.

    This is money being taken out of my pocket to pay workers so that Tesco doesn’t have to.

    This isn’t workfare; it’s welfare for the companies participating.

    I don’t understand how anyone can support this scheme without being a socialist.

  48. 48
    JH says:

    The problem is that most current school/university leavers have spent their formative years having their skulls filled with left-wing cultural Marxist crap, and are qualified to do approximately fuck all of any practical use.

    They none-the-less regard themselves as ‘highly educated’, and assume it entitles them to a comfy sinecure well up the food chain in the local authority, or some other public sector pseudo-job.

    Hard, low-skilled work? Pah! That’s for the little people who read The Sun. At least they usually vote Labour – if they know what’s good for them, eh comrades?

    My first job was shovelling rotting kidney beans into a skip from under a giant hopper. Fucking hard, smelly work, but it paid for my first proper computer on which I began to train myself to be able to produce a wide range of media, which people now voluntarily pay me to produce. Funny, that.

  49. 49
    lying Politician says:

    Great IDEA. The more that work for FREE. They wont be paying TAX. That will f-ck the economy more quickly and will reduce our abiltity to pay the DEBT owing to the international banking system, the supporters of, Racism, Feminism and all the other ism’s designed to divide the Human race.
    The sooner this corrupted economy is broken the better. Borrowing Trillions to prop up this croc of Sh-t Public sector Pensions, Police State apparatus War mongering and economic terrorists, the sooner the better.

  50. 50
    Guido you plonker says:

    Guido, there wasn’t a minimum wage in the early 90s.

    Are you saying the woman told to work at Poundland shouldn’t get minimum wage? You really are starting to sound like a fuckwit.

  51. 51
    fuck off alan you lazy bastard says:

  52. 52
    Hang and Flog says:

    Provided the hours worked are low enough that benefits/hours is at least the minimum wage, and it is not used by employers as an excuse to cut, or fail to appropriately expand, their permanent workforce (i.e. is a reasonable facsimile of work experience) then I see no real problem with it.

  53. 53
    Len Lottery says:

    Quite so. If only Guido employed a decent sub from the ranks of the unemployed, this might have been corrected to “poring”.

  54. 54
    Jess The Dog says:

    Make people get jobs by…

    1. Making it pay more to work than to claim benefits. Currently it doesn’t, especially as many people in low-wage jobs work part time (sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle is full time). Match the income of a low-wage part-time job rather than paying benefit.

    2. Formally reward initiative. Someone claims the dole and cleans windows on the side for £50 a week? Great! Give the guy a medal. At least he is doing something.

    3. Make it easier to work. To be a window-cleaner you need a council licence, you need insurance, you probably need risk-assessment, first aid and diversity training, you need to fill in a tax return. No wonder it is easier to stay at home.

    4. Unleash social capital. In future there will be fewer jobs. Government focus at all levels is on employment related to productivity. Those in jobs deemed unproductive will struggle on their income and may lose their jobs. The government doesn’t really care about unskilled work, despite its vital role underpinning the economy, and if it can be done cheaper overseas and imported, then that’s what will happen. Is it worth paying another generation – the fourth or fifth – to sit at home? Or why not give them something for doing something, without any illusions about the job market. Community work, whitewashing coal, painting the grass green, whatever can be done that perhaps needs done and doesn’t attract investment… as long as it doesn’t impact on the low-skilled jobs market (ie. stacking shelves)

    5. Lead by example. Why should MPs get subsidised lunches, expenses and not be means-tested on additional income? Why should council chief executives get bonuses and six-figure salaries (not just bankers!). Why should civil servants be allowed to pay themselves as “companies” to dodge tax? Sod them all! Until these wrongs are rectified, so-called “tax fraud” and “benefit fraud” is just the same as what Robin Hood did in the stories.

    Take an example…HMRC: “9 ghost plumbers arrested” while most of the senior civil service dodge tax with official sanction, Vodaphone and others pay next to nothing in tax, and the contemptible boss of HMRC chases every lunch and freebie on offer. I’ll pay cash for my window cleaning, thank you very much, no receipt required.

  55. 55
    JH says:


    Rolling your eyes and saying “it’s obvious” does not constitute an answer. Go on, carefully state your case. I dare you.

  56. 56
    Regular Commenter says:

    Without wishing to sound like a remake of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch, I left school with no meaningful qualifications, and although from a middle class background was only able to find employment in a sand quarry as a lump picker. For those of you unfamiliar with that noble profession it meant standing by a conveyor belt in an opencast quarry picking off lumps of sandstone 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. All weathers, including when snow was falling and burying me in flakes. I however persevered and after 6 months of not complaining and doing the job I was approached one day in the portacabin by one of the office staff who said I should report to work at the main processing plant as i had been “identified” as having potential to train as a skilled plant operator. After a few months of learning that trade I noticed I was included in the quarterly tour of main board directors from Cheshire who all wanted to see the chap who did the Times crossword in his breaks. After that I was put on the management training course, and a year into that I realised that the apex predators in the business were driving mid sized family saloon company cars. I then made a list of the 5 things things I wanted to do, arbitrageur (really) at the top, Lloyd’s insurance broker at the bottom. I got an interview on the 4th job I applied to, got the job as a lowlife erk (similar to Guido), and 5 years later was a director of the division with a funky company car and loadsamoney. 4 years from then I was group chairman of my own underwriting agency businesses.

    So, I do get a tad ticked when people say “what future is there in working at Poundland?” when their present circumstances are the utterly futile exercise of staying at home watching daytime TV, all funded on the backs of the efforts of others.

  57. 57
    S Penketh says:

    When I graduated in geology from the Victoria University of Manchester I had to go working in Ireland as a freelance Geologist I also ended up working in Spain and France other mates went to Canada and Australia for work experience. Why can’t she?

  58. 58
    Anonymous says:

    I despair. This an excellent scheme to get people back into work. What is wrong with working for in return for benefits. The problem is that we have millions of people that have got used to a very cushy life on benefits. The byproduct of this that the country is being filled up with immigrants who are willing to work. A ridiculus state of affairs, encouraged to excess by the last Government. What a disaster Blair & Broon were!

  59. 59
    stating the case says:

    He’s a nut case.

  60. 60
    But Ive got a degree and Im so much better than you says:

    Truth is this snooty snobby cow thinks working in a shop is beneath her. Her lawyers are equally as snobish. Sums the left up to a tee

  61. 61
    First Time Caller says:

    No one is saying that the problem is that people are expected to earn their benefits, or that work schemes could get people back into the habit of getting up and doing a job, whilst gaining something to put of their CVs.

    The problem is that these companies will never be inclined to take on people to do this style of work if they can get them from the Government programme for free. The Government in turn is subsidising the profits of multi-billion a year companies, with tax payer’s money.

    I for one don’t want to think that my money is going towards allowing Poundland and Tesco the opportunity to increase their profits without having to generate jobs in the economy.

  62. 62
    Anonymous says:

    Good article.

    There just doesn’t seem to any recognition that if you are going to have career progression, you need to start at the bottom, whatever the trade. Just on the supermarket example – if you demonstrate you excell in stacking shelves, and more importantly show you turn up to work on to time, work hard, and go the extra mile (eg being helpful if a customer asks where something is), then the prospects for gradually moving up the ladder until you end up as store manager are pretty good.

    Or if you don’t want a permenant career in retail, the chances of eventually getting on in whatever career you want are going to be far better if your CV shows that instead of sitting at home doing nothing because you couldn’t instantly get your dresm job you’ve gone out and done some work, any work.

  63. 63
    Anonymous says:

    Well said sir. The best reply yet to the twatty leftie troll posting bullshit on here.

  64. 64
    Distraught master & commander says:

    Reasonable return on dividend for tesco shares better than premium bonds-buy some then

  65. 65

    As a Libertarian, I am wholly against this system. Why should a shelf stacker on minimum wage be PAYING Tesco to take some dole monkey who will work along side him via his taxes?

    I see no difference between state subsidised jobs in either the private or the public sector.

  66. 66

    How, exactly, is stacking shelves for Tesco “contributing to society”?

  67. 67
    Yer've gotta dergree? says:

    wotsit 4 ducky? oyve gotta dergree in maffs ‘n that n oi werks 4 der tacks offy n ay payz lotsa do, i do!

  68. 68
    Anonymous says:

    If I was an employer and saw that some job applicants claim to fame was taking a “Human Rights” case to court, Id tell them to fuck off.

  69. 69
    Revd. Phoney £rd Way B£iar, sanctimnoious sh1t and £iar, emoting 'n wiv stupid grin says:

    I sit at home wiv my feet up while Cherry fondles my hair! Ah such bliss!

  70. 70

    You are turning it to a horrible Home Counties authoritarian.

  71. 71
    David laws Lib Dem fiddler says:

    Well said Guido, Keep it up. Force people off benefits. Cut benefits so that it pays to work under £35,000 unlike the Lib Dems and Labours policy. Benefits should provide the basic living not a house of equal or better standing to those who work, mobile phones, Sky TV, going out, smoking, drinking etc. No wonder mass immigration continues.

    How many 17-21 year old young women are provided a free house and living for the rest of their life for getting pregnant? It was not an accident they planned it as a life choice FFS.

  72. 72
    Andrew Efiong says:

    It’s proving you can get up and work. It also helps a British company. More than anything it tells taxpayers you are not sitting idle. It’s also an incentive to get a real job where you can take a full salary.

    Why am I explaining this? It is rather obvious!

  73. 73
    Traditionalist says:

    I feel uncomfortable with all this talk of ‘cut’ and ‘uncut’.

    Surely ‘natural’ is better?

  74. 74
    cynic2 says:

    We have been asked to take on people on this scheme and are very dubious.

    We have a Training Division that trains some of them on similar schemes. We have to send a vehicle around to collect them because its beyond their capabilities to get their arses out of bed in the morning and come into training. Many of them are severely hung over or still stoned when they do get in. They have no interest and do nothing. They only attend to get their money.

    We offered one a job. He was about 25 years old and had been unemployed for 6 years. He seemed quite articulate and intelligent but he refused the job because it ‘wasn’t local’ ie it was a 10 minute bus ride away from home and ‘ I have a phobia of buses mate’

    Some of these candidate may be worthwhile – we have had some great candidates off unemployment who really want to work – but I have a horrible feeling that most in this scheme will be lazy, feckless, idle wastes of space and having them on site will damage productivity and demotivate other, good staff who want to work

  75. 75
    purpleline says:

    The choice should be work for your benefit payment or be conscripted into the Army and placed on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

    I think Tesco’s will be over subscribed in an instant

  76. 76
    More pish from an eccentric old twat watch says:

    Because millions of people like me will be going out shopping this weekend to places like Tesco and you know, it would be a bit of a bugger if the shelves were empty. You really talk some fucking pish at times Holborn.

  77. 77
    David laws Lib Dem fiddler says:

    Cut benefit campaign ought to start as well. Force those who make it a life choice to work or pay an absolute minimum. We will also see immigration cut as a consequence. Only pay benefit for the first two children, minimum housing allowance, and food vouchers. No phones, no Sky TV, no car make it pay to work.

  78. 78
    Mad H@tty says:

    tch! tch! tch! – wouldn’t employ indeed!

    There you are, you’ve done it again! Is there no end to this loose and careless talk!

    Come round to my place for correction, – I think I could fit you in.

  79. 79
    Andrew says:

    Part of the problem is that benefit is related to the size of the claimant’s family, which minimum wage (rightly) is not.

    Benefit should never exceed (.95 times x times y) plus z where

    x is minimum wage
    y is hours permitted under the Working Time Directive
    z is any benefit which you would get even if in work such as child benefit which is (rightly or wrongly) not means-tested

    so that nobody is better-off not working than working. Nobody. Ever.

  80. 80
    Andrew says:

    The Army does not want conscripts. It was the Service chiefs who pressed for the abolition of National Service.

  81. 81
    Incentive says:

    Stacking shelves provides an incentive to try harder to learn enough to get a better job next time.

    Perhaps all schoolchildren should have to spend a couple of weeks doing the job before starting their GCSE courses. “If you piss around for the next two years then this is the best job on offer.”

  82. 82
    tinks says:

    Don’t often disagree with you but you are wrong on this.

    This is not about left/right, and sure the left bandwagon will jump on this (hypocrites) when they were involved in setting this up and created the beast (a4e/£££m bonuses/David Blunket as ‘advisor’ etc.), but this is smoke and mirrors with the usual suspects coining it in – corporatism at its worse. Already subsidised by tax credits, now a conveyor belt of free labour (with bonuses all round for the parties involved). The politicians get to bash the scroungers and are seen to be doing something, focusing on the symptoms rather than the causes of the problem.

    Workfare is just another sign of the country’s decline. A shrinking, burnt out economy, years of shit politicians and policies, fiddling whilst Rome burnt. It needs a reboot.

    There is actually a very strong voluntary sector in this country where people willingly put themselves forward to do something and to give something back, encourage and reward that, it would be a much cheaper and less contentious route to help and remotivate people.

  83. 83
    Gordon Brown, horrified, says:

    But that would completely destroy the enhanced benefits system I worked so hard to put in place! Cost a bomp it did!

  84. 84
    Edwina says:

    Not sure that you have thought this through Guido? Do you really think this is in the interests of society. Why should I have to subsidise huge corporations profits any more than I do already? Someone with several years retail experience having to stack shelves to receive job seekers? Its retarded and far removed from the free market economy i thought you supported.

  85. 85
    Pontius Pilate says:

    This post from Guido sorts out the wheat from the chaff…. The lazy and work shy never want to work, even a well paid job is a problem to the feckless and lazy. We won’t sort the nations economic problems out until we all start putting our duties and responsibilities before claiming “rights”!

  86. 86
    Well it's a thought says:

    I look at it this way, if you have worked and paid enough tax to cover your time on benefits and are unfortunate to get dumped by a company then you’ve paid in, now pay up, if you have just left education or whatever then in return for the taxpayer helping you then the taxpayer requires that you help authorities to help you until you can stand on your own again, if that requires your directed to do a bit of work that will help your CV then you do it or lose the help of the taxpayers, they did similar in WWII why not in 2012.

  87. 87
    Durr says:

    And making it sound as though give a shit.

  88. 88
    dobbie says:

    Also it’s an incentive to move on. I started on a farm, and realised pretty quickly that getting up early and cycling in the dark to shovel spuds into sacks, wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

  89. 89
    Goose Green says:

    Look at the Falklands conflict, where a smaller army of professional trained volunteers overcame a much larger army with a high proportion of conscripts.

  90. 90
    Tuscan Tony says:

    All the more reason to make any benefits time-limited except in very very rare instances.

  91. 91
    annette curton says:

    These people with degrees in Geology are useless, the may be experts in the Cretaceous period but when you get to the check-out why do they always put the bread and eggs into the carrier bag first and the pile all the tins on top?, its not rocket science.

  92. 92

    If it is funded by the taxpayer, they should work for the taxpayer. Not Tescos. Plenty of litter out there. How about deep cleaning a hospital or two?

  93. 93
    Screwed taxpayer. says:

    How about an alternative to Workfare for the fit but downright lazy — Clock on/off at the Job Centre for 40 hours per week. Sit on a hard wooden bench in a bare room doing nothing. No talking. No mobile phones. No laptops. No papers or books. Nothing but totally silent boredom alongside your fecking idle mates.
    Show some initiate Dave — introduce it — the electorate would agree with it. Or are you just too weak and idle as well?

  94. 94
    Cressida's Dick says:

    Want a job in business? Get a qualification in business studies. Want a job in medicine? Get a qualification in medicine. It used to be so simple. What career path did Ms Reilly have mapped out that she felt the need to take her degree in studying rock? Road crew for Kasabian? Crack cocaine co-ordinator? Selling confectionary on Blackpool sea front? You’re right about one thing though love, there’s bound to be a job out there more suitable to your talents. I’m pretty sure Costain could use you digging a by pass somewhere.

  95. 95
    work it out says:

    You’re looking at the big picture too much OH. Think how it works on an individual level. I’m sure a lot of these kids are incentivised to move on to something more beneficial for them, once they realise what lies in store for them if they don’t pull their fingers out.

  96. 96
    Lou Scannon says:

    Common Sense – or, as my maths teacher used to call it, Rare Sense.
    The trouble is that it’s something that just can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t.

  97. 97

    I have some concerns about the workfare program – I believe in its current form it will damage job prospects in the UK.

    I believe it should be modified as follows – add up the benefits a person recieves then divide that figure by the national minimum wage for that age group then ask the person to work that amount of hours either for organisations along the lines of where they wish to work in the future when a job becomes available to gain experience in that type of work or for charity type organisations only – not for people like Tesco so as not to damage job creation – the rest of the work week should be devoted to training/education and job seeking.

  98. 98
    Anonymous says:

    The problem with Workfare is that it is the taxpayer paying people less than minimum wage to work for private companies. The companies get free, causal labour (potentially reducing the number of jobs available), and, if your big concern is getting people off benefits, the people doing this work are still on benefits.

    I don’t disagree with the argument that you start at the bottom. Like many people here I worked throughout my education, doing fairly mundane work – stacking shelves etc. But I was paid by the company I worked for the company weren’t getting my labour for free, subsidised by the state. Oddly, enough, as I was starting at the bottom, the shop I worked for didn’t expect me to have unpaid work experience of stacking shelves. They accepted that, for a low hourly rate, they could give my my first experience of this work – paid by them.

    Guido – you described struggling with your first low paid job, starting at the bottom. But it was still your employers paying your wages. They weren’t taking your labour for nothing whilst the government paid you.

    I notice when you were describing Cait Reilly’s case you described her claiming JSA but didn’t mention what she was doin with her time. Many of your commenters have complained about people on JSA lazing around, doing nothing, and then looking for jobs with no skills. I think, from what I have read, Cait Reilly was working voluntarily for a museum, trying to get the skills and experience that would lead to a job. Given this, I find it difficult to understand why you think she is better ‘earning’ her JSA in Poundland, rather than where she was already volunteering. If Poundland had been offering her a paid job, an opportunity to start at the bottom in employment, that could have been different. But they weren’t. She was receiving JSA whilst developing her skills and employability – I don’t see why you think Poundland is a better place to develop your skills than working for a museum.

    Finally, I can’t agree that people on benefits should ‘contribute to society’ by adding to the profits of large, wealthy companies whilst unemployment continues to rise. That doesn’t strike me as much of a contribution to society.

  99. 99
    Fruitbat says:

    If the pleb on the dole is doing a job at Tesco for dole money then that stops Tesco employing someone else to do the work instead…..

    Bloody brilliant, reduce the amount of real jobs available by getting dole-bashers to do them. No wonder young people can’t get a job (even at minimum wage) – they are already doing it to keep their handouts!

  100. 100
    Lou Scannon says:

    As Guido frequently reminds us, the post is vacant and unpaid.

  101. 101
    labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    There are lots of ways to create jobs, one would be to have milk delivered by a milkman, even only at weekends. If enough people were to do this it would set in motion a whole chain of jobs to be filled, from the milkman to the glass bottle manufacturer.

    We can all be in this togeather.

  102. 102

    Agree with OH. Private companies are getting slave labour. Workfare – if it has to exist – should be community work.

  103. 103
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Does the BBC and the Guardian and the Labour party not employ interns without pay?

    What is the difference between unpaid “work experience” and what Guido is on about?

    Check out the BBC jobs page and you will see them offering unpaid work, of course when leftist organisations do it, it’s OK

    Here’s a simple thought, the likes of Tesco want to invest in their staff, I guarantee if you turn up at Tesco on one of those schemes and work hard for the time you’re with them, your chances of getting a permanent job off them is far higher than just chucking a CV in the post.

    My first job was pushing a broom around a factory during school holidays (no such thing as EMA in the Labour run days of the 70’s) I worked there full time doing several jobs until I moved on to something I wanted to do.

    Getting a new job when you’re already employed is far easier than if you’re sitting at home wanking and watching Loose Women all day (basically what a student does)

  104. 104
    Screwed taxpayer. says:

    Should have gone to Bolsover City University and got a Social Sciences Degree, preferably followed by a Masters in Counselling. Plenty of demand for those key skills in the public sector. Alternatively Meeja Studies followed by Marxism and the BBC for life.

  105. 105
    Anonymous says:


    There are those people who are unemployed, unemployable and chose a benefits life style.

    There are those people who are unemployed through no fault of their own, who are highly employable and spend a large proportion of their waking day applying for jobs, getting interviews and being rejected because they are over-qualified (i.e. too old), or other spurious reasons.

    If you think the latter are no different to the former, you really do possess that pig-ignorant, Bullingdon Club arrogance so transparent in this posting of yours. You should be writing for the Daily Mail.

