Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 March 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.

Worse-off women

We are the 99% - Take the wealth off the 1% Socialist Party placard, photo Paul Mattsson

We are the 99% - Take the wealth off the 1% Socialist Party placard, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

In London, the number of people sleeping rough has risen every year since the government began publishing figures in 2010.

Westminster, where the average price for a flat exceeds 1.3 million, has both the largest homeless population in the UK and the most planning applications to build luxurious basements - where the super-rich are now storing their cars, installing their home cinemas, wine cellars and swimming pools.

These aptly named 'iceberg homes', with more space below ground than above it, are sought after by the super-rich. Developers are increasingly choosing to extend the size of existing properties rather than building new ones, which means no pesky 'affordable' housing laws to contend with.

Although land is at a premium in London, purchasing vast swathes of it outside the city is still a popular hobby of the UK's billionaires - inventor James Dyson owns more than the queen!

The Tories like to kid themselves that giving us our two female prime ministers is some kind of magical feminist feat. It has done nothing to improve the lives of ordinary women.

If May was really a champion of women's rights, she might start by addressing the fact that women are disproportionately affected by benefit cuts, shouldering 85% of the burden according to one estimate.

I'd like an underground swimming pool, Theresa, but I spend 70% of my wages on one room in a flat (and I can't swim). Take the wealth off the super-rich 1% - because no one needs a private waterfall in their basement.

Ellen Kenyon Peers, Lewisham, south London

Farm fiends

When is a union not a union? When it's the National Farmers' Union, according to a report from the 'Ethical Consumer Research Association' - which describes it as an "English agribusiness lobby group."

According to the report, "as food production has globalised and the environmental movement has grown, consensus about how our food should be produced has broken down. Over the last 20 years... the NFU has hardened into an anti-environmental, free-market lobby group."

Using the term 'union' suggests an organisation where members have an equal vote, working in the interests of all workers in the sector. Not so the NFU, which actually works for the short-term interests of a small number of large-scale farm owners, directly against those of smaller farmers.

For example, by supporting mega-dairies which are driving small dairy farmers out of business. The owners of big farms, mostly in the South and East of England, have used the millions they get from EU subsidies to undercut and buy out small farms while outbidding them for any land that comes on the market.

They have also resisted any regulation, especially that favouring conservation, wildlife and the environment - unless big subsidies are attached! Meanwhile small farmers struggle to survive and are driven out of business by even short-term cuts in the price they get from supermarkets for their milk, lamb or vegetables.

But as well as representing the interests of Britain's biggest farmers, the NFU apparently has a structure which allows corporate members, but does not disclose who these are. The Ethical Consumer report raises concerns about a perceived relationship with multinational companies that determine the shape and future of British agriculture and food production - the agrichemical industry and the big supermarkets.

Agrichemical giants like Syngenta, who make the neonicotinoids that are killing bees, and big supermarkets like Tesco, apparently don't just lobby the NFU for support, they could be much closer to it than that. They can - and do - use their relationship with the NFU to put pressure on government, working against smaller farmers, against environmental campaigns, and ultimately against consumers.

Kate Jones, Swansea

Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky

Trotsky and Poland

In Poland under Stalinism, many people realised it was totalitarianism, not socialism.

Elections were falsified. The government bureaucracy was saying that power was in the hands of the people but it was not like that at all. It was a perversion of Marxism.

That is why Trotsky was so popular among youth in Warsaw, because he fought against the hypocrisy of Stalinism and the departure from the true ideals of socialism.

In the 1960s, Trotsky's writing became popular among young people discussing underground in Warsaw. The most famous group was centred around Adam Michnik, who at that time considered himself a Trotskyist.

Youth near the city who were studying in Warsaw created a group around Henry Szlajfer. These groups issued an open letter based on the ideology of Trotsky to the ruling Polish United Workers' Party. They were arrested, isolated from society and humiliated. In the late 1960s, some began to move away even from genuine Marxism because they were persecuted.

We all exactly saw the distortion of socialism, everyone saw what was happening around us. Only Trotsky did not betray the true idea of revolution.

Everyone wanted socialism as Trotsky described it. Young people believed in his ideas, and Trotsky was a hero for them. They thought there must be built up a new system based on Trotskyism.

100 years after the Russian revolution, that country lives under Putin's authoritarianism. Real democracy does not exist in Russia. But the ideas of Trotsky are still remaining.

Agnieszka Ford, Worcester

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

In The Socialist 1 March 2017:

Save #OurNHS

Build a movement to save our NHS

Reinstate the bursaries for student nurses now!

Grantham: 1,000 march for reopening of A&E

NHS England missing paperwork scandal

Heart centre closure consultation 'farce'


Socialist Party women

International Women's Day

Women's protests and walkouts around the world

Lessons of Russia 1917 for women's struggle today

Why I joined the Socialist Party

How black women fought racism and sexism at Nasa

Fight like Poplar's women councillors to change the lives of family carers

What we think

Byelections: Break with Labour Blairism wasn't on offer

Socialist Party feature

Debates on building the anti-Trump movement

Workplace news and analysis

"I worked from 9am to 11.30pm with only one break"

Warehouse workers walk out over pay and pensions

Derby teaching assistants continue fight against 6,000 a year pay cut

Picturehouse strikers blockade Leicester Square

Ford workers demand answers to Bridgend plant sourcing questions

Hearing into alleged rule-breaking by Unison ends

Leeds: Protest against tip stealing

Mixed Fleet cabin crew announce more strike days

RMT plans protest against 'driver only' Merseyrail trains

Southern Rail strike continues

May Day greetings in the Socialist

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Unions demand that Corbyn-supporting mayor protects services

Bristol cuts: the fight goes on

Tower Hamlets: There is an alternative, Mr Biggs

Spelthorne: we need socialist councillors

York University: socialists prevent far-right hate speech

Socialist Party Wales conference report

Northern region Socialist Party conference

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist Inbox

What we saw


Home   |   The Socialist 1 March 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


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Political turmoil in Poland


triangleDerby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter


triangleWhat we saw


triangleWhat would a socialist food industry look like?


triangleCardiff Central Socialist Party: Socialism or anarchism?


triangleHomes for All - Not billionaire profit!


triangleCapitalists fear for their system at Davos

Russian revolution:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The Russian revolution betrayed


triangleCorbyn didn't collaborate with Stalinism - but with Trotskyists against it


triangleSpain: millions on streets against sexism and capitalist oppression


triangleShould socialists support GM foods?

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