Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2466

Calais migrant crisis—why should we open the border?

Far more migrants head for Germany and Sweden. They dealt with nearly half of all asylum applications into the European Union (EU) last year. The migrants at Calais are a tiny fraction of the overall number—probably no more than 3,000 out of a total of well over 175,000 who have entered the EU so far this year.

France handles roughly double the amount of asylum requests than Britain. Last year, France received 62,735 applications, compared to Britain’s 31,745.

Mary McCuskerBarrhead


People leave their homes and risk their lives when they’re desperate. Britain helped create the murderous mess that is Middle Eastern politics at the moment. 

Scaremongering that the whole world will flock here just plays into the current media xenophobia. I would rather have migrants than any of the wealthy right wingers demonising them. 

As far as I’m concerned—and I’m not alone—they’re very welcome here!

Steve Campbell, Lyme Regis


It’s ridiculous to say “we can take many more migrants” (Socialist Worker, 8 August). Tell that to people on NHS waiting lists or parents who can’t get their children in the schools they want. 

I have the utmost sympathy for people fleeing countries for a better life.

But I want my tax contributions to go towards people and services in Britain not asylum seekers. 

It’s easy for people who don’t pay into in the tax system to spend regardless.

Michael Wray, Preston


Let the migrants in!

Its up to us already here to fight the Tories. 

We should fight to make all our lives better—not blame other poor people for crimes of the rich.

Angela McCormick, Glasgow


Not enough jobs and resources seems like a perfectly good reason to restrict immigration. 

Why have we got a housing crisis where this generation is priced out? What about our children and grandchildren?

We need to prioritise. I’m not saying it’s an easy choice. It is quite harsh, but that is reality.

Martin FlowersRugby


Socialist Worker ignores the fact that people are supposed to seek refuge in the closest safe country. We could set up a network with other countries to take a share of migrants.

Tracy on Facebook


Overcrowded classrooms and problems in the NHS aren’t caused by migrants. They’re caused by underfunding by the government.

The overwhelming majority of migrants gain employment as soon as it is possible. As soon as they do this they are contributing to our tax system. 

Actually as soon as they buy products and services they are paying tax through VAT.

If you want to get angry, look at how the rich use London housing as an investment, causing a temporary bubble.

Or the money being laundered through expensive housing. Or tax avoidance by the rich corporations.

The issue really isn’t with other poor people, especially when you consider the amount of financial aid businesses get from government—from your tax contributions.

Thomas StreetWalsall

PKK aren’t separatist

It was mistaken to refer to the Kurdish PKK party as “separatist” (Socialist Worker, 1 August). 

The PKK has long abandoned the objective of a separate Kurdish state.

It seeks to make peace with the Turkish state to agree to democratisation.

Inevitably, this project relies to some extent on US strategic interest. But the US defends the borders that divide the Kurds.

Revolutionary, political, community and class struggles are needed to win.

Paul Burnham, north London

What now in Greece? 

The Greek anti-austerity movement can only be rebuilt by combining renewed militancy with the socialist case for leaving the euro.

We say nationalise the banks under workers’ control. But what does it really mean? 

Do the banking unions agree? Are bank workers involved in the debate? Shouldn’t bank users be included?

What about the ship owners? They avoid taxes by sailing from foreign ports under foreign flags.

 Large land holdings are not properly taxed. Why is the largest land owner, the Orthodox Church, exempt from tax while the state pays priests’ salaries?

John Rose and George Paizis, east London

No need to sign up

Socialists should always defend Jeremy Corbyn against the right.

But I disagree with Chris Heggie when he says we have to sign up as Labour supporters to do that (Letters, 8 August). 

There are already calls for supporters to carry on campaigning inside Labour even after the leadership election.

The only way workers will change things is not through parliament, but through the struggles of working class people.

Blythe TaylorStoke-on-Trent

Corbyn first, strikes later

We need all-out strikes.  

But let’s hang on and get Jeremy Corbyn elected. We will have more power then.

Brenda Poole on Facebook


Capitalism can’t last

Capitalism is certainly on its last legs. An economic system based solely on constant and sustained growth through unlimited resource extraction, on a planet of limited resources, is obviously doomed to fail. 

A transition to a resource based economy is the only logical solution.

Daniel Western on Facebook


Wave goodbye to the hype

Kondratieff’s waves are real (Socialist Worker, 8 August). I teach them at York University.

But some of the hype, such as the argument that they stabilise capitalism, is rubbish. 

They are just another element of the instability that is the capitalist system.

Jon Fanning, York


Say ‘people’—not ‘migrants’

Stop using the term “migrants”.

They are human beings, or people if you like.

Frank Payne, Galway, Ireland


We’ve always fought racism

Great front page last week! 

Reminds me of a front page in 1976—“They’re welcome here”.

It was in response to a migration scare and the rise of the fascist National Front.

Bill Geddes on Facebook


Paper makes me proud 

Brilliant front page.

I’m proud to have been a member of the Socialist Workers Party before I moved.

Tony HorneMandurah, Australia

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Article information

Tue 11 Aug 2015, 18:00 BST
Issue No. 2466
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