Duncan Smith says “get on the bus to cardiff”… where unemployment is at NINE PER CENT

This post was written by Reuben Bard-Rosenberg on October 26, 2010
Posted Under: Uncategorized

Iain Duncan Smith’s recent comments – that the people of Methyr Tydfil had become “static”, and that they needed to “get on the bus” and look for work an hour away in Cardiff – were not merely insensitive. They were also characteristically idiotic.

As recent job stats show the unemployment rate in Cardiff is nearly nine per cent. This is well above the already high national average, and above average too for Wales. The streets are not paved with gold, and with so many Cardiff residents unable to find work a long bus trip from out of town on the off chance of finding a job is extremely unlikely to prove fruitful.

And what if a resident of Methyr Tydfil did somehow get a job in Cardiff. Surely this would simply mean one more of the many thousands of unemployed Cardiff residents would have to stay on the unemployment register. Presumably, they can then go and find a job in Methyr Tydfil, or something. Perhaps an expert on Friedmanite economics could explain how this makes things better.

The idea that unemployment can be conquered by increasing the “mobility of labour” is loved by the right. And it is needs to be challenged on two grounds. At a most basic level, there is insufficient demand for labour not simply within particular localities but within the whole national economy. There are far more jobseekers than jobs and simply moving people around cannot change this.

But in a more general sense we need to challenge the idea that labour should and must be mobile. We need to challenge the idea that the geographical distribution of capital is simply an act of god, that government cannot alter it, and that it is simply up to workers, to pick up their things, cut their links, disrupt their lives and move to wherever business moves.

As an aside, I once actually met Iain Duncan Smith after he came to speak at the Cambridge Union. He came up to me like I was really pleased to see him. I told him he was pathetic, and he walked away looking disappointed. Today, my words hardly seems strong enough.

Like this article? Print it, email it, Stumble, Facebook and Tweet it:
  • Print
  • email
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Mixx
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Live
Share

Reader Comments

vi__sa

This is so silly. What is the other option? You see migrants leaving their countries to find jobs here. Of the 1 million jobs Gordon Brown claimed to have created (all on his own!!), 90% were taken up by migrants.

So do tell us – what is the solution? Should people just sit at home and expect to be fed and sheltered all their lives for nothing? What about their children? Will they not have to consider moving at some point?

Try making your arguments to someone who has to go to a 9-5 job, often commuting for 2-3 hours each day. See if they also expect a job on their doorstep. Everyone would love to have that kind of a dream job, but most don’t. But they still go out and do their bit.

#1 
Written By vi__sa on October 26th, 2010 @ 2:22 pm
Weiran

“we need to challenge the idea that labour should and must be mobile.”

we don’t have the power tho. That’s the problem. The unions are really disorganised because of a number of reasons like:thatcher’s union laws, empowerment of the indvidual, departure from fordism in industries, capital becoming footloose because of globalisation

It would be nice if the workers could sit and figure out how to get power back as a collective rather than just used the same tried and failed methods and complain bitterly about how the ruling class are not folding and letting us win like they’re meant to

#3 
Written By Weiran on October 26th, 2010 @ 4:21 pm
Weiran

“we need to challenge the idea that labour should and must be mobile.”

we don’t have the power anymore to make demands of capital. That’s the problem. The unions are really disorganised because of a number of reasons like:thatcher’s union laws, empowerment of the indvidual, departure from fordism in industries, capital becoming footloose because of globalisation

It would be nice if the workers could sit and figure out how to get power back as a collective rather than just used the same tried and failed methods and complain bitterly about how the ruling class are not folding and letting us win like they’re meant to

#4 
Written By Weiran on October 26th, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

There is far less low-cost housing than there was 40 years ago and things are getting worse on that front. There seems to be little point in moving to a job that won’t pay you enough to get housed or to travel there every day.

#5 
Written By Belinda on October 26th, 2010 @ 5:05 pm
Robert

I live in Cardiff the ONS says it’s nine percent, the council are saying it’s more like 15% and the council low pay unit says it neither it’s more like 20% so you take your pick.

I go down to the Job center in Canton and I say I’m disabled but would like to find work, the answer is the same, look wait until the government gets the private firms looking after you, maybe they can get employers interested in the disabled, because we cannot.

#6 
Written By Robert on October 27th, 2010 @ 1:56 pm
jonathan colwill

hmmm rather than go on the dole and be kept by other people, I’d work anywhere I’ve been offered a job working in norway Im quite happy to go.

I applied for a job over christmas in this country and all they employed were poles, that was working in the uk and living in caravan chopping down trees .

Duncan smiths right actually I would say go further than Cardiff .

After Norway I may well end up working in new Zealand, Ive looked at working on fishing boats in Alaska Id do it tomorrow apart from the fact I don’t have a us green card.

#7 
Written By jonathan colwill on October 27th, 2010 @ 2:25 pm
Fred

That’s OK then we will all go fishing, of course not everyone can find work if they did of course the 400,000 job throughout the UK would be gone and two million people would asking where’s the jobs.

#8 
Written By Fred on October 27th, 2010 @ 2:56 pm
jonathan colwill

How I keep myself now is I sell things mainly old books, so there are not enough jobs advertised I’d do what I do now go out and start a business .
The job I got offered in norway wasnt advertised I contacted the company said I know what you do I’d like to work for you, they offered me a job after christmas .

#9 
Written By jonathan colwill on October 27th, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

Good stuff dude! I read your whole post and assume that must be use mobile for the communication with one to another. Thanks :)

#10 
Written By Anderson Suman on July 7th, 2011 @ 10:24 am

Trackbacks

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 420,245 bad guys.