There was a great deal of “concealed unemployment”, mostly in the form of overmanning in manufacturing industry, but overwhelmingly people who became unemployed were keen to get back into work. Long-term unemployment was concentrated amongst older men made redundant from declining industries, particularly mining, and often in areas far from those where new jobs were being created which probably reduced any stigma of long term joblessness. A second factor has been immigration. If immigrants are willing to travel a thousand miles to fill a job vacancy here, it is harder for British people to claim that there are no jobs available. At the same time there is also an understandable outrage against foreigners living off our welfare system with no apparent intention of working other than at petty street crime. A less immediately obvious change over the half century has been within our state education system. It is not just that standards of literacy and numeracy have fallen in the last 25 years, but that there has been a long-term cultural change. Pupils have been encouraged to dream about the jobs that they would like to have, regardless of the realities of their talents and the labour market. In real life there are not that many jobs as celebrities, fashion designers or film stars, and creating a sense of entitlement to such careers, without any sense that to get to the top of the ladder in any career it is necessary to start on the bottom rung, does no good service. Over these years we have also seen many good technical colleges and colleges of further education lumped together to create third- or fourth-rate universities. Instead of offering training to school-leavers as bricklayers, in other construction industry skills or in commercial catering and retail skills, they now sell youngsters poor-quality degree courses in humanities, sociology and the like, or even politics, rather than plumbing. All too often those “graduates” have little chance of finding work, and drift into professional welfarism while immigrants take up the real jobs left unfilled. At the same time the concept of traditional marriage and family has been rubbished. Too often, particularly at the bottom of the socioeconomic stack, the absence of fathers and presence of stepfathers in their stead has destabilised many young lives. Boys have drifted into gangs to find the mutual support that a family should give. Girls in their late teens have discovered that life living at home, perhaps with a disagreeable stepfather, while working for the minimum wage is an unattractive life, and they could be far better off as a single mother living in their own council flat. In such circumstances living on benefits has become a lifestyle choice. Now more recently the squeeze on wages alongside the rising cost of living has narrowed or even eliminated the differential between working (particularly part time) and living on benefit, particularly for families with several children, leaving a deep sense of resentment among lower-paid workers. It is a curious development. One might expect hard times to move consensus feelings on such an issue to the Left. In fact they have established an area of common ground which extends across the political divide. I regret to say that I am still finding the new format for your comments makes it very hard work indeed to read and keep track of the thread of the running debates. I suspect that I am not alone in that. However it was pretty clear that the detractors of John Major outnumbered his supporters, although there were a good many nuanced views of what he said last week and on his time in No 10. I counted a good dozen posts, led by bob3 and vbm2, who agreed with me, although assegai defended him robustly, saying that he got “opt-outs” on the social charter and the euro, but of course he would not have needed opt-outs had he just refused to put those matters into the treaty in the first place. Indeed, as foxoles reminded us, while the SEA. simply sought to establish the single market, Maastricht created the EU out of the EEC. Then as Cassandra put it, Margaret Thatcher was ousted by those who became the Maastricht mob. Apart from assegai I noted another half a dozen posts from trackdown, jboohoousa and others who could not agree with me, some quite sharply. Sadly, I cannot have any discussion with grollies who declared that as I am a politician he does not believe me. Even worse was the unhappy Nickfourbanks whose nasty aggressive style was sharply dealt with by RichardLTFC, HuggyBear and stigenace.
Thompson scores career-high 38 points, Warriors whip Lakers 125-94 in season opener
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)The Associated Press Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Farmar, right, drives the ball past Golden State Warriors’ Toney Douglas during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)The Associated Press Los Angeles Lakers’ Shawne Williams (3) shoots against Golden State Warriors’ David Lee during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)The Associated Press Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry reacts to a foul called against him during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)The Associated Press Next Slide Previous Slide OAKLAND, Calif. Klay Thompson scored a career-high 38 points in a spectacular shooting performance, and the Golden State Warriors whipped the Los Angeles Lakers 125-94 in their much-anticipated season opener Wednesday night. Thompson finished 15 of 19 from the floor, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range, to lead the Warriors to the runaway win. Golden State led by 19 at the half, 33 at the end of the third quarter and 35 early in the fourth. David Lee added 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Stephen Curry had 10 points and six assists as the Warriors trounced a rebuilding Lakers team playing without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.