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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 October 2010

Bristol MPs fail to answer young workers' anger at PCS debate

On 30 September PCS civil service union young members in the South West held a question time event about cuts in the public sector as part of a young workers' week. We contacted the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Conservative Party, Youth Fight for Jobs and the Green Party, along with John McInally, PCS vice president.

Mike Wheeler, PCS young members' network (personal capacity)

The first to confirm was the Conservative Party. Tory MP for Kingswood, near Bristol, Chris Skidmore said he would love to come along. The Labour Party sent Roger Berry, former MP for Kingswood. Nick Foster attended for the Greens and Tom Baldwin for Youth Fight for Jobs. The Lib Dems declined our invitation.

The meeting was well attended with about 70 members of various trade unions present. The first question was on the privatisation of Royal Mail and the universal service. This helped to set the mood of the meeting with the Tories on the back foot trying desperately to tell us that, although the cuts will devastate services to the public, they were necessary.

John McInally explained the PCS alternative to cuts. John said that £130 billion remains uncollected in taxes each year from big business and the rich and this is how the budget deficit should be reduced rather than creating mass unemployment and removing services from the most needy in society. There were no answers given by the Tories and the Labour Party agreed with PCS for once.

The meeting proved that the cuts are ideological. Subsequent questions made it clear that there are very few differences between the Tories and Labour. Tom Baldwin commented on how the only difference between the new and old governments on making schools into academies run by unelected businesses and groups is the speed they will be implemented and the number of schools to go.

Tory Skidmore summed up with a statement that in five years there will be more jobs and the economy will be in a better state, or else we can vote him out. There was a clear shout of "you won't last five years" from the audience.

The arrogance of the government and contempt for the voters was shown with no attempt to listen; it was just a weak attempt to try to get us to accept an attack on our way of life. The members of the panel will be invited to a second event after the spending review.

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In The Socialist 6 October 2010:

Defend Child Benefits

Tories turn clock back

Socialist Students

Students must fight back

Campaigning Socialist Students win support

YFJ and PCS unite against cuts in Leeds

Socialist Party editorial

National Shop Stewards Network and the struggle against Con-Dem attacks

National conference called against cuts in jobs and services

Anti-cuts campaign

No excuses for not fighting cuts

Thousands tell Tories: 'No cuts'

Paying below the minimum

Bristol MPs fail to answer young workers' anger at PCS debate

Meetings and protests against the cuts

Labour councillor's contempt for care centre users

Save Buttercups nursery

Protests on October 23 to fight the government's spending review axe

News in brief

Socialist Party workplace news

Solid strike by Tube workers

Time to strengthen RMT's fighting leadership

Support TSG strike

Health and Safety

Warning: this government could seriously damage your safety

Europe: fighting the cuts

Spain: workers demonstrate their strength

Ireland: a socialist alternative to the crisis

Portuguese workers win the promise of a general strike

Internationalism against austerity: 100,000 demonstrate in Belgium

Socialism 2010

Why you should come to Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate

International socialist analysis

Chávez wins majority but right-wing gains ground

Socialist Party review

Made in Dagenham


Nuneaton: community must organise against racism

Leicester: action needed against EDL

Campaign defeats BNP in Stroud


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