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It’s Official: UK Government’s Workfare Programme is Illegal Forced Labour

Scriptonite Daily | 12.02.2013 14:01 | Workfare | Repression | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | London | World

The UK Government’s controversial Back to Work programme, deemed workfare by critics, received a bloody nose this week as all but one of the WorkFare schemes were found to compel a person’s labour and deemed illegal by the Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice. Though not an ultimate victory, this ruling sends a clear signal to the UK government that the public might not be willing to surrender their social contract without a fight after all.

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Misleading title and text

13.02.2013 16:06

Except that what you say is not quite the case. The ruling found that "there was no breach of article 4" (of the ECHR, prohibiting slavery and forced labour), and that the main issue was a lack of accurate information provided by the DWP to the claimants that would allow them to make an informed decision about the work schemes to which they were referred. The judgement is here:

It's not a terrible ruling, but it's not what the headline and text here make it out to be. The campaign against workfare needs to go on until the government abandons it altogether.


130,000 boycotters

13.02.2013 17:23

according to press reports there are 130,000 people who have refused to go on to these free labour schemes. Well done to all those who have made a moral stance. These people need our solidarity & in the name of democracy WE need these in anti workfare groups and campaigns, after all, these people are the REAL activists, enduring months of financial hardship through draconian & seemingly illegal practices by the government.


Look neither to the left nor to the right, the storm is directly ahead.

14.02.2013 16:29

Its just the same ole same ole.

When I left school in 1983, the favourite Conservative scheme was something called YOPS (Youth Opportunities Programme). You left school and you would go on a training course or dodgy apprentiship. You would work for £10 or £12 which would be a requirement of you receiving benefits. If you failed to show up or you had some other reason not to do the work, your benefit would be stopped in its entirety so the choice about what you did and where you went was simply removed. It was a Thatcherite minister who brought it in during the reign of Thatcher.

In reality, it was simply a way for employers to gain free labour while the economy was in a "non-growth cycle". It wasn't really that necessary for employers to get this free labour, and there was not really any need for the Conservatives to adopt such strict measures, it was simply a way to keep the Conservatives in Government claiming a state salary while the economic conditions were harsh. Thats what they do you see, they live off the public purse so they can keep themselves in tooth whitener, Saville Row suits, bottles of face tan and second homes. The rest of the country ccalls it "High unemployment", "credit crunch", "recession" or "double,triple,quad dip recessions". In reality, its just the normal cycle of economic activity which occurs normally and naturally as a result of over Capitalisation of resources.

Of course if your a right-winger you get to say its all the fault of the Socialists and their "big government" fantasies. If you are left-winger you get to say its all the fault of the Capitalismo and their "small government" fantasies. If you live on either side, you get to actually make a living off the public purse on the back of everybody else's misery.

If your in the middle or a member of neither are simply ignored as everybody else tucks into the big public funded gravy train.

Ultimately everybody is of course an insufferable wanker...thats how we ended up in Iraq. If this isn't dealt with then these cretins will simply use that inaction to enact further atrocities all in service to creaming the top off the wealth generated by the nations workers.

So what do you want to do? Do you want to carry on on the same ole same ole, or do you want to actually do something for a change? Either way, the future is what you make of it.