Conference fragments – young brilliant jobless Greens
Green Party conference last weekend was packed with articulate, hard working, passionate, and mind-blowingly intelligent young Greens – many of whom were unemployed, or underemployed.
There was the guy who got a good degree – and months after the joy of graduating, can’t find a thing: his parents can’t afford to support him through an internship; there was the activist whose knowledge blew my mind when I first met him a year ago, yet still can’t get work: the bright sparks fighting not to become another part of Britain’s bonfire of dreams.
But as this bonfire is fueled by the pile of rejection letters spelling out “lost generation”, we can be sure that these Young Greens won’t go out without a fight.
Because they know that 1.5 million young people unemployed is not a natural consequence of immovable market forces, but the product of government policy – a policy of slashing corporation tax for those refusing to provide work. A policy of forcing the young to pay for their parent’s tax cuts and de-regulation, a policy which forgets that cutting civil service jobs through natural wastage is still cutting jobs, but only for the young.
And these young greens know that this failure to invest in our future is a failure to learn from the past. Because you don’t solve unemployment by cutting jobs. Because building a fair and sustainable economy means mass investment. Because unemployment and failure to invest today means bigger debts tomorrow: because our grandparents, the great generation, built public services for a reason.
So, a week after conference, my abiding memory is of the young people I met – the members of the jilted generation – at the start of the fight for their future.