Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/925/23959

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2016

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors, photo Suzanne Beishon

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

The Socialist Inbox

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, or phone 020 8988 8771, email: editors@socialistparty.org.uk


Featured letter: Real cost of NHS cuts

The scale of the funding crisis in the NHS is most often measured in eye-watering figures, but the effect of the cost-cutting and stampede towards privatisation has tens of thousands of human faces caught up in this escalating care nightmare.

Campaigning outside of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, two patients stopped to detail their own case histories.

The first, still dressed in pyjama bottoms, had been due earlier that morning to undergo a cancer operation. He'd been prepped for surgery, and was awaiting taking down to theatre - when he was told that, due to there being no acute beds available, he would have to go home, even though the surgeons were waiting for him.

Bewildered, angry and close to tears, he said this was the second time the operation had been cancelled. Now, as he stood shivering waiting for a friend to come and pick him up, he despaired of whether he'd get his operation at all.

Another patient had arrived from her home in Torquay and recounted how she had had to travel to Bristol for a scan that her own local hospital had declined to perform, even though staff said they possessed the means to do so. Ferried 108 miles by NHS transport, she was fuming about the cost and the absurdity of having to make a journey for a procedure that had taken just a couple of minutes.

She laughed bitterly at the notion that we still have a national health service, commenting that every trust is in a dog-eat-dog fight to maintain its own sectional budget.

A third patient came out while we were talking and unleashed a volley of abuse against Richard Branson, whose Virgin Care group had gobbled up a lucrative long term contract to run community care services in Bath. Her hatred for privatisation was visceral, her comments unprintable.

All agreed that the NHS we've grown up with in our lifetimes is in peril. We fight for it or we lose it. Next March's national demonstration to defend our NHS cannot come quickly enough.

Robin Clapp, Bristol

One member, one vote

The right wing of the Labour Party has had interesting takes over the years on 'one member one vote' (OMOV) in the party.

In the 1980s, when local parties wanted to deselect right-wing MPs, the right wing, which had vehemently opposed deselection, suddenly decided they were in favour.

But only if it was voted on by OMOV, instead of the local Labour Party meeting together and involving elected delegates from local trade union branches.

Now they are equally vehemently fighting OMOV being used for shadow cabinet elections, and are against reselection of MPs by OMOV.

But there is one exception to this rule. OMOV has been introduced for the election of the Welsh representative onto the national executive committee (NEC). The only problem is that only one member will get a vote!

The right wing forced through Labour Party conference, without even a debate, rule changes that are intended to ensure a right-wing majority on the NEC. Part of this means the Welsh representative on the NEC will be 'elected' by just one person - the Labour leader in the Welsh Assembly (currently Carwyn Jones) who will select a frontbench member to attend the NEC.

This has to be the smallest electorate in history. So frightened is the right wing of losing control that it has not even dared allow the Welsh NEC rep to be elected by the Welsh executive committee, let alone by the Labour Party Wales conference.

As the late great Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly said: "Funny old game, isn't it?"

Dave Reid, Cardiff

Busted bus

I caught my last bus recently - not by choice! Where I live, to travel into the nearest town, Malvern, you either have to have a car or use the bus service, which up until a few months ago was running fairly regularly.

First Bus, which took over running Worcestershire County Council's buses, suddenly decided that they weren't making a profit on our route, so were withdrawing it! No notice, just a helpful driver who informed some passengers a couple of weeks before the service disappeared.

Due to the uproar in the various villages, the council was forced to put on a temporary service, although the route was altered so it wasn't very useful, which we all thought was deliberate to ensure that not enough people used it so that too would be 'uneconomic'.

Sure enough, after the trial period we were informed that it was being replaced by a dial-a-ride service - once a day - which could get you into Malvern early in the morning, and you had to return before lunch! Woe betide you if you have an afternoon appointment or anything else - and, presumably, if the charity minibus is full when you ring the day before, you are told to try another day...

As I pointed out at one of the parish council meetings where our county councillor was present, if the county council hadn't privatised our bus services, this wouldn't have arisen. Speaking to someone on the bus on Saturday, we are still determined to fight on.

Ruthie McNally, Worcester

Words not enough

Mere words will not force a Tory retreat. The cant, hypocrisy and callousness of the Tories are displayed by just two of their latest measures.

1. The cuts in benefit entitlements to the unfortunate, which will plunge thousands of families into even deeper poverty. The phoney mantra that work should pay more than benefits is deployed to depict the workless as scroungers, the oldest slander in the book.

2. The rejection of the Orgreave campaign for a public inquiry into the behaviour of the police. This is a monumental cover-up designed to protect those who gave the police the order to smash the miners by any means necessary, including the use of army detachments. The revolting spectacle of heavily protected police being unleashed with military precision on miners dressed in summer tops and trainers will live in infamy in this country's history.

But words of condemnation are not enough. We need a powerful mass movement to defeat a Tory party bankrolled by hedge-fund managers, private equity spivs, rack renting landlords and international tax dodgers.

As a first step, Labour councils should refuse to implement any more draconian Tory cuts. Secondly, give full backing to the Orgreave campaigners in their fight for justice.

Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool

Reformism warning

I hope our leading comrades have the ear of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to explain the dangers inherent in left reformism. History is littered with this unintentional betrayal, including recently with Chavez in Venezuela, and more tragically Allende in Chile in 1973.

Trotsky warned the comrades of this in the 1930s. The power of capital must be broken with the democratic public ownership of the banks and financial institutions, along with big business. If this policy is not carried out, our enemies - which include the Blairites - will create the conditions for counterrevolution against a left Labour government.

Jeremy and John must show iron discipline and ruthlessness against our opponents.

