No section of society has suffered more than the young during the past 26 years. The butchery of industries, services and apprenticeships has gone hand in hand with attacks on every area of education and training. In British society today what hope for the future can young people have?
Hopelessness leads to despair which is not solved by the 'law and order' outlook of both the Tories and New Labour. Young people must be able to participate fully in our society and in the world, while they themselves are growing and learning.
Our full employment, minimum wage and equal pay policies would help accomplish that. In rebuilding Britain's industrial and manufacturing base we would re-establish proper apprenticeship schemes, paying a proper wage. Reducing the working week with no loss of earnings would create more jobs for our youth and help generate more purchasing power within society.
Proper funding would be restored in further education too, with student grants and a payment equivalent to the minimum wage and restoring benefits during vacation.
The civil rights and liberties of youth must be respected by society as a whole. We support voting rights at age 16. We believe in comprehensive sex education in schools with contraceptive advice and contraception available to all. Young people should never be forced or coerced into parenthood whilst they still need parenting themselves. Abortion on demand, based on the right to choose, must be available.
In today's society the young are especially vulnerable to the abuse of police powers; Socialist Labour's policies (including scrapping 'stop and search' laws) would end that abuse.
Young people - including Black, Asian and Irish youth, those involved in the peace and animal rights movements and in anti- globalisation campaign groups - have been specifically targeted by Special Branch and MI5. We are committed to ending this intrusion and injustice, and to scrapping the laws and the agencies responsible for this type of surveillance.