According to the DWP, four in five voters on their YouGov survey declares “overwhelmingly” that they back tough schemes to force long-term unemployed to do community work in return for their benefits.
The selective group of 2,407 polled is supposedly a representative sample of the entire UK population but in reality represents, by our reckoning, barely 21% of the electorate and the figure of 4 out of 5 gives us less than 16% of the entire population; are we to take notice of this minority simply because the figures have been presented to us on a plate?
Another report by Janet Daley, also in The Telegraph tells us that the public believe that welfare handouts are not fair and that the Policy Exchange poll was about fairness rather than about the jobless. But to present this poll as representative of public opinion is nothing short of deceit. Who are these ‘ordinary’ people whose definition of ‘fair’ is so valuable?
There is a mix of “can work, but won’t” opinion lumped in with what Janet calls moral blackmail by the “poverty lobby” and a sprinkling of it’s not societies fault that “people are poor”; this is a strange mix and match of thoughts, feelings and beliefs attributed to the entire population but represented by a select few. One ponders the reaction of a pensioner who has met their tax and national insurance obligations their entire life only to be left on a trolley in a hospital corridor to see if they survive the night in order to qualify for treatment – is this “fair”?
Janet Daley is right of course to note that there are elements of our society who prey on the fair-mindedness and spirit of fair-play inherent in the majority of us but this does not justify the notion that the poor of this country are poor because of some fault of their own and that there are no other factors which contribute to their condition.
Ms Daley proposed that those who do “the right thing” are qualified to sit in judgement of those who are less fortunate then they are. Those who through something as simple as geography find themselves unable to find work no matter how hard they try. Those children who are born into a situation which they cannot control and find themselves dead due to a lack of fairness in the community.
Janet Daley is cleverly supporting the think tanks propositions with terms such as “hugely popular”; “the public believes”; “robust demand” and much more – clearly she is using her philosophy expertise to underpin her writing but not necessarily applying any humanity whatsoever to that writing. Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with what Ms Daley is saying but it does seem that she has become the very axe-grinder that she decries in her article.
This non-representative group that claims to speak for the entire country is, in fact, less than .004% and are indeed people who have bothered to visit the YouGov website so are obviously self-interested or interested enough to complete this survey – now let’s put this into perspective. In the 2001 census more than 300,000 people declared their religion as “Jedi”, mathematically speaking (which is what The Telegraph report is attempting to do) that means that 125 times more people believe there is a force in the universe than the jobless should be forced into community work.
It is a dangerous game to continuously quote small minorities in order to justify one particular stance or another and to decide politics and policy based on a vanishingly small group of right-wing underachievers seems to be the intent of both this corrupt government and the propaganda led media. A further example, this blog site alone has a larger ‘representative’ group, most of which would immediately call for the hanging of the 650 thieves in Parliament. If this new method of democracy is to work, could we book the executioner now.
To put this into focus; a survey by Camden Council asked the question: What do you think is more important (a) policing in the borough or (b) services for disabled people. The result was 67% of respondents voted (a) which meant that Camden felt comfortable cutting services to disabled people in the borough because they felt they had a “mandate from the people”. We can all create surveys like this and present the results as we choose but it doesn’t “uncover a widespread public belief” no more so than there is a widespread public belief that we should all carry light-sabres (although we’d be the first to ask for ours).
It would be a great day for democracy when the once respected newspapers get back to real investigative reporting and analysis rather than “lies, damned lies and statistics”.
One comment by ‘spearofodin’ on The Telegraph page reads:
Are you people who were polled truly as thick as you seem ?
Mass unemployment is the price we pay for the globalisation of our national economy.
Our people were deliberately pushed into mass unemployment as Thatcher, Blair and Brown closed down our manufacturing industries and exported them to China and India.
The welfare state is designed to keep the millions made unemployed by globalism pacified as millions of cheap labour immigrants poured in to take British jobs, undercut wages and allow British companies to compete with nations like China and India.
Now you mugs want to punish the poor for being betrayed, thrown into unemplyment by Tory idiots like Thatcher and left there by Labour traitors like Brown and Blair.
What we need is to re-nationalise our national economy, deport the millions of migrant workers and illegal immigrants from Britain, end the welfare cheques for the bankers and invest those billions in building hi-tech coal, nuclear and other energy schemes, create massive public works and infra-structure renewal projects that employ only British citizens and impose tariffs on imported goods to ensure British people buy British produced goods.
But most of you are too thick to know what we need.
I am beginning to think we need an IQ limit rule for voters before they are allowed to vote.
I am sick of seeing this country ruled by the corrupt scum voted into power by the idiots we have given votes.
And ‘denzilpont1’ reminds us just how corrupt the DWP really are:
I’ve just been unemployed for 3 weeks inbetween jobs after working continuously for 29 years prior to that unemployment. I tried to claim earnings-related JSA, but was turned down by the Social Security people, who say that I wasn’t genuinely looking for work during those 3 weeks! How do they think I found a job without looking?
When I challenged their decision, speaking to 3 different people on the telephone, they all spoke to me like I was a piece of scrounging dirt.
I can’t describe how angry I feel towards those JobCentre pratts, who presumeably get some sort of bonus for every pound they save.
And ‘thebedfordshireredneck ‘ offers Mr Cameron a solution:
Dear Mr. Cameron,
Please find below our suggestion for fixing England ‘s economy. Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.
You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:
There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.
Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire. – Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed
2) They MUST buy a new British car. – Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed
4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university – Crime rate fixed
5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week – and there’s your money back in duty/tax etc
6) Instead of stuffing around with the carbon emissions trading scheme that makes us pay for the major polluters, tell the greedy ba***rds to reduce their pollution emissions by 75% within 5 years or we shut them down.
It can’t get any easier than that!
P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances.
Sorta works for us.
The reality is that an overwhelming majority of people on benefits want to work and cannot find a job. There is a small minority who have grown used to the status quo or who have simply given up in despair and accepted their lot. A minute fraction of those on benefits consider it a career choice and have no real intention of working when they can get state handouts.
Like all government policies, schemes, initiatives and laws – they are brought into play as a result of this tiny minority and they produce meaningless statistics to support their claims to represent the rest of us when in fact, we haven’t even been asked.
This particular poll was devised by the Policy Exchange think tank which was named by the New Statesman as “David Cameron’s favourite think tank”, a view shared by Joe Murphy, the political editor of the Evening Standard who referred to is as “the intellectual boot camp of the Tory modernisers”.
With people such as Anthony Browne (Policy Director for Economic Development for Boris Johnson); Nicholas Boles, Tory MP; Jesse Norman, Tory MP; Christopher Skidmore, Tory MP and Charlotte Leslie, Tory MP – given this predominance of Tory influence is it any wonder that a poll devised by this organisation will not be totally biased in favour of any ideologies the Prime Minister or Iain Duncan Smith might have.
The Telegraph even asks the question – “Is Policy Exchange the most loathsome think tank in Britain?” where James Delingpole declares his love for the “completely random maths of Policy Exchange’s assessment” and describes them as a “pallid bunch of lettuce-chomping social workers” – seems apt.
With statistics being generated by Policy Exchange, a mouthpiece for the government, it is only a matter of time before they are being used as evidence for changes in law to further penalise those in most need while supporting multi-million bonuses for those who don’t need it – the DWP witch hunt continues.