Monday, 1 June 2009
New Deal Provider Shoots Itself in Foot?
Now at first glance I'd have to say that this is just plain wrong. Someone on the New Deal gets their benefits suspended for criticising the New Deal Training provider on the web and setting the training computers homepage to Ipswich Unemployment Action.
Andrew Coates of the Tendance Coatsey blog is a 'dyed-in-the-wool' but self depreciating far leftist. I remember him from 30 years ago when we did the same course at university, but he won't recognise me as I don't use my real name on this blog and in any event we weren't anything more than nodding acquaintances then and we haven't run across each other since. I didn't agree with him politically back then and there is still much on his blog that I disagree with today. I can quite imagine he might be a fully paid up member of 'the awkward squad'.
But... this is just bloody outrageous. He is perfectly entitled to criticise any aspect of the New Deal. He is perfectly entitled to use what the provider might consider intemperate language in doing so. If the YMCA - the Training Provider - can actually show he was writing the blog during time he should have been absorbing the 'training' he was so critical of they might have a case. But they have no moral or legal right to employ sanctions of any kind, never mind ones of this draconian nature, if he's been writing this stuff in his own time. & as for resetting the homepage of the training computers as a reason for cutting off his benefits life support...well, get a bloody life I'd say.
I think this one is going to run and run.
Update: Ah. Footshooting halted. Benefits restored - or at least a new claim encouraged. (I'm not sure there is much difference given the inflexible nature of many computer systems). 'Training' to recommence in autumn, once new provider is in place. Read all about it over at TC.