Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/695/13242

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2011

Jarrow marchers put forward an alternative

Minimum wage not to blame

Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser
The Jarrow March for Jobs 2011 ends with a demonstration in London on 5 November , photo Sujeeth

The Jarrow March for Jobs 2011 ends with a demonstration in London on 5 November , photo Sujeeth   (Click to enlarge)

On the day that the latest unemployment figures were announced I was asked to debate with Mark Littlewood of the Insititute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on the Tony Livesy show on BBC Radio 5Live. The IEA claims that we can reduce unemployment by getting rid of the minimum wage.

Demonstrating that 'free marketeers' like Littlewood see workers merely as commodities, he said that "like anything, if you put up the price people are less willing to buy it... if you put the price of labour up, people won't buy it".

He also claimed that many young people wrote to him asking if they could work for him at 4.50 an hour but claimed he has to write back "saying that it is illegal for him to hire people on that and leaving them on the unemployment scrap heap".

Banks bailed out

I was then bought into the debate and made the point that it is not because the minimum wage is too high that small businesses can't take people on. It is because banks that have been bailed out by the tax payer will not lend. I said that it is outrageous that working class people are being asked to take more punishment for the economic crisis while bankers still rake in huge bonuses.

Clearly flustered and failing to grasp the point I was making Littlewood resorted to comments about a "magic money fairy". I put to him that we need money to live on and that what he's actually calling for is a race to the bottom where the lowest bidder gets the job.

The interviewer then asked people to call in saying "do we lower the minimum wage to get people into work like Mark says or do we just call on people to sit around waiting for a job on 8 an hour like Paul says?"

Socialism

I took issue with this saying that Youth Fight for Jobs is building a movement and calling for real solutions to this problem. We need to nationalise the banks, create a programme of public works and nationalise the biggest corporations and failing businesses to protect and provide jobs. This would enable us to provide apprenticeships and other training on decent rates of pay that guarantee a job at the end and provide jobs with decent terms and conditions.

The interviewer then claimed that I would take the country back to an era of nationalisation and socialism. I agreed that yes I was putting forward socialism. Capitalism, a system run in the interests of the super-rich has failed.

What we need is to change society so that it is run by ordinary people and in the interests of ordinary people. I also pointed out that I wasn't talking about the 'socialism' of the old eastern bloc or the nationalisation of the past but that what we need is a genuine democratic socialist solution to the crisis.

The texts from the public after the debate went 100% in favour of the arguments I was making. We demand that small businesses that claim they can't hire on a minimum wage or are sacking workers open their books to the trade union movement and local communities. If we find that their claims are true then we would fully support a government scheme to help them out financially.

What Youth Fight for Jobs will not accept though is workers being made to pay by taking away the minimum wage, one of the few safety nets they have at work.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 November 2011:


Pensions' strike, N30

Enough is enough! Make N30 the start of a fight to stop all cuts

Reasons to be on strike


Socialist Party feature

Capitalism is crisis - there is an alternative - fight for socialism!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Con-Dems worsen the housing crisis

Massive job cuts undermining NHS

Millions unemployed - workers and students must unite and fight!

Them & Us


The Socialist - Readers' comments

Tragic effect of recession

Why I became a socialist


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jarrow marchers put forward an alternative

No answers from politicians on Newsnight

Save Coventry Sure Start

Update: Occupy

Support the anti-cuts election challenge

State intimidation of young protesters

Tories and Labour fail to give 'Any Answers'

Women: sick of sexism, discrimination and cuts?

Mansfield - build houses, create jobs

Pensions protest in Maude's constituency


International socialist news and analysis

Why Europe's capitalist leaders cannot save the floundering eurozone project

Ruling PSOE battered in Spanish general election

Syria: Eight months of mass protests met with bloody brutality

Egyptian masses fight for real change


Socialist Party workplace news

Greece and Italy get unelected technocrats - Southampton gets chief executives!

Construction workers fight pay cuts

Fire service cuts

Bus drivers strike over pay

Workplace In brief


Obituary

Obituary - Geoff Atkins


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 November 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Jarrow:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleYouth Fight Austerity

triangleWhat they really think

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: Unemployed workers' struggles

Minimum wage:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The campaign for a 10 an hour minimum wage

triangleAmy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

triangleUSA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Jobs:

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The collapse of Carillion

Socialism:

triangleCarlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

Banks:

triangleCapita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleUnison Broad Left meeting

Young people:

triangleHow can students and young people fight the Tories?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/2/18

UCU

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

21/2/18

Strike

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

21/2/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

21/2/18

Nottingham

Nottingham hospital black alert

21/2/18

East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

21/2/18

West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

21/2/18

Wales

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

21/2/18

Bradford

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

21/2/18

May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

21/2/18

Kirklees

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

21/2/18

Salford

Save Salford nurseries!

21/2/18

Caerphilly

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

21/2/18

Council

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

21/2/18

Leicester

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

21/2/18

UCU

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999