Socialist Worker

Letters

Issue No. 2284

Help us win justice for Christopher Alder and Grace Kamara

The shocking revelation that Grace Kamara was buried in place of Christopher Alder is yet another injustice for the Alder family.

Christopher choked to death on the floor of a police cell in Hull in April 1998.

An inquest in 2000 said Christopher was unlawfully killed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2006 found police officers guilty of a “most serious neglect of duty” and “unwitting racism”.

But the legal system failed to bring any police officers to book for their part in his death.

A trial of five officers collapsed in 2002.

But the British government admitted liability at the European Court last month and accepted that Christopher was denied his right to life.

So we have relaunched the Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign. We want answers to the following questions:

  1. How could the wrong body have been handed over to the undertaker in November 2000?
  2. Who handled the labelling and the movement of the body at this time?
  3. Did racism play any part?
  4. Did anyone know that the wrong body was buried?

The Alder family and the public have a right to hear the answers to these questions.

The Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign needs funds and support.

Family members will need to arrange a second funeral for Christopher and a lasting memorial to him in Hull.

The Kamara family also need to hold a fitting funeral. We demand that the home secretary allows the Kamara family into Britain from Nigeria to attend.

They need solidarity as well as the Alder family.

Make donations and cheques payable to Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign and send to c/o Red Triangle Cafe, Saint James Street, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 1NR.

You can phone the campaign on 01282 832 319.

The campaign bank account number is 66889905 and the address is Yorkshire Bank, 25 Manchester Road, Burnley, BB11 1HK.

Andy Makin, Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign


Bhopal link tars the Olympics

What was Olympics chief Sebastian Coe thinking when he decided to involve the Olympic Games with one of the most controversial companies in the world?

Coe is allowing Dow Chemical Company to be an Olympic sponsor.

This firm bought Union Carbide in 1999. Union Carbide was responsible for one of the worst industrial accidents in the world at its pesticide factory in Bhopal, India.

A toxic leak there in 1984 killed well over 20,000 people and left many more with chronic health problems.

Is Coe so misguided and quite frankly ignorant of the immense feelings of horror that Bhopal evokes?

There will be many British Asians involved in every way with these Games. Why is Coe so dismissive of our feelings and the feelings of millions of others all over the world?

There are many in Britain who feel very strongly about Bhopal and who I am sure in the time ahead will organise big protests.

This could even bring Wembley and other venues to a standstill.

Can you imagine the adverse press the Olympics would get worldwide? How does this ill‑thought out decision look to the rest of the world?

How can anyone want to see Dow Chemicals “rewarded” for Bhopal in this way?

Is Coe going to risk the whole Olympics and not admit that he may have been a little hasty in his decision?

Did his committee and advisors not warn him, or did he make this decision himself? 

Why is Coe so determined to take this totally unnecessary risk?

Please write to your MP and send copies to enquiries@culture.gov.uk and pressoffice@culture.gsi.gov.uk, asking for this decision to be reversed.

Please also sign the petition at: www.change.org/petitions/drop-dow-chemical-as-partners-for-the-london-2012-olympic-games-bhopal

Zerine Tata, North London


Tory hypocrites wage war on sick and poor

A disgusting Crimestoppers poster on benefit fraud features a series of angry faces and includes someone waving a fist.

The caption reads, “Wel-un-fare—Don’t let benefit fraud make you mad”.

You can see the advert here: http://crimestoppers-uk.org/fraud/types-of-fraud/benefit-fraud/benefit-fraud

You may wonder why a supposedly independent charity would get involved in such a politically sensitive issue.

All is revealed when you learn that the founder of Crimestoppers and its chairman of trustees is no other than Lord Ashcroft.

Ashcroft, who incidentally is described on the Crimestoppers website as a “philanthropist”, donates large sums to the Tories.

He has a huge fortune of at least £1.1 billion.

Most significantly, a non-domicile tax status meant he avoided paying tax—a controversy which was hidden from the public until 2010.

It’s estimated that he has saved himself a good £3.4 million by doing so.

Crimestoppers says it wants to stop “fraud”.

But who is the real criminal here? Who should those lines of angry faces be getting mad at? What is it that is so “un-fair”?

I think we all know the answer.

Charlotte Marley, Leeds


Implant company’s deadly profit drive

The scandal of the faulty breast implants which were sold to around 400,000 women around the world is shocking.

But it shows the real danger of letting private firms get involved in providing health and social services.

The firm that produced the implants was Poly Implant Prothese, run by Jean-Claude Mas.

It filled the implants with cheap industrial-grade silicone instead of medical-grade silicone.

This was a decision based on the bottom line—it’s been reported that it saved the company £1 million a year.

It tended to be poorer women who got the inferior implants because they were sold at a cheaper price than higher quality ones.

And Mas has admitted that he knew the implants were not approved for use.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, he is apparently preparing to relaunch his company under a new name.

In Britain the Tories still worship private business and are determined to privatise key services.

They are playing with our lives in the name of profit.

Alice Challenger, Bradford


This is care—Tory-style

A friend of mine has an elderly father who suffers from Alzheimers.

He is being treated in a private “specialist” care home in Dudley.

Recently, he had to be treated at the local NHS hospital.

As he was due to return to the care home, the care company told his family that as he was being “un-cooperative” he couldn’t return.

His Alzheimers is so severe that he cannot feed himself. How can he possibly choose to be un-cooperative?

Welcome to care in Tory Britain—where privateers can choose who they care for and dump those they don’t want.

Chris Stallard, Wolverhampton


Children can’t be criminals

A report at the end of last year said that the age of criminal responsibility might be too low.

In England it stands at 10 years old—one of the lowest in the world.

But the report said that children’s brains develop at different rates. And more evidence shows they develop slowly.

I think that socialists should support any campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility.

The idea that 10-year old children can be tried and convicted of crimes is inhumane and wrong.

Helen Woolf, Manchester


Here’s why I support juries

it is tragic to see the disproportionate prison sentences handed down to young people marginally involved in the riots.

Yet it has been refreshing to see a number of cases where those similarly charged but who pleaded not guilty have been acquitted by juries.

At the risk of sounding like a Tory reactionary I say, “Hurrah for the jury system.”

That is the front line in defending our hard fought for civil liberties.

Hugh Parsons, Swansea


I was proud to march on N30

I am not a member of any trade union and had to stop working due to ill-health.

But I marched with strikers in Wigan on 30 November and was proud to do so.

We are being fed bullshit by the Tory propaganda machine.

Not until the power of monopolies is broken and the means of production socialised will workers’ situation alter.

I am getting on a bit in years but I am an eternal optimist. I hope that the struggle of working people will one day be triumphant and socialism will be realised.

Eric Green, Wigan


Loadsa money for the queen

This year there will be a ridiculous event known as the diamond jubilee.

The queen and other royals will gallivant around the world to mark the occasion.

Apparently our cash-strapped country can’t afford things like public services or pensions.

But there will be no limit on the money available for this spectacle.

Jen McKagen, King’s Lynn


We need more change in Italy

Italy’s emergency government led by Mario Monti has so far achieved two important results.

It has broken Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition.

And it has allowed public debate to return to key issues affecting the national economy.

Yet it is already clear that most of the power of the traditional lobbies in Italy will be left untouched.

Italian workers are seeing the retirement age raised beyond their worst nightmares.

But the banking and financial sectors retain their autonomy.

Berlusconi and his circus might be gone.

But the structural flaws that allowed him to rise as a tycoon and politician are all still there.

Alberto Spairani, East London


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Article information

Letters
Tue 3 Jan 2012, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2284
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