Who are the ‘strivers’ and the ‘skivers’?

Baroness Lister of Burtersett

I’m getting increasingly fed up with the way in which the debate about social security cuts is being framed by those two stereotyped figures: ‘the striver’ and ‘the skiver’ (substitute ‘shirker’ or ‘scrounger’ according to taste).  Strivers stand for people who do paid work; skivers people of working age who don’t.

The main line of argument emerging among those who oppose benefit cuts seems to be that they are in fact hitting many ‘strivers’.  People often forget that many low income workers receive state support through various benefits and tax credits; these too will be cut in real terms.  As Polly Toynbee puts it eloquently in today’s Guardian: ‘These cuts fall on many more people in work than out of work, not the workshy but those rising at 4am to clean offices on the minimum wage, but still earning too little to keep food on the table for their children’.  It’s a good point, which needs to be made.

But isn’t there a danger that this important argument could at the same time be feeding the idea that the out-of-work are all skivers and scroungers?  They are not.  Most of them are ‘strivers’ too.  As striving appears to have become synonymous with working, I checked its dictionary meaning.  The one that best fits the bill is ‘to make one’s way with effort’.  Well generally people living on benefit are making their way with considerable effort.  It may be the effort of seeking work or of doing their best by their children.  It may be the effort of simply trying to get by on benefits, which will be considerably more challenging, particularly for mothers as the managers of poverty, as they are cut in real terms.  Moreover, the division of the world into ‘strivers’ and ‘skivers’ ignores the fact that at the bottom of today’s insecure labour market many people are frequently moving in and out of work.  So even if such labels did bear any relationship to working and not-working, we would not be talking about two discrete groups as the labels imply.

Do you agree that it’s time to stop using divisive labels such as these, which demonise and stigmatise many people who are claiming benefits through no fault of their own?

32 comments for “Who are the ‘strivers’ and the ‘skivers’?

  1. Lord Blagger
    07/12/2012 at 11:02 am

    I think we can categorise those who cost society over 2,000 pounds a day in the parasite class.

    Don’t you agree?

    • Greg Taylor
      07/12/2012 at 8:31 pm

      Who are the individuals you consider the parasite class. My father served many years in the armed forces, he ended up with an HONOURABLE discharge on medical grounds. He suffered with an accute form of complex post traumatic stress dissorder. He can not work, he can barely go outside his own house without having anxiety attacks that are so strong the uninitiated might think he was having a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Is he a parasite. What if I tell you that’s not my father, but me. What if I told you I’ve never served in the armed forces, but as a result of experiences I had in childhood, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not elaborating on this, I ended barely able to function day to day. Am I a parasite?

  2. Lord Blagger
    07/12/2012 at 11:42 am

    Now lets look at what you’ve done to people’s pensions.

    After all, its the state that operates the state pension system.

    So what do we know.

    Assets held – zero. Unless you think that writing yourself an IOU makes something valuable.

    What about liabilities? Well that’s hidden off the books. According to the state’s accountants (Also accountants to Bernie Maddoff), you don’t owe people a state pension. It’s optional. However, the ONS have lowballed the debts at 4.7 trillion. Not billion, trillion.

    Never going to be paid. The welfare state has robbed people blind.

    So lets take the median wage earner. 26K a year currently. 40 years ago that was 700 a year. If their NI had been invested in the FTSE, that would have generated a fund of 550,000 pounds at retirement.

    The state pension costs 130,000 pounds.

    You have ripped off a 26K a year earner for 420,000 pounds, and hide this from them.

    You have made them poor, because you’ve taken their money and given it to other people. Blunt but the truth.

    Why don’t you stand up and tell people that you’ve got value for money out of spending their retirement fund?

    I think I know the answer. You don’t particularly care about the people who’ve paid a massive price.

    • Greg
      10/12/2012 at 5:27 pm

      “What I’ve done”
      Stand by your words with conviction & create an email account you will never use after what I will suggest. Post said Email, so we can arrange a meet, so you can say these things to my face. I doubt you will, as you no doubt lack the courage of your convictions.
      Before you hark on about someone resorting to threats. No threat has been made, but before I even begin to respect your comment, I must first see if you have courage to back them up. Otherwise you’re just a coward, attacking people behind the shield of anonymity.

