Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Slavery - now sponsored by HM Government
WARNING: The second half of this post contains swearing.
This government is now supporting slavery. In Britain.
See, during the lovely boat ride up the Thames for the Queen, there had to be stewards for the event. You know, people who had to keep on eye on things, make sure people got to where they were meant to be, etc.
And, because this was such a big event, £1.5 million of public money was put aside to pay for the cost of stewarding the event.
Except the people doing the stewarding weren't paid. Instead, unemployed jobseekers were bussed in by coach the in the middle of the night and required to sleep under London Bridge, of all places, in cold and wet conditions, before getting up in the morning and doing a 14 hour shift of stewarding - a shift length which I'm pretty sure breaches employment law.
During that period they had to get dressed into their security gear in public, had no access to toilets for 24 hours and were then sent of to a "swampy" campsite afterwards by way of accomodation.
And here's the crucial thing, 50 of the people doing the stewarding were given apprentice wages, which work out at about £2.80 an hour. But 30 of the people doing the stewarding weren't paid a penny. They were expected to do this for the chance of possibly getting a low paid stewarding position at the London Olympics. Except, when they originally signed up for the stewarding they were told that they'd be getting paid - it was only when they were on the coach that they were told it was unpaid and that if they refused to do it they wouldn't be eligible for a paid job at the Olympics.
So whose pockets the £1.5 million of public money allocated for stewarding went into we don't know - but it certainly wasn't the poor buggers doing the stewarding (50 people at £2.80 an hour for 14 hours plus 30 people working for free for 14 hours equals £1960 - not much out of £1.5 million).
UPDATE: Obviously there were probably more than 80 people doing stewarding - but, as Liberal Conspiracy has revealed, there are big questions where the money went to given that some people hired to do stewarding were dropped at the last minute, possibly because of the unpaid people doing the work instead.
Now, do you know what it's called when people are duped into working long hours, in rubbish accomodation and without adequate sanitation, without getting paid? That's right, it's called slavery.
Or, as this government likes to call it, the welfare to work programme.
So, and apologies for the swearing, WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE LIB DEMS DOING LETTING THE TORIES DO THINGS LIKE THIS?
There has been plenty, plenty of information about how the welfare to work programme is flawed and lets companies make millions while bullying unemployed people and those too sick to work into working for free - taking paid jobs out of the economy at the same time. If our MPs don't know about this then it's only because they've deliberately ignored what the people affected by this have been trying to tell them for the past two years.
So, if you're a Lib Dem reading this, and you don't think that a government with Lib Dems in it should be complicit in slavery, then kindly share this as widely as possible and hit Lib Dig in the top right hand corner of this post to make sure as many people see this as possible.
I am absolutely fuming. If any of our MPs happen to read this perhaps they'd care to explain to me how the fuck I'm meant to be out on the doorstep and being "coalition positive" when I know that the government's made it possible for things like this to happen? I want to support the coalition, I want to be proud of what we've achieved - so why don't you stop making it quite so fucking hard?
Hat-tip to the Guardian for uncovering this story.