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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 May 2019

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The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors

The Socialist inbox: letters to the editors   (Click to enlarge)

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Notre Dame disaster

Anti-worker French president Emmanuel Macron, photo kremlin.ru/CC

Anti-worker French president Emmanuel Macron, photo kremlin.ru/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Hundreds of millions have been donated for the restoration of Notre Dame. It is a good thing there are no poor Parisians who need the money.

Rich individuals and corporations have rushed to make pledges and salve their consciences. No doubt they expect to go to Heaven. It is more likely that a camel will pass through the eye of a needle!

Under Macron, one in five French families do not eat three meals a day. He is committed to restoring Notre Dame as a matter of prestige. His 'amour-propre' (self-love) is worth any amount of money.

The most recent report by church charity Secours Catholique states that "poverty is not diminishing. The number of vulnerable families with children - mainly, but not exclusively, single-parent families - continues to increase.

"The poorest amongst them, more than others, express a need to be heard: poverty is not only material and isolation is felt with increasing severity. New families who are closest to the poverty line are no longer able to make ends meet, between meagre resources and growing essential expenditure.

"Finally, the percentage of foreign nationals in vulnerable situations encountered by Secours Catholique in France is significantly increasing despite their overall number being stable. This confirms their increasing insecurity in our country."

The rich preside over an increase in poverty, and Macron, the 'president of the rich', does nothing. The face-saving pledge to rebuild Notre Dame is hypocritical in the extreme.

Derek McMillan, Worthing

I can understand people being angry, because there is almost universal sadness about the fire at Notre Dame, while hundreds of people remain homeless after Grenfell, children are living in abject poverty, and there is a crisis of homelessness.

But I think this is a false dichotomy. With the redistribution of wealth in a socialist world, it would be possible both to end poverty and homelessness and to fully fund arts and culture. We shouldn't have to choose between the two.

The fact that billionaires are coming forward to fund the restoration of Notre Dame shows there is no shortage of money. It would appear that the "magic money tree" can be conjured up when it suits.

It is up to us to ensure that the fruits of the money tree are used to fund the basic needs of people as well our cultural icons. The way to do this is through a planned economy, rather than charity at the whim of the 1%.

Dave Lunn, Wirral

XR and poll tax

Much as I share Tom Bawden's view in the i newspaper of 24 April that the Extinction Rebellion protesters' anger over government inaction has "catapulted climate change into the spotlight," I think they still have a way to go to meet his claim that theirs is "the biggest civil disobedience event in modern British history."

The House of Commons Library collated statistics for me, from the Home Office, of cases taken to the magistrates' courts for refusal or inability to pay Thatcher's poll tax. At over 25 million between April 1990 and September 1993, compared to just over 1,000 climate change cases so far which may end up in the courts, the poll tax rebellion still takes some beating.

It not only ground the legal system to a halt across the whole country, but led directly to the downfall of the prime minister of the day. I wish the climate change protesters the same good fortune.

Dave Nellist, Coventry

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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.

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 click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

In The Socialist 1 May 2019:


News

Build student unions and walkouts to fight climate change and Trump!

300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

Port Talbot steelworks rocked by an explosion - nationalise the plant to save jobs and lives!

Build a universal safety net - abolish Universal Credit!

Universal Credit disaster behind foodbank rise

Fracking mess


Local elections 2019

Local elections 2019: Time to stand up and fight the cuts!

Wirral Tories raise spectre of Militant

Leicester: No-cuts budget only way forward

Worcester: Fightback against library cuts

Union action needed to fight Tory Derbyshire Council cuts


Workplace news

Valentine victory: School strike beats council cuts

Strike ballot: huge result must launch fightback

Usdaw ADM 2019

Communication workers oppose second EU vote, and back new socialist 'Clause IV' for Labour


International socialist news and analysis

India General election shows crying need for independent socialist alternative

France Telecom: Privatisation in the dock

Scandinavian Airlines walkout disrupts Nordic air travel


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

EU elections: Countering Farage's right-wing Brexit Party

Swansea anti-far right protest

Waltham Forest TUC May Day


Opinion

Knife crime - a product of capitalist misery

The Socialist Inbox


 

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