Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2365

The bedroom tax does discriminate against disabled people

The judges who ruled that the bedroom tax isn’t an attack on disabled people have no idea what real life is like.

Even before all this happened a good proportion of disabled people were already in poverty because they were unable to work. They are cutting all the benefits we need.

And now this bedroom tax means having to either find a way to pay or to sleep somewhere that’s too small.

There are all kinds of reasons why disabled people can’t share a bed or a room. 

I personally am being charged for a room that’s too small to be a bedroom. So I use it for keeping equipment and medical supplies.

I’ve got to put my walkers somewhere. I’ve got painkillers coming out of my ears, and I have to keep them somewhere safe where the cat can’t have a munch.

The government says this discretionary housing payment is supposed to help people, but they are full of bullshit. I applied and I got it for four months.

But that’s about as much use as a chocolate fire guard, when I’ve got to keep reapplying without knowing what will happen. They just haven’t put enough money into the fund.

And like many benefits, it’s a well kept secret. I never knew it existed until I started going to campaign meetings. So when you think about mentally ill people who are frozen terrified about losing their homes—are they really going to apply?

But Iain Duncan Smith is stubborn, with all the lies, damned lies and statistics he tries to use. I don’t see him paying the bedroom tax on all the rooms in his mansion.

The bedroom tax affects disabled people and women disproportionately, whatever any judge says. And as a disabled woman, I’ll be on all the protests—there’s no getting rid of me.

Tracey-Ann HollandBarnsley

I’m sick of NHS profit

The coalition government makes me sick. Now allegedly over 50 percent of GPs want to benefit from this sickness.

They are proposing that I pay to visit them, the result of which is I am then charged to line the pockets of rapacious drug companies. 

This is not the National Health Service we all know and cherish. This is an immoral enterprise.

They are hellbent on making vast profits out of ill health while causing misery and suffering to working people.

Ross Sutton, Reading

What are our MPs worth?

Amid relentless austerity measures, proposals for a £10,000 pay rise for MPs are an outrage. 

As if a salary of £65,000 a year—plus expenses—is not already enough. A survey of MPs found they would like an average of £86,000, some even said £100,000. 

I think MPs should be paid no more than a skilled worker.

To save whatever integrity Labour and Ed Miliband have left they should oppose this rise. But the majority of local MPs are right wing so I can see this pay rise happening.

Considering the scandals over expenses I would expect a fierce backlash should taxpayers be expected to fund a pay rise for this privileged elite.

Jamie CalladineDerby

Tories’ van spreads racism and division

The Tories are wasting taxpayers’ money on mobile billboards in parts of London warning illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest”.

This is simply a desperate attempt by the vile Etonians to win back votes lost to Ukip.

Any person who is non-white could be reported to the authorities as an illegal immigrant. People will therefore live in fear of a knock on the door from immigration services. 

Immigration minister Mark Harper says their racist van is a good campaign. How can a campaign that spreads fear and division in society be a good campaign? 

The reality of these billboards is that they are based on race. 

We have written to our local Tory MP Robert Buckland condemning these billboards. We await his reply.

Martin & Mark WebbSwindon

The government can deny it all they like, their “Go Home” van is racism on wheels.

I’d like to see vans and hoardings across the country respond thus: “Welcome Bulgarians. Welcome Romanians. Kick out the Etonians.”

Sasha SimicNorth London

Gove urgently needs a history lesson

Tory education secretary Michael Gove wrote an article in the Guardian last week singing the praises of “free” schools. In it he claims that people of all political persuasions support “free” schools. 

Apparently, “Classical Marxists support free schools because they embody the ideal of the soviet, a self-managing institution run by workers in the wider public interest —which has been tried from Petrograd in 1917 to Venezuela today.”

It’s no surprise Gove wanted to limit history lessons to British history as he clearly has no idea what happened in Petrograd in 1917. 

Workers and peasants rose up against the dictatorial Tsar and then the capitalist “democrats” who replaced him. They seized power in a revolution which saw the soviets, workers’ councils, take control of all areas of public life. 

Gove’s “free” schools and academies are not about liberating education and releasing the creative talents of teachers, parents and pupils. 

Rather they are about privatising our childrens’ schools and handing them over to profit driven businesses.

Pete JacksonBirmingham

George Monbiot is radioactive

I can think of two places on Earth that really need “rewilding” as George “The Glowing Green” Monbiot puts it. 

They are Chernobyl and Fukushima, where untold numbers of people have lost their lives thanks to the nuclear power that Monbiot now supports.

Without the movement behind him he has become just another source of hot air.

Phil KnightWest Galmorgan

Hospital campaigners have snookered Jeremy Hunt

Can’t make the party at Lewisham Hospital due to a snooker engagement but will pot a red and smash in a blue to celebrate!

Juzza07on twitter

Well done Lewisham!

So happy it worked out for you and all the nurses. Peace man.

Geon twitter

Some sense about drugs

Plans for a legal market in marijuana sanctioned by the Uruguayan government are a welcome step forward.

It would be a defiant stance against the costly and bloody failure of the so-called “war on drugs”.

EwanWest London

Posh boys do like to row

Amy Gilligan is quite right to say you don’t have to be a posh Tory to row for Oxford or Cambridge. But it helps!

Helen SalmonBirmingham

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Article information

Tue 6 Aug 2013, 16:22 BST
Issue No. 2365
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