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I don't think political figures can lecture people about being unemployed if the jobs themselves are not available. 5.4 million people are without work in our country and yet just over 600,000 new jobs are being created. That means most of the unemployed can never find work. Mass unemployment can only be addressed by rebuilding Britains manufacturing industry. The service-sector cannot employ enough people for a population of our size.

I feel the state should provide transient waged work for the long-term unemployed. Norman Tebbit suggested something similar a few years ago. Long-term unemployment often creates a dependency which leads to alienation, and in some cases an anti-social sub culture. If the state could provide a degree of work for the long-term unemployed that would re-introduce a degree of structured responsibility into the lives of those lost in the dole queues. I refer here to waged work and not workfare. Where the market cannot provide work the state should employ the unemployed to work on social projects.

I sadly live abour 1 mile outside her constituency so do not have the privilege of being represented by this fine lady. Ok, she is totally wrong on fox hunting, but she is a genuine, principled and forthright Conservative. No wonder she and I are so out of place amongst Dave's neo LibDem party.

i If you are being received as a Catholic, as I was, you have to say that all the Church teaches is revealed truth.

Perhaps he regarded his faith as a personal matter, that the restrictions which it placed on him should not be forced on other people who do not share his beliefs.

I have no yearning to ban the sale of pork or shellfish in the UK, for example, or for the implementation of Sharia Law.

Tony [email protected]:20

IIRC, that is called the "lump of labour" fallacy. It isn't true that there are some fixed or trend-rising number of jobs so that most of those without jobs "can never find work". That simply isn't how the economy work.

"We must not accept this liberal tyranny which says that if you go against the orthodoxy, you will not only be ostracised but criminalised as well"


"In our day, to become pregnant before marriage was a disaster,

But it's OK to ostracise those who go against her orthodoxy?

Blair is not, however, a libertarian, David. He is perfectly happy legislating against behaviour his party dislikes in all sorts of areas. It is curious that on issues of conscience, he never sides with his co-religionists.

Andrew Lilico, Think about why we have been plagued with mass unemployment ever since around 1973? It was around this time that our export markets began to change dramatically and the pound began to float. The decline of manufacturing since may have been welcomed in some Conservative circles because it signalled the end of union power but has left us with permanent mass unemployment. The future Conservative government must look at this issue and try to find solutions, rather than accepting mass unemployment as a fact-of-life.

The service sector is far more able to generate employment than manufacturing.

Many people are economically inactive in this country, because it pays them to be economically inactive.

Sean, think about the numbers employed in the service-sector compared to the numbers that could be employed by manufacturing. The service-sector has its place of course but for a nation the size of Britain manufacturing needs to be the backbone of the economy. I can't accept your view that it pays people to be economically inactive. It is possible to do well out of the benefit system if there are a large number of children, but for the single person languishing on the dole, life is certainly not in any way profitable.

Religious/Moralistic Tyranny good! Liberal Tyranny Bad?

It's the utterings of the likes of Widdecombe that makes us still look like we are "the nasty party".

Blair was a charlatan in all other respects - why should we expect his religion to be any different?

Tony, given the level of automation within manufacturing, it is very hard to see how that sector can generaet much in the way of employment.

Incapacity benefit provides a reasonable living standard for quite a lot of people who don't want to work.

"Religious/Moralistic Tyranny good! Liberal Tyranny Bad?"

Strictly, liberal Tyranny is a contradiction in terms. Politically correct tyranny is bad, however.

Tanuki, I think you have a point. When people hear political figures attacking people for being on benefit it sounds nasty and vindictive. Of course there are some who play the system, but to suggest thatall 5.4 million jobless are freeloaders is ridiculous. All I have ever heard from Ann Widdecombe are criticisms and nothing by way of initiatives. How would Ann Widdecombe tackle unemployment, family breakdown and so on. David Cameron to his credit always has an answer to any given problem he addresses. What we need from politicians are answers and not just questions.

Sean, automation is only a process, it still has to be administered, that requires manpower.

I have no yearning to ban the sale of pork or shellfish in the UK, for example, or for the implementation of Sharia Law.

You forgot beef....and you didn't mention growing beards....but I am pleased you are not going to ban pork.....your friends have banned so much already

"You forgot beef"

Why would I have included beef?

" ....and you didn't mention growing beards....but I am pleased you are not going to ban pork.....your friends have banned so much already"

I'm not proposing to ban anything. What friends are you referring to?

