Deny it all you want, but at some point in your life you've been forced to clear your browsing history because of some questionable content you found yourself viewing at nearly midnight on a Friday after a stressful week. Sometimes the temptation is just too much to avoid surfing to the wrong side of the tracks and what follows is a swift re-writing of history where we pretend that we were on the phone or had dropped off for a moment instead.
It seems that politicians are wedded to imposing conditions in return for benefits and that sanctions will remain part of that regime. However, employment support providers know that you achieve most with jobseekers when the relationship is positive, providers are trusted and jobseekers want to work.
A good start for Labour would have been to expand the contributory principle, not further target it, whilst explicitly focusing on supporting young people, rather than restricting access to social security. If the causes of such deep, attitudinal change in the UK are indeed linked to the decline of the contributory principle and the changing views of young people, today's proposals by Labour could end up having the complete opposite effect.
It's in the interest of the taxpayer to make it difficult for those who need to to jump through the benefits hoops. However, this goes further than that. This is a system in need of immediate, wholesale reform. IDS has worked to make the whole jobseeking process online, which is great, but putting an old-fashioned bureaucracy onto the internet isn't the same as modernising it.
According to the BBC's programme information: "Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford want to discover how much benefit is enough to live on and if work is worth it." The experiment promises to bring both groups together an effort to 'learn' their stories. Except, there's one huge problem with this premise - it presupposes the idea that anyone unfortunate enough to be unemployed pays no taxes.
I never expected to rely on my Jobcentre, but their conditions for my independent efforts penalised my attempts to help myself. So, tough luck if you believe in making your own opportunities. Local jobs in Ipswich were non-existent or beyond my skill set: boiler repair and work with vulnerable people.