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April 23, 2011


David MacDonald

Please can someone explain to me what an internship is?

When I was 17, I had a job as a part time postmen during the week before Christmas but I applied for that in the normal way. When my Wife was a student in Japan she had a part time job teaching English to some school children but this was a private arrangement she made herself. Both our children spent some time picking tomatoes when they were still at school and our daughter also worked in some nursing homes during the holidays. When they were students at uni they both had holiday jobs from time to time but they arranged these themselves and were paid the going rate.

I genuinely don’t what “internships” are, why people feel they are a “good thing but unfair” for the young people concerned and why Dad and/or Mum should to arrange these things. Surely any youth with any gumption would sort this out for himself/herself.

Or have I missed some vital point?

Toxic Storm Clouds

Yeah, Shame he didn't go along that route by rising theough ability - didn't he get a Leg up by connection?........

It's funny isn't it - the ones who tend to have had the help seem most talkative on this issue. Unless I had earned a job or a role I would feel funny about taking it incase i let them down. Maybe its because my family is not well connected that it seems alien to me, I don't hold a grudge against those who have had a break through relatives and the like but again who cares? What I am against is the sort of Labour legislation which means those without connection are then delibrately given additional obsticles to make it fair for the Black/Asian/ethinic minorities and women.

It is typical of the Left not too realise their "help" does not create equality because those who get the lucky break through family and connection will get it anyway whist those with none will be left to wither on the vine - How do I know: I am one of those that Labour deems able to pass laws to make it harder for me to get a job so an Immigrant, ethnic mionority or women is deemed more deserving by the Left. Being Middle Class and white seems to be a voilation of the law in Great Britain these days - The PC leftist nonsense needs ending.


"Intern" is an American term. We don't have internships in this country, we have work experience. Let's say a man has a chip shop in Grimsby and he wants his teenage son to help out on a Saturday. God help him if he doesn't place an advert in the Guardian first. That's what Clegg and the Liberals are on about. It's madness.

john parkes

Just as we are becoming more concerned with the process of our voting system and ignoring the importance of the outcome of elections, it is beginning to seem as if Clegg is looking for the government to start micro-managing the recruitment of labour and taking the responsibility away from the professions, trade and industry.
The idea that an `internship` or `work experience` will automatically lead to a job in the company offering such opportunities is ridiculous nonsense. No company that I know of is averse to having a look for a few weeks at a young person who is seeking a career but in the present time of economic uncertainty, it needs exceptional promise on the part of the `intern` to get a foot in the door. If a such a young person is lucky enough to make a mark, well why shouldn`t the company in question be allowed to decide who is suitable for employment. We should remember too that having had the chance to look, the intern is quite likely to decide that what is on offer is not for him or her.
What does Clegg want next; that the government should start directing all labour into employment to ensure `fairness`? We are trying, I thought, to gt the government off the backs of the country in general and the wealth generators in particular. It`s time Clegg took a grip and woke up to reality. No more creeping socialisation is needed here, thank you very much.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

Sorry. I just don't nuy this little playlet! It's a put-up job!

There is a lot in today's media about the alleged tiff by Cameron and Clegg over unpaid internships for family friends given by MPs etc.

Well I feel this is a set-up to let both Party Leaders be able to say to their supporters , "Look, I am NOT in Cameron's(Clegg's) pocket!" The issue itself is big enough to polarise Tories from Lib-Dems but is not a game stopper for the Coalition, and is a God awful small affair in the big picture for the UK.

Sorry Dave and Nick, I have seen through your little game. This is one Easter Egg I won't be eating!


It's not fair that well connected people get a leg up. However its not fair that some people are better looking, more athletic or cleverer. Sometimes you have to accept lifestyle not fair but not use it as an excuse not to get on. The only people I really have sympathy for are those who apply for the roles and get put aside for a worse candidate, most who moan have never put themselves forward. The last thing we need is a layer of beauracracy in the work experience system, even labour didn't try to implement that. It probably make sense for mos to have a mote open system of getting interns but other industry should choose who they want. What worries me far more about work experience is hearing grayling talking about increasing the length of unpaid work experience allowed which I fear employers could see as a way to get free labour.

southern softie

It is a bit sad nick clegg thinks parents who help their kids should be be discriminated against.It is the most natural thing in the world to help your owns kids to succeed in life.But only the lib dems can say that is bad.Some how I cannot see the lib dems remaining a political force in politics after 2015 with attitudes such as this.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

"Some how I cannot see the lib dems remaining a political force in politics after 2015 with attitudes such as this."


Let us hope so!

Iain Gill

Cameron has it so wrong on this one

This party needs to fight for as close to a meritocracy in this country as is possible, that is what was brilliant about mrs t and john major

total lack of understanding of the perspective of the clever hard working kids forced to go to rubbish schools in this country

Ash Faulkner

"It's not fair that well connected people get a leg up. However its not fair that some people are better looking, more athletic or cleverer. Sometimes you have to accept lifestyle not fair..."

That's right hector, because as we all know, social status, like looks, is genetic.

