Thank you to those who read my last blog. Although I'm not seeing any comments so either people didn't find it interesting enough to comment or they found it so good they were speechless (I wish).
Anyway on to this week's politics rant. What a week it's been. The biggest headline of the week's politics is the Conservative plan to force the unemployed young to do work experience for their benefits. This is specifically meant for 18-21 year olds that have not been in education, work or training for six months before they claim benefits.
Now first of all, this is just a re-hash of the workfare scheme which forced young unemployed people to work in places like Tesco for benefits. I remember doing this and remember how degrading it was. And secondly the most obvious question arises. If the job centre can find young unemployed NEETS work to do, why shouldn't they get paid the minimum wage for it? They are adults after all so surely the minimum wage law should apply to them right? Back in 2013 the court of appeal said that the government's workfare scheme was unlawful as it broke the minimum wage law. The government then quickly rushed through a law in parliament that basically said the workfare scheme was lawful. Once again no opposition from the Labour Party. Another reason not to vote for them.
It begs the question though, why are they so desperate to keep this workfare scheme when actually it will keep the benefit bill at a high level. It certainly won't save money. If these young people were paid the minimum wage (at a living wage rate) for the job they were doing, it wouldn't cost the government anything and would bring in extra tax revenue. Any logical person will come to that conclusion.
So the one conclusion I can get from this, is that the Tories are trying to take us back to the Victorian era where we had slave labour for young people. And doesn't it show the contempt this government has for young adults. Not only this, they have they trebled tuition fees, scrapped EMA and massively cut funding for careers services like Connexions. It's as if they don't want the young to vote at all.
So I say one last thing to those 18-24 year olds that are disillusioned with politics and don't want to get involved. Please do. Don't let the Tories beat us into submission. Whether it is taking direct action against the government policies or registering to vote, please get involved. There are organisations like 38 degrees, UK Uncut and People's Assembly Against Austerity that are fighting against these cruel government policies. Also please make sure you register to vote and if you are unsure who to vote for and believe there are no choices, then go to voteforpolicies.org.uk and take the survey on whose policies you agree with most, and vote for that party. You may be surprised with the result.