23 2 mins 15 yrs

"Giz a job" was the catchphrase of Yosser Hughes in the "Boys from the Blackstuff" TV series from the 1980’s. Great series – lefty writing by Bleasdale, of course, but I really liked it. Good writing is good writing, period. 

Caroline-Flint.jpgNow I see that Caroline Flint – the bootylicious new Housing Minister, is trying to tackle the phenomenon (odd choice of word) of council ‘sink’ estates where almost no-one has a job with a proposal to force tenants to look for work.

Over the past quarter-century there has been a a significant rise in the number of council tenants out of work, from 35 to 55 per cent.  In a speech to the Fabian Society today, Ms Flint will suggest new council tenants who can work should sign “commitment contracts” when getting a tenancy, agreeing to actively seek employment. Signatories would also have to undertake skills checks to ensure that they are equipping themselves for potential jobs. The jobseeking contracts could be extended to existing tenants, in a move which would affect up to a million people, she will suggest. She will say that there is clear evidence that there are many long-term unemployed in social housing who might be able to find employment with the right support.

Now I seriously doubt that she means this but it is the right approach. There should be NO free houses for those who could work but won’t work. My own concern is that this "commitment contract" will contain so many caveats that it will in reality do nothing  to get the work-shy back to work. But let us at each welcome the intent.

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23 thoughts on “GIZ A JOB

  1. I don’t like this, if it were enforced as she suggests then it could end up that immigrants only into the country but who have work, would have preferance for social housing over the genuinely long term unemployed.
    Neither do I like the logic because people are entitled to a home, and what of the children of the unemployed who can’t get work due to low wages dragged down by high levels of manpower from eastern Europe.

    I agree something needs to be done, but too many dependants (children ) of lazy idle people could be hurt by this. And how does one seperate the genuine from the lazy. If a person is on the sick would they be entitled? But then how many of them are genuine?

    I think this is only a headline grabber.

  2. David

    I must remember to grade your appearance next time you do a vlog. Anything you say will be measured against it as equal in importance.

    Yes this is a headline grabber and it’s all good stuff.

    The Tories have been investigating ways to get people off benefits and back to work examining US style systems. This is Labour trying to steal the limelight. If they keep upping the ante on each other in this respect the overall result is positive and the effectiveness of HM Opposition may yet be shown to be worthwile.

    I could not give a flying wotsit how we measure who is genuine who is not. For too long now this has all been one way.

    People are "entitled" to a home they PAY FOR and only when they contribute via some form of taxation and meaningful commitment to get back to work.

  3. Fancy you remembering Bernard Hill as Yosser in the Boys from the Blackstuff!
    It was a wonderful series and immensely popular for it’s gritty realism.
    People still quote his "I’m desperate, Dan" when in the confessional.

  4. If 55% of tenants are out of work it simply beggars belief that they are all genuine cases. And if these are really "sink estates" then why not employ the workshy parasites long-term jobless to clean them up and make them fit for purpose.

  5. Alison,

    I use a body double for all vlogs so forget it!


    Bleasdale was a good writer, it was an excellent cast, and as I recall, it got something of the moment.

  6. If a family are installed in a house and then don’t work how do you propose to get them out? Via the courts? How much will that cost? And then what do you do with them? Leave them by the road side? Or pay for emergency/temporary accomodation via the benefits system?

    How exactly would this one thing work, without changing everything else first? And what of the children? How much will the state have to pay to ensure the children now out of a home due to a lazy parent/s get shelter?

    Lets get real here. Claiming back the streets and cleaning up public spaces,as Cameron suggests and trying to make sure children can play safe outside, has much more chance of working than this does.

    What ever happened to the labour suggestion that people should be allocated a social home on the grounds of how long they were in the country. Yes thats right, there was an out cry. Either this will come to nothing, or it will be shown to be the disaster in waiting it really is.

    The woman is a clown.

  7. It is a kite flying exercise to gauge the public’s temprature so that real policies can be developed.

    New Labour have run out of money to pour into state welfare and also have an inkling that the public mood is turning against high taxes and high spending and the welfare dependency industry.

    They have to move over to the Tory ground (again) if they want to win an election.This should be easy as the Tories are not even standing on their own ground.

    Ms. Flint may be a politician who has never set foot in the real world, but I do wish she would cross the floor.

  8. The Tories raised this policy issue first NRG. Either way if we’ve run out of money and they force this home then it’s all good.

    I don’t give a toss if they (council tenants) all find themselves out on their tracksuited bootylicious arses and we start all over again.

  9. Human Animals,

    LOL – that’s what I get for listening to Destiny’s Child. This has become a bootylicious post!!


    Loved that last comment. But I still will be using a very poor (in my opinion) body double for the next vlog!!!

  10. If a family are installed in a house and then don’t work how do you propose to get them out? Via the courts? How much will that cost? And then what do you do with them? Leave them by the road side? Or pay for emergency/temporary accomodation via the benefits system?

    In limerick, there is a real problem in some of the public estates with anti social behaviour and crime. These places became really run down and the government finally decided to act this month.

    The estates are to be knocked and the families moved to a new modern estate. Only catch is, that when it comes to getting your new house, if you dont get the all clear from the Gardai, you aint getting back in.

    Citizenship and the rights that go with it are something that not enough valued enough in society. Why should you be entitled to the benefits when you are proven to be consistently working against that society

  11. Riddle me this. If as New Labour say there is no, or minimal, unemployment after they have had a decade in power, how come there is this problem of making people go and look for work?

  12. Like so much else in the welfare state, if something is perceived as a ‘freeby’, then it gets abused and neglected.

    Low-cost housing is no exception. Houses don’t make slums – people do!

    When most of these places were first built, the people who had the chance to live in them were only too pleased to do so, the fault for the properties ultimate deterioration lies solely with the recent occupants, and poor local authority management and maintenance procedures, which of course, are strongly influenced by political dogma

    There are several so-called ‘sink estates, in the south that have been sold to private developers and after refurbishment, are now much in demand, being considered very desirable as homes.

    That so many of the people who live in low-cost housing are unemployed and on welfare is not just due to any inherent laziness, but to a lack of any real education and opportunity. Again, largely attributable to political dogma destroying what little existed in the first place.

    As for Flint’s pontifications – just another spouting of useless rhetoric…

  13. Kloot, in many ways I agree, but IMO every child deserves a home, even if the parents have messed up in some way.

  14. As P J O’Rourke says: "You are never too poor to pick up your yard" which the google American to English translation tool will tell you means "clean up your garden / drive"

  15. yes, Ernest has got it exactly right. When people know that someone else will always pay for what they have they lose any incentive to do anything themselves. I know of an individual who lives in a council flat. He is single ,healthy has no dependents and lives in London, one of the worlds most dynamic cities yet has not worked for 13 years since he was 19 . He is now 32 and content to live on benefits. he admits that if they completely stopped yes he would go and get a job, but the authorities just keep sending him on endless schemes and courses but won’t actually stop his benefits.

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