Comprehensive Conservative

Much as I hate to say it, Clegg is right and Cameron is wrong. How can he attack Oxford University for selecting solely on academic merit one week, and then appear to favour making appointments by nepotism the next. This might just be a way to hit out at the Lib Dems after Cable's nonsense, but it is really inconsistent.

Toxic Storm Clouds

Iain Gill,


I am a firm believer in meritocracy, however one persons merit is chased by another persons jeolousy. John Major and Margret Thatcher both had to put up with nonsense on whether they were deemed to be upto the job or even worthy.

Some families seek to help the next generation, others do not - I know which type of family I would rather be brought up by and I speak as someone who has been given Zero assistance. There is something inherantly perveted in not seeking to help your offspring to be happy, maybe selfishness. I seek to give every opportunity I never had to my offspring, it seems to me the left who quite often benefited from connections feel guilty.

If Politics or even Life was based on Merit and input things would be alot different and there would be people in the House of Commons or Even the House of Lords who had earned the right to be there instead of useless third raters who don't deserve to be there being allowed in there. I think Parliament is full of useless politicians and It staggers me how they ever got selected or approved. Just look at some of the peers since 1997 or even 2010! Not been funny but what have most of them done that warrants a title and a place in parliament as for the Hereditary Peers- That should have gone years ago. Nevermind making the House of Lords elected just axe the whole thing and put things to refurendum - It would save a hell of alot of money and time.


Clegg, which is typical of the Lib Dems, now wants the state to interfere in people's private arrangements for temporary work for young people.
Is anybody else getting sick and tired of the word "fair" as used in every sentence by the Liberal Democrats.

Toxic Storm Clouds


Is anybody else getting sick and tired of the word "fair"?

Yes, Its a load of cobblers - Nothing is ever "fair". Someone will always lose in any decision and the loser will think it unfair. Unfairness is IMO similar to the laws of movement and principle of recoil.

Lib Dems don't want to be unpopular so they think by using words like "fair" they can deflect negatives. Just like the "progressive agenda" - that is code for give in to Leftwing causes because you are frit of the Lefty campaigners (Trades union and other vested interests). The Lib Dems are rubbish and the sooner they walk and we can have another election the better because I am sick to the back teeth of their rubbish.

country mouse

Yes, Robert, I am. Life is not fair, and no amount of social engineering will make it so. It's time the Libdems and other socialists woke up to that fact.

Andrew Smith

His proposition os ridiculous.

So, I have a son or daughter who wants to be a plumber. Their school failed to teach them anything. I have a mate who is a plumber but I must not introduce them to each other. Ridiculous.

The fact is my father was a small farmer in Cambridgeshire. He had no contacts in the City where I found a job, trained as an accountant and I have worked ever since. Unlike CamiNickers, I have not had the benefits of family weath, family connections and I do not suffer from a guilt complex!

I have family connections whose fathers (men I knew) who were guests of the Japanese in WW2. Others who were in Kenya. I worked with a Muslim whose uncle worked for the Royal Navy in Mombasa and was proud of that to the point that he was, reportedly, prepared to come to UK and confront the likes of Caminickers who want to close down thje UK defense forces.

My children got no help from me in finding their degree courses or their careers, unlike Caminickers.

I do not want to apologise for anything. And silly, self conscious guilt of fifth form politicians (year 11 to the current bureaucracy) to control our future. What are we to have, questionnaires, supervised by civil servants to check who knew who and when, and whether they helped them get a job. What about a certain number of current MPs, media reporters etc whose unusual surnames correspond to earlier well known politicians. Are they to be sacked?

The first MP I met was named Pym. An unusual name. A man named Pym now works in the media - any connection? Is he to be fired? There are many other examples.

Caminickers are being ridiculous about this, and the implication is a nationalisation of childhood. Not only do they want to confiscate as many newly born as possible and bring them into socialised care (see Telegraph last weekend) but they want to regulate who they mix with and how they get work experience.

The Nazis were not so controlling!!

The mind set behind this is really terrifying.

Alistair Bull

Nothing wrong in offering jobs to your family

Steve Tierney

Don't you love it when people begin instructing you to choose those they favour for jobs over those you favour for jobs. I suppose, next, it'll all be overseen by a Quango created to manage the "fair" placement of people in internships. Clegg and his ilk will not be happy until everything and anything is controlled, managed and policed by the state.

(a) Reveal a "wrong"
(b) Regulate to "prevent" it.
(c) Spend forever re-regulating to "fix" the damage caused by each new regulation.


This is such a non-issue and is distracting from the real barriers to social mobility- dumbed down state education, politically correct careers advice and the bigotry of low expectation.

Miliband, Clegg and Cameron are banging on about this because they're weighed down by the guilt of having been the beneficiaries themselves. Notice how we never got this kind of sniping from Maggie and John Major.

Phil Kean

Be fair to Nick. He does have a point.

After all, he's a living, breathing example of the
folly of giving unfair advantage to people of
sub-standard potential.

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