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From: The Socialist issue 909, 6 July 2016: Stand firm against the Blairite coup

Search site for keywords: Letters - The Socialist - Socialist - Labour - Labour Party - Peterborough - Government - London - EU - Tories - Refugees - Jeremy Corbyn - Housing - Leicester - South London - Waltham Forest - Lewisham - Capitalism - Anti-austerity - David Cameron

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Emerging class unity

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, photo Paul Mattsson

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

A discussion with my work colleagues on a tea break demonstrated an emerging class unity that I have not witnessed before.

We all agreed that out was the correct referendum vote for vastly different reasons. We now find ourselves in agreement again as it is clear to all of us that the political class has no respect for the judgement of our class.

This has been nakedly and grotesquely displayed by the Parliamentary Labour Party's attacks on Corbyn who has done nothing more than be unenthusiastic in delivering working class votes to the Remain campaign. They must blame someone for the fact they could not collectively convince us to give them the result they wanted.

Corbyn now stands taller in the eyes of people who would not have dreamed of voting Labour before. We want him to stay.

Energy worker and trade unionist, Essex

'Every little helps'

There is an old saying: the last capitalist on earth will sell you the rope to hang the second-to-last.

Food banks are a stark indictment of capitalism. Yet Tesco makes a good profit out of the local food bank. People give out lists outside the store and shoppers buy their donations instore.

"Every little helps," as they say.

Derek McMillan, Worthing

Keep Corbyn!

I was a member of the Labour Party for 30 years who left because Tony Blair was turning it into another Tory party. The NHS is facing bankruptcy as a result of former Labour governments' imposition of 'PFI' sell-offs.

The EU referendum showed a deeply divided nation. Only a Labour Party with anti-Tory, anti-austerity policies can heal these wounds. It's counter-productive calling the 52% who decided that leaving the EU would be better than staying 'racists'. It only strengthens the far right.

The Labour Party needs to convince those who voted Leave, as well as those who voted Remain. I believe that Jeremy Corbyn is saying the right things to achieve this.

Politicians have got the reputation of being compulsive liars. Jeremy Corbyn has a reputation for telling the truth and he has tremendous support for that.

What I think his opponents are saying is that he should have lied, saying there are no problems with the EU. If he had done that, he would have not only damaged his own reputation, but that of the Labour Party.

It's no use trying to get the support of the Sun and the Mail. It's the people that count.

Peter Redfarn, Lewisham, south London

Refugee victory

"Peterborough to resettle 100 Syrian refugees" was the headline on the city's newspaper, the Peterborough Telegraph. This is an uncompassionate response by the Tory-led Peterborough Council which ultimately amounts to a tokenistic gesture - grudgingly given.

Seven months ago the Tories decided not to support the resettlement scheme at all. The council leader, John Holdich, claimed their opposition to resettling these desperate refugees was because there were "already pressures on services". This is fundamentally hypocritical given the years of eagerly and ruthlessly imposed cuts to those very services in the city by his party! It should also raise concerns for the people of the city that the Tories were claiming that they cannot deal with just five families resettling here each year until 2020.

However, after the deal was 'agreed' Holdich had an audacious change in rhetoric, stating that: "This city has a long and proud history of welcoming those that need our help and we will be working with groups from across our community that have already offered their assistance." He was forced to admit "I have been speaking with government and we have now come to an agreement. The government has confirmed that we will receive appropriate levels of funding for these families... to cover all the health, social and educational costs... in addition to them being able to access all benefits such as housing."

This development should give confidence to those fighting for international working class solidarity, and acts as proof that the government can be forced to make financial concessions under pressure from councils.

Let's exert that pressure on the government and fight for funds to protect all jobs and services!

Carl Harper, Peterborough

Heavyweight hero

Muhammad Ali, RIP. What many, including me, most associate with him was his outspoken and courageous stand against racism and injustice.

This was exemplified by his very public refusal to fight in Vietnam. For this action he was vilified, persecuted, stripped of his world title and banned from the ring. This was at a time when he was at the height of his boxing skills.

It took a number of years for this to be overturned. When he returned to the ring arguably he was a different boxer- he was older and slower. He adapted his original style - based on movement and hand speed, "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" - to one more reliant on his ability to soak up punishment.

His trainer Angelo Dundee commented on this "Due to his beliefs, he was robbed of the best years of his life - that's a subject that we must not forget, ever." The cumulative damage he sustained then has been linked to the Parkinson's syndrome condition which he developed, and which he lived with for the rest of his days.

As any human being he had flaws. For example, some of his 'trash talk' - of which he was a pioneer - was funny; some crossed the line and left a bad taste. Nevertheless, he will be most known for his charisma, his courage, his spirit, and his humanity.

'Legend' is an often over-used epitaph but in his case it seems apt.

Bill Gordon, Waltham Forest, east London

Tory racism

The Tories have been stoking the flames of racial hatred for too long. David Cameron slashes spending on public services, attacks our NHS and schools, refuses to build cheap affordable housing, and then gives tax breaks to his millionaire chums.

Cameron and his Tory buddies then lay the blame for all of society's ills upon benefit claimants and immigrants, when the real problems are the corporate scroungers who refuse to pay their way, who have their tax-free riches migrate overseas at our expense.

With Cameron's divisive so-called 'counterterrorism' strategies like 'Prevent' clearly working to demonise Muslims, it is little wonder that 2015 saw a reported 326% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes over those committed in 2014.

Mike Barker, Leicester





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