This is brilliant, courtesy of Charlotte on the Poor Side of Life blog.
The fact is that people attending Job Centres are bullied by their advisors and by the system. These are not happy places and even the people who work there are discouraged from any form of good humour. Their jobs are about getting people off the benefit books – not necessarily into work, just off the books.
That puts claimants in an extremely precarious position and, as Charlotte notes, it means anyone who is scared and vulnerable may give in to a request for a misleading photograph immediately.
This Blog was discussing the use of the word “propaganda” to describe a Ken Loach film made in support of Jeremy Corbyn yesterday. The argument was that The Guardian was wrong to describe it in that manner as there was no attempt to mislead the public.
Photos of grinning claimants shaking hands with Job Centre advisors would be a different matter. There would be a clear intent to mislead, therefore they would be very obvious propaganda pieces.
Expect to see them in your local newspaper soon.
Whenever I see any DWP promotional material, I and others like to research the validity of their photographs and information. Indeed their new Universal Credit promotional material is extremely misleading and inaccurate. So you can imagine my joy at receiving confirmation of their plot to involve claimants.
Please note that the person involved is not easily intimidated. I’m sure that a person who is scared and vulnerable would give in to their requests straight away. They might think that if they refuse they could be put at risk of a sanction or worse.
Now, it’s extremely rare for a claimant to be actually smiling inside a Jobcentre. You are usually extremely stressed and it’s the last place that you want to be in. And shaking an advisors hand? This very rarely happens, at best claimants are treated like they have the bubonic plague. A decent advisor still won’t shake your hand. Manners don’t really exist in a Jobcentre.
It’s just more evidence of the DWP trying to send out a completely misleading message.
Kudos to the claimant for sharing this. And watch out for the new fake smiley photos posted in local newspapers and Jobcentres.
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