With apologies to Orwell …

First, what is dole scum? Dole Scum is a developing English species. These are his distinguishing characteristics:  he has no money, he is dressed in rags, he walks about twenty kilometres a day and never sleeps two nights together without fretting about bills, the amount of food available and the next meeting at Jobcentre Plus.

In short, he is a worrier, living on benefits, roaming around on foot day after day for years because he has no bus fare, crossing England from end to end many times in his wanderings, attending interviews in a desperate search for work.

Jobcentre Plus’ new sign?

He has no job, could have no council home if Ed Miliband’s policies go ahead, no possessions if he is forced to sell them on eBay; he is accused of living at the expense of the community.

No one knows how many individuals make up the dole scum population.

Five hundred thousand?  One million?  Perhaps over a million in England and Wales when unemployment is particularly bad. The government fudge the statistics but tell us it is currently 2.5million.

The dole scum does not wander for his own amusement, or because he has inherited the nomadic instincts of his ancestors; he is trying first and foremost to avoid starving to death or annoying the bitter staff at Jobcentre Plus.

It is not difficult to see why; the dole scum is unemployed as a result of the state of the English economy.  So, to exist, he must have recourse to public or private charity.  To assist him, the authorities have created schemes and handouts (mandatory volunteering and charities) where the dole scum can find unpaid work and food parcels.

These places are a few miles apart in Jobcentre Plus, and most have to visit once a fortnight.  Hence the endless pilgrimages of dole scum who, if they want to eat and sleep with a roof over their heads, must seek a half-decent Jobcentre Plus adviser who won’t try to stop their benefits.

That is the explanation for the existence of dole scum.  Now let us see what sort of life they lead by continuing to read unemployedhack. It could almost be sufficient to look at just one day, for the days are all the same for these unfortunate inhabitants of one of the richest countries in the world

Orwell first wrote this article about tramps in 1929 – you can see the real version here.


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