  3. Sharon
    07/12/2012 at 11:46 am

    I’m so glad you brought this subject up. Someone needed to.
    Yes I am fed up with being labelled as a skiver, scrounger etc just because I am ill and are unable to work. It starts a snowball effect and every day we have to put up with comments on social media and in the general public because people are being riled up by this government. Even the housing association is jumping on the bandwagon and making life hard for us now. They are now making us pay extra rent each week just incase we get into arrears in the future.
    It’s disgusting how those looking for work and those who are unable to work, are being treated right now. We have no say in our lives any more, we’re just being moved around like lumps of meat and made to go hungry and cold in the winter because of the rising prices of energy and food in line with the pittance we get to live on.

    An example of what we have to put up with:-
    A friend of mine who is type 1 diabetic and has been since a young age who was in receipt of DLA and Income support recently got thrown into the whole ATOS fiasco. He’s never going to get better and suffers with diabetic neuropathy, asthma and has difficulty with his joints which often gets enflamed leaving him unable to move around and in severe pain. After going for his ATOS assessment was found fit to work when those of us who know him clearly know he’s not.
    He then has to go to the doctors every month for a letter and in doing so comes across a lady doctor who basically tells him even though he is ill, he shouldn’t be asking for sick notes just because he’s facing an appeal and asked her about some chest pains he had been suffering. She didn’t even look into the chest pains which he is still suffering.
    This is the treatment we have to face every day just because the government are calling us names.

    • Lord Blagger
      07/12/2012 at 4:34 pm

      It’s a direct result of letting things get out of hand.

      The escalation in the number of disabled from 1 to 2.5 million, and the corresponding increase in payouts is the problem.

      Remember too, that the direct result of this is that a worker on 26K a year, has lost 420,000 pounds from their notional retirement fund.

      Have you consider the effect of 20 years in poverty on those people?

      • maude elwes
        08/12/2012 at 4:20 pm

        You are so wrong it is unbelievable that you could dare write that here Blagger.

        None of these people are to blame for the s**t we are in but the financiers, banks and governments who decided to go along with them and are no trying to save their own bottoms.

        These people did not fraud themselves out of their social welfare fund. That is a frame they are being put in. And the worst of all is you know it and are going along with the charade. Are your crazy? It began with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac and that god awful US government who pushed the horror of it around the markets here. Our City and our Bank of England and our Government brought this on and they did to line their own nests. As in Blair.

        So stop this hatred you have toward our people. I’m sick to death of it. And sick to death of all of this pretense at pointing it toward those who are suffering so badly and the least to blame for any of it.

        The children are starving, the elderly hungry and cold, and the young cannot find work. It is a set up and a set up from the top.

        So stop it.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaYjA18IUpI

        And the economist.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaYjA18IUpI

        • Lord Blagger
          09/12/2012 at 6:57 pm

          Well, if you are capable of voluntary work, you are capable of work.

          Why should other people be forced to pay for you to do as you see fit?

          So lets allocate the blame for the mess.

          Lets start off with government losses on the banks?

          B&B. 2.5 billion paid out in compensation. Actually, it comes from the customers of other banks, and the losses come from the customers too, the ones that didn’t pay their debts. However, lets be generous. It’s all from the government and other people’s pockets. [Still waiting to confirm how generous you are with your own cash]

          Offset against that? 35 billion in penal interest rates. Oh dear, kind of makes the argument that its the fault of the banks a bit problematic to argue when the state is profiteering.

          So how about the state?

          Well, back to that 26K a year earner. They’ve lost 420,000 pounds of pension, and that’s to pay for those people who would rather work and still get benefits.

          Total state debts, 7,000 bn. Fraud – yes.

          You’re not prepared at all to consider the impact on those 26K a year workers who are going to lose even more, because the money has gone on those who aren’t suffering but have claimed.

          Likewise, if I tell you that the genuinely ill should be helped, you will never acknowledge it.

          The children are starving, the elderly hungry and cold, and the young cannot find work. It is a set up and a set up from the top.

          Yep, its the welfare state that took money from people, running a Ponzi, and leaving debts that can’t be paid. Open your eyes.

          • maude elwes
            10/12/2012 at 11:41 am

            It is you, Blagger, who must open your eyes. Welfare benefit fraud is highlighted as a set up to persuade the people of mass disability fraud by those who are barely able to survive. That is patently a lie and has been perpetuated for decades as this article will show.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/figures-for-benefit-fraud-misleading-government-statistics-contradicted-1460573.html

            Here are the latest DWP figures for you to absorb.

            http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd2/index.php?page=fraud_error

            You will note there is no increase in this figure. And if you remove the errors to the fraud costs it amounts, in government expenditure figures, to a negligible total.

