The cuts and corruption behind the abuse scandal
As someone who works in child protection services it was refreshing to read your report (Socialist Worker, 21 February) on the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.
Sadie Robinson referred to Louise Casey’s recent investigation, which identified institutionalised discrimination against victims of abuse.
The resulting corruption with abuse of power and collaboration between officers and perpetrators is sickening.
None of this is highlighted in the media, but remains a stark reality. There is also silence about the financial cutbacks.
The cuts are treated as a fact of life to a point where we are not permitted to even identify the impact or argue against them at work.
Social workers are often overwhelmed by caseloads.
They offer huge amounts of their unpaid time to ensure children are safe.
But they have few resources available to really change the conditions that produce the risk of abuse.
The scale of the crisis is hidden from view but very real.
The media and mainstream politicians are painting a pre-election picture of stability and economic recovery.
Yet they are all preparing to make even deeper cuts to health and social welfare than we have already seen. Their great lie must be thrown back at them—alongside the poverty and the fear is real and widespread anger.
And that’s where we can find hope. We must use the election period to shout against injustice from the rooftops.
We must organise mass resistance to austerity and stop all the cuts to health and social welfare.
That’s why I’m organising with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
And thank you for highlighting the real issues around the abuse scandal.
Tony Staunton, Plymouth
We need homes
On average a person living in London would need to save for an incredible 29 years just to put down a deposit on a property.
So I’d have to save till I’m 60 before I could afford a mortgage.
And that’s considering I have a job in the meantime. Well at least Tory pension attacks mean we’ll all be working well into our 60s anyway so no need to worry about being a pensioner without a home, right?
We cannot afford to live in the city. Young workers in London are in desperate need of homes.
Emma Davis, North London
Thanks for the support
Defence support Group (DSG) workers voted to accept an improved pay offer last week.
This was after we struck for 16 days last year.
During our dispute Socialist Worker was one of the only papers to cover our strike and get the feelings of the workers involved.
Paper sellers regularly attended our picket lines in the early hours and brought with them the support from their various workplaces and union branches.
We will be ever grateful to those comrades who came to sell the paper and stood by us on our picket.
And we must thank Socialist Worker for its continued support during our strike.
DSG Donnington Shop Stewards’ Committee, Telford
Learning important lessons from Malcolm
I enjoyed Ken Olende’s powerful piece on Malcolm X visiting Smethwick (Socialist Worker, 21 February).
Most shocking is that it could have been written today—a racist election campaign with the Labour Party failing to confront the racism.
We campaigned against Ukip in a recent by-election in Harlow, Essex.
We worked with some Labour members but had to have serious debates with some. Eventually we were successful and Ukip lost their seat.
The article shows the importance of fighting together.
Ukip’s racism is primarily directed at European migrants. Our campaign was led by black and white people who understood that an attack on one is an attack on all.
Adam Cochrane, Essex
We demand justice for Henry Hicks
There’s been a lot of outrage over the death of Islington teenager Henry Hicks who died after being chased by the police in December last year.
The 18 year old crashed his scooter into a parked car after being pursued by cops in unmarked vehicles.
The four constables involved in the pursuit have been served with gross misconduct notices.
Details are coming out from people who knew Henry who say he was “constantly harassed” by the police.
Over 1,000 people turned out to attend his funeral earlier this month—and anger at the cops is high.
Graffiti saying “Police killed Henry Hicks” has sprung up on walls across the borough, including on HMP Pentonville, schools and even an Islington council van.
His family and friends have set up a campaign demanding justice—and I urge people to get involved.
Dean Ryan, North London
Our solidarity is our strength
I was on the bus on my way to a Greek solidarity rally in London on Wednesday of last week, with a rather large NUT union banner.
I mentioned to the bus driver that I was taking it to demonstrate “for the Greeks”. He responded, “It’s not just for the Greeks—it’s for the whole working people.”
Miriam Scharf, East London
A song for the Craigavon Two
Pol MacAdaim a singer songwriter from County Louth, has written a song called Justice for the Craigavon Two.
It highlights the ongoing miscarriage of justice of John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville.
Their case is due before the Supreme Court soon and the launch of the single will take place on the 15 March. We call on everyone to join the #DownloadJustice campaign.
Patrick Carty, County Tyrone
Avoiding the real tax issues
I am furious that the tax evasion scandal has turned into whether a person who does an odd job declares it for tax.
My mum used to pay a bloke cash in hand for jobs. He wasn’t able to continue work in construction because he broke his back after building the M4.
Bosses fought paying compensation and he lived on a pittance.
And he’s being compared to the super rich tax-dodging chums of the Tories?
Michael Holland, South London
Get your facts right on rich
I came across what I believe is an error.
Socialist Worker (Socialist Worker, 21 February) reports that top bosses are on £3.3 million a year.
Incidentally the High Pay Centre has their pay on £4.7 million.
This is £1.4 million more than the figure you state, which I think is a lot of money.
Dick Pitt, Sheffield