Friday, 2 September 2011

Libel and an appeal

If I was still a jobseeker (and thank God I'm not) I would be trying to instigate legal action against the Daily Express for libel. Yesterday they had to tone down a vicious piece about "workshy Britain". Today they've come back with two vile little pieces instead of one. One headed "4m Scrounging Families in Britain" reports the latest figures, with nothing whatever to justify the "scroungers" label. They quote their pals the Taxpayers' Alliance (which is simply a Tory-funded lobby group) on the subject of "over-generous benefits". Not content with that, there's an equally nasty piece headed "400 jobs up for grabs .... but nobody wants them". Apparently it's in Penzance. "A spokesman at the town’s Jobcentre blamed our soft-touch welfare state which has taken away the incentive to find work." This chap is not named, unsurprisingly. There's no analysis of what these vacancies are actually for - how many are not real jobs, for instance, or whether they require skills or experience which no one in the area has. No, it's just another way to traduce the unemployed. Just what is the editor's motive in this maniacal campaign?

I've been contacted by a Radio 4 journalist who is working on a programme about the government’s Work Programme, and wants to hear from people who are currently doing courses run by private providers such as A4E, Ingeus, Reed in Partnership, Seetec etc., or have recently been on FND. She would be interested to hear about the experiences of both clients and current or former staff of all the providers. Her email address is and her telephone number is 07706154283. She assures me that all contacts will be treated in strict confidence.

Not entirely unrelated is a request from me to a few people who have posted comments on this blog in April, May and July this year which I have not published. Doncaster and Nottingham were mentioned. Please get in touch with me via a comment I will NOT publish.


  1. Not surprised about the attitude of the papers, They have to find something to blame for all the problems. and the unemployed have not much of a voice.

  2. The Radio program should be on radio four at 8pm. Simon Cox examines the government's plan to get the long-term unemployed back to work and asks if it is likely to succeed where previous programmes have failed. Here is the link.. Will have to see what is said.

  3. The woman in my jobcentre told me there was a distinct lack of jobs in my area, and that there always were fewer jobs than people wanting them even when the employment situation was at its best.

    I just finished ND about a month ago and have already been told I am to start the WP despite both A4E and the Job Centre originally telling me it would be 6 months before this happened. I now have to find out whether it will be with A4E again (and if so whether they can explain why I didn't get the various promised training courses, which is now being supplied by the JC), or with the other local provider.

  4. I am on this scheme. From what i have gathered it lasts 2 years, and they can tell you to turn up whenever they wish. And they can decide that next week i need to be there every day, or once a week. so in theory they could send you on the same module about making cv's as many times as they wish. The one i have been sent on seems to be more focused on putting the blame on the unemployed for not getting a job. Obviously YOU must be doing something wrong, as you havent got a job. External factors are irrelevant to their mind Like lack of jobs, people wanting to hire new graduates over the unemployed.


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