Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 February 2017

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, phone 020 8988 8771 or email

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.

The FA is unrepresentative and unaccountable, photo Katie Brady (Creative Commons)

The FA is unrepresentative and unaccountable, photo Katie Brady (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

FA foul

"We are making progress, albeit slowly. I intend to see that we continue to make progress." This is what Denis Howell MP said about the English Football Association (FA) in 1968.

And coincidentally, it's the year the FA still operates in. In fact, it could have been said by one of the MPs who passed a vote of no confidence in the FA on 9 February due to lack of reform.

The FA council, which runs the game, is mostly male, overwhelmingly old, and almost exclusively white. It makes the House of Lords look youthful and diverse by comparison.

Oxford and Cambridge universities get a place on the council each - the same representation as fans and players, who also just get one each. The PFA players' union gets no voice at all!

Not surprising then that despite a quarter of professional players being black, they rarely progress into management; the Asian community is barely represented in football at all; and women get so little funding.

Most of the English FA council are club bosses too, and despite Wales doing better at Euro 2016, the Welsh FA chief in 2012 said football must be "run by businesspeople." But what about those who love and know the sport and will be around long after the businessmen have moved on: the fans and players?

Football clubs and governing bodies should be democratically run under community ownership. They should be non-profit, with the election of all officials and coaches, subject to recall at any time.

Scott Jones, Loughton

Welfare win

A small victory in the courts recently against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). I had been turned down at several stages for ESA (the very basic disability benefit).

At my tribunal hearing in central London, I was successful in disproving the conclusion of the 'work capability assessment' and had my opportunity to tell the judge (a semi-retired doctor) what was wrong with the whole disability benefits system.

I saw 'I, Daniel Blake' at a community cinema screening recently, and spoke passionately in the debate afterward, about my experiences and the political nature of this evil trick system they have invented. I highlighted the media demonisation of benefit claimants, especially the ill and disabled in programmes such as 'Benefits Street'.

I reminded the Labour do-gooders there that my Labour MP, Neil Coyle, had abstained on the vote for the Welfare 'Reform' Bill.

I said I wanted to see the DWP at my tribunal - to look them in the eye. But no representative was sent along. I am sure they will try and get me back, but it was a win on the day of my tribunal. Don't give up and get support before these ordeals - Disabled People Against Cuts is a great resource.

Gary Kandinsky, Southwark, south London

Brexit bust-up

Derek Hatton's criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's proposed support for triggering Brexit (Financial Times, 1 February) is off the mark. Corbyn is reflecting the majority Leave vote, which I supported on the basis that the EU is a pro-capitalist, pro-austerity institution.

Derek will remember that the Socialist Party campaigned for a socialist Brexit because EU directives oppose public ownership and enshrine privatisation. I remain implacably opposed to May's 'red, white and blue Brexit' as an attempt to offer more of the same.

Corbyn had the choice of voting against Brexit, thus ignoring the wish of the majority, or voting for it while demanding the interests of the working class be protected. Correctly, although imperfectly, he chose to do this.

Some Labour MPs are justifying their criticism of Corbyn by quoting the majority Remain vote in their own constituencies. It's a pity they didn't reflect the views of constituents when poll after poll showed support for the public ownership of rail, energy, and the whole of the NHS.

In or out of the EU the working class will still be faced with the most savage attack on the trade unions and social provision for a hundred years. That's why I will continue to support Corbyn, albeit with the call for him to go further in transforming Labour into a fighting, socialist party.

Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool

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

In The Socialist 22 February 2017:

Save our NHS!

Support the NHS? Join the march!

Health cuts responsible for rise in deaths - reverse all austerity now

Stop victimising NHS whistleblowers

International socialist news and analysis

Dublin: #JobstownNotGuilty

Fighting the cuts

Leicester Unison no-cuts budget call

Bristol: Hundreds march against council cuts

Tower Hamlets anti-cuts budget lobby

Socialist Party news and analysis

30% of people on inadequate incomes in UK

Stop the student loan sell-off - scrap all fees

Argos fails to pay staff minimum wage - taxman cuts fine in half!

What we saw

February Revolution 1917

February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?

Socialist Party workplace news

Aslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to fight to win

Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

Unison Women's Conference

Workplace news in brief

Socialism not Trumpism

Socialism not Trumpism: Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A world to win - give us the resources!

Socialist Party regional conference reports

Obituary: John Pickett - 1954-2017

Wallasey Labour remains suspended despite collapse of allegations

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Worried about fake news? Start with Labour councils' budget lies

Organise to reverse 28% rise in violence against retail workers

The Socialist Inbox

Web series review: Cooked - "How capitalism ruined eating"


Home   |   The Socialist 22 February 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

The Socialist:

triangleIdeas matter: help us fight to win with May Day greetings

triangleMembers dig deep into their pockets to support the party

triangleInternational Women's Day

triangleSocialist Party congress 2018


triangleWalkout from undercover policing inquiry

triangleJeremy Corbyn and Brexit


triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Football under capitalism

triangleGentrification on the terraces: fans say twenty's plenty


trianglePassing the council cuts test


triangleItalian elections create huge political shake-up


triangleHomes for All - Not billionaire profit!


triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy


triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita


triangleProfits up Wages down


triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail


triangleCapitalism v cricket

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleObituary: Maureen Mulhearn 1945-2018


triangleLedbury tenants fight for decent homes

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



The Socialist inbox



Revolutionary physicist and champion of social causes



Gripping spy thriller exposes hypocrisy of Falklands/Malvinas war


The Socialist

International Women's Day


Sexual harassment

Fighting sexual harassment in entertainment



The Socialist inbox



The Socialist inbox: International Women's Day



Socialist anti-war exhibition opens in Kingston



The Socialist inbox



What's behind the surge in eating disorders?



The Socialist inbox



In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street



I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!



The Socialist inbox



Darkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018