Tory Mayor blames young people for being out of work – not Tory cuts, writes Tom King

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On Wednesday we learned that youth unemployment had continued to soar to yet another record high.

Today, Tory Mayor, Boris Johnson, has turned his fire not on his mates in the City who caused the economic crisis or his friend George Osborne who’s implementing swingeing cuts, but on young people across London made out of work by Tory austerity.

The Sun quotes Boris saying ‘Let’s talk about the work ethic. I don’t want to stigmatise young people because many of them do have the aptitude. But we need to face up to the issues.’

Boris talks aboutthe ‘need to face up to the issues’, when last night Ken was facing up to the mess created for young people by the Tory mayor and his friends in Government. Ken met with young Londoners to hear from them their concerns about life in the capital and what they want from a Labour mayor.

Proving how out of touch he really is Boris said ‘In some cases it can come down to the fact that the jobs are theere and people need to have the energy to go out and get them.’ When, as Labour’s GLA twitter team said, ‘There are 233k Londoners chasing 33k jobs but Boris Johnson says young people are out of work because they’re lazy.’

Maybe Boris just doesn’t get how difficult it is to find a job, after all, as Ken pointed out this morning, ‘Boris Johnson has two jobs, earning him £400,000 a year combined, so it is little wonder that he is so out of touch about how hard it is for many to find work in a city with some of the highest unemployment in Britain.’

Twitter users were quick to call out the Tory Mayor on his assault on young people – John Percival tweeted ‘ so Boris thinks young people are out of work because they ‘lack energy’. In parts of London over 40 unemployed per job vacancy!’ Another tweet read ‘I want a Mayor that pushes Govt to create jobs for young ppl not demonises our generation as feckless.’

In fact the Sun article contained not one suggestion from Boris on how to create jobs in London, nor any ideas on making work pay through the London Living Wage.

Ken responded saying, ‘He should be working round the clock to create new jobs for Londoners, but instead he has been silent as his Conservative government has cut EMA and raised tuition fees.’


By Tom King, Secretary of SOAS Labour Society – tweets @tomilo