Sean, automation is only a process, it still has to be administered, that requires manpower.

Actually no Tony - the days of employing 5000 in a mill are long gone. The autmation of plants mean several can be controlled remotely - but labour is still required in assembly work. Camcorders were initially assembled by hand before machines were trained how to do it - the problem is that Britain is not on the innovations curve pioneering new products and technologies.


The consumer sector is in Asia and the producer sector is in Germany, textiles moved to Turkey and so did dyehouses, Next etc make suits in Croatia or Ukraine; and the question is what exactly you would employ expensive workers doing ?

Trafford Park was built in the years when Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister as an industrial estate - I think it is mentioned in love on The Dole but I doubt it is a manufacturing centre now.

The problem is Tony, the population is simply too big for the economy and cannot generate jobs because it is not generating high-value output and mst engineering is in weapons technology

I have no yearning to ban

I'm not proposing to ban anything.

The only person even suggesting banning things is you, I merely said I was pleased you had reconsidered

Eh? I didn't suggest banning anything.

Tomtom, how come the Chinese can employ such vast numbers in manufacturing then?

Why quote China? Germany is a fine example of a manufacturing economy. The difference is in the national psyche. The average German weighs things up and then pays for even big ticket items (such as Washing machines and refrigerators, not to mention televsion sets) in cash, and that also only when he is certain that it is value for money. In Britain sadly the plastic is used for everything - we have, I am afraid become a throaway society like the US, and the buying habit is purely price based. No wonder manufacturing sector has high unemployment and no starbucks and financial services cannot employ all those people of working age.

Cut the benefits (and extend the personal tax allowances as well as cut taxes on small businesses) there may be some extra manufacturing jobs and the balance of payments will improve.
People also will regain their pride and the social fabric will be stronger.

The service sector does generate jobs...walk into any sandwich bar/coffee shop in London.

We have a conundrum in which hard working people come, quite legitimately, from Riga or Krakow to work in a coffee shop, but many of the 5.7 million economic inactive people of working age in this country wouldn't dream of doing the same job.

I think we need to take a leaf out of an unlikely politician's book - Bill Clinton. I think Clinton's welfare reforms, albeit pushed on him by the Republican Congress, will go down as one of the greatest triumphs of conservative thinking in modern American history.

All the cries that people would be left in the gutter were not true, more jobs were generated, people got off welfare, crime in most major US cities fell...

I think if we EXPLICITLY borrowed from the Clinton lexicon it would be harder for our opponents to present welfare reform as a "hard right" option...after all it's about giving working class people a sense of worth and dignity and encouraging them to be independent...not vassals of a Labour client state....a very mainstream position I'd have thought.

Tomtom, how come the Chinese can employ such vast numbers in manufacturing then?

Posted by: Tony Makara | September 05, 2007 at 16:43

Because they have vast numbers of people and they are cheap. Employ British workers at 20 pence/hr; work them for 14 hour days 6 days/week; charge them for electricity to light the workplace; have no maternity/paternity leave; no pensions; no healthcare; no parking places; no corporation tax; no national insurance; and have the British Army as shareholders in each enterprise


Yes Tony...we could make it work - but they wouldn't be buying £180,000 houses or £28,000 cars.

As for Germany...wonder why Electrolux closed its factories in Nuremberg and set up new ones in Poland; or why Continental moved tyre production to Rumania; or why the Porsche Cayenne/VW Touareg is made in Slovakia; or why so much luxury leather goods like Gold Pfeil is now in Hong Kong ?

Manufacturing jobs in Germany have been shed at quite a rate and wage costs have been sliced over the past decade to undercut France and Italy on unit costs.

But Manufacturing disappeared from the GDR as the West German cost base made it uncompetitive. The German sewing machines business - Pfaff - is now in Hong Kong.

Once you lose key industries you lose the supplier sectors - it just happens that Germany has more family-owned manufacturing businesses than the UK - there are not many JCBs here - although even in Germany the Vulture apitalists are wrecking firms like Grohe by moving production to China

I never thought I'd say this, but Clinton got it right.

Setting a limit on the amount of welfare somebody was entitled to over their lifetime has transformed US cities. Knowing you have only 5 years during which you can rely on the state - if you are able bodied - means people find work.

We should do the same here. It would be a better solution that "cutting benefits" because people that would still mean people living on welfare, just with even lower incomes because they will accept even a bad thing if somebody else is doing it for them. It's called the "principle of least effort".

