Chris Grayling, 15 February 2011
At least 90% of organisations involved in delivering the Government's flagship back to work scheme, the Work Programme, risk having their contracts terminated because of unreachable performance targets set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Social Market Foundation, the think tank originally behind the idea for the Work Programme and responsible for the analysis, has said that without an urgent rethink of the performance criteria this could lead to the failure of the entire scheme with potentially dire consequences for the 2.4 million long term unemployed it is designed to help.
Not my words but the very words chosen and published by the respected eminent and politically independent Social Market Foundation.
There is only one way of looking at government policy in regard to resolving long term or otherwise the growing dole queue, and that’s like beating people with a stick into submission of taking up low paid employment. That’s what the Work Programme and all that came before it is really all about. I have a theory, a philosophy, a viewpoint and that’s this; capitalism would not be able to run itself without us.
Think about it for a moment – we run but don’t control the system. It’s true, without us the capitalists would have nothing; who would make their goods, who would build their towns and cities or construct them skyscrapers and towers that touch the sky, just who will keep the power flowing that kept the power on in the home, the factory, the office and enabled the banker to transfer billons and trillions at the flick as it seems of a switch – just who?
Capitalism is not something separate from our daily lives like a line of figures in the financial columns of a newspaper, or a media bulletin on the state of the economy. It's more intimate than that - something we experience daily in our social and work lives, in our family life, in our physical bodies and in the most intimate sense we have of ourselves. At best, it's an uncomfortable experience. Sometimes it's far, far worse than that.
For all capitalism's great potential to create abundance, it has no power to deliver. It is just not designed that way. And though for those of us who work for a living it often dangles personal fulfilment and real freedom before us, it sets them always just beyond our grasp.
The basics of life: water, food, shelter, heat and light. All and sundry should have these, right? Everyone should have these but millions don't and even here in the Britain, many struggle to obtain them. Why? Because the stinking capitalist profits system as exemplified above take the riches YOU have made and at the same time prevents access to these basics unless you can pay again, all in the name of profit. How about turning up the heat on them and pulling the plug on this system - instead we can unite and work towards putting a new socialist one in its place, where the necessities of life will be available to all.
You may have been told that slavery was abolished; you may have thought that slavery was abolished, well I have news for you it still exists and it’s intensifying, as always the master class will want to select the best workers to work its capitalist treadmills, and only the best will do.
The key to defining slavery is to look closely at the core characteristics in the life of a slave and in the slave’s relationship with their master or slaveholder the capitalist.
While most North Americans and Western Europeans tend to hold in their mind a picture of slavery that existed in the Deep South before 1865, slavery existed at the beginning of human history and has taken many forms over the past 5,000 years. Nearly every culture and historical period has known slavery, and it has been “packaged” differently at each time and place. The true nature of slavery, however, does not exist in the “packaging” or justifications for slavery.
Slavery exists first in the lives of slaves – what are you?
The Work Programme, which when you think about it, is a really nasty name and description for forcing people into wage slavery through instruction, command and or a course of lectures.
If we look closely at the lives of slaves throughout human history we find that the core characteristics of slavery are the same. Slavery means the loss of free will; it means that violence will be used to maintain control over the slave, and it means that the slave will be exploited, normally in some sort of economic activity. The truth is we are all born into this slavery and our lives will be controlled through violence which takes many forms such as the violence of being unemployed, not having enough money to keep body and soul, or a place of safety that provides shelter and warmth.
Normally we may think the life of a slave is marked by the fact that they receive no payment for their work, this is not true of modern slavery, the modern wage slave receives a subsistence, which means we have to keep going back for more for years on end or possibly as this government would like without an end, until we drop perhaps.
In the weeks that unfold I will be writing much more about being unemployed and forced onto and on the Work Programme, and what the Programme is like how it affects me and others, what I have to do and so on, as I think there should be a far greater understanding of what is going on in our society, and how those in and out of work are played against each other in order to own and control rule and divide, all in the interests of profit.