David Cameron says the Tories are aiming for full employment. Photo: Getty
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David Cameron reiterates Tory call for full employment: empty words or PR coup?

Countering the "cost-of-living crisis".

David Cameron is to reiterate the Tory commitment to full employment outlined by George Osborne last year. In a speech today, he is to emphasise his party's call for achieving this aim, presenting his election manifesto promises on jobs and enterprise.

Full employment happens in an economy in which there are enough jobs available for all workers. According to the BBC, the Prime Minister is expected to say on the subject:

Full employment may be an economic term, but this is what it means in human terms: it means more of our fellow men and women with the security of a regular wage; it means you, your family and your children having a job and getting on in life.

Are these hollow words or a compelling promise from a Prime Minister desperate to convince an electorate largely yet to feel the so-called recovery that the Tories offer a bright future?

The Labour party has jumped on Cameron's commitment as "empty words", considering this government's record on employment as seen throughout this parliament. The shadow work and pensions secretary, Rachel Reeves, commented:

David Cameron's talk of full employment will seem like empty words to working people after five years of talents wasted and opportunities denied.

The Tories' low wage economy has left millions of people stuck on low pay, or unable to get enough work to pay the bills. The average wage has fallen more than £1,600 per year, 3.5 million people want to work more hours, and the number of people paid less than a living wage has risen to nearly five million, driving up the benefits bill and leading to more Tory Welfare Waste.

Meanwhile young people aren't getting the support they need to make the most of their talents and help our country earn its way out of the cost-of-living crisis.

Indeed, although employment levels have been increasing, the number of low-paid and low quality jobs, and unemployment among young people, remain a stubborn scar on the face of the coalition's jobs record. Cameron's pledge to aim for full employment makes his party vulnerable to fair criticism from Labour, which has long been banging the drum for its own plans for higher quality jobs and working conditions.

Labour has promised a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to help the long-term unemployed off benefits into work, a crackdown on zero-hours contracts, raising the minimum wage to £8 an hour and helping more workers be paid the living wage. The PM's speech simply gives the opposition a good opportunity to champion its promises on living and working standards.

Labour is the party that has been consistently stronger on living conditions, summed up by its incessant "cost-of-living crisis" narrative, which makes Cameron's speech today on full employment a little risky for the Tories. His promise begs the question of how he would ensure that, once he's given such a big boost to the country's employment, workers are working and living satisfactorily.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.

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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland