Something Wicked This Way Comes

There has been very little election commentary from me but I have found myself getting a generalised sense of dread at the prospect of living under a Tory government for the first time in my adult life.

It feels like a long descending note.

I’m not alone here. Annie Clarkson doesn’t write much about politics but she has been moved to articulate this sense of approaching doom far better than I ever could. As a social worker she does one of the hardest jobs in the world and it will get harder under the Cameron crew. Annie also knows enough about life to compare ‘Broken Britain’ with what I call ‘Actually Existing Britain’:

‘Coming down harder on the unemployed’ – that’s what David Cameron has said. Well, I’ve worked for past eight years with people who are on the dole, and I’m telling you, the Labour Government HAVE come down hard on the unemployed, you couldn’t get any harder without forcing people onto the streets. There is already a very strict back to work programme. The money people get on the dole is SHIT, try living on £50 a week to pay all your bills, food, travel etc, it is not easy when energy prices are high (again, a GLOBAL problem, not Labour’s fault) and if you’re poor the fuel companies insist on fitting meters which leak money, and cut off your gas/electric if you run out… (a result of privatisation that occurred in the 80’s by a Tory government). If you do not apply for jobs actively every week and prove this your money is stopped, if you get a job you have to take it, if you don’t get interviews the job centre will send you on interviews, and if you miss appointments or mess up in anyway your money is stopped. If you have been on the dole for a certain amount of time you have to go on a course otherwise your money stops, and the course is about applying for hundreds of jobs so you probably can get one. You cannot come down any harder on the unemployed when there are NO jobs.

Read it all – and do the right thing next week.

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