New figures just released show that if you were born in the UK in the last 25 years, you had better hope that you have incredible talents.
The jobless total for 16 to 24-year-olds hit a record of 1.02 million in the quarter and female unemployment was at its highest for 23 years.
To make anything of yourself in these challenging times the ability to sing or kick a football well should stand you in good stead. Failing that, try to ensure you were born rich. Britain has never really, despite some chatter about a meritocracy and a classless society, been very comfortable with allowing all and sundry to have access to the upper echelons. Far too American a concept, although even there that now seems to be falling by the wayside.
The real tragedy behind the numbers is, of course, the wasted potential of so many lives and the detrimental effect on Britain’s economy for years to come. This poverty of ambition, coupled with the more tangible effects of financial poverty, is going to be the Conservatives’ real legacy for the country unless their austerity programme is derailed – and soon. Again, we can’t say we weren’t warned.