25 October 2010
Iain Duncan-Smith is a ……
It says something about Cameron that he wishes to prune what he sees as dead wood from the public sector. And yet he finds it in his heart to provide comfortable employment for two particularly useless Tpry party leaders in his cabinet. One is William Hague who was so effective at leader that he managed to advance the party’s standing by just one whole seat in the 2001 election. He is now Foreign Secretary
The other former leader, Iain Duncan-Smith, was so useless that the tories did not dare even let him lead the party into a general election - so bad that even the odious Michael Howard was seen as preferable.
Cameron has rewarded Duncan-Smith’s utter uselessness by making him Work and Pensions secretary. Last week he decided to emulate a previous Chingford MP by sounding macho abut the unemployed…
Last week he said last week that Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales was an example of a place where people had become "static" and did not know that if they got on the bus they would be in Cardiff an hour later, and could look for work there. "We need to recognise the jobs often don't come to you. Sometimes you need to go to the jobs,"
Today’s Guardian states that Research by the Public and Commercial Services union while there were 1,670 unemployed people and 39 job vacancies in Merthyr, all temporary and part-time. The equates to 42.8 unemployed persons per Mcjob. In Cardiff the position is better but with 15,000 people in Cardiff chasing 1,700 jobs (8.8 persons per job).
The vast majority of vacancies in Cardiff were temporary and part-time, mainly unskilled labouring, for just one or three weeks' duration.
Among the permanent jobs was work in a casino or bars. Neither offered help with journeys home afterwards and the last bus out of Cardiff leaves at 11.06pm, the union pointed out. "Workers from outside the city might be able to get the bus to work, but they would not be able to get home," said a spokesman.
"These figures prove it is not a question of people not being willing to work, there simply are not enough jobs for them to do – and there are unlikely to be any time soon because of the government's plans to cut public spending, including cutting 15,000 more jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions."
Duncan Smith said on Friday after the union criticism of his comments: "The unions are showing themselves to be totally out of touch with reality with these pathetic remarks. They seem to be suggesting that anyone who commutes to work is somehow doing the wrong thing.
"I would suggest they apologise and recognise that ordinary, decent people want to improve their lives and do the right thing for their families and so value work and get on the bus."
It’s one thing to go out and look for work but if there are no jobs (or the jobs are impractical like the casino ones) The PCS also noted that there are fewer jobs available in the whole of Wales than there are unemployed persons in Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent. Some may be able to get out to other parts of the country but many, for a variety of perfectly good reasons, simply cannot do that.
If there is a dearth of jobs now I shudder to think what the situation will be like as the public sector sheds staff
But back to Duncan-Smith. It did not matter to him that his comment was crass given the dearth of work in Cardiff. But why should he give a damn? I doubt the man has any real concern for the people who rely on welfare through no fault of their own. Far more important to be seen to be hard on the vulnerable