Life on the dole is not a walk in the park

Alex Hern highlights an appalling testimonial by an unemployed man speaking to Radio 5 yesterday. It is a must-listen.


The narrative of deserving versus undeserving poor is one which plays into the heart of the governments strategy with must of its contentious legislation. Every at-risk group is forced to defend their turf by deflecting attention onto others, in what is a very real example of that contentious phrase, ‘divide and rule’.

Radio Five had a heartbreaking call from a listener yesterday, who described his shame at having to move back in to his parents house at 46, and the disgust with which he is treated just going about his daily life.

Speaking to Stephen Nolan, Darryl, 46, from London, said:

I don’t have a life, I don’t have a social life. I’d like to go for a beer; I can’t afford to…

I’m up to my back teeth with people saying that the unemployed have a cushy number… You’re treated with rudeness, you’re treated as though you don’t exist… I’d have more respect if I was in prison, a mass murderer. You’re looked down upon when you sign on.

I apply for several jobs each week, I’m doing my bit… I apply for all kinds of jobs… but they don’t want to hear.

It upsets me when I hear people saying “why should I work, I’d be better off on benefits” – well come and live my life for a year. Especially Iain Duncan Smith, I say to him come and live my life and see what it’s like.

Darryl’s full message can be heard here. It makes for sobering listening.

See also:

What’s right for Aberdeen isn’t for York; unemployment needs city-specific solutionsPaul Swinney, January 23rd 2012

A bad Budget for jobs and for jobseekersNicola Smith, June 28th 2010

Coalition cuts are bad news for jobseekersNicola Smith, June 21st 2010

Latest unemployment figures show vacancies up and redundancies downGraeme Cooke, February 17th 2010

Jobseeker’s Allowance is worth less and harder to claim than ever beforeNicola Smith, December 21st 2009

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