Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government


by Guest    
6:32 pm - February 18th 2012

      Share on Tumblr

contribution by The Taxman

More than 2.6 million people of working age are now sitting on their fat arses at home watching Deal Or No Deal while eating ice cream, the Office for National Statistics has confirmed.

Levels of youth laziness have also hit a record high, validating government fears that each successive generation is lazier than the last.

David Cameron said the figures proved there was nothing he could do to motivate a generation of games-console-playing wasters who wouldn’t take a job even if it paid them £500,000 to verbally abuse subordinates and host the odd board meeting.

While on a visit to a mothballed factory, the prime minister told reporters: “We’ve created literally tens of new jobs since we’ve been in power but no one is willing to take them because the unemployed are all just a bunch of half-dead sloths whose only work ethic centres on their determination to find the most appropriate utensil for anal insertion.

“It’s the same reason employers have laid off huge swathes of their workforce.

They’ve realised that most of their staff are fat and useless, so they might as well get robots in to do the job instead.

“Either that or business leaders do the sensible thing and shift their operations to harder-working centres of population like China, India or the Cayman Islands.”

Two-thirds of the increase in laziness recorded for the three months to December can be attributed to women, indicating that feminists have realised the errors of their ways and that the best place for them is in the kitchen after all.

Iain Duncan Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions, said he hoped his Welfare Reform Bill would finally solve the British laziness epidemic for good.

“This bill will ensure the stupid and the lazy are given no more money per week than would be enough to buy a kebab, a bag of crisps and a Snickers bar,” he told us over lunch at Ramsay’s.

“Personally, I am sick and tired of these wasters rinsing us for every penny we’ve got. This is taxpayers’ money and it must only be used to reward hard-working chaps such as those in the financial services industry, who, I’m sure you agree, are far more deserving of it than any of those bone-idle cancer patients, wheelchair users or single mothers.

“This is a Tory government, and, for so long as the Lib Dems let us walk all over them, we will relentlessly strain every sinew of our aching, sweaty bodies to ensure that lazy people are crushed like ants under the heels of our real leather riding boots.”

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
This is a guest post.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Humour

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


The devil makes work idle hands. Thank god the bankers, the royals, other aristos and the government are working so hard for just pennies to the benefit of us all. Some sense at last!

It’s the new Conservative theory of unemployment. It used to be that the unemployed ought to be cycling to find jobs. Now, it’s because the unemployed are lazy.

Do those who churn out these theories ever wonder why unemployment comes and goes in cycles and why unemployment problems are hitting so many of the affluent economies at about the same time?

Why is business investment running at such a low ebb when the big companies are sitting on cash piles? Why are the banks so reluctant to lend to small and medium sized businesses? In the news recently:

Figures from the Bank of England under the Project Merlin deal showed that total net lending from the five main UK banks’ fell in every quarter of 2011.

The figures, which include loan repayments, show a 3% drop in net lending in the final quarter of 2011.

The figures also confirmed that the five banks had missed their lending target to small businesses.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17009985

It used to be that the unemployed ought to be cycling to find jobs.

Unless they intend to cycle across a national boundary, whereupon that apparently becomes a different problem…

Bob, be fair. The banks have to make a little money for themselves and their shareholders, not to mention that chaps on the board. They can’t go lending it out to every Tom, Dick or…er well… you get the drift, or there wouldn’t be enough for the top people, old chap?

Sounds lot Like Blair’s lot really

@Tris: “They can’t go lending it out to every Tom, Dick or…er well… you get the drift, or there wouldn’t be enough for the top people, old chap?”

True enough but the collective effect of banks deciding that lending to small businesses is too risky is that this belief, if acted upon, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because business investment is lower as a result and so is aggregate demand for goods and services. The systemic consequence is that more small businesses don’t succeed or go bust.

In the news this week:

(Reuters) – Britain’s banking industry, dominated by four big players, may need another investigation by the anti-trust regulator due to lack of progress in opening up the sector to competition, the main consumer watchdog said on Thursday.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/02/16/uk-britain-banks-idUKTRE81F0YS20120216

I’m not really sure what the point of the OP is, except at the end where it implies that each and every one of the 2.6 million on IB are “cancer patients, wheelchair users or single mothers” (being a single mother isn’t a disability, BTW).

