Does George Osborne realize what an obnoxious prat he's being here?:
We will be squeezing budgets like welfare which are a drag on the British economy...the thing to do for people who are not in work is give them the skills but also the incentives through the welfare programme, to get them into work.
Leave aside the assumption that welfare recipients are not part of the economy, but rather a "drag" upon it, as if the economy were merely the interests of the rich.
Leave aside also the fact that welfare isn't a handout but rather an insurance scheme, insuring people not only against the misfortune of losing their jobs but also of not having skills that are in demand.
Leave aside too the question of how people who haven't acquired skills in 11 years of schooling are to suddenly find such skills. How does a man with no knowledge of adult education or training propose to impart them?
Instead, my problem is: does Osborne not see how stupid and offensive it is for someone whose principal skill in life was to drop out of the right womb to call welfare recipients unskilled?
It may be true that the poor are poor because they lack skills - in the same way that people were in prison camps in the Soviet Union because they lacked escapology skills. But it's also true that they are poor because they are not the St Pauls (fees £22,872 pa)-educated sons of millionaire 17th Baronets who married into the peerage.
How would Osborne's life have turned out if instead he had been the son of a single-parent drug addict who went to a bog-standard comprehensive?
There are people who have a right to claim that welfare recipients are unskilled and a drag upon the economy. But Osborne ain't one of them.
He'll be laughing at lepers next.