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The Laz word...on Cameron, Brown and the unemployed

Getting 'tough on scroungers' is just the job if you want to win votes, says Larry Neild

Published on October 6th 2009.


The Laz word...on Cameron, Brown and the unemployed

LIVERPOOL'S army of unemployed have become a collective tug-of-love child between the two big parties.

Many people, particularly those in their 40s and 50s don’t want training, they want jobs so they can earn a decent living. Instead they are disgracefully treated as workshy

Gordon Brown and David Cameron are locked in a custody battle, and in the middle of this are the out-of-work, the disabled and anybody still living under the illusion this is a welfare state where benefits are made available to the needy.

Labour’s policy of making the unemployed whistle for their dole is bad enough, but the Tories will go even further.

Why don’t we just round them all up and transport them to Australia?

It may seem popular to target the out-of-work and force them to beg for their hand-outs. Statistically, people caught in the poverty trap are less likely to vote, which is why Liverpool (highest unemployment rate in the North West) also has the lowest election turnout in the region, if not the country.

So it’s a win-win for the parties, showing they are being “tough on scroungers”. I’d be more impressed if Cameron announced he planned to pay for the Conservatives back-to-work drive by raking in the millions of pounds in unpaid taxes that big industry somehow manages to avoid paying by clever accounting methods.

You only have to read the job pages – or should that be page – of the Echo to realise there’s not a lot of hiring going on. There’s a lot of firing though as firms, including the Echo, cut back in face of the recession.

So the “economically inactive” will be forced to undergo training or work placements or risk getting nothing.

Training people for jobs that just don’t exist doesn’t seem very clever to me. Surely investing money to create jobs

will be better, cutting out the expensive middle men masquerading as training organisations.

Until recently, I served as a health commissioner with a body set up by the University of Liverpool. Facts coming our way were heartbreaking: four generations of some Liverpool families never having worked, people living on incomes well below the EU’s own breadline figure.

Many people, particularly those in their 40s and 50s don’t want training, they want jobs so they can earn a decent living. Instead they are disgracefully treated as workshy.

People who say they personally know families living in luxury at State expense are probably on first name terms with street beggars who live in luxury pads in Wirral or Calderstones.

The unemployed are an easy target for the politicians. The Conservative response doesn’t surprise me, but you would imagine Labour would have a more humane and dignified approach.

It’s ironic the Tories are holding their annual conference in Manchester, a city with no blue-badge MPs in Parliament and a single city councillor fighting their corner.

Next year Labour head to Liverpool for their conference, perhaps as HM’s Opposition Party, and I can already predict demonstrations by people begging to know why they were badly let down.

So why, in my opinion, are the back-to-work policies of both Labour and Conservative flawed?

In the UK around 22 percent of the working age population are economically inactive – that means they are jobless, ill, disabled or students. The North West figure is 23.7 percent. In Liverpool the figure is a mind-blowing 35 percent-plus.

In real terms it means almost 100,000 of the city’s working-age population of 285,000 men and women are officially listed as non-earners. Where in the world are the politicians going to find a fraction of the 100,000 jobs needed to ‘cure’ this problem?

Hope that gives Mr Cameron and his team food for thought as they soak up the cool Manchester air.

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 6th 2009.

Just read in the paper the council is heading off to the big property fanfare, MIPIM, in Cannes next year. They'll be spoiled for choice, Shanghai or the Cote d'Azur, all exes paid.

scousekrautOctober 6th 2009.

Denis Healey is once reported to have said: "World events do not happen by chance. They are planned years in advance mostly by the money power."Booms and busts are not accidents. They are used to centralise power into fewer and fewer hands. Globalisation is sold as free trade but in reality what we have is more and more monopoly capitalism, with ever bigger and bigger corporations all linked to each other through their financiers.The EU too is about centralisation of power and was planned even before WWII began by the same financiers.Socialism, monopoly capitalism, communism, zionism and naziism have all been financed by the Money Power. To understand what is happening in the world right now it is essential to understand the money system and the history of the money changers and what their goals are.

exadversoOctober 6th 2009.

The new reality is that 1979 is coming again. The new reality is that recession is going to become depression.The new reality is that the tories answer to rising unemployment will be to bring in legislation which will force unemployed people to work for their dole because that will please their backers (the 1%) because they'll be able to exploit a vast low-cost labor market. The taxpayers will be paying their labour costs which will increase their power and make the few a lot richer, in the same manner which occurred recently when the bankers lined their pockets with tax payers cash. (and ask yourself who will profit from the fact that this country has a massive debt?). Things will continue to get worse until the masses reach breaking point. Then there will be a revolution because politicians and the corporocrats are incapable of changing their greedy ways.

Nik16October 6th 2009.

You are too soft on people. Asylum seekers coming here and taking the jobs. There will be no work until that problem is addresed

hangingOnOctober 6th 2009.

I'm also in my 50s and work as an office manager. I know any time I'm going to be called in and sent on my way. I've started looking elsewhere but there are no jobs, even though I am willing to downgrade. Politicians haven't got a clue.

ObserverOctober 6th 2009.

So we have the equivalent of an average town's population out of work in Liverpool. How can that be when the likes of our council leader, Mr Warren Bradley, continually goes on about the £4billion pounds worth of investment, the £800m earned from being European Capital of Culture. It seems to me the council and the quangos it operates have spent pots of gold on spin and very little on substance. The figures don't add up. We are supposed to be awash with income, yet we have approaching 100,000 of our citizens economically inactive according to your Mr Nield.How come the opposition party in Liverpool (Labour I understand) isn't screaming these facts from the rooftops of the empty city centre flats?Come on Liverpool, time is running out.

exadversoOctober 6th 2009.

