Thursday, 14 February 2013

She made her own luck

Morecambe MP David Morris was on a programme called Free Speech on BBC3 yesterday and he mentioned the court case that I wrote about in my last blog. A young graduate was taken from her relevant and interesting work and forced to work in Poundland by a Government scheme which highlights the importance of voluntary work. You can see how I agreed with the Appeal Court judges if you scroll down. However David takes a different view.

David tells us that the geology graduate felt she was 'enforced into slavery by working in Poundland'. Maybe she did say that but I didn't read the word slavery anywhere. The trouble for David is that the graduate won the case, and this would suggest that, according to David, the term slavery is correct. I don't think he was saying that though. He wanted to say that the Government is right in getting the unemployed into some kind of work even if they are not going to be paid. I really think he missed the point of the Appeal Court judges' decision and that now makes two Tories who don't understand why the Government lost the court case.

It may be laudable to get the unemployed into some kind of work even if they don't get paid, but not for the sake of taking them out of their chosen voluntary work. Moreover, don't employ workforce providers who don't recognise their own deficiencies (my blog on 3rd February) and don't use emotive words like slavery. I have very strong doubts that the word slavery was used by the victor as she looked calm and rational and let her lawyer speak for her.

David said 'you make your own luck', a phrase that would certainly go down well at a Tory conference. The meaning behind this phrase is that if those who are unemployed do all their preparation, have the right qualifications, experience and the right character for a particular job then this puts them in the right position to have a chance of employment. Unfortunately, with such high unemployment rates, even if you make your own luck you still need plenty of conventional luck. David happened to become a successful business man.

A rational discussion on David's unconventional use of the word luck should take levels of unemployment into account as well as Government austerity measures. More than a few people will lose out on their luck. Furthermore, David failed to take into account the fact that the geology graduate had found work which, though unpaid, was highly fulfilling for her and could well have led (and hopefully still will) to even more fulfilling paid employment. She had made her own luck, and then they took it away from her.

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