The constant “Help To Work” campaign seems to be hurtling this country back to Victorian times.

“Are there no workhouses?” Scrooge, the mouth-piece of the great Charles Dickens, snarled, when asked to think about the poor.

Now those who are leaving school, university and those made unemployed through no fault of their own are being made to feel not motivated but punished by this current system.

Making yourself "attractive" to employers is not rocket science (unless you work for NASA).

The phrase is getting more ironic when recent revelations about MPs expenses showed their two faces calling for austerity - while claiming for paper clips and tea towels.

Every political party must make employment its priority.

What will happen next to undermine the job seekers – the vast majority who genuinely want their dignity intact- as they try to come off benefits?

I would happily (cue Ralph McTell’s Streets of London) take any MP, councillor - of any persuasion - by the hand and lead them to a busy Jobcentre Plus and say: “Look, listen and experience what is happening - because if you don’t get our votes it could be you sitting there next.”

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A new institution has just opened in Edinburgh called: “The Library of Mistakes.”

It has 2,000 books and has been set up as a guidance centre for people from all walks of life who need to know about finance - the pitfalls and how to deal with it.

I have a proposal.

Can we taxpayers club together, have a whip round and send our politicians there on a fiscal fact-finding mission to explain why we are in the mess we are - one not caused by us but by greedy bankers?

Oh, and can they take Gary Barlow with them?

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I am making a political statement, close to my chest.

I am having a t-shirt made that says simply: “I AM APOLITICAL.”

It will be ready to wear in the build-up to May 22 elections and next year’s biggie.

So when those real-life “cold callers” (all candidates) come up to my doorstep - wearing their fake smiles and paper rosettes and say “can I have a word...” I will put down my crossword and point to my very own independent party-of-one electioneering message.

As John Lennon said: “All I want is the Truth.”

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You have to hand it to Sooty. This show business legend is still touring with Sue and Sweep and is coming to New Brighton Pavilion in July. I once interviewed the great bear on the telephone.

Yes, I rang his right- (or left-) hand man Matthew Corbett - son of the creator, Harry Corbett, to have an exclusive chat.

I asked Sooty if he enjoyed performing live, and Matthew said he would ask him.

There was silence.

Matthew came back on the phone and said: “Sooty says he loves being on the road and was looking forward to squirting me with his water pistol.”

I continued like this for 20 minutes asking a question and then waiting for Matthew to tell me wisdom from the bear’s mouth. And I wasn’t even on medication.

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Talking of medication...

I felt the pain this week when I realised prescription charges had gone up from £7.85p to £8.05. It was increased on April 1.

While we were all scanning newspapers for April Fools’ stunts, the Government was having a laugh on us. The last time I felt this duped was when my origami night school class folded.

Here’s an Inferno Public Information announcement in advance - the single prescription charge will go up again next year by another 20p.

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And finally...Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller made an explosive impression in the House of Commons last week during an event hosted by the Royal Society of Chemistry to help boost scientific funding research.

He met the first person ever to be allowed to carry out “colourful and loud chemical experiments” in Parliament.

Poor Guy Fawkes must be spinning in his grave.