Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2405

I’m Romanian—and Nigel  Farage is wrong about us

I am from Romania and I’ve lived in Britain for 11 years. I don’t like Nigel Farage and his Ukip party.

All over the world there are good people and bad people. But he has said lots of bad things about my country and Romanians—and it isn’t the first time.

Ukip says that Romanians cause problems by coming to Britain. They say Romanians and other people are coming here to steal benefits. I don’t think it’s very nice.

I came here to work, earn some money and have a better life. In Romania, I lived in a small town. There were no jobs. I was working in a bakery making bread—then it closed down.

Then I worked in a Coca-Cola factory—and that closed down. I’ve worked since I was 16 years old. But I had to move to find more work.

In Britain I’ve lived in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Everyone I meet who is from Romania is working full time and paying taxes.

I don’t claim any benefits except child benefit, which everyone is entitled to. I am now working as a cleaner. I know other people who work washing cars. They haven’t come here to steal. 

They want to work and earn money. Nigel Farage shouldn’t say everybody from Romania is the same. He should control his language.

The man is lucky—in Romania he would be in trouble. There are a lot of people from Britain living in Romania. People don’t say they are there causing problems.

Lots of people like to see people from different places and to have a mix of people. I live here with my wife and two children and I just want some peace and quiet.

Nikolai, Manchester

Press attacks show up the ugly face of sexism

Sexism is alive and well in the entertainment industry. Award winning comedian Sarah Millican, was described as “fat” and “ugly” for having the audacity to wear her favourite dress to the Baftas. 

Opera singer Tara Erraught was labelled a “chubby bundle of puppy fat” by a hack at the Financial Times newspaper. 

Women are expected to adhere to an unrealistic standard not expected of men. Women’s professional achievements do not matter because under capitalism their worth is reduced to how much flesh they have.

Imposing unrealistic beauty standards on women puts cash in bosses’ hands as women buy cosmetic surgeries to achieve this “perfection”. 

We should fight for a world where women look and dress however they want, without encountering such hostility.  

Sarah Bates, Edinburgh

In solidarity with South African miners

Like many people I’ve been collecting money to support striking miners in South Africa.

I started collecting on Monday of last week. By Thursday I’d passed the £1,000 mark.

People donating are mostly socialists and trade unionists who have been on strike and who are anti-racist.

Many remember collecting for the miners in Britain in 1984-85. They know how important solidarity is and what a difference it can make.

My grandfather and great grandfather were miners in the iron industry. The conditions were atrocious.

Seeing the situation that miners face in South Africa takes you back to what life was like in 19th century Britain.

Miners in South Africa are working in appalling conditions. They have already been massacred by the state at Marikana in 2012.

Mining makes astronomical profits for the bosses at workers’ expense.

The miners are under immense pressure and need all our solidarity.

Margaret Woods, Glasgow

  • Striking South African miners need solidarity to win—

Patients need A&Es

People have been made to feel guilty for going to A&Es. 

Posters implied people were putting unnecessary strain on a struggling service by going to them.

But the College of Emergency Medicine recently reviewed more than 3,000 patients. 

It said 85 percent needed to be seen at an A&E. The idea that A&Es are being over-used will encourage people who need treatment to stay away—putting their health at risk.

And if fewer people use A&Es, that will also pave the way for more cuts.

Anne Rollins, Sheffield

No to new Benefits Street

I recently had a chance to chat to a few people from Dixon Street in Stockton. 

They had chased off the Benefits Street film crew in a storm of eggs and buckets of water. 

I was surprised to find that even Brian, a resident who’d supported the filming, was now against it. 

They had promised him a job and an increase in the value of his home. 

But this obviously won’t materialise if his street joined a show that supports the scapegoating of benefit claimants. 

It was refreshing that local opinion was one of resistance against austerity.

Jack Blackett, Teesside

Can socialism really work?

I like the idea of socialism but it does not seem to be working. 

In the UK the NHS is generally inefficient. 

The welfare state has created massive inequality in society—just look at the top 1 percent. 

Public education is failing. 

How would you improve the situation?

Michael, by email

Mail sale was based on lies

So Royal Mail’s profits are up by 12 percent. 

I thought this was a failing enterprise that was costing too much money to keep in public hands?

The Tories will hype this as evidence that their privatisation was a good thing. But it shows the selloff was based on lies.

Lynn Nixon, Bradford

Starvation is shameful

Over a million “shirkers” have had benefits suspended due to sanctions.

These include being sanctioned for not having a computer to look for jobs.

In King’s Lynn one claimant was left with no money for four months. 

If starving a person is something to be proud about as a nation then I’m ashamed.

Jo Rust, Norfolk

A right royal joke on Hitler

I almost fell off my chair upon hearing that prince Charles likened Russian president Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.

This coming from a man whose great uncle, the Duke of Windsor, was a Nazi sympathiser and whose son, Harry, dressed as a Nazi for a party.

Next thing you know the royals will be praising democracy while inviting dictators round for lunch.

Oh wait, they are. I look forward to the day when this parasitic, decadent and anachronistic institution is no more.

Jon Woolard, Chelmsford

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Article information

Tue 27 May 2014, 17:42 BST
Issue No. 2405
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