Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1159/33457
Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image
The Daily Mail's distain for working-class people will not surprise many of our readers, neither will its shoddy journalism. The right-wing rag has used Socialist Party member James Ivens' image, taken from Twitter. In response James has written to the Mail:
Dear Daily Mail,
I am writing to you to demand that you remove a photograph that is my intellectual property and you have used without my permission - without even attempting to seek it, in fact.
The photograph is of an RMT picket line in Leytonstone on the evening of Friday 3 December. You took it from Twitter, which you wrongly credit as holding the copyright. The photograph is mine, and its publication on Twitter does not put it in the public domain, as any competent journalist would know.
If you were using the photo to support the heroic struggle of tube workers, I would take no issue. This strike is defending the terms and conditions of night tube workers - many of them parents or women who need part-time work with decent pay - against cuts by right-wing Labour mayor Sadiq Khan. This is round one of his brutal onslaught on the whole London transport network, caused by him accepting Tory government funding cuts rather than even trying to lead a mass campaign against them.
Your rag has used my photo - without permission - to try to smear striking drivers as responsible for a dangerous accident. Years of underfunding and underinvestment - especially cuts to station staff, the real issue here - have reduced safety on the network. The fault lies with Johnson and Khan, not RMT members who have fought their attacks. Management's cavalier insistence on allowing strike-breaking drivers to run a much-reduced and therefore crowded and unsafe service during the strike is also to blame.
If you were really concerned about passenger safety, you would support the strikes to keep the night tube grade and prevent knackered drivers becoming the norm.
You must remove my photo immediately, and I trust that you will.
You should also withdraw this shameful article and apologise for it, but I don't hold out the same hope given your long record of hatred for the working class.
Regards, James Ivens
I'll just add - workers need an independent political voice. The Tories and their rags like the Mail ain't it. Labour under Starmer and Khan ain't it. The unions should stand their own, independent candidates to fight for working-class interests. The RMT is part TUSC - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which is a step in this direction.
Victory to the strike!
- If the dispute goes unresolved, night tube drivers who are members of the RMT union will take strike action again on Central and Victoria lines from 10-12 December and 17-18 December. They will be joined by all train operators and instructor operators on night tube lines for 24 hours from 4.30am on 18 December.
In The Socialist 8 December 2021:
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