            However, the fraud from non payment of tax amounts to £32 billion and rising. Way outdoing that of so called benefit fraud. So, if I were you, I would concentrate on that high figure you and the rest of us are being done for.

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/14/disability-living-allowance-reform-analysis

            Individuals in the Tory party are guilty of creating ‘hate crime’ against the poorest and most vulnerable people in society. Whilst, at the same time, they elevate those who defraud the tax payer by very much more owed to the treasury than the poorest could ever get close to.

            Why should the tax payer fund the wealthy more than they already do? It is outrageous that society should pay to fund wages that are so low a full time worker cannot live off of them and has to receive benefit as a result. If the wealthy can afford to send their money off shore in order to avoid what should be their rightful tax rate, then they have more than enough to provide an adequate wage to their workers.

            And you know it.

  4. Rhodri Mawr
    07/12/2012 at 1:48 pm

    The noble Baroness, whom I am glad to know, makes some wise remarks.

    at the bottom of today’s insecure labour market many people are frequently moving in and out of work

    For my six penn’orth, (and I have been counted amongst the low earners from time to time,even while NOT making claims for attending parliamentary committees, and contributing to them; that was my way;) successive bureaucrats, and successive government ministers devise new ways of, and new jargon to, prevent the system, such as it is, from becoming atrophied.

    The Tax credit was devised to allow for those who did not know whether they were coming or going, or whether their benefit office was either, so that the moment they were in work, their tax credits stopped, and the moment they were out of work, they started again. It seemed, and may still seem, an effective system of checks and balances.

    Every four or five years a new method of classifying the different groups of recipients or low earners is thought out, and the language in the parliamentary Bills and acts reflects it, and certainly makes those who have fallen beside the “striving” wayside in to the “skiving” morass of mud, think again as to what their basic rights are.

    The system evolves; it is effective and has to be managed day on day, month on month, year on year.

    It is good management for somebody who only earns say £5000 for a full working week not to be charged ant tax and for those earnings to be considered as nought earnings
    for the purpose of their claims.

    What they need to survive, as self respecting human beings ,in an advanced civlized society,is what is at stake, not whether they are striving or skiving.

    Subsistence may not be as pleasant as Existence but the state does its best to ensure that it gets somewhere near to it.

    Every employed person has a declared right to one year “sabbatical” in five for retraining, as well.

  5. maude elwes
    07/12/2012 at 2:58 pm

    Baroness:

    It is time the human rights lawyers began to make a case in the European court for government hate crime. This constant reference to people who cannot find work, or, are in work and being paid such a low rate, is not only divisive in our society it is aimed at those people who are the most unfortunate we have

    The skivers are those who are making fortunes and not paying tax, or, so little tax it’s a joke.

    These derogatory terms you speak of are a political ploy to create hatred of a part of our society. Just as it is when people refer to certain races or people of a certain religion as unacceptable to that same society.

    This government has just raised taxes on the middle earners whilst allowing multimillionaires to avoid any form of true taxation. Keep it off shore and keep it all. Oh, yes, they tell us they will address it, but when? Next April? Will it be in line to remove their funds by 2013? Or, was this an oversight or a forgotten move on their part?

    We are a nation who was told by our government that we could expect care, whatever our circumstances, to be available for us to death and now they want to change to deal. Yet, they still remove the money from the wages and call it taxes. They remove it unmercifully from salaries but not emoluments, this is to pretend they continue with that contract made by Beveridge. They are forcing the poor into starvation of not only adults but children and done because of the decisions they made that turned out to be dreadful judgement and because of their innate greed.

    Yet, we also read, government intend, at the same time as forcing the poor into dreadful starvation (that is what takes place when people have to go to food hand out centres, they are starving) to give themselves a raise of more than double what they receive now.

    This has to be a criminal act. To take money under false pretenses is a criminal act and that is what every person in government, top and bottom, is doing by going along with this. Why is parliament going along with this? You are being duped along with us out of there.

    They are trying to hide under the collective body of a Corporation where no charges are brought personally. When each one of them should be held responsible for their actions.

    As in Nuremburg, this cannot be acceptable.

