Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Just in from the department of You Couldn't Make It Uppal

It is becoming increasingly apparent that we on the Government Benches are on the side of those who strive and work hard in society. In that vein, how can my constituents inWolverhampton South West who are saving for the future have access to enrolment to high-quality pension funds?
Says who?

Says Paul Uppal, MP.

2 minor quibbles, apart from the usual wave of tedium that crosses my cranium every time he assays one of those pointless little political jibes.

1. Paul is hardly qualified to speak for those who 'strive and work hard'. He acquired funding from somewhere mysterious (family?) to run a property speculation business. So he's never made anything, never built anything, never contributed to the economic and social life of a community. He's simply collected rents like a 19th-century absentee landlord. He's even successfully lobbied for tax breaks for himself, in the form of rebates for the holders of empty properties, insulating him from capitalism's vicissitudes at our expense. He is a tiny, local version of Goldman Sachs, memorably described as a 'a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity': parasitic, amoral and socially useless.

2. 'Those who strive and work hard' have had their benefits cut in real terms. They pay taxes and national insurance, but thanks to Paul, his party and his ideological allies across the political class, they aren't paid enough to survive without state benefits. In effect, we're subsidising Paul's corporate friends. Let's be clear: the vast majority of people in receipt of benefits are in work.

And of course despite George Osborne's disgusting sneering about people 'sleeping late on a life of benefits', most of the unemployed want desperately to work. There are 2,500,000 people unemployed. They aren't all lazy bastards. They're workers thrown out on their ears by a government which doesn't care about them and can't formulate an economic model which can get our stricken economy going. But this doesn't fit the ideological framework of Conservatism. It depends on an individualistic model of society in which structural and social conditions simply don't exist (except when you need to blame 'the European economy' to explain away bad figures). You're unemployed because you're lazy or greedy. Or you're rich because you're hard-working and thrifty. 'There is no such thing as society, there are only individual men and women, and families' said Margaret Thatcher, and she meant it.

I have so many recent graduates bursting with talent who can't find jobs, or are stuck in low-wage, low-hours jobs wasting their abilities. Take Bruno, for instance - a skilled writer, a keen intelligence, a man who takes every course available yet can't find work. Then there's Shaun, who has a first class degree and works behind the bar of my favourite pub. Many others are either unemployed or under-employed, yet to listen to the Tories, these wasted talents are the result of individual fecklessness.

One of the best things The Hegemon has done recently is start a programme of graduate employment: we've taken on recent graduates across the university in a range of roles from outreach to analysis. They may not be paid much and the contracts aren't permanent, but it gives them the experience unavailable elsewhere. My students don't have the social contacts or the family money to get unpaid internship experience of the kind open to other classes. I wish they weren't here, because I'd like them to have careers - but with people like Paul Uppal and George Osborne bad-mouthing them, they need all the help they can get.

Paul Uppal has a majority of 691. If we can just get some of his economic victims to vote, we can send him to join the ranks of the unemployed in 2015.

No comments: