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Democrat July-August 2012 Editorial (Number 130)

Demonising and deserting young people and others

Young people demonised and out of work

What better example of the inhumanity of the ConDem government than the proposal to direct the under 25 age-group into providing free labour for employers. The deal is: " If you don't work under these conditions you lose your benefit". Not that there is work around. The unemployment rate amongst this age group is over 20% where one million are without a job.

In other words they will be forced into work with no pay. If young people do not accept what amounts to a labour camp scenario then you will starve or be homeless or suffer both. No doubt ruthless employers would welcome free labour and in return shed paid labour.

This scheme was launched by Employment Minister Chris Grayling MP whilst Parliament is in recess. It is just one aspect of an overall attack on the welfare state by a cabinet of millionaires who repeat such mantras as "it is fair", "we are in this together", "public sector cuts are necessary", "the private sector will provide plenty of jobs", and so on.

Exactly the same is being carried out in eurozone countries where unemployment amongst the young is even worse. Spain and Greece has every other young person without a job, benefits have been slashed or done away with altogether. The economies are in serious decline. Britain's economy is in dire straits despite all the "necessary cuts". Unless stopped this government will pile on yet more agony until the "pips squeak". Included is the fact that unemployment and loss of organised labour in factories, offices and other work places is weakening the labour and trade union movement. It is only the labour movement and anti-monopoly forces that will bring about change for the rational future of Britain.

It is clear that common approaches and policies are to do with particular arrangements across the European Union. The political circles in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and London are sorting out what best course to adopt, to resolve and use the crisis in their own respective interests. These circles are acting on behalf of those who hold capital including investments. They are more interested in profits, making more money and establishing the City of London as the financial service centre of the EU and the world than they are in the peoples of Britain. Our piece on pages 6-7 explains one view of this scenario.

What is the counter to this thrust by monopoly capital? Policies and action by the labour and trade union movement who have organisations which represent the overwhelming majority of people in Britain - even if they are not trade union members.

These main policies which must be adopted are to:

 Put in place controls which ban the movement of capital out of Britain. For that to happen Britain must be independent of the policies which emanate from Brussels. This means leaving the EU and casting off the tentacles which impinge unfavourably on Britain's economy and life.

 Abandon the criteria for joining the euro with the severe restrictions on public sector borrowing and expenditure.

 Form a coalition of anti-monopoly forces in Britain with the labour movement playing the leading role. It is those who work to create the wealth not a pile of pound notes in a bank vault or banker's wallet.

 Encourage and invest in manufacturing with the accompanying apprenticeships and training. This should be green and include high tech industries. Without wealth making industries there can be no financial resources to fully fund the welfare state, NHS, education and other essential public services.

 Abandon the Social Partnership and Social Europe which are counter to interests of the labour and trade union movement and working people.

 Fully fund local and regional authorities.

 Renationalise the railways, water and energy industries.

 Institute policies and employment for young people including free further and higher education.