    Lest we forget.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQnGO9geYW4

    One day those who carry out mass hatred on this scale find it catches up with them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG9wCSrTbXs

    Rationing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG9wCSrTbXs

    And what the people really think not what the propaganda machine tries to tell you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgNo2Nyp-TY

    • Lord Blagger
      07/12/2012 at 4:37 pm

      We are a nation who was told by our government that we could expect care, whatever our circumstances, to be available for us to death and now they want to change to deal. Yet, they still remove the money from the wages and call it taxes. They remove it unmercifully from salaries but not emoluments, this is to pretend they continue with that contract made by Beveridge.

      =============

      To be fair on Beveridge when it comes to NI, his idea was that it went into a fund.

      However, governments took it, spent it, and now the kitty is bear.

      However, his other idea, eugenics, is alive and kicking. The NHS is bumping people off with the LCP.

      Expect more of that. No doubt someone will suggest no treatment for the disabled next, to save money. Socialists for you. They’ve a track record.

      • maude elwes
        08/12/2012 at 4:22 pm

        And that, Blagger, is what Hitler did.

        • Lord Blagger
          09/12/2012 at 6:59 pm

          Exactly. That’s what Beveridge was all in favour of.

          Remember – Liverpool Care Pathway – nothing to do with the Tories. It’s a Labour policy since it started under Labour.

          At least now its going to hard to hide it.

          • maude elwes
            10/12/2012 at 11:54 am

            And have you noticed the Tories putting an absolute stop to the murder? And if not why not? Additionally, this is not new. It was happening in the 60’s and to babies as well as adults. Only, then it was hidden from view.

            Although, what you cite is proof that we have no party worthy of a vote in this country and it shows in the polls. Which is why voters fish around for idiots akin to UKIP. It is a protest vote and one we should all jump on until we get a party for the people who has better judgment than worrying about gay marriage being shoved down our rejecting throats as a priority. And pushing absurd nonsense about pregnant women having morning sickness. As if somehow it is rare and worthy of umpteen pages of press. Usually women who have a long heritage in coal mining and market trading are a pretty strong breed.

  6. 07/12/2012 at 4:48 pm

    Many would say they work very hard to manage their own complex health condition, and we know that many family carers work pretty much 24/7, often at great cost to their own health & wellbeing. Voluntary work is not appreciated by the benefits system either.

  7. eldnihja
    07/12/2012 at 4:59 pm

    I agree,at various stages in these “definitions”-I have been “striver”;part time striver/skiver and now a full time “skiver”.AS a carer ,it is indeed ironic and illustrates the stupidity of such false distinctions-that now categorised as “skiver”-I exert more mental and physical contribution than ever I did as a “striver” and the net benefit to the State is far more.To insinuate at any level that the sick and disabled by such a method,if they happen not to be in work are “skivers” is beyond decency-all Parties indulge in this with deliberate stereotypical phrases designed to inflame the ignorant and prejudiced;the latest being “lying in bed on benefits” by Osborne-he knows the possible effects of such incivility but smirks ever more

    • maude elwes
      09/12/2012 at 7:49 am

      And listen to this Harvard discussion by a remarkable feminist, Elizabeth Warren, on what happens to those who strive.

      This is called, The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class. They take a time to get to the real speaker but it’s worth the wait. Really good food for thought.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A

      As we joined at the hip to the US system, this applies to us equally.

  8. Lord Blagger
    08/12/2012 at 3:50 pm

    Voluntary work is not appreciated by the benefits system either.

    ==========

    So lets see.

    1. you want other people to pay you, so you can do the work you want.

    2. You want the government to extort money from people, so you can have this money.

    The obvious question, why not cut the government out and ask people directly?

    Ah, they don’t want to do that. They would rather have the money for their families, and not give it to you.

    eldnihja,

    So tell us how you distinguish between the skivers and the disabled?

    You need an objective system, you need one that is universal and not dependent on where you live. You also need the support of the people paying the cash. You also have to have a system that doesn’t put the donors into poverty.

    For example, the current welfare system has taken 420,000 pounds of pension from a 26K a year worker, leaving them with just 130,000 pounds worth of pension. Even that is going to be taken from them, because the government debts are so large.

    Osbourne I suspect does know how far up the swannee the government is, but he’s got a problem. To admit to the dire straights means telling people you’ve robbed them of their pensions. Since all parties have been in on that fraud, and it is a fraud, they won’t.

