Balls’ conscription for 16 to 18 year olds

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SCHOOLS Secretary and chairman of the Fabian Society Ed Balls, has already made his mark in Britain.

Before he became a minister he was part of the Treasury team, headed by Gordon Brown, that sold off a chunk of Britain’s gold reserves for a pittance, aping the ‘jeweller Ratner’ who declared that his ‘yellow stuff’ products were ‘rubbish’ and not worth anything.

Since that heady day the price of gold has soared to close to $800 an ounce, a trend that shows no sign of even slowing up, now that the Boom to Bust cycle of capitalism (which Gordon Brown told the world several budgets ago that he had conquered) is revealing itself with the force of an earthquake.

Balls is clearly a man not to be taken too seriously, except in one respect, when the ruling class gives an order, he jumps to it at once.

The current bourgeois project is that of turning Britain into a cheap labour paradise for the bosses.

There are millions of young people who are not prepared to work for nothing and are in rebellion against slave labour, and they cannot be tamed by asbos stop and search police tactics.

They are in rebellion and, as far as the bourgeoisie are concerned, they must be crushed.

Reactionaries say bring back conscription into the armed forces, but the politicians are more than aware that to turn to this ‘solution’ immediately would signal the beginning of a social revolution in Britain.

Instead they are going to have a go at conscripting 16-18 year olds into being forced labourers, for big business.

It is going to be an offer that cannot be refused, since refusal will lead to fines, and then community sentences to start with.

For such an enterprise, Balls, the chairman of the Fabian society that once upon a time believed in socialism, is the man.

Yesterday he announced: ‘Our plan to raise the education leaving age to 18 by 2015. . . and to announce historic legislation in the Queen’s Speech.’

He added: ‘And this morning, I want to set out the new rights and responsibilities for which we will legislate. . .’

He added: ‘And now – 90 years on – we are finally legislating to fulfil that 1918 commitment and raise the education leaving age to 18.’

He continued: ‘Our ambition must be that all of our young people will continue in education or training.’

You notice that training has crept in as an opposite to ‘education’ and of course providing compulsory cheap labour for the bosses is at the heart of this proposed legislation.

He explains: ‘But it is important to make clear that this is not a Bill to force young people to stay on at school or college full-time. They will be able to participate in a wide range of different ways through: full-time education, for example, at school or college, and work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship . . . 

‘But the Education and Skills Bill is a bill of responsibilities as well as a bill of rights.

‘Because if young people fail to take up these opportunities, there will be a system of enforcement – very much a last resort – but necessary to strike the right balance between new rights and new responsibilities.

‘Because when we say: “everyone will participate”, that’s what we mean.’ Even teenage mothers! ‘Teenage mothers will of course need the right provision, support and childcare.’

Youth will not accept forced labour for the bosses, or being forced to stay on at school if they do not wish to do so.

And what is the punishment to be for mutiny. The direction being taken is towards the 19th century solution, prison or taking the ‘Queen’s shilling’ in the armed forces.

Youth will not accept Balls and Brown’s attempt at dictatorship, there will be a massive youth rebellion, that may well spread to the hard pressed working class as a whole.

Youth must join the Young Socialists and the Workers Revolutionary Party, to organise a socialist revolution to get rid of the bosses and their petty enforcers such as Balls and replace slave labour with a socialist society.