Stigmatising unemployment: the government has redefined it as a psychological disorder | Politics and Insights – kittysjones

The current government has made the welfare system increasingly conditional on the grounds that “permissive” welfare policies have led to welfare “dependency.”Strict behavioural requirements and punishments in the form of sanctions are an integral part of the conservative ideological pseudo-moralisation of welfare, and their  “reforms” aimed to make claiming benefits less attractive than taking a low paid, insecure, exploitative job.

Welfare has been redefined: it is pre-occupied with assumptions about and modification of the behaviour and character of recipients rather than with the alleviation of poverty and ensuring economic and social well-being.

The stigmatisation of people needing benefits is designed purposefully to displace public sympathy for the poor, and to generate moral outrage, which is then used to further justify the steady dismantling of the welfare state.

Source: Stigmatising unemployment: the government has redefined it as a psychological disorder | Politics and Insights – kittysjones

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16 thoughts on “Stigmatising unemployment: the government has redefined it as a psychological disorder | Politics and Insights – kittysjones

  1. Ian

    It takes some chutzpah to do this considering unemployment is created to keep inflation low. Low inflation benefits the richest most so the working class are being sacrificed via unemployment to benefit the rich and then being called mentally ill for not having a job.

    Orwell would have marveled at such use of language, in an appalled sort of way.

    1. Daniel

      Sadly, most don’t realise that unemployment is an inflation controlling strategy, also known as NAIRU, a key neoliberal concept. It was invented to take responsibility for ensuring there were sufficient jobs in the economy away from the government, and now it’s being used to punish the unemployed further. Shows exactly how heartless the political class has become, doesn’t it?

      1. Ian

        Yep, including Labour, who have bought into neoliberal economics wholesale. I was in a pilot area for Blair’s New Deal and had to spend almost the equivalent of an entire working week looking for jobs that didn’t exist, really just so that grinning maniac could prove he was ‘tough’ on the unemployed. This was all ‘provided’ by a private company, of course.

        Odd how nobody can find the time to get equally ‘tough’ on banking fraudsters etc.

  2. Pete B

    Propaganda worked in Germany in 1933 and is doing great in Great Britain 2015.The Bigger the Lie,the More its Believed.

    Along with a compliant press and cough,impartial BBC.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I started this blog with a spoof Goon Show script. Perhaps we could adapt this one: ‘The Fear of Tories’, perhaps?

  3. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    The biggest danger this government presents is that many of its members suffer from a psychological disorder that promotes hatred between its peoples in its own self-defeating interest. We must fight for a healthy government.

  4. Maria

    there are people on the street because of them, people who have died who would still be here if they didn’t receive this cruel sort of treatment. What is Moral about the government’s behaviour to the most vulnerable people in society?

    1. The Infamous Culex

      The only “moral” aspect of the kakistocracy’s abuse of vulnerable people, is that the “government” has not – yet – openly started to kill off such people.

      It is unfortunate that so few practitioners who were involved with Aktion T4 were gaoled or hanged for their crimes. Perhaps, if a few more had been punished, recruitment of staff for the Tories’ schemes might be more difficult?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No – the Government has been letting them die clandestinely since around 2011.

  5. Anna Woodward

    When you are inciting hatred against a vulnerable part of the community you take the focus off the real tax dodgers and rip off merchants ie government. These people can claim all sorts of expenses ie 37 pounds for breakfast as in Ian Duncan Smith. That’s only one tiny example they are living off the back of taxpayers the ordinary working person these are the real scroungers but of course they can afford good accountants to “do their books”

  6. Barry Davies

    The Nazi’s started on the sick disabled and those who now bear the disgusting label of learning difficulties, before going on to attack the jews and gypsies, it was the former group who were used to find the most efficient means of killing.

      1. puameliaclinic

        I have a Learning Disability. Wish I never had it and the disability people with the local council are manipulative! Jeesh! I actually got told off for apparently not wanting to get any jobs, both by them and my doctor, when the first time I see the disability people, I mentioned explicitly about having a Plan B and they said NO, do this?. I’ve been screwed about many times, I am sick to the back teeth and to be accused of something I already know and do.

        And the final kick in the teeth, I am a qualified chemist (I am starting an OU course to top up my BSc to an honours, I already hold a MSc and can’t anywhere as I don’t have an honours 🙁

        This world is screwed, we’re living under a bunch of bloody narcisstic psychopaths. (Excuse my french).

  7. casalealex

    As, from childhood, we are programmed to have to ’work for our living’, is it any wonder that, if one spends a couple of years or more, after leaving education, having been unable to find a job, or even found a job or three, but become unemployed through no fault of our own, some of us might end up with psychological disorders, such as anxiety, dissociation, eating, personality, sleep-wake, etc., that impact multiple life areas and create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms.

    There is also the same symptoms experienced by many who have lost their jobs through redundancy, closures of workplaces, etc., and in a climate of unemployment with more people than jobs available, is it any wonder that many will suffer from these disorders?

    When we were a more caring and compassionate country, we brought in the Welfare State, which was a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens.

    Besides those who were unemployed but able to work, but looking for jobs, there were a large number of people who were unable to work, due to a number of physical and mental disabilities. This is where the Welfare State came into its own.

    We were the envy of many other countries, and a beacon of inspiration for social care, which we were, rightfully proud of.

    Then, along came totalitarianism, which is a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible, together with authoritarianism, which is a way of governing that values order and control over personal freedom. Both of which are the principles and practices of Toryism, which has, in turn, spawned austerity – a state of reduced spending and increased frugality in the financial sector.

    Austerity measures generally refer to the measures taken by governments to reduce expenditures in an attempt to shrink their growing budget deficits, but added to this is the wanton targeting of the most vulnerable people in our society.

    Those in government, for the past five years, have systematically
    decimated much of our social security. The list of the heinous removal of our safety nets in many aspects of social care is forever elongating.

    Besides all the above, this government has deliberately and coercively denounced the most vulnerable of our people, the poor, the physically and mentally disabled, children, the elderly, etc., and have taken away their dignity, well-being, etc., even their lives in many cases.

    (A government run by authoritarianism is usually headed by a dictator, or in this case a whole bunch of them).

  8. HomerJS

    I’ve had people push me to tell the jobcentre about my periods of depression, and I don’t think they understand why I don’t, but if I told them it could make me a target. My depression could be re-interpreted as ‘being negative’. It is not a good idea to raise your head above the parapet, especially in any way that could be used against you.

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