Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The jobs trap?

The Times (don't bother - it's behind a paywall) says that Conservative MPs are turning on Nick Clegg because he is opposed to wealthy families securing "plum internships" for their children, particularly when he benefited from it himself. The Times describes this on its front page headline as a/the (no article was specified) "jobs trap".

I can't see there being a problem myself, other than it being pretty much impossible to police. It's hardly an issue of hypocrisy, any more than a man who was elected by a male electorate is a hypocrite for supporting votes for women. Or a party that was elected with FPTP supporting proportional representation. Change has to start somewhere.

There's no real issue with internships per se. The problem is when this becomes a means of reinforcing social exclusion - exactly the issue that Clegg is trying to address.

As for the accusation made by one MP that this is a "soft and silly policy that most will find immensely patronising" - I for one don't, and I think as more people become aware of an avenue of privilege which others are benefiting from and which they have no access to, they will expect something to be done about it. The governments of other nations may privilege certain social groups. I'd rather not see it here.

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