Over at Socialist Economic Bulletin, Mick Burke has a fascinating article examining the correlation between rising unemployment and Tory governments.
Unemployment has a disastrous impact upon the working class, at its worst destroying whole communities and confining sections of society to despair and indignity. But it is clear that the sharp rise in unemployment over the last three years has had a number of advantages from the perspective of the bourgeoisie. Primarily, it is a tool for mass intimidation and humiliation of the working class, enabling capital to dictate poorer pay, terms and conditions, and thus drive up the rate of exploitation.
An additional key feature of the current spike in unemployment is of course the disproportionate impact on young people. This phenomenon, of increasing concern to minority elements in the ruling class and the media since it includes relatively privileged young people and graduates, will have a number of major consequences for decades to come.