The Socialist

The Socialist 23 March 2016

Tories split - strike now!

The Socialist issue 894

Budget cuts resignation: Tories split - strike now!


Them & Us - budget special

Budget 2016: fight for socialist policies to reverse cuts!


Socialist Party national congress 2016


Brussels attacks: don't let the terrorists and racists divide us

'Living wage' lie: fight for 10 now!


Junior doctors to escalate strike action

Aramark workers striking for the living wage

Tube drivers shut down Piccadilly Line over bullying

Workplace news in brief


Uniting to defeat John Roan academy plans

Academy failed me and other children with disabilities


BSE crisis - the madness of the profit system

Five years ago: 750,000 march against cuts


"As a carer, I am expected to pick up the slack"

Letters

 
 
 
 
 

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Letters

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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.


Rape, women, blame

Despite public discussion about domestic violence, sexual harassment and rape, victims still encounter the assumption that they are somehow to blame. According to the Office for National Statistics (2015), more than a quarter of the public believes women who are drunk at the time of an assault are at least partly responsible for what happens to them.

One Tory MP caused a furore in 2013 when he suggested women should not wear tight skirts and heels as it hinders their flight from "predators". In reality, predatory or opportunistic rapists account for very few assaults: most women know the man who raped them. In the UK, two women and one child a week die at the hands of someone they know well.

On average, a woman will suffer 35 times before she asks for help or reports it. Cuts to domestic violence services, adult social services and policing aggravate this situation.

Since 2010, 54% of domestic violence services have been forced to close. In many areas there are no places in hostels or women's refuges, thus leaving women and children vulnerable. Appeals to our local MPs about cuts to services and facilities to help victims of rape and domestic victims have failed.

One key area which receives insufficient funding is the support of women from ethnic minorities - and there is precious little charity money available either. Not least because victims are stigmatised.

Sue Powell, Gloucester

McDonnell boosts Blairite mayor

Fresh from his advice that councillors couldn't fight the cuts, John McDonnell makes this astounding observation in response to a question from the Liverpool Echo:

What do you make of Joe Anderson as Mayor of Liverpool?

"I think he's been a really strong voice for Liverpool. A strong voice, dynamic and absolutely committed, working himself into the ground basically for the city and I think he's done a great job. He's one of the best advocates Liverpool has had for decades, to be honest.

"And when he comes down to London his voice is heard. He lobbies ministers. Within the Labour Party he's extremely well respected because of the advocacy he does on behalf of the city. I think he's turning the city around. He's got great ideas."

With all the respect I can muster, I think John is wildly out of touch and he should be reminded he is a member of Corbyn's anti-austerity team. In that capacity he should make time to speak to those who have suffered from the 340 million cuts Anderson's council has imposed on the city's neediest.

Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool

Healthcare headache

An elderly disabled couple came up to my street stall in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, to sign our petition on 'No to a privatised NHS'. I got talking to them about the consequences of this cruel and tyrannical regime's treatment of the elderly and disabled.

In the event of total privatisation along American lines, they could have to take out private health insurance - potentially losing their lifetime of National Insurance contributions. They both informed me that because they have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and multiple sclerosis, they cannot currently get such insurance!

Kris Caci, Stoke

Errors of pro-EU left

This is just a short opening shot in the campaign we'll be conducting in the next three months against the anti-worker, racist, capitalist 'inners', and against the anti-worker, racist, capitalist 'outers'.

Unfortunately, many on the left are adopting one position or another on the European Union (EU) on the shaky basis of very superficial impressions, hopes and fears. This will lead to all sorts of political mistakes during the swings of the debate - on political alliances (Galloway with Farage, for example), migration, democracy and austerity.

We need a clear understanding of the class nature of the EU, but also of the frustrations and confusions in the minds of different groups in the working class and middle class, as a firm basis for our campaign.

The referendum also presents a potential opportunity to get rid of Cameron and his deeply divided, weakened government within months - if the Opposition had the right programme and strategy. An exit or narrow remain vote could lead to formal splits both in the Tory and Labour parties, completely changing the political landscape, and unleashing forces from below which the ruling class can't control.

Socialists have not only always opposed British membership of the EU; as working class internationalists, we're for the abolition of the EU itself. Originally set up by the coal and steel barons, it's a free-market bureaucracy serving only the interests of the banks and big business, not ordinary Europeans.

