Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dole not dope

Speaking of drugs it seems that Labour thinks there isn't enough drug related crime. I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion about this on the blogs to honest.

Among other nauseous proposals "The government wants to encourage people to attend drug treatment meetings aimed at getting them off the habit and back into work. The government believes 96 per cent of addicts could get into treatment within three weeks. If they don't, their benefits will be reduced."

What is it with this government and wielding the big stick - they can't all have been bullied as children surely? I think their new motto should be tough on the poor, confused about the causes of poverty. If 96% of drug addicts turned up at their local unemployment office (are they called job centre plus at the moment?) they wouldn't be welcomed in and speedily introduced to a friendly drugs councillor but would be beaten away by the ever larger bouncers at the doors.

Those dole payouts are all that stands between the drug addict* and my soon to be burgled home, but it seems that this "left of centre" government likes nothing better than threatening people who have next to nothing, with only their drug habit to keep them company. If you take away their benefits (which are accepted as the minimum someone needs to survive on) is it not just possible that they will be forced to find another means of income, ie my stereo.

This government likes to go for the quick headline grabbing stances before anything that might take a little while to develop. After all hard work often pays over time, but laziness always has a pay off right now. They've got they're headlines about what gits they are, now they can move on to the next scheme that involves stamping on children's hamsters and blowing raspberries at pensioners.

As these proposals are basically unfunded we're talking about yet more piss poor courses that do nothing more than tick boxes, intimidate the weak and waste everyone's precious oxygen. I don't poxy dole organised courses that you're forced to go on is a well proven method of rehabilitating those with severe social problems and shoving them "back into work".

I'm all for providing genuine services that help those in need, although we have to be realistic about how effective even the best of these services can be, but surely Labour can't be so thick to think that there is really a benefits solution to drug addiction - I mean what were they smoking when they came up with this one?

Maybe, just maybe, they're more interested in the fact they have to pay crumbs to the poor than any social consequences that taking those crumbs away might produce.

*By drug addict I am not intending to indulge the Daily Mail paranoid "fear of the other", but it's an easy short hand when discussing this news item. Please forgive my shortcut.

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