Britain’s Hardest Worker

I saw this tweeted a couple of times last night but didn’t click on it at first because I assumed it was just something from a Daily Mash or Onion type website. Satire, in the mould of Jonathan Swift. It’s biting because it could never really happen, right? Wrong. When I got around to reading it, I found the BBC really is going to run a knockout-style entertainment show where the competitors are the poorest in society fighting to prove who’s the worthiest among them.

‘Applications for Britain’s Hardest Grafter, which will be screened on BBC2, are limited to those currently earning less than £15,500 per year.

The BBC is seeking 25 British workers, a mix of the unemployed, the under-employed and those earning the minimum wage, who will be given the opportunity to “prove themselves” through a series of challenges. A cash prize is on offer for the winner.’

Dance, monkey boys, dance! Show us how much you want the money!

‘Twenty Twenty said participants would be paid a compensatory figure “not below the national minimum wage” for the length of their contribution to the programme.’

Not below the minimum wage, eh? So that’ll be minimum wage then. £6.50 an hour to go on telly and be laughed at by those slightly better off than you, and be torn to bits on twitter and have your name dragged through the tabloids by sneering journalists on 4 times what you earn in a year, because you know that comes along with appearing on a programme like this. £6.50 an hour which will lose you any money you’re currently getting to survive, because the Jobcentre will see this as making yourself unavailable for work and sanction you if you’re on JSA, the kind of employers that people thinking of going on this show work for will sack you like snapping their fingers if you try and take a couple of weeks off for filming, and any housing benefit you might be getting to help pay your rent will be suspended immediately as soon as the council gets a sniff of it (past personal experience tells me it’ll be 2-3 months before it’s sorted out too. That’s a long time to go without paying your landlord).

‘A representative of the production company Twenty Twenty told the website Graduate Fog: “In each episode, people will be put to the test in a series of challenges and tasks.

“At the end of each episode, those who have produced the least will be eliminated and by the end of the process, just one worker will remain. The winner will receive in the region of £15,000 which is a year’s living wage (outside of London).”’

Could this get any more Climbing For Dollars? ‘Those who have produced the least will be eliminated‘. Of course, we all know that how much you produce, how hardworking a family you are, is the only benchmark of societal worth these days. And for all this humiliation and standing on each others’ heads, what does the last man standing get? The equivalent of a year’s wages in a slightly less shitty job than they currently do. A year’s junior manager wages. One rung up the ladder. There’s your prize plebs, come on, fucking fight for it and make it entertaining while you’re at it, we’re bored and we’ve a career to be furthering out of you, chop chop.


About furcoatnaenicks

Rants. Sporadically.
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