Giving them a fair level of welfare when they need it, but limiting the time they can call on it is far morte humane.

It might even be possible to incentivise young people to take work by giving them a much shorter period, say three months, and requiring them to build up to their full allowance by work or service.

I'm sorry, Tony and others, but this just isn't how economies work. How many people in Vatican City do you suppose work in manufacturing? Does that mean that almost everyone in Vatican City will be unemployed? It simply isn't true that we need any manufacturing employment *at* *all* in order for everyone in the economy to be employed. That is not to say that UK manufacturing doesn't add value to the UK economy or that it should be derided. But it isn't *necessary* to employment in the way being portrayed here.

I was surprised too John. I subsequently heard an extract of a speech of Clinton's in a compilation of great speeches of our times and I thought I'd never heard a more passionate, eloquent, conservative defence of the family. This is a text version - http://www.americanreview.us/memphis.htm.

It's the sort of speech I'd love to see a leader in this country make...and I think David Cameron is the closest to it...

That's not to dismiss Clinton's flaws, but in this area he was right.

First Ancram, now Widdecombe. Excellent!

It's proving a vintage week for traditional Toryism.

Meanwhile I see Cameron is reduced to begging Brown to join him in some TV Punch and Judy show.

Needless to say, Brown has brushed him off like a flea.

We have a conundrum in which hard working people come, quite legitimately, from Riga or Krakow to work in a coffee shop, but many of the 5.7 million economic inactive people of working age in this country wouldn't dream of doing the same job.

Yes, but don't migrants tend to be the most intelligent and educated people of a country? Even if they do end up working in coffee shops.

At the risk of being politically incorrect, it seems that there is a certain proportion of the population who just aren't very bright. Before the industrial revolution they worked in agriculture. Then they worked in the factories.

Is it possible that the tasks in the service industry are just too complex for them? I don't know.

At the risk of being politically incorrect, it seems that there is a certain proportion of the population who just aren't very bright.

Isn't it time we proclaimed this truth - loud and proud.

Let's update that greatest of Conservatives, Thomas Carlyle, and call them what they are.

'The sixty millions - mostly fools'

We have a conundrum in which hard working people come, quite legitimately, from Riga or Krakow to work in a coffee shop, but many of the 5.7 million economic inactive people of working age in this country wouldn't dream of doing the same job.

Yes, but don't migrants tend to be the most intelligent and educated people of a country? Even if they do end up working in coffee shops.

I don't know...it is better to take the work to where the intelligent ones live - such as moving back-office jobs from City firms or Law Firms to India.

We need to shift more of The City jobs to India or Dubai or Singapore so we can increase shareholder returns which have been eroded by excessive City pay packages. No reason not to employ analysts in Bangalore instead.

If we can shift more of these clerical jobs out to India we can start to cut at the wage inflation in places like London and erode the supernormal profit in City jobs and aligning salaries with commercial banking.

More of the BBC operations could be shifted offshore too and lean management introduced.

No reason to have low cost labour coming to Britain - better to shift more service jobs offshore.....law firms have made a start.

Once City salaries are brought in line with average incomes in London it will bring house prices more into line with ordinary people and their incomes.

Let's update that greatest of Conservatives, Thomas Carlyle, and call them what they are. 'The sixty millions - mostly fools'

Please tell me we don't still put you on doorsteps...

Please tell me we don't still put you on doorsteps...

I think I've told you before Richard, but when I canvass, my routine - accompanied by a smile and a leaflet - always goes like this.

'Good evening Mr/s ........ I'm calling on behalf of your Conservative candidate ....... ....... May he/she count on your support?

I consider that to be the most professional and least offensive approach when you are dragging people from their TVs to their front doors.

Judging by some of what is posted here I would say that some of our more enthusiastic canvassers lose more votes than they gain.

No wonder this woman is so angry and frustrated if she took a vow of chastity.

She is so out of touch with people it's unbelievable, she represents nobody. Although I agree broadly with some of the things she is saying, her religious moralistic convictions are very distasteful and if she ran the party I wouldn't expect more than 40 seats.

Give me Widdecombe over the Teresas, May and Villiers, any day. Anne sticks to principles and values. All Mrs May can offer is a vain shoe fetish. Ms Villiers seems to have had a charisma by-pass and is hopeless on the frontbench. Surely the other Tory women MPs can do better!

