Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/485/2374
The Socialist 3 May 2007 |
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Stop these education cuts
ON 28 April, Hackney Socialist Party members joined a union-organised east London demonstration against cuts to ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses in further and adult education.
David Walter, Hackney Socialist Party
Ever since New Labour came to power under the slogan 'Education, Education, Education', this government with a neo-liberal agenda, has instead pursued severe cuts in adult education, introduced fees to universities and handed parts of the education system to flat-earth rich businessmen in the form of Academies.
New Labour's attacks on ESOL in colleges across Britain threatens the social and economic wellbeing of often black, asian and eastern European immigrant working-class communities. Immigrant workers make up half the population of London. They are many of the cleaners, kitchen porters, security guards, nurses, doctors, teachers and vital public and private-service workers that help make London the second richest City in the world.
The hypocrisy of Tony Blair and his New Labour cronies is astounding. His empty rhetoric about tackling poverty, integration and respect for others is totally at odds with this attack on ESOL courses.
Many of the poorest people in Britain are either Asian or Black African, mostly in immigrant communities whose first language won't be English. Cuts in ESOL and further education, together with a rabid anti-immigration policy, will make it very difficult for people who cannot speak English to get help or even a job. This Catch-22 situation leads to greater exploitation.
Currently Hackney college is threatened with the redundancies of 14 support workers and 35 teachers at the end of the academic year. Hackney is one of London's poorest boroughs with both British born working-class and immigrant communities. This is a blatant attack on Hackney communities. That is why 700 to 800 lecturers and students converged on Hackney Town Hall in a very successful demonstration.
As long as New Labour, Tories or the Lib Dems pursue their neoliberal agenda through massive budget cuts, and tax cuts for the multinationals and the rich, our public services, NHS and education will continue to be attacked.
We in the Socialist Party fully support campaigns to fight cuts in ESOL and further adult education across the country.