Monday 9 February 2009

Purnell's welfare plan 'close to collapse'!


Sucks to be you, Jimmy boy!

'Responding to warnings that his reforms will not work without major changes, James Purnell, the work and pensions secretary, has abandoned plans to announce the preferred bidders for the multi-million-pound contracts this week. This follows demands from the firms involved for hundreds of millions more in "up-front" cash. A crisis meeting between top department officials and the bidding companies was cancelled on Friday after Whitehall announced a "short pause" in the tendering process.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it had been called off "because of the snow", but one company manager involved remarked: "The most telling thing is that no new date was set."'

No, this doesn't mean we can relax. No, I'm not going to get off this man's back or stop pressing for liberal reforms in any small way that I can, not until I see a radical new deal on the table for the sick, disabled and long-term unemployed coupled with a requirement that work pay a living wage. Yes! Yes, alright, I'm a goddamn socialist! What are you looking at? *twitches*

After months of trying to feed six people on two minimum-wage salaries, after months hunting for jobs that don't exist in a market that mistrusts the physically and mentally impaired, my household has decided to beg the government for our dinners again. I've spent the last two hours filling in online benefits claims forms for my severely disabled partner, and no, the support isn't adequate and no, no I'm not happy about that. But I'm going to sleep a little bit sounder tonight knowing that there's less chance that my lamb of a lover is going to have to hobble on his poor leg to stack shelves in ASDA for less than half the minimum wage.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the welfare posts; keep on propagating, guys. It's too early to let our guard down just yet.


  1. It was never going to happen in the first place, the credit crunch was just an excuse to dump it.

    Labour, fuckwits as they are, actually emerge with slightly more credit than the Tories, who haven't dared drop their IHT plans in a similar way, even though they are even more outdated & discredited than Workhouse Purnell's schemes.

    Had a right laugh, & blogged it myself:

    Next stop, Labour try quietly abandoning these half-baked ideas about lie detectors, hoping no one will notice, if it weren't for us bloggers mocking them relentlessly & showing up their hypocrisy, preventing their pathetic schemes to abuse the vulnerable in order to pick up right-whingers' approval.

    Probably best to ignore all the intemperate language I employ. Am not like this in real life.

  2. What goes around comes around!

    You gotta larf ain't 'cha?!

    I'm glad that the Labour party won't be bringing back a workhouse mentality into our society as soon as intended, but it's still going to happen, in an even worse and more punitive form, when the Tories return in 2010 with the bit between their teeth and wanting to make a big splash welfare-wise.

    I wonder if hobbity little James Purnell will be happy to remain in opposition for ten or fifteen years post-general election? We all know this slimy little shit is spiritual kin to the Tories at heart. I believe that there is a real chance that Purnell might cross the floor of the house and join the next Conservative government to help them nail the disabled and unemployed to crosses within a few years or so.

    Still, hopefully the Labour Party will not go down in history as the political force that destroyed a Welfare State that they themselves designed and created pre-Blair, pre-Brown, pre-New Labour.

  3. Don't count you chickens too soon folks! The cancer represented by Purnell's welfare bill is temporarily in remission but has not been permanently excised; it's still THERE and has definitely NOT been vanquished.

    New Labour are determined to try to push through the measures in the white paper in some form or other. Just look at how long they waited between the first and second reading of the bill: about two weeks wasn't it? Traditionally about the minimum delay possible between one reading and another. Why the almost indecent haste? Because Brown and Purnell desperately want the bill to become an act and get onto the statute books before they finally lose power.

    Poor witless Gordon has no political panache - no finesse whatsoever. Just look at the way blundered attempting to get his beloved "42-day detention without trial" measure through Parliament only to see it fail and get mothballed in that mausoleum called the House of Lords.

    In my opinion Brown and Purnell WILL continue to pursue and prosecute their aims to privatise employment related welfare for the remainder of their time in office. You mark my words. Why? Because, pretty much, it's all they've got left to pull out of the bag. They cannot afford to fail so precipitously and publicly with such a "radical" and "eye-catching" plank of policy and so will try to advance the welfare bill, come what may, shamelessly and without apology.

    The malignant tumour of the welfare bill is still slowly growing in the body politic. It is still THERE and WILL metastasise during the course of New Labour's pitiful swan song as we all drift remorselessly towards an undeserving Conservative victory in the 2010 general election.

    I say this with great sadness and regret.

  4. Truthsayer:

    Just look at the way blundered attempting to get his beloved "42-day detention without trial" measure through Parliament only to see it fail and get mothballed in that mausoleum called the House of Lords.

    Interesting the difference perspective makes. I see their rejection of such politically motivated acts (like the one you referenced) as the best argument for keeping an un-elected Lords. The whole point was to have a house who could think long-term, who didn't have to do what the media-whipped masses 'wanted' this week. A check, or balance, if you will, against the propaganda and parochialism of the Commons. This was the Lords doing their job and doing it well. Less impressed by some of the things they've let through, but the Commons can over-rule.

  5. I stack shelves for a living! But at Morrisons though... I'm worried about what will happen if I am unable to do that kind of work through illness with these welfare changes afoot.

  6. defrosted

    Don't worry.

    If you fall mentally or physically ill, suffer a disabling injury or become long-term unemployed, with James Purnell's help you will still, periodically, get the "right" to six month periods of compulsory work(fare), possibly shelf-stacking at Asda and for less than half the wages Morrison's are currently paying you!

    Great news, eh?

    I bet you already feel cheered up by this information and intensely grateful to Mr. Purnell for his efforts on your behalf.

    Repeat after me...

    ... work is good for you...

