Wednesday, 18 February 2015

David Cameron's plan to exploit our children as a source of free labour

In February 2015 David Cameron attempted to distract attention away from the massive scale of tax-dodging by the wealthy establishment class (and the flow of millions of pounds into Tory party coffers from these tax-dodging individuals) with some predictable displays of Tory scapegoating.

Scapegoating and distraction

First (while the Chancellor George Osborne was still hiding from questions about what he know about the HSBC tax-dodging scandal) David Cameron announced a policy of sanctioning benefits claimants who are overweight. It was soon revealed that this attempt at a headline grabbing scapegoat policy would only actually affect fewer than 2,000 people according to the government's own statistics. Additionally it surely must have caused disorientating bouts of cognitive dissonance to anyone who believes the Tory rhetoric about Labour being the "nanny state party" that interferes in people's lives and the Tories being "the party of freedom" from state interference, and also to anyone who knows who Eric Pickles is.

After this effort to grab headlines with an attack on the overweight went down so badly that even hacks in the notoriously right-wing Telegraph ended up referring to the policy as "the sadistic hounding of the obese", Cameron and the Tories decided to switch their attention to another minority; the young.

As the HSBC tax-dodging scandal rumbled on, and more serious politicians began to draw parallels between the dodgy way in which political parties are funded and the inexorable rise of political dissatisfaction and outright apathy, Cameron decided to launch a policy that young people (18-21 year olds) should be immediately forced onto unpaid labour schemes if they can't find a real job.

Compulsory unpaid labour for young adults

There are numerous problems with this policy, not least the fact that - even if we ignore the fact that unemployment benefits are the a payout from the National Insurance policy that we all hold with the state, not a wage - making people work 30 hours per week for £57.40 is the equivalent to less than £2 pounds an hour, a clear effort to undermine the National Minimum Wage that the Tories opposed so strongly when it was introduced, and still hate with a burning passion.

Another objection is that if young people can be forced to do menial jobs like litter picking, graffiti cleaning, working in care homes and tidying parks, what happens to the people who do these jobs for an actual salary when their jobs can be done more cheaply by David Cameron's slave army of unemployed youngsters? What happens aggregate economic demand in your local economy when the litter pickers and park attendants lose their salaries when they are laid off from their jobs and replaced with Cameron's unpaid youth army?

It's clear to anyone with the wit to think things through (rather than uncritically lapping up the tabloid ant-welfare rhetoric), that all of these Tory forced labour schemes contradict the simple principle that if the job is worth doing, it's worth paying someone to do it, and if it's not worth doing, there's no sense in forcing anyone to do it at all.

Another objection to these forced labour schemes is that they are used in order to rig the unemployment statistics. Anyone who is familiar with the way the way the ONS calculate the monthly Labour Market Statistics reports will know that the hundreds of thousands of people who are on these forced labour schemes are excluded from the unemployment figures, despite the fact that they all still receive unemployment benefits.

Yet another objection to this policy is that the young adults who are going to be affected by this draconian scheme would have been 13 or younger at the time of the global financial sector insolvency crisis, meaning that Cameron and the Tories are intent on punishing people who were children at the time of the crisis, whilst they've let the financial sector speculators who actually caused it continue enriching themselves with vast bonuses (often paid out by taxpayer owned banks).

The looming second global meltdown

Perhaps the biggest objection of all can be seen if we think back to November 2014 when David Cameron announced to the world that he has reason to believe that there's another massive global economic crisis is on the horizon. In light of the fact that David Cameron believes that there's another crisis on the horizon, and a consequential spike in unemployment looming, a scheme to force young people to work 30 hours per week for their pitiful subsistence allowance looks like a deliberate effort to cash in on the inevitable crisis doesn't it?

The idea that the labour of the young adults is a commodity that can be harvested for free by the state is revolting and economically illiterate enough in it's own right, but once we consider it in light of other things that David Cameron has admitted, we can see it as the utterly vile policy it is.

What can we do about it?

It's completely obvious that if you know anyone in the 18-21 age group, you should advise them to register to vote (which is very easy to do), and then to use their vote wisely to vote against the political party that sees their labour as a commodity that belongs to the state.

People who fall in the 18-21 age group after the next election are not the only ones who will be affected by this if the Tories win power. If society becomes normalised to the idea that the labour of young people is a commodity that belongs to the state, then future generations will be hit hard by this policy, especially when the second crisis that David Cameron predicts kicks in.

It's not just future generations of young adults who are going to be hit by this policy either, it's their families too. Imagine if Cameron gets his way and young people are denied housing benefits and forced to work full time for a paltry fifty seven quid a week. Where are these young people going to live? And who do you think is going to be left with the financial burden of supporting them?

If you believe David Cameron's prognosis that a second major global meltdown is on the horizon, and you have children, then it is your duty to your kids to vote against a political party that would exploit your children as a free source of labour in the wake of the next massive global financial crisis.

Even if you don't have kids of your own, or your kids are grown up, surely you have nephews, nieces, grandchildren or other young relatives that you care about? Surely you couldn't bring yourself to vote for a political party that has announced a policy of exploiting them as a source of free labour when they're struggling to find jobs in the wake of the next global financial crisis that David Cameron himself has warned us about, and that they had absolutely no role in creating?

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