The Bully State and forced labour is to replace the Welfare State


TWO hundred thousand young people aged between 16 and 18, 11 per cent of that total age group, who are unemployed with no job available for them, are to be subjected to forced labour, under the guise of raising the school leaving age to 18 and giving them skills and other educational training.

Why else would the latest government ‘education’ Green Paper propose a whole raft of repressive measures from fines and asbos to becoming involved in the criminal justice process for those young people who will not comply with the latest Labour government diktat.

Already 14-year-old schoolchildren take part in unpaid work experience courses where they work for a number of days a week in factories and other workplaces helping to produce commodities for the market and profits for the bosses.

The Green Paper is not proposing to force rebellious young people back full time into the classroom where they would be very discontented and disruptive, having been given the ultimatum to study or be classed as criminals and treated as criminals.

Most people can see that this would not provide the conditions for learning and study.

The intention is to force a whole generation into slave labour, sugared by attendance for one or two days a week attending further education, while they engage in skills training on the job, providing free labour for the employers – the kind of employers that the City Academies are being handed to.

The teaching trade unions are already telling the government, what it already knows, since it is admitted in the Green Paper that it will be criminalising young people.

NUT General Secretary Steve Sinnott yesterday warned: ‘This is entirely the wrong approach. The government appears to want it both ways: voluntary involvement in education and training post-16 but being criminalised if you don’t take part. . .

‘It will only serve to alienate and undermine any desire disaffected young people may feel towards continuing their education.’

The Green Paper says that youth will be issued £50 Fixed Penalty Notices or served with ASBO-style Attendance Orders, which would be a criminal offence to break, opening up the prospect of criminal records and jail sentences for large numbers of youth who are already angry that they are blamed for most of the problems of the bankrupt capitalist system.

NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates warned: ‘It is unlikely that a change in the law will change the minds and attitudes of youngsters who are disinclined to stay on now. This is a duty which should rest firmly with local authorities and not with individual schools.’

The University and College Union (UCU) also warned against the use of compulsion rather than incentives to encourage young people to pursue education and training after 16.

Education Secretary Alan Johnson said that by 2015, all youngsters in England would have to be in school or some form of training until their 18th birthday.

Those who failed to attend classes or training, after intensive one-to-one advice and support, could be issued with an ‘attendance order’ obliging them to attend.

It would be a criminal offence to breach this order which would be subject to prosecution and an ‘appropriate penalty’, the Green Paper said.

This would mean a criminal penalty for a breach of a civil order – in the same way as Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are pursued in the criminal courts.

The government is seeking to beat rebellious young people into submission and force then into slave labour – two years of work experience, that is free labour for the bosses.

Youth will not accept slave labour or the bully state apparatus.

They will rise up and fight it.

We urge youth to join the Young Socialists and the WRP, to build the revolutionary leadership of the working class to put an end to this bankrupt capitalist system, and give youth and the working class a future, through the organisation of a socialist revolution to expropriate the bosses, smash its repressive state apparatus and go forward to socialism.