Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2423

Defend our health workers against a culture of bullying

I was among other health workers who protested outside the employment tribunal for sacked health worker Charlotte Monro on Tuesday of last week. 

Charlotte had been an occupational therapist in the NHS for 35 years when she was dismissed last year.

Charlotte was sacked because of her trade union activities.

Concern is growing at a trend of health bosses trying to silence effective trade union representatives who challenge cuts and privatisation in the public sector. 

 A culture of bullying and a climate of fear at speaking out was revealed in a recent Care Quality Commission inspection of Barts Health Trust.

Charlotte’s sacking is just such an example of bullying bosses and the intimidation of activists who speak out at what is going on in our health service at the moment.

Barts Health has recently seen a huge downbanding process imposed on the workforce.

Like many hospitals it is also crippled by Private Finance Initiative (PFI) debt. 

Many nurses, nursing assistants and other health workers face huge cuts in their wages. 

What was already an overburdened, underpaid and demoralised workforce now faces more pain. 

Many experienced nurses have already left the Trust. These are dedicated people who are being forced out of work.

Charlotte was key to organizing resistance and protests against these attacks and this is why Barts Health bosses want to get rid of her.

We need a real fightback against what is going on in the NHS. The health strike on Monday 13 October will be a good start.

Many speakers at the protest talked of the need to build solidarity and to link the struggles with the public sector and the TUC protest in October.

Please send messages of support to and sign and share the petition

A Barts Health Trust worker

Use Pride to build the fightback today

The film Pride, about a group of lesbians and gays who supported Welsh miners during the 1984-85 strike, offers a brilliant opportunity for socialists.

As a former member of Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners, I have helped put on Q&A sessions after two screenings in local cinemas. 

The enthusiasm for politics from people of all ages has been amazing.  

The film is a comedy with a lot of moving moments, but at heart it is a political story that inspires people to want to fight today.  

At a screening in Peckham, south London, last week we announced there would be a collection for the striking Barnet care workers. We raised a total of £222.  

I really urge people to get down to their local cinemas to talk to people about how they can join today’s fight against the Tories. 

And is there anyone who hasn’t yet seen the film? It’s a must!

Nicola FieldSouth London

Ukip is not welcome in Swansea

Ukip has left people in Swansea West under no illusion about the true nature of the organisation. 

Their first leaflet for the party’s general election campaign carried the emboldened headline, “Ukip candidate condemns diversity”.

There has been no opposition to this from Ukip headquarters. 

So there can only be one conclusion—Nigel Farage and the rest of Ukip condemn diversity too.

People in Swansea are proud of its diversity. 

And we will not stand back and let Ukip whip up racism and division.

Name and address provided

No to West’s bombing 

Islamic State is a brutal, reactionary movement, so it is not surprising that people respond to reports of its attacks on minorities demanding, “Something must be done”. But bombing is not the solution.

The record of Western intervention is appalling. Since Libya was bombed, in response to similar calls, more than 30,000 people have been killed. 

David Cameron and Barack Obama talk of destroying Islamic State. 

But it is a movement that can grow and every bomb that kills civilians acts as a recruiting agent for it. 

We must support and strengthen the Stop the War Coalition’s campaign against this disastrous policy.

Sarah CoxNorth west London

We need a united left not votes for the SNP   

What drove the Yes campaign in Scotland was anti-austerity, not nationalism.

The Yes vote was strongest in working class areas and weakest in the better off Scottish National Party (SNP) strongholds.

It was a class vote and it needs a response.

We need a united left that will put forward working class politics. A left that can harness and direct the bitterness of those struggling against austerity.

The SNP, which includes billionaires, has never done that and can never do.

The movement needs a party that will keep the pressure on the SNP and fight for its own aims.

Calling for a vote for the SNP does not do that.

The need for a united working class party is an urgent one. 

We must build it now.

Duncan BrownGlasgow

Always class, never nation

Labour always chooses nation over class. 

All the wars it has launched shows this. Blair sold us the Iraq war but even this wasn’t merely an abberation of New Labour.

Even a key figure of the Labour left Michael Foot supported the Falklands war. 

I was so glad Socialist Worker backed a Yes vote in Scotland. 

A real socialist party always stands with the working class and never with bosses or their state.

J RobertsonSwansea

Mine disaster 80 years on

It was the 80th anniversary last week of the explosion in a mine in Gresford, north Wales. 

Some 226 workers died during the disaster. 

Poor management and cost cutting were most likely the underlying causes.  

Most families in the village lost someone in the blast, and many of the bodies were never even recovered. 

Money was always put first, then as now.

Name and address provided

Lower the voting age

On our Socialist Worker sale last week the most interesting conversations we had were with a group of school students.

All of them were enthused by the scenes of people of their age campaigning in Scotland.         

Surely it has been proved that 16 and 17 year olds must have the vote in all elections.

Piers FreeloveCardiff

Miliband offers us nothing

Ed Miliband’s speech at Labour conference last week explained nothing.

It offered no hope or change just more of the same wrapped up in a package called “togetherness”.

Linda de Villierson Facebook

It's alright for some

So apparently the economy has “improved enough” to pay MPs a 10 percent pay rise, but nobody else?

Frank Homewardon Facebook

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Article information

Tue 30 Sep 2014, 16:48 BST
Issue No. 2423
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