Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2323

Cameron stabs disabled people in the back

I want to thank you for writing about how the government is treating disabled people. I picked up a copy of Socialist Worker on a bus and it was spot on.

I have chronic mental health problems and severe depression. But I failed an assessment and haven’t received any benefits for the last three months. I wasn’t told my benefits had been stopped. I just went to the bank and there wasn’t any money.

It knocks you for six. I’ve got nothing to live on. I’ve had to borrow rent from friends and I could end up homeless.

This government doesn’t know what it’s doing. They want to claw back money because they’ve overspent on wars. But they’re hurting vulnerable people.

My friend had a stroke and can’t move one side of his body. But the government’s benefit assessors Atos failed him. A lot of my disabled friends went to war in Afghanistan. Now they’re told they can’t have any benefits.

You feel bad anyway because you’re disabled and you can’t do things. Then they take your money and it strips you of everything. It’s like disabled people are being put in a ghetto. I’ve thought about ending everything. It’s only friends who are keeping me afloat.

It’s not as though I haven’t worked. It’s just unfortunate that I became ill and had to stop. I used to be a carer—I took the weight off the system. Then they treat you like you’re nothing.

It was sickening to see David Cameron cheering disabled people during the Paralympics when he’s stabbing us in the back.

I think this is going to become a much bigger issue. Come Christmas there will be disabled people out on the street because they’ve lost their benefits.

I’m not a political person. But you’ve got to say something when they treat you like this. I don’t want to be a forgotten cause. I want to speak up and I think everybody should be protesting against the government.

Melanie Brignell, Hull

Evil maths fanatics?

The case of Jeremy Forrest and Megan Stammers has shown up the way the media treats the issue of grooming. Where are the commentators demanding maths teachers “distance themselves from this pervert in their midst”? Or asking “do prime numbers make girls prey to mathematicians?”

Of course none of this has happened—unlike the demonisation of Muslims after the sex abuse cases.

The media should stop trying to find racist “cultural” explanations for a very nasty crime. They should campaign against cuts to children’s services and demand more support for vulnerable young women.

Andrew Baisley, maths teacher, east London

Cops swear at children

It was interesting to hear about the Tory MP apologising for swearing at police, because they swear at us all the time.

We were walking and being a bit loud when the police stopped us. They searched the boys. My cousin was pissed off and started swearing. They handcuffed him and another boy. The police told us girls to “fuck off” and called the bully van.

When the police uncuffed my cousin he said, “If I catch you again you little shit, I’ll tie you up and let you rot.” We were all under 16.

Josie, east London

Labour in Manchester and families in poverty

As Labour meets in Manchester for its annual conference, delegates will have a choice of four star hotels, restaurants and trendy bars.

If they were to walk a mile in any direction they would find children living in severe poverty. Police report a surge in shoplifting as children steal bread and milk to eat.

Labour blame the Tories for Manchester’s poverty. But we’ve had three Labour governments. And Manchester has been Labour controlled for decades.

Councillor for children Afzal Khan says, “We are doing all we can.” That includes passing the Tories’ £170 million cuts.

We will need massive protests and strikes to reverse policies that favour the rich at the expense of the poorest.

Mark Krantz, Manchester

Cuts make floods worse

The recent floods are a grim taste of our future in a warming planet. We’ve seen record droughts and floods around the world. Climate change will only lead to more extreme weather.

In July an independent report warned that without significant funding, half a million homes and businesses are at risk. The government’s Environment Agency says funding must increase by £20 million a year to maintain current levels of protection.

This is an £860 million gap between what is needed to 2015 and what has been pledged by the Tories. Cuts to emergency services will make the situation worse. We must demand action to avert this now.

Martin Empson, Salford

Is racism whites only?

If a black person cannot be racist it’s a free pass to be bigoted. If the woman in your article was not black, would you be rushing to defend her?

This is a form of positive racism—giving people of one race benefits not afforded to other races. She was a racist bigot regardless of what race she herself is. To suggest a certain race cannot be racist is idiotic nonsense.

Michael Fallen, Bangor, Northern Ireland

The Tories are tax turkeys

I’m not surprised Nick Clegg can’t persuade the Tories that a “mansion tax” would be a good idea. Would turkeys really vote for Christmas?

A mansion tax should hit any property worth over £1 million. The threshold shouldn’t be any higher than that. Nobody should inherit too much from relatives. It’s simply unearned income.

Graeme Kemp, Wellington, Shropshire

No laughs with Lib Dems

Nick Clegg at his party conference put on a show, but nothing new came out of the hat. The laughs will come at the next election when the Lib Dems pale into insignificance.

The best bit of his speech was the line “stop the world I want to get off”. This got more applause than anything else he said. I wonder why?

Richard Lawrence, Ashford, Kent

Socialists and independence

The independence movements in regions of Europe must be critically supported by socialists. The break up of states won’t bring capitalism to its knees, but socialists can use resistance to highlight capitalism’s failures.

Small nation nationalism is a neccessary step on the road to a socialist world.

Hugh Parsons, Swansea

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Article information

Tue 2 Oct 2012, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2323
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