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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 March 2019

The Socialist Inbox

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The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors, photo Suzanne Beishon

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 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.


Militant support

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

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)


The following letter was sent to the Liverpool Echo.

False allegations

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

Opportunist leeches

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

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 13 March 2019:


News

Anger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

Weak Tories must go. General election now!

Them & Us


Opinion

History: Alice Wheeldon - an anti-war socialist persecuted by the state

The Socialist Inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

International Women's Day protests

For socialist change, not climate change!

Southampton: Socialist stand against cuts

No to racism - Fight for socialism

Memorial to working-class fighters who fought fascism


What we think

Only socialist planning can save the planet: Build a mass working-class struggle to achieve it!


Workplace news

Neither Tories or EU - only fighting trade unions and a Corbyn-led government can deliver workers' rights

PCS union elections: Huge support for Chris Baugh

Newark NSK strike: "Even Victorian workers got a day off each week. We're expected to have just one weekend off every three weeks"

Breaking news: Birmingham bin workers' strike suspended pending new deal

Workplace news in brief


Universal Credit

Tories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: The Threats, attacks and contradictions of Bolsonaro's regime


Obituary

Obituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter


 

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