Why workers should say no to staying in the bosses’ EU
Neither side leading the campaigns over Europe—David Cameron for a yes vote or Ukip for a no—has policies that socialists would support.
The argument that we don’t want to side with the racists (Letters, 13 June) is a non-starter—the referendum will have racists on both sides.
We have to cut through their racist crap and argue an independent socialist position.
The European Union (EU), with its various agreements, is a mechanism for the undemocratic imposition of neoliberalism throughout its 26 states.
Greece is a prime example of this. The fact that Greece is part of the EU and the euro is being used to crucify Greek workers.
The Maastricht Treaty, which founded the EU, imposes severe spending limits on each member state.
A fight against neoliberalism is also a fight against the EU.
Incidentally this makes the Scottish National Party’s position of staying in the EU and claiming to be against austerity contradictory and hypocritical.
Finally, the idea that the anti-racist socialist left is so small and irrelevant that our voices will not be heard is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let’s unite with workers in Europe in a common fight against austerity, racism and immigration controls.
Duncan Brown, Glasgow
Joining the yes camp as Clare Fermont suggests (Letters, 13 June) would mean saying yes to Fortress Europe, its institutionalised racism and deadly immigration policies.
It would go against the essence of our anti-racism and internationalism.
EU distribution of money to distressed regions, John Charlton (Letters, 13 June)? Tell that to the Greeks.
Besides, it is another basic tenet of class politics that we cannot rely on legislation to “guarantee” workers’ rights, which is what John seems to be calling for.
Simon Andrewes, by email
Two letters have expressed concern over the Socialist Workers Party calling for a no vote in the EU referendum (Letters, 13 June).
There was concern that this would get us lumped in with the racist camp of Ukip and the Tory right. But we are right to stick to our analysis of the EU as a bosses’ Europe.
The revolutionary left is often in the minority. To avoid an argument out of fear of being misunderstood or unpopular panders to the opportunist and defeatist arguments.
Workers’ rights can be fought for on a national and international basis. The EU and Britain will never give concessions to the working class out of the goodness of their hearts.
They must be forced to give them. The emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class.
Dean Scurlock, Cardiff
The EU really is a bosses’ club. Cameron’s phony renegotiation can only entrench neoliberalism even further while attacking migrants’ rights. Joining the yes camp, even critically, surely endorses Cameron’s manoeuvre.
But exiting the EU on the terms of Ukip and the Tory right risks unleashing a carnival of reaction.
So why not propose an organised boycott of the referendum, spoilt ballot papers and all?
It would be a tactic for active intervention into the debate unhindered by the toxic associations of either camp, not a tactic of passive abstention.
Ed Mynott, Withington, Greater Manchester
No to cuts in the NHS
The Tory government promised to put an extra £8 billion into the NHS.
But the Tories didn’t tell us that hospitals were expected to make cuts of £22 billion in “efficiencies”.
Hospitals are having to make nasty, damaging cuts. The Whittington Hospital Board is discussing the implementation of £16 million of cuts to a range of services. This includes a £2 million cut to acute services.
Local people are not prepared to accept cuts to our hospital. We will launch a campaign to fight back and beat the cuts.
Shirley Franklin, Chair, Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition
Housing in London is hell
Earlier this month me and my partner began flat hunting to rent in London.
We viewed a one-bedroom former council owned duplex in a state of disrepair. The rent was £1,000 a month.
Then my partner viewed another ex-council flat in Finsbury. She was told to email the agent her age, employment status and salary. The flat would go to the those with the most money. We didn't get it.
The housing crisis is getting worse. In Berlin, rent controls have been introduced—if they can do it there, it can happen here.
Tom Kay, London
Jobs under threat
Swansea University is undermining union agreements to not make compulsory redundancies by introducing agency workers by stealth.
Cleaners in the Fulton House and Library building have been replaced with agency workers.
Older workers are being lined up to be forced out so management can introduce more lower paid, casual workers. The Unison union have objected but are not taking the matter seriously.
We need your help to protect our jobs!
Jessica Walker, by email
One rule for the Tories...
The Torridge area has the lowest average salaries in the country. Tory MP for Torridge and West Devon Geoffrey Cox has a parliamentary salary of £67,000.
Cox had a 60 percent attendance at parliament last year. In October a pregnant mother got a 60 day custodial sentence because her child didn’t attend school beyond the 60 percent that was managed.
To echo Marvin Gaye, “What’s going on?”
Dave Clinch, Plymouth
We must fight attacks on us
More cuts, more closures, more privatisation, more pay freezes, more benefit sanctions, more racism, more scapegoating!
It does not have to be like this. We can unite and fight back to smash the Tories and stop austerity. Not only can we—we must.
Josh Brown, Glasgow
Boris stitches up firefighters
Tory mayor of London Boris Johnson along with fire commissioner Ron Dobson have done over London firefighters by blocking the return of 13 engines.
They were taken by scabs to be used during the strikes.
Their decision comes after the FBU union agreed to terms to ensure their return to stations. It is a total disgrace.
Julie Ann, London
How to shame the bosses
Last Monday in Edinburgh legal firm Anderson Strathern was set to run a training session on “quick dismissals” and “encouraging resignations”.
At £90 plus VAT a head this was training on how to ruin lives cheaply and was over-subscribed.
Unite the Resistance decided to organise a protest outside to shame those attending.
The event has now been cancelled. Protest works.
Penny Gower, Edinburgh