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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2007

What do youth think?

'Youth are apathetic'; they only care about new trainers and the latest games consoles. 'Young people are dangerous'; they hang about in big groups and intimidate people with their scary dogs. 'Young people don't care about their futures'; they binge drink every weekend before getting into fights and putting each other in hospital or jail.

Carlene Ritchie, Walthamstow branch

If you look at news items and documentaries about Britain's young people in the mainstream media this is the picture that is painted of how we think, feel and behave!

As young socialists in Walthamstow, and Leyton & Leytonstone branches, we decided to go out in our borough to find out what other young workers and students really think.

We used a simple questionnaire to get an idea of what issues are important to young people. We asked if they had ever been on a demo; what they would change about our borough; what issues they would like to campaign on.

We asked them to prioritise what was most important to them from a list of issues such as war, education, gun & knife crime and the NHS.

Having these questions on the form made it easy to chat about the campaigns that we are involved in and talk about the possibilities for fighting for decent pay or better youth facilities for the borough.

We had to be bold and direct. Young people won't necessarily think that you are out on the street to talk to them because they're not really used to being asked what they think about politics.

We found that by going over, asking directly if they would like to take part, and explaining that we are trying to find out what young people think, many wanted to have their say.

It was easy to get chatting to people about how they felt, what made them angry and what they thought of politics and socialist ideas.

On each questionnaire we ask if you would like to know more about International Socialist Resistance (ISR), a socialist youth organisation, campaign with ISR or join ISR and there is a space for contact information including email addresses.

We are continuing to use the questionnaire on stalls alongside our big bright Low Pay Wall of Shame and are using the information to build a youth campaign on the issues that really matter to young people.

If you would like to see a copy of the questionnaire to use or adapt for you area please email us at

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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.
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  • 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 20 September 2007:

Nationalise the banks

Economy hits a rock

Crisis will hit north east jobs

Time for a new party

Socialist Students

Fight for a living grant

What do youth think?

Student Socialist: Issue 5 out now!

Studying on a low wage

Flexible hours? Suits you sir!

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Our message to Labour

Swansea - no more cuts for cash

Socialist Party news

Victory! Campaign saves nursery

Medway schools

Lobby demands asylum for Sadiq

Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

Make Socialism 2007 an unforgettable weekend

TUC Conference

TUC conference: Workers defy Brown

Linking the struggles together

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: Worker militancy shows pressing need for political voice

Socialist Party review

Consumed: How markets corrupt children, infantilise adults and swallow citizens whole

Workplace news and analysis

Remploy workers fight for jobs

Defend the Burslem 12

CWU: Further national action discussed


Home   |   The Socialist 20 September 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

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