Yet more baloney arrived in the post today.
"When people are out of work for any length of time, their skills can become stale, they become less confident and their contacts diminish." This is proclaimed as some factual kiss of death by one of the foremost universities on the Planet. There may be a consoling corollary further down the page, but I'm too busy cropping a nice photo of a tattoo to take much more interest.
I'm beginning to understand my problem with all the herd thinking that is cluttering print and media at the moment. I was educated by a post WW2 generation to "stand on my own two feet". Even though I have never lived in Britain, Norman Tebbitt's father, who got up on his bike, psychologically and literally, until he found work, was one of my unsung heroes and I felt a sense of belonging to a long tradition when cycling to work with my spade run along the handlebars. Today such dangerous driving (and without a helmet) would ensure either death from impact with a large truck or being arrested for being a danger on the road. Sitting on a bus under a full grown tree, as I was once compelled to do, having dug it up several miles from home, would ensure a complete evacuation of the neighbourhood.
While signing on the unemployment with a two-year old by the hand I swore blind that I was "available for work", even though I was stuck in one of the most misogynistic societies since the time of Saint Paul. Nowadays people are told not to feel bad if they have to sign on. We used just pop into the local Jewish bakery and stuff ourselves with bagels until the economy picked up. I hated signing on because I hate being stuck in a queue, not because of feeling like a social pariah.
There's always "work", which is the curse of humanity, btw. The important thing is to find a position that is not run by nutters...