Dear Dept. of Work And Pensions Ministers,
Can I just say that I think your policy of sending jobseekers to work for their allowance is a travesty and is tantamount to full blown exploitation, not by the state, because that would be too easy to compare to community service carried out by law breakers. But by co-opted private firms which is reducing the demand for paid workers. It is an affront to honest workers and free market capitalism. I have been an intern in industries where demand for jobs is greater than demand for workers, the creative industries, film specifically. I have received two jobs from this free labour, however, forcing this model into other fields goes against the free market imperative. There is more demand for workers than there is for the jobs and it should stay that way so that people doing hard menial work get decent pay.
No one has forgotten about the abuse by those in power of the expenses scandal, neither have we forgotten how those in power kowtowed to the exploitative Murdoch press before it was clear their empire was about to shake. These plans do nothing for the economy except try and reassure the people at large that you have a plan. The market will not be so easily fooled. What is needed and what the ex-and-current-spin doctor-in-chief is ignoring is a radical reassessment of values that we as a country need to make. We need to lead the way in addressing many of the issues that we face that are of our own making. For example our over reliance on financial services for our economy, our oil dependency that will only quickly get worse if not addressed, and our ability to care for those in more dire circumstances than ourselves, for example jobseekers at home and the thirsty, starving and oppressed abroad (whose repressive regimes we often sell equipment to for short term financial gain!).
I would urge you to take the same steps as the high street companies that are realising the damage this policy is causing and revoke it completely. It is certainly an issue upon which your government can totally lose legitimacy, and it's not like education, you can't palm the blame off on the Lib Dems for this one!
In reference to:
I've never been to Amsterdam, the cycling capital of the world. I've never had a good reason to.
But a good reason has presented itself. A charity cycle from London to Amsterdam over 3 days. It's going to be epic (even more epic if I persuade them to allow me to do it on my Brompton) and it's for a really great cause, well 2 in fact.
One is Cardboard Citizens which is a theatre company that works with people who have experienced homelessness, the other is Bikeworks a social enterprise based in East London which tackles environmental, social & economic challenges focusing on social deprivation in East London.
If you could sponsor me, any amount, it would be greatly appreciated. I have a target of £1000 and I really want to reach it before the trip which is at the start of September. I just completed the London to Brighton ride on my Brompton as part of my training and believe you me, if you masochism or charity sponsoring me is the thing to do ;o)
I'm most excited about stopping off In Bruges! The film was hilarious and apparently it's a 'F*£king fairytale town'!
Ahem... anyway sponsor now for instant feel goods!
I have sent this letter to email@example.com as they were asking for feed back about this appalling situation.
You can also contribute to the consultation before the end of the week (Friday 8th July) by clicking here: http://avaaz.org/en/murdoch_messages_2/?slideshow
Hi there Mr Clegg,
Obviously these revelations should put a stop to Rupert Murdoch's take over of the majority of the UK media. The more power that this unelected but overtly political mogul gains the less recourse we will have to hold those responsible for this kind of unethical behaviour to account. Please use all of your influence to make good on Vince Cable's promise to wage war on Murdoch. Cable speaks for all of the reasonable Liberals with regard to this; please align yourself with his position not that of your coalition partners who are in Murdoch's pocket and who owe him a great debt due to his support of the Conservatives on election day. In The Sun on election day Cameron was hailed as an Obama-like figure of positive change rather than the regressive and aggressive privatiser he has proved himself to be. The Sun also called you Mr Clegg; "a dangerous extremist"! When will all of the lies, distractions and ethical black holes be stopped?! Please present an action plan (preferably drafted by Mr Cable) that will bring ethics and quality journalism back to the core of British media.
At the risk of sounding like a Republican sourpuss (which I am), I would like to point out 2 things about the stupidly subsidised royal family and this here wedding what's happening today.
1: When the tube workers go on strike, or whenever they work out how many sick days are taken by the UK workforce, some media outlet always reports how much has been lost to the UK economy. Now I've seen lots of reports suggesting how much tourist buck this fairytale farce is bringing in, but I've not seen that stat compared to the hit taken by UK productivity from this day of bunting a cucumber sandwiches. I'm guessing it's billions vs. the millions the tourists are bringing. At least Waitrose are selling more cucumbers. I'm not being ungrateful. I enjoy a day off as much as the next guy. I just wish it didn't feel like it's a scrap from their privileged table to keep the barking dogs distracted. People seem to care more about a dress than the chance to overhaul our unfair and unrepresentative voting system.
2: If you really wanted to increase the revenue from tourists you could just abolish the royals and legalise marijuana.The royals are benefit scroungers and marijuana is taxable. You do the maths.
I read that one a shoddy placard once and I believe it's true. It's more important now than ever that we honestly engage with the problems we face large and small. I believe that a lot of the problems we need to solve are brought about by apathy that leads to people thinking that someone else will sort out the problems for us; Government or God or television.
Well I'm sorry to say it won't. In the words of Gandhi 'Be the change you want to see in the world'. And I think we have been given great tools to achieve this change at a greater rate than ever before.
I'm particularly interested in how we can use our creativity & our communication skills (through film, art, technology & the internet, direct action, humour) to make the world a better place. I'm interested in all the usual things: Putting people before profit, ending hunger and poverty, protecting the environment and the animals that are a part of it, freedom, privacy, good mental health and happiness, abundance of and access to education and art, conflict reduction & management, harm reduction (especially with regards to arms sales and drug policy), the right to childhood, honesty, love.... you know all that good stuff.
I'm going to use this blog to congregate these Important Things. I will link to actions which I hope you will join me in taking part in. I will no doubt rant. I will make suggestions and take advice (I hope you have some to give) and I will have a great time while I'm doing it despite difficulty and sadness presented by many of the situations. Because we can't give in to the apathy, and we can't give into fear and we can't let it get to us when we're called hippies like it's an insult. I would much rather have ideals than an ideology, but I would say that... I'm an optimistic fundamentalist agnostic.
Here's a few of my previous forrays into 'peace-loving hippiedom'.
ID cards letter in the Evening Standard:
Remember: You Don't Have to Be a Hippie to Believe in Peace.... But it Helps!
the wrongs that need resistance, To the right that needs assistance, To the future
in the distance, Give yourselves.