England's White Dragon

England's White Dragon
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Monday, 25 April 2011

Cameron (Batman) and (Robin) Nick Clegg differ publicly

Cameron (Batman) and (Robin) Nick Clegg differ publicly on
internship places

David Cameron and his side kick deputy, Nick Clegg, have
disagreed over the way internship placements are handed out, and seem too
disagreed over many matters? How on earth can this British government function
when its forever disagreeing with its self, said Sir Michael Black-Feather the
English first minister.

Mr Cameron told the London Times he was "very
relaxed" about giving work experience to personal acquaintances, including
a neighbour.

But Mr Clegg has criticised the practice as a bar to social

He said plum internships should not go to people
"because of whom they know, rather than what they know."

He added: "I'm not relaxed about this at all."

Of course as normal Downing Street played down any hint of a
rift between the coalition partners but we all know too well it’s just not
working out and maybe time for a divorce.

Cameron said Clegg was "trying to make a fair
point" when he argued against the practice of giving internships to the
children of friends and colleagues.

But the prime minister said he, like Clegg, had been helped
out by family connections, with what he called a "definite leg-up
internship" at his father's stockbrokers. (Nice to be a part of the old
boy network said Sir Michael jobs for the boys)

Cameron said; "I've even got one of my neighbours
coming in for an internship," he said.

"In the modern world, of course you're always going to
have internships and interns - people who come and help in your office who come
through all sorts of contacts, friendly, political, whatever. (Cash for favours?)

"I do that and I'll go on doing that. I feel very
relaxed about it."

Nick Clegg said the awarding of internships should be more
transparent and fair

Responding to the comments during a rally in Norwich on
Saturday, Clegg said it was not his job to stop David Cameron offering his
friends or neighbour jobs.

But he said it was right to "give all young people a
fair chance".

"I'm not relaxed about this at all", he said.
"I think it's very important to give people a fair chance of getting

He added: "That doesn't mean parents shouldn't
constantly strive to get the best for their children; that's the most natural
thing in the world. But let's at least try to get a bit of openness and
fairness in the way in which internships are handed out in government and

A Downing Street spokesman said later: "As the prime
minister clearly states in the interview, he backs the government's social
mobility strategy."

Referring to Mr Cameron's remark that he had taken on a
neighbour on an internship, the spokesman said: "The intern mentioned is
in his constituency office [in Witney, Oxfordshire], not Whitehall, and is from
a local comprehensive school."

Gus Baker from pressure group Intern Aware said: "He
might think he's giving his neighbour a leg up, but what he's actually doing is
pushing down other talented young people who aren't lucky enough to live next
door to the PM."

'Extraordinary intervention'

Mr Baker told Radio 4's Today it was indicative of a wider
problem of a culture of unpaid internships which was unfair as it excluded
those who could not afford to work for free.

"A huge amount of young people are written off because
they are not able to access those careers," he added.

BBC political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue says it is an
extraordinary intervention by the prime minister on an issue Mr Clegg had attempted
to preserve for himself.

A source close to Mr Clegg said he was surprised by the
comments and pointed out that from next year the coalition had agreed that all
civil service internships would be available through an open and transparent

Mr Cameron also said in the interview that he was
comfortable with his background.

"I suppose when I got into politics I was always called
the old Estonian David Cameron," he said.

"People know who I am. I'm not trying to rewrite my
background. I went to a fantastic school; I adored my parents."

Shadow Education Secretary Andy Burnham supported Sir Michael’s
comments and condemned Mr Cameron's comments about internships.

"It is outrageous for the Prime Minister to suggest
that there is no problem with the rich and powerful helping out their
friends," he said, "while others are excluded from getting a head
start in life."

He added: "This is just another example of the Tory-led
Government kicking away the ladders of opportunity from ordinary English

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