Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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

19/2/18

Walthamstow

Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

7/2/18

Royal Mail

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999