Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2364

Royals celebrate baby while we struggle to buy nappies

I have two children and my third baby is due in eight week’s time. Even before I give birth, my experience is completely different to that of the royals. 

Princess Kate had a whole team of medical staff on duty as she gave birth on a special wing of a private hospital.

If I went private I would have full ante natal care and the same midwives would work with me throughout my pregnancy and the birth. As it is, I never see the same midwife twice and the services are completely over-stretched.

I don’t think William and Kate will have to worry like us. 

As a teacher I am entitled to full maternity pay for four weeks, then two at 90 percent and half pay for the rest of year. They say you can have a year’s maternity leave, but it’s impossible to afford to stay off work for a year.

I have had a pay freeze for three years and pension payments have gone up. Yet the cost of nappies and baby clothes have spiralled.

My partner is a postal worker and we both work full time. Already two thirds of my pay goes on childcare. 

We are trying to stock up on essentials so when my maternity pay drops we can get by. 

We don’t go on day trips anymore or buy new clothes. We’re already looking to get some Christmas presents in advance for the boys in the sales.

These are not things that the parents of the future king are worrying about, I imagine. 

Gemma FowlerOxford

My baby’s four months old and it’s hard to raise a child. I’ve just lost money because of the bedroom tax.

How do you keep yourself and your baby going with the money that’s left? We need to find money for baby food, milk, nappies, everything.

And then I see the royals and all the money they’ve got. We should make them pay more, not us.

Becky McMullenNorth Lanarkshire

I’m a Labour member and I want Ed to fight 

As a member of the Labour Party, I am increasingly bewildered by the ineffective opposition to government attacks on working class people offered by Ed Miliband. 

He and his shadow cabinet seem more interested in photo opportunities and soundbites than offering an alternative to the Tories’ spiteful policies.

The worst of it is, I know that most grassroots Labour members agree with me. 

But because real debate has been suppressed within the party, we seem completely powerless to do anything about it. 

I realise that the crux of this letter will not exactly come as a surprise to readers of Socialist Worker. 

But it really has dawned on me that getting elected is the only thing that matters for Labour now.

Richard PriceGloucester

Atos, I’ve beaten you

I’ve just had my appeal against an Atos ruling that I was fit for work.

I won. I’m very lucky as my best mate came with me for the hearing and he’s a solicitor.

He charged me nothing as he is not a greedy Tory, he’s a dyed in the wool Labour voter.

He poured scorn on Atos and pointed out the inaccuracies in their findings.

I feel so sorry for those who cannot afford representation.

I have nothing but disgust for the Atos bullies. How they sleep at night is a mystery to me.

Atos—I detest you.

John TupmanBlackburn

We’re not all posh, honest 

Unfortunately, swans are incapable of identifying whether rowers are Tories or socialists.

So it is a bit fanciful of Socialist Worker to claim that “Asboy the Swan” is an anti-Tory animal

Socialist Worker readers will no doubt be reassured to learn that Tory Party membership is not a prerequisite for taking part in rowing. 

Not all those associated with Cambridge University are “posh” or Tory supporters. 

The occupations, protests and strikes that staff and students have taken part in demonstrate that this is not the case.

Amy GilliganCambridge

Don’t say black, say mixed race

I read your interesting article on racismBut you seemed to imply that it isn’t true that children can be of mixed race, even white children.

I am brown. My mother’s white British and my dad black West Indian. I am mixed race.

Also would you stop referring to Barack Obama as black? He is mixed race—with a white American mother and black Kenyan father.

Mark Duggan was mixed race with a white mother too.

I know you don’t mean offence and I love your paper. But please get it right.

Karen GelderBarnsley

Trayvon and imperial logic

the racist killing of Trayvon Martin in the US means it’s open season on black people and anyone that any bigot thinks is a threat.

For the US, it’s also open season on any country it considers a threat.

Violence abroad means violence at home. Racism and imperialism go hand in hand.

Ron SenchakManchester

What’s really going on in Egypt?

I got a slightly uneasy feeling reading Sameh Naguib on the Egyptian Revolution.

I think Sameh underestimates the military’s temporary but real victory.

What is happening on the ground? Are there signs of workers’ and neighbourhood committees taking distribution into their own hands?

David PaensonFrankfurt

The price of free music

Fifity-five quid to see Thom Yorke at the Roundhouse in north London last week is hardly in keeping with his proclaimed values. Nor is it keeping his music accessible.

Rowan Gilmoreon Facebook

They will tax the air next

Smug tory bastards will be attaching meters to our nostrils next to regulate and charge for air intake.

Shaun, on Facebook

NHS vs the royal baby

Our street poll in Crouch End, north London, about the £1 million spent to refurbish the royal baby’s home was revealing.

Every single one of the 48 people who took part opted to spend it on the NHS instead. This exposes the myth of an adoring public for the latest royal scrounger.

Terry McGrathNorth London

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Article information

Tue 30 Jul 2013, 17:24 BST
Issue No. 2364
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