It is impossible in a modern society with a modern healthcare system that 2.6 million people of working age (which is what, nearly 10% of the working age population) are too sick to work. They may be too sick to do the job they want to, but that’s different. I’m a fat so-and-so, so I do a white collar job that doesn’t involve physical activity. I’d like to bat at number 3 for England, but fat belly says no. Perhaps I ought to go on the sick?

This is all put better by a post put up on another site today which I can only quote in full:

“On the issue of incapacity, it might be useful to consider this. No matter how incapacitated we are as a nation, we cannot all sign on as such. If everyone lost an leg tomorrow, then incapacity for that reason would not be sustainable. Incapacity must be measured not only by how inconvenienced a person is by their condition but also by how comparatively inconvenienced they are.

“We have too many people signed off. Does not mean they are all malingering. Does not even mean that any of them are malingering. A significant number of them need to have it broken gently to them that they will just need to do their best because choosing not to do their best and expecting someone else to pay taxes to fund their benefits is not going to be an option.”

8. So Much For Subtlety

When China’s generous system of cradle-to-grave welfare for the urban workers and serfdom for the peasants broke down, there was something like mass unemployment for a while.

But if you go to any Chinese city, you will find the old city core, and then miles and miles and miles of suburbs which contain small shops, small factories, small single owner businesses. Some of them growing quite large by now, but most just a single couple and maybe their children.

In most of the world it is the generally accepted view that men should work to support their families. They should not sit at home blaming everyone else until someone gives them a place on the British football team or working as Katie Price’s towel boy (actually that would suck as jobs go). Which means that men in places like China or India or Malaysia or wherever go out and get jobs. If they can’t find one, they create one. Jobs are not handed out by the government. They are actually created by individuals who see a gap in the market and fill it.

If British men have forgotten this, well, so much the worse for them. However the real world is not optional. They do not have the luxury of sitting at home waiting for Godot or a job. Whichever comes first. At least not in the long run. Because the system cannot afford it. People, especially men, need to work. They should work. So while the OP is trying to be funny, he does have a point. Something has changed in the way First World men think. That needs to change.

Statistics clearly de
monstate that people become lazier under Conservative governments.

Statistics clearly demonstate that people become lazier under Conservative governments.

SMFS, note that China’s “generous system” of Mao era wasn’t exactly generous, except comparatively (everyone was dirt poor).

It was what the extremely anti-capitalistic, ideologically managed society could create, but it was also a system where people often survived by subsistence farming, which was prohibited (because people were supposed to live with pure ideology). That’s part of the reason why tens of millions starved to death in this experiment.

11
How many people starved to death in feudal China compared to communist China is the real question. Moreover, the current situation of China evolved from and was driven by the system you denigrate. True it wasn’t good by our standards but the conditions of the Chinese have steadily improved because of the communism you so despise.
And SMFS@8 that old chestnut of comparing current conditions with historical conditions from anywhere in the world and then stating we should be lucky, is now getting extremely boring.

13. So Much For Subtlety

12. steveb

How many people starved to death in feudal China compared to communist China is the real question.

The Great Leap Forward was the largest famine known to mankind. I know of nothing remotely similar under the Emperors. Perhaps you could try to name one such famine? Wars, certainly. The Mongol conquest for instance. But a peace time famine in a period without drought? Has anyone but a Communist ever managed that?

Moreover, the current situation of China evolved from and was driven by the system you denigrate. True it wasn’t good by our standards but the conditions of the Chinese have steadily improved because of the communism you so despise.

It did evolve from the old Communist system. In that they tried it, didn’t like it and decided to stop it. Not in the sense that the Communist system caused it. It wasn’t good by anyone’s standards except in a small number of highly specific areas – health care for instance. The conditions of the Chinese have improved in direct relationship to the degree to which they have abandoned socialism. The more freedom they have been given, the richer they are. That is why the Chinese mainland is so poor while Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are not.

