The Weekly Digest 09/05: The Active Reserve Army

kamsandhu —  May 9, 2014 — 1 Comment

By Thomas Barlow

Forced to watch television one evening, I managed to tune into a UKIP party political broadcast that was so factually false it threatened the safety of nearby property as I raged fruitlessly at the grinning moron in front of me.

I relaxed at the impending mental candy floss that is The One Show, only to be immediately disappointed.

BBC 1 had been turned into a recruitment station for the Army Reserves.

The presenters used tones that would have been more appropriate in raising money for an animal shelter to explain the Army was overstretched and need the unpaid Reserves to fill the gaps.

Now those of us who like to not be invading countries constantly to secure resources for massive corporations may be glad to hear that the Army is smaller than it has ever been, poorly paid and badly equipped.

However their work is being done by massively overpaid private sector corporations, and volunteers.


It is worth noting that the Unemployed have been know as the Reserve Army of Labour for a long time.

The unemployed manage to keep wages down by their mere existence.  They can be called on in times of over-production, when more hands are needed. They can also be used to break strikes, because desperate people cross picket lines.

But now we have a situation where former public sector work goes to massively overpaid private corporations. Who then sack everyone and increase the dole queue.

Once on the dole, the unemployed are then forced into making money for massive private corporations by working for free. Until, at one point, they declare themselves self-employed, just to avoid the sanctions and the humiliation of being told unpaid  work for Poundland is ‘necessary training.’ So? Sod the lazy bastards, why should they get something for nothing?

Morally we have a repugnant situation where the Reserve Army of Labour – the unemployed, are being forced to work for no wages – or face losing the money they need to live.  (I will rage against the sanitised used of sanctions to describe this despicable act some other time).

Logically we have the moronic situation that the process is clearly not only incredibly expensive administratively and failing by every measure at actually finding people work, but is taking away jobs from paid workers and decreasing the available jobs out there.

Economically we have a very obvious failing in the system, as we take disposable income out of the hands of those who actually spend their money (unlike the super rich), therefore decreasing the amount of economic growth through the ever growing and competitive use of sanctions.

Do we want to live in a society where we do something morally repugnant, logically moronic and economically counterproductive because we think all people should be as miserable as everyone else who has to work?


And by the way if you believe the economy is growing, please don’t believe the hype:

Image: AAV

Image: AAV

And if you think unemployment is failing, just think about what kind of jobs they are walking into – self-employed with no protection, or zero hour contracts with no wage.

Especially if you live outside of London.

Self Managed poverty is what they’re calling the newly self employed, who make up 46% of those who have ‘new jobs.’

Part time workers are now to face sanctions as well.  Even though they have managed to get a job.

Help to Work my arse!


Lots of good news this week!

REGULARS – Some digested pieces to help you fight the war on the mind.

Liberty – Economics – Environment – Good News!


We have to talk about TTIP (tee tip as I pronounce it), as it could be one of the most devastating things to happen to our democracy and freedoms since the the GATT become the WTO and allowed corporations to patent life and genes.  This is just a starter for ten.

And terrifyingly people aren’t even being allowed into the country to help their siblings live by transplanting their organs.


The economy can be a difficult thing to understand, here is a handy little diagram to help you grasp it’s deep complexities, from

Image: Medium

Image: Medium

30 organisations are fighting to keep volunteering voluntary – this is why.

China is not often where we think of when we think of civil unrest, but the strikes in China are changing things for all of us.

1.4 Million people are on zero hour contracts.

You probably know this, but benefit fraud is not really the problem it is made out to be.


This amazing map shows how many Tories have got their piggy little finger in fracking pie, and why they want to rip up the country so much (thanks to Fracking Dangerous)


Odd Ones

A man strips half naked to show his anger at being left with no money by the government.

Good News!

People are finally protesting Serco!

Liverpool Council show some backbone and boycott the Help To Work scheme.

Pensioners and disabled people in Sheffield start the fightback to protect free travel.

The french can create 100,000 new green jobs, why can’t we?

Stupid snarky headlines made so much better! 

Hunt Sabs and Anti Fascists join up!

A qualified well done for the Greens who are going to treble their number of MEPs.

Someone at the BBC tells the truth!

And man earns £250 worth of pints for doing a wanker sign at Farage on TV!






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