‘Youth Fight for Jobs’ on the Notts SOS Market Square demonstration on 20th October


The Comprehensive Spending Review, launched by the government on Wednesday October 20th, marked cuts D-Day. Notwithstanding the super-rich who caused the economic crisis in the first place, nobody will be untouched by these cuts – jobs and services are set to be haemorraghed by the government.

Youth Fight for Jobs held a national day of protest on October 20th to tell the government loud and clear that we do not agree with the cuts. We especially want to organise young people – whether workers, students or unemployed – into a campaign to defeat the ConDem cuts package.

Around 40 young people came to our rally in the Old Market Square on a bitterly cold afternoon. The mood amongst young people towards the cuts has shifted in the past week or so from one of apathy to one of anger. Young students have become especially receptive to our campaign. They are rightly incensed by the Browne Review’s recommendation to the government to lift the cap on tuition fees. This means that, while students currently pay £3,000 a year for a university degree, they could be paying as much as £12,000 a year in future. This is going to price a lot of working-class, and even middle-class, youth out of higher education, killing aspiration and potentially causing massive damage to society as a whole – where are we going to find our teachers, doctors and social workers if you have to amass mortgage-style debts to fund university study?

The Browne Review also recommends cuts to university teaching budgets of 79%. This means that thousands of jobs in education will be lost, with courses, faculties and even whole campuses closing in the next few years.

Further education does not escape either. 34,000 jobs are likely to go in colleges alone when the government cuts over £300 million from its Further Education budget. With Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) due to be scrapped by the government, many young people are going to be denied entry to post-16 education.

What this means is that the dole queue will grow inexorably over the next few years. Youth unemployment currently stands at 1 million (1 in 5), and this is clearly a baseline figure. Unless a vigorous campaign of young people is launched now, millions more could be condemned to a life of hardship and misery.

This is why Youth Fight for Jobs will continue to build amongst young people in the coming months and years. The October 20th rally was the beginning of the fightback in Nottingham. We have reached out to more young people in the past few weeks than ever before, and we have also fostered links with the wider trade union and anti-cuts movement in the area. What was particularly inspiring about the rally was the way in which the young people who had come with Youth Fight for Jobs were mixing with older workers from the Trades Council and Notts SOS. A strong, united fightback in Nottingham seems assured!

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2 responses to “‘Youth Fight for Jobs’ on the Notts SOS Market Square demonstration on 20th October

  1. Friends and relatives who work in the public sector actually feel that every single news report on radio 4 is becoming like a personal assault on them and the territory they’re working so hard to protect.

    One friend who lives in social housing and teaches at two universities at opposite ends of London says that he’s become quite fond of Paul McKenna’s love tapes (NLP stuff) as he really can’t cope with the atmosphere of self punishment and brow beating at work picked up from the media who are a bit like craven ravens. It’s like everyone is reacting because they’re expected to react but in an ‘appropriate way’ which is pretty self defeating.

    I think that this is an attack on the historical ground of the post war era, it’s ideological and hegemonic, but filtered through an unrepresentative media in an hysterical response to the threat of terrorism which should shut most people up as they will be scared of everything!

    Really it is bullying, class based bullying where there is no suggestion that anyone who is poor, on benefits actually deserves to be heard or treated properly as part of the plan. Calling people who live on low incomes throughout their life and remain in their council houses, hoping to pass them on to their children ‘council house aristocrats’ is the kind of language employed during the razing of cottage economies and livelihoods during the enclosure acts of the 17th and 18th centuries. Get the people off the land, split the families up and send them into migrant temporary hostels where they will be at the mercy of an employer’s whim. In the 18th and 19th centuries it were the mill owners. Today it’s the barons that own the agencies who employ people as mere ‘units ‘. Units who are ‘flexible’ enough to work on their crappy short and mindless ‘contracts’ that are all stacked in favour of the employer. So the idea is simple. The working class family can be deconstructed, made to appear dysfunctional, then impose migrancy on it so that it looks like a favour when an employer picks up one of the 16-35 year olds who are rooming on housing benefit in a shared house. Only a short contract, sorry but if you are very good, you never know, the contract may be extended. Every so often I imagine, one or two star performers will be picked out as ‘model workers’ just as all the really dreadful quango projects currently do with their ‘star unemployed to employed’ candidate or their ;shining example of what a single mum can do’.
    Beware of what’s happening to the others, though, beware of the levels of service people who are on low incomes have already been receiving for the past thirty years since MRs Thatcher gave the Eton Rifles the go ahead into the welfare state, because, actually that’s what privatisation really did, it created an environment where it’s ok to treat someone badly because you can, because they are naive enough to beleive that everyone matters and that the welfare state gave everyone equal access.
    Why are the poor overrepresented in the A and E departments? Because they have noone to stand up for them to give them access to proper treatment, care and access to society’s benefits. Because they’ve been kicked around when they expected equal and fair treatment and access.

    The thing is, this is just my opinion. I realise that everyone has different opinions but it’s really important to witness and to bear witness for a society that is actually inextricably linked in ways that our government and media try to deny so it makes it easy to be shallow and callous.

    But David Cameron and Nick Clegg are just privileged people who really know little about how this country matters to everyone and is a product of what everyone thinks and does, not just the Eton Squaddies.

  2. Hi,
    thanks for the publicity. Can you add a link to our new blog for our 75 anniversary Jarrow march? http://www.jarrow2london2011.wordpress.com . We will link back. thanks

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