Worst Opinion of the Week: Brits Are 'Addicted' to Not Having Jobs

The UK has the second highest Covid-19 death toll in the world, but it turns out the real problem with this pandemic is an essential wage-subsidy scheme making everyone "lazy".
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by NEO
May 8, 2020, 9:00am
Britain addicted to wage subsidy
Photo: Chris Bethell
Welcome to Worst Hot Take of the Week – a column in which @MULLET_FAN_NEO crowns the wildest hot take of the week.

Story: Nearly a quarter of workers in the UK have been furloughed as, this week, the country hit the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe.
Reasonable take: Clearly the government's response to coronavirus was fatally slow, so it seems like a good time to learn from these mistakes and make sure people aren't thrown under the bus in the name of "the economy".
Brain rot: We really must do something about all these lazy cunts who are clearly addicted to receiving a percentage of their wages during a pandemic.

The stagnation of the global economy has led to the return of our planet's natural equilibrium: the waterways of Venice are clear and full of fish, monkeys are riding tiny bikes around and trying to steal children, and most profoundly of all, the Tories are dispelling any recent media-led notions that they are remotely socially conscious by warning the furloughing scheme needs to be dropped because British people are now "addicted" to wage subsidy.

This development comes hot on the heels of the monumentally harrowing revelation that Britain now accounts for the second highest number of Covid-19 fatalities out of 196 countries worldwide, lagging only behind its similarly neoliberal-obsessed cousin, the United States.

You would think the sheer number of deaths would ring an alarm bell of sorts – signalling a grotesque mishandling of a pandemic on a small island-nation, or at least a warning for the government to sharply focus their efforts into finally meeting any of its self-assigned targets, like carrying out 100,000 daily tests, or properly protecting those in care homes. As usual, though, you'd be very, very mistaken. It's become increasingly clear that Conservative top brass have spent yet another large section of critical time worrying if the truly catastrophic fallout of this pandemic is whether a coronavirus wage-subsidy scheme is making British workers "lazy".

This week, Rishi Sunak told reporters he was readying plans to "wean" Brits off the state's furlough programme in a "measured way", to coincide with government’s plans to ease lockdown measures. Even our perpetually underperforming Health Secretary Matt Hancock managed to pipe up and reiterate this new Tory rhetoric that Britain must "wean off" its desire for furlough and get back to work so "the economy gets back on its feet".

It was only a month ago that Sunak vowed to do "whatever it takes" to get Britain through the coronavirus, but I think he must have erroneously omitted the final phase of his stimulus package: forcing the public to either put themselves at risk by returning to work, or lose their homes. It's genuinely so tiring seeing Tory politicians suggest the British people are developing a clucking for job insecurity, reduced income and rudderless existences. Last time I checked, requiring an income to survive isn’t anything to do with "addiction". Not one single cunt is developing a penchant for paying their landlord or scraping a skiddy from the toilet pan, I can assure you.

These are all sadly basic requirements of modern existence, yet the Tories are finding a way to turn a scheme designed to protect people from catching a deadly virus in the workplace into a perverse justification for pulling the rug from under the feet of millions of people.

Nearly a quarter of British employees have temporarily been laid off on furlough. It is groan-inducing to see our government banding around loaded terminology about "addiction" as they portray everyone on a job retention scheme as bone-idle vagrant scum damaging the economy.

Removing furlough will do nothing but transform these temporary lay-offs into long, permanent ones. Just when these cunts should be discussing extending furlough, it turns out they're slashing it. Now it seems increasingly apparent that most of us are going to have to partake – for the second time this century – in that fun "find a new job during a recession" endurance test, where we have to send off a hundred CVs a week for shit jobs with absolutely no response.

If the Tories really want to tackle people's "addiction" to public subsidies, they should start a scheme for half our fucking roster of "Knights of the Realm" – Sir Philip Green, say, or Sir Richard Branson. Let's gather them all around a modern Round Table, but instead of this being a think-tank on how to defeat the Anglo Saxons, this summit can help them piece together how they’ll ever stop themselves arse feeding off PAYE service workers for the rest of their lives.

@MULLET_FAN_NEO