The Lisbon Treaty allowed Thatcherites like Cameron and Merkel to impose their policies of lower wages, austerity and privatisation on other governments like Greece - and on their own populations - while blaming "Brussels". Now these right-wing politicians are using the EU to make secret negotiations with the USA to privatise public services like the NHS and allow corporations to dictate government policies solely in the interests of their own profits.

The Trade Union Congress wrongly relies on the EU to safeguard workplace rights instead of getting off its backside and fighting. Concessions like maternity leave and maximum hours were only won by pressure from below, not granted by pro-business bureaucrats or toothless MEPs.

Workers need to rely on our own strength, and international solidarity, to fight for better living standards and social progress. No to the capitalist EU, yes to fighting for a socialist Europe!

Brent Kennedy, Carlisle

Global economy gripes

After the financial crash of 2008, the Socialist Party predicted that any recovery was always going to be fragile.

Recently, we have seen more panic selling on global stock exchanges. China has been the latest and biggest economy to suffer. For a while, enormous government investment kept the country afloat, but this growth has stalled, leaving behind ghost towns of empty properties, which the mass of people simply cannot afford.

America too, is suffering. Cheap oil has meant that its investment in environmentally disastrous industries such as fracking is not paying dividends.

In place of a system built on fleeting, short-term gains for a few, socialists look to democratic planning, and collective solutions to meet the world's needs.

Ian Reynolds, Leicester

In this issue


What we think

Budget cuts resignation: Tories split - strike now!


Budget 2016

Them & Us - budget special

Budget 2016: fight for socialist policies to reverse cuts!


Socialist Party annual congress

Socialist Party national congress 2016


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brussels attacks: don't let the terrorists and racists divide us

'Living wage' lie: fight for 10 now!


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors to escalate strike action

Aramark workers striking for the living wage

Tube drivers shut down Piccadilly Line over bullying

Workplace news in brief


Academies feature

Uniting to defeat John Roan academy plans

Academy failed me and other children with disabilities


Socialist history

BSE crisis - the madness of the profit system

Five years ago: 750,000 march against cuts


Socialist readers' comments

"As a carer, I am expected to pick up the slack"

Letters


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 March 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

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Related links:

Letters:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Healthcare:

triangleDeaths of despair: Health crisis - capitalism in the dock

triangleScrap the privatising health and care bill

triangleReaders' comments

triangleWe don't want a USA-style healthcare system

Economy:

triangleCamden Socialist Party: The economy - will inflation become a problem again?

triangleCapitalism's economic instability in the 'new normal'

triangleSocialists and the four-day week

Rape:

triangleSarah Everard trial reveals police abuse of power

triangleTory review won't deliver justice for rape victims

Women:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: End violence against women

EU:

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

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Israel-Palestine - a socialist programme

Socialist:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Youth demand a future

Cuts:

triangleHackney: Stop closure of children's centres

Domestic violence:

triangleDomestic Abuse Bill: So much still to fight for

Capitalist:

triangleNewcastle United takeover - no to billionaire Ashley or Saudi despots

Austerity:

trianglePreparing for no-cuts People's Budgets

Stoke:

triangleEast London resident fighting eviction again

Union:

triangleThe 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more

Racist:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: United struggle against racism and oppression

Privatisation:

triangleLondon floods: Privatisation and heavy rain are a dangerous mix

Elderly:

triangleCare home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

Disabled:

triangleLeeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

NHS:

triangleSocial care funding needed now

Health:

triangle60 steelworks scaffs march in second week of all-out strike

Lisbon Treaty:

triangle'Vote Leave' fined: For a workers' Brexit

Labour Party:

triangleBakers' union disaffiliates from Labour

John McDonnell:

triangleNon-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

Maternity:

triangleSave Leicester General Hospital

Steel:

triangleTory government nationalises Sheffield steel plant

Tony Mulhearn:

trianglePlaque dedicated to Tony Mulhearn

Stoke-on-Trent:

triangleStoke on Trent Socialist Party: Tories Out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

Greece:

triangleGreece-Turkey border refugee crisis

Oil:

triangleLibya - ten years after Gaddafi's overthrow

Migration:

triangle39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

Anti-austerity:

triangleDonate now to fuel our election campaigns

Big business:

triangleEnd profit-fuelled crisis

Banks:

triangleTories plunge millions further into poverty

Brent:

triangleAlternative Burns Night success

China:

triangleInternational solidarity protests

Fracking:

triangleFracking mess

European Union:

triangleFight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights

Democracy:

trianglePolice attempt to intimidate Newcastle protesters

Councillors:

triangleTV review - Grenfell: The Untold Story

Gloucester:

triangleThe street I live on