Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2371

Our victories against the bedroom tax in Scotland

I want to let your readers know of a recent victory we’ve had in Kirkcaldy Axe the Bedroom Tax campaign. 

We got as many people as possible to send appeals to the council against the bedroom tax with a standard appeal letter. 

Some of the appeals were immediately accepted. Others we encouraged to take to an independent tribunal. 

Two weeks ago the first test cases for Scotland were held in Kirkcaldy. 

Four were successful, of which I was one. 

We won on the definition of a bedroom—whether it was big enough to meet the criterion in housing legislation for a single adult. 

One person won their appeal as it is used as a storage room for specialised equipment.

I won on the basis that, as I receive housing support, I should be classed as living in supported accommodation. 

The definition of supported accommodation is very vague. This should make it simpler for others to use this argument. 

We had to fight to get representation from a local law charity. We had written up our own submissions and were prepared to defend ourselves if need be. 

The charity wasn’t given funding from Fife council to represent us until less than two weeks before the tribunal date. 

However if this was an attempt by the council to derail our appeal it was unsuccessful. 

We now have two volunteers in our group committed to helping anyone who comes to us with appeals. 

But we are also committed to non-payment and offer solidarity by picketing any evictions in our area. 

If you would like more information on our campaign group you can reach me on 

Louise McLeary 


The Welsh government must act on health

It’s emerged that more than 1,200 patients have waited over a day to be treated by A&E in South Wales.

When is the Labour-led Welsh government going to get to grips with the health crisis in our area?

Could you imagine being that person sat waiting to be treated? 

This is distressing news for us all. We need to see more joined up thinking in our Welsh NHS.

We need much more support given to all of its staff. The Welsh Government must wake up and stop being in denial. 

Our NHS is in crisis and urgently needs that pill to make it better.

Perhaps, instead of wasting money on useless projects, the First Minister and his New Labour gang should now consider making health better as a priority for Wales.

Richard Bertin

Independent councillor, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

Libyan oil fields shut down oil fields

There has been an amazing demonstration of workers’ power in Libya with armed strikes in the oil fields and export terminals. 

Oil pumping stations have stopped because there is just no more room in the storage facilities. 

The protests have also led to a stop on petrol imports from abroad and nationwide power cuts. 

Disgracefully the Oil Sector Workers Union denounced the strikes and demands the reopening of all the oil terminals and production fields. 

On 3 September the General National Congress formed a crisis committee to “deal with the oil disruption”.

Reuters reported last week that “investors are worried that a strike on Syria by Western forces against the country could spread unrest in the Middle East and disrupt oil supply from the region that pumps a third of the world’s crude oil.” 

We need to give our solidarity to the people in the Middle East.

As international socialists we need to also be pushing for the international perspective on the 29 September demonstration in Manchester. 

Camille Tsang


Condemn the arrests

The Tower Hamlets anti-EDL demonstration on 7 September successfully kept the fascists out of the borough—but at a heavy cost.

The police decision to kettle and mass arrest some 280 anti-EDL protesters is a serious escalation of the state’s clampdown on the right to protest.

Lawyer Matt Foot said on the day, “I am struggling to think of the last time 260 people were arrested. 

“Can the Met justify rounding up such a vast number?”

We are shocked, therefore, at the paltry coverage of these arrests in Socialist Worker (14 September). 

A hundred words tacked on to the end of an article some three days after the event is not acceptable.

The paper could not even bring itself to condemn the arrests. 

What is going on here? 

Unequivocal solidarity with arrested anti-fascists should be a basic instinct of any serious revolutionary.

Socialist Worker stood by anarchist demonstrators at the 1990 Poll Tax Riots when the rest of the left abandoned them. 

That is the real tradition of this paper.

Readers who would like to help the arrested protesters should contact the Green and Black Cross organisation at and the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group at

Anindya Bhattacharyya, Ian Birchall, Matthew Cookson, Sian Ruddick, Viv Smith 


Boycott Hovis in solidarity

I empathise with zero hours contract workers, as I found myself in the same position and I was let go. 

Fight for your jobs. 

If the zero hours contracts go through, you’re as good as gone. 

And everyone else stop buying Hovis bread to show your disgust. 

Jacob Nicholls

on Facebook

Yes Scotland wasn't correct

About the article on Scottish Independence, (Socialist Worker, 14 September) 

 It is not Yes Scotland who is organising the event—I am.

It is the March & Rally for Scottish Independence—a collective of Scottish Independence supporters with no specific political affiliation.

Jeff Duncan 


Time for a new start

Sure Start centres led to huge improvements in local opportunities for families.

A revamped Sure Start could become community beacons and help once again combat child poverty. 

Helen Ashdon King

South London

BT Sport not good for the people

Has anyone else had problems with BT Sport viewing boxes? 

And no one answering the phones and calls being passed on?

Same old story, a typical capitalist firm run for profit not people. 

Rob Murray


No good intervention

We are not a force for good in the world. 

We, along with our Nato allies have used depleted uranium shells and white phosphorous. 

We’ve also helped to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya killing hundreds of thousands and making millions of refugees. 

This leaves us with zero credibility. 

Clive Collins

South London

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Article information

Tue 17 Sep 2013, 16:06 BST
Issue No. 2371
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