Jarrow March 2011

On 1st October, Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) activists started a 330 mile march from Jarrow to London.

Three newspapers – the Independent, The Sun and the Telegraph – today contain outrageous attacks on the Jarrow march – an inevitable sign of its success. Below we re-produce an article by Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, editor of the Socialist newspaper, paper of the Socialist Party in England and Wales, laying down a challenge to Tory MP Robert Goodwill, and journalists Richard Alleyne from the Telegraph, Mark Branagan from the Independent and Robin Pierre of the Sun:


Join the march!
While numbers relying on food donations soar, youth unemployment approaches one million and millions face years of cuts with devastating effects on their families these brave men have taken the time to attack those who are marching from Jarrow to London to highlight the plight of young people.

These journalists have attacked those marching from the comfort of well-paid comfortable lives, probably having received free education.
But even writers in the Independent have warned that we risk a “lost generation” given the lack of opportunities for youth.

Despicable comments
The despicable comments of these journalists are wildly out of tune with the vast majority of people who will have huge sympathy with the marchers. 72% of people polled by YouGov would like to see action taken to alleviate youth unemployment.

As part-time editor of The Socialist, Sarah understands that for some journalists it can be easier to sit at a desk or spend time hobnobbing in Westminster than to try to actually understand the situation young people face.

Sarah is joining the march from 17 to 23 October, as it passes through the midlands, to show support for this protest.

The Socialist has a weekly page written by young people which has described the reality of being thrown on the scrapheap with the abolition of EMA student payments, the trebling of university fees and, of course, the lack of jobs.

The Socialist fully backs the Jarrow march and also highlights the way young people, students and working class people are fighting the cuts.

Cuts not necessary
The Socialist Newspaper does not accept that the cuts are necessary and focuses on how to stop them with reports of the struggles across the country.

Joining the march from 17 to 23 October, Sarah challenges Goodwill and any journalist who wants to denigrate the march to also participate – walking daily, sleeping on thin mats in church halls and scout huts, eating cheap food and that kindly donated through public support.

Although the generosity the marchers have encountered may meet its limits at Tories and their paid hirelings in the press.

But such an experience might give this lot a chance to reconsider their stupid comments.
The ironically named Goodwill voted for the punishing VAT rise and for the trebling of university fees. But with a 2008 expenses bill approaching £150,000, on top of the generous MP’s salaries (putting MPs in the top 10% of earners), he will not be suffering as the rest of us do.

Ben Robinson, marching the route from Jarrow to London answered the Nasty Party’s Goodwill: “His disgraceful comments, implying that all young unemployed do is watch Jeremy Kyle, are a real kick in the teeth for those who are day-after-day searching for jobs.
“There have been a number of tragic cases of suicides after hundreds of job rejections, and Robert Goodwill’s comments reveal the huge depths of cynicism that lie at the heart of the Westminster.”

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