    So far on this blog, only one peer has been prepared to discuss it. Her comment was that Peston had told her that the government owed a trillion. In fact, that’s just their borrowing, no pensions are included. There is no pension fund for any state pension. It’s worth zero.

  9. MilesJSD
    08/12/2012 at 4:44 pm

    Before wasting more £billions on band-aids such as “banning the labels”, “calling a spade a spade”, “rewarding failed-productivity”
    (with the RBS failed-bankers as the Shining-Example ((whose toes are not to be trodden on lest they should all up-sticks and emigrate lock-stock-and-barrel taking their “expertises” and self-privatised-billions with them, to some poverty-stricken but Tax-Haven third-world country, where they would be able to live literally as “kings” for,
    “in the country-of-the-blind, the one-eyed man becomes king”)) ).

    No; before wasting more of our lifeblood on all that complexified Pretence,
    you governance-and-education-privilegocrats need to help the Public to come to some sort of sustainable (and sustainworthy) terms
    with the insidiously metastising civilisational-disease knowable as
    “Western First World Exemplary Democracy and Affluent-Lifestyling”;

    whereby Britain, within the same impossible-to-be-followed-worldwide “example” set by the USA,
    is a Failed State,
    & thereby imminently a Failed Nation of People.
    [Thank you Maude Elwes for the link to that Evidence].

    Consider:
    how easy, sustainworthily-moral, in fact how bottom-line-possible is it
    for other Nations & Nation-States than the USA and the UK (et al 1st-Worldians)
    to plan their future “growth” “progress” and “sustainability” upon the going bolttom-line Equation dug-in by the USA (and ourselves):
    5% of the World’s People consume 25% of the World’s Resources
    and also keep ‘cornered’ under our control, some 80% of the World’s total renewable and non-renewable resources and stock ?

    In short, our “workforce” is
    over-all and long-term ‘bottom-line’
    just as much a Failure as is the USA’s;

    and so is our “Lifeplace”, consuming many more human-livings than we are rationally and ecolonomically* “entitled” to.

    * ecolonomically = economically with the altogether Finite longterm Earth-Ecologies factored-in.
    ———–
    So how many of your “genuine workers” (and/or “strivers\”) are
    genuinely working long-term sustain-worthily and sustainably ?

    and how do we need to re-define “skivers”,
    without adding a key-label
    such as “great-pretenders” “fat-cats” “animal-farm-pigs**” ?

    ** George Orwell’s “Animal-Farm” pigs became the kings-of-the-castle and soon surreptitiously at dead of night altered the Constitution from “All animals are equal” to
    “But some animals are more equal than others (namely the ruling pigs)”.

    • Lord Blagger
      09/12/2012 at 7:01 pm

      So why the problems with Google going to Switzerland, Amazon to Ireland?

      Just as people were telling you, the effect of going after people is that they will move.

      Now they are scum for upping sticks.

      It’s a global world. People can move. We aren’t yet at the position of Nazi Germany demanding exit money from the Jews, but its getting close.

      e.g

      with the Kews as the Shining-Example ((whose toes are not to be trodden on lest they should all up-sticks and emigrate lock-stock-and-barrel taking their “expertises” and self-privatised-billions with them, to some poverty-stricken but Tax-Haven third-world country, where they would be able to live literally as “kings” for,
      “in the country-of-the-blind, the one-eyed man becomes king

      Sounds familiar. Just one word changed.

      • maude elwes
        10/12/2012 at 12:05 pm

        And the answer to that, Blagger, is their top brass must move there with them and take their entire family out of the country to the place they hoard their cash. Banish them. As they did the King who abdicated in favour of his American divorcee.

        And whilst we are at it, Europe must, across the entire continent, raise the taxes in line with all the countries civilised enough and fit for purpose. Ireland must toe the line, as must Switzerland, or lose what benefits they have for inclusion in a trading zone that is beneficial to them personally. This will include Canada, New Zealand and Australia. At the same time tax requirement must be back dated by at least five years.

        Otherwise, they must set up family life in the now unfit USA.

  10. Peter Nicholls
    08/12/2012 at 9:09 pm

    A great blog entry and about time this side of the debate was put across. A shame about the comments though. A lot of misinformation and misunderstandings present.

    I’ll tackle just one. The PROPORTION of the population on ‘disability’ benefits has remained pretty much static over many years. The ‘count’ is meaningless.

  11. Lord Blagger
    10/12/2012 at 4:10 pm

    Maude,

    On benefit fraud.