'The sixty millions - mostly fools'

Posted by: Traditional Tory | September 05, 2007 at 18:37

and

To update Carlyle, "Sixty millions, mostly fools"

Posted by: Monday Clubber | October 06, 2006 at 11:13

and

...the sixty-odd millions - mostly fools - as Carlyle would have said.

Mike Smith, CDA Forum

Coincidence is an odd thing, isn't it? Glug! Glug!

"Sixty-odd millions" - the sad Tory t****r within with nothing better to do! Shouldn't that be "tug tug" ?

"We must not accept this liberal tyranny which says that if you go against the orthodoxy, you will not only be ostracised but criminalised as well"

"In our day, to become pregnant before marriage was a disaster,

But it's OK to ostracise those who go against her orthodoxy?

Posted by: David | September 05, 2007 at 15:29

Make your mind up; what do you want the situation of pregnant unmarrieds (many of them in their teens) to continue to be a burden to themselves and the State or do you want to call a halt to it?

Either stigmatise, ostracise or sterilise, but dont bother to victimise or sympathise. The latter will achieve little except bigger welfare payments and delinquent behaviour.

Sometimes, for a woman who would ban fox hunting, Ms Widdecombe shows remarkable intelligence, understanding and articulate fluency not usually associated with the Tories - they mostly seem to have lost those attributes. Judging by the attitude of the many in the whimsically named Conservative Party, Ann Widdecombe is probably regarded as a dinosaur/neocon/old duffer - a bit like Ancram I suppose.


Andrew Lilico, so the Vatican city doesn't need a thriving manufacturing industry to survive. Now there is a surprise! Of course neither do banana republics. But then again they are not countries with a huge population like Britain. Manufacturing is the key if we are to put this country back to work.

Tomtom, we certainly needs to have a government in place that is business-friendly and that means doing away with the regulation that makes us struggle to compete with others like China and India. The pound needs to operate at export-friendy levels too.

"Moral minority"... hmmm, now I wonder whose sock puppet that could be.

"Moral minority"... hmmm, now I wonder whose sock puppet that could be.

I don't know Sixty-odd millions. Whose do you think it is?

You are all right, aren't you?

Excellent, Ann Widdecombe! Thank you for speaking out against the so-called Liberal Tyranny. Such a load of good quoted here and in Mail interview.

I would add that it cannot be only committed Catholics who echo these sentiments but all Christians who adhere to Biblical authority, and indeed people of other faiths and none. Most voters have some sense of right and wrong and justice that instinctively yearns for crime and wrongdoing to be punished and good promoted. Ann Widdecombe says in the Mail that the police should not send officers to arrest someone for making a politically incorrect comment, but instead should be targeting muggers.

True liberty has to have boundaries of right and wrong and the state has a role in restraining the fallen aspects of our nature, for the sake of society and the vulnerable.

Many must realise that so much “liberalism” today seems to be not so much about freedom for the law-abiding and a smaller state, but is rather more about promoting the bad and oppressing the good, and has little sense of right and wrong. The same regulation that forbids Catholic adoption agencies from making their own choices over gay adoption, has the state forcing B&B owners to permit behaviour in their home that offends their conscience, and apparently potentially prevents schools from teaching homosexual practice is wrong. One minority group’s ‘rights’ have overridden long-held traditional freedoms of religion and conscience.

In this nation today a couple were quizzed by police in their own home after complaining about their local council's 'gay rights' policy (they settled their legal action out of court and received compensation), and even a bishop was investigated by police for saying something the gay advocates disagree with. It used to be in the Soviet Block that people were faced with a visit from police if they dissented from officially approved beliefs, and we were glad we were free.

On crime, Ann Widdecombe says that incidents like the death of 11 yr-old Rhys Jones, “you will get a strong reaction from the public which will ask: 'How did we get here and how do we get out of here?' But the mood is not harnessed and it goes away." Perhaps one reason the mood doesn’t get harnessed and nothing gets done is the establishment metropolitan liberalism that is more concerned with perpetrators than victims, e.g. the BBC waffling on about alienation and so forth and blaming economic poverty etc.

With Miss Widdecombe’s Mail interview today, and with Michael Ancram’s pamphlet yesterday, it’s great we’ve got grandees speaking out for good and common sense and true Conservative values of freedom. They surely can be considered to be contributing to what Mr Cameron is doing - his support for marriage and what he has said recently about crime, shows he is seeking to practically address problems in society exacerbated by decades of liberal experiment.

