Monday, June 22, 2009

New Deals and False Promises

In the 1930's Roosevelt put into place the New Deal, which put in place much of America's public infrastructure and gave work to Orson Welles, Burt Lancaster and Joseph Cotten in the Federal Theatre Project. Not a bad thing.

In the first decade of the 21st century in the UK we have a scabby programme where private providers are paid to give support to unemployed people. Sometimes that support involves help with writing a CV and a covering letter. Sometimes people turn up with a perfectly good CV, indeed people turn up with several CVs adapted for the jobs they apply for. Sometimes those perfectly good CVs get passed off as the work of the private provider so the private provider can be paid by the Department for Work and Pensions. Here's a site with peoples' negative experiences of New Deal programmes.

The site has some powerful accounts of how New Deal is not working, but they don't like anyone quoting, being advocates of copyright and not for copylefting, or Creative Commons or the GPL.

When the private sector gets involved in the public realm, purely because of the money to be made, you just know the service will be crap, the people on the programme will be patronised, and they will get a crap service. It does not work.

[Via the comments at Dave Spart]


New Deal Complainst said...

I have been referred to your link via some referrers from my site.

I have many more complaints still to upload - this delay is due because the site is new and a lot of new content can be penalised as spam by the search engines such as Google.

There are numerous ways around the no-select and no-right click such as disabling javascript or viewing the source.

The pop up is to discourage people pasting all a complaint in their blog instead of a smaller snippet and a link. This way people are more likely to be credit the site and give a link back.

On Firefox 3, I got around this by right clicking, pressing OK, clicking select all (it wont highlight) then right clicking again, pressing OK and then press copy ... simply paste it all in notepad and select the parts you want.

Hope this helps and thanks for linking to us.

Neil said...

Thanks for the clarification.

I do like what you are doing.

Back in the early 1990s I was in a similar position having to go to job clubs run by private organisations. In my case they were run by the local Chamber of Commerce. It seemed a mix of support and stigmatisation with sometimes more support than stigmatisation and sometimes more stigmatization than support.

It should be all about support and encouagement, getting people to think about what they want to do as a next step: be that education or training or a job (preferably one with more to it than just paying the rent).

The threat that hangs over people of withdrawal of benefit is insidious and unhelpful.

Why not just abolish pensions, jobseekers allowance (unemployment benefits) et al and just give everyone say £100 a week (the figure is up for grabs) with no catches. Anything anyone earns over that would be taxed. It would act as an incentive to do those things that are necessarily profitable but conribute to the wellbeing of people and society, with no threat of benefit withdrawal.

Anyway, thanks for the comment.