Crawling From The Wreckage

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Greetings, fellow dole scum, shirkers, idlers and deadweight, with yer 50″ plasma screen TVs and yer holidays in Majorca and yer lives of sybaritic luxury to rival Rome under Caligula.

And all on 70 quid a week…how the fuck do you do it, you diabolically clever dead-beats, you?

If only, eh? Those of us living on 70 quid a week experience a rather different reality, an existence where every unforseen expense means going without something.

Need a pair of shoes? That’s you on Tesco’s Value porridge and black tea for a fortnight. Laundry been piling up, neccesitating a trip to the laundromat? More Tesco’s instant noodles at 11p a pack, less fresh veg and fruit; and so it goes, juggling bills, counting pennies, collecting coupons and thanking fuck for free libraries and hacks that allow you to piggy-back on your neighbour’s wireless internet connection (bless you Aircrack for WEP and Reaver for WPA/WPA2).

But the Tory/LibDem vermin subscribe to the Biblical notion that:

For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.Mark 4:25

…which is a perfect description of this govt’s policies: sack 100s of thousands of public sector workers, close factories that employ the handicapped and cut benefits to the most vulnerable; give vast amounts of taxpayer’s money to inept, lying fraudsters like A4E, Serco (due to replace the Probation Service), Virgin (who can’t deliver a decent rail service but have been appointed to deliver children’s health-care; what could possibly go wrong?) and G4S, who, after 2 and a half years of preparation still managed to fuck it all up. Lovely.

Which brings me to our beloved Work Program, another utterly predicatable cluster-fuck of epic proportions. The whole rotten edifice is collapsing before our eyes (takes onion from pocket and sobs brokenly). The dismal, greedy, half-witted chumps are finally doing the math and realising that they can’t make money out of this pig’s ear of a policy (just as the rest of us have been saying all along).

Did these greedy cretins seriously think that a policy jotted on the back of a postage stamp by a pair of jargon-spouting Tory imbeciles and moral bankrupts like Grayling and Ian Humpty-Dumpty could end in any other way? Those two could fuck-up a wank.

As for me, the only contact I’ve had with the pimps since March 22nd has been a phone call in mid-April, cancelling an appointment; since then, radio silence. Fine by me…they were a bad joke to begin with.

So stay strong, comrades, and play the long game; show willing (within carefully considered limits), smile and nod, agree with whatever the zombie/pimps say and take comfort in the knowledge that you’re going to see the bastards swirling down history’s pitiless toilet.

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May The Farce Be With You

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Greetings, fellow layabouts. shirkers, scroungers and parasites. My apologies for the prolonged neglect but it’s been one computer disaster after another. I won’t bore you with details but suffice it to say, my machine is back to working order and I now have a back-up machine…just in case.

I hope you’re all weathering the laughable ‘Work Program’? When I last reported, I stated that I had been well and truly ‘parked’, with the time between my appointments growing ever longer. I had an appointment today (the first in 6 weeks) but I got a call from my ‘advisor’, cancelling and telling me that they’d be in touch sometime in the middle of next month.

The rather sheepish explanation for this was that “…we’re changing the way we see people…”; whatever the hell that means.

I suspect that what it actually means is that they’re coming to the realisation that they’re on-board a sinking ship. They tried bailing but the water is coming in too fucking fast so it’s ‘away all boats…’ and the (doubtless vain) hope that they can salvage something from this entirely predictable (and predicted) mess.

What this will mean for us, I can’t say: I suspect I’ll get passed on to one of the bigger ‘providers’ at some point. Then again, the big providers must be coming to the same conclusion, to wit: they can’t make any money out of this ill-conceived scheme. Will they be willing to take on more ‘clients’? I have my doubts. Then what? Do we all get shunted back to Job Centres?

Watching these rapacious and unprincipled cunts come an expensive cropper puts a spring in my step and song in my heart. I can’t wait to see Duncan-Donuts and Grayling try to put a positive spin on this multi-billion pound disaster in October, when the Work Program stats are published and there’s no place for the fuckers to hide.

I know, I know…gloating is so unattractive; but sometimes, it’s the only appropriate response and I intend to indulge in a gloat-fest. I imagine I won’t be the only one.

So take heart, comrades: all we have to do is wait a little while and then we can crack a bottle, fire up a spliff and sit back and enjoy the sight of these Tory scum squirming away…happy days.

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Happy New Year, You Work-shy Scroungers

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Greetings, fellow captives of the ever-inspiring and soon-to-be, very soon-to-be successful Work Program. How successful is The Work Program? Well, erm….we don’t know, because the Govt. refuses to allow the figures to be released until the program has been up-and-running for 18 months.

We’ll just have to wait until next October to read about the glorious triumphs of The Work Program: the millions placed in high-paying private-sector jobs; the happy, fulfilled lives being led by The Work Program’s deliriously happy ‘clients’ etc etc….I, for one, can’t wait.

In the mean time, let me apologise for my prolonged absence and neglect of this little corner of the interwebz. Personal problems that I’m not going to bore anybody with have prevented me from my carrying out my blog-duties. But service is hereby resumed.

