A New System of an Old Slavery: George Osborne’s Workfare and 19th Century Negro ‘Apprenticeship’

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Slave Pic

Illustration of slave in the mask and shackles used by Europeans to imprison them.

Earlier this week I reblogged a piece from The Void, reporting @refuted’s uncovering of George Osborne’s proposals to expand workfare. Under this new scheme, compulsory workfare, directed by the Jobcentre, would include those in part-time work and the disabled. Those already doing voluntary work would also be forced to go on workfare, and work elsewhere, if their supervisors decided that their current unpaid employment was not appropriate. This is all alarming enough, but what is particularly abhorrent is the plan force even those, who receive no benefits at all, into workfare.

I’ve blogged before about the similarity between workfare and slavery. At the moment although workfare is degrading and exploitative, it is not yet actual, literal slavery. Osborne’s proposal to make those without benefits do it tips it over into the real thing.

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Sleepwalking out of the EU – the gap between rhetoric and reality

Vox Political

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The British people’s support for staying in the European Union is “wafer thin”, David Cameron told the CBI yesterday. Labour’s Ed Balls warned that the UK could “sleepwalk” away from its biggest trading partner at the same meeting.

Why?

Is it because most people don’t understand our relationship with the European economic area? Is it because they have been infected with propaganda from the right-wing press?

Is it because there really is a plan to make the UK a third-world country, and withdrawal from the EU is necessary to remove citizens’ human rights, thereby making them easier for the ruling class to exploit? The idea seems paranoid but the actions necessary for it to happen have been coming together.

Isn’t it time we had a public debate about the Union – how it works, how we function within it – in order to find out whether we really are better…

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Benefit Sanctions Are State Terrorism And Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions

the void

terrorism-definitionAbsolute poverty, as in having no money at all, is all-encompassing, meaning it is almost impossible to think about anything else and it impacts on every area of life.  Relationships with family and friends fracture, self-esteem is demolished, emotions range from stark terror to utter despair.  Poverty removes the freedom to act rationally and assess situations in the long term and so creates its own vicious trap.  The entire pay day loan industry is based on the fact that people with nothing will agree to any terms to get cash in their pocket and food in their bellies.

Having no money can lead people to borrow from friends and family with no idea how they will pay it back or commit – and get caught for – crimes they would never normally consider.  Such is the psychological anguish of long term poverty that some people will spend money on drugs…

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