WAKE UP SHEEPLEWe all inhabit the same world. Divided we are lost but united, we can change this world for the better. The time is fast approaching when everyone will have to pull their finger out and wake up to the fact, that globally, the world has radically changed. The traditional Capitalist Market Economic structure is crumbling and needs to be RADICALLY revised, because it's no longer fit for purpose. (and never has been?)The world population is continually increasing, and the spread of advanced technology is causing more and more workers to be replaced by machines. The time and motion men and the damn accountants only care about the bottom line. The world of nations has long past and the Transnational Corporations govern governments, and have done so ~ for a long time and the Corporations are not controlled by compassionate human beings, they're dominated by criminally insane psychopaths. Niki 16 believes that the author of 'The Laz Word...' is "too soft on people" because he fears for that section of society who are least able to cope with what the tories and their corporate masters have planned for them, when they seize power again. What Niki 16, and fellow sheeple always fail to consider, is that; it's not the foreigners who travel to this country to take low paid jobs, who are to blame for the jobs crisis. The problem exists because of the fact that industry wants to cut costs and cut the number of people who work for them, in order to increase their profit margins ~ by employing less people ~ and causing those who work for them to work harder ~ or be sacked. Foreigners are taking jobs here because members of parliament have been corrupted by arselicking corporate lobbyists who have bribed them to pass laws which allow corporations to exploit foreign workers by paying them abysmal wages which no self respecting Englishman or woman would accept.The Niki 16s of this world have no sense of social history or memory of the not so distant past,when the workers of this country were worked to death by factory owners (vampires) and the like before the trade unionists, humanists and socialists put their neck on the line to DEMAND and win the liberties and freedoms we all enjoy today. If the Niki 16s have their way, we won't have those freedoms for much longer, so, wake up sheeple and DEMAND an agreed amount of money for each hour worked, for each type of job offered, (agreed between management and real trade unions) and it should be ILLEGAL for greedy corporate ba****ds to undercut that figure. At the end of the day, what you have to come to terms with is the fact that at least half of the population of this country (the Niki 16s) are purposely kept pacified and dangerously stupid in order to allow corporate criminals to continue working the sheeple to an early grave, so they won't be able to claim their pension.

SpareAdimeOctober 6th 2009.

I'm in my early 50s, unemployed for months and I'm sent to be trained by people who are as thick as pigsh*t. My experience is vast compared to these youngish 'advisors' The world's gone mad. I don't need training or inducted or threats of losing money to force me to work. I just need a bleedin job, the stupid twits.

exadversoOctober 6th 2009.

The new reality is that 1979 is coming again. The new reality is that recession is going to become depression.The new reality is that the tories answer to rising unemployment will be to bring in legislation which will force unemployed people to work for their dole because that will please their backers (the 1%) because they'll be able to exploit a vast low-cost labor market. The taxpayers will be paying their labour costs which will increase their power and make the few a lot richer, in the same manner which occurred recently when the bankers lined their pockets with tax payers cash. (and ask yourself who will profit from the fact that this country has a massive debt?). Things will continue to get worse until the masses reach breaking point. Then there will be a revolution because politicians and the corporocrats are incapable of changing their greedy ways.

Red or deadOctober 6th 2009.

In your dreams, and I don't mean Everton either.

Stanley StreetOctober 6th 2009.

Whatever happened to all the jobs that Storey and his cronies promised us would magically appear when Liverpool One and the Arena were finished?

AnonymousOctober 6th 2009.

Asylum seekers aren't allowed to have jobs. Come back when you've got some idea what you're talking about, Nik16

ExcabularOctober 6th 2009.

All of this was in the Book of Revealations. The centralisation of power by one, the fall of the twin towers. The rise of Satan and the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It's on the way, as predicted

AnonymousOctober 6th 2009.

Cameron is full of shit. But I would not vote for any of them

AnonymousOctober 6th 2009.

God help Liverpool if the 'Con'servatives win the general election. It will be at least a decade of the Dark Ages for us. I have lots of friends desperately looking for jobs but there is little on offer, and they have all lowered their sights.

JoshOctober 6th 2009.

Something very interesting, the conservatives are saying they are the party to help people back into work, reduce the unemployment rate, big words! - but the fact remains that if there is no jobs out there then what are the helping people into? - the government should be helping small/medium sized business to grow and managing their cashflow so people stay in work. Instead they say they have this money, they say the banks are offering loans, but the reality is they aren’t! the banks are not lending. The situation with employment will not get any better before it gets a lot worse first no matter whoever gets in power, there is no quick fix. We need more jobs first, and this is only going to happen when the banks start listening and investing in small/medium sized business over and over to help businesses create new jobs.

Tory!Tory!Tory!October 6th 2009.

Just heard Cameron's rallying speech. Pop music, glitzy, very Obama-ish. he made sure all the boxes were ticked. Whether you like it or not he and the Conservatives are in with a shout, so prepare yerselves, you folk of the People's Republic of Liverpool. The Blues are coming and I don't mean Everton.

London RoadOctober 6th 2009.

You've got a good point there Josh. It's the usual thing of appealing to Daily Mail-reading Little Britain, I'm afraid, as far as Cameron is concerned. Please don't be fooled by the Tories, people. The new generation of voters has no idea how awful society was before Blair in 1997. It can never be any different under Conservatives.

Nik16October 6th 2009.

U saddo. U sound like Old Shepp

Rule BrittaniaOctober 6th 2009.

No, you've got it all wrong, Observer. This is a major international city with a new skyscraper on the central north docks and will become the biggest commercial powerhouse in the UK shortly, thanks to Peel Holdings. Joe Anderson and Warren Bradley are both very excited about this and so should you be too.

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