Socialist Worker


Issue No. 1872

Brilliant march – and now for Bush visit

I was one of eight socialist students and Scottish Socialist Party members from Dundee on Saturday 27 September’s brilliant demo. We were amazed at the scale and diversity of the march.

As we entered Trafalgar Square we got a warm reception as we sang, to the tune of “This old man”:

“Campbell’s gone
Hoon goes next
Tony just ran out of friends
If he won’t go peacefully
Hang the bastard from a tree!”

Now let’s build for more walkouts and college occupations for Bush’s visit.

Peter Allison, student nurse, Dundee

Last July Tony Blair welcomed the baby killer Ariel Sharon into 10 Downing Street. A 1,000-strong delegation of our own greeted the Israeli prime minister.

Tony’s planning another get-together in November. George Bush will be visiting on a state visit on 19, 20 and 21 November.

People should come from all over the country to make sure Bush gets the reception he deserves.

Adam Marks, East London

Dover and Deal sent a coach to the demo on Saturday 27 September – and we had a great day out.

We were united in our loathing of war, lies, and the sins visited on Iraq by Dubya and his sidekick Bliar.

The previous week George Galloway and Ghada Razuki came to speak at Deal. Coach tickets were sold and like-minded individuals got together and revelled in our strength.

We are the other superpower! The meeting and the coach – these things weren’t difficult to organise and they’re exhilarating when they happen.

I don’t know yet what we will do locally when Bush comes – march? Candlelit vigil? Stop traffic? Be sick? But whatever it is it will be to gather support and energy for the national demonstration.

It’s not difficult and it’s so strengthening to be together and show the Poodle what we think of him.

Bush out, Blair out! United we Stand! We are the other superpower!

Dr Ingrid Dodd, Dover

Soggy fish and chips

THIS IS in reply to the letter about British culture (Letters, 27 September).

Trooping the colour is about the ruling classes shoving their disgustingly ostentatious wealth down the throats of everyone else.

And if that and fish and chips are all that Britain has, then I feel sorry for us.

What the writer refers to as British culture is the culture that the ruling classes want us to have. What about union solidarity, organisation and struggle?

That’s a great part of British culture, but I don’t see anything in your letter about that.

“Culture” is a misleading term, as it presupposes there’s something that binds an entire country together.

This is not the case, just as I’m sure it isn’t the case anywhere else in the world. I have much more in common with a post office worker in France, or Iraq, than I do with the boss of the Post Office in Britain. What does this have to say for British culture?

Mark Longden, post office worker, Chesterfield

Why Lib Dems?

IT IS silly of Paul McGarr to lecture the Lib Dems about opportunism. The point is they won.

He writes of the Brent electorate: “a solidly working class constituency with large numbers of people angry with Blair...”

Perfect conditions for a swing to the socialists. How did they fare so badly – with less than 400 votes?

A thorough post mortem and strategy review with the results reported back to the readers is needed.

Eddie D’Sa

Wise guys

From the criticisms levelled at the SWP over our role in the Stop the War Coalition:

We’re too respectful to the Muslim Association of Britain, and don’t treat faith-based groups with enough respect.

We held back countless thousands from direct action and alienated countless thousands with walkouts and roadblocks.

We gave too much space to the Labour left, and don’t take the fight within Labour seriously enough.

It’s a good job we have these wise commentators. Otherwise how confused might we be?

Ben Drake, York

Can we have some more?

£30,000 if you work till 70! It’s brilliant! A master stroke – it will solve the pension problems, boost the economy and the exchequer in one fell blow.

We pensioners are to blame for most of these problems.

There are too many of us, we live longer and expect a decent standard of living. Things have got to change.

“Join the voluntary euthanasia scheme – work till you drop – do your bit to solve the pensions crisis.

“We really must stop being selfish, thinking of retirement indeed! We must think New Labour – queen and country.”

Could you arrange to die of exhaustion on or near your seventieth birthday?

If you insist on living longer, you get a gift (well a share in the profits) of £30,000. Regretfully, at 73 years of age I’m going to miss out.

But if the whole British workforce were to sign up now, the chancellor would be sure of a drop in expenditure and a huge boost in future income.

I can just see Gordon Brown’s smile when he says to Mr Blair, “OK Tony, go ahead, we can definitely afford another war.”

Charles Rees, North Yorkshire, founder member of Scarborough Socialist Alliance, the Scottish Socialist Alliance, and the Scottish Socialist Party

Chilling lesson over teacher’s sacking

The deputy head teacher at the school where I work comes across as a David Brent type character.

He is fond of sending memos about, uses managerial language – “Don’t forget to touch base” – etc and basically talks down to staff in a patronising manner.

He’d rather be in a meeting than dealing with practical school issues. Most of us just thought he was quite irritating and a good source of amusement.

This was until, while the head teacher was away, he sacked one of our long-term supply staff over a minor issue without giving him a fair hearing.

The teacher was made to clear his stuff in front of a class of pupils and escorted off site.

Now most of the teaching staff are genuinely angry and want to do something to show support for our colleague.

We feel as though this sacking sends a chilling message to other temporary staff. It also creates more disruption to our pupils’ education.

Teacher, Sheffield

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Article information

Sat 11 Oct 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1872
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