So wonderful that I actually agree with him:
Lastly, let me be clear that to measure productivity across the most able, or only those at work, is a particularly futile exercise that clearly suggests that you think only those undertaking some particular activities in society are of worth. We are not just a working population in the UK. We are a population as a whole. If you think productivity measures have changed because we have rising employment that offers opprtunity to some previously denied it then it is not productivity that is at fault, but it is the measurement that is to blame. Those people now at work were previously in the population but denied the chance of employment. If that meant they were excluded from productivity calculations as a result that just shows that the calculations were wrong: the measure should have always been across those able and willing to work, and not just those able to find it. It would seem that you are unable to appreciate this obvious point and yet as a politician you are meant to represent all in society and not just those at work.
Indeed, let us measure these things over the population, not by those in work.
When we do we find that France has a higher output per hour worked – as people keep whining about when we discuss productivity. And when we measure over the whole population, as we do when we look at GDP per capita, we find that that for the UK is higher than that in France.
Or, as is the standard neoliberal baby-eater comment about European productivity levels, their numbers look good because the marginally productive aren’t working and here they are.
Hmm. D’ye think that Ritchie has the nous to realise what he’s just said?