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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2020

The Socialist Inbox

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.


Worse than useless

Anneliese Dodds, Labour's shadow chancellor, was asked on the Andrew Marr show, does Labour support all the care workers in this country coming back under government control, to nationalise them?

Do you think they should all work for one regulated employer, i.e. the government? She didn't agree.

Marr said Labour (Jeremy Corbyn) once supported a nationalised care sector. She still wouldn't agree.

Privatised care workers, due to not receiving sick pay, actually carried the virus into care homes.

There's no point in Keir Starmer's Labour Party if, after a national scandal, it can't simply call for the nationalisation of care. She's useless.

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest, London

Jobs and council homes not gentrification

Southampton one-bedroom flat 195,000. Who can afford that? Very few.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres to close with loss of 86 jobs.

Why isn't the council stepping in with its 200 million property fund? Can't we show this useless Tory government there is an alternative to an economic recession?

Southampton council should get shovel-ready with a programme to defend jobs and services, restoring the 140 million government funding stolen from the council by the Tories since 2010, and build affordable council housing for all.

The council could show it had a different vision to Tory inequality.

Nick Chaffey, Southampton

NHS 72nd anniversary

Health minister Aneurin Bevan with workers and a patient on the first day of the NHS, photo University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences/CC, photo University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences/CC

Health minister Aneurin Bevan with workers and a patient on the first day of the NHS, photo University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences/CC, photo University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences/CC   (Click to enlarge)

The NHS is 72. The hospital my mum works at delivered the first NHS baby.

Millions since have benefited from healthcare provided for need and not on ability to pay. The NHS was founded not as a charity or a business, but as a publicly owned service paid for by everyone, for everyone.

During the coronavirus pandemic, NHS workers have played an absolutely vital role in less than ideal conditions. Hundreds have died from the virus.

They were betrayed by lack of PPE and testing. The NHS went into the pandemic understaffed from a decade of cuts that has eroded the number of hospital beds.

We must campaign for a 10% pay rise for all NHS workers, the reintroduction of NHS student bursaries and kicking out profiteers from the health service. We cannot go back to how it was before.

Bea Gardner, Southampton

Breathtaking hypocrisy - Boris Johnson joins the national clap for the NHS.

Healthcare workers need a decent pay rise; an investment in extra staff to ease their workload; a properly funded, publicly-run health service free of profiteers; a nationalised pharmaceutical industry that takes research and development seriously; investment in our social care system to make it fit for purpose for our loved ones.

That's how we thank our NHS.

Karen Seymour, Mansfield

Leeds NHS protests were not just another clap that Boris Johnson could join in on, but put forward demands about decent pay, kicking private companies out and having a properly funded NHS.

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds

Tories talk through Telegraph

Why are government ministers making announcements about lockdown changes through the Telegraph?

At the beginning of the pandemic they got called out because some of the articles were even behind a paywall. How can all people protect their health and follow the rules if you have to pay to know what they are?

The Telegraph got a backlash so made some, not all, of the articles free. Elected government ministers think its OK to make government announcements though a right-wing, big business paper rather than through the whole press. Even the BBC radio host was annoyed about it.

Helen Pattison, Acton, London

Utilities sold off

All the utilities sold off by the Tories have put billions into the grubby hands of their profiteer friends. This money, now in the bank accounts of the super-rich, dwarfs the piddling amount being promised by BoJo (see 'Boris' new big deal' at socialistparty.org.uk).

We need to fight for the renationalisation of all our utilities, under democratic workers' control, with compensation only given on proven need.

Elaine Brunskill, Gateshead

Covid and PPE are big business

Business has declined no opportunity to flourish, capitalising on human misery, throughout the Covid-19 crisis and the scramble for PPE. Some firms have sourced substandard and flimsy masks in a rush to profit from people's natural desire to protect themselves.

National retailers have been exposed for charging as much as 1 for very basic and single-use masks, which fail to conform to clinical standards. The result has been already-devastated household budgets strained further, mountains of waste littering streets, and a collective false sense of security.

The latest culprit is Tyne and Wear Metro rail, allowing its preferred vending partner Selecta to charge punters 3.70 for a pack of three masks which offer limited protection at best. Accompanied with a 5.30 day ticket, a whopping 9 for essential workers, commuting to increasingly scarce and dangerous employment.

William Jarrett, NHS worker

Queen sacks government

The Australian high court has allowed the release of the Queen's secret correspondence before the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975 (see 'When the Queen's representative sacked a government' at socialistparty.org.uk). Shows the role of the monarchy, when the chips are down, they will be used against us.

Alex Gounelas, Hackney, London

When I worked in a library

All the damage done by the Tories was predicated on the Blair years, virtually all of it. The Blair 'reforms' privatised and smashed up the safety net; the consequences were to be felt by future generations.

When I worked for the library service, we used to have a room out the back that stocked all the books which were the basis of the housebound service.

It had books for the blind, the disabled and the elderly. We supplemented it with books from the whole service.

We all had our regulars. We sent notes to them and they sent notes to us about what books they liked or didn't.

I remember one Christmas, one woman had missed the doorbell and missed her 48(!) books over Christmas.

She was crying down the phone as she needed her books like others need medicine. She was on her own and never had a tele.

When I was sorting books out the back, I used to get visited by a middle-aged woman - a trade unionist for the homecare workers. She too loved her job and felt important in her work.

She administered day care for people in their own homes who came out of hospital. We were both trade union organisers, fighting to defend the most delicate of services under the then Blair government.

Time for a new workers' party.

A library worker whose job was cut by a Labour council

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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.

Please donate here.

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In The Socialist 8 July 2020:


Workplace news

Fantastic virtual NSSN conference: "Fight for our lives and livelihoods''

Homerton hospital workers deserve equal pay and conditions

Jobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

Southampton UCU: election victory for combative rank and file

Tower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

Nottingham unions fight council job cuts


News

Fight for every job, fight for socialism

Tory NHS betrayal

Young people have no choice but to fight the system

Leicester: End the scandal of sweatshop labour

Covid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

Testing: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

Johnson blames care workers for deaths

3bn green pledge: not enough for climate or jobs

Poverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

Them and us


No going back

No going back: Nationalise social care!


Campaigns

The best place to start - join the Socialist Party

Trans rights protests oppose Tory backsliding

Black Lives Matter - the fight is not over


International news

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights

Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills


Readers' opinion

TV: The school that tried to end racism

Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

The Socialist Inbox


 

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