As an unashamed elitist who believes that the richest, poshest and best-educated among us are quite obviously the best-qualified people to run the country, I am staunchly in favour of cracking down on unpaid internships, which I believe introduce a dangerously egalitarian element into our national life.
Who wants any old Tom, Dick or Trevor getting a swanky placement at a think tank, immeasurably enriching their career prospects, just because they’re clever and their parents make an effort to give them the best start in life? These uppity oiks from the lower orders need to be put in their place.
That’s why I am backing Ed Miliband’s four-week limit on unpaid internships. Let’s do away with these pernicious engines of social mobility.
My only complaint is that Miliband’s proposals do not go far enough. Why not go the whole hog and announce you’re going to ban them altogether, so only the wealthiest scions of privilege, like Ed and his mates on the Labour front benches, can take advantage of them?
In thrilling news for people like me, who believe society is best served by the widest possible gap between rich and poor, the Institute for Economic Affairs today announced that if unpaid internships are reduced to four weeks, it may have to start charging interns for these career-enhancing experiences.
“Internships frequently offer a chance for young people to improve their career opportunities and expand their horizons,” says the IEA’s Mark Littlewood. “If Ed Miliband’s proposal became law, we could well choose to start charging for the privilege of becoming a ‘trainee’ or ‘scholar’ at the IEA rather than providing these internships for free.
“Although we could try to help those from poorer backgrounds by seeking to raise money for a bursary scheme, the impact of the Labour Party policy would be to make it harder for those without rich parents to access the opportunities we seek offer young people.”
Back of the net!