Jonty Olliff-Cooper, A4e's Director of Policy and Strategy, seems to have learned his lesson about careless postings on Twitter. You can't read his tweets now unless you're a "confirmed follower". We can't know whether he got a rocket from his employer for that offensive exchange (see our post of 9 February), but it's disappointing that journalists, even on Private Eye, missed it, or didn't think it important.
I suppose I must comment on the latest employment figures, but it's wearisome. We all know that the figures are, if not exactly rigged, at least hiding the truth. 12% of the increase in "jobs" is accounted for by people providing free labour on the various "workfare" schemes - the ONS insists that it has to include them. We have no idea how many of the people reported to have come off JSA are being sanctioned by being kicked off benefits. And it all seems at odds with the recent story about Costa Coffee advertising 8 jobs at its new shop in Nottingham and getting 1,701 applications. (One of the saddest things about that story was that a spokeswoman said that some of the applicants were former managers who were "clearly overqualified for the positions".) Iain Duncan Smith was heard to say today that the figures showed that the Work Programme was beginning to be effective. No, they don't.