It is such a pity if Ann Widdecombe really is retiring at the end of this Parliament – we need more like her.

@Andrew Lilico and Tony Makara

You are both right and both wrong.

It is not essential for Britain to be a manufacturing economy. If we had an exportable religion of our own with more competent management than the C of E then that might do the trick. Although I think the Second Coming may need to happen here first. (And yes Andrew I realise that was reductio ad absurdam) We could run the entire economy on services but to do that we need to have enough exportable services to pay for the importable manufactures we don't make. As our manufacturing drops further that becomes even harder and we are already £60-70 billion short. Whence Andrew are you going to fill the gap? The trouble with most economic orthodoxy is that it is just plain wrong and the more orthodox it is, the more likely it is to be nonsense.

But Tony is also wrong. I know from a recent trip that Germany's huge manufacturing trade (currently £80billion to the good even against China and India) is built on labour even cheaper than theirs: they don't actually employ anybody. Last year I went to a wax plant in Hamburg which is responsible for say 10% of Europe's wax refining. It has a chairman and board, four computer operators on shifts, four men working fork lifts and a number of night watchmen - and a lot of robots.
Rebuilding our manufacturing base isn't going to significantly increase manufacturing employment but it is going to require a lot of capital investment and R&D. That is going to require lower interest rates, a lower pound, much less regulation, lower corporation tax and rebates on R&D and the pursuit for negligence of everyone who has held a Chair of Economics in this country for the last 15 yrs.

[email protected]:40

>That is going to require lower interest rates, a lower pound, much less regulation, lower corporation tax and rebates on R&D and the pursuit for negligence of everyone who has held a Chair of Economics in this country for the last 15 yrs.<

?? So your view is that the last 15 years has been a period of notably poor performance in the British economy; perhaps one of high unemployment? I have to say that doesn't strike me as a *mainstream* economic assessment, but then again perhaps I'm in the grip of too much "orthodoxy"... :-)

Andrew, Jonathan is right. The misuse of disability benefits has masked the increase in adult unemployment. The huge increase in student numbers is a government ploy to reduce youth unemployment.

The government has pressurised government agencies, local authorities and other state bodies to hire recent graduates at the expense of older and more experienced applicants. The exceptions are ethnic minority, gay and disabled candidates who are employed to meet central government quotas. If you are white and over 30, forget it!

State employers have used early retirement, at the taxpayers expense, to push out older employees and recruit graduates. It needs to get them into jobs to pay back their student loans and fees.

"Make your mind up; "

Hey, I'm not the one complaining about being ostracised and then indicating a wish to ostracise others.

@Andrew
It is very superficial to see the economic performance of the last 15 yrs as successful. In so far as it has been successful at all it has been much less successful than a lot of competitor nations but I would argue that it has been unsuccessful because
1) We have handed economic policy to a lot of inflation fetishists which is responsible for..
2) We have too high real interest rates which is responsible for..
3) We have an exchange rate at least 40% overvalued wrt PPP which is responsible for..
4) We have lost manufacturing production which is responsible for
5) We have a worsening balance of payments crisis which is responsible for
6) We have sold our asset base and most important sectors of the economy are in foreign hands.
7) We have allowed untrammeled immigration which with 4) above is responsible for..
8) We have colossal mostly unreported economic inactivity (unemployed + incapacity benefit + on the sick + early retired + youths wasting 3 yrs in useless degrees or other non job training)
9) We have a debt crisis
10) We have a pensions crisis

So whilst you are very orthodox, I am not sure you are right.

I am very conservative but I found her comments disgusting. Is she living in the dark ages? Most Single parents work you know! I am personally a child of a single parent, I have never smoked, taken drugs or even drank alcohol, I am sorry but she need to go, we need new blood.

@Andrew

I'll take the silence as grudging acceptance shall I?

James Jenkins-Y

I am afraid you are wrong. Sure some offspring of lone parents do well but many do not.

For example:
1 There is a 60% increased risk that the children of single parents will leave school at 16.
2.A 25% increase in risk that young men from lone parent families will be more likely to offend persistently.
3. A 325% increased chance that the children of lone parents will be expelled from school.

These are just some of the damning facts.

We need more people like Widdecombe not less.

@radical Tory

fewer

but you're right otherwise.

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