  106. 106
    robbie says:

    The Mrs Fawkes experience is a good one. Proud that my daughters both took part time work whilst still at school and getting good grades- the acquisition of a work ethic is a skill some graduates never “get” and when they obtain a degree they think the world owes them a cushy job. World’s changed- wake up-smell coffee- and get on with it.

    Plenty of jobs out there for young people-instead of whinging about it, Ed could show some real “leaderthip Mr Thpeaker” and tell them to go and get ‘em.

  107. 107
    ToonBob... says:

    F*ck ‘em I am boycotting labour and the lefties !

  108. 108

    Of course Tesco wants slave labour!

  109. 109
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Rubbish, the silly bitch SHOULD have got a real job to start with and then worked at the museum as a volunteer in her own time or at weekends.

    Why are you lefties so against people working for a living? Giving her a job in Poundland was probably all she’s useful for.

    I heard her on Radio 5, yet another utter waste of space being churned out by our failed education system.

  110. 110
    roy says:

    no benefits until you’ve worked 10 years. before that you are your parents’ responsibility.

    the idea of a healthy 20 year old being given money to sit at home is a disgrace.

    Ghandi had an interesting take on benefit scroungers

    “To discourage professional begging was one of the paradoxical gestures of Gandhi. A beggar’s desperate struggle for bread decrying all feelings of decency and self-respect was revolting to him and he disapproved the custom of giving alms instead of work to the poor. Gandhi deplored the growing number of mendicants in India exceeding 56 lakhs. He did not want a single individual, barring the physically unfit, to live on charity without doing some useful work for society. He thought it was wrong both to accept and to offer alms. For the able-bodied to beg was to become thieves.”

  111. 111
    Hugh G Reckshun says:

    Our Local West Suffolk TesCon had to pull such an ad. Quite simply, if an unemployed person is prepared to work for these rip-off merchants, they should at least be pain the legal minimum wage instead of being exploited.

  112. 112
    Head of Recruitment. Costain says:

    No thanks. With got plenty of immigrant applicants with the physical strength and motivation to get stuck in with the digging. We don’t want any of the useless unfit lazy bxstxrds with meaningless degrees from renamed polytechnics.

  113. 113
    BJU says:

    And your solution,non-believer,is exactly what ?? Not adding too much to the discussion are you?
    This idea costs money and is NOT free labour you fool.

  114. 114
    Noise says:

    I’m not entirely sure where I stand on this. On one hand I don’t like paying the idle to be idle, on another hand I don’t like supporting crap companies like Tesco reduce their costs.

    Where will it lead? If it leads to a few thousand cut off benefits then it’s worth it. You can get £16-18K a year working the night shifts, so it’s not exactly the worst you can do. The unions are presumably up in arms because it leads to a reduction in the number of ‘real’ staff, l imagine if they’re not being ‘paid’ directly to do it then also they can’t be paying Union subs, so there’s both pissed off real staff and a financial incentive for them to do so.

    I suppose I grudgingly accept this as the ‘least-worst’ option, with strict conditions (9+ months unemployed, wide-ranging charity/retail work, no particular abuse of it by any one business). Getting them into some form of work is definitely needed so what else do you do. Aren’t there some mines in Mexico that need work camps? Would solve the social housing shortage.

    Still, gives me another reason to boycott Tesco, together with their approach to town planning, unedible ‘value’ range, vastly overpriced ‘luxury’ goods. I’d rather use Aldi for basics and Sainsburys for nicer food with some vague ethics. Tesco stands for nothing except poor quality abusive capitalism.

  115. 115
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Um shouldn’t schools be doing that?

    The real problem is what kids are studying. Most of the unemployed dross I hear bleating on the TV or radio tend to have qualifications that are worthless, things like art, sociology, psychology, politics and so on.

    I bet you don’t find many engineers unemployed, plenty of jobs going overseas, the USA, Canada, Australia and so on.

    What we no longer do is train people to give them real life skills, thanks to that fucking wanker Blair kids are told that if they don’t go to university they are a failure and when they do, they seem to think that some third rate degree from a mong run university will get them a 40k a year job right off.

    Well perhaps in the good old days of the lesbian condom investigators for Hackney council, but those days are gone now, reality is back in town and the dross pumped out by the failed universities in the UK are only fit for the dole.

  116. 116

    Of course, we shouldn’t forget that there are about 500,000 job vacancies out there, and around 5 million unemployed (the true figure).

  117. 117
    More pish from an eccentric old twat watch says:

    My reply to you was in direct response to your fuckwitted comment “How does stacking shelves for Tesco contribute to Society”.
    Btw how is life on the self sufficient paradise you were talking bollox about not that long ago?

  118. 118
    Cressida's Dick says:

    Pity they closed down. Workfare at Fine Fare has a ring to it.

  119. 119
    Andrew Efiong says:

    A bit of an economics fail there. Because the claimant is working they get extra income and are being productive instead of idle. Therefore the economy expands and everyone is better off. A few people in Tesco might be displaced but society as whole gains.

  120. 120
    polythesis says:

    The labour party defends the basic human right of sitting at home all day watching your plasma 3D before going out and caning it all night courtesy of the taxpayer, its a lifestyle choice. I mean you would have to be stupid to get up early and work for a living if you could sponge off others, it would be nothing short of madness to support yourself when some working dick head is prepared to fund your lifestyle. The labour party, the party of parasites for parasites, working hard to keep you from working in order to get your vote.

    This is something the labour party and the unions have understood for years, its perfectly acceptable for some people to sit at home doing nothing while claiming benefits and living the high life on the backs of others, for 99.9% of the labour party it is their one priority, to sponge off others. Millions of labour voters know full well that voting labour keeps them on their arse and their pockets full. So as long as there is a political party that caters for millions of bone idle spongers and lazy parasites with a full sense of entitlement there will be millions out there who are determined to be carried by others.

  121. 121
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    The French have a better system, you don’t have to do national service in the forces, you can join the fire service or do your national service in industry. Makes more sense.

  122. 122
    Fruitbat says:

    Of course, there is another aspect to schemes like this. There are alot of young (and some older) chavvy types who are determined not to work. Being told what to do by a manager etc is simply not in their DNA, a sort of ‘you can’t tell me what to do’ attitude. As workshy scum, if they have their dole shut off for not reporting for work, they will simply turn to crime to fund themselves. I have seen many who cannot even be arsed to turn up to sign-on, let alone work!

    … and you thought home and motor insurance was high now! Whatch this space..

  123. 123
    Nigel Doughty's Ghost says:

    Going to argue against Guido on this one.

    Voluntary work is a hiding to nothing these days. I did it back when I was on the dole instead of being a perpetual deadbeat, I was conned into the usual oh it will pad out your cv, look good, open doors spiel.

    You soon realise it’s Bull fucking shit.

    It was only when I jacked the fucking timesink in and used the little bit of dole money that was possible to save to get some training courses and licenses off my own bat that I finally got anywhere.

    Voluntary jobs for the most part for the majority of people are a purgatory that will drive you insane. Only a few ever advance and reap the rewards and turn it to their advantage and the rest just have to perpetually languish.

  124. 124
    Andrew Efiong says:

    If your second group can’t find work then it’s good if they use some of their time to contribute to society, like litter-picking or other services.

    Bullingdon people are lazy ones who expect society to bow to them. In the real world you graft and contribute.

  125. 125
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Why doesn’t she apply to work for Shell or BP? They will use trainee geologists all the time.

    Oh let me guess..she’s a rabid lefty and anti capitalism.

  126. 126
    Noise says:

    My first job was cleaning toilets at my 6th form, wasn’t that horrendous except when the little b*****s crapped in the cistern. Didn’t do me any harm.

    The children of intellectuals are a moody bunch that aren’t disposed to hard work, mummy and daddy always provided for them and always told them they were better than others. But if you’re rock stupid how are you going to ‘manage’ others?

  127. 127
    Sylvester says:

    That’s either well disguised irony, or you are a turd.

  128. 128
    Fruitbat says:

    No, they are not getting EXTRA income, just their dole. If they were paid as an employee, that would be extra income.

  129. 129
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Here’s a question, Guido. The twats at Boycott Workfare. When they have got everyone to boycott workfare, what are they, the twats at Boycott Workfare going to do to HELP those people who will, one presumes, still be without work?

    They will argue, “oh that’s not our problem!”

    Years ago, I was recovering from a long bout of illness. Whilst I was off work sick my employer folded, it turned out that the member of the family firm I’d been working for had been syphoning off money and that NI and Income Tax had not been paid, nor had the rent on the offices.

    After being told I would probably never work again and discovering how shite the Disability Resettlement Officer was I decided to take up the Therapeutic Earnings Scheme. I found out about this on Google. The DRO had, she claimed, never heard of it.

    So with the help of the Therapeutic Earnings Scheme I was able to get myself back into a proper, paid job which gave me a career that I’d only dreamt of having for many years.

    As someone who Boycott Workfare would have wanted to Boycott Workfare, could I please advise Boycott Workfare to fuck right off?

    They are not helping anyone, least of all the sick and the unemployed. And I know about this from bitter personal experience.

  130. 130
    Stoopy De Gunt says:

    Is it right that Tesco, which avoids tax, gets to enjoy free labour, paid for out of our taxes?

    Why the fuck should they benefit?

    I can see the logic of workfare, but I don’t see why Tesco should benefit.

  131. 131
    Gripper Stebson says:

    How can this work shy lazy shite of a girl afford to employ a legal team to fight this case??? Theres something very wrong with this!!!!!!

  132. 132
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Buts as someone who benefited from a similar scheme some years ago, I have to say that it can be of help. Because it helped me.

  133. 133
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Again. Tesco want good hard working staff they can invest in. If someone came along on one of these schemes and did a good job, they stand a much better chance of being taken on in a full time job.

    Sure it might be shelf stacking etc, but so what? The chance to earn money and prove you can do a job (any job) is what you need to move on, if working for Tesco is not what you want in life then volunteer or work at weekends doing what you like or put up with Tesco for a couple of years then move on.

    Starting at the bottom is not some alien idea, well OK it never used to be, it was only made that way by Labour who told kids a lie that getting a university education would set them up for life.

    Perhaps studying engineering or getting a job working for an airline and doing your licences as an engineer would be more useful than going to university.

  134. 134

    This is a great idea. All we need now are 5 million new job vacancies..

  135. 135
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Yes, but Ghandi also hated and despised black people for being black, so these days I tend to take ANYTHING Ghandi said with a good pinch of salt.

  136. 136
    work it out says:

    As Guido stated, immigrants don’t seem to be having problems finding jobs.

  137. 137
    polythesis says:

    There are those who are unemployed through no fault of their own? B*llocks!

    Of course its their fault they lost their jobs, whose fault is it then? You lose your job you go out and get another, what you dont do is whinge and moan and get picky and feel entitled to lounge around on benefits until the right job comes along, if it ever does. Do you think millions of working people want to work menial jobs? No they get the first thing that comes along.

    You get benefits, you should work even if its pushing a broom around, this something for nothing entitlement culture is going to destroy us all. Its called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. And the left have been trying to take it away from us for years. Its about time the millions of lazy parasites got the shock of their lives and were made to get up off their arses and work like everyone else.

  138. 138
    Displaced Brummie says:

    +1, Smoggie!

  139. 139
    annette curton says:

    There has been a lot of talk of interns on the political scene, unpaid work but they are more often than not from a privileged and usually well healed background and able to forgo a salary in the hope of getting into the Westminster gravy train, in contrast I know the true exploitation of unemployed people who have had to take work placements with small businesses that have no intention of employing any of these people they are just used as an endless supply of cheap labour from the local job-centre.

  140. 140
    Anonymous says:

    I agree to an activity that contributes to society or to the benefit of the local community as as whole. What I don’t agree to is allowing big business to benefit from free labour supported by the tax payer via JSA. This kind of exploitative cut-throat capitalism is more akin to trampling the weak and hurdling the dead.

    And it is this current state of affairs that I shall remember David Cameron for as his priministerial ‘legacy’.

  141. 141
    View from Essex says:

    I agree with Guildo. When I was 21 ( 40plus years ago) I was made redundant from two office jobs and worked 6 months on a builders site mixing concrete and carrying bricks up ladders in all weathers. It was an eye opener and made me a better boss years later when I was a MD with 300 staff to manage.The lazy lefties should wake up and smell the f…ing coffee. There is no money left to waste anymore.

  142. 142
    Grim says:

    Dole claimers should be working on maintaining or creating infrastructure, not increasing the profits of private mega businesses. IOW, they should work for the taxpyers.

  143. 143
    Anonymous says:

    Do you think being made redundant is all your own fault??

  144. 144
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Arghh! Another person who does not understand about cleaning hospitals!

    “Well, anyone can clan a hospital! Can’t take brains, can it?”

    Yes, actually, it does. Brains and dedication.

    The fact that too many people in management positions in the NHS had the same: “Well, anyone can clan a hospital! Can’t take brains, can it?” mindset has helped MRSA, etc., get a foothold in our hospitals.

  145. 145
    Lister says:

    Smeg off.

  146. 146
    Anonymous says:

    So you believe that being made redundant is actually your own fault???

  147. 147
    Alister says:

    Give them a brush, paint or sweeping and let them sweep or paint over graffiti all day. Or better sorting recycling out, the old milk cartons with the week old milk still in them, 5 hours per day 5 days per week till they find a “proper job”!
    100’s of people working to get our recycling rates up – the greens must support this

  148. 148
    BendyGirl says:

    Whilst there are undoubtedly some people claiming benefits who would prefer not to work, workfare is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It will affect all longer term unemployed people, regardless of how much effort they are making to seek work, but the time unemployed people will have to participate in workfare for is limited to 8 weeks, but for sick and disabled people who are in the work related activity group of Employment and Support Allowance there will be no time limit. The Work Related Activity Group is intended for people who have a disability or health condition which means that potentially, at some point, with the right support and environment they may be able to do some work. So they aren’t being deemed as fit for full time work, or in many cases, any work…but that they have potential for some work related activity. This group includes people with Down Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, deafness, blindness, amputees, people with spinal cord injuries etc….it’s not about ‘being a bit stressed’ but a much higher level of disability or ill health than most realise. These are all people who have been signed as unfit for work by their GP, so there are also questions about employers liability and insurance.

    Can workfare be helpful? Potentially, of course. It can provide vital work experience, help to make people more attractive to employers, boost confidence etc. That’s assuming it’s all done properly with the eventual aim of finding people full time, paid, sustainable employment. However, the results of the work programme show that very few people find full time employment as a result of it, and it costs the tax payer millions http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2102892/Living-state–Inside-16-bedroom-42-loo-mansion-Governments-families-tsar-8-5m-payday-provoked-outrage.html

    If we as a society decide that unemployed people, or sick and disabled people MUST do something in return for the benefits they receive that is one thing, but using these people to provide ‘free’ labour to private companies is quite another. If unemployed people are obligated to participate in community projects for perhaps 2.5 days a week, helping in primary schools, shopping for the elderly, clearing litter etc there is a direct benefit to society and potentially to the individual, and it might seem much fairer to the unemployed person. However, with sick and disabled people it is a somewhat different situation.

    I personally worked as much as I possibly could before resorting to sickness benefits, even, like Guido’s wife, working 3 jobs to put myself through my law degree. However, sickness and disability present very different barriers to work, which in combination with the limitations of the benefits system mean that sick and disabled people cannot manage to fulfil the traditional employment model in many cases. If workfare for those in the WRAG involved finding ways to source appropriate, viable homebased employment, liasing with employers to make employing sick or disabled people more attractive and actually tapping into the skills and resources we have in a way we are able to contribute to there would likely be widespread support for such a scheme.

    However, as a sick and disabled person who has attempted previous workfare type programmes there is none of that individuality or support available. I’m quite visibly ‘frail’ and obviously unable to move myself around terribly well, let alone anyone else, but when I tried to look at the work programme (predecessor to workfare) the ‘advisor’ (bored media studies graduate unable to find any other kind of work) tried to force me to become a support worker for adults with physical or learning disabilities, which is a very physical job! There was no system to look at what skills I have, what actual practical support I might need to be able to work, or matching with employers. Just boxes to be ticked and money to be claimed back for having ‘helped’ me.

    Pre disability I had all sorts of entry level jobs, washing dishes in a restaurant, nannying, lifeguarding, working in shops, waitressing etc. I firmly believe that it is good for all young people to experience a range of work experience, particularly the jobs that no-one really wants to do. However, I simply cannot see what benefit there is to society or the taxpayer by forcing sick and disabled people into workfare schemes which are detrimental to our health, and for gain of the private sector rather than society as a whole.

  149. 149

    But from what I’ve heard these companies just replace the old slaves with new slaves once their “placement” has come to an end.

    It doesn’t make sense to employ people when there is an endless supply of labour you don’t have to pay for.

  150. 150
    Billy says:

    Yet another market distorting gimmick. The correct solution is to reduce welfare, make it time limited and eliminate minimum wage

  151. 151
    JMB says:

    Guido, how were you “barely on minimum wage” in 1992, when there was no minimum wage? Were you, perhaps, earning just above the current minimum wage, or about twice the wage of the average shelf stacker back in 1992?

  152. 152
    Grim says:

    But now the taxpayer funds Tesco with free labour! WTF should we pay people to work for Tesco???
    What utter wonkbrain of a cretin came up with that idea?

  153. 153
    Bill Quango MP says:

    Trouble is who can provide the work experience, short course, work placements except for the big players? BQ Industries does not have the time or the manpower to take on someone who isn’t going to be much use for months and needs constant supervision.
    They would require CRB checks AND the eligibility to work documentation and the H+S training and so on. Tesco et al already have the procedures in place and the departments to deal with kids, youths, and returning OAPs.

    I agree that there is a problem with the scheme and that local traders are furious at what is seen as the big boys getting free labour, but ANYONE can offer apprentices.
    just that the red tape involved to protect the rights of the apprentice means it often isn’t worth the bother.

    BQ Industries would shut down rather than have to go through the training/retraining of new workers every fortnight. McDonalds employ 1,000 new staff every week. They are used to it.

    When I worked for a major chain we did it every week for new starters. Only the biggest can realistically manage it.
    Not to say I don’t agree with much of your comment but would look at longer term placements as a solution.

  154. 154
    Gobbets Raw says:

    Too bl”dy right

  155. 155
    alex taylor says:

    Ok , l’m not opposed to this, but only if Tesco and the rest pay the government the Jobseekers allowance back

  156. 156
    Anonymous says:

    Three cheers! Plus thanks to the contributers for a sensible series of remarks for this thread.

  157. 157

    I’d never go back to door knocking. Hated it.
    But it was commission only so sell or starve.

    When I went into retail I had salesman of the year awards and fat bonus cheques for years and years and never even broke sweat doing it.
    It teaches you selling alright that cold calling, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

  158. 158
    AC1 says:

    Don’t even pay them.

    1# Supply cheapest shelter we can find in the country
    2# Deliver food.
    #3 that’s it.

  159. 159
    Dobbin says:

    I was regional manager.
    Over 3/4 of all the other regional/area/local managers had started stacking shelves too.
    any work is better than none.

  160. 160

    “There is no money left to waste anymore.”

    True. And no jobs either.

  161. 161
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    So let me get this straight.

    Ms Reilly was happy to collect her dole money, but refused to work at Poundland because she thought the job was beneath her. Did she get Legal Aid to go to Court? If this is the case, I’m not surprised so many young people prefer to sit on their backsides rather than go to work. It’s a win-win for them, isn’t it.

    It beggars belief.

  162. 162
    Anonymous says:

    The welfare state is there to help people just like this. This man should keep on receiving help until a time when he can work again. In fact, Ross should get more money!

    However, it is the feckless and lazy with their sense of entitlement that are costing the state dearly. Get rid of these ‘scroungers’ and there will be more money in the pot for Ross and others like him

  163. 163

    That is a major worry.
    We all know why the waitresses and retail counters and agricultural workers come from eastern Europe. because there were plenty of jobs here .Even though we had 1.6 million unemployed in 2007.

    Saying they ‘took our jobs’ is untrue. We couldn’t get anyone from here to take those jobs.

  164. 164
    Gobbets Raw says:

    Oh dear

  165. 165
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    I also meant to say, I worked four jobs to pay a mortgage from 1975-1979. If I needed or wanted anything, I had to work for it. Plenty of people were in the same position. They get it far too easy these days.

  166. 166
    Universal Hiss says:

    From memory I read she wanted to be a museum curator.If so she took the wrong degree.

    The oil industry world wide is always looking for geology graduates.Perhaps that sort of job is not refined enough for her.

    If she were my daughter I’d think I had failed as a parent.

  167. 167
    Sacks of Gold, man (we fixed the Greek economy) says:

    That is totally againt their ooman rights. Sky TV is a minimum ooman right these days.

  168. 168
    lola says:

    I would love to take on a trainee or two. but I can’t. Why? Over-taxed and over-regulated and minimum wage. Socialists are to blame for unemployment.