    ... work works...

    ... work is good for you...

    ... work works...


  7. John Q. Publican:

    You're right in everything you say!

    I wasn't actually trying to have a go at the Lords but at Gordon Brown for being too blunt-witted to see that he was not in any position to bulldoze the "42-day detention without charge" through the two houses of parliament.

    Brown is an arch-opportunist and almost certainly thought that making a big thing about detaining terrorist suspects for 42-days would,

    (1) Make him look tough on terrorism and tough on the causes of terrorism;

    (2) Make the Tories, who, along with almost all other parties, had serious reservations in respect to said measure, look indecisive and weak;

    (3) Allow him to quarrel with the left-wing of the Labour Party a la Tony Blair and, like Blair, appear right-of-centre so placating the demographic represented by Mondeo driving middle(little) Englanders;

    (4) Score some points with the more extreme fringe elements of the police and security forces.

    Dullard Brown definitely thought this situation was a win-win-win-win situation.

    What a plonker!

    Everybody outside of Gordo's inner circle knew this piece of legislation was hopelessly flawed and was never destined to become law yet and yet, stumblebum that he is, he persisted with it to the bitter and embarrassing end.

    This is a pattern that you see emerging again and again with Brown. Another example would be his abolition of the 10p tax band for lower earners. Brown has absolutely no flair at all for political intrigue and with his forbearer represents the ruination of a once great political organisation.

    Like you I would prefer an appointed rather than an elected second chamber, where the appointments were not made by or associated with any kind of political, religious or commercial patronage.

  8. Truthsayer: vehement agreement on the internet :) Isn't it great.

    A propos of Brown doing opportunitstic things: have you noticed how many of the recent, controversial, swings to the right would be Conservative campaign platform issues for the upcoming election? Marijuana being regraded to Class B, for example: the new Police laws. Brown is trying to pass the policies the Conservatives want to campaign on, so as to put Labour back in power.

    Which indicates very clearly that at least as far as Brownian New Labour is concerned, this is now American-style politics. You have to win, regardless of what principles you compromise.

  9. "... have you noticed how many of the recent, controversial, swings to the right would be Conservative campaign platform issues for the upcoming election..."

    Oh yes, John Q. Publican! Gordon Brown's exhibitions of political promiscuity are carried out so blatantly, openly and shamelessly surely every citizen in the United Kingdom must be aware by now of the tawdry game he is playing.

    Brown's theft and wholesale adoption of Tory policies and initiatives is as pathetic as it is cowardly. In a nutshell Gordon Brown's strategy to beat the Conservatives seems to be as follows: Defuse all policy initiatives launched by the opposition by adopting them and claiming that we invented them ourselves.

    What a shabby way to behave.

    The worst example of this kind of behaviour in my opinion is James Purnell's welfare plan, a scissors and paste version of the Tory welfare agenda as far as I can see, but cast your mind back to an earlier farrago vis-a-vis a hypothetical reduction in inheritance tax for the most hasty and embarrassing example of New Labour parasitisation of Conservative policy.

    During a Tory conference George Osborne announced a plan to cut inheritance tax at home funded by taxing "Non-doms" abroad; said plan got good press and was well received by the public, although when analysed it proved to be infinitely less worthy in practice than it first appeared in theory.

    New Labour were quick to react.

    Less than FIVE DAYS later Alistair Darling stood before the despatch box in the House of Commons and spelled out a copycat initiative from New Labour, purportedly, that they had been "working on" for months! - obviously in complete and utter secrecy since no mention of this costly policy had seen the light of day beforehand!


    How Darling managed to keep a straight face throughout his speech and avoid blushing like a beetroot is beyond me!

    Truly, truly abysmal.

    As a lifelong Labour voter and supporter I cannot put into words how devastating it is to watch this the Labour Party unravelling under Gordon Brown's dishonourable and leaden leadership. In fact I find it too depressing to consider the matter further and so I'm going to close here. I already feel I've monopolised Penny Red - the Xena Warrior Princess of political bloggers! - weblog too much already.

    If I wasn't a teetotaller I be reaching for a strong drink at this point!

    What a pisser!

  10. The Labour Party is over.

    Can the last person to leave please turn off the light and slam the door on their way out?

    Goodnight, all.

  11. Your one-woman campaign against this oik was a joy to behold, Penny. If I didn't have a degree to do I'd be devoting a lot of time to a "Sack Purnell", around now, and I continue to maintain that he's the one man case against Labour Toleration.

  12. Why are most commentators anti-Purnell. Unemployed, sick and aged people are like a bottomless pit that taxpayers money disappears into. They get Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, housing benefit, pensions and things like that.

    I think such people should be forced to do something in return for all the millions and millions of pounds they suck out of the country's treasure chest.

    If I had my way I'd make the slackers break rocks etc., although I wouldn't clap leg irons on them. The exercise would probably do them good and get them up and moving about like a normal person.

    Three cheers for James Purnell.

    I hope he becomes the next leader of the Labour Party.

  13. Firstly are you sure you mean 'liberal reforms'?

    I don't think you do.

    "my household has decided to beg the government for our dinners again".

    This isn't a criticism but please be honest -- the government doesn't pay for this. The privately employed population do.

  14. I worship James Purnell!

    He's a ducky, dinky, little darling!

  15. James Purnell is a gaping c**t!

    If you're heterosexual or a lezzer armed with a dildo please feel free to violate this arid and flabby organ wherever, whenever and as many times as you desire!

  16. Sleep 'N Eat, it is my most sincere wish that you die at the age of 150 after many, many, MANY decades of painful and debilitating illness and poverty.


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