Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2332

Cyril Smith case exposes double standards

People in Rochdale have been shocked by the revelations that former MP Cyril Smith abused boys in the 1970s. But the establishment, including police officers and senior politicians, knew what was going on.

People on the left have made several attempts over the years to expose the abuse. If they had been listened to then more people could have been protected.

The entire Pakistani community in Rochdale has been lectured about abuse following the grooming case earlier this year. It was as though abuse was something confined to Pakistani men—which many people said all along was not the case.

If the case of Cyril Smith had been known, it would have been harder to portray abuse as an Asian problem.

Sam O’Brien, Rochdale

Revelations that former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith abused boys seem to have echoes of the Rochdale “Asian grooming” case. Both cases saw children being forced to depend on their abusers for food, drink, employment and financial support. In both cases there was a huge abuse of power.

Because of the victims’ class position they were not considered to be credible witnesses. The authorities worked to cover up the case of Cyril Smith. The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute him three times.

Yet the mainstream media used the case of the “Asian grooming gang” to say that this was a Pakistani Muslim problem. We have heard many revelations recently regarding Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and others.

The media has not said that child abuse is an inherent problem in white men in positions of power.

Sadia Jabeen, Birmingham

Challenge the lies over Israel

Last week my eight year old daughter was chatting about what she had learnt at school the day before. Apparently Israel had to build a wall to keep the “naughty” Palestinians from throwing bombs and firing rockets at the Jews.

I chatted to her and my other children and offered them an alternative, truthful, account of why the Palestinians are suffering so much.

It’s difficult for small children to understand such complex politics. But it is important that revolutionary socialists discuss these issues with people we sell Socialist Worker to, our children and the working class in general.

Katrina Lawrie, Wigan

A scar on the view?

Socialist Worker has rightly championed renewable energy. However I was utterly dismayed at the proliferation of wind turbines following a hillwalking holiday in the Cairngorm mountains.

Whatever the solution to climate change, it won’t be achieved by scarring green spaces with industrial monstrosities. My vision of socialism is not one where stunning landscapes are desecrated by dark satanic mills.

Stephen Macgill-Eain, Brighton

Leveson put gloss on profit-making press

It’s a complete myth that the press is always free from state interference or influence. What really exists is a free commercial press where profits are paramount.

This profitability will generally be determined by how successful press owners are in instilling their readerships with the ideas of the ruling capitalist establishment. Consequently mainstream newspapers are naturally pro-capitalist.

The Leveson Inquiry had nothing to do with upholding ethics. It was about putting a polished face on a “free press” that will always regulate itself in its own interests.

There will never be a genuine free press until the media is brought under the democratic control of everyone. Then the reporting of news, economics and current affairs will not be subject to private profit.

Nick Vinehill, Norfolk

New Tory tax will be the last straw for us

The bedroom tax being introduced in March 2013 will affect thousands of people. The tax will push people who can barely manage now, who may have disabilities or mental health issues, over the edge. Some people will commit suicide.

People are terrified they will lose their homes or be forced to move. Housing benefit will be cut by 14 percent for people with one spare bedroom or 25 percent for two. No one can afford this.

Some people have lived in their homes for many years and spent money on them. Where would the money come from to pay for removals, carpets, curtains, decorating and so on?

Disabled people have had their homes adapted to meet their needs. Where will they go? This is on top of Disability Living Allowance being abolished and the horror that is Atos. Can I please ask people to find our campaign on Facebook and to sign our petitions.

Debbie Price, East Sussex

Israel insults Nazis’ victims

Your leader column on the situation in Gaza is spot on. Zionists should stop using the Holocaust as a justification for the way they treat Arabs and Palestinians. It is an insult to the memory of the millions who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis.

Mitch Mitchell, Cambridgeshire

Inspections help sell-offs

So Tory Jeremy Hunt wants hospitals to have Ofsted-style inspections. This comes at a time when the government wants more excuses to privatise the hospitals. Coincidence?

Lucy McLoughlin, Cheshire

Argo is more than a thriller

Argo is more than just a thriller. It’s an unusual generic hybrid incorporating acidic humour about the Hollywood industry.

I was surprised the reviewer didn’t comment on Ben Affleck’s troubled family-man portrayal as a much less macho representation than the latest James Bond film.

Nick Grant, west London

Don’t blame us for floods

Some people ask why anyone would live in places that are prone to flooding. But people in the newly built Glasdir estate in Wales, which flooded last week, were told the chances of flooding were one in every 1,000 years.

Hayley Trickett, Cardiff

No free press in capitalism

Free press in a market economy? The revolutionary Lenin said, “All over the world, wherever there are capitalists, freedom of the press means freedom to buy up newspapers, to buy writers, to bribe, buy and fake ‘public opinion’ for the benefit of the bourgeoisie.” Spot on.

Sasha Simic, east London

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Article information

Tue 4 Dec 2012, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2332
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