The Socialist 13 March 2019 |
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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 [email protected]
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Views of letter writers do not necessarily match those of the Socialist Party.
The following letter was sent to the Guardian but not published.
I write in response to your article on Derek Hatton* (20 February), which unfortunately rehashes the usual lies and half-truths about the Militant-led Liverpool City Council in the 1980s.
The article claims that the actions of the council "resulted in a loss of trust with council workers and the public". This is simply not true.
Your report should have mentioned that the public continued to vote for that Militant-led Labour council despite attacks from Labour's leadership and it was only unelected judges who removed them from office.
Council workers also continued to support the councillors after the courts removed them from office and imposed massive surcharges. This meant that the councillors all faced huge fines. The labour movement raised the money collectively to pay the fines.
I was privileged to accompany Tony Mulhearn, the leader of the District Labour Party and one of the surcharged councillors, in meetings organised with the council workforce and I still remember the Liverpool bin workers who all agreed to have an attachment of earnings on their own pay packets to help pay off the surcharge. After filling in the forms, they lined up to shake Tony's hand and wish him all the best for the future.
The loss of trust in the Labour Party by voters was not with Militant but rather the Kinnock-led national party, which despite mass expulsions of those on the left, was unable to gain power for a further 12 years, leaving voters at the mercy of the Tories.
Mike Whale, Hull
Some of Liverpool's Militant-led socialist Labour councillors, including Derek Hatton (far left) and Tony Mulheran (second from left in flat cap), photo Militant (Click to enlarge)
- Derek Hatton was the former deputy leader of Liverpool council expelled by Neil Kinnock's Labour Party. He was recently readmitted to Labour after 34 years only to be suspended two days later over sending an allegedly antisemitic tweet in 2012.
The following letter was sent to the Liverpool Echo.
The Labour MPs who have resigned should now be subject to by-elections (as should the Tories). They were elected as Labour candidates in 2017 on the manifesto of the Labour Party. The electorate who voted Labour voted on the manifesto put forward by Corbyn on behalf of that party.
Those policies saw a huge growth in Labour's ranks to over 550,000 - making it the biggest political party in western Europe. The truth is this massive influx of new members was because of the socialist policies advocated by Corbyn.
The reasonable demands for a living wage of at least £10 an hour, the scrapping of tuition fees and a decent living grant for students, a mass council house building programme to alleviate the chronic shortage of affordable housing in this country, an end to PFI in the NHS and the outsourcing and privatising of services, are what millions of people would vote for after so many years of devastating cuts. A transfer of wealth in favour of workers and their families needs to begin.
Workers and their families want an end to austerity and the growth in Labour's ranks reflects this. That's why all those who oppose Corbyn and the policies he represents are raising false allegations of bullying and antisemetism, backed up by the Tory media, as a smokescreen for their real intention which is to prevent the election of a Corbyn-led government committed to ending austerity.
Frank Bowen, Liverpool
As the newly formed party of careerists, austerity supporters, backstabbing bunch of low-lifers with no principles, vision, compassion, other than looking after themselves, start to attract more of their ilk, they need to think what most ordinary people think of them back in their constituencies.
Most ordinary people see them for the traitors they really are. Opportunistic leeches really is a nice name for these MPs who should now be made to stand for election in their respective areas.
Cometh the hour, cometh the coward! 'I'm alright Jack f... everybody else' has been the motto of these Labour Party jumpers for years. Corbyn should have got rid of them ages ago. Now is the time to open up the Labour Party and welcome the socialists of the past, socialists of the present and socialists of the future, united as one voice, for the many not the few.
Jeremy Corbyn must act before it's too late. The warmonger Blair stole the Labour Party and filled it full of jelly back careerists. Steal it back or fall with it, the choice is yours, time now to do the right thing.
Rebel with a cause, Rotherham