JobPath. A Normal Phone Call Day.

Got another phone call yesterday from a nice lady. She admitted she was 57. She had been working for decades ever since she was 16+ years.

In that long period she had been solidly paying her taxes, prsi, etc. In the last two weeks she became unemployed however she managed to find part-time work for two days of the week.

She went down to her Social Welfare office last week to sign on. Within days, she got a letter to say that she was now sucked into JobPath. This is the same JobPath that Fine Gael members stand up in the Dail and state on record that it is for the long term unemployed. Time and again this lie has been exposed.

On the evening of the Dail debate over the JobPath Private Members Bill, on the bus travelling up to it, I got a previous mobile call. It was from a woman that had done her standard levels of education before moving onto more years of third level stuff, before even more on top of that. She eventually qualified as a Clinical Psychologist. She was in the process of setting up her practice.

The Department of S,P. however, had other ideas. They told her basically “you’re now in JobPath – like it or lump it”. Pressganged into it, she was then financially blackmailed by the government department into applying for minimum wage jobs.

She had JUST finished her final apprenticeship and was just registered as unemployed two weeks before. She had planned for years, stuck to her aims through thick and thin, dedicated to get to a better lifestyle and be of benefit to people. The Department of Social Protection didn’t give a crap. “You’re now in JobPath”.

This is a highly educated woman and she too said that she was treated like crap by the state and equally treated like crap by JobPath staff who consistently didn’t want to hear about her qualifications or aims. They just wanted her shoved into any old cheap job (so they can claim their many bonus payments). This woman too, came to me for help.

In the three and a half years of talking to well over 1000 people pressganged into JobPath, close variations of the above experiences were (and still are) related to me by phone, email, Facebook PM or face to face (with tears occasionally).

These are decent, honourable people. They are not looking to be a drain on the nation. They are working part-time occasionally, They are carers. They are sometimes disabled. They are citizens looking to contribute through genuine effort. They have been treated like crap, insulted, made feel small and been bullied because of JobPath. They could be your sister, brother, cousin or parent. Some day they could be your children.

JobPath is an abomination. The underlying state pressganging and bullying is a continuing immoral disgrace.

Whatever next pressganging racket the Fine Gael government will come up with – and mark my words – they will, treating citizens of Ireland, TD’s employers, like they continue to do, is not on. It’s bloody awful.

It’s an utter betrayal of any faith citizens have put into their elected representatives. Our elected at local and national levels must do better, be better themselves and stop treating us all like cattle to be herded. Enough!

I setup UnitedPeople in serious part, to try see that such betrayers of the people are able to be held more accountable through a thing called “Participatory Democracy”. This is something the founders of the Irish state we live in, desired. Every day that Fine Gael exists in government, propped up by similar thinking betrayers, convinces me more and more greater accountability is needed.

It’s no wonder then that I am blanked by media on the local front (LMFM Radio in Drogheda, home town, main culprit), never mind national front. I cannot be allowed sow the idea in people’s heads that “better accountability” should be a massive general or local election issue. However, it should be. As the May local elections approach, I don’t ask – I beg – that you make it at least, a part issue too as something you want from your election runners.

I will continue to speak to JobPath sufferers. I will more so continue to hear what they have to say. They each convince me with every retelling of experience suffered that our government should be far better than what’s being allowed to go on, media buried, under their watch.

Treat people with respect – not RTE and Dail PR bullshit and government legalised bullying.