We must be implacably opposed to all compromises with our enemies, including the Blairites. Because one thing's for sure: they are just biding their time to strike against Jeremy and John.

We must learn the lessons of history to avert what would be a big setback for the working class. We have been warned. Let us make sure it doesn't happen again.

Bill Buchanan, Nottingham

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


In The Socialist 16 November 2016:


It's Socialism or Trumpism

Trump victory: Failure of the Democrat establishment

Lessons for Britain: Trump victory shows the right can't beat the right


Socialism 2016

Socialism 2016: Electrifying and powerful weekend puts socialism on the agenda


Socialist Party workplace news

Mass prison officer walkout over health and safety

Durham teaching assistants strike: 2,000 walk out

London Underground: RMT wins victory

Steel workers' pensions under threat again

Deliveroo couriers get organised

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Support the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

Secret hospital closures: bosses must come clean

1.5trn household debt - nationalise the banks!

Court win against bedroom tax not enough

Super-rich investigated


Socialist Party youth and students

Students and workers unite and fight!


Privatisation and the 'race to the bottom'

Privatisation and the 'race to the bottom'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton Labour must bin Tory cuts!

Cumbria: Stop axing care home places

TUSC vindicated in censorship protest

Bristol campaigners demand anti-austerity alternative


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

A Street Cat Named Bob: tale of neglect by capitalism

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 November 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Related links:

The Socialist:

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleThe Socialist: read it, write it, sell it

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleBuild the resistance against Trump

triangle2016: A record-breaking fighting fund year!

Socialist:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Britain's shifting political contours

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Fight back against Newham council's attacks on its workforce!

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Oppose Donald Trump - a threat to people and the planet

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Stop Newham council tearing up workers' contracts

Cuts:

triangleTories torn in two on single market

triangleResidents protest at plans to close nine community centres

triangleProtesters surround cutting council

NHS:

triangle'Black alert' NHS: Demonstrate 4 March

triangleNHS in meltdown

Labour:

triangleNorthern Ireland calls snap election: back Labour Alternative

Council:

triangleMillwall FC move threat: Defend the Den - 'wall not Renewal

Labour Party:

triangleLabour's civil war continues - build a mass workers' party

Police:

triangleMexico: Mass movement against "gasolinazo"

Bristol:

triangleObituary: John Sharpe: 1953-2016

Privatisation:

triangleHaringey: pressure grows as Labour council cuts

Right-wing:

triangleStrikes show workers' power

Travel:

triangleWhat we saw

Miners:

triangleBattle of Orgreave: Establishment cover up continues

Orgreave:

triangleTrust in politicians reaches all-time low

Malvern:

triangleMalvern Socialist Party: Keep Corbyn, Fight for Socialism

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool dockers and drivers protest "appalling lack of facilities"

MPs:

triangleSacked bakers' union rep Kumaran Bose calls for living wage 'protection'

Virgin:

triangleHands off our NHS!

Nottingham:

triangleSchool sexism

Parties:

triangleAustria: Far right temporarily halted

Venezuela:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Venezuela - on the brink of collapse?

Richard Branson:

triangleWhat we saw

Worcester:

triangleWorcestershire hospital deaths expose NHS crisis

Military:

trianglePalestine/Israel: Everyday life under occupation

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleNo more concessions to Labour right!

Working class:

triangleTheatre review: high art and savage poverty in Bootle

Welsh Assembly:

triangleWelsh Assembly to scrap 'right to buy'

Wales:

triangleSick of sham consultations - give us a real fightback

Benefits:

triangleThem & Us: 500k house party... 50p for rent

Budget:

triangleNewham council to sack up to 1,300

Banks:

triangleBosses' pay goes up by 82% for nothing

Army:

triangleBook review: Spy drama gives insight into capitalist coup plot

Cardiff:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The gig economy

Demonstration:

triangleNHS in meltdown from spending cuts - demonstrate on 4 March!

John McDonnell:

triangleLessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike

Government:

triangleClosing of the children's centres could cost lives

First Bus:

triangleLeeds: supporting the First Bus strike

Elections:

trianglePCS union national executive elections

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleKhan should attack bosses, not workers

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

18/1/17

Arts

Socialist artists invite others to exhibit work

18/1/17

Arts

John Berger: remarkable art of a contradictory socialist

18/1/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

18/1/17

Theatre

Theatre review: high art and savage poverty in Bootle

18/1/17

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party

11/1/17

Review

Book review: Spy drama gives insight into capitalist coup plot

11/1/17

Football

Football abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and accountability

4/1/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

19/12/16

Review

Film review: Rogue One

14/12/16

Music

2016 sounds for your stocking

14/12/16

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

14/12/16

The Socialist

It's the bumper Socialist 2016 quiz!

7/12/16

Food Banks

Food banks and the real Daniel Blakes

7/12/16

Obituary

Obituary: John Sharpe: 1953-2016

30/11/16

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


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

triangle18 Jan Tories torn in two on single market

triangle18 Jan Labour's civil war continues - build a mass workers' party

triangle18 Jan Protesters surround cutting council

triangle18 Jan Trotsky and February 1917: Preparing for revolution

triangle16 Jan Eight billionaires own as much as half humanity!

triangle11 Jan 'Cash for ash' scandal set to bring down Northern Ireland government

triangle11 Jan NHS in meltdown from spending cuts - demonstrate on 4 March!

More ...

triangle19 Jan Huddersfield and Halifax Socialist Party: The Russian Revolution 1917

triangle19 Jan Bradford Socialist Party: How can Trump be stopped?

triangle19 Jan East London Socialist Party: Stop Newham council tearing up workers' contracts

triangle20 Jan Protests against Trump's inauguration

More ...

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

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice