Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2330

The truth about child abuse and the family

At last! A paper that gets to the real issues about child abuse and dares to discuss the power relationships within society that are reflected in the make-up of the family.

I am fed up of seeing the media create the false idea that the country is riddled with odd paedophiles hanging around the streets—and that families and other institutions are the best places for children.

As someone who has worked with people who’ve been abused, I see the long term impact directly. Covering up abuse means that the public gets a false impression and finds it difficult to believe that, for instance, a parent or a celebrity would do this.

More importantly, it means that children aren’t believed, often blame themselves and find it difficult to recover.

Many papers have failed to expose this in an adequate manner, presumably because many have a vested interest in protecting those involved. Great to see your paper is exposing this and is giving real people a voice.

Name and address withheld

Boarding schools should be shut down

From age 8 to 11 I was forced into boarding school with chronic asthma. Unable to walk more than a few paces without an inhaler, I was caned in pyjamas in the middle of the night and made to stand for long periods in corners.

These wicked institutions are normally located in obscure places. Sometimes children try to escape but are brought back the next day. Sometimes, in return for favouritism, other children betray the victims.

Letters written home are confiscated without their knowledge. Believing their parents have received their desperate letters they submit to the cruelty that further awaits them.

In the end they may seem to accept and believe that what is happening to them is normal. It is only later in life they understand what has happened to them. All boarding schools should be shut down.

Richard Lawrence, Ashford

Poppies stained with blood

I thought Matthew Rhodes posed good questions in his letter “Do poppies glorify war?”.

People today have lost fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers in imperialist wars perpetrated by the British state over the years. Of course they want to remember them. But the wearing of the poppy is wrong.

It was the idea of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, backed up by the ruling class to counteract the class anger at imperialist wars. Haig knew he was sending young men to their deaths.

The poppy is now worn not only by TV celebrities, newsreaders, weather forecasters and so on, but by every politician. These are the politicians who send young people to die in their wars.

This, in turn, answers the original question—yes, the poppy does glorify war. It certainly hasn’t stopped any wars from going ahead.

Charlie Dowthwaite, Barrow-in-Furness

‘Militants’ at one year old

Israel says it is killing “militants” in Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks. Some of the first to be killed were a one year old and a three year old. It seems Palestinian militants start young these days.

Rebecca Welch, north London

Hearing union defend massacre shocked me

As a PCS union rep I recently went to a TUC briefing with Peter Bailey from South Africa’s NUM. What I heard shocked me.

Bailey argued that the Marikana massacre was in fact the authorities pacifying “illegal” action. He said though he didn’t condone what happened, he didn’t condemn it either. He talked about “rogue elements” causing the trouble and even suggested it was down to witchcraft.

It was shocking to be at a TUC meeting and hear all this. But what was even more shocking was that the various union full-timers present got up to agree with the NUM speaker. I was the only one to raise any criticism of the NUM or the ANC.

The experience has made me more determined to get a national PCS donation to the Marikana support fund.

Niaz Faiz, west London

A message of solidarity from prison

Thank you very much for sending me copies of Socialist Worker in prison. It’s wonderful to know that someone thought of sending it to me—and I’m very happy to be able to share it with my fellow prisoners. Such great articles—they really got things moving again for me, got my blood running!

I have moved wings and cells quite a bit in the last few days. It’s been great to settle down with this week’s edition.

I wasn’t aware until reading your “What We Stand For” how many aims we share. I look forward to being in touch when I’m released.

There’s been solidarity with the fellow prisoners, and “the screws” too—they’re worried about privatisation. Anyway, thank you all.

Trenton Oldfield, Wormwood Scrubs

Trenton Oldfield was jailed last month for the “crime” of disrupting the Oxford-Cambridge boat race in protest against cuts. Socialist Worker is sent free to all prisoners on request. Contact our circulation office on or 020 7819 1171 for further details.

Unite across all of Europe

Unite and fight, all comrades across Britain and Europe! We’ve got to coordinate all the struggles across Britain and Europe and show the the power behind the working class.

Kim O’Sullivan on Facebook

James Bond is a fascist

I’m surprised your review didn’t mention how fascist the latest James Bond film is (Socialist Worker, 10 November). Its message is that it’s okay to kill for the “greater good”. The film is a love letter to MI5, an organisation that has nothing but blood on its hands.

Mike, Trent Bridge

We need more Norwiches

Norwich unites against racism and fascism—should think so! We need more protests like these to reduce fascism and hatred.

Stacey Mackay on Twitter

We need an army of several thousand to be mobilised at a moment’s notice.

P James Flynn on Twitter

There were only about 200 EDL in Norwich—and they were booed by locals who lined the streets to tell them they were not welcome there.

Christina Rissen on Facebook

There weren’t even 200 of them!

Joanne Rust on Facebook

Murdoch is much worse

The BBC’s Newsnight programme made errors in its report on child abuse—that’s clear. But did it slander the Hillsborough dead for 23 years, insisting its fabricated stories were “The Truth”? Did it hack the phones of murdered teenagers?

Whatever the BBC’s failings, they pale into insignificance compared to those of Rupert Murdoch’s empire.

Sasha Simic, east London

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Article information

Tue 20 Nov 2012, 17:39 GMT
Issue No. 2330
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