Opinion – Blunkett calls for more self-help and less state aid | Politics | The Guardian – John Gelmini

The answer to Dr Alf’s question is ‘no’ because if one looks carefully at the differences between Tony Blair’s policies and those of the Coalition, there is really very little difference.

There have been no “savage cuts”, only cuts in the rate of spending increase.

The number of civil servants, NHS managers, local authority employees, constabularies, fire commands, quangos, people who work in quangos, interims employed via the revolving door have all increased.

As the Tri-Forces has seen soldiers sacked, the number of people in the MOD has increased, and even as police numbers have been cut many police functions have been privatized and people re-employed by G4S, Serco and Amey.

If one looks at the increased use of Big 4 management consultants, Bain and McKinsey consultants to shape policy and the use of outsourcing, it is questionable whether overall civil service headcount is reducing at all.

Indeed, if one looks at the amount of off balance sheet finance and the nature of PPP/PFI deals and the use of SPVs by organisations like HMRC, it is also questionable as to whether there has been any effective reduction in public spending at all.

Overall, the so called “savage cuts” still see the UK costs of delivering public services at 3 times the Singaporean costs, leaving the UK 17th in the world in terms of value per taxpayer pound. Much of this is down to inefficiency and waste, some is down to duplication but a look at our infrastructure versus what has been and is being collected in taxes shows that much more malign forces are at work .

The benefits system is being plundered by Nigerian and Eastern European gangs and by people using bogus documentation to create false identities from the records of dead people and live ones. People come into the country at the rate of 500,000 per year with illegal immigrants making up half that figure. We know this from figures on food sold, versus the official population and from the number of notes and coins in circulation. The Home Office has lost control of immigration and our borders, yet these people are consuming services and money because they have to be working unofficially and not paying taxes,at least for a time.

These processes started under Tony Blair and Blunkett and continue, so the question for all UK political parties is ‘why?’

John Gelmini

Opinion – Youth employment – Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – European Commission – John Gelmini

I wish I could share Dr Alf’s commendation of the new team at the European Commission’s “concentrated focus ” on youth unemployment.

Sadly, I cannot bring myself to do so because they have underestimated the scale of the problem and have left it too late whilst doing too little.

At least 50% of young people will never find a job and will have to work for themselves in craft-based or selling-based businesses.

Schools presume that pupils will get qualifications, do apprenticeships, or if bright enough, go to university and then into top jobs. This is old outdated thinking.

What is needed for those pupils with a practical rather than academic bent is a series of ‘business boot camps’ and business simulators and a concentrated focus on getting them language skill ready and business-ready to work overseas in a European version of the Chinese “swarm out program”.

Greece and the PIIG countries need to send most of their young people to South America and Australia, where there is economic growth and teach all of them how to create their own employment, even in an automated world with robots and AI set to destroy more than 50% of European jobs by 2033.

In the past, we had European wars to cull surplus population but now that 50% of us live in cities, modern warfare on a grand scale is almost unthinkable.

Current approaches to youth unemployment and unemployment in general miss the point, irrespective of whether we are talking about a young person who has never worked, a middle manager who is never going to be promoted or that dwindling band an interim manager of certain years and too much grey hair who has been abandoned and left on the bench like a smaller version of a beached whale or seal pup searching for food 50 miles inland.

John Gelmini