Marches show mood to stop Tories
The TUC demonstration in London last Saturday showed that workers want to fight. Many teachers support the idea of more strikes.
Lots of NUT and NASUWT union members signed a petition on the demo calling on their union leaders to name a day for action this term. Many of those signing couldn’t understand the delay in calling action.
There was a lot of concern that further delays could risk undermining the action over workload that teachers are currently taking and hit their confidence.
Jess Edwards, south London
Fantastic! Thank you Socialist Worker for such good hour by hour coverage of the TUC’s anti-Tory demo, especially for those of us who couldn’t get there.
Penny Krantz, Manchester
I was pleased that you managed to include one of my photos of the TUC march last Saturday in your online report.
Clearly, there is a groundswell of opinion against the coalition. Ed Miliband was booed and there were calls for him to get off the stage when he said Labour was unwilling to reverse their cuts.
This mass event was absent from the front pages of the press the following Monday. The establishment is frightened that the kind of regular mass demonstrations that we have seen across Europe will spread here.
But on leaving the demonstration, good as it was, I could not help but feel depressed. Having the TUC organise a mass rally after an 18 month gap, however laudable, seems rather lame. The 150,000 who marched were only a fraction of the number that might have turned out.
Is it perhaps not time that left wing groups actually got together to organise peaceful mass meetings and protests on a more regular basis?
Kevin Allen by email
Hounding the sick
I suffer with a chronic lung disorder and have had two major operations. Yet the Department for Work and Pensions says I can go back into work.
I know this will never happen because of my condition, and so do they. But they have decided to make my life and the lives of thousands of others a misery.
What this government has got away with is a disgrace. We need to do something about this—and much more quickly than it is being done now.
Shaun Jackson, Blackburn
We can lead our struggle
The demonstration targeting Eric Pickles on the anniversary of the Dale Farm eviction was not led by Travellers. It was executed by the Traveller Solidarity Network (TSN) which is not Gypsy, Roma or Traveller (GRT) led.
This is in sharp contrast to organisations such as the Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange. This has 75 percent GRT on the executive board and 98 percent GRT membership.
The TSN has informed its ideas through assumptions about GRT needs and through relations with a few families on Dale Farm. I am Romani. I do not need the TSN to take ownership of my ethnicity like it is a commodity.
Pip Borev by email
A fitting tribute to the late Alan Woodward
I’ve just heard that Alan Woodward has died. I first met him when I was 18 in 1969 when I joined the Hornsey branch of the International Socialists—forerunner of the Socialist Workers Party.
I learnt my first lessons in how to organise as a revolutionary at work from Alan. He was one of a group of very experienced trade union militants and manual workers. I still feel gratitude for their comradeship and hospitality (and all those pints they bought me!).
Alan left the SWP and became a libertarian in his late years but that does nothing to lighten the sadness. Perhaps it is fitting he died on the day that Ed Miliband was booed at the TUC rally in Hyde Park. He would have enjoyed that.
Neil Rogall, Surrey
Banks make hay while sun doesn’t shine
Socialist Worker is right to argue that the recent hike in food prices is not solely due to the weather. Food price speculation and the switch from food production to biofuels have also played a part.
But it is wrong to run a headline that says “Don’t blame the weather”. Banks are moving into food price speculation because they know freak weather conditions caused by global warming will increase food shortages—and drive up prices.
The fight against climate change, and for a million climate jobs, is an important element in the fight against austerity.
Ken Montague, north London
Do poppies glorify war?
The British Legion launched its poppy appeal last week. The money raised from this will go to help ex-soldiers who have been injured in conflicts.
As internationalists and socialists, what is the correct attitude to take to this appeal? Does it glorify and perpetuate war?
Matthew Rhodes, Bradford
Don’t be a doormat
The time has come for the workers to show their teeth!
Davie Withers on Facebook
Definitely! Behave like doormats and the government and employers will treat us like doormats.
Lisa Minyara on Facebook
Burn a Tory this month
Last year some people made effigies of David Cameron and George Osborne for bonfire night. Doing this again would be very popular.
Emily Taylor, Leicestershire
All parties are our enemies
Labour’s Ed Miliband stated at the TUC rally on 20 October in London that Labour would continue with welfare reform cuts if elected.
All governments have the same agenda. They all piss in the same pot. Vote for no party and advocate a general strike.
Nigel Simmons, Grimsby
Cameron is a lawbreaker
According to David Cameron, people who break the law should be punished. This may be why he thinks it’s OK to punish prisoners by not allowing them to vote.
But Cameron himself seems to be breaking the law. The European Court says it’s illegal to refuse prisoners the vote. So what’s Cameron’s punishment?
Angela Nixon, Grimsby