Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/922/23838

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2016

Socialist inbox

Do you have something to say?

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 editors@socialistparty.org.uk.

We reserve the right to shorten and edit letters. Don't forget to give your name, address and phone number. Confidentiality will be respected if requested.

Views of letter writers do not necessarily match those of the Socialist Party.


The police and justice system have a long record of institutional sexism, including blaming victims for the attacks they suffer, photo by Paul Mattsson

The police and justice system have a long record of institutional sexism, including blaming victims for the attacks they suffer, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Featured letter: Sexism

Ched Evans court disgrace

I have been watching the news around the Ched Evans rape case in utter horror.

This case confirms the biggest fear of victims of sexual assault: that your sexual history could be plastered across a courtroom in minute detail if you dare to speak up. Meanwhile, Ched Evans's sex life seems totally unimportant.

What's more worrying is that this case has relied on a former partner of the victim giving details of her sex life as 'evidence' against an unrelated crime. The Ched Evans case also shows how wealth and influence can help quash your conviction.

One barrister told us that in lawyers' inner circles, when they have to defend someone accused of rape, they consciously demonise the victim - calling the technique "sluts and nuts".

It's hugely offensive, but totally believable, that if they can't use a woman's sexual history to falsely invalidate her claims, they use her mental health.

Helen Pattison, Leytonstone, east London

In the Ghetto

This is my rewrite of the sixth verse of the Elvis Presley hit 'In the Ghetto', to update for the current wave of police violence.

Then one night in desperation

A young man breaks away

He don't buy a gun

He don't steal a car

He don't try to run

But he still don't get far

Pete McNally, Worcester

Marmite Brexit

In the recent debates about Brexit, apart from the Tories' dog-whistle pronouncements on immigration, nothing seems to have caught the mood like Tesco pulling Marmite and other Unilever products from its online store.

The spat between supermarket and supplier revolves around the fall in the pound, and Unilever demanding an increase of 10% in prices to compensate for increased costs from imports.

Tesco, on one hand, has pointed out Unilever didn't lower their prices when the pound was up. Meanwhile, it is just a few years since Tesco was exposed for systematically squeezing its suppliers.

While some have argued over which company is more immoral, I prefer to reflect on the fact that I have stood on picket lines with both Unilever and Tesco workers, as their employers sought to attack their pensions and jobs.

Instead of siding with either big business, let's remember that what drives both is maximising profits at the expense of both workers and consumers.

Our response to that must be to demand that such vital companies for supplying foodstuffs to millions are taken out of the hands of the few, and brought into public ownership under democratic workers' control and management, so we can make use of their resources for the benefit of all, not just the wealthy few.

Iain Dalton, Leeds

NHS in-efficiency savings

Theresa May has told the head of the NHS that it will get no extra money, despite rapidly escalating problems that led to recent warnings that hospitals are close to "breaking point".

The previously 'promised' £10 billion extra - which doesn't cover what is needed to run the NHS anyway - will now not be provided. Instead May has said this has to be found in 'efficiency savings' - that's cuts to me and you.

But this language removes us from the reality of what this means for the man and woman on the street who will ultimately be affected by this. It means closing departments like A&E or maternity, or even whole hospitals like Liverpool Women's or those on the Wirral.

Plans have been leaked in a document that is also named in a sanitised way: "Sustainability and Transformation Plan". Again, to you and me, "sustainability" will equate to job losses and Jeremy Hunt imposing unworkable contracts for the nurses, doctors and healthcare staff, leaving these people who care deeply about the services we use left with no choice but to strike. "Transformation" would appear to mean selling off all that remains attractive enough to people like Richard Branson and his Virgin Care, which runs those services for a profit, putting money before our wellbeing.

There is already a massive strain on things like support services. If you go to get blood tests done, they won't necessarily be processed at the hospital you are at. Instead, now labs will be 'centralised' - meaning that one hospital, for example, in a region, will have that service, and your samples will be sent off to that lab, then you have to wait for the results to come back.

Now I don't know about you, but I wouldn't call that "efficiency". I'd call that watering down the excellent standard of the NHS that we have known and loved. I'd say that it's pretty important that, when you're ill, the doctors can get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.

These plans are being rushed through. They are to be decided on by 23 December. It's not a lot of time, and we can't sit back and let this happen. There is no time to wait for a general election to get the Tories out - we need to act now, make our voices heard before there is nothing left to save.

Let's organise a fightback in the traditional Scouse fashion: loudly! It's our NHS, built by our families, paid for from our hard work, and what it has given us is worth fighting for with every ounce.

D Thompson, Bootle

Council consent

On 14 September, I and other Socialist Party members and campaigners took part in a lobby outside Leeds City Council to support a motion I presented in a deputation to council.

The motion calls upon the council to change the licensing rules for bars and clubs in Leeds so that they must clearly display consent-educational posters, and staff must be trained on consent. The motion was passed unanimously, and I will now be negotiating with the council on how to take this forward.

Leeds Socialist Party's support was visible, and it was the only party that expressed solidarity with the motion, as well as Unite Community members. The event was covered by the local press and has had a good reaction so far.

While this is a small reform, it is a win for victims of sexual violence in Leeds.

Amy Cousens, Leeds

South Devon Socialists

When members in the sunny resort of Torbay in South Devon met in September, we were chaired by a striking junior doctor. We did not have a traditional introduction to our discussion, and instead had a sort of "what the papers say", picking out articles and letters from the latest issue of the Socialist.

The Hinkley Point article was discussed, along with the feature on the Labour Party, and the report from Greater Manchester of the threat hanging over the firefighters.

Everyone agreed it was a great paper doing a very big job, and wanted all the comrades working on it to get a big thank you. One of the members, who had not sold any papers before, said: "Give me five, and I'll make 'em buy them!"

