I saw a Facebook comment this morning from a local Labour councillor criticising the use of unemployed people bussed in to the centre of London to marshal the Jubilee concert. This is “slavery” and of course, all down to the evil Tories.
I actually have some time for this councillor who, despite his politics mostly being fundamentally wrong to me, is doing a reasonable job in trying circumstances but this was a bit hypocritical really because I remember writing something a couple of years ago – April 2009 to be precise – about Gordon Brown proposing to force English children to do 50 hours of community service, threatening exam failure for those that refused.
There is nothing wrong with unemployed people doing community service and I’ve previously written various pieces on why unemployed people should be made to work in exchange for their benefits. As it happens, the people the aforementioned councillor was referring to weren’t treated particularly well but that doesn’t make the principal wrong because it isn’t. But what is interesting, though, is that forcing adults claiming unemployment benefits to do some community work for the benefit of those paying the benefits is considered to be wrong whilst an MP elected in Scotland proposing to force English children to do community service and threatening them with exam failure for not complying is apparently ok.
Isn’t it interesting how the moral compass is so often guided by the colour of someone’s rosette?