The Socialist

The Socialist 10 January 2018

NHS SOS - march and strike

The Socialist issue 977

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS


Movement challenges Iranian regime

Sweden: School strike against deportations


Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

Them & Us


McDonald's strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

RMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

Amy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

Newham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

UCU members balloting for action on pension cuts


2017 was the best fighting fund total this century!

Socialist sales highest in years as mistrust in capitalist media hits record levels

Hoxton: "Stop this unwanted development"

Closure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS


Art can help expose sexual harassment

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

The Socialist Inbox

 
 
 
 
 

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

Cwmbran Tower in Wales

Cwmbran Tower in Wales   (Click to enlarge)

Matt Kilsby and Paul Gerrard, Salford Socialist Party

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower atrocity, Salford Socialist Party began discussing whether there is a role for tower blocks in a socialist housing policy. There were differing views so we organised a debate.

Matt Kilsby spoke first and in favour, arguing there are numerous great examples of well-built, well-planned high-rise living. Park Hill in Sheffield; Trellick and Balfron Towers and the Barbican and Golden Lane estates in London; Byker in Newcastle; Alton West in London - to name just a few.

Socialist town planning would be about need, choice, abundance, democratic control and variety.

And to discount high-rise living on the assertion it is somehow 'unnatural' seems misguided. The subsequent problems with a large number of post-war high-rise buildings have not been because of their design, building materials, and so on - or that they are somehow 'unnatural' places to live - but the fact that they've been left to rot, with no money spent on upkeep.

Paul Gerrard, opposing new tower blocks, pointed out that Marx analysed the contradictions of capitalism, including the antagonism between cities and the countryside. Accumulation of capital drives a concentration of labour into big cities, and tower blocks are capitalism's answer.

There is no objective need to house people at such levels of density, with a lack of privacy and nowhere for children to play.

Liverpool's Militant-led socialist Labour council in the 1980s responded to high-rise residents' wishes by building two-storey, three-bed houses, as well as low-rise flats. We need to use derelict land, expropriate empty properties, and develop new towns and estates nearer the countryside.

Both speakers agreed that we oppose Sadiq Khan and other Blairites' attacks on older tower blocks, shedding crocodile tears over 'the mistakes of the past' to cover their own plans for privatisation and gentrification. In Salford, as in London and elsewhere, we demand and actively campaign for safe, high-quality council homes for all.


In this issue


What we think

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS


International socialist news and analysis

Movement challenges Iranian regime

Sweden: School strike against deportations


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

McDonald's strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

RMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

Amy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

Newham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

UCU members balloting for action on pension cuts


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

2017 was the best fighting fund total this century!

Socialist sales highest in years as mistrust in capitalist media hits record levels

Hoxton: "Stop this unwanted development"

Closure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Art can help expose sexual harassment

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

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 January 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

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