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'air Of Fear' In County Say Union Chiefs

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'Air of fear' in county say union chiefs

Union organisers say there is an “air of fear†in the county as unemployment figures rocket to their highest in over a decade.

Meanwhile, Citizens Advice Bureaux across the region say they are “buckling under the pressure†of mounting caseloads.

More than 35,000 people in Kent and Medway are out of work, according to the most recent figures available, for May. The total of 35,197 is an increase of 465 on April.

Since last year, the ranks of the county’s unemployed have swollen by 18,051.

Redundancy enquires to the CAB in Kent have soared by 114 per cent in the same period. Peter Stokes, chief executive of Citizens Advice Medway, said they were inundated with cases.

“It’s starting to hurt,†he said.“We are dealing with 50 per cent more cases than we targeted. There’s an enormous workload, it’s horrific. We have far more debt cases than ever before.â€

Unions say members fear their livelihoods are at more risk now than ever before. Paul Maloney, senior Kent organiser for the GMB, said: “Everybody is fearful of losing their job. Small and medium businesses cannot get loans and other employers have no confidence to take people on and are more likely to shed staff as a precaution. The recession was brought about by the banking and financial industry; by those who created a debt economy. Now people are being punished for their failures.â€

Mr Maloney said the union had received a wave of membership applications from concerned Kent workers.

“We have a lot more members worried after hearing rumours. There is an air of fear and people are running for cover,†he said.

Job cuts and rising unemployment have also meant the number of people claiming benefits have increased.

Thanet continues to have the largest number of claimants, now totalling 4,086, and the highest unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent.

The pinch has been felt across the country, with the jobless total leaping to 2.26 million - an increase of 232,000 on the previous quarter.

The UK is experiencing the highest level of unemployment for 12 years.

Simon Bolton, regional officer for Unison, said: “Our members are worried as they can see what is going on around them. So far, all of our Kent members have avoided compulsory redundancy. But many are hoping and praying they don’t now join the queue.â€

“Although things do appear to be turning now. This could make the difference between surviving and not.â€

A mirror is the best cure for this own goal problem. Our insistence for cheap crap from other nations has torn out the heart and soul of what was British, and has put it in the hands of faceless and soulless multi-national corporations. Now, these corporations are going to find cheap labour in other markets, to sell to well off nations with disposable income. It's like a poorly monitored crop, left bare by a swarm of unchecked vermin because the farmer thought he could save a pound by not spraying, or putting up a fence.

Remember, we have enjoyed the bounty of cheap foreign labour in Britain for centuries, and now its all coming to an end. We are just not competitive on a global stage. The only way to keep the party going is to sell off state assets, which does not get my vote.

It's time to make big business, and the shareholders, and politicians accountable. Maybe it's also time to support our own village shops and businesses?

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'Air of fear' in county say union chiefs

A mirror is the best cure for this own goal problem. Our insistence for cheap crap from other nations has torn out the heart and soul of what was British, and has put it in the hands of faceless and soulless multi-national corporations. Now, these corporations are going to find cheap labour in other markets, to sell to well off nations with disposable income. It's like a poorly monitored crop, left bare by a swarm of unchecked vermin because the farmer thought he could save a pound by not spraying, or putting up a fence.

Remember, we have enjoyed the bounty of cheap foreign labour in Britain for centuries, and now its all coming to an end. We are just not competitive on a global stage. The only way to keep the party going is to sell off state assets, which does not get my vote.

It's time to make big business, and the shareholders, and politicians accountable. Maybe it's also time to support our own village shops and businesses?

And we the people are blameless?

We buy the cheap stuff.

We elect the governments that promise us stuff for nothing.

We buy from Tesco, it's not the law to let your local guy go bust.

We borrowed the money to buy stuff (not just houses, far from it!).

I'm afraid this is payback time, and there's no point blaming corporations and politicians, people did all this.

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and there's no point blaming corporations and politicians

I think it's legitimate to blame them if they acted irresponsibly. I think as Fred Goodwin marched on stage at the RBS AGM to the theme of Braveheart it's fair to say he and those around him had lost the plot completely. We 'the people' had a right to expect some kind of corporate and governmental responsibility from these people.

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I think it's legitimate to blame them if they acted irresponsibly. I think as Fred Goodwin marched on stage at the RBS AGM to the theme of Braveheart it's fair to say he and those around him had lost the plot completely. We 'the people' had a right to expect some kind of corporate and governmental responsibility from these people.

In the end there is no "us" and "them", just people behaving irresponsibily. And the truth is that the great majority have done so.

All those asshole corporate "heroes" are blameworthy, just like people who borrowed to fund holidays and lifestyles they never earned, and on and on it goes.

But it's stopping really soon.

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And we the people are blameless?

We buy the cheap stuff.

We elect the governments that promise us stuff for nothing.

We buy from Tesco, it's not the law to let your local guy go bust.

We borrowed the money to buy stuff (not just houses, far from it!).

I'm afraid this is payback time, and there's no point blaming corporations and politicians, people did all this.

The problems you cite are essentially all tragedies of the commons; it's very hard for "the people" to resist such outcomes because those who pile in get a short-term advantage, out-competing those who refrain.

Even accepting that the people could have voted and acted differently, in practice the levers of power have been captured by various elites -- including the media channels that tell many people what to think.

The system won't change until people get mad, and they won't get mad until things get really bad.

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The problems you cite are essentially all tragedies of the commons; it's very hard for "the people" to resist such outcomes because those who pile in get a short-term advantage, out-competing those who refrain.

Even accepting that the people could have voted and acted differently, in practice the levers of power have been captured by various elites -- including the media channels that tell many people what to think.

The system won't change until people get mad, and they won't get mad until things get really bad.

Not long til it kicks off then? Think I`ll pop Mad Max in the video player, spin the wheels one more time.

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More than 35,000 people in Kent and Medway are out of work, according to the most recent figures available, for May. The total of 35,197 is an increase of 465 on April.

This can't be true, Sibley doesn't know anyone who has lost his job and he's in Kent.

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'Air of fear' in county say union chiefs

A mirror is the best cure for this own goal problem. Our insistence for cheap crap from other nations has torn out the heart and soul of what was British, and has put it in the hands of faceless and soulless multi-national corporations. Now, these corporations are going to find cheap labour in other markets, to sell to well off nations with disposable income. It's like a poorly monitored crop, left bare by a swarm of unchecked vermin because the farmer thought he could save a pound by not spraying, or putting up a fence.

Remember, we have enjoyed the bounty of cheap foreign labour in Britain for centuries, and now its all coming to an end. We are just not competitive on a global stage. The only way to keep the party going is to sell off state assets, which does not get my vote.

It's time to make big business, and the shareholders, and politicians accountable. Maybe it's also time to support our own village shops and businesses?

Nah, you get more for your dole cheque at Asda.

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The problems you cite are essentially all tragedies of the commons; it's very hard for "the people" to resist such outcomes because those who pile in get a short-term advantage, out-competing those who refrain.

Even accepting that the people could have voted and acted differently, in practice the levers of power have been captured by various elites -- including the media channels that tell many people what to think.

The system won't change until people get mad, and they won't get mad until things get really bad.

I'm not insensitive to the argument, but we all know people who didn't take the bait. We have to ask why colelctively people have become (?) so irresponsible.

Oh well, that era is ending now and perhaps it will be looked back upon as one of madness. That would be about right.

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Nah, you get more for your dole cheque at Asda.

Actually what many people aren't computing at the moment is that there might not be any more dole cheques. Thatcher paid for high unemployment with North Sea oil revenues. Those revenues are drying up.

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