“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bash the rich - not the NEETS.

What can we make of the Tory "earn or learn" ultimatum to the country's under 25's? In part of course this is just another effort by the upper echelons of the party to convince it's rank and file that they really are coming down hard on a skiving, criminal underclass that threaten to spoil it all for Middle England. It's a conference tradition. The Tories have been coming out with this kind of "look how tough we are" claptrap for as long as I can remember. Schemes to harass people out of the dole queue always seem to come into their own during times of economic downturn and diminishing job security. This latest plan to motivate NEETS will not save the nation a penny but will rather cost a small fortune to implement and do little but heap yet more worry on the shoulders of hard pressed families. No parent needs to be reminded about what an irritating waste of space teenagers (and especially teenage boys) can be but they are also frequently vulnerable and isolated. So if these bash the young unemployed projects cost more to implement than they could ever save, and if only a tiny proportion of the young people targeted actually end up in full time paid work anyway, what on earth is the point? I think that the sad truth is that all this tough rhetoric rings a bell with the voters. We have a terrible tendency toward the "why should they" view of society. Why should they, live off the taxpayer, get a house, get a job, not get a job? What's worse is that this malevolent jealousy and fear that some section of society is getting away with something is always directed at the family down the road and never at the people who are really getting away with something.  Bash the rich - not the NEETS. Bash the rich - not each other.

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