Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2348

Fans must be united against fascism and Paolo Di Canio 

All football supporters must be opposed the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as manager of Sunderland FC.

Some say that his fascist ideas weren’t an issue in the past. But we didn’t find out about them until 2005. 

If they had been known when he signed for Celtic in the mid-1990s he would not have been welcome. 

Nor would he have gone on to have a high profile career in English football.

Others say his views aren’t related to football. But it was on the football field that we found out he was a fascist.

His infamous fascist salute was not a mere misguided judgement.  He made the salute during a Lazio match in honour of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s grandaughter, who was attending the game. 

Lazio Ultras have links to fascism.

They recently attacked Tottenham Hotspurs fans in Rome and subjected them to anti-Semitic abuse. Di Canio having a top job undermines the quest for justice for these supporters.

David Miliband should be congratulated for resigning from the Sunderland FC board. 

The GMB union has rightfully pulled sponsorship from Sunderland. Hopefully others like shirt sponsor “Invest Africa” will do the same.

Di Canio’s appointment follows a difficult year for football.

Some black players formed their own players’ union last year after John Terry used racist language towards Anton Ferdinand. Many refused to take part in the official anti-racist awareness weekend.

The campaign is now known as “Kick It Out”—it no longer has “racism” in its name.  

Fans should make their voice heard that a fascist is not welcome in any dug out.

Mark PorcianiGlasgow

Paolo Di Canio has said that he is a fascist but not a racist. 

Can that be right? Does this make sense? Can a fascist not be racist?

Niaz FaizCentral London

Taking on raunch culture

Teachers at the NUT union’s conference earlier this month condemned the rise in raunch culture.

Pole dancing is sold as a keep fit activity—and as a sign of sexual liberation.

Delegates also described how parents and children in their schools had their lives blighted by domestic violence and abuse. 

But we have seen a different image of women over the last two years. 

Women have been at the forefront of struggles in the Middle East and have led campaigns against austerity. 

These are the images we want to show the girls and boys we teach of what real empowerment looks like.

Sara TomlinsonSouth London

Sun spins ‘liberation’ 

I came across a story in the Sun last month entitled “National Hooters Service”. 

It tells the story of a woman who had a breast enlargement on the NHS. 

The Sun’s angle is that the operation was a waste of money. 

It didn’t tell the full facts. 

The woman had been assessed by doctors to see if the operation was necessary.

There is pressure on women to look a certain way. The Sun promotes the idea that this raunch culture empowers women. 

Socialists should be clear that this is not liberation.

Geoff BreezeSouthampton

The left’s islamophobia boosts the racist right

French Socialist president François Hollande wants to ban religious symbols such as the hijab in all institutions caring for children.

Many liberal intellectuals and so-called feminists back extending the ban.

The Left Party, led by former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, called for a law to extend the ban on religious symbols.

Once again, the French left (with some exceptions) has shown its lack of solidarity with Muslims. 

Hollande has also quietly ditched his commitment to allowing immigrants to vote in local elections.

The main beneficiaries of Islamophobia are the right. 

Marine Le Pen’s Front National came a close second in a recent by-election, partly by capitalising on the left’s weakness on this question.

Colin FalconerSaint-Denis, France   

Not fooled by  the Tories

Iain Duncan Smith’s claim that he could live on £53 a week should be music to the ears of a life swap reality TV producer. 

Let him, George Osborne and David Cameron swap lives with some of us and live on benefits for a month. 

Others with more experience of real life could have a shot at Duncan Smith’s job.

Kevin AllenLondon

No one will fall for the idea that Tory ministers could get by on £53 a week. 

They can’t survive on their fat salaries without claiming thousands in expenses. The only reason these arrogant millionaires make such claims is because they have no idea what they would mean.

Louise RogersEssex

How we can stop evictions

Remember the Poll Tax in Scotland?  

People mobilised using their phones and managed to arrive at any house where an eviction was due to take place. 

The same should happen now. 

People should not be evicted and it should not be beyond the wit of activists to organise to prevent evictions.

Cynthia Martinby email

Thanks to the anti-fascists

Thank you for the demonstration against Marine le Pen in Cambridge earlier this year.

She is fascist, just as her father was.

Le Pen’s Front National was created by “collaborators”—people who helped the Nazis in France during the Second World War.

It is a national shame rather than a national front.

Philippe LegrandBeuzeville, France

Struggle in South Yemen

Thank you for telling the truth about what happened in Aden (Socialist Worker, 30 March). 

We want our country back.

Abdulqader BanafaAl-Mansoura, Yemen

Thank you for your article on Aden. 

We want freedom and independence from the northern occupation and there is a media siege imposed on us.

Ahmed FredAden, Yemen

Back teachers in Bahrain

A highlight of the recent NUT conference was a speech by Bahraini Teachers Association vice-president Jalilia Al Sahman. 

She got a prolonged standing ovation for her report on protest and torture at home. 

She has sight, hearing, liver and kidney damage from her handling in prison. 

But she was delighted that international trade union pressure had freed her.

Nick GrantWest London

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Article information

Tue 9 Apr 2013, 19:00 BST
Issue No. 2348
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