Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/603/8393
Young people fight for a future
'We wont pay for the crisis'
All parents hope that their children will have better opportunities than were available to them. Today, for millions of working and middle class families, those hopes lie in ruins. The bleak and insecure future offered to those growing up in Gordon Brown's Britain is one of the greatest condemnations of twenty first century capitalism.
Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary
There are already more than one million young people who have been thrown on the scrapheap by not having education, work or training. More than one tenth of them have graduated from university, leaving them with a debt of £23,000 on average and few job prospects. The government says that anyone living on less than a £100 a week is below the poverty line - yet the young unemployed (16-24 year olds) are expected to live on starvation rates of £50.95 a week, rising to a far from generous £64.30 for those over 24.
New Labour's latest proposals to help the young unemployed are little more than sticking plasters on a gaping wound. David Blanchflower, until recently a member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, stated accurately that: "The government is promising to spend £200 million addressing youth unemployment. That's £200 per person - it's nothing. You might as well just give them a bus pass or a weekend in Blackpool. We're not going to solve the million jobless, which will be 1.25 million next June, with this".
Mass unemployment is not going to go away. Economic recovery, when it comes, will not be a return to 'normality'. For young people and for most working-class people, this will be a jobless, joyless recovery. Moreover, it is all too likely that any recovery will be preceded by a second dip into recession.
The next government - whether Tory, New Labour or 'hung' - will slash public spending. Britain's banking system has been bailed out to the tune of £1.2 trillion of current and future taxpayers' money. In what could be the biggest con-trick in history, the blame for the resulting increased deficit has been laid at the feet of the public sector workforce.
The Tories' slash and burn plans, if implemented, would lead to 700,000 public sector workers being thrown on the dole. The plans of all the main parties are for savage cuts, the only slight difference is how fast the axe will fall.
Any government which accepts the logic of the market - of capitalism - also accepts that it will not be the 'banksters' but working class people who will pay the price for the economic crisis.
Socialists do not accept the logic of capitalism - a crisis-ridden system based on the drive for profit and not the meeting of human and environmental needs.
We demand that every young person has a choice between a decent job with a living wage, a real training scheme with a job at the end of it, or a free university education with a living grant. And we're going to fight for it!
March for Jobs
Saturday 28 November
Assemble 12 noon, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY.
Nearest tube Euston or Russell Square.
Marching to Parliament, with a rally at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park (Imperial War Museum).
In The Socialist 24 November 2009:
Socialist Party editorial
Marxist analysis: history
Environment and socialism
War and occupation
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news
Socialist Party review