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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 June 2010

Protesting at Iain's Dickensian Society

ON FRIDAY 18 June, Youth Fight for Jobs held a demonstration outside the MP surgery of Iain Duncan Smith (IDS), former Conservative party leader and current Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Stephen Turnbull

The protesters gathered in Chingford, east London, angry at the lack of employment opportunities and proposed changes to the welfare system that may see them working for their benefits. Some came dressed for work, angry at being categorised as lazy or feckless, one came as the grim reaper, the lettering on his scythe bemoaning "Iain's Dickensian Society".

Chingford is part of Waltham Forest borough which has one of the country's highest unemployment rates. Almost 13 people receive unemployment benefits for every job vacancy. Proposed cuts to local colleges and to Education Maintenance Allowance will leave many young people facing an even bleaker future.

IDS would not speak to anyone, shuffling quickly past the protest, pausing briefly to shrug when asked about his proposals to improve opportunities for young people. He plans a complete overhaul of the welfare system with the purported aim of 'simplifying' the system and 'providing greater incentives to work'.

However he recently oversaw the abolition of the Future Jobs Fund, and ignores the reality that for many people the jobs simply are not there. Not surprising for a man described by party colleagues as "not the sharpest knife in the drawer".

An unemployed graduate civil engineer from Chingford said: "The situation is dire for young people at the moment. The government should be helping by encouraging the creation of decent jobs, not by looking to use them as cheap labour.

"Why not invest in creating sustainable infrastructure for the country rather than bailing out large private companies and financial institutions?"

Others expressed anger at being forced into student debt with the promise of a decent career, only to find no jobs were available when they graduated. Some were angry at the lack of training courses and apprenticeships. The government must invest in young people and not leave us in poverty and unemployment.

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In The Socialist 23 June 2010:

Stop budget attacks with mass action

Budget cuts hitting the poorest hardest


Youth fight for jobs

Young people: fight for your future!

Youth speak for jobs at UCU union rally

Anti-EDL protest

Protesting at Iain's Dickensian Society


National Shop Stewards Network

The role of the NSSN in the battle to defend public sector jobs and services


Budget

Budget Day: workers' responses

Fightback to stop the cuts - public meetings


Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday: Innocent protesters murdered by the British army in 1972


Workplace news and analysis

PCS union rejects 'inevitable' cuts

Unison election: Over 42,000 votes for socialist candidate

Unison leadership: Lack of anti-cuts strategy

Fighting cuts in Nottingham: Save the WAP day centre

Workplace news in brief

National Shrewsbury 24 Justice Campaign March and Rally


Socialist Party news and analysis

Refugee and Migrant Justice: Save this vital service!

Afghan war

Coventry rally against public sector cuts

Stop attacks on services for the vulnerable in Nuneaton

Birmingham: Growing anger against cuts

Save South Leeds Pool

Why BP should be nationalised


Socialist Party feature

How deep is Britain's media crisis?


International socialist news and analysis

Ethnic conflict explodes in Kyrgyzstan

Donate to aid Greek socialists


 

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Jobs:

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triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

Unemployment:

triangleCapitalism and human progress

triangleJob figures mask casualisation

Benefits:

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail

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