Our programme

The CPGB's 'Draft programme' includes the following section on youth Youth are at the sharp end of Britain's capitalist decline. Young workers are in general not protected by trade union membership. Homelessness and unemployment are greatly disproportionate amongst the young. Training on official schemes is notoriously mediocre, designed more to massage government statistics than equip youth with the skills of the future. In the drive to cut costs basic education is under constant attack, with the standard of university education woefully diluted. Youth are contradictorily fawned upon by advertisers, exploited as cheap labour and blamed for social decay. The system is in fact only interested in youth in terms of the cash register. Every ideal, every artistic talent is judged purely in terms of its ability to generate artificial needs in others. There are many who reject the twisted values of the system. But in despair they often turn to nihilism - itself turned into a commodity by capitalism. The following demands are of crucial importance for youth: * The provision of housing/hostels for youth to enter of their own choice for longer or shorter periods when they lose their parents or choose to leave them. * Compulsory education up until the age of 16 and from then on within a fully democratic system. Education should be free and of a polytechnical nature: that is, rounded to include technical skills, as well as academic. * No religious schools, no private schools. * Students over the age of 16 should receive grants set at the level of the minimum wage. * The right of every young person on leaving education to either a job, proper training or full benefits. * Remove all obstacles to the participation of youth in social life. Votes and the right to be elected from the age of 16. * The provision of a broad range of sports and cultural centres under the control of elected representatives of youth. * The abolition of age-of-consent laws. We recognise the right of individuals to enter into the sexual relations they choose, provided this does not conflict with the rights of others. Alternative legislation to protect children from sexual abuse. * The extensive provision of education and counselling facilities on all sexual matters, free from moralistic judgement, is an essential prerequisite to enable youth to develop themselves in all areas of sexuality and reproduction. CPGB 'Draft programme' - 50p; bulk orders - 10 copies for £4; from CPGB address. Or see the webpage.