The Main Parties And The Election’s Forgotten Voters

The forgotten voters here are the unemployed, who, as the cat says, have been made scapegoats for the banking crisis and the international recession that has followed. The most that politicians allow them are some vague guarantees of jobs, but mostly they’re held to be responsible for their own lack of work, and stigmatised for it. Neither the Tories nor the Lib Dems mentioned the unemployed in their manifestoes, and Labour only gives a vague promise of increasing certain contributory based benefits through an increase in contributions.

It’s possible to look behind this deliberate neglect of the unemployed to examine the attitudes behind them. One of these is that all three parties, and UKIP, target to some extent pretty much the same parts of the electorate: those, who have a little money or property, and are afraid of losing them to the mass of the unemployed beneath them. Which is pretty much the mind set of the Daily Heil’s readership.

It’s also been the case that in English law, crimes against property have always been treated far more severely than crimes against persons. This reflects the class basis of British legislators. Until the rise of the Labour and Socialist parties, they were always drawn from wealthy property owners. And if the Tories had their way, they would be explicitly so again. One of the Kipper candidates even said he felt nostalgia for the pre-1834 Reform system, where the property qualification for the franchise excluded the entire working class and most of the middle class from voting.

Guy Debord's Cat

At election time, politicians from the main parties (and UKIP) will repeat the mantra of low taxes and blah, blah, blah. There is a group of people whom these politicians always ignore, unless it’s to claim they will “create jobs” or offer some kind of “job guarantee” for a certain age group. Who am I talking about?  The people on out of work benefits. These are the forgotten voters.

The rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) has failed to keep pace with the increased cost of living.  There are two kinds of JSA: Contributory and Income-based. The rates for each are exactly the same. I won’t bother going into detail about the minor differences, because they’re not that important. The only real difference is the rate for couples.

The rates are

AgeJSA weekly amount
18 to 24up to £57.90
25 or overup to £73.10

For those on Income-based…

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