Much of the public debate about the Tories' proposals to force jobless people to work for nothing has missed the point. It has concentrated on whether or not this will "help" people who are out of work get the hang of how to work. But of course the Tories and their Lib Dem stooges couldn't care two hoots for the unemployed - that's not what it's about.
The reason why there are more people out of work now than a couple of years ago is not down to a sudden loss of the "work ethic" by poor people, a pandemic of laziness, or an increase in the appeal of trying to scrape by on a pittance. It is because employers decided to cut millions of jobs and we largely failed to stop them.
While we havejobless people who are desperate for a job and unable to get one, why should any of us complain if there's a small minority who aren't? They're giving those that are keen to work a better chance.
And of course that's a clue as to why the Tories are really proposing all these attacks on people relying on state benefits. This cabinet of millionaires wants to increase profits for themselves and their mates by driving down wages for people in work. And the more people who are desperately competing for every job, the easier that will be.
That's why it's vital that none of us fall for the divide-and-rule arguments pumped out by the Tories and their friends in the media, trying to encourage those of us lucky enough to be in employment to blame those who aren't. Instead we need to recognise that every campaign to defend state benefits is a campaign to protect our job security and our pay and conditions. We need unity against the cuts, not scapegoating of the poorest in society.
I'm delighted that the Right To Work campaign has produced a petition against this work-for-nothing scheme. It should be used in workplaces, not just amongst the unemployed.