New Communist Party of Britain
Young people in Britain today are bearing the brunt of the capitalist crisis, the crisis of overproduction. The current generation face the worst prospects in life than any since 1945. While some will be fortunate, others face a life of uncertainty and debt, with the chances weighted heavily in favour of children from wealthier families.
Since 1979 with the decline in manufacturing, rise of service industries and growing casualisation of the workforce, the young face far lower real wages and worse working conditions previous generations and little prospect of accumulating savings or wealth.
The end of near full employment has seen the re-emergence of a marginalised class with access to poor housing, diet, education and health facilities, for whom unemployment, underemployment, functional illiteracy, high levels of mental illness, a thriving black economy, dependence on benefits and moneylenders, drugs, alcohol, crime and violence are commonplace.
These communities are subjected to intensive and aggressive policing and the attentions of multiple government agencies, and “normal” bourgeois family life is all but impossible.
It is capitalism, increasingly unable to provide adequate work, education and housing for all, which has created these communities, and which maintains a regime of policing, social services and prisons to control them. This can be seen to a greater or lesser degree in almost every advanced capitalist state today but is particularly the case in Britain and the United States.
These factors help to explain the nature of the riots in Britain in August 2011. While policing (including widespread police racism), unemployment, underemployment, sky-high university tuition fees, cuts to the Education Maintenance Allowance, and anger at widening inequality were triggers for the riots, much of the opportunist looting stemmed from the marginalised class, which British capitalism has created, and which sees little future and nothing positive to hope for.
For young people in general prospects for employment are the worst since 1945, while good quality higher education is becoming a preserve of the wealthy.
Since the onset of the 2007-8 slump exploitation of young people has become endemic with the unfortunate many facing endless “volunteering”, internships (usually unpaid or even paid for by parents), and those on benefits, including disabled people, forced to “work” with no real wage or lose their benefits. In reality these options produce little in the way of real experience.
The New Communist Party calls for:
The abolition of university tuition fees in England;
The restoration of Education Maintenance Allowance in England;
Increased Government spending on housing, health, education at all levels, infrastructure and industry and high quality training to prepare young people for work and to provide them with real jobs;
Effective systems to alleviate crime and drug dependence in marginalised communities, in place of intensive policing.