You know the Government is panicking when a group of people is described as Trotskyist and Anarchist within a couple of hours.
David Cameron, in the Commons, defending eight week work placements for the unemployed, urged businesses to “stand up against the Trotskyites”.
A little later on the BBC’s World at One, the work and pensions secretary, Ian Duncan Smith, said it was the anarchists who were opposing unpaid work placements. A BBC report appears, from its Google summary, to have originally included this reference to anarchists but later changed to remove it. But I heard him say it.
I realise that many politicians have scant knowledge of political history but anarchists and Trotskyists are unlikely bedfellows.
But it was the sneering tone of IDS suggesting only extremists were against the schemes that really annoyed me. I think work experience is great. People taking part should also be given worthwhile things to do and should learn from them. If the work they do is of real value to the company, after the costs of supervision and support, they should be paid.
I cannot believe that eight weeks of stacking shelves in a supermarket is not replacing paid labour, so work experience people doing that should be paid.