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Chris Grayling; Remedial Student

February 25, 2012

I attach, below, the open letter Chris Grayling sent to Polly Toynbee on #workfare, corrected. This Government seems determined to treat us like children. This is especially evident whenever Cameron adopts that vile let-me-tell-you-a-story voice, as if he is about to explain The Princess And The Pea to a kindergarten class. It seems only fair to respond, in kind.

For a higher resolution image of the letter, click here.


It seemed, at best, ill-advised for “Chris” to send this open letter to Politics Home expecting that “Polly” would not “tear him a new one”. Which she did, in one paragraph:

Few who know how the programme actually works would recognise Chris Grayling’s description. I supported Michael Heseltine’s programme, which was also dubbed workfare in 1996, because he obeyed three vital principles for a good work scheme: people were paid extra above their benefits for working, the work was for charities or communities, so no danger of displacing minimum wage shelf-stackers at Tesco and the pressure was applied at a time when jobs were plentiful. You have disregarded all three. The protest against Tesco has done nothing but good. Now Tesco is offering pay and a guaranteed permanent job to all on the scheme – and that makes all the difference to its worth. Well done protesters!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Cath permalink
    February 25, 2012 3:59 pm

    How did this man get a job in politics? Surely even Tesco would have questioned his communication skills…

    • david bartlett permalink
      February 25, 2012 5:02 pm

      That’s brilliant!

  2. February 25, 2012 4:03 pm

    I don’t know about others, but I resent being lectured like this by an expenses cheat.
    He has lied to parliament and stolen from the public purse. Not a good recommendation for a Job Seeker, let alone a government minister

  3. david bartlett permalink
    February 25, 2012 5:00 pm

    Bravo! Another superb blog. Grayling was an arrogant apologist to even consider writing such a letter in the first place, but to write it so badly makes him look like an incompetent buffoon, too. Well. Graylg; if the shoo fits…

  4. February 25, 2012 5:32 pm

    The definition of”WORK” is surely a paid endevour in these circumstances and to do that “WORK” along side anyone doing the same “WORK” the renumeration has to be equal to both parties. whatever the circumstances.
    How can you have “WORK” experience if there is no “WORK” and no pay as they are united , you are otherwise engaged in observation…………..which in some circumstances is also a paid endevour as it is also classed as “WORK” something that decision makers do and they dont do it for they.

    • February 25, 2012 6:18 pm

      Dear Rick – Hardly an exclusive. Polly says in her short reply that she is not against such schemes per se, provided certain conditions are met. Economic conditions in 1997 (when this article was published) were fairly different to this long recession we are living through currently.

  5. February 25, 2012 5:57 pm

    Has Chris Grayling written to Burger King in the same vein?

  6. February 25, 2012 6:25 pm

    Thank you. You gave me a laugh when I was sorely in need of one

  7. February 25, 2012 6:59 pm

    You cannot expect Ministers to write correctly surely? They cannot even speak correctly.

  8. Katie Chainsaw permalink
    February 25, 2012 7:06 pm

    Brilliant! Absolutely fantastic! 😀

  9. Rob McD permalink
    February 25, 2012 7:46 pm

    This really does demonstrate the caliber of politicians we have today. It also probably explains why the government’s consultancy/script writer budget has gone through the roof.

    We now have the Mister-Men government – Mr Spiv, Mr Flip-flop, Mr Numberdunce, Mr Thicky-literate, and Mrs Boarder-Chaos.

    God, please, when will it end?

  10. Rob McD permalink
    February 25, 2012 7:54 pm

    P.S – Caught a Minister on the BBC news today claiming that the people who object to their slave labour job policy are all Communists! Wow, better a right minded communist than a thick Tory politician who can’t even spell.

    • February 25, 2012 7:57 pm

      George Eustice MP. Was on the hourly cycle for most of the day as the only view on workfare. Which was balanced of the BBC, I thought.

    • Ben permalink
      February 27, 2012 11:32 pm

      I know there’s a vast swathe of the conservative party that really really wants to turn Britain into the USA, but someone ought to tell them that they haven’t quite managed it yet, and you can’t win a political argument just by calling your opponent a communist.

  11. March 7, 2012 8:56 am

    You’re my hero of the day.


  1. Chris Grayling to reduce unemployment by One. « Birmingham University Labour Students

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