Statement of Youth is here! UKC are proud to present our new documentary that details the rise of sport climbing. The 1980's saw climbing standards rise exponentially. At the start of the decade, 7b+ was cutting edge, but by the end of the '80s, 9a was the new world standard. By the end of the decade, the sport had changed beyond recognition and a paradigm was set for future generations.
As the title suggests, it comes across as a film about youth as much as it is about climbing. I hope kids today can still stir the pot of innocence, optimism, rebellion, passion, boundless energy, naivete, and hubris to cook up some amazing experiences and adventures. These will forge the friendships and memories they'll carry throughout their lives. Climbing is one canvas of experience, but there are plenty of others. Climb on, kids!
Nick has - perhaps quite understandably - gone on holiday for a week, but when he's back I will suggest doing a Q&A, as there's plenty to discuss.
All I will say with regards to whatever it was that Ned did/didn't do (just to leave you hanging...) is that even if someone rocked up at Raven Tor tomorrow with 40 pads (which we did) and all the latest gear (which we certainly didn't), soloing Revelations would still be a mind-blowing achievement.
I remember my first visit to the houses on Hunter House Rd picking people up on our way down to the Porter Cottage for a beer. Because of the terrible state of the climbers house we were in in Nether Edge, 184 didn’t seem so bad!
Couldn't watch past all the squalor and stealing, this isn't something to be celebrated. No doubt the climbing part is a great watch and massive respect to those climbers for the routes they did. Good luck with the film but that's not for me.
I've only watched about two-thirds of the film but I don't think anybody has actually committed benefit fraud. That's the point of they're all making isn't it? Back in the 1980s the government was happy for people not to look for jobs because there weren't any (many). They took the dole and did what they wanted to do, which meant the few jobs that there were available could go to people who arguably needed them more, people with families to support and so on.
I've been teaching a level students about privatisation and marketisation recently and it's interesting how young people now don't understand that things that are now done by private companies used to be nationalised industries. It's not that they are necessarily against the idea they just don't understand that there are alternatives to how things are now done. Thinking that people taking unemployment benefit and living their own lives is benefit fraud seems a similar idea. I guess it just shows the hegemony of the neo-liberal project.
Completely agree, and I've noticed this gradually becoming more prevalent over the years. In a society with some way short of full employment, the role of benefits is to minimally support those without work. As long as there are plenty of suitable applicants for available jobs it matters little whether any particular unemployed person is actively seeking employment or is leaving it to others.
Quite right, the story is what it is. I don't think my issue is with the fact they were stealing but the way it's presented with that carefree smile on reflection like some kind of Robin Hood thing. I remember the 80's well, I remember my mother working full time and living on the bread line, just able to keep a roof over our heads. I don't blame these guys for our circumstances back then but it's a mentality I can't relate to, even though I grew up in those years. Theft isn't something we should look back on with fondness. I can't agree with the way that is presented. All the same, great climbers.
Very Sheffield-centric, but I enjoyed watching it.
As to allegations of benefit fraud, I remember being unemployed at various times in the 1980s and there was no pressure at all from the job centre to get a job (and in many areas there were very few vacancies) so why not go climbing, or play in a band, etc as many did. I climbed much of one year, and spent much of another as a long term volunteer on nature conservation projects but technically unemployed. It really was a different time.
I agree ref the shoplifting. I found the carefree, it's a 'bit of fun' attitude odd, at the end of the day it is theft....them being on the dole wasn't an issue for me though as like others have said the few jobs that were available could go those who really wanted them.
> I never knew about the "starting a business so don't need to sign on, just give me the money" scheme. Fabulous.
And you are posting on one of the businesses that started with this very scheme. I did it twice, the second time developed into Rockfax and then UKC. Best thing (only good thing) Maggie Thatcher did. Yes there were people who used it as a free dole ride, but loads of small businesses were born in that time.
> Best thing (only good thing) Maggie Thatcher did. Yes there were people who used it as a free dole ride, but loads of small businesses were born in that time.
