Shaun Ley also reported on the Brown recession, & its apparent disproportionate effect on 'blue-collar' workers and the young. He did so in the company of John Philpott, chief economist of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), who the programme had commissioned to produce a report on the state of the labour market during the current 'downturn'.
Ley's report talked to a number of unemployed people - from a migrant worker to an out-of-work newsagent (who went out of business after a wicked supermarket opened nearby) - but it was Philpott who dominated. From his job description, you might assume him to be an independent commentator. His words, however belied this. He was keen to draw comparisons between the Brown recession and the Thatcher and Major recessions (as Philpott called them) - and to Brown's advantage. And so was Shaun Ley.
After featuring a clip from Julio, a suffering cafe owner, Ley said "According to John Philpott, though, Julio's cafe has a better chance of surviving than such businesses would have done in the recessions of the '80s and '90s."
Labour, of course, cannot say enough times that this is a global downturn, it all started in America, the Labour government did nothing wrong before this 'act-of-God' struck and has been saving the world ever since.
Philpott agrees: "Unlike many previous UK recessions, this one isn't so homegrown. This time round the UK labour market has been hit by simply a global slump in demand". And he's a self-confessed optimist about unemployment, saying it will bounce back more quickly this time.
Philpott has a track record of Labour-supporting comments. He's quoted in the 'Guardian' (naturally) on 17 June 2009 saying that the latest unemployment figures were "amazingly good" &, if you input his name on the 'Guardian' website, you will see him downplaying Labour's economic mess on a regular basis. (The CIPD runs an awards ceremony with the 'Grauniad').
That the BBC turns to such a man to carry out a report that can only be helpful to the Labour government doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I wish it did surprise me.