This item in the FT reminds us that the spirit of enterprise has not reached all pockets of British society:
More than half a million young Britons are officially too sick to work and claiming incapacity benefits, a higher tally than the number claiming unemployment benefit, according to figures obtained by the Financial Times.
The word I think the FT is looking for but reluctant to use, I think, is “lazy”.
The figure, which includes more than 300,000 young people claiming for “mental and behavioural disorders”, shows continuing high levels of worklessness among the young, in spite of 10 years of steady economic growth and a concerted attempt to move people off welfare and into work.
I will not dismiss problems of mental health – this is a serious subject, but 300,000?
This does rather throw the issue of economic immigration – and indeed, emigration – into sharper relief. If a significant chunk of the potential working population is mentally not the full set of cards, or lazy, no wonder it is proving easy for motiviated, not-ill foreigners to enter the UK job market. Contrary to the Rod Liddles of this world, I dread to think what would have happened to the British economy had it not been for the influx of immigrants over the past decade or so.