Posted by: John | July 1, 2010

What the Social Liberals miss

I was reading Linda Jack’s blog (of the fluffy handcuffs!) today and it got me thinking.

In it she states: `Firstly – freedom to me is being able to live my life without fear, and like most people I guess my biggest fears are around losing my loved ones, my health, my job.`

Hold it right there. Have a look at my earlier postings including this one:

Basically, Manchester City Council disbars anyone that doesn’t go on their own training scheme to apply for a job at entry level. They say they have a lot of unemployment and if you want to go on the training scheme you have to live in Manchester City Council area.

So, for people whose fear is gaining a job or their kids gaining a job it means there’s geographical discrimination. Take for example a single mum – let’s call her Jill. She lives in an area of multiple deprivation in Stockport Borough say the Brinnington Estate, has stood on her own two feet by always working in minimum wage type jobs and has one daughter. Let’s call her Kelly. Kelly is bright and wants to go into Librarianship. Even if she has done exams on this she need not detain herself in applying for jobs at Manchester City Council as they will be disbarred to her.

So, the most powerful council in the area will not let her apply for a job as a librarian even though she may live right next to Brinnington Station that will take her to Manchester Piccadilly in about 20 minutes.

Here’s another thing (and I haven’t confirmed whether this is still true – though I did try a  year or so ago and got nowhere as they said it was `commercial in confidence) – if you’re a temp for let us say a currently state-owned bank and want to apply for the permanent job that you are currently  doing – guess what YOU CAN’T! It’s only open to people already employed as Permanent staff. Of course you can do temporary pilot work for them or call centre work that no one else wants to apply for – but for other work, nah – even if you’re doing it as a temp. And guess what SLFers – it’s completely legal! And do you know why there is this practice –  because the management cobbled together an agreement with the unions to keep everyone sweet to keep out other workers.

So we have on the one hand Labour and on the other unions and failed management team acting as vested interests to exclude people even from applying for jobs.

And don’t get me started on the other geographical discrimination between north and south.

So SLFers what do you think about these case studies? Do you think they’re fair as the recipients of protection are deprived people from one area being used against another or because the unions are being used as a figleaf for cowardly management?

You see just talking about deprivation and distributionalism is the language of the past. There is more than one story about discrimination and freedom – and sometimes the perpetrators of the barriers to employment are surprisingly the ones you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

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Responses

  1. I really don’t know what these 2 case studies have got to do with the SLF.
    Whether you are applying for jobs in the private sector or the public sector, the employer can get 100s of applications for 1 job. In these circumstances the employer will reduce the short list often in an arbitrary and unfair way, as long as it complies with employment law wrt gender, race, marital status etc.
    If you want to tighten up employment law further, I would imagine you will get opposition just as much from the right as the left, probably more so.

  2. That’s the problem with the SLF – they don’t understand that one group of society can be pit against another and that it’s not just a thing to do with `rich people`.

    If, for example, a council in an area of very low deprivation had a policy of only employing their own residents in low-entry jobs the SLF would probably, and rightly, be going mental. Yet when it’s one poor group against another that is outside the London /SE orbit you don’t seem to care.

    The act of even applying for a job and gaining that experience could even be beneficial for the person in question to gain confidence. It’s geographical discrimination pure and simple and I’m surprised the SLF are hiding behind the current unemployment levels – what if the unemployment level was a million?

    I think it speaks volumes and why I’ve drifted away from social liberalism in the past years.


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