Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Good Old Days (Remploy)

See this? This is no ordinary piece of furniture. It is a time machine of memories. I inherited it from my parents. I can’t quite remember how old I was when they bought it, but it is definitely over 50 years old.

It is, I think, an example of 1950s utility furniture. It is very well designed and excellently made, with proper woodwork joints like dovetails. Something that I, as an amateur carpenter who has made some of my own furniture, really appreciates. I once did eight stopped, haunched, mitred mortise and tennons for the leg base of a sideboard, so I know what I’m talking about.

And this is the plaque on the rear.

Yes, it was made by disabled people back in the days when we had proper government that represented the people and were not in hock to the big money of Multi-National Corportations; and the words “caring” and “Conservative” could be used in the same sentence without provoking huge guffaws of laughter.

This is why I have signed the petition to save the remaining 54 Remploy factories. Please consider doing likewise. Click!

Some notes:

  • Remploy factories are a lifeline for many disabled people, especially those who are unemployable in the main stream due to the extent of their disabilities. Only 5% of those made redundant in 2008 have been able to find work in the main stream.
  • What are the chances of further disabled people finding work in the main stream when fit and healthy people are struggling to do so.
  • Working at Remploy is the only chance for disabled people to get off benefits and earn themselves some pride and self respect. It gives them a reason to get up in the morning. If they did not work at Remploy, they would sit at home and “vegetate”.
  • They feel secure working, and socialising, with others of a similar persuasion to themselves. If they did not come to work they would probably not see anyone for days.The amount of money actually put into Remploy is minuscule compared with the money used to bail out the banks.
  • The Government is unlikely to save any money in the longer term and will also cost the NHS and Social Services more due to depression and other related healthy issues.
  • Customers have been very supportive since the announcement and wish to continue working with Remploy.
  • The Sayce report, which is recommending the closure of Remploy, is biased as the author of the report, Liz Sayce, is also Chief Executive of Radar, an organisation which is competing for the same funding Remploy currently receives.
  • Please help stop the closure of an organisation that is actually doing some good and being “thrown to the wolves”.
More here.


  1. Indeed, my very first ever ‘grown up’ school briefcase was a Remploy. At the time my Dad told me the story behind Remploy and assured me it was the best quality. He was right too. That case lasted me for years.

    You would’ve thought that, when this subject came up at Cabinet, someone would’ve had the guts to say “the damage to our public profile ill be so much more than merely the cost of saving this money”. Rather like my comments regarding this Council and its recent decisions about Glasbury House (now temporarily reprieved), we have a cruel, nasty, brutish, insensitive, brutal Government. After all they’ve been through, they Still just don’t ‘get it’ do they?

  2. Just a continuation of the previous one.

  3. Closure of Remploy factories started in 2007 under Labour, Remploy itself wanted to move disabled workers into mainstream employment where possible.

  4. Ah, anonymous,you mean the mainstream employment where they have to fight for the jobs on the open market...where there are no jobs in the first place??

  5. Check out the facts Mr F. Many of the Disability Rights groups want this to happen, and transitional funding is being provided to all the disabled Remploy employees affected.

    29 Remploy factories were closed in 2008 - were you objecting then?

    1. Our Ray would never let the facts stand in the way of a good old moan.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Yes I was protesting then, Anonymous. To be frank, An,if you can't be bothered (or don't have the guts) to use your own name,I can't be bothered dealing with you. [Rather sad, isn't it, Morris].

  8. "THE failed former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has launched an arrogant attack on the Sunday Express crusade to save Remploy jobs, saying disabled staff just sit around drinking coffee all day."

    What planet are the Tories from?