Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2375

Cuts discriminate against children with special needs

There is a disturbing development regarding the special educational needs school (SEN) environment in Glasgow.

My son’s school in Possilpark, a run down area of Glasgow, has suffered big cutbacks in the past few years. 

We’ve lost six key teaching assistants and one teacher, all of whom were highly skilled and experienced. The summer school has closed and a there’s a huge reduction in after school provisions. 

A city council education service official assured us in May that the staff positions would be advertised during the summer, but now we hear the positions won’t be filled. 

The school’s ability to deliver a decent education is now decimated. 

The extent to which specialist schools bear the brunt of the Labour-run city council’s cutbacks beggars belief.

They’ve cut funding for SENs by £2 million for 2013-15 while investing £80 million in mainstream schools. This discriminates against a minority. 

We are challenging this decision. Their actions infringe laws that are designed to put safeguards in place for children and disabled people. 

All we’ve had is lies, lies, and lies. Members of the education board have contradicted each other, and they are acting like no meetings with us ever took place.

I never believed such a situation could exist in a developed city like ours, but here we are. 

In a capitalist economic system disabled children and their right to a decent education are not seen as a great investment. 

Glasgow City Council has shown a systematic disregard for vulnerable children who deserve better. Instead they are obsessed with enterprise, and are fixated on the economic rewards of the Commonwealth Games next year.

They are bankrupting the livelihoods of the city’s vulnerable people. The irony is the council’s new marketing slogan: People Make Glasgow!

Chris HarrisonGlasgow

Hate the Daily Mail

I was a student of Ralph Miliband’s and, like so many others, was disgusted by the Daily Mail’s scurrilous headline that he ‘hated Britain’.

As a socialist, Miliband was critical of many of the dominant institutions of British society that perpetuate the existing conservative ideology. 

In contrast, he had a profound respect and affection for those institutions of British society that represented the majority.

The labour movement fought injustice and inequality at home and war and colonial oppression abroad. 

The implication in the Daily Mail that Miliband indirectly supported the Soviet Union through his espousal of Marxist ideas is false. He was highly critical of the Soviet Union and in no way regarded it as a model of a socialist society. 

He was also critical of the British Communist Party supporting Moscow’s crushing of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. 

Ralph was no Trotskyist but was well to the left of his sons David and Ed. 

He made a significant contribution to the development of Marxist ideas in post-war Britain, and a valuable exposure of the Labour Party.

Sabby SagallNorth London

Surely it was David Cameron’s father who hated Britain—as evidenced by him offshoring his fortune in tax havens such as Panama and the Channel Islands, to avoid tax in Britain. 

Jo RustKings Lynn

We have to end the racist laws

Crocodile tears. These are the words to describe politicians declaring their bitterness about the Lampedusa slaughter.

“We cannot go on in this way”, said Laura Boldrini, head of Italy’s Lower House. 

Italy’s racist immigration laws may have changed from those of Bossi-Fini to the current ones of Turco-Napolitano, but they will stay the same. You can be charged by the police for helping a “clandestine”.

In Naples we have been renaming squares and roads to remember the people murdered by Italian and European institutional racism.

We have to commit to change the system we live in, because capitalism kills. 

Collettivo Autorganizzato Universitario, Naples, Italy

We should celebrate peace instead of war 

The First World War was one of the bloodiest and deadliest wars in history. 

I was reading in my local newspaper that plans to upgrade a war memorial in my local village have come “just at the right time”.

I think there is a place for war memorials in our communities—but as a symbol for why we need peace, not more wars.

The centenary anniversary comes a few weeks before the referendum on independence for Scotland.

But I cannot help interpreting this as another trick by the Better Together campaign with their message “to stick together like we did in WW1”. 

Are they saying that it was only the British troops who won the war?  

I think it’s very sad to use such carnage in history for this purpose. 

Rudi Vogels, Kirkcaldy

Support the firefighters

I am 100 percent behind the firefighters in their dispute. 

I will never forget one firefighter saving the life of someone I know many years ago. 

How much is this loathsome government going to save by destroying a brave and knowledgeable body of professionals?

How does that compare with bankers bonuses? 

Or Cameron and Osborne’s bank balances?

John Tupman, Darwen, Lancashire

Invade Tories’ conference?

The demo outside the Tory party conference last month ought to have been inside disrupting proceedings. 

The entrance was virtually unguarded and I managed to dash inside—with more people we could have spoiled their fun.

But no, just another walk through town shouting our pleas to a regime that cares nothing for us. 

Who are we waiting for to tell us when it’s time to act?

Rene ThomasHuddersfield

Don’t blame unemployed

Kirklees council in west Yorkshire has revealed it received over 400 applications for just one job. 

The job pays the minimum wage for clearing out empty council homes.

Since 2010 the council has shed more than 1,100 jobs.

The government’s attack on the unemployed is cold and callous.

We cannot allow them to scapegoat the unemployed.

John AppleyardWest Yorkshire

We must stop the Tories

I can’t believe no one is able to stop this disgraceful government! 

They have no electoral mandate. I hope I will never see them in power again!

Mari Lulu, on Facebook

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 15 Oct 2013, 18:10 BST
Issue No. 2375
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.