Tory Party Conference 2013 and the proposed benefit cuts to under 25s

The Conservative Party Conference passed in typical right-wing fashion with talk of tougher welfare cuts and privatisation, and tax cuts for big business. However, one particularly nasty proposition made by David Cameron in his closing speech has caught the attention of many. This is the pledge that if the Conservatives are elected to government in the next general election they will seek to pass legislation meaning that those under 25 would lose their right to access Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit if they are not in work, education or training (NEETs). The Tories are dressing this up as a workable solution for the high level of youth unemployment, arguing that they want an end to a generation of young people who apparently claim dole as a lifestyle choice. The patronising phrase Cameron used was “nagging” the long term unemployed back to work, telling us that that young people need to “earn or learn”.

Obviously the Tories’ analysis doesn’t match the reality of life for the 1.09 million NEETs by any stretch of the imagination, with up to 20 people chasing every vacancy in certain parts of the UK according to research published by Unison, it is clear that these jobs are just not there. Since 2010 the Tories have worked hard to ensure that further and higher education is an unaffordable option for many young people. They have made significant cuts to the education budget, raised the cap on tuition fees to a staggering £9000 and abolished the <a class="zem_slink" title="Education Maintenance Allowance" href="/" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Education Maintenance Allowance</a> (EMA) which provided regular financial support to students from lower income families who wished to continue their studies after secondary school.

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YCL London Venezuela Film Screening and Discussion

YCL London will be hosting a special screening of the film "War on Democracy" by John Pilger with a special Venezuelan guest speaker, followed by discussion and drinks and snacks. The topic is the role of U.S. imperialism, intervention and counter-revolutionary movements in Venezuela and Latin America as a whole, where for many years popular left-wing governments have been fighting for social progress, against the dominance of capitalism. This is a great opportunity to hear firsthand about the experiences of that struggle and what we can learn from it today

. We are holding this event at the Marx Memorial Library, located at 37A Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU. The nearest tube station is Farringdon. It is also close to Barbican and Angel Islington. For more info see: You can join our Facebook event here. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the YCL Facebook page.

Young communists to stand for parliament

Young communists are represented in the Young Communist League, which has been in the forefront of fighting for the rights of young workers, apprentices and students since early in 1921.  The YCL ws the first organisation in Britain to campaign for extending the vote to 16 year olds, and in the general election, members of its executive - Zoe Hennessy and Laura-Jane Rossington are standing for parliament.

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Young Communist League

Young Communist League

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About the YCL

The Young Communist League (YCL) can trace its roots back to 1921, when it was set up as the youth wing of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) which came into being a year earlier in 1920. The YCL is a member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).

The YCL seeks a revolutionary transformation of society, an end to poverty, unemployment, exploitation and oppression and therefore and end to capitalism. Communists want a society that can guarantee full equality. We do not believe that oppression based in gender, racial stereotyping or sexual orientation will end the moment capitalism is overthrown, but we do believe that capitalism uses and perpetuates this oppression and so they cannot be solved within the constraints of capitalism. We seek to establish a socialist society based on common ownership and democratic control, drawing on the ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin among others, and the experiences of socialist countries since 1917.

Communists operate by working in a broad movement to build the widest possible coalition behind progressive policies. We carry out our work in communities, trade unions, our workplaces and universities as well as broad based peace and solidarity groups.

Throughout its history the YCL has played an important role in working class struggles and has always supported the cause of the toiling masses against the rich bosses, and continues to fight for socialism in Britain.

What we stand for

The YCL aims to build support among young people for the Communist Party’s programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism and to increase young people’s involvement in politics. The YCL is organisationally autonomous and decides its own activities and priorities.


Policies are formulated by a congress which must be held at least once every two years, and are carried out by an elected Executive committee. The League also fights to defend and strengthen democratic rights. It rejects unfair discrimination on the basis of race, age, sexuality or religious or other belief. It calls for the abolition of the monarchy the House of Lords and regards the European Union as an undemocratic and reactionary institution which serves the interests of big business rather than those of Europe’s working people.


Democratically taken decisions are binding across the organisation, although local organisations decide how best to implement them in their own areas.


The YCL never puts its own interests as an organisation above those of the movement as a whole and it seeks to build the widest possible coalition behind progressive policies. The Morning Star, Britain’s only socialist daily newspaper, plays a vital role in strengthening the left and the League works actively to support the paper and raise its circulation. The League also recognises the importance of trade unions as the broadest mass organisations of the working class and fights all anti-trade union laws.


It works to abolish capitalism and establish a socialist society based on common ownership and democratic control, drawing on the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and others as well as on the experience of socialist countries since 1917. In the context of this struggle it seeks to defend and strengthen public services, the welfare state and the NHS. It believes that everyone has the right to free and inclusive secular education including nursery care, schools, universities, community colleges and adult education centres. The struggle for socialism must go hand in hand with the struggle to protect the natural environment, which is being wilfully damaged by corporations and capitalist governments in their drive for short term profit.


It is a member organisation of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, which represents millions of progressive young people in around 100 countries. It campaigns in solidarity with sister Young Communist organisations around the world and defends existing socialist countries. It backs the right to self determination and opposes any attempt by the imperialist states such as Britain, the US and the European Union to impose their will on the peoples of the world or to exploit or to exploit the world’s resources for capitalist profit. It calls for immediate nuclear disarmament.


It aims not to mend capitalism, but to end it. This does not necessarily mean that the League calls for an armed uprising in modern Britain at present, although we defend the right of the oppressed to take up arms for their liberation.

It means realising that only a fundamental shift in power from the capitalists to the working people can guarantee democratic rights and social progress. Socialist revolution in Britain can and should be achieved by peaceful means, through a combination of massive work and struggle out with parliament combined with elections. The League publicises it activities, its theory and its revolutionary perspective on the day to day struggle through its magazine Challenge, which also provides a channel for debate within the organisation and wider movement.