How dare this preening toff insult our young?
The pampered poltroon Nick Hurd's attempt to blame youth unemployment on a lack of "grit" and "self control" among our young is a typically clueless intervention from our detached, privileged political elite.
Who is Nick Hurd? He is the Minister for Civil Society. And what is the Minister for Civil Society? Your guess is as good as ours. Perhaps part of the job description is farting out baked wind on the subject of how our young need to work harder to succeed in possibly the most challenging job market in our history - a legacy, let us not forget, of the kind of rampant capitalism his cronies have perpetually championed.
And what does Nick Hurd know about this challenging job market? He's the fourth male generation in his family to become a Conservative minister. His father is the Conservative Life Peer Lord Douglas Hurd. He went to Eton, Oxford (where he was in the Bullingdon, natch), ran a business and then joined the Conservative Research Department.
In short, this exemplar of nepotism and entitlement has no idea about the reality of life for young people, is too cowardly to give the real reasons our corporate state will not provide them the breaks they need, and yet has the blistering, blundering arrogance to point the finger at the generation he and his political class have let down. Hurd? It's rhyming slang.
Don't shoot the messenger: the minister is right.
Nick Hurd comes from a privileged background. Of that there is no doubt. But his opponents should play the ball, not the man. So let us direct our readers to his plaintive tweets in the aftermath of the story - which were, of course, lost in the ferment of left-wing outrage.
"It is employers raising concerns about how work ready many young people are. It is employers who are telling us that the so called soft skills matter more and more in the modern workplace...The [Daily Mail] headline suggests I am criticising teenagers. I would never do that. They are growing up in an ever more complex and challenging world.This is a debate about how we can help them succeed in an ever more competitive world and realise their potential."
Are these not noble goals? Are such stories little more than the product of widespread political frustration and impotence?
British business is ashamed of the UK's sky-high youth unemployment – and champing at the bit to help – but all too often the system is getting in the way. Careers services have died out and young people now lack any independent advice on what skills to develop to land a local job and a local career.
The world of work is changing all the time, yet our young people have no guarantee of independent careers education and guidance at school. Is it any wonder that six in ten firms say school and college leavers have not developed the self-management skills they need for work?
It's not hard to believe Hurd's feels this deeply when he speaks of "crushingly low" self-confidence of many young people and the impact this had on their job prospects. He's entirely right to say social skills and discipline are every bit as essential for success as qualifications – yet they are not being taught in schools.