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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 August 2018

The Socialist inbox

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The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors, photo Suzanne Beishon

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

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

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

Thatcher's Militant blacklist

I wasn't surprised that newly released cabinet papers confirm supporters of Militant (predecessor of the Socialist) in the civil service were under secret surveillance and that Thatcher wanted them sacked.

In the late 1980s I applied for a job in the Health and Safety Executive as an employment medical adviser.

I went to an office in Whitehall for the interview and supplied references. A few days later I got a letter saying the department was pleased to offer me the job, "subject to confirmation of your date of birth, professional qualifications and other matters."

I sent copies of my birth certificate and qualifications - and waited before giving notice to my employer.

After six weeks I got another letter informing me that due to "a change of operational requirements" the post was not now going to be filled.

As there was nothing wrong with my birth certificate or qualifications, I could only assume "other matters" were the problem. By then I'd been active as a socialist with Militant for about 15 years.

Jon Dale, secretary, Unite EM/NG32 Nottinghamshire Health union branch (personal capacity)

World cup nationalism?

Trotsky, in one of his writings, comments that only the working class - of any nation - has the real 'interests of the nation' at heart.

What did he mean by that? It is the case that in any crisis of the capitalist system the capitalist class will abandon 'the nation' if the bosses think their profits are at stake.

A Corbyn-led government, even if it only goes halfway in implementing a pro-worker programme, will witness a flight of capital.

Meanwhile, on the contrary, it is the working class which wants to see a socialist programme implemented - not just to improve their own lives, but also to 'better the country'.

Witness the outpourings of support for the NHS 70th birthday celebrations. Even the capitalists are forced to pay lip service to its merits - through gritted teeth, while they plan to dismantle it.

For the working class, the NHS is socialism in action. They take pride in saying 'it's the best in the world'.

Are they being nationalist? Of course not, but rather expressing the feeling of ownership and wanting to keep the NHS.

In the 1970s, I remember well that the Union Jack was the flag carried by the National Front, and rightly it was seen by those on the left as espousing the poisonous racism of the fascists.

Today I don't think that is necessarily the case. Flying the Cross of Saint George is, for most, nothing more in my view than saying "I support the England football team."

Most workers want a lift from their everyday humdrum lives, and that is what it is all about - nothing more.

Bill Mullins, Lewisham and Southwark Socialist Party

Capitalism wants slums

Empty homes in Liverpool, photo Derek Harper/CC

Empty homes in Liverpool, photo Derek Harper/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Slum housing - that's the best solution that capitalism's brightest thinkers can come up with to the housing crisis in Britain.

In 2015 the Adam Smith Institute gave an award to a young right-wing author for a blog post saying "Some people might not feel like they need a bedroom space as large as the state expects (70 square feet, with a minimum ceiling height of 7.5 feet), while others might not mind sharing a bathroom with another family (!) if it means lower rents." (Our comments in brackets.)

Rather than accept being crammed into whatever spare space the big landlords can find, we need decent housing for all, with rent controls, an end to letting fees, and most importantly a big programme of building council houses.

Yorkshire Young Socialists

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In The Socialist 8 August 2018:

What we think

Corbyn must end false unity with Labour's right

Socialist Party news and analysis

Birmingham home carers strike

Northants Council in total collapse: for a citizens' assembly to draw up a 'needs budget'

Rents soar 60% faster than pay - while spivs plan luxury homes on Green Belt

Tax-dodging tech bosses make billons ... while 6m workers fear the scrapheap

No to Tory plans for radioactive waste under national parks

Them & us

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

The fight against Labour's Blairites and TUSC's role now

Workplace news and analysis

NHS workers angry at reality of mis-sold 'pay rise'

Government fails to deliver on funding and teachers' pay - demand action to win 5%

PCS union: break the pay cap - the fight continues!

Kirklees bin workers' strike forces management back

Ministry of Justice workers angry at barrage of attacks

Take on probation privatisation with union action

Bournemouth train guards' RMT strike

London cleaners' coordinated strike

International socialist news and analysis

Israel - Protest rally against the Nationality Law

Deadly fires ravage Greece: austerity contributed to high loss of life and property

Striking Portuguese dockers show the way forward

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A mass campaign and trade union organisation can defeat the far-right FLA

Protests win temporary halt to refugee evictions in Glasgow

Why I joined: "I saw the need for Corbyn to stand against the right"

Shropshire NHS - fight the cuts to our services!

Tolpuddle festival: combative trade unionism and anticipation of general election

Trade unions mobilise against EDL in Worcester


A must-read for anyone fighting NHS cuts

The Socialist inbox


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