We are confidently planning to plant the palm tree of socialism in the English Riviera.

Alex Moore, Totnes, south Devon

Homeless hounded

In the cold and rain it hits you just how many more homeless people there are these days in places like Torquay. Young, old, women, men, many still children.

They are in cold, wet doorways and benches, usually alone. No soft clothes or heating on. No one to give them a hug and say it will be all right. Cold, wet, depressed, tired and hungry all because they can't quite manage to keep up with the relentless rat race.

Not much of a crime is it? But what a punishment. And yet capitalist society seems to blame these lost souls for their own demise. Often fleeing abuse or a hideous past towards the streets as services can't cope.

This misery is rooted in a broken system that creates broken people.

Mental health and addictions, of all ages, have never been worse. The housing crisis never been worse. Health and social services have never been at such a crisis point. Decent jobs to just get by are far less likely. It's the capitalist free market, and we are either useful pawns or we are toxic waste.

Let's all get out and fight for socialism, because in a socialist society everyone is treated equally and fairly.

Nick Slater, Torquay

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 26 October 2016:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Protest and strike to save our NHS

Health campaigners announce national NHS demo

Hundreds march and rally to defend Tyneside hospital


Socialist Party news and analysis

'Jungle' camp destruction is no solution

Welsh budget: Labour government makes Tory cuts

Academies mired in debt and corruption

Homeless sleeping rough: councils must build housing

Four in five self-employed workers living in poverty


Corbyn & Labour

Readmit expelled socialists

Wallasey whitewash must be condemned

Battle in Leeds council over care home closure


Jarrow March for Jobs 2011

Jarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth


Socialist Party workplace news

Teaching assistant pledges ongoing fight against pay cuts

A day in the life of a midwife

Striking Sheffield bin workers picket scabs

Crossrail sparks get organised

Unison higher education seminar points no way forward over pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Housing campaigners meet to plan resistance to the Housing Act

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I really can't wait for Socialism 2016"

"We are all Daniel Blake!"


International socialist news and analysis

US presidential election: The disastrous failure of 'lesser evilism'

Ireland: Jobstown protester found guilty


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Book review: Fighting racism in football

TV: No Place to Call Home

Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 October 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Letters:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Socialist:

triangleSocialist Sellers

triangle20 years of housing failure

triangleBuild independent workers' media with May Day greetings

triangleForeign Office workers' strike

Devon:

triangleExeter and S. Devon Socialist Party: Fighting for Corbyn's socialist policies

triangleStop the fire service cuts

triangleStop the Devon and Somerset fire service cuts

Homeless:

triangleThem & Us

triangleTory on homeless: "tear down these tents"

NHS:

triangleNHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Council:

triangleCallous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire

Sexism:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Fighting sexism today - and for socialism

Leeds:

triangleWestex carpet strike

Unilever:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Tesco:

triangleIncompetent bosses use tech to bully us

Health:

triangleNottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

Workers:

triangleTrade unions - new decade, new challenges

Hospitals:

triangleSave the NHS: kick out the Tories

Hospital:

triangleFight the closure of Royal Glamorgan A&E

Tories:

triangleThe rich fund the Tories and Blairites, so help fund the working-class fightback

Socialism:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Can guerrilla struggles achieve socialism?

Socialist Party:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Coronavirus and the failure of capitalism

Sex:

triangleOver one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

Rape:

triangleMexico: police silence on horrific attack on CWI member

Jobs:

triangle500 BBC journalists' jobs under threat

Doctors:

triangleThem & Us

Women:

triangleUnnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

Crime:

triangleTV: Crime and Punishment - this brutal watch is a damning indictment of cuts and capitalism

Mental health:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Capitalist:

triangleTrump's trashing of the environment - Dump the capitalist profit system!

Firefighters:

triangleSurrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

Election:

triangleLabour leadership contest and public ownership

Cuts:

triangleBig Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

Children:

triangleChildren need intensive care? We don't care!

Big business:

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

East London:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Stop gentrification - Save Queen's Market

Immigration:

triangleBirmingham SE Socialist Party: The history of immigration

Planning:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: How would socialist planning work?

Pensions:

triangleUniversity strikers walk out for better pay and pensions

Nurses:

triangleEnd health and wealth divide - Fight for our NHS

Maternity:

triangleWaltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

Press:

triangleSupport the working-class press in 2020

Profit:

triangleWhat We Heard

Richard Branson:

triangleTories out - we need socialism!

Public ownership:

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

Market:

triangleStop gentrification in Newham: "We are here, you have consulted us and we're not going anywhere!"

Manchester:

triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: What does the general election result mean for 2020?

Labour:

triangleLambeth Unison letter

Housing:

triangleHackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

Healthcare:

triangleCoronavirus exposes capitalism's weaknesses in healthcare and economy

Greater Manchester:

triangleArriva Rail North under pressure after nineteenth Saturday strike

Labour Party:

triangleUnite union nominates Long-Bailey and Burgon

London:

triangleNew BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?

Leytonstone:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Young people and the fight for a future in austerity Britain

General election:

triangleWhat next after the general election, for PCS and the left

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

12/2/20

BBC

New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

5/2/20

Liverpool

Liverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?

5/2/20

Socialist

Socialist Inbox

29/1/20

Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

29/1/20

Review

TV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

22/1/20

Revolution

Robert Burns: of the people, for the people

22/1/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/1/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

15/1/20

George Monbiot

TV Review: Apocalypse Cow

15/1/20

Food

Sustainable food production and the need for socialism

8/1/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

4/12/19

Socialist Party

The Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

27/11/19

Plymouth

Plymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

27/11/19

Minimum wage

Minimum wage debate

27/11/19

BT

The private sector will never provide broadband to every home, nationalisation will

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999