Sunday 19 November 2017

Philip Hammond actually claimed "there are no unemployed people"

Just imagine the mainstream media reaction if the shadow chancellor John McDonnell​ or anyone else from Labour had made a claim as ridiculous as there supposedly being no unemployed people in Britain. 

But that's exactly what the Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond did on the Andrew Marr Show.

We all remember the festival of hate that was aimed at Diane Abbott after she got her numbers horribly jumbled up during the general election, but at least she never made a claim as ludicrous as there being no unemployment at all.

Anyone who pays the remotest attention to politics must be well aware of the tricks and scams the Tories use to rig the unemployment figures like unemployed people forced to do unpaid "workfare" work being classed as employed, people working just a few hours a week on Zero Hours Contracts but still on benefits being classed as employed, people hit with draconian benefits sanctions not being classed as unemployed, economically inactive people not being classed as unemployed ...

We also know that the increase in the employment rate since 2010 has been matched by the longest sustained decline in UK workers' wages since records began. It's hardly ridiculous to suppose that the Tory policy of ruthlessly driving down workers' wages and working conditions has resulted in in a boom of low-paid, low-skill jobs as growing numbers of employers use exploitative employment practices like Zero Hours Contracts and fake self-employment in the gig economy in order to rinse as much profit as possible out of the UK workforce.

But we know that Hammond's ridiculous gaffe about there being no unemployed people will get nothing like the mainstream media attention Diane Abbott's mind fart got. And we also know that the mainstream media will continue championing the Tories' rigged unemployment figures without providing the caveat that they've only been achieved through horrific anti-welfare policies like sanctions, "workfare" and erecting as many obstacles as possible for people trying to claim unemployment benefits so that people (especially the mentally ill and under-educated) don't claim what they're actually entitled to.

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