The latest crass policy from a government minister is that if you have no work, then you will lose your council home. New tenants are to be required to sign a contract that makes this explicit. It is reasonable to assume this policy will be extended to all social housing tenants, ie tenants of housing associations.
In a speech that was deserving of an Orwellian prize for news speak, Caroline Flint said that she wanted to "begin a debate" about how to best serve the needs of people who live in social housing.
Caroline Flint wants to break the link between social housing and long term unemployment. Kicking people out of their homes will undoubtedly do the trick.
Caroline Flint went on to echo what Brown had said the week before on training and unemployment not being an option.
This is part of an unseemly bidding war between the two major political parties, see who can hit the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged with the biggest stick.
Only a week ago we had Gordon Brown regurgitate a policy that he announced only a few weeks before (the only recycling Brown understands) that there would be no such thing as unemployment, if you were out of work, then you had to go on compulsory training.
Bogus training courses that do nothing for the unemployed, but afford excellent get rich quick schemes for the companies that run them.
When on these scam training courses, clients (ie no longer unemployed which helps massage the unemployment figures) have to go on work placements, ie go and work for nothing. On these work placements, clients find they are doing the same jobs as those doing Community Service.
We are told the prisons are full (another pocket lining scheme for private companies), that Community Service is not a soft option. Are the unemployed therefore being punished for being unemployed?
Who is to decide?
Already we have Job Centres arbitrarily stopping benefits on a whim.
It is bad enough to lose benefit, now you will lose your home too.
The policy would be a clear breach of the Human Rights Act, right to a family home, disproportionate punishment, but it seems the government has already thought of that one, they are going to drastically cut the money available for legal aid.
There are ground for putting people out on the street: failure to pay rent, abuse of neighbours, trashing the property. Being out of work is not grounds to be kicked out of ones home.
Once people are out on the street they will find it far harder to get a job as they are of no fixed abode. Then starts the downward spiral into crime, alcohol and drug abuse, with society left to pick up the cost.
Yes, there are people who are unfairly claiming Disability Living Allowance, who cause all disabled to be tarred with the same brush.
Everyday locally, we see one such individual whose performance would be deserving of an Oscar. In the town centre during the day, he slowly walks along on his crutches with a pained expression on his face. Tells anyone who will listen how ill he is, that he has to go into hospital to have his hips replaced, his legs amputated (a tale he has been telling for at least five years). In the evening or away from the town centre, he makes a miraculous recovery, you would have to jog to keep up with him. Late at night he is seen walking along carrying his crutches.
Unemployment is an economic fact of life of a modern economy. A situation made worse by unrestricted immigration. A responsible government should be introducing measures to positively deal with unemployment, not punish the unemployed to grab a few cheap votes.
The gap between rich and poor is the widest it has been in forty years.
The government is creating an underclass outside of society. Will the next stage be the Final Solution, round up all the undesirable, all those surplus to requirements, and send them to the gas chambers?
Anger as Labour tells unemployed tenants 'find a job or lose your council house', Evening Standard, 6 February 2008
Change of P.A.C.E, SchNEWS, 1 February 2008
Pippa Crerar, If you want to get a council house start job hunting, Evening Standard, 5 February 2008
Keith Parkins, Brown's global 'arms' training race, Indymedia UK, 28 January 2008
Keith Parkins, McDegrees from McD's, Indymedia UK, 29 January 2008
Wealth gap 'widest in 40 years', BBC news on-line, 17 July 2007
'Work or lose home' says minister, BBC news on-line, 5 February 2008