Last night I was pondering the State of Things with @watfordgap. Particularly how the government would have us believe that ALL people on benefits are shirkers/ skivers – regardless of previous history, illness, caring responsibilities etc. We do not like workfare and the de-humanising of those without a job. There was an opinion piece in the Guardian on Friday and it looks like Justin Welby has started saying similar things too.
We had an idea.
What we wanted to do was go to a job centre with a sign that says ‘this person is valuable’ and follow people around. But we thought that might be more creepy and less helpful.
Then we thought… what about tea and cake? Turning up to a job centre with tea, and cake, and handing them out, outside. Picnic table, chequered cloth, invite people to join us for a brew, a cake, and a natter.
There are forty seven million hoops we’d have to jump through to get this idea to work. But we liked the idea that on one day soon, lots of us could go to our high streets with tea, cake, a table and some chairs to let people sit, and be listened to. We can’t change the government (yet), we can’t change the bureaucracy and de-personalisation of the benefits system (I am not a number, I am a free man), but we can listen and we can, for a few hours, do something daft.