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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 February 2007

Unicef report

Children at the sharp end of British capitalism

A SHOCK report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says that children in Britain have the lowest levels of well-being in the developed world. Successive capitalist governments have done little for young people.

Gross and rising inequality is having a devastating effect. Britain ranks in the bottom third of UNICEF's rankings for material welfare, health and safety, family relationships, behaviour and risk-taking (eg drugs, alcohol) and young people's sense of their own well-being.

Child poverty in the UK has doubled since Thatcher came to power in 1979. One in seven children live in households earning less than half the national average wage. Britain is the fifth richest country in the world but it is 18th out of 21 in the report for material welfare and 17th for school achievement, further education and the transition to employment.

A delegate to the Socialist Party congress, BECKHI WILDE told us how the young people of Merseyside were at the sharp end of British capitalism.

"50% of the children in Liverpool are living in poverty. This fact only hit me properly last week when I was walking through Liverpool at about 10pm and I saw a little six year-old curled up under a blanket in a shop doorway, trying to sleep.

"The way our job system works is also very difficult. At the moment I'm having to work three unpaid jobs so I can have six months experience for when I turn 16 and start getting paid. How are you meant to get six months experience if you're not allowed the job without it?"

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 22 February 2007:

Bush & Blair: Get out of Iraq

Iraq 'surge' doomed to failure

Italy: Thousands march against US military base


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

No to Trident!

North Korea: Talks achieve new accord

Anti-war, anti-nuclear, anti-capitalist? Read the socialist!


Socialist Students

Students can defeat fees

Another profit-making racket

Living in debt - with no advice

Defend further education


Socialist Party Congress

The politics of socialism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets

Children at the sharp end of British capitalism

Banking billionaires

Drug companies squeeze profits out of health

Hospitals crisis worsens

Fighting homophobia


Environment

Climate change - we have to act now


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

CWI world congress: How will new workers' parties be built?


Workplace news and analysis

Valentine's day protest

Unique Care workers plan more protests

Israeli postal workers storm trade union HQ


 

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