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Mangrove lessons

I have just watched Steve McQueen’s excellent film ‘Mangrove’ in the ‘Small Axe’ series of films about racism from the 1960s onwards (see review below). McQueen’s characterisations were excellent. They brilliantly show the out-and-out racism of the police, and the differences of opinion in the West Indian community centring on having faith in the British legal system versus defending themselves.

The trial of the ‘Mangrove Nine’ for riot and affray, following an anti-racist demonstration, graphically illustrated the racism not just of the police but also the judge and prosecuting counsel. It showed that those who challenged the system rather than relying on lawyers made the correct decision.

While we should congratulate their unrelenting campaign against racism and racist police behaviour, it is outrageous that these events took place under a Labour government, proving once again Labour’s failure to challenge the capitalist state and the racism, hatred and division that it relies on for its survival

Clive Walder, Birmingham

Double standards

A tale of two disciplinaries. Jeremy Corbyn was found not guilty of breaching Labour Party rules but is being sanctioned anyway by his party leader. Priti Patel was found guilty of breaching rules but is not facing any sanction from her party leader. The difference is a stark lesson – only one of them represented a potential threat to the establishment.

Suzanne Muna, Bristol

Omitting socialism

It seems that in the US elections even bourgeois democracy is too much for the far right grouped around Trump. They must yearn for a tin-pot dictatorship. But, of course, for capitalism, bourgeois democracy is cheaper.

We could be forgiven for not knowing that there was a third challenge in this election from Green socialist Howie Hawkins (see page 5) and Angela Walker, which the Independent Socialist Group (co-thinkers of the CWI in the USA) supported, including the call for a mass workers’ party.

However, as is always the case with the capitalist media, they don’t directly ban socialist ideas, they just ignore or distort them. As the wonderful investigative journalist John Pilger once remarked, “it’s censorship by omission”.

Both Biden and Trump were running scared of genuine socialist ideas. But once these ideas emerge and have the ear of the masses, it’s goodbye capitalism and all of its vile representatives.

Bill Buchanan, Nottingham

New Year’s resolution

Jobcentre Plus, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Jobcentre Plus, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

The newly unemployed need to be aware of their new (non) status as classed by capitalism.

Surplus labour means the employers can abuse them and the existing labour force by supply and demand. Workers and unemployed need to be reminded of this and that the unemployed are not the enemy of those in work, but victims of a system that reduces standards of living for all, when it can.

It is also dismal and daunting for the unemployed as there are currently 13 applicants for every job vacancy and the unemployed figures continue to rise.

As unemployment will soon reach four million, the working class needs to unite in a concerted effort to give the Tories a Christmas present and a 2021 they will not forget. Let’s make 2021 ‘the year of the working people’s fightback!’

Adrian P Rimmington, Chesterfield