Employment Minister Mark Hoban regards it as "ridiculous" to call being made to work unpaid on pain of losing state benefit "forced labour" and opposes the suggestion that victimised claimants should have their benefits reinstated.
In so doing, Hoban confirms the charge that workfare schemes such as the Work Programme and the Community Action Programme are simply mechanisms to force people off the jobless register and cut government expenditure.
The bare facts behind the cases brought to the Court of Appeal by Cait Reilly and Jamie Wilson illustrate this reality.
Geology graduate Reilly was already working unpaid in a voluntary capacity at a museum but was forced to set this aside in order to stack shelves and sweep floors for Poundland.
Wilson, a qualified mechanic and heavy goods driver, was told that his continued receipt of benefits depended on agreement to work unpaid cleaning furniture for 30 hours a week for six months, as part of the Community Action Programme.
His refusal to take on this unsuitable arrangement, which would not assist him to find a job as either a mechanic or HGV driver, was punished by a six-month loss of benefits.
Prior to election to Parliament in 2001, Hoban worked for many years for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accountancy firms that thrives on government contracts while advising businesses on minimising their tax bills.
In common with his conservative coalition colleagues, his priority is bludgeoning the unemployed rather than clamping down on the tax-dodging industry in British-controlled territories that reduces income to the Exchequer.
He has declared war on those who, as he puts it, "don't want to roll up their sleeves, and who think they can play the system.
"Well I've got news for them - they can't," he said last October, promising tougher penalties for jobseeker's allowance claimants who don't "play by the rules."
Was the MP for Fareham playing by the rules or playing the system when he claimed around £20,000 a year for his second home in London?
How successful would a request from a JSA claimant be for the taxpayer to shell out £35 for a toilet roll holder, £100 for a chrome shower rack, £79 for four silk cushions, £240 for eight more cushions, £18 for a bath mat, £18 for a toilet brush, £294 for a coffee table and a lamp table and £749 for an LCD television to furnish a second home?
As ever, it's double standards. Rich and poor are expected to respond to different stimuluses.
Encourage the unemployed by making them work unpaid and threatening their benefits. Encourage the wealthy minority by throwing money at them.
Hoban's disparaging insinuations about unemployed people "playing the system" are calculated to incite anger against claimants from people who have jobs, work hard, pay their taxes and resent scroungers.
There are certainly spongers and parasites among us, but they are not mainly to be found in the ranks of the unemployed.
Try looking in City boardrooms and royal palaces for those who thrive on inherited wealth, property speculation, tax-dodging schemes and rampant exploitation.
The biggest problem for the unemployed is that there aren't enough jobs for all and that situation won't be cured by workfare schemes.
It requires systematic government investment in infrastructure, manufacturing and services to encourage creation of enough decently paid jobs to make unemployment a thing of the past.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.