The free dole ride (a.k.a. Enterprise Allowance) was all part of Thatcher's equation, as it allowed huge numbers of people to be removed from the unemployed figures without any new jobs really being created and without the government paying a penny extra. So it certainly was nothing anyone would ever feel guilty about taking advantage of it it suited them, as it really was a two-way benefit. I suppose the only real losers were HM Opposition because they were faced with opposing a government that seemingly was decreasing unemployment (or maybe not seeing it rise so fast, I don't recall).
> The free dole ride (a.k.a. Enterprise Allowance) was all part of Thatcher's equation, as it allowed huge numbers of people to be removed from the unemployed figures without any new jobs really being created and without the government paying a penny extra.
Well that is the short term view, and it may have been part of the strategy, but at least it did have a long term aspect to it. I created 10 to 12 jobs from it and I expect there are thousands of other companies that did the same and much more. Don’t forget that, before then, the very idea of setting up your own business wasn’t really part of people’s thinking. You could probably credit it as having had a major impact on the whole small business ethos including those that followed even after it had stopped.
I don’t sing the praises of a Tory politician very often but the EA scheme was the sort of political thinking we could really do with now, even if its genesis was born from trying to manipulate the unemployment figures.
I agree about the longer-term paradigm shift, whatever the intention. Could do with a similar paradigm shift in France right now too, since it's almost unheard of - officially at least - to do more than one thing for a living at the same time.
The other side of the coin is that you can be a waitress as a career rather than as a stepping stone, without being 'only a waitress'.
Let's have a sense of balance about Thatcher's job-creating proclivities - I trained as a computer programmer via the TOPS (training opportunities) scheme. Having passed an aptitude test I was given a free ten-week course in computer programming. We were graded by the people who gave the course and introduced to employers who wished to hire trainee programmers. This was in 1982. Shortly afterwards Thatcher shut the scheme down.
not sure I want to go off on a tangent but I have French friends who are 'auto-entrepreneurs', and have two or more activities eg a close friend mixes teaching part time at at a university, playing in a band and contract work on nature conservation issues for a mix of government & EU institutions.
The auto-entrepreneur scheme is a very good start, but it's very limited compared to what's possible in the UK. If you're a 'salarié' and you want to start a small business in your free time, I'm not sure there's any easy way to account for it (though I may just have missed an option.)
As Doug says 'auto-entrepreneur' (now micro-entrepreneur). That's what I do as both salaried and freelance worker. Yes, there are limits to what you can do, to protect occupations that require training/insurance etc, but it is aimed at exactly that, being salaried and starting your own business.
Fair enough. Maybe it's changed or been clarified, but I remember looking into it a while ago and it seemed your AE business had to all fit into one of the given categories, which couldn't really accommodate my combination of software deveopment, climbing coaching and gîte management!
> I've only watched about two-thirds of the film but I don't think anybody has actually committed benefit fraud.
The thing that doesn't get talked about is where the money came from that allowed Thatcher to reconfigure the English economy and shut down the unionised industries she didn't like while not worrying about paying enough benefits to keep the lid on.
It came from under the North Sea and in order to get it the Westminster government rigged the Scottish Devolution referendum in 1979 by making the McCrone report on how much oil was under the North Sea a state secret so they could tell the voters that the SNP's 'Its Scotland's Oil' campaign was bollocks and there was actually hardly any oil.
That was the actual fraud. Norway invested the money it got from less oil than came out from Scotland's fields and now has a multi-trillion dollar wealth fund.
I agree with you on this - France is very limiting for people who 'fancy starting their own business' - the AE scheme is very limited (depending on what line of work you are in or want to develop), and even for more typical professions if you fit in the 'standard box' then great but if not it is prohibitiveley expensive - my wife is a physio and when she set up her business over here the social charges were cripplingly high for the first 2 years as they were based on what the 'average' physio earns in a normal employment setting rather than a self-employed physio in a very particular environment (long story) - things are progressing as charges no longer work on an n+2 'regularisation' (ie wait 2 years for charges to even out). Like you, my combination of ski coaching, rope access training & assessment, and training for a PPE manufacturer can be hard to explain to certain fonctionnaires...!
And to UKC - great video! Like some others I am slightly uncomfortable with the glorification of the shop-lifting culture - but other than that a great snapshot of an important piece of uK climbing history...
Jobs Performance Squad coordinator at Westway Climbing
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