Monday, 1 December 2008

Keeping Oneself to Oneself

UK Government figures show more than 800,000 people, with almost 100,000 of these in Scotland, have claimed incapacity benefits for more than a decade. This is almost one-third of the 2.65 million on benefits.

In October, a survey further showed that long-term unemployed people in Scotland held out little hope of finding a job and almost 60% did not want to. (Herald)

A disinclination to work is the ultimate disqualification. Imagine having staff like that forced upon you. Any business would be wrecked within weeks, energies diverted to trying to get people to turn up regularly, learn their job, and carry it out willingly and efficiently. Many of these people can be written off as contributers to the economy in any meaningful sense; well over half of them own up that they do not want to work.

How, though, can we ensure that their self-regarding agendas do not impinge on the lives of the rest of us? We pay good money to keep them, but how do we keep them away? An army of political disrupters seem intent on funnelling them into our lives via state services that are consumed by all of us, and by promoting an ideology of 'inclusion'.

For anyone who has the misfortune to be unable to support themselves, or must turn to state welfare temporarily, it must be particularly galling to be thrust in with the don't work, won't work brigade. It would be best if the delivery of the support we must provide to everyone were separated out into tailored delivery systems so that the inclusion ideologies no longer excluded many from even considering approaching the essentially tiding-over, proper use of welfare services.


Elby the Beserk said...

My ex, who worked in Job Centres and the DWP for a good 15 years, said they had families on benefit, none of whom knew how to work. Even were they able to get to work on time, when there they would be incapable of doing even the simplest repetitive job.

Slave workers of the future?

hatfield girl said...

It's not good for any employer to have staff forced to be there. People don't go to work because otherwise they will starve and do a good, committed, intelligent job of work - whatever the work is. So plans to cut benefits and direct people into work are fundamentally at odds with motivations. It's simply wrong to threaten people with being left to stand outside in the rain. All have a minimal claim on us.

At the same time, why should there be this bullying of the rest of us to share space with them? People who are temporarily sick, or unemployed, or not able to work are completely different from people who choose to eke out their lives relying on the basics conceded by others.

To threaten the work desirous with deprivation is wicked; and to threaten the work avoiders with deprivation is pointless. We need a bsaic citizens' income; then the people seeking work and fulfilled potential can be rid of the those who don't want a job. The categories should never have been mixed in the first place.

Nick Drew said...

did you read this rather brave piece in the Grauniad by la Russell, HG ?

hatfield girl said...

I have now ND - and the comments! Very brave.

Though the article is about the destructive effects of welfare rather than the, to me, much more injurious attitude and practice that there is no population that cannot be saved.

This is of itself an objectionable view to those who reject work as an unacceptable imposition on their relations with others.

Equally, while that population has a claim to support, I just don't want to hear their justifications, analyses etc. ( reading some of those comments turns the mind's stomach). Take your citizens' income and your way of life and leave others alone. This is particularly important in education where lack of commitment obstructs the process and defeats the ends for many.

Some populations are like the Ik. They may well be produced by extremely adverse and unfair circumstances; they may be different from the way they are observed. But they remain an unsympathetic and destructive cultural grouping who have a claim both on resources and respect, but no claim whatever to foist their way of life on any other part of the surrounding society. Not even when aided and abetted by patronising cultural bullies.