Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2439

Are socialists wrong to challenge the Green Party?

I am quite dismayed by your coverage of the Green Party and the Green surge.

The only article has been negative.

Why aren’t the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) forging links with the Greens? It seems to me that you have far more in common with them than with the Labour Party. 

Surely it is not a competition as to who is the most radical? Or did I get that wrong? 

Surely it is about getting a fairer, more egalitarian society? 

Marx was a great thinker and theorist. But he was a man of his time and he certainly did not have all the answers—especially not for the 21st century. 

We have the potential for a united left here. Let’s not waste that opportunity or spoil it with divisive nit-picking. Let’s unite against the common enemy.

Name and address provided

The “Green surge” proves that a lot of people want an alternative to austerity.

And the left within the Greens has done well to push their party into filling this gaping hole in the run-up to the elections in May. 

Anyone who is against austerity and cuts is a friend of Socialist Worker readers.

But we also have to be honest about our disagreements.

The Greens’ strategy ignores the limitations of an electoral route towards building a fairer society. 

The structure of the entire electoral system is built around maintaining the position of the ruling class. 

Even the most radical policies will not be enough to change this. 

We need to use this election to empower the working class, build resistance, and expose the contradictions of capitalism. 

When people feel confident enough to run society for themselves it will be revolution, not elections, that brings about real change.

James PettefarSouth London

Who's in the ruling class?

A recent report on the rich calculated who the top one percent are based on the property they own. But this tells us little.

When Marx talked about private property, he meant ownership of the kind of property from which profit can be made. 

He didn’t mean personal property—ownership of a washing machine, for example.

Capital is property from which profit is made—and ownership of this determines the direction of a society.

You can’t make a profit out of living in a house. 

You might be able to rent out part of it to help pay the bank or building society who only let you live in it as long as you can make the mortgage payments. 

But the rift between a house owner and someone who owns a factory or a mine or land is vast. 

Lumping homeowners in with people at the top is deceiving as it camouflages the power of the wealthiest.

That 1 percent must span a huge divide between people who own a house in London valued at £500,000 and the tiny number who control vast wealth.

They can move their empires of wealth across continents in search of a faster profit, close down production, throw thousands out of work and raise or lower the price of food or oil. 

People who own a house, whatever its market value, are not in power.

Julia RichardsonSwansea

Tories' new bill hides real roots of terrorism

Tory Home secretary Theresa May’s new anti-terror bill seeks to turn British people against Muslims by promoting an agenda of finger-pointing and suspicion.

It amplifies the portrayal of Muslims as “alien” amid a climate of increasing Islamophobia and racism.

And it implicitly dismisses the government’s responsibility towards international law.

What becomes increasingly clear is that the British government, and indeed British people, must fully recognise that the cause of terrorism is the “War on Terror”.

Otherwise not only will we see the West continue to impose its “clash of civilisations” on the Muslim world, we will see it recreated here in West itself. 

Despite all their smokescreens, it would be the Western “bully nations” that would hold all the blame.

Imran ShahEast London

Free speech hypocrites mourn tyrant

The hypocrisy of our leaders knows no bounds.

Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, David Cameron went to Paris to chant the French Revolution slogan of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”

On hearing of the death of King Abdullah, Cameron and Prince Charles flew to Saudi Arabia—a one-family state where there are almost no elections, political parties are banned and women are oppressed.

US president Barack Obama didn’t go to France to express his sympathy for the dead or their families. 

But he did find time to fly to Saudi Arabia—a country that sponsors terrorism and violates human rights.

 Saudi courts routinely pass sentences of death, maiming and torture.

In this country the Tories would like to repeal the Human Rights Act. 

But at the same time they believe in the divine right of unelected monarchs to carry out any amount of atrocities against their subjects with no questions asked.

Meanwhile they fly flags at half mast on our public buildings in memory of tyrants.

John AppleyardWest Yorkshire

Don’t stop Nazis speaking

I disagree about not allowing Nazis to speak.

We need to have them out there so their sheer lunacy and hate speech can be shown up for the utter dross and nonsense it is.

Banning them merely increases their appeal.

Karl Nicholason Facebook

Right to say no platform

Freedom of expression is always a tough one.

But we do have laws against incitement to racial hatred. 

And if Nazis’ views reinforce and legitimise those of fledgling racists surely it is best to stop them and not allow them a platform.

Kerryann Lundon Facebook

Apple’s rotten to the core

Apple has become the world’s most valuable company, posting profits of £12 billion and sitting on £119 billion in cash.

But it’s easy to make obscene profits if your workforce work 60 hours a week, 18 days in a row, for £1.12 an hour.

It also helps if you can evade taxes. 

Sasha SimicNorth London

Labour is best we can get

It’s a shame there is no credible socialist party in Britain that stands a chance of getting elected.

The best we can hope for is the moderate left Labour Party, and it is struggling to connect with the British public. 

Ian Almondon Facebook

No chance of British Syriza

I agree that we just have to make do with a Labour Party that is run by public school boys. 

Labour is the best of a bad lot. 

I can’t see Britain electing a radical left party like Syriza in Greece. Unfortunately most people seem to be leaning more towards the far right.

Stacey Mackayon Facebook

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Article information

Tue 3 Feb 2015, 18:33 GMT
Issue No. 2439
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