David Blackburn

If you must deceive, deceive competently

If you must deceive, deceive competently
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On 15th September, Gordon Brown finally uttered the word ‘cuts’, but he diluted the shock by pledging that frontline services would be protected. He told the TUC:

“But when our plans are published in the coming months, people will see that Labour will not support cuts in vital frontline services on which people depend. Labour will not put the recovery at risk, protect and improve your frontline services first and make the right choices for low and middle income families in the country.”

Today, some of those plans are published, albeit inadvertently in a document leaked to the Observer. Cuts are being planned in next year’s skills budget. 335,000 learners aged 19-plus will be removed from apprenticeships and trainee schemes, which are, undeniably, frontline services. So much for the ideological, dare I say iron-cast guarantee, to champion those on the lowest incomes: students.

Back in January, Brown said: “Now more than ever is the time to invest in our young people, their skills and their talents in training them for the future.” What a pity Brown could not be sincere in his actions because, as the Spectator disclosed recently, those under the age of 25 have been hit hardest by the recession. Endangering their future heightens the risk of long-term joblessness. Labour’s legacy to the recession generation is vast personal debt accrued at university, an impossible employment market and this blatant hypocrisy, which takes voters for fools and manipulates the hopes of the young for the sake of a conceit concerning frontline services. There is no reason for anyone under 25 to vote Labour.