  169. 169
    Mastercard says:

    I graduated in 1990 and the recession then was pretty severe. I did agency work, waitress jobs, typed up reports in crap furniture sales offices answered phones…….. got fired twice for being late & learned from hard knocks that you have to suck it up get there on time and do the bloody work what ever it is even if it’s putting those pink cake things in urinals (urgh that was a shite job).

    I have a non mickey mouse engineering degree, 3 decent A levels from a time when A levels were hard to pass, and numerous skills. But willingness to work and being keen and on time meant more during a recession…

    Poundland would have been a luxury to most of us graduating at that time.

  170. 170
    First Division Football Player says:

    You are quite right Gudio

    We dont’ believe ion doiçng lowly jobs for lwo pay

    We work four or five hours a week, get paid £millions and evade tax thanks to our bent lawyers and owners..


    PS Do you think all first division clubs wil go “‘into administration”‘ for not paying tax ?!

  171. 171
    RetiredBob says:

    I couldnt agree with Guido any more if i tried.
    I’d love to know how many commenting and seeming to know it all actually work in this sector? I worked for 18 years on various DWP back to work programs and workfare if done correctly works wonders, the problem is nothing to do with immigrants ‘taking our jobs’ the majority take on jobs that the work shy lazy Brits cannot be bothered to get out of bed for or feel are beneath them. I’d say that around 75% of the JSA claimants I dealt with didn’t even want to get a job and are using state payments as a lifestyle choice rather than a crutch to help in times of need which is what it was designed for.
    I’m just glad I’ve retired!

  172. 172
    Private equity manager says:

    We don’t believe in paying much tax either

  173. 173
    Spelmanjm says:

    please could you give me an ideal injectable steroid for a beginner age 25 who gets drug tested looking for mass gain i can keeep


  174. 174
    Russian Oligarch and his bent City solicitors says:

    We don’t pay any income tax at all

    Double ROFL

    And the City love us…all those fees…yummy yummy

    And all those bungs to “public relations” hacks…

  175. 175
    Ivor Tapeworm says:

    Bullshit Guido. If they weren’t using workfare workers, they would have to make real, paid jobs available.It’s just a way of getting the workers free (and the state to pay you for them). The real benefit scroungers are Tescos thenselves.

  176. 176
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    They may be willing to work but without speaking the language they’ve go no chance. If we made learning the language a pre-requisite when people come into the UK…….but that’s just a pipe-dream.

  177. 177
    Anonymous says:

    “If you are young there are plenty of entry level jobs for those who want to work.”

    Got any stats for that or are you just talking out of your arse?

  178. 178
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Have you got any stats that say it’s not true?

  179. 179
    Ivor Tapeworm says:

    Do you really think that you can become an engineer without higher education? You need a degree or at least an HND.

    Unless you think that an engineer is someone who screws things together on an assembly line or something. Muppet.

  180. 180
    Ivor Tapeworm says:


    GET IT???

  181. 181
    Well it's a thought says:

    The Flat Earth Society aka the Greens won’t support it, think of all the C02 being generated by people working.

  182. 182
  183. 183
    Disgusting scheme (which Labour would've introduced too) says:

    Tax payers already subsidise the likes of Tesco by topping up their tiny pay packets with benefits.

    Now the tax payer is funding totally FREE labour for Tescos and co!

    If I were told to go on one of these schemes I would make my ‘employer’ rue the day he ever agreed to it.

  184. 184
    Anonymous says:

    I have no problem with those on JSA doing this scheme. But making sick and disabled people, like Cancer patients, take part in the scheme is beyond the pale. Yet that is exactly what is being considered:


  185. 185
    bandersnatch says:

    Well done Bendy girl. I find your account thoughtful and compelling on all fronts.

  186. 186
    smoggie says:

    I did agency jobs, waitress work…..

    If you’re a bloke, Kudos man!

  187. 187
    Bird with small brain says:

    I haven’t read all of the above so may be repeating previous posts. Workfare only makes sense if the people concerned are doing jobs that would otherwise not be done. Presumably some of local government activities that have been abandoned because of the deficit would be suitable. Then no real job would be usurped. But, given that the government pays the dole money and also gives money to local government, they might as well give the workfare workers their money as a wage rather than dole money. Oh dear, I’m turning into a socialist….!

  188. 188
    Ivor Tapeworm says:

    Guido, your argument backfires on you.

    “Cait Reilly was asked to work for three weeks at Poundland, doing five hours a day. Not too onerous. The 22 year-old graduated last year with a BSc in geology from Birmingham University. She had claimed £53.45-a-week Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) since last August and was asked by the Job Centre to work at Poundland.”

    She was doing unpaid voluntary work in her field. She had already found her OWN work placement.

    She gave it up and TOOK the position in Poundland, being led to believe that there would be an interview at the end of it.

    She DID the work, but it was clear that Poundland were just using people for menial jobs unpaid. There was no interview.

    Get your facts right FFS.

  189. 189
    smoggie says:

    The face in the preview says


    so I just cannot bear to watch this misery guts.

  190. 190
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Yes I an a ‘proper’ engineer as you call it and didn’t go to university, I went to college part time for 4 years whilst doing a full time job.

    Not all engineers (real ones) go to university, some Labour mong bitch was on Radio 5 a few years back spouting on about how you needed to go to university to work on aircraft.

    NO NO NO, you get an apprenticeship or the armed forces, you don’t even need licenses to work on aircraft in the civil world, but having them opens you up to a much better paid world AND you’re more employable. No university there.

    People are obsessed with university, it’s not the be all and end all for engineering.

  191. 191
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    +1 and LOL

  192. 192
    Frank's son says:

    Exactly! Now let’s say Tesco get 3 or 4 people working for free, and they know the jobcenre will be sending replacements after the others people’s ‘work’ placement comes to an end.

    Now let’s suppose Tesco already have two employees doing the same work but getting a salary. They may say, wait a minute, the government is supplying us with free labour on a weekly basis, why PAY someone when we can get the work done for free.

    Goodbye hard working employees. We’ll see you again in 3 monts when you can do the same job for us for FREE.

  193. 193
    Anonymous says:

    The burden of proof is on the one making the claim, but I do have some stats indicating it’s total BS:

    “According to the latest official figures released by the Office of National Statistics in January, the UK has around 400,000 jobs on offer. Between October and December, employers were looking for 463,000 new workers – though this is some 18,000 fewer than a year before.

    The official count of unemployed people – anyone who is actively looking for work and is available to start immediately if hired – is 2.68 million.

    That is around six people for every vacancy in the country. Even using the smaller group of just those currently claiming jobseeker’s allowance, there are four jobseekers for each place. One million people aged 16-24 are currently looking for work.

    Whichever measure is used, there are nowhere near enough vacancies to enable everyone currently looking for a job to find one”

  194. 194
    Anonymous says:

    The burden of proof is on the one making the claim, but yes I do have some stats indicating it’s total BS:

    “According to the latest official figures released by the Office of National Statistics in January, the UK has around 400,000 jobs on offer. Between October and December, employers were looking for 463,000 new workers – though this is some 18,000 fewer than a year before.

    The official count of unemployed people – anyone who is actively looking for work and is available to start immediately if hired – is 2.68 million.

    That is around six people for every vacancy in the country. Even using the smaller group of just those currently claiming jobseeker’s allowance, there are four jobseekers for each place. One million people aged 16-24 are currently looking for work.

    Whichever measure is used, there are nowhere near enough vacancies to enable everyone currently looking for a job to find one”

  195. 195
    Anonymous says:

    There is no such thing as a dead-end job. Opportunties abound in any job should you work hard and show initiative. I started aa a volunteer in a hospital, eventually took a part-time clerical job there and in eight years got myself relevant qualifications to become a hospital manager.

  196. 196
    smoggie says:

    If you’ve actually performed the work of those you manage, it makes you a better manager.

  197. 197
    Bill Quango MP says:

    I think the lefties believe that taking a job at pound land stacking shelves means doing that forever.

  198. 198
    Ichabod says:

    Whilst I dont disagree with you essentially, I have seen many cases of young, or even not so young, people, starting, or restarting, in the shelf filling at Poundland type jobs, and really doing it for year after year after year; if you are not lucky enough to get something better after a coule of years, there is the danger of being stuck in that sort of undemanding, low grade job for, well, the rest of ones working life. I have seen managers turn down people precisely becuse they had done a year or two as an office cleaner or warehouse worker. Some form of national or welfare service for long term unemployed would be fairer and more dignified.

  199. 199
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    Totally agree with it shame the bastards into employing people properly
    it is no wonder these big companies aren’t recruiting paid staff when they can get them for nothing it’s an absolute scandal !
    That is why unemployment is going the wrong way Mr Cameron !
    but because they get away with
    military on the cheap
    policing on the cheap
    education on the cheap
    now it’s slave labour on the cheap

  200. 200
    smoggie says:

    Then you’d get sacked and lose your benefits.

    At least you will have learned something about the link between rights and responsibilities.

  201. 201
    sandy says:

    When I was young there were plenty of craps jobs and people did them because they had no choice. Kids today don’t know they are born. That’s the problem with prosperity. It makes people lazy. Look what happened to the Romans. There hasn’t been one country that has prospered throughout history through socialism. And it aint hard to see why.

  202. 202
    Major Eyeswater says:

    I agree with you that the state should not subsidise the private sector. I would be prepared to make an exception for this however.

    -the placements are temporary work experience

    -those who say they would not benefit from such an experience are free to stop claiming or prove their point by getting a job

    -the effect on the individual claimant is either to provide some experience and evidence of their readiness for real employment or to deter claimants whose
    sole ambition is idleness

    -the sum of these effects will probably be a net reduction in the state’s subsidy to the unemployed

    This policy is pragmatic. My remedy for the principled princesses of the left is simple: if they don’t want to “slave” for Tesco then let’s have them bright and early Monday morning in a hi vis jacket to help clean out the canal – for society, of course.

  203. 203
    Employer says:

    How did “disgusting scheme” get on with the crisp filling up?
    Just as useless. And a shit attitude too.
    Ok. Tell him not to come back. And write Deader on his file.
    ok boss.

    Don’t employ &
    Don’t reference

  204. 204
    Leftists = vermin says:

    Perhaps you could get a job writing endless reams of shit?

  205. 205
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    There is at least a million of the 2.68 Who have never and have no intention of Ever dragging their idle arses out of bed and finding work , and to add to the problem they carry on breeding untill it would be impossible for any employer to pay them enough money to cover what they get on benefits !

  206. 206
    The Lord Ashcroft of Belsize says:

    @roy you’ve clearly not read the post. You say that might lead you to getting skilled up or educated so you don’t have to do it (stack shelves).

    This woman did get herself educated so working in Poundland will most definitely persuade her that she needs MORE education.

  207. 207
    Mandy Kinnock-Clegg says:

    Neither do we

  208. 208
    View from Essex says:

    I had an Eastern European lodging with one of my sons. He walked the streets for a week knocking on doors and found a job in a 4 star hotel cleaning rooms. Jobs there if you get off your arse.

  209. 209
    Simon B says:

    What of those who are too ill or disabled to work? Cancer patients? Seriously mentally ill?

  210. 210
    Ichabod says:

    Surely the point about the woman refusing shelf stacking job at Poundland was that, to put it bluntly, she was no looker, and that coupled with her all too contemporary attitude has rendered her jobless thus far; I would claim confidently that had she been easier on the eye, a more promising position would have arrived before the Poundland fiasco. I have seen it with my own relatives; younger and good looking female kith and kin have all got decent placements ( admitedly a couple in local government, and both essentially created jobs) whilst the younger males, even when better qualified are mostly scratching around at Tescos and other unfulfilling jobs.

  211. 211
    sandy says:

    The trouble is there are far too many people chasing too few jobs because Labour buggered up the economy and indulged in uncontrolled immigration. These are the facts.

  212. 212
    smoggie says:

    Ivor Tapeworm is wrong. A degree in itself will not make you an engineer as you need to satisfy the entry requirements of the professional institution.

    One route may include a university degree (the backdoor) but it would also include a certain time working in practice as well as having to take some final entrance exams. There are other routes which include working full time and maybe night classes.

    I know plenty of top class engineers who didn’t go to uni.

  213. 213
    Raving Loon says:

    So true Guido! I have an MSc in Finance, my first job: post boy. Literally running back and forth carrying mail. I know what you mean by starting at the bottom. Sometimes people feel that they not only have the “right” to a job, but a job which their ego can stomach.

  214. 214
    Greychatter says:

    The minimum wage has always been around. As as youngster you started work – you got the maximum you are worth which was inveriably less than other workers who had more experience than you.

    The Minimum wage was invented by Labour and the Unions which demolished the apprenticeship system depriveing young people of jobs and drove business overseas.

    Thus we have the situation the country is in now – which will never chance for the “Doreens” of this country.

    Young people are having to learn to work for their living.

  215. 215
    Disgusting scheme (which Labour would've introduced too) says:

    Sacked? These are short-term placements. The potential for undiscovered mischief is massive.

  216. 216
    Anonymous says:

    Of course it is. If you had worked longer hours, accepted lower pay,rejected all company provided benefits such as employer contribution to pension payments etc.you would still have a job.

  217. 217
    Different Anon says:

    I think you missed the joke.

  218. 218
    Employee says:

    Be selective when giving references.

    Be canny.

    Remember your employer is ALWAYS your enemy.

  219. 219
    Dr Beezley Beezley Boo says:

    Government report concluded that Workfare reduces chances of Future employment

    Dr Éoin Clarke.


    Wednesday, 7 December 2011
    Government report concluded that Workfare reduces chances of Future employment

    A 2008 government (DWP) investigation into workfare programmes in the USA, Canada & Australia concluded that unpaid Workfare was ineffective, unsuccessful and should not be replicated in the UK. In fact it showed that America was already turning its back on Workfare in favour of softer solutions such as paying a subsidised wage.

    Workfare does not work.

    “There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work. It can even reduce employment chances by limiting the time available for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by employers”

    The report also admitted that Workfare would be more effective if participants were paid a wage
    “Subsidised (‘transitional’) job schemes that pay a wage can be more effective in raising employment levels than ‘work for benefit’ programmes.”

    The report also concluded that Workfare programmes were least likely to work when unemployment was high.
    “Workfare is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high.”

    America has begun to turn its back on Workfare, instead they now prefer ‘soft’ approached including paying a wage.

    “Some states in the US have scaled down large-scale, universal workfare programmes in reference for ‘softer’ and more flexible models that offer greater support to those with the most barriers to work. This includes a greater reliance on subsidised jobs that pay wages rather than benefits to participants.”

  220. 220
    Anonymous says:

    got any evidence of that?

  221. 221
    Anonymous says:

    got any evidence that isn’t anecdotal?

  222. 222
    Thus spoke Zarathustra says:

    Critics of the workfare scheme seem to assume that people turning up for workfare will be model employees, and that the employer would be getting a free ride because of that.

    It is far from obvious to me that the benefit of taking on workfare employees who turn out to be capable would necessarily outweigh the cost of taking on those who turn out to be scum, particularly since the latter are likely to be more common.

  223. 223
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    Would look good on any CV – “Spellchecker Operator”.

  224. 224
    Old Grumpy says:

    I never did get around to obtaining a degree; several diplomas, yes……….. and, at various times teaching Post Graduate Courses in Radio and Electronics Engineering…………. I was born at a time when University was out of reach without financial backing of families……….. and my support came from elderly grandparents, who died before I got to Uni……….

    Thus it was I first went to work on the farm. Varmer shows me a tractor with a large trailer thing……… then he showed me a Muck Heap and a couple of fields……….. Tractor, muck spreader,muck heap, field…………. Welcome to self sufficiency!

    While I wound up with a 6 figure income, I did not benefit directly. I invested it in my kids’ education. They started as I did; labouring………. son became expert in the maintenance of Polo Fields and my daughter stacking shelves……….

    Both, now in their lower 30s, are in the upper middle income bracket and climbing the management ladder……….. with a huge work ethic………. and almost certain to go higher……..

    Our grandchildren are already acquiring the work ethic, not because they are forced to, but because they like the BENEFITS accruing to diligence………. Their future looks bright and I can sleep easy……..

  225. 225
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    Spot on Ivor.

    Where are the interviews/jobs at the end of these “temporary” placements? (Reveallingly Tesco advertised their nightshift shelf-stacker workfare as “permanent”).

    Why bother recruiting for staff to fill these posts when they have an endless supply of workfare manpower for free?

  226. 226
    JH says:

    There are lots of definitions of ‘authoritarian’, but expecting people to work in return for money would not rank high.

  227. 227
    Well it's a thought says:

    Of course you would have to be nice doing it as you could piss the person off so much he could eventually become your boss, also you never know how many people you have screwed up doing that scheme.

  228. 228
    Major Eyeswater says:

    Sorry Gripper but it’s thee and me paying as per bloody usual

  229. 229
    Dang that Thang! says:

    It is not generally known that 70 percent of the available jobs are never advertised.

    The MOST effective way to find a job (assuming that you’re CV and stuff is in order) is cold calling companies. The “becoming employed hit rate” for this is nearly 70 percent.
    Walk-ins give just over 40 percent. Online web sites, by comparison give 4 percent. Asking friends and family has worked for me.

  230. 230
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    Major, your canal example makes sense – the community benefits and provides a welfare payment. But Dave’s Big Society idea is that businesses that are already very profitable should benefit, while the community still foots the bill. So why snipe about princles (do you have any?) when the current scheme was mis-conceived from the start.

  231. 231
    Anonymous says:

    What would you say to the person made redundant from their shelf stacking job asked to do unpaid ‘work experience’ of shelf stacking?

  232. 232
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    That would have been ideal for Jack Straws father. He refused to fight the nazis in WW2.
    He could have joined the fire service instead of spending time in prison.

  233. 233
    Frank says:

    The only people forced, on pain of imprisonment, to do anything here, are the poor bloody taxpayers. It is only right that they get some return for the dole money taken from them. Rather than stacking shelves for supermarket cartels, how about cleaning public space? Liverpool would be as clean as Switzerland in days!

  234. 234
    Grommit says:

    I think it’s a mistake to look at this as who is paying who and where is the money going and are we supporting tescos with tax money etc.

    If the marginally feckless think they are going to be forced to get out from in front of the telly and tennants for no more than they are getting by doing bugger all it might spur them on a bit.

    The totally feckless will whine until it goes away.

  235. 235
    Anonymous says:

    Whereas you’ve found one writing a short ream of shit.

  236. 236
    Hope Springwatch Eternal says:

    One of the problems with claiming benefits is that you have to wait far too long before you become eligible for help looking for work i.e. one year.. then you get the “help”… and I use the word advisedly.

    There is only one decent “work programme” out of the three currently running in central London. Last year two “work programme” companies lost their contracts and quite right too. They were ineffective.

    My question is.. Why not offer people “work programmes” straight away? Those that want it would jump at the chance.

  237. 237
    The Paragnostic says:

    I’m sure there are jobs for trainee geologists on wind farms or other fluffy ways of making energy.

    Alternatively, she could go into politics – there are loads of opportunities for fucknuts with no skills and deviant attitudes in the Labour Party.

  238. 238
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    Fail from Efiong.
    The company benefits from taxpayer’s money, while the warefare individual carries out work that would otherwise require the company to employ someone (on at least minimum wage). And then there are the agencies that receive payments from the government for arranging all this: look at A4e and Emma Harrison’s dividend payout to find out who *really* benefits from workfare.

  239. 239
    Anonymous says:

    Many years ago when i left school in the late sixties i got a job serving petrol remember before self service.every morning 6am all weathers being polite and courteous to customers.
    Then one day a customer said I like your attitude we need some one in our warehouse to look after goods inwards,uk
    From there to sales to management then on to run the company for the
    owners and then to retire at 60.
    If you dont try you may never see any doors open for you.

  240. 240

    Sure. But let’s see five million unemployed try it while there are presently half a million vacancies.

  241. 241
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Smoggie is right, the world of engineering is not just people with a CAD computer in an office with a degree, you have to have the practical skills to go along with it.

    Being able to look at structural damage on an aircraft and decide if it’s safe to fly or not doesn’t just come from reading a technical manual, it requires an understanding of how that damage might be made worse or not as the case may be. That comes from practical experience.

  242. 242
    Sir William Waad says:

    There is no difference between a profit and wages, except that a profit is less certain. Both are what you get for doing or producing something useful. Both can be perverted, in the case of profit by monopolies or the various other ‘fixes’ that the over-powerful can secure, the latter by the creation of non-jobs in public administration.

  243. 243
    Major Eyeswater says:

    Gentlemen, Mr Efiong’s right I think. The net effect of this policy is likely to be a reduction in unemployment benefit claims and so a reduction in state intervention in labour. Workfare will encourage self reliance and self esteem in those that need it most. Those that say they don’t need it or don’t want to do it can either not claim or get a job.

