Yesterday’s cold, sparse unemployment figures had a human face. Michael Taylor, an unemployed teacher, appeared on the BBC 10 O’Clock News and spoke in uncompromising terms of what it meant for him to be among the ranks of Britain’s 2.67 million jobless. His voice cracking, Mr Taylor spoke of being “humiliated”. “I feel like it’s my fault”, he said.
I don’t know Michael Taylor’s personal circumstances, or whether there’s truth in his argument that in his North West community, jobs simply aren’t available for those who want them. But he appeared sincere enough. Painfully so.
He was followed by the Prime Minister, who offered his ritual cold comfort. The jobless figures were “disappointing”, but the number of people actually in work was rising, as were the number of job vacancies. He, David Cameron, would be “rolling up his sleeves” to get Britain back to work. Though he appeared to be wearing a very nice suit jacket when he said it.