Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1010/27956
The Socialist inbox
Letters to the Socialist's editors.
Do you have something to say?
Send your news, views and criticism in not more than 150 words to email@example.com, or if you're not online, to Socialist Postbox, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD.
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.
"Call off the dogs"
How low can the Blairites go? The latest comments by Chuka Umunna - calling Labour Party members "dogs" for campaigning against right-wing MPs - are the politics of the gutter.
He is no socialist. Addressing the right-wing 'Progress' organisation he said Jeremy Corbyn should "call off the dogs."
His insults remind me of Eric Hammond - right-wing leader of the EETPU union, now part of Unite - at Labour Party conference in 1984. He attacked the leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers, calling them "donkeys."
He refused to call out power station workers to support them, saying striking miners were "lions led by donkeys"! The riposte of Ron Todd - leader of the T&G union, now also part of Unite - was "well, I am an animal lover, and I prefer donkeys to jackals!"
Labour Party members' riposte to Umunna should be: we'd rather be dogs than jackals!
Umunna reminds me of that famous soul song by the O'Jays: "They smile in your face, All the time they wanna take your place, The backstabbers, backstabbers."
Umunna should go and form his Social Democratic Party mark two and see how far he gets. Right over a cliff, I reckon.
It's about time Jeremy Corbyn put aside his Zen approach to the Blairites and got more combative. He can make a start by supporting mandatory reselection of MPs.
Chris Fernandez, Derby
On 8 September, George Galloway and Ken Livingstone visited Liverpool as part of their anti-witch-hunt speaking tour. On discovering that the Socialist Party's Tony Mulhearn, anti-cuts Liverpool Labour councillor from 1983 to 1987, was interested in attending, Galloway arranged for him to speak from the stage.
The event was in the spectacular concert room of St George's Hall which holds 500 people. The capacity crowd was enthusiastically in support of Jeremy Corbyn.
Galloway's contribution heaped praise on Corbyn and condemned Blair and his acolytes. He agreed with the view held by the Socialist Party - and the overwhelming majority of Labour members and the wider public - that the charges of antisemitism are a smear strategy by an unholy alliance of anti-socialist forces which will not rest until Corbyn is removed as leader.
Livingstone's contribution was similar but unfortunately had more of a 'broad church' attitude towards the Blairites.
It was striking that all the most radical points were greeted with the loudest applause.
Galloway introduced Tony as "a comrade who was part of the leadership which fought Thatcher and refused to carry out Tory cuts." Tony spoke with great effect, calling on Corbyn to stop apologising and call out the smear campaign for what it is: a capitalist coalition of cant and hypocrisy.
This was greeted with an immediate ovation, as was his call for mandatory reselection to make Labour MPs democratically accountable.
Tony called on Galloway and Livingstone to support the application of the Socialist Party to be allowed to affiliate to Labour with full democratic rights. He said: "If it's good enough for the Co-operative Party and Progress, then it's good enough for us." Both nodded, and all of these calls were met with cheers and clapping.
The enthusiasm for socialist change and mandatory reselection revealed the chasm between the national Momentum leadership's conciliating approach towards the right, and the mass of the labour movement. That enthusiasm should be built on.
Dave Walsh, Liverpool
The right-wing Labour MPs hope to ditch Jeremy Corbyn without the inconvenience of a leadership election.
They made a song and dance about the refusal of Labour's national executive committee (NEC) to adopt all the examples tacked on to one establishment organisation's definition of antisemitism. When the NEC retreated by adopting all the examples, they continued with their offensive!
By denouncing Labour as "institutionally racist," Chuka Umunna has burnt his boats. It is clear his future lies with Tony Blair's fictitious 'moderate' party.
I don't know if Tony Blair is thought of as a 'moderate' in Iraq, or as a mass-murdering war criminal. It is clear that Chuka Umunna thinks he would be better off with Blair, with the trademark austerity, privatisation and war of Blairism, than with the Labour Party membership he calls "dogs."
We will just have to manage without him.
Derek McMillan, Durrington, Sussex
Next recession due
Let the guessing game begin! It's ten years since the Great Recession - the trigger then was the subprime mortgage scandal. What will be next?
The Telegraph is spreading the rumour that these mortgages are back. There is fear about that, because those who study capitalism know another recession is due - even when the world economy has not yet recovered from 2008.
There are so many potential candidates to begin the collapse, and many more desperately trying to predict the recession so as to make a profit from it.
How about the massive debt - higher than ten years ago? Then there is the developing trade war between the USA and China; then the financial crisis in Italy, which follows Turkey and Argentina. The very structure of the world financial system is another potential trigger in a world dominated by finance.
There is one guarantee: that the masses will pay for such a crash. The super-rich have recouped their losses from the Great Recession on the backs of the workers through austerity - it's the socialists' job to stop them. Educate, agitate and organise!
Sean Brogan, Teignmouth, Devon
NHS across generations
I, for one, benefited from the reforms brought in by Aneurin Bevan's 1946 National Health Service Act. The NHS became a reality in 1948.
The Tories voted over and over to stop Labour introducing this 'revolutionary' system. Even many GPs and consultants opposed what they perceived as a 'communist' plot against free choice. The NHS nevertheless became a reality.
Let us not forget that in the grim days prior to the war, poor people often relied on home-made 'herbal remedies' and used 'The Home Doctor's Book' to address illness. They were too poor to call for a doctor.
The 'Baby Boomer' generation - of which I was one - obtained free healthcare and medicine. The elderly and the young benefited greatly. For most of us it has increased health prospects and longevity.
My generation is now being accused, indirectly, of living too long! Let us be clear, we have 'paid in' to the health service. If everyone paid in through taxes - including the super-rich - we could continue to run it.
The survival of the NHS is essential. We must all pull together to fight for it. If we don't, future generations will not and should not forgive us.
In the post-war years, people wanted change. This is why Attlee's Labour government came to power. He was the first prime minister to form a Labour government with a Commons majority.
Young people today face a legion of problems. Not least the lack of affordable housing, secure jobs, student loans - and insecure employment made worse by agency work, short-term contracts and zero-hour contracts.
They, above all, should be fighting to preserve what my generation and their forefathers struggled for after two world wars, to make Britain into "a land fit for heroes."
Peter Asquith-Cowen, Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire
In The Socialist 19 September 2018:
Labour Party conference
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns