Tuesday 3 August 2010

Scouting For Girls

I've never been in a job centre before, so was entirely unaware of the quite magical aura of such a place.

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.

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.”
Wow! If this is true, the scope for such a compelling place is immense. We could eradicate unemployment at a stroke.

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.


Bucko said...

If they can't advertise in the jobcentre, there's always the Guardian.

Oldrightie said...

"a traditional Conservative dislike of anything a bit risqué."

I can think of many Conservatives who would vehemently disagree with that statement, Dick. Well, one anyway.
The "plus" is the awarding of benefits according to voting intention, I believe.

Smoking Hot said...

l thought Labour lost the election. Was l just dreaming?

More ill thought-out knee-jerk laws on the statute books. (maybe the use of any reference to 'thought' is wrong as it gives the impression of actually thinking).

Reminds me of that idiot Lab MP Denis MacShane and his 25,000 trafficked sex workers a year statement that was bandied about so more stupid regulations could be brought in. When Nick Davies did an investigaion to find just one of these 25,000 he came up with the resounding figure of zero!

Grayling is correct about exploitation though ... men are relieved of their money very effectively by these 'exploited' dancers.

JuliaM said...

"l thought Labour lost the election. Was l just dreaming?"

Labout might have lost the battle, but their Righteous footsoldiers seem to be intent on winning the war...

J Bonington Jagworth said...

I can see the Law of Unintended Consequences kicking in here. At least if people get such a job via a Jobcentre, then they will have some redress if they really do get exploited and HMG will have a handle on the perps.

The employers, however, will know this and behave accordingly, or would do if they hadn't just been encouraged to look elsewhere.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Bucko: That would be sure to go down a storm.

OR: Present company excepted, of course. :)

SH: Very true. I've only met one lap dancer, but she was seriously minted!

Julia: Indeed. It's going to take a generation to change the general mindset ... if at all.

JBJ: Yep, good point. The same kind of consequences are apparently occurring as a result of newspapers refusing advertising by escorts/masseurs (wink, wink). Starved of advertising, they either paper the phone boxes more or resort to walking the streets. Puritans will never understand human nature, unfortunately.

McRantin said...

I see we have now entered the realm of "state approved" professions.

History teaches us that if the state turns it back on a profession be it offically (i.e. by making it illegal) or semi-officially as in this case then the exploitation INCREASES. What planet are these people on?

Anonymous said...

"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."

I can confirm that Jobcentre Plus have language recognition software built into built into both of the tools they use for entering new vacancy’s, so that only JC+ staff can enter 'adult entertainment' vacancy’s, and all such jobs are flagged so that no benefits are withdrawn when the client refuses to take the job.

Anonymous said...

Come on Westminster Levellers,
lets have one mega Cromwellian
shut down of laughter and joy.
Chop down the Maypoles,close down
the taverns,board up the dance halls,banish the bingo dens.
Let the Quaker MPs and their Methodist greyheads force us into
our Shaker furnished loneliness
where we can await an extended
life of misery ended only by
state assisted obligatory euthanasia.

Oh England,swiftly pass unto my
eager arm, a shield of burning gold.
into my shaking fist a sword of
gleaming steel
Let us give these servants of sorrow good reason to kneel and pray.

Restoration Mk II