Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/962/26131

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 September 2017

The Socialist inbox

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

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

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 editors@socialistparty.org.uk.

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.


'Valuable community assets'

Books, photo Rodrigo Galindez (Creative Commons)

Books, photo Rodrigo Galindez (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

The Labour council in Bury, Greater Manchester, is closing ten out of its 14 libraries. So far, so typical, you might say.

But they made the mistake of asking people if they had ideas about turning former libraries into "a valuable community asset" - like they weren't already? Hundreds of people flooded the council's Twitter account.

Asam Yasin was first to reply. He suggested: "A book shop. One that lets you take books for free for a period of time as long as you return them. With a fee if you don't."

Another commented, tongue in cheek: "Is that a library, Asam?" To which came the response - "No, no. It's a shop. If you call it a library they'll only close it down again..."

Steve Fletcher wrote: "A book/magazine short-term lend-and-return-type facility sounds good. Could do with a snappier name, I suppose."

They got a lot of other witty responses. Unfortunately it's no laughing matter for the residents of Bury, especially for the disabled users of the specially adapted library at Whitefield, which is one of those slated for closure.

Come on Jeremy, when are you going to call a halt to cuts that are making Labour councils a laughing stock?

Paul Gerrard, Bury

Asthma attacked

I was recently watching the film 'The Lorax' (based on the book by Dr Seuss) with my five-year-old daughter. The main theme is the plight of the environment as a result of the search for profits.

However, another aspect of the story was of particular interest to me. Due to the destruction of trees, residents of the fictional town in the story need to purchase their air - from a sinister tycoon-type businessman who has systematically monopolised this industry - in order to breathe.

But as an asthma sufferer, what is best described as a 'breath tax' is already a dangerous and potentially costly reality.

Britain has some of the highest asthma rates in Europe. Asthma UK says there are around 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma: 4.3 million adults - one in every 12 - and 1.1 million children - one in every eleven.

Asthma isn't just some innocuous ailment that kids used as an excuse to get out of doing PE at school. It is an incurable disease affecting the lungs and airways, with the most severe symptoms manifesting through 'attacks' and leaving the sufferer with a terrifying inability to breathe.

Every ten seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK. 185 people are admitted to hospital because of asthma attacks every day, and a child is admitted every 20 minutes.

In 2015 (the most recent data available) 1,468 people died as a result of the disease. That means that every day, the lives of four families were devastated by the death of a loved one due to an asthma attack. Outrageously, many of these are preventable.

Unlike in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, those with this debilitating disease in England have to pay for their non-emergency treatment by way of prescription charges. This can include steroid-based medications, usually in the form of preventative and emergency inhalers.

Prescription charges are currently 8.60. Some people have several prescriptions and sufferers have gone without collecting their medication for this reason.

This 'breath tax' is a direct result of the economic system in which we currently live, one of profit over the needs of ordinary people. The privatisation that has been systematically introduced into the NHS, coupled with the monopolistic nature of the pharmaceutical companies, means that vital funds are siphoned off into the pockets of a few individuals.

Technology such as 'smart inhalers', health apps and remote monitoring already exist and have the potential to improve the care delivered by healthcare professionals. They could also improve self-management for the 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK.

Under a socialist economic system, the NHS and big pharmaceutical companies would be publicly owned and run under the democratic control and management of staff and service users. Planned production could quickly roll out new technologies like this on a mass scale, and ensure the healthcare needs of all are met.

What the bosses currently take as profits could be reinvested to make treatments free, pay healthcare workers a real living wage, and expand technological research and development.

Carl Harper, Peterborough

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


In The Socialist 13 September 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories retreat on pay cap

"I've been placed in charge of wards without defibrillators"

Rate of black imprisonment worse than US

Tories 'flouting duty' on poison air, says UN


TUC congress 2017

NSSN lobby of the TUC 2017: rank-and-file solidarity to smash the pay cap

TUC congress 2017: time for action on pay


Workplace news and analysis

Union victory at the Bank of England

Bus safety: we won't be distracted from public ownership

CWU members prepare for industrial action at Royal Mail

Barts strike - 'Up the ante' if necessary

McStriker addresses Greenwich trade unionists

Sports Direct's broken promises


Socialist Students

Kick out the Tories, fight for free education!

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

Young Socialists launched in Greater Manchester


International socialist news and analysis

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?


The fight in Labour

Readmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands march in Bristol - mayor needs real anti-cuts strategy

Boost to Chatsworth NHS campaign


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon

Trotsky's "insightful and frank examination" of revolution out soon

The Socialist inbox

New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 September 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Letters:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Bury:

triangleIreland: Bury the water charges

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSocialist inbox

triangleCampaign saves Bury Sure Start centres

Library:

triangleRare opportunity to see Russian revolution lifted off the page

triangleArts unions agree joint campaign work

triangleBromley library workers strike against privatisation

Healthcare:

triangleKids wait 18 months for mental healthcare

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Libraries:

triangleRussia 1917: how art helped make the revolution

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

15/11/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

15/11/17

Abortion

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

15/11/17

Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

8/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/11/17

Obituary

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

8/11/17

Theatre

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

1/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

25/10/17

Film

Film - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

25/10/17

Russian revolution

Well-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

18/10/17

Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

18/10/17

Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
photo: GMB

triangle22 Nov Budget: Lying Hammond says no unemployed

triangle21 Nov Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

triangle15 Nov March for free education! We demand a future!

triangle15 Nov Tories on the brink - kick them out!

Socialism 2017

triangle14 Nov Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangle13 Nov Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangle10 Nov US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

More ...

triangle22 Nov Caerphilly Socialist Party: Women and Revolution

triangle22 Nov Cardiff West Socialist Party: How do Marxists analyse the world?

triangle22 Nov Salford Socialist Party: 70 years since the partition of the Indian subcontinent

triangle22 Nov Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Organising for socialist change

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

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

V2