Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2310

It’s the bosses who take our jobs, not migrant workers

I was disgusted but not shocked at Ed Miliband’s recent anti-immigrant outpouring. History shows us over and over that whenever the establishment are under fire they look for scapegoats.

This often has absolutely devastating consequences for those who are blamed. But the most galling part of Miliband’s diatribe was the fact that it was all completely untrue.

I work in a tax office and last week we struck to save 10,000 jobs. We have already lost 30,000 jobs over the last five years in HM Revenue and Customs.

I can guarantee that none of those jobs have been “stolen” by immigrants. None of the workers who have lost their jobs in the public sector have been replaced by migrants.

They have not been replaced at all—leaving many of the services that society relies on struggling. These jobs have been taken away by a ruling class hell bent on destroying the public sector and the welfare state.

Where I work it can take hours for customers to reach an advisor in one of our call centres. It takes weeks to get a face to face appointment, because we don’t have enough staff.

Our basic functions are to collect tax and ensure employers are sticking to rules such as paying a minimum wage. The fact that £120 billion in tax is evaded each year shows we need more workers, not fewer.

We must not allow racist lies to divide us as a working class. We must stand united and firm against the real scroungers and criminals at the top.

They exploit workers in the interest of ever higher profits and destroy lives and communities in their ideologically driven attacks on the public sector and welfare.

Marianne Owens, Cardiff

After Rio summit—don’t despair, organise!

George Monbiot is understandably demoralised at the outcome of the Rio climate conference. Few world leaders bothered to turn up—and promised nothing but “growth”.

Monbiot is right that these governments would rather spend money on war and bank bailouts than saving the planet. Of course we can’t look to the class that profited from this destruction to fix it.

But nor do we need to retreat to Monbiot’s idea of “rewilding” to create a few refuges for nature so that our descendants can hear birdsong.

The mass movement we need has to link workers fighting the financial crisis with environmental campaigners. The campaign for a million climate jobs is a useful way to raise the demands for a society based on most people’s needs.

Climate jobs would mean more public transport and insulated houses. It would see the mass development of wind and wave energy.

But such a campaign will only save our planet if it’s linked to a mass movement capable of overturning the system that’s destroying our world.

Sarah Ensor, east London

We should support arms for Syria’s rebels

Judith Orr’s article on Syria is quite balanced and forthright but the elephant in the room is the issue of intervention.

In Syria, huge numbers of people have risen up in peaceful resistance. They have been shot down like dogs. The state has made the conflict into a military one and without arms the rebels will be systematically crushed.

So are we to oppose arms going to the rebels? We may want the struggle to be composed of mass action by class conscious workers but that’s not the way it is.

The Russian Bolsheviks didn’t want to take up arms but were forced to by the need to defend the revolution. The rebels need arms, but socialists feel unable to call for arms since those who supply them will have their own agendas.

Philip Foxe, north London

The unions must defy the Tories

Cameron’s class war is becoming more and more obvious. He wants to cut benefits and force young people into staying with overstretched parents. When that’s not an option they will be on the streets while the rich sip champagne.

David Cameron serves only himself and his class of media barons, old money landowners and slimy City fat cats. It is up to true socialists to encourage unions to take a proper stand, to take to the streets and demand justice for the people.

Alice Dunn, Kent

Why touch the queen?

Martin McGuinness has in one handshake betrayed his constituents and the struggle he has been involved in. McGuinness spent months going around the party faithful in Sinn Fein explaining why he would shake the queen’s hand.

He says he had to protect the integrity of and gains made within the peace process. The reality is Sinn Fein want respectability within the political establishment.

It shows a cynical and disgusting contempt for all those who have been killed and jailed in the movement to end the British rule of Northern Ireland.

Ruairi O’Neill, Bristol

I’m not lazy, Cameron

I can’t believe David Cameron. I’m on benefits because last year the place I worked at shut down. I can’t get another job because there are on average 80 applicants for every job in my area. Yet he gives the impression that I’m lazy.

Richard Saxby on Facebook

No wonder kids are sad

Children in Britain are more unhappy than anywhere else in the world. Getting rid of tests that children as young as seven have to take might make them feel better.

Lorna Hutchinson, Hastings

I support the bus workers

Bus workers are the only transport workers in London not receiving a bonus of some form for the Olympics. If it’s good for one it’s good for them all. Solidarity to them.

Liam Wooffindin on Facebook

A gift from Thatcher

Gary Barlow OBE. Is that Owing Back Earnings? Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow truly are the children of Thatcher.

Roger Wellman, Dorset

Banks are the real robbers

Bertolt Brecht wrote in The Threepenny Opera, 1928, “What is robbing a bank compared with founding a bank?” Could have been written today couldn’t it?

Sasha Simic, north London

Correction to Spain article

You say that miners rose up in 1934 against “Franco’s fascist regime”. But the civil war only began two years later and Franco didn’t become head of state on the fascist side until October 1936.

Ben Windsor, south London

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Article information

Tue 3 Jul 2012, 17:54 BST
Issue No. 2310
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