And SMFS@8 that old chestnut of comparing current conditions with historical conditions from anywhere in the world and then stating we should be lucky, is now getting extremely boring.

Let’s see – current conditions in Britain vs current conditions in China. Nope you got that wrong. Naturally. Nor do I recall saying that conditions in Britain were better and that we should be lucky. They are and we should be but I did not say so.

So let’s see, you know nothing about China’s recent history, you got your economics wrong and you seem to have replied without reading what I said. Not quite Jim territory but getting there.

13
And once again you didn’t read my comments, I stated that you compare current situations with historical conditions from anywhere in the world, no mention of the current conditions in China with reference to my reply to your own comments, but this is absolutely SMFS territory.
So you think that life was good in feudal China and that the Emperors were benign rulers and mass starvation was unknown?
The Great Leap Forward may have been a disaster but comparing the social, geographical and demographic conditions within China generally, to the development of Hong Kong and Macau is nonsense, comparative studies require like with like.

Erm…you do know this is satire, right?

I was going to write something witty and insightful but I decided I couldn’t be arsed

The whole China comparison is completely irrelevant to contesting the absurd claim that the unemployed in Britain now are unemployed because they are lazy.

Test @ 7

It is impossible in a modern society with a modern healthcare system that 2.6 million people of working age (which is what, nearly 10% of the working age population) are too sick to work.

Is it? Says who? Typical Tory vermin. Too stupid to understand the implications of your own assertion.

Is it possible that in an economy with de facto unlimited immigration and a vast over supply of labour that the free market might actually actively exclude people from the labour force with apparently ‘minor illnesses’?

What penalties should we impose on companies that refuse to employ people with illnesses?

Many decades ago – it probably shows – I used to teach economics. What is horrifying is how all sorts of weird notions have gained credibility and ascendancy since.

Micawberism and the premier objective of fiscal discipline regardless of context is one such notion.

That all unemployment is due to laziness about job searching is another of these notions.

Another is that the Quantitative Easing of the BoE – or the US Fed – is equivalent to Zimbabwean or Weimar economics.

“Keynesian” has become a term of indiscriminate abuse by many who plainly don’t understand what Keynes was on about or how his influence pervades mainstream macroeconomics in which economies in the short run are driven by what happens to aggregate demand.

In the EZ, there is clearly no insight into how monetary unions without fiscal unions can be destabilised by diverging competitiveness factors in the constituent economies or because national central banks have lost control over monetary policy and find that interest rates set by the central bank of the monetary union cannot curb inflation in national economies. In short, the necessary conditions for a stable monetary union aren’t being met.

What all this demonstrates in that too many political leaders – as well as their followers – haven’t much of a clue of very basic economics.

SMFS: “Which means that men in places like China or India or Malaysia or wherever go out and get jobs. If they can’t find one, they create one. Jobs are not handed out by the government. They are actually created by individuals who see a gap in the market and fill it.”

Look, I know in theory this course of action should result in smily happy utopia in libertarian-land, but in the real world it would result in absolute, grinding poverty followed by early death.

Is it really beyond the wit of a libertarian to understand that the market left to its own devices could quite easily consider some humans (yes, even British humans, we’re in a global market these days, you know) to have a market value of less than survival rations, and what this would actually mean in practical terms?

Or is it that you really couldn’t give a flying f*** about the human consequences, so long as you can discard the unfortunate victims as being a bit like “Katie Price’s towel boy” and “footballers”? In that case I suppose the only thing that might give a second’s pause is the possibility that people desperate to feed their hungry children might “see a gap in the market” for robbing you at gunpoint.

21. So Much For Subtlety

14. steveb

And once again you didn’t read my comments, I stated that you compare current situations with historical conditions from anywhere in the world, no mention of the current conditions in China with reference to my reply to your own comments, but this is absolutely SMFS territory.

Rather than once again pointing out you are wrong and I made no mention of historical conditions from anywhere in the world in any comparison with the UK at all, because it is tiresome and obvious, perhaps I could ask you to quote the bit where I make any historical comparisons with any other country in the world and the UK? I do compare modern Britain with modern China. You might even push it and say I compare modern Britain with modern India. But nothing historical.

