Aside from the sub-headline (I don’t think this will come back to haunt this government), this is a good summary of the impending crisis and continued dehumanisation of those using Job Centres
And this is just rot. Nationalism has only taken hold in central europe when centrists have pandered to it and triangulated right:
How to count the ways this article is fucked
You won’t believe just how hard I swerved this.
“poland. hungary. brexit. what does this tell you about nationalism?”
“there’s too much of it?”
“that’s one opinion. another is, people seem to like it, why not have some more?”
I signed on recently due to bad health and my experience of Universal Credit and Job Centres was quite mixed. Maybe it’s just luck of the draw, and i expect some Job Centres are much busier than others, and i’m probably relatively privileged to be in a better position than some, but it wasn’t quite the complete chaos i was expecting.
I found the online portal and application process quite good, the appointments were quick, the Job Centre i used seemed more organised than when i last signed on a few years ago, and the staff were quite sympathetic. It’s easier to get through to people and get replies to queries via journal entries as opposed to spending ages queuing on phones.
On the other hand, it took six weeks for the first payment to come through and that only happened after i complained and even then it was nowhere near enough money. For lots of people that might be the difference between eating and not. It seems to be the norm as well, not a coincidence. There is some sort of advanced payment but they don’t really go into much detail of it and in my experience it often leads to claimants being short in the long-term or aggressively chased for debts. The staff didn’t seem fully trained to use the new systems.
As much as some aspects of it feel streamlined i’ve probably not reached their playing hardball stage yet. I recently received a questionaire to judge my fitness to work and some of the questions were pretty extraordinary. Fully expecting them to tell me at the face-to-face follow-up that because i can walk a hundred yards, pick up a coin off the floor, and not soil myself i’m perfectly fit to work.
Some of the blogs and diaries i’ve read from people documenting their experiences with it are absolutely heartbreaking. There’s a disabled guy from Scotland i think who blogs and itemises the money he receives and some hurdles he’s faced and some the responses he receives online from I’m Alright, Jack types make me physically angry.
I can remember complaining to my MP last time I signed on and wasn’t paid for ages and the staff at the job centre just fobbed me off. That sorted it out. Paid the next day and then paid on time from then onwards.
Also complained to him about the tax people during that period when they only had 6 members of staff and would take an hour to answer the phone. Got some dudes extension number.
God knows what happens if you have a shit MP.
Glad to hear it, though I’ve heard the criticism of the process as being that it’s mostly online, meaning that e.g. you’ve got single parents having to drag their kids down to the library to queue up for the computers there, because they don’t have home access, or people who don’t know how to use the system being fucked.[Not speaking from experience though]
also why would you publish an article apologizing for nationalism, one making explicit reference to the yugoslavia wars, on the 23rd anniversary of the srebrenica massacre?
Labour may well have lost that on a reverse brexit ticket
There’s been a slight uptick for UKIP in the last couple of polls I’ve seen as well. Only from ~2% to ~5% or something but… it’s something at the very least.
it makes me a bit nervous tbh, mates. these D&V people (fitting initials for their brand of politics) aren’t interested in even a slight veneer of liberalism the way ukip were. they seem somewhere between kippers and full on bnp. someone went through their policy book on twitter and what they found was hardcore blood and soil shit.
FBPE voice: Ahhhmmm but as the Lib Dem vote shows,
It should. The brexiteers are going further and further right and there’s a shit load of them
Having lived in Barnsley for far too long that’s not surprising at all. Just sticking ‘Veterans’ in the name is enough to win at least 20% in any ward round there.
I wouldn’t be overly worried. It’s a council by election and it could be the result of localised issues/campaigning. Such parties always act as receptacles for protest votes in such cases.
i remember growing up in 90s leeds and how even in the rush of all that blair optimism there were fucking loads of people of all stripes who supported the bnp. it’s why i wasn’t that surprised by the leave result (not saying every leaver is a crypto fash). 21 years later, in an economic and political landscape mostly devoid of hope, this is why it’s so fucking important that we support the corbyn project - whatever my own issues with how diluted a lot of it is, it couldn’t be starker how a resurgent left is the only real bulwark against this stuff. liberalism will not get the job done.