    We have a long hard slog ahead of us before Britain is unburdened of its state. One step at a time.

  244. 244
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Michael that’s just NOT true. Companies are desperate to get good employees, people who will turn up for work on time and do a decent days work. Honestly if you think that big companies just get rid of people for no good reason you need to stop listening to the BBC.

    The biggest single investment a company makes is in its workforce, especially training, every time a new employee is taken on (regardless of where they came from) there is a cost to the business, the higher the turnover of staff the higher the cost.

    One of the reasons so many British companies now use Polish workers is they turn up for work every day, don’t have attitude problems and want to get on. Something many young British workers don’t have for some reason.

  245. 245
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    Workfare shelf-stacking is not contributing to society especially: Tesco would get those shelves stacked one way or another, to protect their sales. Having it done by workfare is simply cheaper for Tesco, and maintains their profits.

    And there are plenty of other supermarket chains that can provide you with well-stacked shelves that you feel are important to society, without resorting to workfare.

    Cannot Dave’s Big Society come up with something truly beneficial to society for workfare? Why bother when there’s a profit to be made in the private sector.

  246. 246
    The Paragnostic says:

    @Pawn Sandwich – good idea. Maybe he’d have fried his bollocks and we wouldn’t have had to endure that twat Straw fucking up everything he touched.

  247. 247
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    Impressive acting.

  248. 248
    Major Eyeswater says:

    I must urge you to reconsider!

    She’s a gem is our Doreen… Please hear her tragic tale.

  249. 249
    Super Stregnth says:

    Exceptionally narrow-minded and ignorant view.

    I’ve been unemployed for over a year and so have some people I know and there is no couch-potato-tennents-super-strength in sight. By the way im in my mid 50s.

    It must be nice having such a simple view of life with everything neatly packaged exactly as you think it is. Unfortunately, life and unemployment is just not that simple.

    So, us feckless gimps not only have the social stigma of being long-term unemployed but we then have to suffer indignant and bigoted views of the “employed” ( i.e. you) who, of course, have ALL the solutions right to hand. Convenient, that…

  250. 250
    The Paragnostic says:

    They’d still be as well off as someone in a minimum wage job – their non-tested benefits would make them better off in most cases.

    What’s wrong with that?

  251. 251
    Steve says:

    You do know tesco uses these people over Xmas instead of getting in extra staff?

    This scheme reduces jobs and gives free staff to multi billion pound companies.

    And grim them? Why , there loads more for free!

  252. 252
    Man in pub, being deluged by big-mouthed chavette, wot is gonna be a nurse, innit says:

    amongst other jewels from this vocationally guided ‘angel’

    “I start traynen next week. Om gonna getta dergree. I ent gonna work on the wards wiv payshunts though. Om gonna bea manja!”

  253. 253

    What I’m getting at about “training/education and job seeking” is that when they are not on their work places at a charity for example say 3 days a week the other 2 days should be for things like going to the job centre and checking the job computers(used to be boards in my day) reading the newspaper wanted adds – writing applications etc and training in skills which are in short demand in the UK. In that way they are keeping in touch with the world of work 3 days a week – getting up and ready and to the job on time dealing with people etc and the other 2 days they are furthering their prospects

  254. 254
    Spartacus says:

    is it time to abolish the minimum wage?

  255. 255
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    ‘… long term unemployed young people without work experience, who are on benefits, are given work to do as condition of continuing to receive those benefits. Is that so unfair?’

    Yes, f you then g on to say the following: ‘If you are young there are plenty of entry level jobs for those who want to work. Take a job, any job. No matter what your qualifications, you have to start somewhere, however lowly, it is better than making other people slave to pay you dole.’

    You see the problem? If there are plenty of jobs then no-one could be forced into unpaid work.

  256. 256
    Spartacus says:

    simplification of the tax system it is not.

  257. 257
    Well it's a thought says:

    So red Ed says devolution has worked for Scotland and devolution has worked for Wales and for the people of the United Kingdom, so what about the people of England ed has devolution worked for us, your views to red ed so called leader of the Liebour party resident of planet zog ,he’s certainly not living on this planet.

  258. 258
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    I used to make an honest living as a scrounger.

    Now I’m a politician, so the “honest” part went out the window. And you can hardly call it “living”. Still, the tax breaks & “special interest” payments make up for all that.

  259. 259
    The Paragnostic says:

    I was going to suggest something similar, but not in quite those terms – the poster is obviously intelligent and capable of writing cogent and readable prose.

    Maybe her local council has a need for someone to translate the reams and reams of bullshit produced by their overpaid officers into English, which she could do from home?

    Or perhaps she could set up a company offering such a service?

    I’d do the same, but the market for rabid invective and inchoate bigotry is sadly in decline.

  260. 260
    Super Stregnth says:

    Grommit, I think I misread your post and mixed it up with a different one further up.

    I got hooked!

    My profund apothecaries

  261. 261
    Bob Diamond Geezer says:

    Oh come now as is often the case you conflate two different arguments and make 5. Many of us did crap jobs when students or after – my fave include collecting blood samples from different in and around Harley St doctors in a big plastic bag, or moving filing cabinets up and down stairs with typewriters locked inside or picking peas in the boiling heat for about 1P a pea. BUT this is big world away from working in Poundland all week for £50 bloody quid. Quite frankly if I had to do that I would start mugging people or get a job as a banker….

  262. 262
    Dave R says:


    1) The individual in question already had a work placement, that they had to give up for the poundland work. One actually leading in their career direction.

    2) Increasing the supply of free labour (for Poundland in this case) reduces the need of them to actually employ people for a wage i.e this limits job creation, and undermines the position of their paid employees.

    3) For all the talk of “I’ve worked at the minimum wage” (so what, so have I) the individual concerned was working at considerably under the minimum “wage” – namely the dole still paid by the state.

    The concept of workfare isn’t a problem – I agree with it. The implementation is awful. If the job seekers shouldn’t receive something for nothing, why should Poundland?

  263. 263
    Spartacus says:

    for many it is – more is the pity

  264. 264
    Major Eyeswater says:

    The taxpayer gets a great deal if the benefits claimant either

    a) doesn’t show up for work
    b) does show up for work and benefits from the experience
    c) decides to do whatever it takes to avoid having to do this: either not claiming or getting a job.

    Imagine stacking shelves for five weeks surrounded by people earning several times more for doing the same work. I’d say that’d be a bit of a pisser. This is by far the strongest incentive the state has supplied to the idle in many years.

    Please can we keep in perspective that the likely outcome of this policy is less state intervention in labour, not more.

  265. 265
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    employer: So you’ll do the work for less than minimum wage rate?

  266. 266
    badnewswade says:

    Wow I can see why you Tories like dressin up in Nazi uniform huh? Hanker after the good old days when you could have slaves, eh? Bet you wish you could slaughter us but those pesky human rights get in your way!

  267. 267
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    December 2003 – Jack Straw said “Three strikes and you are out”.

    Never happened, it was just a soundbite. We were spoonfed bullshit by that government. Pack of liars.

  268. 268
    Doctor Mick says:

    Not if you make it temporary and that no layoffs are made to permanent positions while there are worksharers on the books.

    Simples. Even a tapeworm could digest that.

  269. 269
    The Paragnostic says:

    We’re currently in the EU, so why don’t some of them look abroad? I’m sure a graduate of one of our many, many universities would find it easy to get a job in one of the backward EU states that hasn’t had the benefit of 13 years of New Labour.

  270. 270

    Cold calling teaches perseverance in a way that no other occupation can.

    It also teaches you to assess your time to maximum advantage and when to realise that getting out and on with the next call is best. So adaptability and flexibility is also thereby learned.

    If you can survive doing that you can do anything, as it is easy by comparison. I am glad I had several years experience of it when I was young. Like you, I cleaned up with targets in my retail and banking/finance days.

  271. 271
    Bug-eyed Binky says:

    What instilled this into Poles, whereas we constantly hear it is so lacking in those brought up in this country?

  272. 272
    £5 Million BBC pilgrim with gold-plated pension says:

    I’m really sick of paying extortionate taxes to bail out spongers and parasites. I started work stacking shelves, progressed then crashed mid career and started from the bottom again stacking shelves. There should be no benefits at all only interest free loans repayable by the individual or their family. The only exceptions should be disabled or pensioners. I’m sick of seeing the scum class with their ridiculous level of benefit. They need to be gassed.

  273. 273
    Anonymous says:

    Tories really are ugly as fuck

  274. 274
    lola says:

    Excellent analysis. And yes, cold callimg teaches you how to find work – which most ‘reps’ and pretty well everyone else can’t do.

  275. 275

    According to reports Cait was volunteering in a pen museum, she read geology. Not sure why you think writing pens were her field.

    She called in human rights lawyers and the Guardian before completing her three week placement. You wonder why she didn’t get a job interview?

    Get your facts straight.

  276. 276
    Sungei Patani says:

    * Introduce a £10 per hour minimum wage = Industry costs go, up inflation increases, many people priced out of work unemployment soars.

    * Cap private rents to get rid of the buy to let bubble speculators = no private rented housing available as when we last had rent controls.

    * No income tax for anyone earning less than 50% of average wage = bigger government deficit, more cuts needed in government expenditure.

    * Drop VAT back to 10% = bigger government deficit, more cuts needed in government expenditure.

    Is *that* so sensible ?

  277. 277
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    The Fat Bolimic One tried to give us regional assemblies, they were voted out.

    So the EU…

  278. 278
    Major Eyeswater says:

    Nah. People work hard or they don’t. They achieve stuff or they don’t. Impossible to generalise on the basis that you have here. I started at 16 washing the dishes in Little Chef for £2.26/hour and ended up running businesses in the City.

    I know how important the first steps can be, but nothing is pre-ordained – never underestimate how much hard work can be its own incentive to move on.

    That bloke in poundland might one day start the business that hires your kids.

  279. 279
    Tachybaptus says:

    ‘… the market for rabid invective and inchoate bigotry is sadly in decline.’

    It’s been replaced by unpaid labour. Look at the comments here.

  280. 280
    Ray Davies says:

    lola, you look like a woman but talk like a man.

  281. 281
    Sorry, but this scheme is doomed says:

    This scheme will die, not because of UKuncut but because its one of those schemes that most people see as self evidently unfair.

    Should welfare recipients be prepared to work? Most peopke will say yes.

    Does this mean tax payers and hard-pressed shoppers should fund free labour for multinational companies? Most people will say no.

  282. 282
    Diane Abbott says:

    I’m a Labour pin up girl.

  283. 283
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    Perfect drugery for a workfare placement then.

  284. 284
    Sungei Patani says:

    “Vodafone & others pay next to nothing in Tax” … In the tax year ending 31 March 2011 Vodafone paid £1.628 billion tax in the UK. Sound rather more than next to nothing to me!

    Good idea to check your facts before rushing into print; don’t rely on on the left wing clap-trap put out by so many unwashed agitators.

  285. 285
    Grafter says:

    When I was out of work, two years ago, I worked behind a bar, scrubbed bogs at Notting Hill Carnival, served beer at Spurs, shifted boxes in a law firm, tutored people at Maths and took a commission-only telesales job. No job is beneath anyone and no person is beneath any job.

    Now, I’m a recruiter in the City and doing alright. I interviewed someone from central Asia who came here, learned English and worked in the coffee shop of a law firm. She got chatting to a partner and now has a part time job in their office. All British people seem to do is moan at the government and demand a living from everyone else.

  286. 286
    Jim Davidson says:

    I had a dead end job working in a cul-de-sac

  287. 287
    Grommit says:


    There’s a lot of tarring with the same brush going on. I chose my words carefully.

    Hope you get something soon, must be frustrating.

  288. 288
    Nazis and commies two cheeks of the same arse says:

    Why would we want to dress up in the uniform of an extreme totalitarian left wing party such as the National Socialists ?

  289. 289
    sell your labour at the rate you want says:

    Scrap the ‘minimum wage’.

  290. 290
    Sorry, but this scheme is doomed says:

    You didn’t work for those employers for free though.

  291. 291
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    Congratulations on your rise to glory.

    Perhaps you could use the story of your success to inspire others. After all, some of us can only dream of being a lump picker.

  292. 292
    Grommit says:

    I think you have said more eloquently and in fewer words what I have been groping for.

    Thank you.

  293. 293
    Manuel says:


  294. 294
    Nazis and commies two cheeks of the same genocidal arse says:

    Oh and most of the genocidal slaughtering over the past wee while has been down by folk like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Mao. Can you see what they have in common ?

  295. 295
    Legal aid gravy train says:

    The tax payer paid for it of course, do you think the lawyers did it out of principle !

  296. 296
    outrageous says:

    and why the fuck should Tesco have this free labour, when the small competitor scraping to stay afloat has to pay a minimum wage to keep its shelves stocked.

  297. 297
    B + Q says:

    This week’s Special Offer : heavy-duty pins

  298. 298
    annette curton says:

    “worked in the coffee shop of a law firm”, I think somebody is pulling someone’s plonker.

  299. 299
    Manuel says:

    Prawn Sandwich – no doubt as a pacifist he’d also refuse to fight fires.

    Some trades really don’t want conscripts screwing up their operations.

  300. 300
    Yuk Ucunt says:

    Indolence and indifference – we’re entitled to do fuck all, we’re socialists.

  301. 301

    Hardly think that Tesco’s profitability is helped by taking on the training of inexperienced youngsters who haven’t been able to find a job.

    Paying people dole is a free market distortion, we’re not in a perfect world, this is the world as it is, and the short term cost to the taxpayer is the same whether they gain work experience or sit at home on the sofa watching daytime TV. Long-term it should reduce the cost to the taxpayers.

  302. 302
    To which the answer is says:

    Interviewee: No , Im grateful for the work experience I gained and it has given me the confidence to better myself thats why Im applying for a proper Job with Your Company.

  303. 303
    Jimmy says:

    You were 25 under the minimum wage?

    Course you were.

  304. 304
    annette cuton says:

    Pro Bono Latte?.

  305. 305
    Regular Commenter says:

    I ascribe it to living most me life in cardboard box in middle ‘o motorway.

  306. 306
    F0ul says:

    No libertarian would disagree with Guido’s piece.
    When I was qualified but unexperienced in the 90’s, I did shit jobs to add something to my CV. It isn’t about getting an interview, its about learning why someone would want to pay you at all. Jobs are not a right, they exist because its economically viable to pay someone to do a task. The alternative is for the job to disappear.
    The point is that at the early part of your career, experience is more valuable than cash, and if the government is giving you cash anyway – what do you have to lose?
    The fact that these companies are also gaining is part of that deal – if they didn’t get anything out of it, why would they want to help you?

  307. 307
    Mutti's Dackel says:

    Someone on 12k a year (minimum wage) pays £907 tax.

    It takes 11 working slaves on minimum wage to give one dole claimant 10k a year.

    We should stop to quote money when we speak of how much claimants get, just start speaking in terms of minimum wage slaves for dole claimants — someone raking in £25k a year from the dole has 27 slaves beavering away for them…!

    The only difference between a boss and a claimant is that the boss actually works… The claimant however just sends his enforcers from the HMRC along to collect his entitlement to their earnings!

  308. 308
    Never Ever Try to Improve Anything says:

    Apprenticeships, training, experience, and risk all cost money even at this level. Extremists at both ends can take advantage but we must still try to help these poor people.

  309. 309
    HR Automaton says:


    Try archaeology, museums, curating as possible careers that Reilly applied for that value a geology degree.

  310. 310
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    We don’t want regional assemblies. We want an ENGLISH PARLIAMENT!

  311. 311
    Tuscan Tony says:

    Hasta la vista Bebe.

  312. 312
    Fog says:

    It’s a good id e a to get people used to working. I would work stacking shelves if need be. I would never expect others to keep me. The EU laws, the Labour Party, champagne socialists, teachers – warped, damaged, illogical breeders of this sickening entitlement culture. This utterly clueless girl Cait Reilly apparently has no real experience of life, the life her ancestors had; of how everything we do and experience in our life contributes to our understanding of ourselves, our capabilities, our survival. She is a bloodsucker who expects taxpayers like me to give her the life she thinks she deserves.

    O/T, but not really, a friend’s child was recently given detention at school for being racist- for singing a football chant about the Welsh throwing sheep. The t e achers are apparently so soulless, humourless, indoctrinated, uneducated and unintelligent, they haven’t considered the Welsh may have a sense of humour about this chant. What would life be if the English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, French and Germans couldn’t insult each other? Oh, we’re already in that world.

  313. 313
    Diane Fatbott says:

    Racist !

  314. 314
    Btw does anyone know if Clare Solomons has graduated yet ? says:

    Why cant the brat become a Lawyer ?

  315. 315
    Tiny Tim says:

    Guido Gradgrind

  316. 316
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    Yes, using unpaid interns is open to abuse. But unpaid interns aren’t getting workfare, and agencies like A4e aren’t getting paid by the government for arranging the placement of unpaid interns. Follow the money.

  317. 317
    Benny Fitz-Clements says:

    Indolence and insolence – it’s my human right http://tgr.ph/qhbANL

  318. 318
    South of the M4 says:

    Empathise old chap. Same age, same experience. Took me a long time – whilst living off redundancy pay and taking nothing from the tax payer. No replies, no interviews, despite being qualified and experienced. Landed a job eventually, at half previous salary but that is ok. Just considered myself lucky. Pays enough to tread water for now and I will honour the commitments i gave them. In a years time maybe the economy will be better and it is always easier to get a job when you already have one. Keep going and never give up. When you least expect it, an opportunity will arise.

  319. 319
    Grafter says:

    Didn’t say I agreed with the scheme!

    Tesco have enough money to pay these people and they should.

  320. 320
    Ah! Monika says:

    They do exist, alongside the staff restaurants

  321. 321
    Never Ever Try to Improve Anything says:

    No this is commercial experience leading possibly to self help.
    Contributing to Society costs money and ends there, it is not continuous.

  322. 322
    Fake Blood says:

    Sure they did it out of principle. That being the principle of making lots of cash for themselves and being smug Hunts on tele

  323. 323

    Anecdotal is enough to convict in court. Also known as empirical in science.

  324. 324
    I'm a taxman says:

    The ‘tax’ paid by civil and public servants is merely an accounting exercise. The money still comes from the private sector. It would be simpler to pay them a lower tax-free salary and dispense with an un-needed department of the tax department which is currently required to push paper around and perfom unnessary calculations.

  325. 325
    I'm a taxman says:

    * necessary

  326. 326
    Btw does anyone know if Clare Solomons has graduated yet ? says:

    Anon, do you have any actual evidence that TESCO are paying off regular staff to make way for workfare employees ?

  327. 327
    David Hopper says:

    Disgusting suggestion Guido. Workfare / work experience is little more than slave labour and goes against the grain of recognised thinking even for the workshy Socialist sponges making up the group- they are, after all, only taking their recognised allowance entitlements while being excluded from joining the workforce on their own terms.- A valuable source of future support for our caring party.
    When we return to power I will suggest that the affected Tory participants that make up the group that are a drain on resources, in contrast to bankers and ex Tory politicians that we feel deserve hanging and shooting for their sins, would be disposed of humanely, to put them out of their misery.
    And people say we are the nasty party without a heart!

  328. 328
    Spartacus says:

    ”take a job, any job”.
    even an unpaid one working for an mp.

  329. 329
    Fog says:


    1. That s intellectualising the situation. Its an attitude problem. If I was out of work and needed to earn, I would not even know, or think about what people are getting on benefits. I would just take a job. If no work in my area I would move to the available That work.

    2. Condoning fraud?

  330. 330
    yh33 says:

    I have sympathy with this argument. However, where is the evidence that Tesco would replace its workfare interns with paid employees if workfare disappeared tomorrow?

    I waitressed (couldn’t find work after my degree! Walked into the first waitressing job I asked for… but that’s not the point) and we took on a couple of 17 year olds (pre-workfare) for 3 week ‘work experience’. They helped run food, clean cutlery and by week 3 were allowed to take care of a couple of tables. When they were around it made my life and the life of my fellow waiters and waitresses much easier, particularly during the busy times. However when they finished my restaurant didn’t hire any permanent staff members to replace them and they hadn’t filled the places of staff who had left/quit – the permanent employees were just expected to pick more work up again.

    Tesco will run inductions for new staff every week – these workfare kids can slip into this regime quite easily and they will make the lives of the existing employees easier. However it does not necessarily follow that they are filling a job that would otherwise be filled by a fully paid-up employee.

    Happy, obviously, to see evidence of the claims (made by numerous commentators on this post) that these are necessarily paid jobs being filled by workfare placements.

  331. 331
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    `… the market for rabid invective and inchoate bigotry is sadly in delcine.’

