Could there be a more valiant cause than Teddy’s 21st at Funky Buddha? Your middle-class guide to the Jobcentre
Look at you with your university education, horrible red trousers and penchant for Starbucks macchiato. You’ve graduated, now you find yourself unemployed and Daddy’s just cut you off.
Last night the ITV Tonight programme led the way with a documentary looking at the rise if disability hate crime, press propaganda and palpable apathy on the issue.
I think I need to begin this blog by clarifying my use of the word ‘hate’ as I don’t use it lightly.
Mr Gove and the Government are developing academies and free schools to give more ‘choice to parents’. Ironically, this will give parents, as a whole, less choice. It will lead to greater exclusion of troubled children, more forced segregation of disabled children, more hate crime and will create a more unequal society.
An ‘inspirational’ photo has been making its way around Twitter and Facebook. The photograph is of Oscar Pistorius, a disabled athlete, running with a small, disabled girl. The caption, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude”.
“I think,” he says, in the tone you’d use if someone was asking you this question a lot, “we’re doing the right thing. There are two million children growing up in this country in households where no one works. There are six or seven million people of working age who, for one reason or another, are on benefits.
“Do you have the potential to return to work?” states Chris Grayling, Minister for Employment. It seems a very reasonable question, and when the idea of Employment Support Allowance was initially mooted during the mid noughties at a time of high employment and economic boom it was an admirable aim.
The Prime Minister feels we have a “culture of entitlement” when it comes to welfare, and polling shows huge public support for a crackdown on benefit payments. But do many young people leave school expecting to be looked after financially? Do the wealthy elite expect to rule?
The Coalition says it wants to make work pay better than benefits. This mantra is driving the biggest overhaul of the welfare state since it was introduced. It’s also the central plank of the Coalition’s strategy to tackle child poverty, which makes sense. Working parents up and down the country are struggling to keep their children warm, well fed and clothed because they can’t earn enough, and that has to change.
It is an understandable reaction when you wake up from a great dream to pull the covers over your head, block out the sun and the noise of garbage men, and tightly close your eyes in the hope of making it last just a little longer. Especially when that dream was as great as America’s.
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