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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2019

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 1398, Enfield EN1 9GT, 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.

Youth clubs cuts are a mistake

The Thornhill Youth Centre in Southampton is being bulldozed to make way for unaffordable flats. Council-funded youth services ceased in the city in 2013. Since then, the Thornhill building leaser has struggled to cover rent.

The council, who own the building, have stepped in and sold the land to housing developers.

My mum, now in her late 50s, grew up in the area. She told me: "The youth club has always been a place for young people to hang out. We used to play badminton and table tennis there. It's sad to see all the facilities, which build community, being literally destroyed."

Josh, who was part of the 'save our youth services' campaign in 2012, told me: "When the council first voted to stop all funding for youth services, they said the services would be run by volunteers and stay open."

"We warned that volunteers and charities would be unable to maintain the services and the council would wait for them to be run down and sell the land for profit - which is exactly what has happened!"

A few weeks ago, city leaders initiated controversial Section 60 stop-and-search powers following a serious knife incident less than a mile from the youth club. It's no surprise to residents that the lack of youth facilities is making communities less safe, particularly for young people.

Bea Gardner, Southampton

Publicly owned public transport is solution

Extinction Rebellion blocking a road, David Holt/CC, photo David Holt/CC

Extinction Rebellion blocking a road, David Holt/CC, photo David Holt/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Claire Wilkins' article in issue 1061 was spot on and showed graphically how out of touch with reality the leaders of Extinction Rebellion (XR) are. (See 'Extinction Rebellion action opens up divisions on how to stop climate change' at

Public transport is part of the solution to climate change. But XR take the position that because buses or trains produce some carbon emissions, then they are as bad as cars.

The private ownership of public transport and the 'pro-car' policies of both central and local governments, blunt the effectiveness of public transport.

Huge cuts in subsidies have caused routes to be axed. This means that workers in rural areas must own a car or become a prisoner in their own community.

Extinction Rebellion should campaign for policies such as massive public investment and public ownership of transport. Socialists are correct to campaign for these polices in the environmental movement.

Clive Walder, Birmingham

Homeless problem is an abomination

A tent encampment is just across the road from the Stratford Westfield shopping centre, east London, and adjacent to new high rise block flats for the super-rich. An abomination!

We need a mass council house building programme and rent control in Newham and everywhere. Not fake 'affordable', but genuinely, for the working class and poor.

And no more of Labour-run councils putting humans in containers or converted tiny office space in soulless buildings. Or shipping the homeless out of London, as Newham council did.

There are plenty of empty homes and buildings that can be refurbished in Newham and elsewhere that councils should turn into quality homes.

Niall Mulholland, Newham, east London

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 30 October 2019:

What we think

Anti-austerity, socialist policies can be a winning formula

Mass protests rock the globe


Tories out now. Bin Boris. Corbyn can win with socialist policies!

39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

Argos Christmas bonus cut

Wall Street Crash

The 1929 Wall Street Crash: When the capitalist system was on its knees

Workplace news

PCS union election: For a fighting democratic general secretary

PCS: Support Marion Lloyd - a history of workers' struggle and a programme for the future

McDonald's - Striking to end low pay

London - 'autumn of discontent'

RMT election: Fight the cuts, vote for Jared Wood

Uni workers' pay and pension strike ballot


How working-class tenants beat Gentrification

Black history

Black Liberation... Only possible through socialist struggle

Obituary - Bob Lee: 1954 - 2019

International socialist news and analysis

Chile in revolt

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield North socialists lobby candidate stitch-up

Selling the Socialist

Donate to fund the fightback at Socialism 2019

Chile protests - London solidarity rally

Reader's opinion

Life in the gig economy

Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

TV: The Accident - Will capitalism be exposed in upsetting, true-to-life drama?

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

The Socialist inbox


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