Buildings set alight in Tottenham, 6.8.11, photo Paul Mattsson

Buildings set alight in Tottenham, 6.8.11, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Liverpool & District Socialist Party statement on the riots in Liverpool

Liverpool & District Socialist Party is appalled at the current rioting which has resulted in the destruction of working peoples’ homes, workplaces, and the community facilities and shops they rely on.

We recognise that there are those who are using the riots to engage in criminal activity and this is to be condemned. In condemning the wanton destruction we believe that the conditions for the initial disturbances have been created by mass unemployment, social deprivation and the massive cuts which have been imposed by the Con-Dem government and implemented by local authorities.

We believe that further riots are possible unless radical socialist measures are implemented. The systematic destruction of jobs, services and communities prepared this over two decades, since the Liverpool 47 socialist councillors were undemocratically forced out of office.

The “yobs” and “thugs” ultimately responsible are the main parties’ politicians and their cronies the bankers and developers.

One-third of Liverpool’s children are in households with no-one working. Almost 6,000 16-24 year-olds are on Job Seekers’ Allowance.

Young people have seen their EMA college grant scrapped, costs for bus travel rocket, university fees raised to £9,000, and the Connexions youth careers service slashed to the bone amidst mass unemployment and dozens of applicants each chasing one of a handful of jobs.

The council should immediately reverse this year’s £5.5 million (28%) cut to youth services, cancel the £5.05 million cut they intend next year, and reverse and cancel the £6.658 million cut to library and leisure services.

Connexions suffered a £2.1 million cut this year by Merseyside local authorities. This irresponsible action must be immediately reversed in full.

We call on the Liverpool City Council to organise a democratic discussion with the residents, community groups, trade unionists and young people of the areas affected, to draw up a plan of increased and sufficient public services.

This must include youth services and job creation. Both emergency and planned measures should be implemented by the council through borrowing and using reserves.

Rioting is the other uglier face of the L1 glitter [‘Liverpool One’ is a new large retail development]. While city centre and prestige projects are flaunted by the authorities and employers, our communities and youth are neglected.

High-skill well-paid jobs were replaced by service sector drudgery – low-paid or even unpaid. The council’s so-called “apprenticeships” are an inadequate drop in the ocean.

We need job creation on a much larger scale, led by the council and on trade union rates of pay. We need training schemes to lead to real jobs not back to the dole.

Added to this are the colossal ongoing cuts being proposed by the council: £91 million this year, £50 million next year and a similar sum the year after that.

These must be reversed now.

The Labour group must demand that the Con-Dem millionaire government returns the £millions they have stolen from our city!

We are holding a public meeting next week to discuss how these policies should be implemented. The meeting is on Tuesday 16th August, 7.30pm, The Casa pub (downstairs), 29 Hope Street, L1 9BQ.

The whole situation is unacceptable. This autumn we are joining young people from across Liverpool and around the country to recreate the 1930s’ most famous political protest, in a 280-mile “Youth March for Jobs” from Jarrow to London organised by campaign group Youth Fight for Jobs at .