I don't think I need to remind you that I'm a royalist, and I absolutely adore the Jubilee. Driving through the villages of west Kent yesterday I was thrilled to see all the bunting and village parties. Flags were flying and children were having fun, nothing better for a Bank Holiday weekend national celebration.
But perhaps what you may not know is just how despicable I find "Workfare". As someone with libertarian sympathies I find the concept of the Government forcing people to work quite appalling. It is nothing but slave labour, in my opinion.
So I was somewhat aghast this morning to see this story in the Guardian.
Firstly, and most importantly, is the way in which we are treating unemployed people as slave labour. It's bad enough making them go to work for no pay, but forcing them to camp out? I had never even considered that as an option. Who thought that making people do work they probably don't want to do AND camp out in the cold was a reasonable thing to do in 21st century Britain?
Secondly, and with quite worrying in its indications of the stupidity of those who arranged these workfare workers, who signed off on this? Her Majesty and Her Household have been VERY careful to avoid controversy. They have avoided using public money to pay for the Jubilee as much as possible. I am quite convinced nobody in a position of responsibility in the Royal Household would have signed off on this, due to the bad PR this would lead to. Because this is AWFUL PR. Someone has brought Her Majesty into disrepute here by tying her Diamond Jubilee celebrations with the extremely controversial Workfare scheme. This shows a level of idiocy I never could have imagined.
Someone is responsible for this. Someone must be held accountable because abusing the unemployed in this way and at the same time bringing our monarch into murky political waters is perhaps the most intolerable thing I've seen in the UK in a long time.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist