Monday, 15 November 2010

More Victorian Nonsense - workhouses and slave labour

So, there is a post up on Labour List suggesting that IDS's policies will drive the poor 'back to the workhouse'. I thought first of all that mentioning workhouses in the headline was an absurd rhetorical trope, but no, the author really does seem convinced that workhouses are going to be built because he says in the body of the article that the new policies are 'driving the undeserving poor into the workhouse.' Apparently they are 'nothing short of wicked.' The author has just enough self-awareness to say that 'To describe it as ‘slave labour’ sounds an absurd exaggeration' but then thoroughly ruins it by saying 'yet how exactly is it going to differ?' Er, in that they're not slaves, maybe?

I wonder, will any of these people apologise when workhouses aren't built and when chained gangs of slaves don't appear on our streets?

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