    You can have both the receipiant committing fraud. You can also have the government committing legalised fraud.

    You only acknowledge the first and stick your fingers in your ears, cover your eyes when it comes to the second.

    1. Why has the number of disabled gone from 1 million to 2.5 million?

    Answer the government has hidden the unemployed by paying them disabled benefits.

    2. Explain the number of people asked to turn up at ATOS, but have refused.

    Answer, lots will not be disabled. So rather than be caught out, and become a fraud statistic, lots have opted out of disability claims. Not in your statistics.

    Meanwhile, what’s happened with people state pension contributions (state second pension as well, and civil service pension contributions) Ah yes, you’ve spent them haven’t you.


    It is outrageous that society should pay to fund wages that are so low a full time worker cannot live off of them and has to receive benefit as a result.

    Absolutely spot on.

    Now, why is it that the state taxes people on minimum wage? Ah yes, you want their money. The Peers want their money. They need 140 of them to slave away to keep them going for a year.

    If the wealthy can afford to send their money off shore in order to avoid what should be their rightful tax rate, then they have more than enough to provide an adequate wage to their worker

    What’s rightful about the tax rate?

    Taxes are for services. Not for funding life style choices like working for the voluntary sector.

    However, taxes are going on debts. Taxes for pensions have been spent. There isn’t the money even after nicking people’s pensions to pay for your benefits. Easy to show that.

    Spending 730 bn. Income 550 bn. 30% overspend.

    So why should people pay for their pensions, when the state won’t/can’t pay?

    For example, if you were defrauded by someone, should the courts insist you carry on paying the fraudster?

  12. Lord Blagger
    10/12/2012 at 4:12 pm

    And the answer to that, Blagger, is their top brass must move there with them and take their entire family out of the country to the place they hoard their cash. Banish them. As they did the King who abdicated in favour of his American divorcee.

    They are just going to move their money to a safe haven.

    Remember what the Nazi’s did. They forced the Jews to hand over all their assets, in order to let them leave. The others they murdered and stole from.

    I suspect you’ll suggest exit taxes soon as well.

  13. MilesJSD
    11/12/2012 at 5:51 pm

    Come the Revolution

    which bodies will be counted “sustainworthy”

    and which fat-heads will roll ?

  14. Baroness Lister of Burtersett
    Baroness Lister of Burtersett
    12/12/2012 at 1:19 pm

    Some reflections on some of the comments for which thanks:
    Sharon thanks for posting how it feels to be labelled in this way.
    Lord Blagger: your question as to why someone is not capable of paid work, if capable of voluntary work suggests you don’t understand that capability for work isn’t an all or nothing condition. There could be plenty of people who can do an hour here or there of voluntary work, not subject to the requirements of an actual job, who might find it very difficult to hold down a full time or even part time job. And arguably voluntary work is as of much, if not more, benefit to society than some of the jobs people do.
    Maude elwes – I’m not sure I’d want to criminalise this kind of labelling but I do agree that it needs to be taken more seriously particularly by the media. Some people have coined the term ‘povertyism’ to show how it’s akin to racism etc.
    Jane Young and eldnihja – very good points about caring. And implicit in eldnihja’s post and also a point made in milesjsd’s is one I should have made in my original blog: that not all people in paid work are necessarily ‘strivers’ anyway. Some will be content to get by doing what is required; others might be out and out ‘skivers’. Many workplaces know at least one!

    • MilesJSD
      15/12/2012 at 7:18 pm

      Not overlooking, please, that many part-time and even unpaid volunteer-workers are genuine “strivers”, both in the workplace and in their lifeplace;

      nor that when the ‘team-constrained’ worker has to stand idly. genuinely waiting for some other worker to ‘catch-up’,
      it is NOT “striving” to be puffing away at cigarettes for that waiting-time;
      but it would be a genuine sort of “striving” to get out (for instance) the GCSE or A-level swot-cards, or summaries book, and be absorbibg some of it –

      or even seriously practicing a “Relaxercise” or “Mindfulness” exercise the while –

      wouldn’t you say ?

  15. Lord Blagger
    12/12/2012 at 1:58 pm

    The problem is that the number of disabled has rocketed from 1 million to 2.5 million.

    Over the same period trillions have been pumped into the NHS.

    Risky industrial jobs such as mining have disappeared over the same period.

    People suffering from industrial illnesses have died off.