    Don’t talk the market (and yourself) down. According to Government politicians, it is attitudes like yours that are depressing the economy. Chin-chin for a brighter future and a stronger economy!

  332. 332
    Anonymous says:

    no, anecdotal evidence is known as worthless in science. Empirical evidence is completely different to anecdotal evidence. Example: I just flew thus disproving the theory of gravity is anecdotal evidence, do you think a scientist would accept that as anything?

  333. 333
    Incontinent Alf says:

    Ungrateful bastards. They should work to pay for our pensions, and mop up our piss.

  334. 334
    Ah! Monika says:

    G, My bro is a Financial Adviser at the top end and he like me scrubbed maggots out of bacon sides for 12 hours a day. He took himself to night school to gain his qualifications over a period of 8 years. I worked 15 hour ‘days’ as a Restaurant Manager, the first 6 of which I earned less than our waitresses.
    He says that 80% of his clients, mostly millionaires, were not graduates but ‘self made’
    Sir Terry Leahy ex CEO TESCO…….
    “Leahy was born and grew up in in a pre-fab maisonette on a council estate in the Belle Vale district of Liverpool, the third of four brothers.[4][5] He attended St. Edward’s College[2] which was, at the time, a Catholic direct grant grammar school.[6] Leahy had worked briefly stacking shelves and washing floors in the Wandsworth branch of Tesco in school holidays, travelling to London because he could not find work in Liverpool”
    We went to the same GRAMMAR School !!!

  335. 335
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    I applaud you.

    My parents couldn’t afford to finance me, so I had to work for it. I hear of dozens of parents who will give their kids thousands to buy a home, and furnish it as well, knowing that repayment of this money is unlikely. Whilst I realize that it’s difficult to get on the housing ladder these days, it’s not impossible. Our eldest son left school at 16 and went into a basic job. He has worked all hours to get promoted and save up, and is just about to buy his first house. Our best achievements in life are the ones we’ve worked hardest for.

  336. 336
    Dave Bruce says:

    There are not many times I agree with what you say.
    But today and having read this article I COULDN’T AGREE MORE, start at the bottom and work your way up, like most non privileged tax payers.

  337. 337
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    Frank knows it’s at least a million, because that’s when he stopped counting.

  338. 338
    Anonymous says:

    Its remarkable that this lot of clowns is doing exact what the last set of clowns did, remember Blunket and chums they were doing the same so Milliband and chums can hardly complain about the present lot. I used to laugh at the League of Gentlemen in Royston Vasey and the Job Club there, it’s the same thing all over again must have driven anyone with brain round the bend

  339. 339
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    It’s the old, old story. When I started work, I started at the bottom of the ladder and worked my way up.

    These days, kids expect to be earning over £40,000 by the time they’re 25.

  340. 340
    Meanwhile says:

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to be questioned next week by police investigating an alleged prostitution ring in northern France, officials say.

  341. 341
    Btw does anyone know if Clare Solomons has graduated yet ? says:

    I thought a Troll was a fairly good paying position ?

  342. 342
    Ding Dong says:

    Stupid. If anything this will increase unemployment. Companies like those get high profits partly because they extract the maximum out of a minimum number of work force. If you think these state funded workers will not replace a fully paid taxed worker, you’re sorely naive.

  343. 343
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    Yeah, bloody Romans and their prosperity. They were probably socialists too. Slave-owning socialists.

  344. 344
    Anonymous says:

    Even he started at the bottom!

  345. 345
    Anonymous says:

    You think people didn’t have low wages prior to 1998 – you are a bit dumb aren’t you petal?

  346. 346
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    I think people on the dole should have to do a certain amount of community work if they’re not doing voluntary work already. It would certainly focus the mind on getting a job.

  347. 347
    Handycock No1 Trougher in Parliament says:

    I have every sympathy with Doreen and a word of advice for Cait Reilly above. I started work at 15 as a Fitter and Turner and didn’t like it, so I became a radical Union Convener. There weren’t many prospects for me so I turned to politics at the age of 21 and have been troughing ever since. Cait my love, if you don’t want to work in Poundland, get into politics like what I did, you will find a whole new life of foreign travel, luxury hotels and restaurants and even plenty sex (if you want it) opens up before you. All the material things in life come to you through MP’s expenses and you can even increase your pay by paying your partner for doing nothing. Take my advice Cait get into politics. Boaz.

  348. 348
    Btw does anyone know if Clare Solomons has graduated yet ? says:

    Again have you any actual evidence that TESCO are paying off regular workers to make way for workfare workers. What I do know is that they recently opened a new store in our area and employed several hundred people.

  349. 349
    Rupert my Hero says:

    Right behind the sentiment. as a single parent I would do any work that put food on the table & paid the rent, I walked most places, bought special offers in the supermarket, on date food was frozen as was seasonal vegetables bought in bulk. blanched & frozen. Fresh veg can be cheap if bought from the farm, I gave up smoking & drinking as the children came first, now they all have a degree and well paid jobs in different parts of the world.
    If Poles & Latvians can do it ,then so can those who just moan & collect the benefits I never did.
    There is a huge work-shy culture out there and they are just a drain on Britain as are those who encourage them, Blair for what ever reason, flooded this country with Asians, again a massive drain on this countries resources, was he trying to destroy Britain’s future. How many Asian Farmers are there in Britain.
    Recent statistics on benefits make he Somalis the highest claimants and the Poles the Lowest and yes nothing is being done to send these useless People back where they came from.
    Has any one looked at the speech given recently bu the Australian Prime Minister…. well we could do with a bit of here sentiment here.

  350. 350
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    We worked for our own pensions, until Gordon came along and wiped them out, that is. I don’t expect anyone to clear up after me when I’m old and losing my marbles – I’ll save enough money to go to Switzerland and get the job done properly!

  351. 351
    Btw does anyone know if Clare Solomons has graduated yet ? says:

    They should take a leaf out of your book Guido and get off their arses to spend most of their day in the Pub :)

  352. 352
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    Doing voluntary work also looks good to a prospective employer. I know people who have employed youngsters who weren’t prepared to sit at home watching Jeremy Kyle all day, when they were collecting JSA.

  353. 353
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    Exactly. England, the nation whose name politicians dare not speak. Instead it is “regions”, nicely packaged for their local placemen.

  354. 354
    Anonymous says:

    Wrong, what it will do is get rid of the liars and allow the genuine disability claimants to no longer be stigmatised.

  355. 355
    Senedh Kernow says:

    Not in Cornwall we don’t.

    London/Edinburgh/Bristol…all up country c*nts as far as im concerned.

  356. 356
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    And “served beer at Spurs”? That overpriced fizz can hardly be called beer (TDA).

    Grafter is straight out of “I’m all right Jack”.

  357. 357
    Btw does anyone know if Clare Solomons has graduated yet ? says:

    Seems to me it was the catalyst that got you focused on what you really wanted to do and how to go about it. I would say that was a result.

  358. 358
    Chris Hoon says:

    Scientists accept that Global Warming is caused by Man. That doesn’t mean that it’s evidence.

  359. 359
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    Yes but the maid took exception ! she said tops first !

  360. 360
    Btw does anyone know if Clare Solomons has graduated yet ? says:

    Heres a tip get of your arse now and get one of those jobs before the rest of the 5 million get going.

  361. 361
    Gooey Blob says:

    Another vote for workfare. In fact, the scheme should be expanded.

    I said this here before when the Reilly case was in the news, but I’ll say it again: I would not give that uppity woman a job.

    You have to start at the bottom. If you are unemployed no job should be beneath you, and that was certainly my attitude when I was on the dole 20+ years ago. Show willing, prove yourself reliable and you’ll progress soon enough. A few weeks stacking shelves or flipping burgers looks far, far better on the CV than a period of unemployment.

  362. 362
    Dave says:

    Not allowed 10% VAT EU won’t allow below 15%.

  363. 363
    Keith Battye says:

    Did anybody get that Tesco and Poundsaver are charged for the labour they get on workfare?

    Do keep up.

  364. 364
    Ah! Monika says:

    If you’re old enough to post on here, you’re old enough to read a P&L Account

    ” High Profits”???

    Gross margin 8.35%
    Net profit margin 4.65%
    Operating margin 6.35%

  365. 365
    Diane Fatbott a mere 10 minutes later says:


  366. 366
    Ah! Monika says:

    380,000 Number of Tesco employees worldwide, equivalent to the population of Bristol
    260,000 Number of employees in UK, making Tesco the biggest private sector employee.

    Keeping a few off the dole eh?

  367. 367
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    If you want to disappear into the sunset, then that is your problem.

  368. 368
    Labour filth spreaders says:

    stupid fucking retarded workfare schemes

    reduce corporation tax and cut out the fucktard mong civil servants between the people who have the work and the people who need the jobs

  369. 369
    annette curton says:

    Another universe, all the ‘canteens’ for most working people shut down about 1980, never mind the luxury of a restaurant.

  370. 370
    Doreen says:

    Thanks for your sympathy Handy. You don’t fancy me do you? If you do give me a bell.

  371. 371
    Anonymous says:

    As long as it doesnt involve anything like that in Belgium as we know what THAT involves !

  372. 372
    Jumbo says:

    Two things characterise the British left: the first is spite, the second envy

  373. 373
    Bug-eyed Blinky says:

    Yeah, bloody minimum wage. Perhaps you could get one registered as an unpaid intern? Why should you pay them a wage? – after all, workfare business partners don’t.

  374. 374
    gg says:

    how many people on this blog employ people?

    i do, and i think workfare is shite

    why the fuck should i pay tax for such a scheme when i need to keep the money to emply more people n my own business

  375. 375
    Joss Taskin says:

    4.27pm till 5.21pm = 54 minutes later, not 10 minutes. Are you Ed Balls ? You certainly have his arithmetic skills.

  376. 376
    mv says:

    The Work Experience on offer is designed for people who have either never worked, or not worked for a long time, to have something recent to show on their cv to a prospective employer.

    If an employer has two candidates for a job with similar skill levels, but one has not worked for 10 years, which is he/she going to employ? This is about making people more employable, it’s not about slave labour.

  377. 377
    Socialists = Sociopaths says:

    Let’s not forget hypocrisy and mendacity. It’s in our D-N-A.

  378. 378

    Did you notice the full stop between the two sentences?

  379. 379
    I can't be arsed to think up a new pseudonym says:

    Correct, OH!

  380. 380
    Don't call us, we'll call you says:

    To which they will say: actually we’ve got a fresh batch of tax-payer funded slaves arriving tomorrow.

  381. 381
    Bystander # 4 says:

    fucknuts with no skills

    Looks like there’s a wind powered one leading this crappy ‘gummunt’

  382. 382
    Chris Grayling says:

    Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said: “Our work experience scheme is VOLUNTARY and thanks to companies like Tesco and many others has provided a route for literally thousands of young people to find their first job.

    “The idea that providing work experience for unemployed young people is some kind of forced labour is utterly and completely absurd.”

  383. 383
    Ah! Monika says:

    And idleness

  384. 384
    Sheldon says:

    i would employ the one with the biggest tits

  385. 385
    Anonymous says:

    See # 361 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  386. 386
    just saying says:

    One of my nieces has a first class degree in a sensible subject from a top university and has been working on the JSA at Waterstones book shop for a while.
    She loves it and is glad to have something to get up for in the morning , whilst gaining experience of the workplace. She’s hoping future employers will be impressed that she actually did something positive rather than sitting on her backside moaning about her lot.
    Those people slagging off this scheme should get out and interview a cross section of those on JSA before drawing their predictable conclusions.

  387. 387
    gg says:

    it is plain and simple socialist meddling

  388. 388
    A ? says:

    Work makes you free !

    Good old National Socialist view. Ken Clarke ?

    Your wrong this times, you thick Mick.

    But good-wined up.

  389. 389
    gg says:

    and being fucking liars

  390. 390
    Ivor Tapeworm says:

    Ah, right, if it wasn’t for the workfareslave, the shelves would fill themselves and no paid worker would have to put them there.

  391. 391
    S Penketh says:

    they will only take on people with a masters by European law now. Exploratory Geologists working in Europe need to have 4 years of university study behind them. Still there are plenty of jobs in engineering geology for her but again that would be with evil companies who exploit mother earth as one leftie told me.

  392. 392
    David B says:

    So not having a job is against someone human rights but being given one is also against your human rights!! Hmmmm

  393. 393
    who wht what where when says:

    Anyone else hear Kelvin MacKenzie destroy Tom Watson on R4 Today this morning?
    MacKenzie was ambushed by Evan Davis and Watson- but skilfully turned it around to question Watson about his expenses and inform him that whistle-blowing was used on people like him.
    I haven’t laughed so much for ages. Definitely worth a listen if the BBC hasn’t deleted it.

  394. 394
    polythesis says:

    Just imagine you are a long term unemployed bone idle parasite happy on the dole. OK, imagine the icy shock of workfare where you have to get up like everyone else and you end up doing some awful menial job just to keep your benefit cheques coming in. It wont be long before you start looking for real work just to get out doing public service workfare. You turn up at 8 sharp wait around until work orders come in and if none come in then you go home, in short order you will be turbo charged job seeking within a week.

    Make workfare so uncomfortable, boring, repetitive under some jumped up little Hitler and the unemployment figures would plummet. And make it public service, like shopping for coffin dodgers or worse still make them listen to their stories about the olden days/cleaning out canals/hosing down graffiti or the high street come Sunday morn, the absolute worst thing to do is give the greedy corporates a chance to get free labour. The corporates would immediately find a way to profit at the expense of ordinary workers.

  395. 395
    Anonymous says:

    Speaking as a right wing austrian school free market capitalist – eff off you fascist / communist scum.

    Slavery is not working for nothing. A slave wouldn’t be much use after a week of nothing. If you don’t house, clothe, and especially feed him, you’ll find he won’t be able to do much work after the first few days, then he’ll die and you’ll have to go through the rather tiresome process of finding another slave.

  396. 396
    Rat's arse says:

    When I was a student, I did lots of ‘shit’ jobs and got valuable experience one way or the other. As my old Dad used to say, there’s dignity in any work as long as it’s done well.

  397. 397
    Super Stregnth says:

    What about the companies that have pulled out and the fact that Tesco has put the scheme on hold?

  398. 398
    Mutti's Dackel says:

    “260,000 Number of employees in UK”

    If they are all on the minimum wage, their entire tax takes pays for 9267 dole claimants raking in 25k each, everyone of their ilk being supported by 27 MW slaves. (12k MW pays £907 tax a year)

    Profit margin for the dole claimants who are the (shadow) bosses of the MW worker: £907 per 12k minumim worker income: 7.17%

    Tesco bosses make less than the claimant ‘bosses’ on the dole…!

  399. 399
    Dave says:

    Missing a key point here we are an EU member we are not allowed to have 10% VAT.

    Second point you mention high earners, now this in an argument I am fed up hearing, the top 1% of earners in this country contribute 28% of all tax. Should they really have to pay more?

    Cap rents, whilst this sounds like a wonderful lefty, communist idea (hell while we are at it why don’t we just build social housing blocks) the foundation of our economy has always been the housing market, we are obsessed in this country with buying property. Why should those that have invested their money (which they have worked for) see their investment go down the pan? So some layabout can have a cheap house? That doesn’t sound fair at all.

  400. 400
    Never Ever Try to Improve Anything says:

    A good criminal will confirm how hard he has to work for a living. These people are just looking for a prison sentence. Trouble is they cannot even achieve that!

  401. 401
    The Saint says:

    Theoretical but… totally wrong

  402. 402
    Rat's arse says:

    Well said Andrew!

  403. 403

    In the days before I became proprietor, I always used to tel my employers that they would never know how much I had put in on their behalf.

  404. 404
    Request for Evidence says:

    is that deductable from the £6 billion they owe from previous years?

  405. 405
    Bobg says:

    Ahh yes. The ERM crisis. Another triumph of Tory policy.

  406. 406
    bunny says:

    Apprently she was offered a job in Oz, but wanted to work in a museum

  407. 407
    Super Stregnth says:

    Thank you Grommit.

    Much appreciated

  408. 408
    Stand back, Do Nothing says:

    You are being silly.
    If the scheme works the unemployed will move on to employment and there will be no further applicants.
    If it fails they will stop spending the money and they can go back to watching the BBC. It is not a labour government you know, these people do not vote tory.

  409. 409
    A. Nonnymouse says:

    Seriously, please fuck off and die.

  410. 410
    Super Stregnth says:

    Yep that’ll do it. How come blair or cameron didn’t think of that.

    As it was once said “It’s a shame that all the people that know how to run the country are cutting hair and driving cabs”

  411. 411
    Ding Dong says:

    I am a former Tesco employee. They took me off the dole. However, if they hadn’t had paid me wages, which I then paid taxes on, I would have been working for them but still taking state money. How is this difficult for people on here to work out as being stupid? A store will need X amount of employees and they are not going to have X amount of paid employees plus one benefit claimant, they are going to include the claimant in their total staff needs.

  412. 412
    DCL says:

    O/T: Rod Liddle has posted this today. Google Denise Milani for a treat.

    Metropolitan police officers have been asked to write a poem celebrating the wonderful diversity of our capital. The winning entrant will get to have ‘elevenses’ with the Met’s Head of Diversity, a nice lady called Denise Milani. This is too entrancing a prospect to pass up. So, given that the poem will come from a policeman’s view, here’s my entry:

    Albanian gangsters with rice flails and Uzis,
    Ukrainian pimps with high-cheekboned floozies,
    Jamaicans with handguns, Somalis with knives
    — just some of the people enriching our lives.
    Jew-hating Imams from Rabat and Homs,
    Stockpiling their basements with ricin and bombs,
    Rich Saudi princes with cowering slaves,
    Slovakian hooligans, Romanian knaves,
    A fat lady from Lagos looking quite glum
    With five kilos of gak stashed away up her bum,
    Levantine maniacs beating up gays,
    Young girls from Thailand whose skills quite amaze,
    Grim Kurdish separatists from the shores of Lake Van,
    Strange Russian men with a nuclear tan,
    From Romford to Ruislip a myriad show
    Of cultural diversity — so mind how you go.

  413. 413
    Bob Diamond Geezer says:

    Yes but what is the margin on – what is it a percentage of??????

  414. 414
    Ah! Monika says:

    QV Sodexo

    They are doing quite well out of it !!

  415. 415
    Anyone in particular says:

    Who me?

  416. 416
    A. Nonnymouse says:

    Two things that characterise the British right: the first is useful idiots, the second, utter Hunts.

  417. 417
    Gaston Glock says:

    It’s funny how East Europeans and go-getters from Commonwealth countries can bowl into the UK and either find work or create work for themselves with little trouble.

    It’s an attitude. Whinging poms have a mindset that someone else owes them a cushy lifestyle and an extension of their pampered, mummy’s credit-card adolescence. At heart they’re as lazy as a wet Sunday afternoon.

  418. 418
    A. Nonnymouse says:

    Well, it would help.

  419. 419
    Watson v MacKenzie says:

    Here it is , begining around 1:33:40


  420. 420
    Diane Abott says:

    And I know!
    Look at how well fed I am.

  421. 421
    Digby Foulweather says:

    Er… it’s the companies that are already pulling out of the scheme. Tesco has put the thing on hold and wants a no-sanctions policy for Job-Seekers who just up and leave. They must know something that we don’t, hmm?

  422. 422
    Stand back, Do Nothing says:

    You mean learn the art of communication face to face with another person?

  423. 423
    Diane Abbott says:

    I must learn to spell my name
    I must learn to spell my name
    I must learn to spell my name
    I must learn to spell my name
    I must learn to spell my name
    I must learn to spell my name
    I must learn to spell my name

  424. 424
    A ? says:

    Arrr, someone with a brain. There is hope.

  425. 425
    Stand back, Do Nothing says:

    Agreed, but they must not be in the Public Sector this time.

  426. 426
    Fabians are Evil says:

    Government and a gerrymandering welfare system are the problem here – If living in a village your neighbour fell on hard times you would help them and they, in return, would do something for you – landowners would often get the local unemployed to build a folly if there was nothing else to be done.

    Socialism has destroyed ‘charity’ and ‘community’ and people now firmly believe that it is the duty of the state to take money away from hard working families and give it to those who have no work or even refuse to work.

    A system that encourages its people to rely on the state to the extent that they actually believe it is their RIGHT to be given something for nothing has to be wrong.

    A system where left-wing politicians actually encourage dependancy as a means of retaining power is EVIL.

    This story highlights one of the problems of such a system – the whole system needs reform and we have to get rid of the something for nothing mentality.

  427. 427
    Mary Jackson says:

    I disagree. Penny Red is rich enough to be able to hire someone so I will not buy her book in protest.

  428. 428
    work it out says:

    Did us all a fucking favour to get out of the ERM, and as for Goron the moron selling our gold at rock bottom to buy Euros, don’t even go there.

