Another heroine - Maya Black confronts candidate Clegg
. . .half an hour into his appearance at the further education college in the Hall Green area of Birmingham on Thursday morning, Mr Clegg came unstuck when Maya Black said she was “really angered” by the Lib Dems’ pledge that young people will not spend more than 90 days on JobSeeker's Allowance before they get more training, education, an internship or a place on a work programme.
The 26 year-old said: “I’ve got a background working in recruitment, I know I’ve had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of candidates, young people applying for my jobs, and they’d come in with certificates of all the training schemes they’ve been on, all the academic achievements they’ve had and they couldn’t find jobs. So it’s all very well you saying you’d put them on training schemes but that will not help them find jobs.
“What are you going to do to help employers to find jobs for young people? They won’t find jobs with a certificate, it’s a glorified piece of paper, that’s all it is unless you do something for employers. What are you going to do?”
As applause greeted her question, Mr Clegg told her: “You should go into politics.”
He admitted that taking a course would not guarantee a job, but insisted that it is better than unemployed young people sitting at home, feeling isolated and signing on while sending out job applications.
As Mr Clegg set out the Lib Dems’ plans, Miss Black shook her head in disagreement.
Mr Clegg said: “You may shake your head,” as he attempted to convince her that his plan would help young people.
But she would not be persuaded, as she claimed that at the end of the course young people would merely return to the dole queue, and told him: "I would argue that your idea actually demotivates people."
Mr Clegg asked: "What is the alternative? What do you want to do?"
To applause from dozens of students gathered in the hall, Miss Black told him: "You shouldn't be asking me that - I'm asking you."
The Lib Dem leader repeated his assertion that forcing banks to lend to small businesses would help the economy.
“You can shake your head, Maya, but that is a fact. Employers will not create jobs unless they have money to do so.”
Maya is right. Small businesses have to feel confident that high taxes will come down and that no new oppressive regulations will be installed. If they are not confident - if every new day brings them word of another tax - they won't try to expand their businesses and they won't need to borrow money from banks. They will simply hunker down and hundreds of thousands of young people will be out of work. That is what Labour's horrendous policies have brought us to.