    So what’s going on is people have been pushed from unemployment to disability.

    Now you point out they are capable of some sort of work, and that’s evident. However you want them to still be paid by the state.

    So what’s the effect of those payments?

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_263808.pdf puts the hidden debt, government’s big fraud, at 4,700,000 million. That’s the amount owing to people who have paid in, for their state pension. Given you only tax 550 bn a year, and there are other debts too, you can’t pay them.

    You’ve robbed people of their retirement money, in order to fund people’s life style choices. At least 1.5 million of them.

    On top of that, if people had invested their NI, the median worker would have had 550,000 pounds in a fund. The state pension that you can’t even pay only costs 130,000.

    So you’re welfare heaven has robbed that 26K a year worker of 420,000 pounds.

    That’s why government keeps the debt secret.

    It’s also why you’re still taxing people in poverty, because to pay the pittance on offer, you have too. Rob Peter to pay Paul.

    The end result of handing this money out to people who didn’t need it, is that its going to go all Greek, and people who need help won’t get it. The disabled are going to suffer because of your actions.

    Far from helping those in poverty, your redistribution and tax have made people poor.

    e.g 420,000 pounds taken from someone earning 26K , and more to come.

  16. michael
    19/07/2013 at 2:13 pm

    The point for me is that striver actually means getting ahead not simply in work. But most people in work as i can see are getting nowhere and most are struggling. You can be in work but not a go getter. You can be out of work and not lazy. This is a kind of polarising nonsense language to divide and conquer. The question is also how people get work not necessarily that you want to do it. Most people are either lucky in the right place at the right time and know particular people. The people who can shout the loudest often get it not necessarily they are the best people. Equally people have to understand the jobs market has changed enormously. My mom got work straight from school little experience qualications and no cv needed but then businesses worked very closely with schooks etc. She was paid good wages and had loads of breaks, not though the 14 hour days that a numbervof people do in britain today. She did her work and went home and forgot about it. Now people dont seem to switch off. She worked manually hard but certainly was not a striver. Today manual work is paid badly and actually most now have little free time and down time. She worked around 40 hours a week and she remembers huge manufacturing orders around the world. Now most people may work in private sector work but yhey dont actually make anything. Most is service sector jobs which suit certsin types of people. The whole point there was large numbers of public sector jobs in the north is because they were former manufacturing areas and little took their place when they closed down. Its not people fault it was the lack of new industries in those areas so the public sector took up the slack although the jobs in public sector were long lasting as it had been in msnufacturing she had a manufacturing job for years until she wanted to leave. So jobs fir life were in manufacturing too. Also in old manufacturing jobs you didnt have to multitask and as a result large numbers of people with minor disabilities were employed and found jobs that suited them. Whereas now there is simply less jobs disabled people are capable of as employers have combined job roles for the same amount of wage. People do more tasks for the same or less wages. The cost of living has gone up but wages are low. So really employers have become more fussy and less flexible and the jobs they are creating require people to be almost perfect. My mom in the 50s was trained on the job and employers today are less willing to do it. Its actually not benefitting anyone how jobs are set up now theres no efficiency. The disabled are pretty more or less ignored despite having skills and wanting to work. Anyone who isnt perfect is left behind. So strivers and skivers are useless terms as they dont explain britains problems and simply pit people against each other. Wages and respect for workers is very low.

  17. michael
    19/07/2013 at 2:32 pm

    Also can i suggest go getting for status reasons has nothing to do with doing a job right and taking pride in what you do. They are totally separate things. So are careers and jobs different things doing a job without wanting to get to the top doesnt mean your unhappy with life. Neither does have a career and being in a job title mean your happy and often it doesnt mean you have a good work life balance. Work for too many seems to be thr be all and end all and if they are not seen to be working they feel guilty they havent done enough. This has nothing to do with what has to be done and doing it efficient and organised and giving effort so its done properly. I think too much is done without proper thought organisation and is done unnecessarily wasting time and effort. Its like picking extra fruit which then goes to waste and they are not making profit anyone. There are many ways to organise a job and do a job so its not boring even a manual job. Why look and work hard for the sake of it?

  18. michael
    19/07/2013 at 2:40 pm

    I would suggest with all the investment and changes the NHS still cannot feed and water patients or clean hospitals properly which is the most basic things. They seem to have problems with wages, respect for workers who do cleaning etc who should be valued higher and organisation.

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