One of the present government’s big ideas is that all should contribute; they want people who cannot or aren’t working to contribute, by volunteering, and continuing to look for work, which few people would find issue with, and many have long been quietly practicing.
And yet the recent court case in which a geology graduate was forced to work as a shelf stacker/cleaner in a discount store completely destroys this. She was not some slacker being supported by the state, but was actively looking for work, and volunteering in a local museum, so hardly wasting her time.
She was forced to accept a job in a discount chain, promised training but she won her case because she just did a load of grunt work which prevented her from her other activities, which are more likely to benefit herself and her community.
It is not a matter – as Ian Duncan Smith claimed – of one job being more valuable than the other, it was a matter of breach of contract, and the stupid attitude that all the unemployed need to be forced to work.
The fact is, that she was already doing all the right things to find work, and what she was already doing was more likely to contribute something positive to society. Anyone physically able can stock shelves, but in a country short of scientists, she has more potential and her skills should not have been wasted in this way.