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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 February 2021

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Capitalist governments turned blind eye to Holocaust

On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army. The Nazi 'final solution' encompassed ghettoisation, murder and, finally, systematic extermination in death camps.

It followed in the tradition of centuries of clerically sanctioned discrimination and repression of Jews throughout Europe. It's important not to forget the hypocritical role of the 'democratic' capitalist countries in closing the door to the desperate refugees.

Switzerland threatened the German regime with revoking the no-visa rule in the face of Jewish emigration. After negotiation, the Nazis agreed to mark all Jewish passports. Free movement was maintained on the basis of selectively excluding Jews.

Those seeking an escape route were often doomed by their passports. The United States had strict quotas on the basis of nationality, with Polish migrants being 'oversubscribed'. Jews were allowed to settle in Palestine, which was under British control, with discriminatory admittance imposing quotas on poorer Jews.

French politician Georges Bonnet asked German diplomat Joachim von Ribbentrop to prevent Jews travelling to France. This presented Hitler with an opportunity to maliciously gloat: "It is a shameful example to observe today how the entire democratic world dissolves in tears of pity but then, in spite of its obvious duty to help, closes its heart to the poor, tortured Jewish people."

Even in the face of systematic Nazi murder, 'democratic' governments took a cold, callous, selective approach to the plight of the Jewish refugees, with uncomfortable parallels today.

Daniel Thorburn, Carlisle

Council cuts could easily be stopped

Liverpool Council is proposing shutting down every One Stop Shop in the city, part of 23 million cuts and tax hikes planned. Liverpool's Labour councillors justify these horrendous proposals by declaring that they have 'no alternative'. The reality is different.

The council has usable reserves of 47 million - more than double the planned cuts and tax hikes. These reserves can and should be drawn down to avoid cuts and tax rises.

A campaign can then be launched - in collaboration with other councils - demanding that the Tory government reverse cuts in central government funding and provide relief for local authorities to maintain vital public services. Rather than adopt this fighting strategy, Labour councillors choose to carry out the Tories' dirty work.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), in contrast, will fight the cuts by whatever means necessary. Its candidates will not hide behind phoney excuses. They will have my support when the next set of local elections are held.

Alex Smith, Liverpool

Why we need the Socialist

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I congratulate Socialist Party members wholeheartedly for continuing to produce the Socialist during this very difficult period. It is a vital tool in building our party and educating our members, alongside attracting new people to our ideas.

The paper continues to provide brilliant analysis of the key developments around the world and in Britain, alongside great articles written by workers on the front line - fighting the onslaught of the bosses and the capitalist system.

Charlie Taylor, Derby

35-hour week

Regarding the article by Gary Clark concerning Royal Mail (see 'Royal Mail management forced to make concessions' at socialistparty.org.uk).

Royal Mail was privatised in 2014. Clearly in order to make real progress with terms and conditions, postal workers will have to run a campaign for the hearts and minds of public opinion in the hope that some government will return them to the public sector.

Regarding the 35-hour week, clearly this should be the case. I had a 35-hour week in 1973 in a white-collar occupation.

I was a member of the ASTMS union (now part of Unite). The call at the time was for it to be reduced to 30. We have since had 40 years of neoliberal economics.

I believe that everyone has a right to a work/life balance and that the Trades Union Congress (TUC) should be calling for a 30-hour week.

Adrian B Rimington, Chesterfield

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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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 3 February 2021:


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Launching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Why I am attending the TUSC local elections online conference

South Yorks TUSC ready for electoral fight


What we think

Workers' rights and safety: Trade union mobilisation could force more Tory U-turns


News

Socialist Students open letter to Rent Strike network

Children in care: Privatisation is not working

Multimillion-pound rental firm demands thousands from homeless asylum seeker

Covid outbreak at Kent asylum detention centre: Napier is not fit for purpose

New anti-protest law: State forces want more power to crush the protests that are coming


Workplace news

Usdaw conference stripped of democracy by leadership

Usdaw Broad Left rally brings together those campaigning for a fighting union

Strong union lead needed to stop DVLA Covid spread

HMRC: We demand a pay rise without cuts to terms and conditions

Workers fight British Gas 'fire-and-rehire' plans

Vote Steve Hedley for RMT general secretary

The NEU's 'big announcement' - lessons need to be learned

Yorkshire aerospace workers strike against pay disparity

Workplace news in brief


The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto - A guide to understanding society, and how to change it


Rolls-Royce

1971: Rolls-Royce crisis - when the Tories nationalised in order to secure the interests of British capitalism


Readers' opinion

GameStop: Billionaires hurt at their own game

The Socialist Inbox


International news

Covid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic


Campaigns news

New members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come

Why I rejoined the Socialist Party

Help us raise the funds to fuel the working-class fightback

Save our square: we need social housing and public services

Stop Labour council's eviction of Stratford Circus arts centre


 

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