The Socialist 8 July 2020 |
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Views of letter writers do not necessarily match those of the Socialist Party.
Worse than useless
Anneliese Dodds, Labour's shadow chancellor, was asked on the Andrew Marr show, does Labour support all the care workers in this country coming back under government control, to nationalise them?
Do you think they should all work for one regulated employer, i.e. the government? She didn't agree.
Marr said Labour (Jeremy Corbyn) once supported a nationalised care sector. She still wouldn't agree.
Privatised care workers, due to not receiving sick pay, actually carried the virus into care homes.
There's no point in Keir Starmer's Labour Party if, after a national scandal, it can't simply call for the nationalisation of care. She's useless.
Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest, London
Jobs and council homes not gentrification
Southampton one-bedroom flat £195,000. Who can afford that? Very few.
Nuffield Southampton Theatres to close with loss of 86 jobs.
Why isn't the council stepping in with its £200 million property fund? Can't we show this useless Tory government there is an alternative to an economic recession?
Southampton council should get shovel-ready with a programme to defend jobs and services, restoring the £140 million government funding stolen from the council by the Tories since 2010, and build affordable council housing for all.
The council could show it had a different vision to Tory inequality.
Nick Chaffey, Southampton
NHS 72nd anniversary
Health minister Aneurin Bevan with workers and a patient on the first day of the NHS, photo University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences/CC, photo University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences/CC (Click to enlarge)
The NHS is 72. The hospital my mum works at delivered the first NHS baby.
Millions since have benefited from healthcare provided for need and not on ability to pay. The NHS was founded not as a charity or a business, but as a publicly owned service paid for by everyone, for everyone.
During the coronavirus pandemic, NHS workers have played an absolutely vital role in less than ideal conditions. Hundreds have died from the virus.
They were betrayed by lack of PPE and testing. The NHS went into the pandemic understaffed from a decade of cuts that has eroded the number of hospital beds.
We must campaign for a 10% pay rise for all NHS workers, the reintroduction of NHS student bursaries and kicking out profiteers from the health service. We cannot go back to how it was before.
Bea Gardner, Southampton
Breathtaking hypocrisy - Boris Johnson joins the national clap for the NHS.
Healthcare workers need a decent pay rise; an investment in extra staff to ease their workload; a properly funded, publicly-run health service free of profiteers; a nationalised pharmaceutical industry that takes research and development seriously; investment in our social care system to make it fit for purpose for our loved ones.
That's how we thank our NHS.
Karen Seymour, Mansfield
Leeds NHS protests were not just another clap that Boris Johnson could join in on, but put forward demands about decent pay, kicking private companies out and having a properly funded NHS.
Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds
Tories talk through Telegraph
Why are government ministers making announcements about lockdown changes through the Telegraph?
At the beginning of the pandemic they got called out because some of the articles were even behind a paywall. How can all people protect their health and follow the rules if you have to pay to know what they are?
The Telegraph got a backlash so made some, not all, of the articles free. Elected government ministers think its OK to make government announcements though a right-wing, big business paper rather than through the whole press. Even the BBC radio host was annoyed about it.
Helen Pattison, Acton, London
Utilities sold off
All the utilities sold off by the Tories have put billions into the grubby hands of their profiteer friends. This money, now in the bank accounts of the super-rich, dwarfs the piddling amount being promised by BoJo (see 'Boris' new big deal' at socialistparty.org.uk).
We need to fight for the renationalisation of all our utilities, under democratic workers' control, with compensation only given on proven need.
Elaine Brunskill, Gateshead
Covid and PPE are big business
Business has declined no opportunity to flourish, capitalising on human misery, throughout the Covid-19 crisis and the scramble for PPE. Some firms have sourced substandard and flimsy masks in a rush to profit from people's natural desire to protect themselves.
National retailers have been exposed for charging as much as £1 for very basic and single-use masks, which fail to conform to clinical standards. The result has been already-devastated household budgets strained further, mountains of waste littering streets, and a collective false sense of security.
The latest culprit is Tyne and Wear Metro rail, allowing its preferred vending partner Selecta to charge punters £3.70 for a pack of three masks which offer limited protection at best. Accompanied with a £5.30 day ticket, a whopping £9 for essential workers, commuting to increasingly scarce and dangerous employment.
William Jarrett, NHS worker
Queen sacks government
The Australian high court has allowed the release of the Queen's secret correspondence before the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975 (see 'When the Queen's representative sacked a government' at socialistparty.org.uk). Shows the role of the monarchy, when the chips are down, they will be used against us.
Alex Gounelas, Hackney, London
When I worked in a library
All the damage done by the Tories was predicated on the Blair years, virtually all of it. The Blair 'reforms' privatised and smashed up the safety net; the consequences were to be felt by future generations.
When I worked for the library service, we used to have a room out the back that stocked all the books which were the basis of the housebound service.
It had books for the blind, the disabled and the elderly. We supplemented it with books from the whole service.
We all had our regulars. We sent notes to them and they sent notes to us about what books they liked or didn't.
I remember one Christmas, one woman had missed the doorbell and missed her 48(!) books over Christmas.
She was crying down the phone as she needed her books like others need medicine. She was on her own and never had a tele.
When I was sorting books out the back, I used to get visited by a middle-aged woman - a trade unionist for the homecare workers. She too loved her job and felt important in her work.
She administered day care for people in their own homes who came out of hospital. We were both trade union organisers, fighting to defend the most delicate of services under the then Blair government.
Time for a new workers' party.
A library worker whose job was cut by a Labour council