The High Commissioner and The Unumployed
« Dear Martin Hirsh, finding your letter in my letterbox gave me great pleasure. I accept your offer to continue this exchange, especially since I find the idea of corresponding with you highly amusing : to short circuit the rungs of the … hierarchy fills me with joy. To start us off, please find included the « little guide for the jobless ».
…And thus began six months of exchange with Gwenn Rosière. As a beneficiary of the Jobseekers’ allowance, residing in the Côtes-d’Armor region, she was invited to share her opinion on the RSA (Active Solidarity Income). The quality of her reasoning, her openness and the relevance of her comments, as well as…her impertinence struck me. I answered her, and we started exchanging letters. Why publish her today ? Because her words seemed a more natural way of getting our message across than long speeches. Those who live on the Jobseekers’ allowance, understand what it is to survive on 440 euros a month, know that we have to radically transform our welfare system. But what about the others ? Are they really convinced ? Do they not find it easier to avoid such major change altogether ? To look the other way ? With this book, I hope to shake the foundations of several concepts we hold for granted. I hope it will help us gain awareness, so that nothing can stop those willing to do something about it. That’s why I needed Gwenn’ support, her words, her energy, her honesty, her experience. After reading her letters carefully, answer this question : don’t you think we have to do it ?
Martin Hirsch is the High Commissioner for Active Solidarities against Poverty. Gwenn Rosiere lives in Brittany. She is the beneficiary of a «helped» contract.