Saturday, 25 February 2012

Workfare sham kicking off

Workfare looks like it's blowing up in Tory faces. 

I've just watched last night's  Newsnight footage. 

In some ways it's a return to the good old 1980's: We've got a Tory arguing the 'commonsense morality' that people shouldn't expect something for nothing. So stacking the shelves in a Tesco distribution centre is the modern version of turning the crank in a Victorian workhouse. Pointless but instilling a work ethic in the otherwise undeserving poor. Countered by a socialist - mistakenly identified as a member of the SWP (why is it they always seem to get the attention of media luvvies?) - arguing that it's all about profit from unpaid labour.

But there's also a thoroughly modern angle too: A nice middle class lad from the Labour Party with a laptop babbling about young people and social media. And best of all a morally bankrupt reptile from brand consultancy Wolff Olins not concerned at all about the morality or politics about young people having to work for benefits - but whether it's good PR for big business to be seen to support the scheme.

Meanwhile in the real world I am just back from leafleting on the issue outside  the local McDonald's - and judging from the response of people who aren't members of Trotskyist organisations, New Labour cyber-activists or brand consultants - it looks like interesting times ahead.

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