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The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has unveiled new plans for a government drive to provide help to people across the country most in danger of forgetting he exists.

The three-year scheme will “provide hope” to thousands of people who are not happy about something and provide some kind of unspecified help to make them think the Liberal Democrats are nice enough people to vote for.

But Labour has questioned how the initiative would be funded and how it would work in practice, following reports that both of Nick Clegg’s balls were being squeezed – the left one by his coalition partners and his right by critics in his own party.

Asked about the reports on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Clegg said the initiative would not be paid for by one single tax or spending measure, because it doesn’t cost anything to promise things you’re never actually intending to do.

Faced with pressure to do something about record high youth unemployment, an economy in double-dip recession and a banking system in meltdown, the deputy Prime Minister has pledged to provide extensive government resources to tackle all three problems head on – knowing full well no-one believes anything the Liberal Democrats pledge to do any more.

‘Demoralised’

The new programme of pretending to care is set to begin next year and aims to provide up to 410,000 training placements in England, Wales and Scotland to educate young people about what the Liberal Democrats are actually for.

Mr Clegg told the BBC that young people were rightly “demoralised” at the lack of opportunities for Liberal Democrats to ever be given any kind of position of power again and the initiative was consistent with the government’s commitment to ensure the next generation of Liberal Democrats did not “pay the price” of economic troubles they’ve consistently not bothered to do anything about.

Mr Clegg told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

This programme I’ve announced will provide hope to the many, many young people who, at the moment, are feeling, very anxious and uncertain about my future as a politician.

Labour said the initiative was a watered down version of the last government’s numerous announcements aimed at persuading voters to vote for them, most of which everyone knew they never intended to do and of which there were very many.

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