Friday, 11 November 2011

Weird and Wonderful - and IDS

If you're curious about Thornbridge Hall, the Derbyshire mansion home of Emma Harrison, you can see it on the latest of Nigel Slater's "Simple Cooking" programmes. Slater went there to see a farmer, Tom Clarke, who farms wild boar there. We also met Jim Harrison, Emma's husband, who brews beer. The episode is called Weird and Wonderful.

Earlier today Iain Duncan Smith was on The World at One on Radio 4. It should be here. He was talking to people in Hackney about unemployment and what the government is doing about it. Naturally, everything is pinned on the Work Programme. The payment method will ensure its success. There was the usual casual statistic - there are half a million jobs in the Jobcentres each week. We need a dynamic workforce, he said. The representative of one organisation said they had not bid for the WP contracts because it was too risky, but would continue to help people. One man, with a criminal record, said it was hopeless and, when IDS disagreed, said he couldn't even get a work trial. Once again the solution was the WP, which would provide mentors to help him all the way. Another man, with a string of qualifications, said he couldn't find work either. IDS personally guaranteed that he could get him a job. (Of course he can; but that doesn't help all the others in the same position.) The interviewer asked him if it was fair that benefits are to go up in line with inflation (a line that other BBC people are also pushing). IDS said there were no plans to change that, but it was a long way short of a guarantee.

I wonder if he will come on next year to explain why the WP isn't delivering.


  1. The mainstream propoganda machine. dont beileve a word of it.

  2. As a very recent ex A4e employee, I am aware of our employee rep for our region being invited to one of her staff tea parties at her 'palace'.

    By sheer coincidence, it was on the same day he was due to receive his official notice of redundancy!

  3. Some house and some upkeep!!! Surely there is work Emma's clients can do there I wonder if it has crossed her mind? And if it has, then as voluntary? lol

  4. As well as Emma's family, 20 of her closest friends also live at Thornbridge.

    Mind you, Emma can't touch Terese Rein (Ingeus) when it comes to husbands, her's used to be Australian prime minister.

  5. Being on the work programme, My mentor doesn't listen,she spouts the party line.. There are many jobs out there, It is your fault you haven't got a job. Then she sends me on Interview techniques courses, then application form workshops (saying i should be applying for paper application forms rather than applying by cv/email as the employers ask for in their job adverts), sending me on scheme after scheme that havent changed from the last time i was sent to a4e, or the time before.

    It seems to me that a lot of these stories about the work programme only ask the staff at a4e or the publicity group of a4e. They never listen to the poor sods (me included) on the schemes.

  6. And I want to comment on the speaker in that clip with a criminal record.

    Look, IDS, you and your tory values have bred a society of fear and resentment. Is it then surprising that employers, beyond the lovely rhetoric of the WP, won't give that guy a job? Of course they won't. Look at the emotional climate in society.

    When we are locking up young men for being nothing more than very stupid (the two facebook rioters) for 4 years, what are we doing? How can they secure a future?

    IDS is just beyond belief.


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