From 2013: Llib Dem Peer Offers Unpaid Internships – Expects Aspiring Activist to Work for Free

This is another story from the Eye for 22nd March – 4th April 2013:

After unflattering press coverage of their unpaid internships, the Liberal Democrats are finally offering a grand total of eight paid internships across the party in 2013, at the national minimum wage of £6.19 per hour.

Alas, not everyone seems to have got the message. Lib Dem peer Lord Storey of Childwall is using the “w4mp” website to offer a two-month sting for an education intern on a so-called “voluntary” basis.

The successful candidate will have to prepare briefs on a wide range of education subjects – including, presumably, whether or not you should pay young interns for working a five-day week or whether it’s acceptable to fob them off with lunch money.

The website on which the post is offered,, notes: “The role being advertised is a voluntary one. As such, there are no set hours and responsibilities and you should be free to come and go as you wish.” Whichever intern gets the job should try ‘coming and going as they wish” and see how far it gets them. (In the interest of fairness, we should point out that nay young Tories seeking unpaid work can apply for an internship in the Conservative HQ’s press office, on the same miserly basis.)

Mike over at Vox Political has already blogged on the way the Tories deliberately advised their members to make similar internships and low-ranking posts ‘voluntary’ so they wouldn’t have to pay their staff salaries. As with Lord Warner, the Labour peer caught promoting the privatisation of the NHS and recommending charging a monthly payment so that people could remain in it, this is another powerful argument for the establishment of an elected Upper House. As for Storey himself, it brings to mind Churchill’s comment about one of his aristocratic opponents: ‘The honourable member represents only himself, and I don’t like his constituency.’

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