  429. 429
    Anonymous says:

    Why should you retire, you lazy bastard.

    There’s work to be done. Bleedin’ pubic-sector shysters. Half a mo and these bastards are on the source at the taxpayers’ expense.

    Line ‘em up against a wall, I say. Feckin’ scroungers.

  430. 430
    Super Stregnth says:


    I’m going after jobs that pay the same as I was earning over 10 years ago.

    Thankfully my overheads are low so the net is much wider as I don’t really need to earn that much.

  431. 431
    A ? says:

    Austrian !

  432. 432
    Fuct says:

    * Introduce a £10 per hour minimum wage = *wage* costs go, up inflation blips, many more people really want to work because they can have a life rather than have an existence. QED

    * Cap private rents to get rid of the buy to let bubble speculators = lots of private rented housing available *because* unlike when we last had rent controls, there are plenty of houses and plenty of investors who would look at the housing market in the long term, rather then the short term, to use housing benefit to buy themselves another fucking house.

    * No income tax for anyone earning less than 50% of average wage = bigger government deficit (is that even possible) cuts needed in government expenditure, yes, but better than “printing” ANOTHER 70 BILLION INVISIBLE FUCKING POUNDS TO GIVE TO THE FUCKING BANKERS WHO GOT UKPLC INTO THIS FUCKING MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE WITH THEIR CRIMINAL DEALINGS.

    * Drop VAT back to 10% = bigger government deficit, more cuts needed in government expenditure.

    *Bollocks* like people on low pay would squirrel their money away. They would spend, SPEND SPEND because they could.

    At the moment, people are not spending because a) they don’t have any fucking money and b) 20% of the spend goes straight via Boy George to prop up the fucking banks.

    Sungei Patani says “Is *that* so sensible ?”

    Yes. Eminently. Are you really that fucking dim ?

  433. 433
    Mike Barnes says:

    You and your wife were getting paid to do those jobs. Workfare people aren’t. And no, JSA doesn’t count, they should be on minimum wage the same as everybody else.

  434. 434
    ToonBob... says:

    Abbott? Smack ‘er arse and ride the ripples perhaps?

  435. 435
    Not many people will be calling your company says:

    And at which point the interviewer dooms the company to failure as passing up on good candidates in favour of much of the dross which inevitably comes with the tax funded “slaves” means the company will be outperformed by those companies who appreciate the value of good staff.
    Tell me, youve never actually ran a company nor conducted interviews have you ?

  436. 436
    Fuct says:

    “Missing a key point here we are an EU member we are not allowed to have 10% VAT”

    Yes, you are missing a key point. Leave the EU. Who voted to be told what we can and can not do to protect our own borders, economy and way of life ?

    “Second point you mention high earners”

    No I didn’t.

    High earners are essential, they are the life blood of any successful economy and anyone with half a brain will aspire to being a high earner.

    “Cap rents” (snip bollocks) “So some layabout can have a cheap house? That doesn’t sound fair at all”

    Failed again, Mr buy to let. You are a BTL’er, aren’t you ?

    See the first point I made. There would be fewer layabouts if the minimum wage was raised to £10 hour and any remaining layabouts would be easier to identify and be made to get of their lazy arses into work.

    Capping rents and banning BTL in the *social* sector (private renters/landlords can do what they like) would make mortgage companies pull out of super risky BTL products, the type of product which CAUSED the housing bubble and were subsequently wrapped up in toxic derivatives, flogged on to greedy Hunts three times over until POP. Margin Call.

  437. 437
    i noes me rites pal says:

    I ad 2 wipe me own arse 2nite innit

    it stank! dats gotta be an in fringe munt of my uman rites

    sum wun shud do dat for me innit

  438. 438
    annette curton says:

    That stuff is rubbish, all my smalls ended up with holes in them and that was just on a medium wash and at a 600 rpm spin to finish.

  439. 439
    East India Company wallah says:

    Quite correct,
    Now also factor in Cait’s future if she is left “resting” on benefits until Birmingham suddenly developes need of a Geologist-not very likely is it! Most likely Cait will find some soap dodging uni eduacated dosser round her home village of Moseley who will provide the Darwinian key to a council house and a life of “resting” while bleating the gummint should invent a position just for little her-not easy supporting palestinians on benefits is it?

  440. 440
    some village is missing an idiot says:

    Haha, how ironic that you should use a Stalinist term you dopey fucker.

  441. 441
    East India Company wallah says:

    Hunger makes people ambitious-welfare spoils people

  442. 442
    Anonymous says:

    God forbid that anyone should get out of their pit in the mornings for any scheme designed to give them experience in the real world.

  443. 443
    Anonymous says:

    Many of us on here have done low-paid jobs. I’ve been a fruit picker, a waiter and worked in an old people’s home. I was glad to earn a few bob and understood that I wasn’t going to be raking it in at a young age.
    There is work for those who want it. Sadly too many are content to take the easy option.

  444. 444
    Mutti's Dackel says:

    Most claimants that come for work placements cost more to supervise than they bring in with their work.

    Add to that the deliberate sabotage and thefts that occur, it’s a surprise that the DWP doesn’t have to pay companies that take claimants on a fee to cover their costs.

    Tesco has no need to recruit claimants, it’s charity on their part to give those guys a chance.

    But I agree, it’s not a good idea to make people work for their dole like that as it breeds a lot of problems and resentment all round. Trust me, the harried superviser folk at Tesco who have to deal with those blighters sure wish their boss was less compassionate… most of those people are just trouble to deal with and are not getting jobs for that very reason. And I guarantee you that after all is totted up, Tesco ends up out of pocket for their charitable efforts, not to mention the extra stress for the actual employees who have to supervise and work with the claimants, who often will be hostile to them and end up poisoning the work atmosphere for everyone. Even if you sack a nasty person, it still ruins your day, no-one needs that kind of hassle in their life. Tesco has made a very bad business decision here, then again, had they said ‘no’ to workfare, everyone would be over them like a rash whining about not giving people a chance. Bleah…

    Seriously, it’s far better to stop the dole for anyone losing their job after 6 month, impose a life time limit of 5 years claiming and only pay out any monies if the claimant has paid in enough to cover what they take. That way no-one can holler about ‘slavery’ whilst on the side, they run an HMRC enforced chain-gang of tax payers to keep them afloat.

  445. 445
    East India Company wallah says:

    If all those “poxy” 500,000 jobs are filled,that in turn will drive demand in the economy,real demand that is,that drives consumer confidence not your parties job creation schemes that only snowball the debt as each new employee is an expensive dole bum whether they deal with real nappies or climate change

  446. 446
    who why what where when says:

    Thanks for that.
    The gift that just keeps giving.

  447. 447
    East India Company wallah says:

    Sadly most of these countries primary schools put our unis to shame-each primary school pupil in bosnia-herz is required to take english,german and french along with the standard curriculum

  448. 448
    the wolf's lair says:

    Must be a left wing national socialist.

  449. 449
    Liam Byrne says:

    There’s no money left.

  450. 450
    "Private" Celebrity Funeral says:

    Did Stevie Wonder perform “Too High” in his slot at Whitney Houston’s funeral?

    It was one of his best songs.

  451. 451
    Anonymous says:

    Wishing someone you’ve never met dead.
    Endless warmongering in far-off lands.
    Praise for murdering terrorists like the IRA.
    Just the kind of aggression we’ve come to expect from the left.

  452. 452
    Why is Jesse Jacko at Whitney's funeral? says:

    Did Jesse Jackson actually know Whitney Houston personally or is he a black Tony Blair who attends any high profile funeral just to get his mug on TV screens?

  453. 453
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    Where as our public school system Requires them to learn how to take cock and a good beating !

  454. 454
    John Prescott says:

    I tried to working at a Poundsland but I got sacked after a day cos I found the price structure too complexicated.

  455. 455
    Trades Descriptions says:

    Man gets heart attack while eating at the Heart Attack Grill. Sounds like he got what he paid for. Now, can someone introduce John Prescott to this fine dining establishment? http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501363_162-57378364/man-stricken-eating-heart-attack-grill-burger/

  456. 456
    East India Company wallah says:

    Dont have nightmares – do sleep well!

  457. 457
    Grim says:

    Except of course we taxpayers are paying for Tesco’s shelves being stacked.
    The dole claimants should be used on infrastructure projects like I said before.

    Instead of Tesco’s they should work for firms that are contracted to do, say, civil engineering.

    It could be part of the contract for infrastructure projects that dole claimants are used for menial work.Then the taxpayer would get real some benefit. There are also dustcarts to be manned and streets to be swept.

  458. 458
    any excuse for a party says:

    I’m going out to celebrate our cultural diversity by getting totally rat arsed.

  459. 459
    "Private" Celebrity Funeral says:

    Apparently not, but he has admitted to reading about her in newspapers.

  460. 460
    Chris Roderick says:

    I am sick of these bone-idle leftie layabouts. Some of them are unemployable anyway

  461. 461
    Anonymous says:

    Jesse Jackson is to being black what Elton John is to being gay.

  462. 462
    GORDON BROWN says:

    I couldn’t attend the funeral today as i couldn’t find anyone to buy me a plane ticket and pay my expenses
    I would just like to say that Mr Whiteknees Houston was a personal friend of mine
    who was once married to my cousin Bobby Brown
    I have known him for many years and have all his gramophone recordings

  463. 463
    GORDON BROWN says:

    And now a gramophone recording by his aunty Thelma Houston !

  464. 464
    The Paragnostic says:

    “Why should those…” etc.

    Why should the rest of the economy suffer to prop up the rent seekers who chose to “invest” in property rather than putting their spare capital to productive use?

    It’s past time that the housing market crashed properly and house prices returned to a sensible level, leaving your sort out of pocket.

  465. 465
    S says:

    Government Minister’s son is a druggy sports cheat. Perhaps she should have devoted more time to him when he was developing. Wrongly putting a nanny on expenses was certain to end in tears.

  466. 466
    Voy Urgh says:

    don’t know about a pin up, but your a f0ckin pain up the @rse!

  467. 467
    The Paragnostic says:

    Well, it was the Romans who invented the dole – free bread rations for the lower classes to stop them getting too uppity.

    So yes – proto-socialists at least.

  468. 468
    Gordon Brown says:

    I’m with you there John, – I couldn’t work it out either!

    Why don’t we start a shop ? I could fix the prices, and Blinky could work out the multi-buy pricing.

  469. 469
    onlooker #34 says:

    that horrible fat ugly 96eer slug?

  470. 470
    sir humphrey says:

    agreed. just standing in a field for 8 hours a day would be better than nothing. its impossible to remove the poverty trap when you get so little extra on benefits than for working but you have to give up 40 hours of free time.

  471. 471
    The Paragnostic says:

    Tractor stats are not evidence, and social science is not science.

    Anecdotes are as valid as any other form of evidence in matters such as this – when assessing whether a social programme is likely to make someone behave differently, ones own experiences and the anecdotal experiences of others are far better than the reams of massaged statistics that masquerade as data in the realm of the PPE mind.

  472. 472
    Farmer says:

    Guido, in the years I have read your blogsite this is the only post I have ever totally disagreed with. You are wrong. The example you gave of your early work experience was a job you got paid for and it built your skills for the career you eventually took.

    This workfare scheme benefits no one but the employers who get free labour paid for by the taxpayer. It should be scrapped along with tax credits which are just another employer subsisdy.

  473. 473
    Koba says:

    I think it’s wrong for someone with a degree in Geography or Geology to stack shelves in poundanad, a serious breach of her human rights indeed. What would be suitable workfare would be for this person to dig the roads or work as a canary in a mine.

  474. 474
    Anonymous says:

    This thread is a right wing nightmare, do I support tax payer funded workers, or lazy ‘lefties’ out of work…AAARRRGGGH.

  475. 475
    finger out says:

    oh bollocks…if I was unemployed and determined to get a job, the idea that I could get a foot in the door of Tesco would be brilliant. I’d work hard and pester the manager to take me on, on account of the good work I was doing.
    Much better to work in Tesco, than in some fucking back office in the local council surrounded by the type of mong who puts their time in there.

    If you want a job, you’ll make the effort. Anyone who isnt determined to work and wants to take their benefits whilst offering nothing back to society, will whinge.

  476. 476
    Well it's a thought says:

    Lets have a moratorium on ALL immigration for at least a year and lets see if we have lazy bastards who won’t work when they have a chance too, yes I know the worst piece of crap the EU tell them it’s what we intend to do and like it or lump it, we like all countries have lazy sods, but I believe the problem we have is it’s cheaper to employ immigrants.

  477. 477
    Sleepless in Kirkaldy says:

    I lost the will to live reading many of the comments. The reality is that most kids leaving school or Uni are worse educated than their parents at the same age, more so against two generations ago. At the same time, goods and services are being produced much cheaper elsewhere. There is no economic reason why kids today should expect to earn more than their parents did in real terms when starting work.

    Overall, most UK workers are probably paid double their real economic rate: the adjustments to wages in Greece will eventually happen here too (does anyone think Greek kids on average are any more or less intelligent than UK kids?)

    Over the next century, real wages will fall unless we fix and value education. The state cannot employ everyone (or even as high a percentage as we do at the moment) or it will get worse faster.

  478. 478
    Saffron says:

    Quite simple really,folks who are paid out of the taxpayer funded purse in that they are jobless,should of course be working in whatever way for the people who pay them and not for private companies.

  479. 479
    Anonymous says:

    You do find that the natives in this country are an idle, lazy bunch of lager chugging fucks, who dont actually want to work for anything, they want immediate success handed to them on a plate. Their primary ambition is “to be famous”, not to be engineers, scientists or doctors, which is the ambition in most other countries in the world.

    It makes me very fucking happy to see someone who got a shit degree in a totally shit subject learning about the real world stacking shelves at poundland. As Guido says, if they don’t like it get a better job or dont claim benefits. Fucking freeloading fucks.

  480. 480
    Don't call us, we'll call you says:

    So you were spotted as a scab and brought into the fold? Congratulations.

  481. 481
    Saffron says:

    Off Topic.
    My congratulations to Eric Pickles for getting to grips with this asshole judges views about organisations not being allowed to say prayers before meetings.
    The asshole who brought it up in the first place INMHO is a plonker,has this plonker ever heard of a majority opinion?.
    Also the arch druid is amazingly silent about this one.

  482. 482
  483. 483
    Righty Whitey says:

  484. 484
    Free man on the land says:

    No benefits are paid by ” tax payers ”
    All benefits come from , national insurance , it’s a contract with a private insurance company in Zurich .
    Any work you would not do voluntarily , is defined as ” forced labour ” .
    The threat of removal of benefits ( causes duress ) its unlawful .
    The work fare scheme will not save the tax payer a single penny , it’s just slave labour , for capitalists too exploit .
    Capitalism is defined by the concentration of power into a single unit , it is the exact opposite of democracy , which is the sharing of power amongst all .

  485. 485
    A. Nonnymouse says:

    Well, if you just lie on the ground and not move, talk or do anything for the rest of your life, I’m sure that will count as a working compromise.

  486. 486
    Righty Whitey says:

    Lighten Up Pau1 — shake yer thing (or the place where it used to be)

  487. 487
    A. Nonnymouse says:

    Well, you count as an idiot, I suppose. Not sure if you’re useful, though.

  488. 488
    A. Nonnymouse says:

    You really do talk shit. No wonder you’ve made Comment Of The Day.

  489. 489
    A. Nonnymouse says:

    Congratulations on demonstrating the vast turd that passes for your brain.

  490. 490
  491. 491
  492. 492
  493. 493
    Anonymous says:

    the propaganda is still working, which is more than you are

  494. 494
    Anonymous says:


  495. 495
    Anonymous says:


  496. 496
    Free man on the land says:

    No one is preventing prayers , what they are saying is ” do it in your own time ” , why should I pay for someone’s ” unusual belief system ” when they should be working .

    The separation off state from religion ( secularism ) it what got us out of the dark ages .

    In a seperate report , demons where driven from a pig in Gloucester , and tony Blair says ” god told me to hate Iran .

    God meanwhile is still pondering the utter anialation of planet earth in an event he calls Armageddon , followed by a late light bash called ” the rapture ” starring ” cliff ” .

  497. 497
    Francis Urquhart says:

    You may well think so. I couldn’t possibly comment. Neither can anyone else, lawfully.

  498. 498
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Ivor Tapeworm I get that you are a ranty, shouting Labour Party Troll. Now fuck off. Get your refund at the door.

  499. 499
    Displaced Brummie says:

    One actually leading in their career direction

    Really? Appears there’s some doubt to that part of her story.

  500. 500
    Jim Davidson says:

    It looks like all shelf stackers become CEOs. How cool is that?

  501. 501
    Displaced Brummie says:

    7 = Labour Party drool boy troll.

  502. 502
    Some Geezer wot thinks you might have a hit there says:

    Set it to music– here’s an idea:

  503. 503
    Handycock (Teen Fondler) says:

    Anything with a pulse Doreen. Send me your number.

  504. 504
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Fuct, do you rip the adverts out of print publications? No? If not you are a hypocritical Hunt who should fuck right off. You know where the door is, you don’t like it here, exit.

  505. 505
    Anonymous says:

    “Cait Reilly was asked to work for three weeks at Poundland, doing five hours a day. Not too onerous. The 22 year-old graduated last year with a BSc in geology from Birmingham University. She had claimed £53.45-a-week Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) since last August and was asked by the Job Centre to work at Poundland.”

    Thats £2.14 an hour. Not a living wage.

    “When people say “there are no jobs appropriate for me” they’re really saying they don’t want to do readily available jobs. Walk around London and you’ll hear a lot of foreign accents, Poles digging the road, Latvians serving sandwiches, it seems like almost every entry level job is being done by East Europeans.”

    Walk around Manchester or Birmingham and you will find this is not the case.

    “Guido’s first proper job (after working in Westminster) was as a ticket clerk in a City brokers. Aged 25, earning just above minimum wage, overdrawn at the end of every month.”

    And you are expecting others to work for a little over a third of that amount.

    “Mrs Fawkes worked three jobs in her summer holidays every year for three years, cleaning in the mornings, waitressing in the afternoons and babysitting in the evenings to pay her way through law school. You have to start at the bottom.”

    I expect she was paid though.

    “If you are young there are plenty of entry level jobs for those who want to work.”


    Even if you are not against this cheme in principle it depresses wages for everybody, and makes it difficult for businesses paying fair wages to compete.

  506. 506
    Displaced Brummie says:

    We sometimes have work experience people at my place of work. I fucking hate it!

    They are not doing any work, just getting in the way of my work. I have to nursemaid them, find ‘jobs’ for them to do.

    However one asked questions and showed a real interest. After college they cam back to work with us full time.

  507. 507
    Rip van Wrinkle says:

    I just can’t wait until the accountants and solicitors jobs are outsourced to much harder working centres such as Guangdong, Bangalore and Mumbai. Oh, and not only do they work harder, they’re much, much cheaper. Don’t think it’s gonna happen? Ever heard of teleconferencing or Skype?

    I wonder if these very same people who want cheap and now, by the looks of things, free labour, will be saying the same thing then?

    NO company worth a wank should expect a worker to go unpaid for work undertaken. None. I can only suggest that I, for one, will never again spend one single penny at a Tesco’s outlet.

  508. 508
    Rip van Wrinkle says:

    Doesn’t mean you can’t pay them. If you expected me to work for you for fuck all, you just might be swallowing your bollocks.

  509. 509
    Spelmanjm says:

    Well that is not quite true. The Press can’t comment but johnathan spelman can and he has all over the internet. He has pretended his age on various muscle st-eroid sites and left his paw prints everywhere.

  510. 510
    durr brain watch says:

    It’s apparent your brain stopped working years ago duckie.

  511. 511
    the third way says:

    Neither actually, wankpiece.

  512. 512
    not a machine says:

    An interesting post guido and judging by the comments has got quite a few of us from all sides thinking .

