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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19 Responses to “Life on the dole is not a walk in the park”

  1. Nick Leaton

    Now if when he was working, it wasn’t paying so much tax, he could have save a considerable sum of money to tide him over.

    However, it was spent by Brown and Blair, and now there is nowt but debt.

    So the plug is being pulled.

    However, JSA, Free health care, and any other items, and he is still in the top 5% of people on the planet.

    He can relax in the warm and fuzzy knowledge, that the government is still shipping cash overseas, after crippling his future employers, if they are still here with taxes to pay for it.

    Yep, I am sorry for him. It’s not nice. However, don’t expect the cause of the malaise, government to help.

  2. Jim

    Yes, but what Darryl doesn’t understand is that IDS *looks really concerned* about poverty, and therefore “gets it”.

  3. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Life on the dole is not a walk in the park #spartacusreport

  4. Máire McSorley

    " 'Why should I work, I’d be better off on benefits' – well come and live my life for a year."

  5. Robin

    " 'Why should I work, I’d be better off on benefits' – well come and live my life for a year."

  6. Ivan T

    Life on the dole is not a walk in the park | Left Foot Forward

  7. DarkestAngel

    Life on the dole is not a walk in the park | Left Foot Forward

  8. Mr. Sensible

    Helping the world’s poorest is a convenient cover, isn’t it. It’s not their fault that this government is cutting too far and too fast.

  9. Ebony Dawn Marsh

    Life on the dole is not a walk in the park | Left Foot Forward

  10. Newsbot9

    No, he couldn’t. Because he’d need to spend even more money on the necessary services. Which, of course, are typically MORE expensive for poorer people without the economies of scale allowed by universal benefits.

    You’re the one working hard to cripple this country, by ensuring that the worst parts of the American model strip away society.

    Benefits are miserly in this country, and unemployment an instant disaster. Our job market is a bad joke. There’s a reason the successful nations during these times are…gasp…ones like the Nordic ones.

    But no, of course to you they’re ideologically incorrect. And ideology > reality…

  11. Anonymous

    Of course, because all modern taxation and economics began in 1997 ! – what a hysterical response.

    I am the same age as this guy, have also been working all my life – my working life began under the misery of the 80’s Conservative auctioning off all our manufacturing assets and I continued to fight and struggle to accrue any wealth for the next25 yrs. I am now more poor and earning 60% less than I was during the Labour years because THIS govt has chosen scorched earth destruction over humanity and and future for my kids.

    The Labour years were the best in my life, I was able to work, support my family and save, while around me value was given to caring, health, education, service providers and the real work of a humane society.

    This guy and I and all our generation face another 30yrs of work now to pay for millionaires while our children have lost their healthcare, their education and any hope of future and secure employment. The debt was global and I am sure Brown and Blair would be delighted to have been so very powerful to have single handedly caused a worldwide financial system collapse. The system of banking that has been allowed to evolve over may many decades and multiple governments across the globe is responsible for the collapse of the house of cards.

    In the end it’s about balance, the ability to produce and sell in order to spend and buy. The responsibility of all people, even the richest, to pay their fair share in order to create a society that cares for the needy and the sick – how else do we judge ourselves? Tax works if applied across the board. When billionaires can wipe out their tax bill over lunch at the Ivy while families have their jobs removed, their schools closed, their childrens’ educational hopes crushed, then the system is failing.

    I pity your blinkered view – but you are not alone in being brainwashed – many other around you are unable to see past the lies. We have been sold to multinationals for cheap profit and the gravy train.

    I hope you are not so unlucky as to be a victim of this govt’s cruelty. If you are, I hope you meet people who are more sympathetic and generous to you, than you have been to him and the huge swathe of families who also suffer through no fault or action of their own.

  12. Mark Cantrell

    Life on the dole is not a walk in the park | Left Foot Forward

  13. ann morgan

    Life on the dole is not a walk in the park | Left Foot Forward

  14. Extradition Game

    RT @leftfootfwd: LISTEN: Life on the dole is not a walk in the park, says a Radio 5 caller: #NewsClub

  15. Brnch Sec Ruth H

    LISTEN: Life on the dole is not a walk in the park, says a Radio 5 caller:

  16. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Life on the dole is not a walk in the park

  17. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Life on the dole is not a walk in the park #spartacusreport

  18. Mr Roshan

    A typical left-wing argument – the appeal to emotion fallacy.

    What about the 2.5 million-2.9 million on long term incapacity benefits that has risen despite a strong economy and employment under Labour?

    The 90,000 on the above because for more than ten years due to drug abuse and obesity?

    The underclass generated by government sponsorship of fatherless families etc.

    These real issues are shirked by the left, because they have no argument.

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