After great public expense, the High Court has just ruled that the State CAN demand you work in Poundland in return for your benefits cheque every week if it means that you will gain skills that could make you employable.
A little background for the uninitiated amongst us: Caitlin Reilly (above), 23 a graduate of something obscure to do with Geology had been unable to find her dream job of polishing granite to make it more culturally aware of Lesbians so was languishing on £53 a week job seekers allowance and frankly was likely to continue sitting on the sofa for the rest of her life, so the Department of Work and Pensions decided to offer her an ultimatum - do something, anything that might help you into a career or stop taking the £53 a week from the taxpayer – so off Caitlin went to stack shelves and mop floors at Poundland for a fortnight. No sooner had she completed her two weeks “training” than she was instructing M’Learned friends in the High Court to sue everybody for forcing her into slave labour under the jackboot of a fascist State.
Now as you will all know, I am no friend of a Government that tells anybody to do anything and certainly sending a girl who can tell the difference between bedrock and seaside rock (a rare thing these days) to work in Poundland is utter stupidity, but is it really “slave labour”? Call me old fashioned, but the last time I checked, slave labour did not involve wearing a naff polo shirt and mopping up after the sort of people who shop in a Poundland – deeply unpleasant though that may be. Slave labour affected millions in the second world war and their human rights WERE genuinely infringed. Most of them ended up dead, worked to death, starved, frozen and broken by a brutal regime that really assumed all your labour belonged to the State, not attempting to give you a few skills that might tide you over until the rock polishing diversity market picks up a bit.
The underlying message of course is that you are somehow entitled to claim benefits from the taxpayer if the all-powerful state cannot supply you with a ready-made career in your chosen field. A generation we have bred who look to authority to supply all their needs, demand their non-existent rights and stamp their feet if they do not get their way. That might have worked under a utopian Socialist state where you could expect a job and pension for life in return for giving up every freedom but certainly won’t cut any ice in the bankrupt societies we have created by er…pandering to the ever growing demands of people who claim everything as an entitlement for simply existing.
My advice to Caitlin is to spend the time between now, with the lack of demand for her legendary geology skills and any future period of fruitful employment doing things she likes to do and finding a way to make it pay – after all, billions before her managed it – some walked to Madrid and wrote books about their adventures, some reassessed their career options, some retrained in a career with a future and some started their own businesses. Of course, all that will actually happen is that Caitlin will move to a Leftist borough that will house her, clothe her, feed her and employ her whilst championing “her right to be free from State Slavery” – as long as they can wheel her out for every public relations exercise they can dream up to justify why everyone does, in fact, belong ( along with their labour and income), to the State.