Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/361/5944

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 September 2004

Blair's Welfare Wonderland

I RECENTLY had the dubious pleasure of attending an American-style motivational workshop designed to get me back into the workforce. In a hot stuffy room near the Elephant and Castle in south London, I was introduced to GOALS - gaining opportunities and life skills.

Geraldine FitzGerald

According to Philip, our own 'Mr Motivator', the week would not only change my employment status, it would change my life. Through the process of psychoneuroimmunology, the course would increase the number of white blood cells in my body, and thereby improve my immune system.

Life, apparently, is like making a risotto, all any of us need to succeed is the right recipe. GOALS is the recipe book. The recipe contains ten keys. I won't go into detail - suffice it to say that GOALS is an adaptation of the Californian Welfare to Work programme.

Among the gems used to motivate the assembled group was the use of an executive toy popular during the 1980s - five swinging balls. For a full 20 minutes Philip asked what would happen if he let one ball bounce off the remaining four, what would happen if he bounced two balls off the remaining three, etc. The point of the exercise? You only get out what you put in.

When one of the participants objected to being forced to sit through this workshop, Philip maintained that no one was forced to be there. Anyone who didn't want to be there could leave and accept a reduction in their Job Seekers Allowance!

"Fake it till you make it"

Like any motivational speaker worth their salt Philip used his own life experiences as inspiration for us all. Born in the East End of London he was homeless at 17. Later he mentioned he'd taken driving lessons at seventeen. Taking driving lessons while homeless! Even an old cynic like me has to admit that is impressive. I couldn't help but wonder if he'd ever shared a doorway with Tony Blair.

Philip's first success came during the 1980s when he became an estate agent. At 9.45am, Philip told us he now had 60 people working for him. By the time we broke for lunch this had risen to 120. Perhaps not surprising for a man whose motto is: "Fake it till you make it".

Having listened to this combination of pyscho-babble and meaningless statistics for three days, we finally got down to it - the career ladder.

Career opportunities

In a nutshell, when it comes to the career ladder we're all on the ground. What we need to do is to get onto the first rung of the ladder and that means taking what Philip calls the "any job". Being four times more attractive to employers while in employment, our dream job wouldn't be far off. Furthermore, the "any job" would raise our self-esteem and give us the chance to "network".

Given that the average employee living on the minimum wage barely has the time or money to socialise, one wonders who they are going to network with. Similarly, given that workers on minimum wage have to work such long hours just to make ends meet, where do they find the time to apply for the dream job which is never advertised anyway?

Finally, when I pointed out to Philip that I had been applying for the "any job" unsuccessfully for three years he advised me to redraft my CV leaving out my degree in social science, my masters' degree in history, and whatever I do don't mention that I'm in the final stages of my PhD.

So, with my immune system suitably boosted and my CV a tissue of lies, I hope to be appearing in a MacDonalds near you any day now. Please, do pop in for a spot of networking while I toss the burgers!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 September 2004:

A Spiral Of War And Terror

Bloodbath in Beslan

What Lies Behind The Terror


Socialist Party news and analysis

Protest Against Low Pay

Civil Servants Prepare To Fight Jobs Slaughter

Strength In Numbers

Save Southmead Hospital

Action - The Only Language The Government Understands

Blair And Beckham - The Champagne Charlies

Blair's Welfare Wonderland


International socialist news and analysis

Thousands Looking For An Alternative

Lessons Of The Sandinista Revolution

A Long View Of History


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 September 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Welfare:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The fight for the welfare state

triangleChild poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

triangleUniversal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleMajor attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2