It had completely escaped my attention, for example, that one could enter determined to find employment in, say, the care industry, but exit - after a few incantations had been implanted into the brain - with an irresistible urge to don lingerie and expose oneself to strangers.
But, apparently, this process occurs on a daily basis. In the jobless go, only to emerge a matter of minutes later with a completely different fundamental outlook on life. And unlike hypnosis, which purportedly cannot force anyone to do something against their natural will, the power of the job centre is far more seductive.
Lap dancing clubs and sex phone line firms will be banned from using job centres to recruit new staff, ministers have announced.Wow! If this is true, the scope for such a compelling place is immense. We could eradicate unemployment at a stroke.
Mr Grayling said: “It’s absolutely wrong that the Government advertises jobs that could support the exploitation of people.
“We’ve taken immediate action today to stop certain adult entertainment vacancies from being advertised through Jobcentre Plus.
“We shouldn't put vulnerable people in an environment where they’re exposed to these types of jobs and could feel under pressure to work in the sex industry.”
Got a feckless arse-scratching ex-brickie on the DWP books? Simple, just shove him through the door and he will instantly come out gagging to sweep roads.
Oh, hold on.
Its aim is to protect unemployed people who are desperate to find work from feeling that they must consider taking jobs that they are not comfortable with.I knew there would be a catch. It's the 'desperate' bit, isn't it?
In which case, Grayling is somewhat over-estimating the lure of your average Jobcentre Plus (by the way, where did the 'plus' come from? Do they come with a gift shop nowadays?). Those who may be 'desperate' for work - and have the correct *cough* equipment for the job - would no doubt have considered lap dancing, or talking dirty to old men over a phone line while dressed in Kappa trackie bottoms, well before having a light bulb flicker above their head in a job centre.
If they hadn't, they could always just not apply, couldn't they?
Additionally, I reckon there are quite a few lap dancing establishments who would be rather miffed to be described as being inherently exploitative, whilst other employers whose uniform is an apron rather than stockings, are automatically considered safe.
So, if we are to believe that this measure is required, one of three conditions must surely be prevalent as things stand.
1) That Jobcentre Plus staff are threatening to withdraw benefits if women don't apply for such jobs - in which case, direct them not to do so.
2) That sex industry employers are routinely exploiting their workers - in which case, make sure that they don't (which I'm pretty sure is heavily regulated already).
3) That the government doesn't believe that Jobcentre Plus visitors are capable of possessing (or shouldn't be allowed to possess) self-determination.
So, this appears not so much to do with the lure of such adverts as it does the deficiency of public sector operations, or a traditional Conservative dislike of anything a bit risqué.
The most irresistible urge in this story would appear to be that of the state's addiction to restricting the public from making their own, right or wrong, choices in life.