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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2009

One million unemployed young people: 'We demand real jobs!'

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The head of the International Monetary Fund told a recent meeting of G20 finance ministers that the economic crisis has shifted from finance to a "third phase" of high unemployment. For young people, who are one in five of the population but two in five of the unemployed, this is not news. While some politicians talk about recovery, reality continues to fly in the face of their proclamations of false hope.

Ben Norman, Portsmouth Youth Fight for Jobs

Alistair Darling, the chancellor, is one of those who have spoken of a recovery. For some, maybe. Bankers have been celebrating. Meanwhile, this month will see youth unemployment figures surge towards the one million mark. Recent figures show that the employment rate of 16 and 17 year-olds dropped to 29% in April-June from 34% a year earlier, while the rate for people aged 18 to 24 dropped to 60% from 64%.

The government's response to the situation has been far from adequate. Instead of massive investment in a programme of socially useful jobs, this generation has been abandoned to the whims of the bosses.

But young people have been among those fighting back. For example, young workers participated in the occupation of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, demanding nationalisation to save their jobs and the environment.

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

However, the politicians fail to respond. Speaking to the BBC, shadow chancellor George Osborne feigned sympathy for young people, but called for drastic cuts in public services, demonstrating how the Tories are as politically bankrupt as New Labour.

He said: "if we don't get on top of the debt... it is not just you and I that will pay for this with higher taxes... it is future generations that will be burdened with this debt." Osborne laments for future generations in order to join his New Labour counterparts in sentencing this present generation of young people to a grim future without promise.

But it won't be the likes of expenses-grabbing Tory and Labour MPs nor the big business fat cats they represent who will bear the burden.

Future generations of workers and youth should not have to bear any burden as a result of the crisis of capitalism. But neither should the present generation. There is an urgent need to organise a mass movement to fight for the jobs we need, against the university fees that shackle us and for the future we are being denied.

Youth Fight for Jobs action

Protest at 11am on Wednesday 16 September at the Churchill statue in Parliament Square when the next unemployment figures are announced.
National demonstration in London on Saturday 28 November. Book your transport now.

See for more information.

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In The Socialist 9 September 2009:

One million unemployed young people: 'We demand real jobs!'

Youth Fight for Jobs action

Youth unemployment: Future jobs or fake schemes?

War and occupation

Bring the troops back now!

Trades Union Congress

TUC conference: Workers willing to fight - in spite of leadership

Socialist Party TUC meeting

No to bosses' agenda

Time to fight back!

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Workers' action can stop NHS cuts

PCS members prepare to fight cuts and privatisation

Unite election: United Left hustings

Witch-hunted Unison member given extra charge

Construction workers protest

Inaugural meeting to establish a North Wales branch of the National Shop Stewards Network

Socialist Party trade unionists meeting

Postal workers strike

Postal workers national ballot: Vote 'yes' for strike action

Protesting against scabbing managers

RMT action

RMT action: Bus workers strike for pay rise

Vestas workers: Stop the blades

Comment: Vestas protest

RMT wins no compulsory redundancy position but future battles loom

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Northern Ireland: Councillor joins Socialist Party


Failing academies

Socialist Party review

City of Life and Death


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