Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 May 2016

Socialist postbag

Do you have something to say?

Send your news, views and criticism in not more than 150 words to Socialist Postbox, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD, phone 020 8988 8771 or email

We reserve the right to shorten and edit letters. Don't forget to give your name, address and phone number. Confidentiality will be respected if requested.

Views of letter writers do not necessarily match those of the Socialist Party.

Socialist gran

"Capitalism is in crisis. Your generation cannot live under the conditions it perpetuates. You are being stripped of any chance of a decent standard of living.

"It's time you all stood up together and demanded a better way of life. I can't march with you but I'll back you. I'll back you every step of the way."

My gran, Christina McAllister, 2016. She may have just made me cry a little.

Jac Green, Lincoln

EU gravy train

In or out of the EU? That, as they say, is the question. Here are some reasons for exit.

MEPs are of course elected, but are basically toothless. All major decisions, which affect 500 million people, are taken by an unelected 'Council of Ministers' - heads of the 28 states.

We are being clobbered by neoliberal austerity. Look at the gravy train - all those parasites board it for their inflated salaries, while we take cuts and job losses.

If Obama, Cameron and big business say stay, that's another reason to exit. The EU is just a bosses' club in competition with the USA, Japan and China - or to batter workers with.

They say thousands of jobs will be lost. A red herring. Capitalism will trade whatever it can to make a quick buck. What did we do before we joined the EU 40 years ago?

It's all scaremongering. Socialists say exit, not on a petty nationalist basis, but by offering people an alternative to austerity.

A society based on a democratically planned economy, as opposed to blind market forces. Where the billions who create the wealth run society, instead of the billionaires who leech off the rest of us.

Bill Buchanan, Nottingham

EU train gravy

Readers of the Socialist may know that the train drivers' union, Aslef, has called for a vote to leave the EU in the referendum.

This is due to opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the EU 'Fourth Railway Package' which seeks to extend rail privatisation, franchising and the associated waste and lack of coordination from the UK to the whole of Europe.

The Aslef website also contains reports of the annual assembly of delegates taking place. There could be no better time to find out where and when Aslef branches meet, get in contact and go along.

Pete McNally, Chair, Aslef Worcester branch (personal capacity)

Scouse sell-offs

Last May, a BBC reporter was about to interview me on Liverpool's Exchange Flags landmark when a security guard approached saying "You can't do that there 'ere, this is private property," or words to that effect.

The reporter accepted this directive, while assuaging my indignation at being moved from an area that has been publicly owned for centuries.

A recent report confirms the trend appears to be seeping insidiously into large areas of the city. Take the L1 postcode: the entire estate is built on private land, owned by a corporation called Grosvenor.

Having sold off the land to the private developer - or rather, technically speaking, having granted it a 250-year leasehold of the site - Liverpool City Council has essentially relinquished all control. The bins, street lighting, round-the-clock security - all are under corporate control. The city centre has effectively been privatised.

Liverpool's citizens need to be vigilant lest we wake up one morning to find our public spaces owned and controlled by an unholy alliance of Peel Holdings and Grosvenor.

Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool

Hospital hoo-hah

Can Huddersfield move to Huntingdon?

Regarding the once-privately managed Hinchingbrooke Hospital at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, suddenly reports of downgrading facilities and a part-merger with Peterborough City Hospital around 20 miles away are appearing in the local press.

But no firm proposals have been made public. It seems the local Tory MP may be privy to some details, as he is apparently supporting the march. This situation is a result of the massive PFI debt at Peterborough - and other debt at Addenbrooke's in Cambridge - rather than problems with the clinical staff at Hinchingbrooke.

We say the county is not "over-hospitalised" - to quote a Blairite ex-minister. It's just the debt the Blairites and Tories have hung round the neck of the NHS. Keep all facilities at Hinchingbrooke - cancel the debt!

Steve Cawley, Peterborough

City suffers

Monday morning, 11 April; join the crowds from west London rushing for the Central line tube; grab a copy of the freesheet 'City AM' from the guy paid to hand them out.

What a cheerful start to the week for workers, particularly those at the bottom of City firms. The headline in this right-wing paper is "CITY FACING STARK GROWTH WARNING".

It starts: "Workers in the Square Mile should brace for deep cuts to both bonuses and jobs with economists warning that faltering deals, stalled IPOs and market difficulties will take an extreme toll on the City over the coming months."

They pour off the Tube at Holborn, Chancery Lane, Bank and Liverpool Street, to extravagant prestige office buildings, to routine, mostly boring jobs: organising the multimillions of the 1% of money-grubbers, including how they can avoid taxes.

The same paper warns, however, "chief execs are feeling the heat". BP oil boss Bob Dudley had proposed he get a 13.9 million pay packet. Reckitt Benckiser chief Rakesh Kapoor wanted a 23 million package. And Sir Martin Sorrell of advertising giant WPP wanted 62.8 million.

Even the big City shareholder organisations are extremely embarrassed by these amounts, and there will be revolts at the annual general meetings. While Cameron, Osborne and all governments could act on these obscenities, they will continue to argue that, as with their own finances, this is 'within the law'.

The fact they also make the law is not to be mentioned. It can be clearly seen who they are really "all in this together with" - and it's not City workers, or any other workers.

Keith Dickinson, Acton, west London

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 18 May 2016:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories attack: fight back

NHS staffing black hole

Bristol Green backs cuts

Stamp out sexist dress codes

University of Facebook

Blair bombshell

What we saw

Them & Us

PCS Conference 2016

PCS leads the way in fightback against Tories

"Where's Carwyn?" - museum workers demand action

BIS members strike to save jobs and keep offices open

Government defeated by check-off court challenge

The EU

The EU and the economy - Project Fear steps up

Vote to leave the 'Employers' Union' and fight the bosses' government

Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers: vote Yes to strike - defend pay and conditions

Higher education action over pay and casualisation

Junior doctors vote to work with and develop links with other unions

Unite housing workers walk out against intransigent bosses

Low paid Pennine Foods workers strike over cuts to premiums

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

On an upward trajectory: my experience as a new Socialist Party member

Newcastle: countering the fascist menace

International socialist news and analysis

France: New stage in battle over labour law

Belgium: unions call national demos and general strikes

Readers' comments and reviews

TV review: Occupied

Featured letter: stop the badger cull

Socialist postbag


Home   |   The Socialist 18 May 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleCardiff Central Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Pay Up Now - Public sector workers need a pay rise!

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The Russian revolution betrayed

triangleSalford Socialist Party: A socialist look at the Vietnam War


triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangleTories on the brink - kick them out!


triangleCarillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangleMini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangleStrike wins biggest pay rise in ten years


triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



Debate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?



Art can help expose sexual harassment


The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox



The Socialist inbox


Work Capability Assessment

Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy


The Socialist

The Socialist's 2017 quiz



The Socialist Inbox



Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane


Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed



Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike


Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears



The Socialist inbox


The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox



TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act


Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangle10 Jan Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

triangle10 Jan Movement of workers and youth challenges Iranian regime

triangle10 Jan Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's...

triangle10 Jan Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

More ...

triangle16 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

triangle16 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: Building socialism in Cardiff in 2018

triangle17 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Planning for 2018

triangle17 Jan Salford Socialist Party: Housing crisis - the socialist solution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



January 2018






















Platform setting: = No platform choice