Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/601/8336
Demonstrate 28 November
Fight for real jobs and free education
New Labour and the Conservatives are determined to make young people and workers pay for this crisis. Labour's plans to slash funding for youth training and to put greedy fat cats in charge of setting university fees have been exposed.
Ben Robinson, Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) campaign national chair
£350 million cuts in youth training schemes are planned. Out of around 600,000 school leavers, only 8,000 will get real apprenticeships, ones which lead to a job and a qualification.
Youth Fight for Jobs leaflet pdf
The body charged with reviewing university fees levels includes some of the biggest capitalists and privateers in Britain, such as Lord Browne, former chief executive of BP. How does profiteering out of natural resources and environmental pollution qualify him to comment on education?
In fact Browne left BP, amidst allegations of corruption, with a £5 million payoff and a £21 million pension pot. Is this man seriously going to say that society cannot afford our education?
David Eastwood, vice chancellor of the University of Birmingham, also sits on the review body. For years, as part of the Russell Group, he has been demanding students pay more for education. His university is currently trying to close its entire sociology department, without consultation with staff, because it is not bringing in enough money.
The eight person board also includes a former advisor to Tony Blair (the prime minister who abolished free university education) and, unbelievably, Peter Sands, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank. Is he going to demand the same level of investment, to the tune of £1.4 trillion, in education, in our future, that the banks have received over the last eighteen months?
Of course not. Peter Sands (who has earned almost £15 million in six years at Standard), Lord Browne (estimated personal wealth of £45 million), Lord Mandelson and the others want to make young people pay for the crisis of their system. The bosses' organisation, the CBI, calls for fees of £5,000 a year. Both Labour and the Tories say similar. Before the review board has met, the outcome is clear.
Never mind that young people want to learn, want to work! Never mind that a majority of the population think university education should be free! Since when did the politicians in the main capitalist parties care what we think? But we need more than polls to show what we want.
Youth Fight for Jobs campaigning outside parlilament, photo youthfightforjobs.com
Fighting back works. That's the lesson of the struggles of many groups of workers this year and also of students and workers who campaigned against education attacks in Ireland. Youth Fight for Jobs says no to university fees, no to mass youth unemployment, no to writing off our generation.
We are demonstrating on Saturday 28 November - for real jobs, for free education. This campaign is supported by three national trade unions, the PCS, RMT and CWU, as well as students unions and many trade union branches. Join us in the fightback!
See www.youthfightforjobs.com/transport for transport details for the march as well as other information
In The Socialist 11 November 2009:
War and occupation
Postal workers strike
Defend the four campaign
Campaign for a New Workers Party
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party review