The general election season has kicked off with a lousy government jobs promise which doesn't add up. Real jobs have become job "opportunities" to spin the numbers and fiddle the dole figures.
Brown's 'Backing Young Britain' in Birmingham has a shallow ring to it. All part of the election fightback, where once again young people desperate for jobs are lulled into a false sense of security in a numbers game.
The government is pledging 85,000 "opportunities" to help get young people into work. 45,000 young people will be "helped" to find jobs in retail, tourism, leisure and hospitality.
'Opportunities' and 'help' are hardly real jobs created in a real world. It's a sham.
The figures are part of a pledge from big business eager to prop up the New Labour feel good factor and mask the ravages of deep recession depression.
Numbers includes a pledge by retailer Morrisons to give extra "training" to its under 25s. There are "opportunities" galore, including apprenticeships with companies such as Centrica, Carillion and Royal Mail. In fact more than 150 employers, including Microsoft and Pfizer, are said to be supporting the Backing Young Britain campaign.
What is the point of adding up pointless promises when at the end of the day profits will be put before people?
Sure as eggs is eggs, the announcements come with all the trimmings. Plans to help young people with training and employment are part of a £5 billion investment. £1 billion will be spent on the Backing Young Britain campaign to create 100,000 new jobs for young people and a further 50,000 jobs in "unemployment hotspots".
But what is needed are real jobs in a real economy, not half-baked worthless non jobs in a rerun of the bad old days of the shabby 'New Deal' where youngsters were just moved off benefits onto 'training' and ubiquitous 'work experience' to keep down the youth unemployment figures.
Those meaningless programmes did very little to help young people get meaningful work or meaningful qualifications.
Official figures reveal the jobless rate among 16 to 24-year-olds has soared to a staggering 20%. The current 920,000 classed as unemployed is likely to top the one million mark, bringing with it problems of crime and downright disillusionment.
Youngsters are bearing the brunt of the rising tide of unemployment, which increased to 2.4 million last month. 3 million people have not had a job since New Labour came to power over a decade ago. A further 2 million have never worked.
A whole generation is set to be lost to rising youth unemployment. Unions and businesses groups are urging ministers to do more to help jobless youngsters.
Double counting taxpayers cash already promised and spinning 'opportunities and help' as real jobs is not the answer.
As the election draws nigh, a desperate Brown is trying to persuade voters to doff their caps in gratitude to a government which is claiming to have got the public through the worst of it. But opinion polls show voters are not taken in by the hype.
The Lockerbie storm has laid bare New Labour lies and deceit. A PM who cannot be trusted with the truth over Lockerbie cannot be trusted with the economy or the future of young people desperate for real jobs in a real world.
Bottom Picture: Brown Backing Young Britain in Birmingham