The separation between government and civil service is a vital one. Governments come and go, but the civil service is permanent, and only works when it stands apart and acts as a bulwark against the worst excesses of politicians. So a press release that found on the Department of Work and Pensions website on Monday tips over an invisible but vital line of trust.
There was a brief moment in On Benefits & Proud which showed Heather's two dogs, a tiny Chihuahua and another ten times its size. The big one appeared to be happily co-existing with the small one and looking after it. It was not hard to imagine the show's producers, and Channel 5 itself, being disappointed at the care shown for the weak.
Those who read newspapers or listen to politicians are fed the same diet of anti-claimant rhetoric which bears little resemblance to the grinding reality of life on the dole, which provides only poverty-level income and vulnerability. So here are seven truths about benefits and joblessness to help balance the debate...
The government has launched a consultation on its welfare-to-work programmes, and UnemployedNet is responding on behalf of workless people. We want your opinions to help us tell the government why and how their schemes, including the Work Programme, Work Choice, work experience schemes and others, need changing.
I am sure you of all people do not need to be reminded that people claiming JSA or any other benefit to which they are entitled are not criminals, that jobcentre staff and benefits advisors are not their parole officers, and that the nation's benefits system was brought into being after a hard fought struggle by previous generations of trade unionists and working class men and women in this country to ensure a minimum of protection and justice for working people in periods of economic turbulence, ill health or any other crisis which might occur in their lives.
Ukip opposes any kind of aspiration-killing policy, such as Labour's oft repeated dream of punitive taxation, because it does not drive people to want to better themselves, thus killing social mobility and innovation. Ukip wants people from all backgrounds to have the chance to be more socially mobile.
As we all know the job market currently isn't great and I'm resigned to the fact that it could be a little while before it's time to get suited and booted. In weak moments, often Tuesday mornings or after another meal of budget cornflakes, I will stray from a journalism job website and look at something else.
With more and more people being out of work for much longer periods of time, and by having nothing to do its looks as though the inability to get many people into work is breeding a generation of experienced laziness as their main skill, not because they are lazy but because it's the only thing they now know how to do.