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“Mr Duncan Smith told the Daily Telegraph the number of people claiming Disability Living Allowance had risen by 30% in recent years, with many people “allowed to fester”.

Ian Duncan Smith

Uncle Fester

It Won’t Work

The proposals to get long term unemployed to do community work I mean.

I’m just actually trying to get this straight. Councils are being forced to cut back on spending and therefore services (like for example gardening of common areas and picking up of litter). At the same time the unemployed are to be drafted in to er….pick up litter and garden common areas.

It’s surely back to the future for the Tories. Remember the days of the “Youth Opportunity Scheme” whereby youngsters were sent out to count lampposts and other meaningful stuff?

Remember Norman Tebbit “My father was unemployed – he didn’t riot he got on his bike and looked for work” and his follow up that he had been looking for someone to mend his gate but had been unable to find anyone? Presumably he’d lost his Yellow Pages or did Mr T want someone on the buroo to do a “homer” thus avoiding stuff like VAT and receipts?

Surely not.

The implication has always been with the Tories that there is plenty work but the lumpen are too lazy to get off their fat arses to look for it.

If there is work to be done “in the community” then lets get people doing that work in proper wage earning, tax paying employment.

Instead here we are thirty years down the line from the bleakest days I have known for unemployment and the Tories prescription is the same as it was then. Cut spending and jobs, cut benefits and punish the unemployed for not having a job by implying it’s their own fault.

Ian Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, became the acceptable face of conservatism when he got involved in deprived areas in Glasgow in recent times. I heard a community worker on radio recently praising him for his work.

Sadly now he’s in power he’s reverted to type and is at the forefront of this nonsense.