Because of the current furore over EU immigration from the likes of Romania and Bulgaria along with the fear that somehow or other the EU will somehow get Turkey in by hook or by crook, the party which presided over the damaging uncontrolled immigration spate when last in power have a solution. They intend to make all benefit claimants pass a test in basic English, maths and computing skills.
Unemployed people who lack basic English, maths and computing skills should be stripped of benefits unless they take up training, Labour will say.
Under the plans, all new claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance would have to sit a basic skills test within six weeks.
The move is set to be unveiled by MP Rachel Reeves in her first major speech as shadow work and pensions secretary.
I suspect Labour are forgetting that under their rule, education was dumbed down to the worst levels since Victorian times with 1 in 5 pupils leaving school struggling to read and write back in 2010.
So, I reckon that any test will leave a lot of people unhappy, never mind immigrants or the test will be so useless that it will be almost impossible to fail. In fact I suspect that this measure will have to be quietly shelved as it attacks Labour’s core demographics when it comes to getting votes in.
Still it makes for good headlines and as an attempt to capture the public mood, it’s not a bad one. The problems start with anyone with a bit of common sense realising that the people it will hit won’t be a lot of immigrants who speak, read and write English generally better than a good few English, but that it will hit those badly let down by our poor education system and its politically motivated curriculum which has failed a generation of kids and left them unable to progress any further than the benefits queue.
The foul results of political correctness (all must have prizes) modern teaching practices (rather than using what worked) and endless tinkering with the examinations and curriculum to get ever higher results (rather than actual ability) has left many out there simply unprepared to pass any meaningful test on English, maths or computer skills (I doubt text speak is a computer skill or indeed an English one)
Still it makes for good headlines… which sums up political thinking these days.
Truly we are doomed.