Story: As the furlough scheme winds down, debate continues about when people should return to the workplace during the pandemic.
Reasonable take: The coronavirus is still very much present with no vaccine, so if you can continue working from home then you should.
Brain rot: I may be a wealthy elite but if I worked in an office, I would gladly risk my life unnecessarily and be one the first back at the desk in order to prove to my boss what an absolute arselick I am.
Are you furloughed, working from home or currently unemployed because of the pandemic? Well, it doesn’t matter, because through the lens of Tory rhetoric, you are all to blame for floundering economy.
In yet another case of the British elite weighing in with a dogshit opinion regarding the lives of ordinary working people, TV presenter and former central London property proprietor Kirstie Allsopp took to Twitter to issue a widely derided statement urging people back to their offices.
The Location, Location, Location co-host tweeted: “If your job can be done from home it can be done from abroad where wages are lower. If I had an office job I’d want to be first in the queue to get back to work and prove my worth to my employer. I am terrified by what could be on the horizon for so many.”
It’s so refreshing, isn’t it, in the height of all this turmoil, to be threateningly reminded how dispensable your job is while also being told how “lucky” we are to be paid better than people in poorer countries (who are all desperate to displace us) by the daughter of the sixth Baron Hindlip. By my estimations, we’re approximately one week away from some cunt suggesting that workers should forgo their wages in a show of “team spirit” to their CEOs – who, let’s be honest, only ever register their existence when looking at the chopping board to “streamline” their company.
Britain is incapable of having a serious discussion about how we can move our economy away from expendable call centres, pointless office jobs and a dying retail sector. Is it any wonder that every time we ask why those who can work from home are being pressured into commuting in the midst of a pandemic, we’re met with hot air from above? It turns out even our infrastructure isn’t designed to power the economy – it is the economy.
Rather than look closer at any of that, though, Britain’s gatekeepers would rather call anyone who isn’t spending hours of their day travelling to do a job they could do from home a “lazy cunt”. We really are at the stage of British neoliberalism where literally doing your job is not enough to prove your “worth” to your bosses. Apparently, you can only do admin effectively if you are a present in a “pandemic ready” fumigated office space.
The Honourable Kirstie Allsopp later clarified that the “tweet is not an ‘attack’ on ‘homeworkers’, it’s about the coming wave of redundancies and the fact that many believe that out of sight if out of mind.” I’m assuming her use of quotation marks around “homeworkers” was a Freudian slip.
I mean, sure, if employers really feel a visual presence of me necking a Lucozade Sport hungover as fuck and Googling crossword answers is necessary to workplace productivity, by all means they can project a hologram of me taking a fifth “toilet break” of the morning so I can just sit hands in head. Because I certainly won’t fancy going in to a crammed office full of spluttering cunts during the second winter wave just because the Greggs across the way could really use my lunch money.
Not even daytime TV is an escape from the contempt millionaire personalities hold for their audience. On This Morning this week, Eammon Homes and Ruth Langsford decided to speak to Charlie Mullins, cockney king of bog fixers and CEO of Pimlico Plumbers, about the end of the government’s furlough scheme. He promptly declared to blast those using the scheme as selfish for not caring about “the economy”.
“The majority of people are in a position now where they can go back to work, but unfortunately they don’t want to go back to work. If you’re paying people to sit at home and do nothing, then that’s what they’re going to do,” Mullins said, speaking live from his villa in Marbella. “The problem is, most people’s workplace is too far from the beach for them. We need to end it, it’s had its day, it’s done what it needs to do at the time but we now need to move on. Get the economy going, get people back inside the workplace and stop this stupid culture of people thinking they can sit at home and just be paid for it.”
In the same ITV segment asking “is the UK work-shy?”, they also decided to interview Andrew Neil about how bone idle British workers are. Speaking live from St Tropez (according to ITV’s captions), flanked by a Range Rover and a Volvo and looking like a Rooster potato sporting a toupee, the BBC political host said while he doesn’t think it is a straightforward case of people being “work sky”, he does think that “some people have rather taken to lockdown” and “there is no great rush to go back to work.”
Continuing with his gripe, Neil said: "I think it is also very difficult for the government to take much of a high line on this when the people who work for the government are themselves not going back to work […] So, before the government can lecture us it needs to start getting its own people back to work.”
Who would have thought it, civil servants don’t want to go rush back to their former army barracks converted offices to post benefit rejection letters to people with disabilities?
Can you even imagine owning a villa on the Mediterranean coast, memories of lockdown fading with each sip of an Iberian lager as you baste yourself like a rack of baby back ribs as the sun gently warms you like a foetus in the womb? Yet somehow, these fucking saddos living such a stupefyingly blissful existences have the energy to take poolside video calls because some poor cunts aren’t unnecessarily risking their lives for minimum wage.
The Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, even put the shoe in on workers as he backed the government's decision to end its furlough scheme in October, saying that it is important that the Tories "move forward" and not keep people in unproductive jobs.
Fitting then, that Boris Johnson took Bailey’s recommendation up this week and put his brother and a further 36 life peers into the House of Lords during all this hardship, solidifying the chamber as the second largest legislature in the world after the Chinese National People's Congress – all without a single public vote being cast.
There are secure jobs being doled out during the pandemic, it just to all the wrong people.