Tuesday, 18 August 2009

My radical solution to work and dole misery

MOST intelligent people have known for a long time that the official UK jobless figure (currently standing at 2,435,000) is big fat lie.

The fact is there are now SIX MILLION people living on benefits of one sort or another, while a good TEN million others (by my estimate) earn a living by toiling for the health service, edukashun, councils, social landlords, and the terrible, sloganising, logo-launching, spy camera-obsessed police “services”.

Then I guess you should count as “employed” have those who earn a pittance slaving away in all the ghastly shopping malls, chain stores and chain “restaurants” that so scar our country.

Plus, there are still a few million left working in old-fashioned manufacturing, agriculture and the liberal professions.

Taken as a whole, the UK’s economic and social system – a terrible mix of capitalism, unthinking consumerism and Liberal-Fascist Statism – is making almost everyone sadder than Mr Sad’s saddest collection of sadness. In his sad cupboard. On a sad day.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. People do need work, yes, but not as much of it as we persist in thinking they do.

The notion of working five-days-a-week is as untenable as it is undesirable - ecologically, politically, economically and culturally. So what’s to be done about things?

Well, in the short term, we might as well accept that we are living in an era of the Big State once again and make its power work for our collective good for once – by bringing about the one very simple, very big change we need. Namely, the following…

The Government should step in and making the FOUR-DAY-WORKING-WEEK the norm – by force of law. Of course, to do so would probably necessitate the UK withdrawing from the European Union and various international treaties but we need to do all of that anyway … and, besides, anything is possible in the strained and uncertain times just ahead of us.

The creation of the four-day-week would bring relief for the employed, many of whom are currently stressed to beyond endurance by their jobs. The measure would also create employment and training opportunities for those currently sat at home all day stuffing their faces with pizza and watching moronic daytime telly.

After a couple of years, the maximum working week, should be reduced further to three days, leading to a further reduction in stress, and more time for family, cultural and sporting life, that so many of us need. Plus there would be much more quality time philosophical musing and the writing of poetry – for those so inclined – and also more jobs for the long-term unemployed.

Taking an overall view of just where Westerns societies are at (technologically, ecomomically and ecologically) such a model of chilled out employment makes a lot of sense.

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