Thursday, December 11, 2008

Purnell's Victorian Values

It's something of an understatement for PCS to describe the Welfare white paper as “regressive”.

The odious creature James Purnell has managed to combine Workfare with privatisation to bring us the worst of all possible worlds founded on openly Tory ideology (with open – and necessary – Tory support).

The idea of making the poor work for nothing (or very little) in a recession is not new and certainly not modern. In the 1930s the state built
“Instructional Centres” - labour camps to which the long term unemployed could be sent to work.

In the 1830s the New Poor Law was founded on the concept of “less eligibility” - the idea that the lot of the “pauper” should be worse than that of the labouring poor.

The purpose of this approach has nothing to do with welfare – and nothing whatsoever to do with the interests of “hard working families” - on the contrary, the state is stepping in to try to ensure that the “reserve army of labour” is forced out into the labour market in order to do its job of depressing wages and holding down working class living standards in order to restore profitability.

New Labour of course bring a novel little twist to this toxic rehash of right-wing ideology by proposing that the whole thing be done in the private sector. I hope UNISON will be joining those who condemn this outrage.

1 comment:

Brian said...

>>I hope UNISON will be joining those who condemn this outrage.

Not really Jon: http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=5035