    I watched Witney Houstons funeral and I dont think I could avoid having a dry eye , in some ways it was ignorant not to , and most unusual to see both news channels playing such an event . It wasnt so much it was a black , pentecostal service , quite different from our more solem services , or indeed some of the thoughts that came to mind during the service about being christian and even what church is , it was the meaning of love ,beyond being a star , as the minister said you can always buy it , but it aint cheap . The service wasnt cheap , it was dignified , it was family , it was those who expressed there love , it was church family , and it touched some moments of universality that , as anyone who does try and follow the christ
    or who sings from such foundations , will understand as “beyond words”.
    Celebrity does can sometimes have there fair share of all the hangers on wether good or bad in the service , but that service , whilst having its share of stars , was full of rembering Witney Houston , as family and christian , and that great mystery of a belief of conquering love even in grief .
    It was a beautiful service , and some beautfiful people spoke and told somthing of gods love and as well as moving me , must have moved many others . I hope it manages to stay as a family service , sure you can analyse it to death , but it is more intamate , to those who loved her and not just some of her music , the song “I will always love you” meant somthing entirely different as her casket left . There is no app for the genuine meaning .

    workfare : There is dignity in work , there is even more dignity in doing work you like or that an employer has the capacity/ability to make even the lowley a foothold or chance to improve . I make the point of it being somthing of a sort of marriage , rather than a ruinous thing , as it requires somthing of both parties . Work is not always the meritocratic thing we would wish , ive seen employees who steal and fit others , ive seen realtionships ensure promotion at the expense of better people , and unions encourage injury claims , money that could have held a workfare person .
    But as you point out guido , you can either be lost in all the problems , or try and be content with some dignity in a little .
    If you recall YTS (youth Training Scheme) it was somthing of a joke that you could assign all the crappy jobs to them , licking the envelopes (no longer avaiable due to email) , fetching the sandwiches , stocking the photcopy cabinet and generally not being part of anything as these positions were always of fixed length , to be filled after by another , they had a sort of expendable aspect to them , and a label that they could be treated that way as they could not find a proper job .
    For the YTS person , it did give work experience , but often a sort of resentment that they never really fitted in , or in some cases never had any proper training (this was in the days before company inductions became the norm) .
    Despite the hellish world of elf and safety inductions , I doubt anyone would want people with no job saftey training to be working somewhere where the risk are real .
    But above all the right sounds of the dignity of work , which I fully agree with and perhaps even the more controversial aspects of putting people into work after a certain length of time without work, there has to be the sort of jobs that would make this scheme work ie gaps in the employment market .
    There is then the further question of what durations of employement will work , we have part time work , so is the thinking for such a scheme 12hrs 16hrs or 40hrs .
    Then the more personal ecnomics kick in , if your doing 4hrs 3days a week and your bus fare is £8 day return , you might well consider if its a good offer .
    Which brings me to the question of how local it should be looking at . Not a problem perhaps in most cities , but I can think of numerous urban scenarios that dont work .
    There is all the cost of the beaurocracy which one would hope would stop any fiddleing , but again , some schemes have been notorious for NGO providers to be doing well , by creating certain streams that are about churn in high unemployement areas.
    I dont think it is mean or poor question to ask , where the jobs are , or indeed where they were even when Labour opened all the credit spending taps . It is perhaps fortunate that so far this goverment has had some new approaches in requiring different results from job centres and seekers ,as I was worried that they had not quite understood , just what sort of employment market they had come to govern . One where large numbers of people were in statistics that did not wish to tell , an awful lot of important basic ecnomic jobs had gone under labour . I mean when the army kit is being made in china , you really ought to question what labours grubby priorties were all about , let alone releasing a personal credit boom on such an imapired economy .
    I could list , call centres (the effeicency of branch closures) overseas , the growth of migrant work gangs , rather than developing our own scheme for our own unemployed , revruitment centres that in some cases reflected the real jobs market more than the job centres , and allowed some employers to get away with really awful work situations , quietly .

    If we are going to have workfare , I expect a few things in place ,
    1)obviously halt all non student immigration and even then restrict to certain courses and ensure they return home .
    2) I would work on the cities and large towns where well known companies can have a developed scheme .
    3) perhaps have first placement at 1 month (fewer problems if job seeker finds a job , for both parties ) , maybee have a nother job seek try for , a letter , interview and response cycle , then offer say 3 months and then a break , after that it perhaps is arguable if workfare is for job seeker or employer .
    4) Goverment paying JSA and perhaps a bus pass if beyond walking , seems least beaurocratic way
    5) hours worked should be sensible ie employer should offer at least half days and not a couple of hours and it should be regular , wether weekends or not is too fussy .
    6) kit an clothing is an obvious contention , as not all employers provide this , let alone things like changing or locker space
    7) Workgangs could be done differently to provide work for those who want to earn , but I doubt gov would be too keen on some of conditions that some are notorious for .
    8) rather than tax breaks for companies , why not tax penalties , if they do not make jobs proper ,if they abuse system .
    9) start considering why home employment market is in the state it is in , before being too heavy with stick , and if the economics can satisfy both free market capitalism and the urgency of long running problems can be solved in line with the bloody debt and deficet problems labour additionaly left us with .

  513. 513
    Spelmanj-m says:

    Guido is censoring this one like a trooper but just search @spelmanjm to get the truth.

  514. 514
    Displaced Brummie says:

    But 111, what if there is no real job? Should a company pay people it doesn’t need to employ?

  515. 515
    barry, headbanger says:

    I’m going to stay in bed until 2pm everyday and become a CEO in my own mind.

  516. 516
  517. 517
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Yes. They know they do not want the scum from ‘Occupy Your Shop’ or whatever they call themselves, smashing up their shops and scaring the shit out of the checkout girls.

  518. 518
    Anonymous says:

    Er…….it’s a VOLUNTARY scheme for those on JSA, end of fucking story, dweeb brain.

  519. 519
    Spelmanjm says:

    Give us some steroids mister.

  520. 520
    Rip van Wrinkle says:

    Well let’s get someone in to do your job for free. Think there’s not some talent unemployed right now?

    I can’t believe some of you people. It’s starts with shelf stackers…who’s next? You?

  521. 521
    so solly nam says:

    That’s about when I stopped reading too. :)

  522. 522
    Rip van Wrinkle says:

    Tesco wants profit. Period. How it comes? They couldn’t give a shit.

  523. 523
    Displaced Brummie says:

    BendyGirl, I was signed off as unfit to work. A DSS Doctor actually told me: “I don’t think you’ll ever work again.”

    He was wrong. By my own efforts I found out about the then Therapeutic Earnings Scheme, got back into work again.

  524. 524
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Funny how everyone else knew exactly what Guido meant. Funny how the only people who claim not to know are dressing on the left, as it were?

  525. 525
    up the elephant and round your arsehole says:

    Oh dear Jim, not showing much initiative are you?

  526. 526
    Displaced Brummie says:

    By “anecdotal” evidence 221 meant: “I only believe anything if it happened to me. If it did not happen to me, but happened to you, I know I can dismiss it as “anecdotal” evidence, because I am such a big liar and expect that everyone else must be just as much a liar as I am.”

  527. 527
    some village is missing an idiot says:

    Anybody who calls you out as a dopey fucker is pretty useful IMHO.

  528. 528
    Spelmanjm says:

    Why is a cabinet minister’s son given special privileges by the law? If any other young athlete had been openly touting on the internet for performance enhancing drugs he would have quite rightly had the book thrown at him.

    What have Tory sportsmen Seb Coe and William Hague to say about this?

  529. 529
    Spartacus says:

    completely wrong on this one gf

  530. 530
    Sick of the greed and the lies(still) says:

    My son is at University in Carlisle training to be a primary school teacher. he was a qualified swimming teacher and a life guard. He couldn’t get a job in those areas so he became a crowd steward for Carlisle United. he couldn’t get a job in a pub or club because he didn’t have bar experience so he chased a bar job at the Big Weekend last year. It only paid minimum wage but he got in to the gig, had a blast and got paid. Above all, he got the bar experience. now he has a job at a hotel doing all sorts. It proves that there are jobs out there. you just have to put yourself about and think about the long game. You have to think about where you want to be and think of ways to get the experience to get there. the jobs don’t come to you, you have to go to them. Simplez.

  531. 531
    Bollock Ed says:

    I disagree, as it was all Fatchers fault.

  532. 532
    Anonymous says:

    Because of the rise of the Eastern economies our living standards are being adjusted downwards as a matter of necessity, but don’t ask any politician to tell the truth about this.

  533. 533
    William Gaygue says:

    Eeeee by gum lad, them there performance enhancing drugs don’t half give those health young strapping men a lovely pair of buttocks thee knowns :)

  534. 534
    Seb Coe says:


  535. 535
    Anonymous says:

    No you’ve got that wrong, I’m an Onanist, you on the other hand are a proper wanker!

  536. 536
    your get up and go got up and left says:

    You must know some pretty shit people Sparky.

  537. 537
  538. 538

    I blame the taxpayer for not providing me with a better nanny. Young Johnathan was let down at an early age while Mark and I were following our greater ambitions. Now stop badgering me.

  539. 539
    Anonymous says:

    “Ah, right, if it wasn’t for the workfareslave, the shelves would fill themselves and no paid worker would have to put them there.”

    They would just stay with their regular employees numbnuts. A big company like Tesco’s wouldn’t depend on voluntary, ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ workfare bods to keep their shelves filled, you tit. I’m sure they could do without the fucking hassle of it all to be fair.

  540. 540

    I’ve got lots of work round here I’d like the taxpayer to fund. Please send me as many £2 per hour skivvies as you have available. It’s much cheaper than paying cleaners.

    I’ll write them a reference and pretend it is work experience if you like. It won’t help them much though; AFAICS employers are more determined than ever to only employ somebody who has already done the job and won’t accept any other experience as an indication of ability.

  541. 541
    Willy H MP says:

    By heck lad, Ffion’s not impressed by my performance but it has to be said I never had any complaints from Chris

  542. 542
    not a machine says:

    Road to damascus political conversions are rare , i did lose my job under Mrs T era , but I also eventually did some new forms of work , including a sales job which was about as mind breaking as you could imagine , My then girlfriend found me talking a quote in my bloody sleep !
    I think the Thatcher boom saved the economy , but it was painfull , I briefly dallied with Blair in 97 , but by the time I had worked out what corporate marxism was doing , I was prepeared to see the last lot of corrupts ,out of politics for good . Just a shame they even blew the reserves this time round , in socialist wonk .

    I would describe my current work situation as not exactly hopeless , but difficult , I am not Angry at all towards Thatcher although some people I know still hold that view , in part because for some people , they couldnt move and were just stuck in an area where renewal , didnt really happen , or when it did it was some sort of government wonk . I have never thought much about some unsympathetic thoughts , to places that die when a factory closes , or the sometimes bribary for sweetners that took place . But labour did well and truly unbalance the economy . In some ways coprorate responsibility may have to be thought about .
    i know for sure coprorate marxism totally kanckered a lot of the small business and suppliers , which kept local economies more bouyant , even inrecession , and its well documented how many jobs go from local small shops when big supermarket becomes omni retail .
    come to think of it labour just suck and are crap at both ecnomics and accountancey

  543. 543
    The Paragnostic says:

    This is exactly the sort of post for which the expression TL:DR was invented.

    My eyes glazed over after reading about the funeral, so your points on the YTS were lost in the blur.

  544. 544
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    @Bug-eyed Binky asks What instilled this into Poles, whereas we constantly hear it is so lacking in those brought up in this country?

    Blinky one of the things which helped to instil this into the Polish workers is the old Communist education system. Everyone received “comprehensive education until age 14 so that they could read, write, count and know about their country but from 15 onwards education was split into those schools which were academically oriented and whose pupils went on to university and those who went to technical schools. Technical schools stopped all the academic nonsense and just taught practical subjects for four years, plumbing, electrics, carpentry, mechanics etc. etc. So people got an education appropriate to their skills and inclinations right up to the age of 18.

    Unfortunately in recent years the politicians started to look at the ludicrous British comprehensive system of education where everyone is supposed to aspire to a degree and where degrees are dumbed down to accommodate everyone. Which means that in future years there won’t be so many skilled plumbers, electricians, builders etc. coming from Poland.

  545. 545
    Frank James says:

    It’s a grown up thread today tat. Save your masturbation for another night.

  546. 546
  547. 547

    She has helped to set up two charities in the Meriden constituency; one which helps rehabilitate people with drug addictions through training and employment opportunities


    That should come in handy then.

  548. 548
    albacore says:

    But, look, Dave is in charge, so what could go wrong?
    And, standing by for the call, The Milimong
    Before that pair, we had the towering Brown
    Yes! And when did Our Tone ever let us down?
    All you moaning Minnies, you must be crackers
    The future is bright! The future’s shelf-stackers!

  549. 549
    smoggie says:

    OK fair enough. The soft, natural hues of the decor and her clothing should have been a giveaway.

  550. 550
    smoggie says:

    There’s some truth in this. The housing market is being kept artificially high due to minimalist interest rates and of course thanks to inflation.

    Real savers are the ones who are suffering. If you really scratch around you might find yourself 3% interest rate on your deposit. Which just about covers the amount which is being eroded by inflation. So you what’s the point in saving? You might as well spend your money on ..er.. property.

  551. 551
    JMB says:

    Not because it was beneath her. Because she wasn’t being paid for it. Said she would gladly have done the job in return for money.

  552. 552
    sandy says:

    Didn’t they have work experience under the Labour government? How much were young people paid for that then? Nothing. Surely all this whinging isn’t just more hypocrisy?

  553. 553
    JMB says:

    JSA is about £3,000 a year.

  554. 554
    Fabians are Evil says:

    Was I alone in thinking this sort of madness was going to stop when Labour were removed from power?


  555. 555
    Archie says:

    Anyone with a name like Wade must be a ghastly oik and a right wanker to boot!

  556. 556
    Handypara says:

    Doreen has no experience of working on infrastructure projects.

  557. 557
    albacore says:

    The page you have requested does not exist or is no longer available.”
    Dear me, just another wild rumour, like that trial that couldn’t possibly be going on in Liverpool now, because none of the media is reporting it, still.

  558. 558
    Lou Scannon says:

    Because they’ve been taught to start at the bottom and work down, perhaps ?

  559. 559
    Juan Cy Dedargument says:

    Not much sign here of comments from people who are actually on benefits. Wonder why that might be ?

  560. 560
    Andrew says:

    Ignorant rubbish. Some public servants (I wish I were one of them!) also have private means and therefore have to be taxed like anybody else. If those who did not were not taxed those who were would be known to their colleagues. Public servants are entitled to privacy in their tax affairs like anybody else; GF might disagree but none of us can be expected to live in a goldfish bowl.

  561. 561
    Fuct says:

    Do you realise how ridiculous your accent sounds ?

  562. 562
    Jane Birkin from Paris says:

    Working for the minimum wage or less is a mugs game.

    My friend works part time for the minimum wage but is always having to work on her day off for which she gets nothing.

    Beginning of this month the employer told her that there was a slight problem at the Bank and her money would not be going in as planned until 6th.

    I told her to repudiate the contract of employment and walk out.

    Fuck them before they fuck you

  563. 563
    Boris's Mum says:

    The value of work experience which consists of stacking shelves and sweeping floors is quite dubious if the only thing it prepares you for is stacking shelves and sweeping floors.

    Perhaps it might be an idea to have work experience in stockbroking and banking industries.

    It might bring down some of the ridiculous salaries and bonuses paid.

  564. 564
    Gordon Brown says:

    I’ve got the best job in the world. I get paid lots of money to be an MP and I never turn up to work.

  565. 565
    Mutti's Dackel says:

    Plus housing benefit. Plus free presciptions. Plus free eyetests. Plus council tax benefit. Plus the cost for the necessary bureaucracy.

    £10k is ballpark when everything is totted up for single adult claimants that live in a rented room.

  566. 566
    Well it's a thought says:

    Big ears has the saviour of the worlds second in command on Balls , talking about finance, one loser talking to another loser, I think weighs it up.

  567. 567
    Bob Diamond Geezer says:

    Me thinks that you and every other fool on here has never done a day’s work on one of these schemes in their lives.

  568. 568
    Lazy Bloke says:

    If you have to make any effort for your money, it’s not ‘benefit’ is it?

  569. 569
    Lou Scannon says:

    You are NOT being paid to be a Moronic Parasite.

  570. 570
  571. 571
    Well it's a thought says:

    I would keep quiet if I was you, your benefits are in more danger of being taken away than some lazy tosser on £56 a week benefits.

  572. 572
    Rootar says:

    To those who want these people to work for the taxpayer – cleaning canals etc this is a great idea until you realise it would be the public sector trying to manage it. Can you see them efficiently managing all those who turn up late, don’t turn up, turn up only3 days a week, spend all their time smoking fags and weed or just don’t want to actually do anything ? It would be a shambles, and a very expensive one as well. Think of all the equality and diversity coordinators they would need to create and all the health and safety inductions and so on and so on adfuckinginfinitum. Much as I dislike Tescos (mostly for their sponsorship of Gay Pride ) they are big enough to be able to handle this, but they need to make a contribution rather thaN just getting people for nothing.

  573. 573
    Grim says:

    She can clean their vans and machinery for a start. She can sweep up after them and while she’s there she can start to get experience with infrastructure projects. Or she could do hospital cleaning.
    If you lot are really this thick you’ve just got to be politicians.

  574. 574
    Ed Marxist miliband says:

    Oh dear @ boris’s mum,

    I have a few words for you:-
    Work ethic
    People skills

    All related to any job and not one particular industry.

  575. 575
    You t*ats are having a laugh says:

    I’ve worked in manufactuing, retail and the hospitality industry on the shop floor and it’s digusting. Working around like an ant for some c*nt? The only joy comes in unionising, causing trouble and basically making life uncomfortable for the bosses and tw*ts who are trying to ‘get on’.

    Luckily I am now self-employed and work in an area I like and am pretty good at. I don’t have any bosses to screw me over and I don’t have any wage slaves to screw over in return. I don’t make much money, but I make more than I would on the dole and more than I did as a wage slave. But could I have done this without falling into a bit of cash? Like f*ck I could.

    Would I have worked for free? Never. I’d sooner have burned the job centre down.

  576. 576
    Grim says:

    You really are thick, Andrew.

  577. 577
    Arthur Haynes (Comedian) says:

    I think you got most of Cait’s story wrong Mr Fawkes. Maybe less alcohol consumption when it really counts might be an idea.


    Incidentally, you would not have got that job in a dealing room today, since most of it is automated and back office staff are minimal.

    AH (C)

  578. 578
    annette curton says:

    The Socialists on Sunday Show I take it.

  579. 579
    Very Cruel and Highly Unusual Punishments says:

    I’ve got just the answer for you, – and WE all need to see it applied!

    Care to meet up in the town square sometime?

  580. 580
    Freddy Shred says:

    Worked for me!

  581. 581
    ah says:

    Just one L of a mistake, that’s all

  582. 582
    Drop TWO Daisy cutters on the BBC says:

    Then bury the whole place under 10′ earth as a lasting monument to crap journos and unforgivable public waste of tax.

  583. 583
    Mrs Bagwash says:

    Annette, That’s exactly why I unload my trolley myself on to the checkout conveyor starting with heavy stuff – spuds, carrots, other solid fruit and veg ; then softer stuff – tomatoes lettuce etc; followed by tins and other dry goods; then meat, fish, chicken etc; then dairy stuff; then bread and finally eggs. If you feed the conveyor at the appropriate speed your things will get packed in the order they get delivered to the cashier.

  584. 584
    Staiting the bleeding obvious says:

    Not to mention oil and gas companies’ prospecting needs.

  585. 585
    Mrs Bagwash says:

    Actually delivering milk! Goodness me, whatever next? A paper round? Working in the market on a Saturday? Heaving crates around in a pub?

    My, how times have changed since my day.

  586. 586
    Abdel from Tooting says:

    Me and my brother worked full time for mcdonalds for 3 years. We shared a single bedsit and saved every penny.

    Last September I purchased a small cafe in Wimbledon from Halifax Bank cheap. They wanted me to take out some underpinning . I said I did not want any of their financial products and I was paying cash.

    Everything was fine. I was employing 5 staff and giving them £5 per hour. They were happy.

    Then last Tuesday a guy comes from HMC and says my employees have no NI Numbers. I tell him that is crap because they all get family tax credits.

    Anyway come Wednesday all my employees disappear.

    Thanks to Mr Guido I know to get down the Job Centre and find people to work for me for nothing.

    Thank you Mr Fawkes.

  587. 587
    Anonymous says:

    Not an unexpected reaction from a typical left wing freeloader.

  588. 588
    Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t agree more. This is nonsense. There are more than two million people unemployed in this country and the vast majority of them are not – to use you word – scum. Many have been made redundant recently, something that most people in this country face in these difficult times. They have bills to pay and frankly the jobs that so many of you say should be snapped up are no use to a man with two kids and a mortgage to pay. Many have taken on mortgage beyond their means because the bankers were out of control, I am not defending this greed, but the facts are there. And to compare people in this position with European imigrants is to show an amazing ignorance.
    Tesco will only benefit from this scheme – if they thought otherwise they would drop out – oh yes they have! They will not have to manage the feckless in fact the opposite is probably true – the real “professional” scroungers will avoid these schemes through a combination of playing the system and sheer bloody-mindedness. And the simple truth is that this shower of millionaire idiots will have to face up to the fact that they will never be able to enforce the withdrawl of benefits to the point that these people will care – because they care for nothing. Once more as in so many aspects of life the government is punishing the many in an attempt to deal with the few.
    And Guido you disappoint me here, it is clearly easier to live up to your name and approach to parliament when your party is in opposition. I expected you to stick up for ordinary people – it seems not.

