John Gibson: Esther’s got her work cut out

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Advice for the jobless. From the hapless. The Employment Minister Esther McVey has been spouting that young people should be willing to jump at jobs in coffee shops and “be realistic” about their abilities in the workplace.

What McVey, a former TV presenter, is telling the young on the prowl for jobs is that they must take entry level jobs that could lead to bigger things.

Tackling youth unemployment is her “top priority,” she’s promising. But they’re all brimful of promises, aren’t they?

But listen. More than 1700 people applied for just eight jobs at a new Costa Coffee shop in Notingham, paying between £6.10 and £10 an hour. Get fat on that, Miss McVey.

Rippon lets rip

Flashing the smile but not the Morecambe and Wise-blessed pins, Angela Rippon still likes to be heard and she’s talking here as co-chair of a government-backed committee, the Dementia Friendly Communities Champion Group.

They are dedicated to changing attitudes and she’s saying: “Seven years ago, a journalist asked me if it wasn’t embarrassing to speak about dementia. ‘After all, it’s a mental illness,’ she said. ‘Well, I think today very few people think mental illness is embarrassing. I think we’ve helped bring aboud that change.’’

Still Rippon, letting rip, on ageing: “I don’t think about it. I don’t even consider my birth date, I just get on with it. I was horrified to read that Jane Fonda cries every time she thinks about her age. I thought, silly woman, get out and do something.’’