Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2322

Hillsborough—fans know it’s about class

I was really looking forward to another chance in the Champions League after Celtic’s absence of four years, “The Bhoys” were back in the big time. The game against Benfica was upon us and I couldn’t wait to get into the throbbing atmosphere.

But politics seems to creep into everything that goes on today. The hatred of the Tories is never far away no matter where you are or what you are doing.

For a week we’d been listening to the puerile fawning apologies from various Murdoch hacks, creepy politicians and squirming police officers. These came in the wake of the truth of who the real perpetrators of the crimes were that day at Hillsborough in 1989.

We understood the Republican traditions of Celtic and its fans, their contempt of authority and hatred of the police. So we did a quick phone round and found five comrades ready to see how far the effect of Hillsborough went.

We turned up early, brought out our Socialist Worker newspapers, clipboards and petitions. Before long we were swamped by the queues of people signing the petitions, venting their anger at the Tories and their hacks.

But it wasn’t just the paper sales that struck us—we sold out of our 91 papers—it was the anger and the intricate knowledge everyone had of the events that day.

The memories of Hillsborough had long been a focus of the Celtic fans. One group of fans, who looked about ten years old, relayed in incredible detail the cowardice of the police and the bravery of the fans.

One thing shone out—each and everyone who stopped and those in a hurry who shouted their support knew that this was not only a football issue, not a Celtic FC issue or a Republican issue.

It is one of class, of the total contempt of the ruling class and their standing army for the Liverpool fans that died that day. You’ll find that up and down the country.

Drew McEwan, Glasgow

Bosses are cheats, not us

Channel 4 recently ran a programme called Tricks of the Dole Cheats. But this isn’t quite right. I think there should be an alternative called Tricks of the Employers.

I’m 59 years old and I’ve been out of work for three years. I’ve applied for lots of jobs but so far this year I’ve only had one reply.

I applied for work in two hotels. I had experience for both the jobs. And even though I handed my CV into one of the hotels personally, the manager claimed to have never received it.

I heard by word of mouth that one of them doesn’t take on anyone who is over 25 years old. Yet these people are advertising in job centres.

I think that employers throw away CVs of older people. There is blatant ageism going on. I’ve got as much chance of getting a job as I have of winning the lottery.

I’ve already received a threatening letter from the Department for Work and Pensions. It said if I don’t comply with work programmes I could lose my benefits.

It’s hopeless. I see the same jobs in the job centre all the time. Most are temporary. And I think many are phantom jobs—they don’t really exist. I’ve got five more years of this to go. And there are a lot of people in the same situation.

Name withheld, west London

Fight for your right to party (when she dies!)

Last week saw a furore in the press against the “Ding Dong Thatcher’s Gone” party packs we produce in anticipation of the passing of Britain’s most hated politician.

What started out as a bit of a joke has been hotly debated. Ed Miliband declared them “inappropriate”and the Daily Mail called them “grotesque and obscene”.

After I was interviewed on Radio Two’s Jeremy Vine show last week our website went crazy with orders. We have received emails and phone calls from all over the country—notably from mining areas destroyed by Thatcher.

The reaction we’ve had fits in with the rumble of dissent all over the country. Red Stuff will aim to continue raising a laugh and raising money for the fightback.

Jon Flaig,

Hypocrisy of media and the ruling class

The most farcical reaction to the topless pictures of Kate Middleton has come from Richard Desmond, the chairman of media company Northern & Shell.

Desmond part-owns The Irish Daily Star which published the photos. He declared, “I am taking immediate steps to close down the joint venture. Northern & Shell condemns it in the strongest possible terms.”

All very admirable. Except Richard Desmond is a pornographer. He has built his media empire on the profits of such titles as Horny Housewives and Only 18.

He also owns porn TV channels, the celebrity magazine OK! and The Star and The Daily Express, which run near-daily campaigns against immigrants and asylum-seekers.

Desmond has spent his life exploiting women’s sexuality for profit. It’s only in the case of Middleton that this squalid man takes the position as a champion of public taste and a guardian of “privacy”.

It’s nice to know that even a pornographer has limits. They’re where the ruling-class are involved.

Sasha Simic, east London

Call that an apology?

Nick Clegg has made a big deal about apologising for his lack of backbone. Or has he? Last week he said sorry for even promising that he would oppose tuition fees.

This was not an apology for lying to a whole generation of people, stealing their votes and condemning them when they protested against the injustice. Thanks Nick, this student and many more will never vote for you again.

Katlin Mackay, Brighton

Tories more right wing now

I’m sure it’s not just me that thinks that the Tories are more openly right wing now. Or maybe it’s that David Cameron has let the right off the leash. Eric Pickles is changing the law so people can hang flags wherever they like.

Now UKIP are saying they want to join a coalition with the Tories because “they can’t form an outright majority without our support.” I just hope the rest of the country isn’t following this pattern.

Pete Franklin, Dorset

South African victory

The Lonmin miners in South Africa won, but what does that make it? Another 22 pence a day? But their victory will give them more hope in the future. Hit the conglomerates in their greedy pockets. It always works!

Mary Dixon on Facebook

Police have brutal history

Socialist Worker has had excellent coverage of Hillsborough and the cover up. It should also be mentioned that South Yorkshire Police already had some history.

The force brutally attacked the Orgreave mass picket during the Great Miners’ Strike in 1984. Then they attempted to frame more than 90 miners.

Pat Carmody on Facebook

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Article information

Tue 25 Sep 2012, 18:30 BST
Issue No. 2322
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