Still, keep it up. Why should Sally have all the fun?

So you think that life was good in feudal China and that the Emperors were benign rulers and mass starvation was unknown?

No. Can you spell Strawman?

The Great Leap Forward may have been a disaster but comparing the social, geographical and demographic conditions within China generally, to the development of Hong Kong and Macau is nonsense, comparative studies require like with like.

And Taiwan remember. Don’t forget them. I agree, it is unfair. After all, China got all the resources, all the workers, the vast majority of the intellectuals, virtually all the major Universities, all the research institutes, most of the material resources and virtually all the factories.

Bob B

The whole China comparison is completely irrelevant to contesting the absurd claim that the unemployed in Britain now are unemployed because they are lazy.

Why do you think that Bob? Because the Pope molests children or something?

Jim

Is it? Says who? Typical Tory vermin. Too stupid to understand the implications of your own assertion.

Explain how it is possible then Jim.

Is it possible that in an economy with de facto unlimited immigration and a vast over supply of labour that the free market might actually actively exclude people from the labour force with apparently ‘minor illnesses’?

No. Because we are not dealing with a free market but with the welfare state. The free market would not be so stupid. People with minor illnesses would work.

What penalties should we impose on companies that refuse to employ people with illnesses?

None at all. We should be punishing people with minor illnesses who refuse to work. But if you want to prohibit immigration, by all means Jim.

Bob B

Micawberism and the premier objective of fiscal discipline regardless of context is one such notion.

Is it Bob? How is Switzerland’s economy doing these days?

That all unemployment is due to laziness about job searching is another of these notions.

Notice Bob sneaking that word “all” in there. Clever.

In the EZ, there is clearly no insight into how monetary unions without fiscal unions can be destabilised by diverging competitiveness factors in the constituent economies or because national central banks have lost control over monetary policy and find that interest rates set by the central bank of the monetary union cannot curb inflation in national economies. In short, the necessary conditions for a stable monetary union aren’t being met.

Sorry Bob, but the people you are attacking were pointing this out over a decade ago. It has been standard on the Right for years. It has been the Keynesians who have been denying it.

jungle

Look, I know in theory this course of action should result in smily happy utopia in libertarian-land, but in the real world it would result in absolute, grinding poverty followed by early death.

So … Hong Kong full of people dying in the streets of hunger? How about China? You do realise that China has gone from a per capita income of about $950 in 1979 when the welfare state, such as it was, was rolled back to some $6000 now? With a lot less grinding poverty than there used to be among the very poor.

Is it really beyond the wit of a libertarian to understand that the market left to its own devices could quite easily consider some humans (yes, even British humans, we’re in a global market these days, you know) to have a market value of less than survival rations, and what this would actually mean in practical terms?

They would get their own Channel Four show?

The human consequences of the welfare state are worse than anything the free market can dish up. The market did not create Baby P. Welfare did.

I’d like to address the issue of modern healthcare and people being too sick to work.

The NHS enables many people to live longer than they would otherwise do, but it also increases the number of people surviving who are unfit for work. This is so whether we are talking in terms of preventing perinatal death of babies with brain damage or whether we are talking in terms of prolonging the life of someone with cancer for another year.

However, once the Coalition has succeeded in privatising the NHS, within a generation this trend will have reversed.

@22: “The NHS enables many people to live longer than they would otherwise do, but it also increases the number of people surviving who are unfit for work. This is so whether we are talking in terms of preventing perinatal death of babies with brain damage or whether we are talking in terms of prolonging the life of someone with cancer for another year.”

As suggested before, there is a simple policy remedy for such problems: a modest government investment in a national network of Harold Shipman centres for the efficient disposal of the aged and incapacitated.

This would bring great fiscal benefits for the government by increasing NHS efficiency savings and reducing the pay out of state pensions. Fewer nurses would be required for future geriatric care and hospitals would be placed to reduce even more beds.

@21: SMFS: “So … Hong Kong full of people dying in the streets of hunger? How about China? You do realise that China has gone from a per capita income of about $950 in 1979 when the welfare state, such as it was, was rolled back to some $6000 now? With a lot less grinding poverty than there used to be among the very poor.”

