Young Communist League condemns EU's anti-communist legislation

During this past week steps have been taken towards banning the communist movement in Europe. The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation has submitted to the European Parliament, its document ‘A Model National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance’ with the view to this being enshrined in law.

Despite the seemingly banal and benign title, the YCL notes the highly dangerous substance at its core.

Section 2 of the document tells us that “the purpose of this statute is to take concrete action…with a view to eliminating…totalitarian ideologies”. Not only this, but it states its guarantee of tolerance to all groups, including social classes.

The insult then is twofold. The first we are all used to: the slander that communism is a totalitarian ideology. The second is a much more cunning and crafty ploy. Disguised as tolerance, the Trojan Horse of anti-communism is sneaked in. This itself, is in essence, totalitarian ideology. That which the ECTR claims its purpose is to eliminate, is its very own identifying nature.<!--more-->

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Support the UK universities Halloween Strike

The YCL calls on all students across the UK to support the strike action called by UCU, UNISON and Unite for tomorrow 31st of October. On Thursday students should not attend lectures, tutorials or seminars etc. or use university library, or any other facilities, while the strike action is taking place.

Where possible attend the local joint union rallies taking place in support of the strike. Young Communists and all students place themselves firmly on the side of the workers striking for fair pay in higher education tomorrow. Unity is strength! UCU Statement 29/10/13: "Unions disappointed employers refused talks to try and avert Thursday's walkout UK universities will be hit with the most widespread disruption for years on Thursday as members of UCU, UNISON and Unite take their first coordinated strike action in a row over pay. The unions said they were disappointed the employers had refused talks to try and divert Thursday's walkout, but said they are still prepared to meet for eleventh hour talks.

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Ryan Boyle reports on standing for the YCL and CP in the recent Govan By-election

Looking back on the campaign, one of the first things that surprised me was the level of collective effort required to make any kind of impact. The introductory leaflets, election addresses, the campaigning strategies, the public meetings, etc. all of these things had to be grounded out and acted upon at an early stage to give us a decent chance of getting our message out. If it wasn't for the commitment of other comrades, the communist campaign wouldn't have seen the light of day. There was never any real belief that we would win, the Communist Party have rarely won electorally. Yet it was never about that for us. Our goal was to convince people that there was, and is, an alternative to the neoliberal paradigm that has imposed such harsh austerity measures on some of the most vulnerable people in society. We wanted to let people in Govan, and further afield, know that there are organisations and people who refuse to accept the unfair hand working people have been dealt and who want to see fundamental change which could radically improve their lives; a message that wasn't really on offer from any other political party. What I found striking about the campaign was the level of political disaffection among Govanites.

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The anti-worker nature of the EU

The argument surrounding British involvement in the EU is fast becoming a main political topic in British politics, only behind the Coalition government's austerity plan and the debate surrounding Scottish Independence on the political agenda. However, the extent to which the EU plays in the government's austerity plans and what involvement it may have in an independent Scotland, also links into the debate on the EU and it's growing political and economic power. Short of the extreme step of withdrawal from the European Union, Britain can do little to counter the neo-liberal agenda of the EU.

This, however, is not an option for Britain in it's current form as it is dependent on the capital and trade from the EU, meaning that there is little option but to accept EU control and rate settings, which it must organise it's political and economic policies around accordingly. This article will look at how decisions are constrained by the EU and it's institutions and how the democratic rights of citizens in Britain and throughout the EU have been abused to force through a single military and economic policy, as well as analysing what this means for the construction of a 'United States of Europe'. When Britain joined the European Economic Community, the ability for it to influence the world through it's foreign policy and economic superiority had long since become extinct. The rise of the United States of America as world power and diminishing of empire had seen Britain become marginalised more and more since the end of the Second World War. The onset of economic crisis in 1973 saw deep entrenched cracks in the British economy expand. For British state-capital, the glory days of the empire was over, joining the EEC was the only option for the British state. However, by joining the EEC, British state government and parliament gave up it's sovereign right over it's economy to the council of ministers and the European commission. For the Labour government in charge at the time, this meant that it could not implement it's policies of state intervention, ownership and investment in industry because, as Tony Benn recalls: “Every key decision in the fields of industrial and regional policy would be subject to supervision, control and a possible veto by the commission,” (Tony Benn, 1980).

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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="/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_Maintenance_Allowance" 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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