"It is little more than a mile from Everton Brow to the shiny new conference hall on the Liverpool dockside where the Liberal Democrats are holding their annual conference. But the two places are a world apart. Those Liberal Democrats who are preening themselves that this is the party's first conference in government for 65 years might do well to make the short journey. If they did, they would discover the consequences of their decision to renege on their manifesto pledge not to back public-spending cuts as hard or as fast as Conservative ministers have decreed.
"They might meet Danny Vaughan, a 29-year-old who is doing community work under a scheme called Future Jobs. He is a tall, taciturn young man who, until he joined the project, had been on the dole for six months after getting laid off from a labouring job. "I tried to get another but there's just no work out there," he tells me."