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By Tony Jeffs, Mark Smith (eds.)

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Sample text

13) was not uncommon. Certainly, like other welfare sectors the statutory Youth Service found it difficult to come to terms with often significant reductions in the size of budgets and rate-capping. The voluntary sector, much of which had become either partially or wholly dependent upon public funding, also found the lessons painful. However, given the miniscule size of the Youth Service in comparison to the big battalions of welfare, concern over the reductions in expenditure within this sector generated little in the way of public sound and fury.

They will be happy to forgo the discomfiture of standing permanently in the wheel-house, but when it is in their interests they will, perhaps reluctantly, leave the captain's table to take the helm. In the meantime the knowledge that they are capable of doing so is sufficient to ensure that the overall direction of the state coincides with their wishes and interests. Thus, in a capitalist society where the means of production are controlled by a small elite, the state can never be neutral. It is an instrument of class rule which, in its own interest, is obliged to play a major role within the accumulation process.

Further, such a formulation must include other agencies, many of which are more loosely linked to the machinery of central government. Agencies such as schools, the nationalised industries and statutory welfare 22 Youth Work, Welfare and the State agencies, many of which are controlled by local authorities or funded indirectly through grant-aid and the like, all these and others must be included within this category. The amalgam, which at first glance may appear simply as the collective agencies of government, is in fact, an entity which government must always struggle to control.

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