Here’s hoping all’s well with you lot and the bastards aren’t grinding you down too much.

Interesting article in today’s Grauniad on our beloved Work Program HERE…well worth a read and making much the same point that the rest of us have been making all along: how can our glorious Work Program succeed when there are are no fucking jobs?

As for me, I’ve been well and truly ‘parked’: an appointment once every 4 to 6 weeks; a brief chat and a look at my ‘job search and then ‘see you again on X’. I will say one thing, though: the Job Centre bods sign me in and out so fast it’s almost as if I hadn’t been there at all. I guess they figure I’m someone else’s problem now. It’s an ill-wind, eh?

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Poverty Pimp Poll

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Into The Desperate Country

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“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country…”Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”ibid.

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I attended my second appointment yesterday with my Work Program-pimp. I was reasonably satisfied with the way my first meeting had gone (you can read my account of that meeting HERE).

I had, I believe, successfully laid the groundwork for what I hope to be the outcome of my being assigned (unwillingly and under duress) to the Work Program: to be left alone.

I’m absolutely convinced that the whole thing is a scam and that the WP is no more likely to get me a decent job than my cat is.

So my priority is to avoid all the crap that the WP will try to lumber me with (all designed solely to increase the amount of money they hope to make off me)–the CV workshops, the interview workshops, the ‘enhanced’ job searches. the ‘confidence building’ workshops–and all the other worthless, soul-destroying bollocks that they’ll try to stick you in unless you nip it in the bud.

So, I went to this meeting with the attitude of a man who’s planning to make his way through a minefield.

After greeting me and inviting me to sit down, the first thing my advisor brought up was the Data Protection waiver that I’d refused to sign at the first meeting.

Had I reconsidered?

I had not; in fact, I told him, I feel more strongly than ever since I spoke to my union rep about the WP. Let me give you an example of why, I said.

I pointed to a phrase in the waiver that stated: “We may pass your data to our partners in the work program…“. That alone makes signing the waiver a non-starter, I told him.

I have no idea who your partners are or what their agenda is; they can decide to sell my data to a marketing company or a polling firm or some sales organisation and you’ll never know about it; more to the point, I’ll never know about it.

He looked resigned and nodded along.

I actually felt sorry for him; he’s not ‘evil’ or even ‘bad’. He’s simply a rather naive and gullible young man who’s probably really happy to have a job at all and is just trying to do his job to the best of his (somewhat limited) abilities. I’m sure that he actually believes all the happy, clappy bullshit that the pimps spout in their brochures and PR.

This is not a young man who’s given a great deal of thought to Marx’s theory of surplus labour/value.

Anyway, after he’d finished filling-in the various boxes on his computer screen, he tried again to turn me into a cash-cow (although I’m certain that’s not the way he sees it): would I like him to book me a CV workshop session?

Is it mandatory, I asked?

No, he said.

In that case, I’d rather concentrate on visiting potential job sites around the borough.

Did I have anywhere particular in mind? he asked.

I do, I said; I’m planning to visit a warehouse where I think they’re hiring.

His face brightened and he chirruped: I can book you into an ‘Interview Techniques’ workshop!

And what would be the point of that, I said: I think I know how to deal with an interview.

Oh, but the workshop can prepare you for ‘trick questions’, he said.

At this, I laughed out loud. Trick questions? For a minimum-wage packing job? It’s a warehouse, not the bloody C.I.A., I said.

At this, he had the good grace to look sheepish. Well, how about an enhanced ‘job search’, one-on-one session?

Look, I said; those are aimed at people who are unfamiliar with the internet, with browsers, with websites and with conducting searches. For me, it’d just be a waste of time. And that’s where we left it.

Next appointment in 4 weeks. The Cade Work Program Nullification Strategy® seems to be working a treat. 4 weeks between appointments? I reckon I’m already being cut loose and from now on, they’ll spend as little time as possible on me. Good.

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Iain Duncan Smith Denies Baldness, Praises Work Program

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It’s official: every time someone signs up to The Work Program, a puppy dies. Write to puppy-killer-in-chief Iain Dunkin Donuts and tell him what you think. Alternatively, you could just post a bag of dog turds through his letter-box. Tell him Jack sent you…

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You Love it, You Slags…

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This blog is aimed at discussing all the ways that the poverty pimps are going to try to screw you and me and what we can and should try to do about it…

I’ve set this up as an off-shoot of the excellent @workprogramme.org blog for one simple reason: due to various technical reasons to do with the server, bandwidth etc etc, any comment made over at @workprogramme.org doesn’t actually appear for quite a while, often hours; this makes it difficult to have a real-time (or near real-time) conversation, a quick request for information, a casual chat or just an exchange of banter.

So basically, if you want comprehensive, in-depth information and analysis of the toxic sham that is the Work Program, then the indispensable @workprogramme.org has to be your first port-of-call (the link is on the blogroll). For chat, gossip, rants and just fucking about, this might be the place.

I don’t really recognise the concept of ‘off-topic’ so anything that’s on your mind, whether or not it’s directly related to the Work Program or only tangentially connected…whatever: feel free to get it off your chest.

Keep up the fight.

Jack Cade

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