Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

The battle over posted workers: Macron on tour to convince EU leaders

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: BPM, The Beguiled, Jerry Lewis

Read more

FOCUS

Rap activist weighs in on Angolan election

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Israeli-Palestinian conflict: A US summer camp brings two sides together

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'France has its own ghosts'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Stop the impunity of harassment in Morocco'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Hit hard by falling oil prices, Angola looks to diversify economy

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Africa's resources: Re-examining the management of oil and gas

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A closer look at Trump's Afghan policy

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2011-12-13

United Kingdom: public services for sale

In Newcastle, in the North East of England, one in three workers is a civil servant. The city has been particularly hard hit by the economic crisis and resulting cuts to public services. In this city already affected by unemployment due to the collapse of traditional industries, FRANCE 24 went to meet locals who are steeling themselves for even harder times ahead.

“It’s all gone to waste,” laments Derek as he revisits the site of his first job at a shipyard on the river Tyne. He was 16 when he left school and went in search of work. Now 39 and unemployed, he says it’s tough finding work in a region where traditional industries have collapsed.

The North East of England has long born the brunt of hard times in the country.

Now, as the British economy stagnates, the fear is that the Tyneside region is again in the firing line.

In a city centre famed for its hedonistic nightlife, some pubs and bars are closing their doors for good. “People don’t want to spend money on nights out when they need it for their bills,” says 22-year-old IT worker James.

He tells us government cuts are making his job with the local authority harder and harder. On November 30th, he joined hundreds of thousands of public sector workers in the biggest strike action in decades, as unions took to the streets against pension reform.

The government says that it has no option but to save money and attack the deficit. But in a region where one in three workers hold public sector posts, there’s a feeling ordinary people are paying for the excesses of the bankers.

For nurse and union activist Maddy, the strike is about more than just pensions. She’s angry at decades of creeping privatisation in the National Health Service. “What are we going to leave for our children?” she wonders.

France 24’s Chris Moore and Alix Le Bourdon travelled to the area around Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, to sample the atmosphere at a time of strikes, cuts and vanishing job opportunities.

By Christopher MOORE , Alix LE BOURDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-07-28 Middle East

Video: The plight of Cairo's street children

In Egypt, tens of thousands of children wander the streets of the capital, Cairo. They survive as best they can amid desperate poverty and violence. Some NGOs, such as France's...

Read more

2017-07-21 Asia-pacific

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Last year, more than 300 people were kidnapped in Afghanistan. Although abductions of foreigners by the Taliban tend to make the headlines, more than 90% of the victims are in...

Read more

2017-07-14 Asia-pacific

China dreams of superpower status on the football pitch

China has been redrawing the world's football map in recent months. Thanks to virtually unlimited funds, players and coaches from some of the best European clubs are flocking to...

Read more

2017-07-13 Middle East

Exclusive: Storming Raqqa, IS group's cursed capital in Syria

The city of Raqqa in northern Syria has been held by the Islamic State group since early 2014. But the terror group's Syrian headquarters is on the verge of liberation. Snipers...

Read more

2017-07-07 European Union

Poland’s love-hate relationship with the EU

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, is a maverick. On civil rights, justice and the environment, Poland is increasingly breaking away from EU...

Read more