Neoliberal Labour are at it again. This time pandering to the Coalition's class-war driven attack on the unemployed with their own version of Workfare. Labour's new plan - or should that be New Labour's plan? - announced by Ed Balls, is that people who are unemployed for more than two years would be forced to work in some sort of government backed scheme for at least 6 months. And Labour have repeated the Tory mantra that work must pay more than benefits.
So what is wrong with this you may ask? Well there is plenty wrong with it. For a start, unemployment is a failure of Labour's beloved 'free' market to provide meaningful jobs for people. But this can't be admitted, so the unemployed must be blamed for their own predicament, including the 660,000 public sector workers who have lost their jobs under the Coalition. In 'free' market la la land you must always blame the victims never the culprits - i.e. the banks, the tax dodging corporations and the tame politicians who support them, the very people who created the economic crisis we are now all paying for. Secondly, if people on benefits get more money than those in work that tells us the simple truth that those in work are not earning enough. Under the previous New Labour government, Gordon Brown's tax credits for working families simply subsidised cheap labour for the tax dodging corporations. It was a form of corporate welfarism. Thirdly, the unemployed and low paid are exactly the sort of people who ought to expect and allegedly 'progressive' party like Labour to give them some support in difficult times. Instead of this reactionary nonsense, Labour should be committed to full employment, as it used to be, and guarantee every unemployed person a meaningful job. But Labour doesn't have the 'Balls' to do that.
What is the answer? At the last general election in its 2010 manifesto, the Green Party came up with policies to halve the deficit and create one million new jobs in the green sector - in areas like home insulation - to tackle the crisis in the economy and fight climate change. This carefully costed programme, paid for by shelving wasteful and unnecessary projects like Trident, and taxes on environmental pollution and the rich, would have put the UK in a much stronger position than it is now. There would not have been swinging cuts in the public sector and no privatisation of the NHS. There is a real alternative of hope to the despair and destruction that neoliberal austerity is wreaking on the people of Europe and the UK. We can bring about positive change if people vote for us. Do you want to be part of a positive future? Then come and join us.