We must fight to protect our hard won abortion rights
I remember a winter evening in 1964. A young woman collapsed on the pavement in front of me. I went to help her and offered to call an ambulance. She pleaded with me not to.
Her backstreet abortion had made her a criminal and she was too frightened to seek treatment.
Luckily, the ambulance driver assured us she would be treated sympathetically.
Until abortion was legalised in 1967, thousands of women went through similar experiences and hundreds died.
We campaigned for years, against continual attempts to roll back every gain, for the right of every woman to control her own body.
Our hard won rights are threatened again by members of the government. They want a lower time limit for abortion and compulsory counselling, sometimes by openly anti-abortion organisations.
There is also a group of Texas-based Christian fundamentalists called 40 Days for Life, planning another campaign against abortion clinics.
They want to surround them in what is described as a peaceful prayer vigil.
The reality is far more intimidating. They film clinic staff and patients.
They accost and harass vulnerable women, aiming to persuade them to go through with unwanted pregnancies and give up their babies for adoption.
They distribute misleading leaflets about alleged dangers of abortion.
From 25 September to 3 November this group will target the British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinics in Stratford, Ealing and Twickenham.
Pro-choice campaigners will be organising counter-demonstrations and showing solidarity with clinic staff by delivering messages of support, chocolates and flowers.
Support for a woman’s right to choose is a basic socialist principle.
We must support this campaign and fight to protect our rights.
Keep up the pressure after Syria vote
David Cameron losing the Syria war vote is a huge boost to anyone who wants to resist war and austerity
People don’t suddenly forget the huge number of deaths that resulted from bombing Afghanistan and Iraq.
But there are differences ten years on. We have recently seen revolutions and uprisings across the Arab world which present greater risk for military intervention.
And Labour is now in opposition.
I believe if it was in power we would have seen more Labour MPs bow to the whips.
Undoubtedly the pressure of anti-war feeling helped to defeat Cameron. We must keep it up.
Reclaim the power
The mobilisation for the Sunday 29 September march on the Tory Party conference in Manchester has received a further boost.
Reclaim the Power, has decided to back the demonstration.
This is the coalition of groups which organised a week long action camp and mass blockade of Cuadrilla’s fracking operation in Balcombe last month.
It wants to highlight the fact that the destruction of the NHS through privatisation and the destruction of the environment through fracking are driven by the same neoliberal ideology.
Anger and anxiety over Super Puma flights
I was on a ferry bound for Shetland last week when news began to filter through of the Super Puma crash which claimed the lives of four offshore oil workers.
Many fellow passengers were anxious about friends and relatives whom they knew would be involved in the search and rescue operation.
There was also anger that more workers’ lives had been lost in an aircraft which already had a poor safety record.
Workers were angered by the swift restarting of flights. This was despite thousands signing an online petition for the Super Pumas to be grounded permanently.
Workers are only thankful that the government had failed in its attempt to close the coastguard station.
Shankley: A working class hero
It was good to be reminded of the enduring nature of Bill Shankly’s inspiration (Socialist Worker, 31 August).
As a 13 year old Anfield boy in 1959 I had no doubt that he would transform the fortunes of our Second Division team.
And thousands of other Liverpool supporters thought the same.
His socialism came from the Scottish coal fields.
It informed his belief that he, and his players, were privileged to represent and entertain the workers who paid their wages.
He was a working class hero for generations.
One story that emerged after his death was when he turned up at a wedding of a supporter with five of the team. The family had only requested a signed card!
Oliver serves up nonsense
Jamie oliver, the multimillionaire TV chef, says he is uncomfortable speaking about poverty in Britain.
That’s OK, because I’m uncomfortable listening to him.
His comments on people’s eating habits and the size of their TVs were bizarre and garnished with demonisation.
In the 1930s rich socialite Lady Docker was addressing a lecture to the poor on how to make a nutritious meal from a cod’s head.
A member of the audience chirped up at the top of their voice and said, “Who got the rest of the bloody cod?”
Answer that one, Jamie Oliver.
Keep Danes School open
Thank you for supporting and reporting this atrocity of closing Deanes School.
Cllr Ray Gooding is going ahead with plans to close the school.
This is despite a 50-page document of evidence that argued otherwise.
Councils in Southend, Basildon and Castle Point in Essex are all vehemently against the closure.
We shall continue with the fight for the sake of our children.
Axe the bedroom tax
The Bedroom Tax is a prime example of how this government treats people with disregard and disrespect.
It is so encouraging to see that so many people, all over the country, are standing up to them.
And besides being turfed out of our homes we are now being forced to work until we drop.
Tax is social cleansing
Socialist Worker is really informative with plenty of examples of why the bedroom tax punishes the vulnerable and is a form of class cleansing.