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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2016

The Socialist inbox

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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 [email protected]

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

Blame The Poor!

Hated Republican president-elect Donald Trump, photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

Hated Republican president-elect Donald Trump, photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Those 'stupid masses',

They've done it again!

The workers,

The poor,

'The uneducated',

The 'multitude swine'!

First Brexit,

Now Trump-Pence

Can't they see that

Republican austerity

Is worse than

Democratic austerity,

Which is as good as

New Labour austerity,

Which is not as bad as

Conservative austerity?

Done with regret

Better than

Done with relish!


Welfare cuts,

Devastation of services,

Demonisation of the poor.

Poverty pay

In the gig economy,

As the rich get richer.

Why can't we just accept?

For so many a vote

For a bigoted,

Corporate billionaire,

Preferable to a vote

For a corporate,

Establishment millionaire.

Half the electorate

Rebuffed both!

For Wall Street,

For Clinton, a vote

For a bigoted billionaire

Preferable to a vote

For Bernie Sanders,

He could have won!

Blame the poor

For revolting against the elite,

For rejecting lesser evilism!

Anti-worker Trump

Will disillusion and anger.

Return to Democrats

Is not the answer.

The protests have started,

Against racism,

Against misogyny,

Time for a socialist alternative!

Jim Horton

Palace v peasants

Buckingham Palace photo Diliff/Creative Commons, photo Diliff/Creative Commons

Buckingham Palace photo Diliff/Creative Commons, photo Diliff/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

It's hardly a big surprise that our public taxes will pay for the repairs to Buck Palace.

Rightly, many will think that just a tad unfair and will complain. While we do that however, there's a stunning fact we should all consider.

In terms of living standards, the peasant under feudalism was closer to the monarch than the 99% of us are to the elite 1% today.

So if we want to do something about the outrageous gaps between the lives of 'ordinary' folk and the ever more powerful elite who rule us, really, our focus should be on dumping capitalism.

Dave Griffiths, Coventry

Obituary: Bill Graham

Bill Graham, a former supporter of Militant in London, has passed away after a short illness.

Bill was a socialist, trade unionist and defender of the most oppressed. During the 1980s and 90s Bill was active in many campaigns around youth unemployment, housing and fighting racism.

However it was in the anti-poll tax battle that Bill really hit home, building a big campaign in the Camden area that was regularly featured on TV and in the local papers. Bill built a model bailiff-busting squad that was second to none. Needless to say, no bailiffs dared come into his area.

Bill campaigned all his life against injustice, and only recently was with his wife, Josey, in Calais, supporting those fleeing war and terror. That was the measure of the man.

He will be long missed by so many. Our thoughts are with Josey and his family.

Steve Nally Lambeth, south London

Hunting Hunt

The one and only Tristram Hunt MP graced us with his presence recently at our campaign stall in Hanley, Staffordshire. As you would expect, we were slightly surprised by this unusual development.

We were all wondering as he approached us, is he going to sign our petition calling for an end to zero-hour contracts and for a minimum wage of 10 an hour now? But no, he went straight past that one.

Was it to sign our petition against the closure of another 64 local NHS hospital beds, with the threat to 200 nurses' jobs as well? No, he went straight past that one too!

Then we all thought the same thing - no, he can't be interested in the petition calling for deselection of Blairites? Surely not? But we were wrong! This is exactly why he strode so purposefully up to our stall.

And then, talking over three of us who were trying to get a word in edgeways, he hit us with his best shot: "You can't call for deselection, you're not members of the Labour Party," turned on his heel, and strutted off - presumably to lie down in a darkened room somewhere.

The majority of people who have signed our deselection petition are Labour Party members. As soon as he had gone, a load of people who had been listening to him formed a queue to sign.

Stoke Socialist Party

Consulate complaint

We are always taught that the British Embassy is here to help us when we get in trouble abroad, aren't we? The experience of a friend of mine when he had his passport stolen recently tells a somewhat different story.

Despite the process being called 'provision of an emergency travel document', there is no emergency out-of-hours service, so we had to wait until the following morning to replace the passport.

You also have to make an appointment. You don't, however, make an appointment to have your passport stolen.

There are no photography facilities at the consulate. My friend had to walk to the local photographer who the consulate has a contract with - a familiar pattern for how the British government delivers 'services' - and pay 10 to have his picture taken.

The end result was that my friend had to pay 100 for a flimsy passport, which was exchanged at the Eurostar terminal for a photocopied piece of paper, which was valid only for the journey home.

This is more expensive than the 72.50 cost of a full ten-year passport! Clearly the British consular service sees misfortune as a revenue opportunity.

I found that the consulate treats people with the same contempt and indifference that the government does. Embassies aren't there to protect our interests, but the interests of the elite.

Clive Walder Birmingham

Trump talk

Watching a news programme the following day after Trump's victory, I heard the remark of one American journalist who had followed the Trump campaign.

She mentioned a skilled factory worker she spoke to in one of the deindustrialised 'Rust Belt' states, 30 years old, who had voted Democrat all his life, and was a workplace union rep who had lost his job. "I'm voting Trump because maybe he will bring us jobs back."

That remark speaks volumes to me. Just imagine if Sanders had stood. He could have won.

Chris Fernandez, Derby

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

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In The Socialist 23 November 2016:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Cash for rich and royals, cuts for the 99%

Tories drop 'pay to stay'

Tories plan pain with Brexit Autumn Statement

3.5bn on temporary housing for councils

'Just about managing': 2,500 worse off by 2020

Job figures mask casualisation

What We Saw

What we think

The Socialist Party and support for the Corbyn movement

Socialist Students

Fight back to save education!

Campaigning Socialist Students groups needed to hold student unions to account

N30 strike: five years on

Lessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike: when workers showed their power

International socialist news and analysis

USA: mass protests break out to #ResistTrump

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment - fight for abortion rights

Spain: Students' Union surges forward in historic congress

Hundreds rally to celebrate anniversary of Students' Union and Izquierda Revolucionaria

UN climate change summit: more hot air from Marrakech

Workplace news and analysis

"I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore" - a day in the life

Southern Rail Strike

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Reselection motion passed at Labour Party branch

Packed-out Socialist Party meetings hear American socialist and Black Lives Matter activist

School talk on the struggle for the vote and its importance today

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist inbox

"I can't stop thinking about Socialism 2016 - it was truly brilliant"

Socialism 2016: what you thought


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