Few would deny that a government able to jail political dissidents for long periods and control the media can deflect much avoidable unpleasantness, as this recent press report so graphically demonstrates

A Chinese court has handed down a 10-year jail sentence to Chen Xi, the second dissident in four days to be convicted of inciting subversion through online essays.
Another democracy campaigner, Chen Wei, was sentenced to nine years on 23 December. The two men are not related.

It is one of the heaviest sentences for inciting subversion since the Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo was jailed for 11 years on Christmas Day 2009.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/26/china-jails-dissident-chen-xi

25. So Much For Subtlety

22. David

However, once the Coalition has succeeded in privatising the NHS, within a generation this trend will have reversed.

So you think the growth of the disabled claiming welfare has been smaller in the US or anywhere else without something like the NHS?

23. Bob B

As suggested before, there is a simple policy remedy for such problems: a modest government investment in a national network of Harold Shipman centres for the efficient disposal of the aged and incapacitated.

This is openly a Leftist policy these days. We have even had threads demanding support for euthanasia centres in the UK. Up to now, they merely have to fly to Switzerland. But we can hope!

But something like half the NHS budget is said to be spent on people in the last six months of their lives so you can see where the pressure comes from.

24. Bob B

Few would deny that a government able to jail political dissidents for long periods and control the media can deflect much avoidable unpleasantness, as this recent press report so graphically demonstrates

I am not sure that is true, but if it is, it is irrelevant. What matters is whether jailing such people is the cause of China’s economic growth. And given they were killing people for much less just 35 years ago it is not likely. China is growing despite, not because of, such policies.

21
Perhaps you have forgotten about this comment @8 ‘ When China’s generous system of cradle-to-the grave welfare for the urban workers and serfdom of the peasants broke down, there was something like mass unemployment for a while’
My comments about feudalism were directed to @11, s/he has not yet answered, however, as it appears ok to discuss historical events (a la SMFS) I cannot see why doing the same is considered to be a ‘strawman’, unless you have no realistic argument (I tend to go with this hypothesis)
I agree that post-revolutionary China did not do as well as post-revolutionary Russia, but the USSR was exceptional and their revolution was some 6years behind China.
As for your last comment about Baby P, you obviously haven’t heard about the practice of ‘exposure’ when unwanted newborn baby girls and disabled babies were left out in sub-zero temperatures to test God’s will. No, nothing to do with welfare.

On questions like this I ask myself what does Ken Livingstone think:

During his time as mayor, Ken Livingstone said: “I have only been served coffee once by a born and bred Londoner”

“They [Londoners] have grown up their entire life in a house where nobody gets up before midday.”

The mayor went on to say how such jobs are filled by hard-working Poles.

Source: http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9979

@27: “They [Londoners] have grown up their entire life in a house where nobody gets up before midday.”

“London is the billionaire capital of Europe – with more of the super-rich living here than ever before. The latest edition of the Forbes List reveals that a total of 49 of the wealthiest people on the planet have chosen to make Britain their home – most of them in London.” [This is London]

“Within the EU, per-inhabitant GDP ranges from 28 % of the EU-27 average (6 500 PPS) in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343 % (85 800 PPS) in the capital region of Inner London in the UK. ”
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/GDP_at_regional_level

@ 8 ”But if you go to any Chinese city, you will find the old city core, and then miles and miles and miles of suburbs which contain small shops, small factories, small single owner businesses.”

Yes so much for nonsense I believe many on the Tory right want a Hong Kong ? Chinese style economy. No democracy of course and none of those nasty greens getting in the way of urban small.

Typical of a Tory not seeing the whole picture.

27
You are mis-quoting Ken Livingstone, he made no reference to ‘hard-working Poles’
by putting that spin onto his observations, it suggests that the unemployed are lazy and the Poles are not lazy.
If you want to quote relevant sources, it might be a good idea to be more honest and state that it is your interpretation of the situation, there’s nothing wrong with having and expressing your own opinions.

