George Tyndale : the truth about unemployment
There are more than a million unemployed people in this country who have not worked a day since New Labour came to power twelve years ago.
The best part of another two million have been without work for seven years or more.
There are any number of explanations for these bleak statistics just revealed by the Department of Work and Pensions.
Some of the jobless are, of course, simply bone-idle and enjoy sitting on their backsides while living off the rest of us.
Some will have left the education system woefully ill-equipped for the world of work and will simply have become abandoned.
And some will simply not have been able to find a job.
The same set of figures from Work and Pensions reveals that since 1997 there have been 1.6 million jobs created by private industry.
Yet the number of British born workers in the private sector has actually fallen.
By contrast the number of immigrants taking work in our factories and offices has risen by 1.6 million.
In other words since Tony Blair first stepped over the doorstep of 10 Downing Street just about every non-Government job created has gone to a worker from overseas while a million of our own workforce have sat on the sidelines doing nothing.
Now, of course, it is wildly simplistic to suggest that if there had been no immigration then that one and a half million jobless would all have found work.
But it is true to say that if the demand for workers had been allowed to develop naturally then the pressure to get those people back to work would have increased dramatically and the training to fit them for the jobs available would have been made more readily available.
In the debate about the consequences of New Labour's decision to promote mass immigration we have heard a great deal about the economy, about the housing crisis and about the tensions in our communities.
We have heard next to nothing about the British lives that have been wasted.