  589. 589
    Anonymous says:

    [deny] “paid workers the chance to do overtime, and potentially takes jobs from those who need the work.”

    “It does nothing to build on young unemployed peoples’ skills”

    “….leaves them feeling useless and demeaned.”

    Quite a few assumptions she’s made there that you seem to have swallowed whole mate.

  590. 590
    King Athelstan says:

    I’d have told them to fuck off and get some of the £26k plus bludgers to get there arses of their fucking settees. Personally I’d rather do cash in hand off the books work as a way of waving my cock, metaphorically speaking, at the lousy government. You generally end up better off, although minimum wage for an agency will do when all else fails.

  591. 591
    BendyGirl says:

    You’ve actually hit on the heart of this issue – why can’t I work for my local authority or similar, from home doing the kind of work suggested? (apart from the bullshit bit natch!)

    The reason is that those schemes don’t exist, neither workfare nor any of the previous work type programmes have been designed to do anything like this. They’re set up to aim at people who have basic literacy, numeracy or hygiene problems. In those cases they can and do work quite well, but the assumption is that everyone on benefits will need that kind of help, whilst it’s only a tiny minority who do.

    Those sick and disabled people who would like to do some work, within the limits allowed by our health are crying out for exactly the kind of thing being suggested here. Something we can do from home, in the hours that suit etc, whether that be in the private sector or public doesn’t really matter…the crucial point is that it must be more flexible to meet the needs of both employer and employee.

    For some, perhaps setting up a company is the right thing to do. For others it needs to be a direct employer/employee relationship. But there’s all kinds of issues to consider. I have a very painful, degenerative, genetic disorder. It fluctuates a bit, but at my best I’m what would be considered very disabled. When I was working there were major health and safety issues…I kept falling in the workplace, dislocating joints multiple times a day etc. And that’s without adding in the somewhat strange decisions I’d make at times when I was taking (fully prescribed) morphine type painkillers. I’m not sure many employers would be quite so happy to take a risk on someone who for reasons entirely beyond their own control has to spend much of the working day influenced by morphine? I also have a tendency to randomly stop breathing…which makes employers understandably nervous!

    Am I fit for work? Honestly, much as it hurts me to admit it, no. If I were I’d be continuing with the life I started upon, grammar school, university, professional job. Are there ways that I could contribute to the economy or society? Absolutely. But none of those ways are being looked at properly, and until we do so, any work programme will fail not just sick and disabled people, but employers and the tax payer.

  592. 592
    BendyGirl says:

    How wonderful to hear that you got back into work! I would agree, for some sick or disabled people their perception that they are unfit for work is an issue. For others, like myself, perception that I could somehow work if I just figured out how is also an issue.

    If I were solely disabled I’d have figured out a way to get into work. Disability which is static takes time to adjust to, but once you’ve made that adjustment you crack on with life like everyone else. Eg, if you lose your sight it would probably take several years to adjust to your new life. Once you’ve done that though there are very specific, fixed adjustments which can be made by an employer to enable you to work, for example something like a screen reader. Unfortunately my condition fluctuates daily, and makes me frequently very ill…which makes working impossible in a way the disability part does not. I’ve tried to go down permitted work routes before, but found the system too rigid to respond to my circumstances. I also fall outside the eligibility criteria for things like social care or the right mobility equipment. That’s been rationed as it’s expensive. I can accept that, money is not unlimited. However, unless I can access the correct equipment and high levels of support I can’t even contemplate working properly. Even with that support I’d only realistically be able to do part time hours, primarily from home. Frankly, if that were an option I’d cut off my own hand to be able to do that…but it’s not going to happen. If only in part because I’m not physically capable of cutting off my own hand ;)

  593. 593
    Lord Justice Pickles says:

    The system should be incentivised just like in the Private Sector – carrot not stick.

    Voluntary system whereby if you volunteer you get your Job Seekers Allownace plus a little extra say £10 or £20.

    It is not then forced labour.
    It is 100% voluntary with a cash bonus. With work experience.

    Yes it will cost more but we are already printing £350 billion. A few billion extra printed money will NOT affect inflation and if it goes to those in this scheme will go straight into the real economy.


  594. 594
    Bloke says:

    Oi Guido – exactly what were you pouring over those spreadsheets? Sic?

  595. 595
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    Probably some left-wing ‘charity’ or newspaper paying because its an opportunity to kick the Government.

  596. 596
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    Saw this person on the local news. Could not believe my eyes and ears.

    No doubt the ordinary, hard-working employees of Poundland have their own opinion of her.

  597. 597
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    ‘Why Poundland is a better place to develop your skills than working for a museum’ -See above. Unless she was running the museum, was she?

  598. 598
    Tales of the Expected says:

    I don’t know about the ‘old Communist’ education system of the Poles. It’s more that Poland has a more traditionalist and inherently rigorous education system. To hope to be accepted for placement on even an Arts degree course, you need good passes in maths, sciences, language, & etc.

  599. 599
    Tales of the Expected says:


  600. 600
    Anonymous says:

    an absolutely idiotic comment – geologists are in huge demand at the moment with many companies screaming out for well qualified (and not so well qualified) graduates…

  601. 601
    Anonymous says:

    there is NO requirement for employers to take on geologists only after masters degrees, some companies may prefer to take on graduates qualified to that level, but there is NO law (European or otherwise) stating this – of course the large number of recent BSc Geology graduates that are currently working as exploration geologists for UK and European companies simply prove your statement to be utter garbage.

  602. 602
    durak durak says:

    >The fact is many Britons don’t want to work hard for low pay.

    You mean don’t want to be exploited to the maximum by unscrupulous employers?

    And who says? You seem to reiterate bullshit rather finely in an uneducated parrot fashion kind of way.

    As one would say, it would be better to be thought of as a fool by keeping your mouth shut than to confirm it by speaking.

  603. 603
    The Golem says:

    +1 Dobbie. My three months spent scrubbing oil and filth off lathes and drilling machines made it absolutely clear my future was my business and
    I’d better get on with it.

  604. 604
    A proper right winger! says:

    Your son is doing what’s needed… You can give him my compliments! He’s not the type that sits on his hands waiting for a handout, he’ll do well and deserves his rewards.

  605. 605
    The Paragnostic says:

    Well – just carry on doing as much as you are able for as long as you can, and more power to your elbow.

    (See! I can write a whole comment without resorting to invective and bigotry! Damn – have to see the therapist after that ;-) )

  606. 606
    Jabba the Cat says:

    “taking on workfare employees…who turn out to be scum”


  607. 607
    Kered Ybretsae says:

    Under the commies in the old East Germany, there was never any unemployment. If there was no work for an engineer, he got a broom and swept the work floors, until there was something for him in his area. That was a very tough, frightening leftie power base. Wait till Ken+Co take over and really get down to leftie basics, everybody hasajob, whether they want it or not!

  608. 608
    Anonymous says:

    Not it’s not. As the phrase ‘madatory work placement’ would indicate to anyone possessed of sufficient werewithal to tie their own shoes and control their own bowel movements, these placements are MANDATORY. That means if you don’t show up, your benefits get stopped.

    And before you jump for joy at the thought of that, remember that it means leaving someone with no income whatsoever, no means of providing a home or food for themselves or their family. Is that really a suitable punishment for anything? Is that a suitable punishment for being unemployed in the middle of a massive boom in unemployment?

    The government would have us believe that the reason far more people are unemployed now than when they took office is simply that the public has become far more lazy and more contemptuous of their obligations to society. That’s nonsense. The mass cutting of public sector jobs together with ruinous economic policies that prevent the private sector from growing and taking on more staff are what is responsible.

    There is also nothing that says you have to have been claiming benefits for a long time before you can be sent on one of these placements, it is entirely at the discretion of JCP staff who does them. So basically the only difference between a minimum-wage poundland employee and an unwaged poundland employee is luck. One is being punished for something beyond his control. And that paid employee might be in trouble pretty soon, if his employers get a steady stream of free workers then they probably won’t be needing so many paid staff. If this policy continues the only logical outcome is that everyone ends up working for nothing.

    Who is benefiting from this, not the taxpayer who is subsidising free staff for the private sector; not the benefit claimants who are working and yet don’t have enough money to live on; not the paid workers who are at risk of being replaced; not the economy which will suffer from reduced turnover as more and more people are sucked into the benefits trap instead of earning a wage. The only people who will benefit are the private sector tycoons getting a reduction in their wage bill. Yeah, great idea. Superb. Wish I’d thought of it.

  609. 609
    Mere Kat says:

    The answer is simples. Out of work benefits should be paid on a sliding scale downwards, eventually reaching nothing. What better incentive to find work?

  610. 610
    Anonymous says:

    Let’s get rid of Saxe-Coburg and her clan of scroungers to begin with.

  611. 611
    Iain Duncan Smith says:

    I made 80% of the staff redundant. I put the remaining 20% on “workfare” because that will give them an incentive to gain full-time employment. There’s nothing like a job without pay to make people realise that we are right. I’ve also employed two new people at no cost to the shareholders. Both are disabled and will do whatever task the part-time, seven pounds an hour supervisor assigns. One is in a wheelchair and cannot walk while the other has profound autism. Still, a bit of work will sort out those workshy layabouts, what? They’ll soon get the message or no disability allowance for them I can tell you! And we’ll make more money for the shareholders too. Yes, this is how to return a country to greatness.

  612. 612
    Darren says:

    “Mrs Fawkes worked three jobs in her summer holidays every year for three years, cleaning in the mornings, waitressing in the afternoons and babysitting in the evenings to pay her way through law school”

    She have to pay £9,000 a year college fees then? No? She pay tax on that babysitting?

  613. 613
    Darren says:

    Some customers need more help to get into work than others so we will pay more for helping
    those customers who are furthest from the labour market – from a maximum of around £3,800
    for a young unemployed person to £13,700 for someone who has a limited capability for work and,
    as a result, has been receiving benefits for several years. This differential pricing will ensure that
    providers have strong incentives to help all their customers, rather than focusing on easier to help
    customers at the expense of the most vulnerable. Payments for volunteers are, on the whole, lower
    than for claimants who are required to participate because our evidence suggests that those that
    volunteer are more likely to move into work quickly.

  614. 614
    Twinkle-toes says:

    “.Not much sign here of comments from people who are actually on benefits. Wonder why that might be ?”……………………………..

    Because the comments here are largely from ignorant twerps who really can’t make a comment without a high level of pissyness. The issue is not being “discussed”.. Just a “wunch” lobbing self-righteous, small-minded psedo-solutions that have only been tested in the mind of said “lobber”.

    “Well, it’s obvious, innit. All you need to do is…..” (fill in the blank).

    I’m on benefits and have been for over a year. This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact.

    Like some one said in the comments elsewhere.. “Shame that all the people who have all the answers to the problems of this nation’s unemployment are cutting hair and driving cabs”

  615. 615
    Carl Marks says:

    Nationwide protests against Workfare on 3rd March.
    We all need to support this.

  616. 616
    A worker says:

    I’ll be at work on March 3..

  617. 617
    Anonymous says:

    It was Labour that introduced tuition fees.

  618. 618
    Jobs Jobs Jobs says:

    That’s why all the Eastern Europeans have gone back home

  619. 619
    Carl Marks says:

    That’s OK. Just boycott the companies participating in it.

  620. 620
    who why what where when says:

    The same big eared journalist who took out an injunction to try and silence the press?

  621. 621
    Anonymous says:


    (welcome to britain)

  622. 622
    Anonymous says:

    Presumably you boycott Apple products?

  623. 623
    Lord Prescott says:

    Does that include pies?

  624. 624
    Aldo says:

    I support, in principle, any scheme that tries to get people working for a living. However I think this scheme is deeply flawed.

    1) How can someone work the equivalent of a full time job yet only get paid approx 50 – 60 pounds a week? Isn’t the government forgetting a little thing called the minimum wage?

    2) Firms can use this scheme as an endless supply of free labour – meaning that someone, somewhere, is being kept out of a job.

    3) There’s a minimum requirement of about 30 hours a week. But what firms do is pretend to the benefit claimant that there is a serious prospect of a real, paid job at the end of it. This makes genuine claimants (and there are many of them) work their arses of. At the end of it, they get told to get lost.

    Nope – sorry. I’m as blue bloodied as they come but I can’t support exploitation of this sort.

  625. 625
    Binky's Beam says:

    So that’s one person in work.. only 5 million to go

  626. 626
    Eddie Hitler says:

    One of my relatives believed that one

  627. 627
    Mister Ed says:

    Once again our thick as pigshit politicians haven’t thought it through.
    I believe there’s a judicial review pending.

  628. 628
    Aldo says:

    It’s frightening just how thoughtless politicians can be. I’d expect this ‘policy’ to come from a drunken session of a university conservative association – not supposedly intelligent people holding high office.

    Hope the judicial review leads to an end being put to this thing (as I suspect it will).

  629. 629
    A Dodgy Economist says:

    If you think about, Tesco would end up paying MORE tax to the state if they don’t pay some of their workforce, because they’ll make more profit and thus pay 40% Corporation Tax on every extra pound saved. If they paid the employee the minimum wage then the state would only get aprox 32% Tax/NI less the personal allowance, so it’s a win/win for Tesco AND the state and helps to recuperate some of the JSA the state pays out.

  630. 630
    Mister Ed says:

    I’ll stick with ‘thick as pigshit.’ It makes me feel better.
    And I wasn’t modded either.

  631. 631
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    @Expected YOU may not know whether the Polish education system is the ‘old communist’ system but I can assure you it was inherited from the commies.

    As with most people in the UK you fixate on the university degree leg of their system and what you say is indeed true but that is because they don’t have the nonsensical GCSEs and those who study in the academic schools (the Lycees) have to take the Bacalaureat instead of the so called gold standard of A levels. So as you say Arts students have to take mathematics, a language etc.

    However because their education is much wider it is also less specialised and so degrees have to last for 5 years and not for 3 years.

  632. 632
    Anonymous says:

    stupid Hunt

  633. 633
    BagLady says:

    This is true, or it would be except for the fact that Tesco is now a Swiss company with many subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (for tax purposes). I doubt they pay their share of Corporate taxes.

  634. 634
  635. 635
    Mister Ed says:

    Thank you Anon. That link is conclusive proof that our legislature is rotten to the core. These bastard ‘Lords’ are in the pockets of myriad vested interests, feathering their own nests at our expense.
    Fawkes it is your moral duty to take up what your forebears failed to do.

  636. 636
    Grimy Miner says:

    Is it? I’ll just have the chips, then.

  637. 637
  638. 638
    Smig says:

    Public sector employees get paid a GROSS salary by the private sector via HM Treasury.

    Public sector employees return some of that money to HM Treasury as income tax, NI, and “their” pension contribution.

    HM Treasury has no money of it’s own. The public sector organisations, QUANGOs, NHS, Armed Forces have NO MONEY OF THEIR OWN. It is taken from the private sector via taxation, by force and with threat of imprisonment if the private sector chooses not to pay.

    Overall the public sector is a TAKER of tax revenues. The private sector is a GIVER of tax revenues.

  639. 639
    PERP says:

    Your local council will provide somebody to wipe your arse for you, just give them a call. They like nothing better than providing care for people who have gorged themselves on junk food to the point that their hands do not reach the crack of their arses anymore.

  640. 640
    Clown Shoes says:

    “Commercial experience” my arse. You might as well say I have experience of working in the media because I used to have a paper-round.

    I don’t particularly want to be paying for them to sit around watching Jeremy Kyle but I certainly don’t want to be subsidising those Hunts at Tesco by paying their shelf-stackers for them.

    If you want these people to be working, my lawn needs doing and the hedges on the verge could do with a trim.

  641. 641
    Kevin T says:

    Normally agree with Guido but not on this, and I’m curious how someone can be at the same time fiercely anti internships and enthusiastically pro workfare. This is a diversionary tactic by government to avoid dealing with the real issues.

    We won’t sort out unemployment till we (1) leave the EU, take back control of our immigration policy and stop migrants coming here to undercut us, (2) reform the tax and benefits system considerably more than IDS is doing to prevent dependency on benefits and make work rewarding, and (3) stop benefits entirely for people who refuse to work. if they flat out refuse to get a job then fuck them, let them starve. If they turn to crime, put them away.

  642. 642
    Minekiller says:

    You can’t really blame the girl. She’s been fed the ”you’re a winner” line since pre-school. Expectations beyond reality. Relation of mine who ended up a top geologist with Shell dug road ditches after completing his PhD while job applications went in. What does she expect??

  643. 643
    Minekiller says:

    ….and educate youngsters that actually life out there can be pretty tough and the cool jobs just don’t fall into your lap….

  644. 644
    P says:



    When I was young, I worked on a farm. I had been underemployed for several months and this opportunity came up.

    I worked as a “menial” hammering fence-posts into dry dustlands for less than $A200 per month. The local community looked after me very well and they realised that I was penniless but an ok chap. Accordingly, I was given a few beers from time to time and food and lived relatively ok. I enjoyed it compared to sitting watching the cricket and wanking at home (unrelated activities).

    This is involuntary, yes, but it is similar to the Japanese system where they just give the unemployed a job. It’s not like they are unpaid. It is the minimum wage that is causing these problems, not the fact that I may have to take any job available if I’m broke.

  645. 645

    This is England. You do not have to work if you don’t want to.

    If you go to Uni and get a degree in watching TV, then that is the only thing that you can do, and thus, since no one will pay you for it, you go on the Dole, and await your perfect job.

    This is England. It is not about being Lazy, it is about being exacting.

    If I can order someone to do the job, and watch them while they do it, then it is my right to receive twice the pay, because I was responsible for that person doing that job.

    This is England. I am not responsible because I do not have to be.

    The Law is always correct and since I fell over and broke my leg because I was on a personal call while at work, it is not MY responsibility to take care of myself, it is my work places responsibility to take care of me, because if I wasn’t there I would not have broken my leg, because I would be in bed taking that phone call.

    This is England, the general laughing stock of the world, because only an Englishmen can go to Spain and scream at the top of their lungs, it is their right to have chips with everything.

    This is England, it makes me want to cry…

    Work? Work? You pay me benefits, why the hell should I work?

  646. 646
    Ed Miliband is Dodgy Breast implant says:

    Cut all benefits (housing included) to match levels in EU Eastern European countries. Do the same with the minimum wage.

    Job done!

    Might be a tad tricky to get a train or flight out of UK PLC for a while, so wait til the kids are back in skool.

  647. 647
    Billy says:

    Why won’t blair & cameron do it? Simple – it’s politically difficult. No ones likes to be seen as lowering the pay of unskilled workers. However, if your skills are only worth £2/hour and the min wage is £6, you’ll never get a job. Workfare does not change that. Eliminate mium wage will

  648. 648
    Carl Marks says:

    Where the Work Programme overall is concerned, take a look at the National Audit Office report ‘The Introduction of the Work Programme'(January 24 2012). It’s on the internet. It states that THIS government considered no alternatives, ran no pilots, incurred massive costs to providers for terminating existing programmes and did not even make sure that the management systems were in place before rushing the Work Programme in – they are even having to rely on the figures supplied by providers to make payments to them!

    Politicians. Why do we vote for them?

  649. 649
    Aldo says:

    Where’s your proof that most jobseekers are ‘scum’? (for that’s what you imply in your post).

    Okay, suppose you’re right – so you punish everyone, including the genuine cases, just to get at ‘the scum’? Seems like a great idea – unless you happen to be one of the genuinely unemployed, that is.

    Your post also implies that ‘scum’ will be able to turn up and do a half arsed job. Why then doesn’t the slave master, sorry – employer – complain to the government and get the benefits stopped? If the workfare scheme allows you to show up and take the piss, then it’s hardly worthwhile anyway, is it?

    We’re in the midst of a recession. People have genuinely fallen on hard times. Now is not the time to start with all this crap.

  650. 650
    Gazlar says:

    There is no way that a minimum wage was in place in the UK when Guido was 25.

  651. 651
    mark mason says:

    just heard from my mole at my local council that they are taking on ‘apprentices’ for two years,in a deal with the local college.

    my mole tells me that these suckers are working for a low amount-hoping that they will have a job at the end of two years.

    guess what?

    i suggest we all find out what is being done in the fascist scumbag state we are saddled with….
    contact your local councils..ffs

  652. 652
    Ebenezer Scrooge says:

    I wholeheartedly approve of this post

    Cut the 50% tax rate I say. None of the money will be invested in Britain though. To say otherwise is humbug

  653. 653
    Anonymous says:

    From my POV the problem is that these people are being used to replace genuine employees. Why should Tesco or Poundland employ someone when they can get someone for free?

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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”

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