A recap from the BBC website in May last year:

The number of low-skilled workers born outside the UK more than doubled between 2002 and 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures show that almost 20% of low-skilled jobs are held by workers born abroad, up from 9% in 2002.

Workers coming to the UK from eastern or central European countries were the biggest single factor in the rise.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13561094

32. So Much For Subtlety

26. steveb

Perhaps you have forgotten about this comment @8 ‘ When China’s generous system of cradle-to-the grave welfare for the urban workers and serfdom of the peasants broke down, there was something like mass unemployment for a while’

I have not forgotten it. There is nothing even remotely like a comparison in that sentence. Why not just admit you were wrong and move on?

My comments about feudalism were directed to @11, s/he has not yet answered, however, as it appears ok to discuss historical events (a la SMFS) I cannot see why doing the same is considered to be a ‘strawman’, unless you have no realistic argument (I tend to go with this hypothesis)

Yes, but given it was put after a paragraph referring to my post and before a paragraph referring to my post, under a banner that referred to my post, you can see why some people might have reasonably assumed it referred to my post.

I agree that post-revolutionary China did not do as well as post-revolutionary Russia, but the USSR was exceptional and their revolution was some 6years behind China.

Which revolutions are you referring to now?

As for your last comment about Baby P, you obviously haven’t heard about the practice of ‘exposure’ when unwanted newborn baby girls and disabled babies were left out in sub-zero temperatures to test God’s will. No, nothing to do with welfare.

I have heard of it actually. So what? What do you think this has to do with anything? I assume you are flailing blindly because you know you screwed up.

32
Your comment was either meant as a comparison (between the UK unemployed and those who you make reference to) or it was a random comment, because it was you who decided to bring China into the debate.
This is one of your common debating styles, let’s think of something even worse and use it as a counter-argument, and it gets boring (as I have already noted)
However, when I respond with comments about the subject, which you introduced, you call it a strawman. You cannot determine the boundaries of debate, although I’m sure you would like to, if you want to expand on the debate, which you are entitled to, then others can do the same.
Just as you used Baby P, to somehow indicate that the welfare state was responsible for the circumstances of his death, I countered with an example that existed prior to welfare states.
If you don’t want to be challenged, don’t participate in the debates, it’s as simple as that.

I’m someone who, in different circumstances, might be regarded as disabled. I have a chronic auto-immune condition that affects joints and eyesight, fortunately although I’ve had time of sick it’s never stopped me from working and I’ve never considered myself disabled or wanted to give up working because of it. I don’t claim this as a virtue but I wonder if had I been made redundant and not been able to find work easily I might have been tempted to try and get myself declared unfit for work. If it had suited government policy to put me on invalidity benefit would I have resisted and tried to find a job instead ? Probably not and there’s part of the problem, if the system encourages people to think of themselves as unemployable they will tend to agree and if they are offered money in return for not bothering the employment statistics they will probably take it. You don’t have to be a flinty hearted Gradgrind to think there’s something wrong here.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Lindsay Wheatcroft

    “@libcon: Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government http://t.co/5grhp8vK” – like The Daily Mash or Newsthump, but funny

  2. Jason Brickley

    Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government http://t.co/E1pRUqlm

  3. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government http://t.co/pKBNS2tY

  4. Julian Boardman

    RT @libcon: Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government http://t.co/MgU6lTXM

  5. sebastian kraemer

    "taxpayers’ money must only be used to reward hard-working chaps in the financial services industry" http://t.co/6K2WQATG #99% #inequality

  6. Julian Block

    Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/WOPuXMoD via @libcon

  7. TristanPriceWilliams

    Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/BmTLpdSD via @libcon

  8. Patrick Torsney ?

    Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government http://t.co/orLHGowm < Spot on, and let's never forget the #LibDem collaboration

  9. Simon Briscoe

    Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government http://t.co/JEHCjTvf

  10. Liberty Factor

    What happens when governments subsidize people sitting around and doing nothing? #Satire http://t.co/YqC9B1ay

  11. Mark

    Laziness levels in Britain getting lazier, wails government http://t.co/cQ4EZsRD via @libcon





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.