Many thanks to George Orwell FB
The Internet Paradox, and its implications for Universal Credit.
Put simply UC could not work if it wasn’t for the internet. The fact is Humans are more intelligent, after all, Humans invented the computer and internet. Yet computers are far faster at processing data than we Humans, as such this technology is being used to run rings around us. To achieve the level of state interference that we have come to would have been impossible before the internet. Can you imagine how the job centre would have coped without this technology, if we all (some 8 million of us, on UC) piled into the jobcentres daily?.
Here is some of the maths:
At the moment, there are “officially” 1.9 million unemployed, but we all know there is more since those sanctioned or on workfare are not counted.
(Incidentally, the official unemployment figures will be easily manipulated under UC by definition).
UC will have 8 million claimants approximately at any one time.
There are 750 jobcentres.
There are 78’000 JCP staff, they will be reduced to 71’000 (this assumes they are all full time, which they are not) staff according to the PCS union.
This equates to 10’666 UC claimants for every JCP, if that was spread over a “once every 2 week attendance” (10 days actual), that would be 1066 people per day per jobcentre.
By the same rule, there would be 95 staff members in each JCP. Therefore each JCP staff member would have to see 12 clients per day.
All perfectly doable.
However, they are considering daily sign in. That would see 10666 claimant descend on each jobcentre, and each advisor would have to deal with 112 claimants per day. This would mean each claimant would get 3 minutes with their advisor. Not exactly possible.
Earlier, I asked, how many “public access computers” were in the JCP’s. Answers varied from 1 to 20, so lets say an average of 10. Consider that some people who are on current benefits have no internet access or skill to use them. I speak of those who claim one or more of WTC, CTC, HB, and IS. They are not under conditionality. However, they will be under UC, and there only way to access the internet would be in the JCP (and possibly the library), who is going to help them?, and how many will there be?.
The internet has made us as a society more insular in all sorts of ways, I mean, I talk to people on the other side of the planet, on here, yet I don’t know my neighbours names.
If the government go ahead with this daily signing thing (and do look out for those 3ins by 6ins pads on there desks), one thing is for certain, thousands of us will be in the same “overly oppressed” boat, and the upside here is we will see each other face to face. All we would have to do is talk face to face, you know, how it used to be.
Who knows what will happen if we begin to unite face to face, without Big Brother watching you via the internet.