We knew it had to be coming:
UK unemployment rose by 48,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to December, official figures have shown.
The unemployment rate was 8.4%, the Office for National Statistics said, the highest for 16 years.
The number of young people without a job rose 22,000 to 1.04m, taking the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds to 22.2%.
… avoiding recession is not enough by itself. Perhaps a greater challenge for the Chancellor – and one far more toxic than the arcana of credit ratings – comes with this morning’s unemployment statistics. The outlook is grim. Joblessness is at more than 2.5 million already and set to keep rising, with young people hit worst. Mr Osborne’s efforts at fiscal stability deserve recognition. Preventing a generation being lost to unemployment can be no less a priority.
Each and every one of our present Masters of Westminster was a beneficiary of Thatcher, otherwise he and she wouldn’t be where they are today. For examples:
- The putative 18th baronet Osborne of Ballintaylor and Ballylemon had an expensive education and pampered lifestyle from the Osborne and Little wallpaper business, as the loadsamoney bourgeois vultures recycled their privatised share-winnings.
- Eric Pickles became a Thatcherite pin-up for scorning the electors and overturning decent local government practices at Bradford Council.
- Philip Hammond made a fortune (some £7-8 million) out of the property company Castlemead. Half-a-dozen other Cabinet ministers benefitted substantially from private rentals.
- Even such horny-handed sons-of-toil as Clegg and Huhne launched political careers on the back of the EU, nurtured by Thatcher’s commitment to the “single market”.
- And the greatest beneficiary of the lot was David Cameron, his private education and lifestyle paid for out of the Stock Market boom, through three paternal generations at the top of the stockbroking firm Panmore Gordon.
Let us pause and genuflect at the feet of their sage instructor, whose lesson they seem to have mistaken:
Mr. Lamont : Rising unemployment and the recession have been the price that we have had to pay to get inflation down. That price is well worth paying.
By that stage the young Cameron was ensconced at Conservative Central Office, allegedly instructing John Major in the dark arts of PMQs, and making himself useful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that same Norman Lamont.
Whether Lamont was right or not about the silver bullet of unemployment, this lot have pushed up both unemployment and inflation.
And the price is always paid by someone else’s unemployment.