Socialist Worker

Letters

Issue No. 2468

Attack Yvette Cooper for her politics not her sex

The women candidates in the Labour leadership election don’t look like leadership material, according to Charles Moore, the right wing columnist in the Spectator. 

He wrote that Margaret Thatcher succeeded because most Tory MPs “fancied her”. 

The blatant sexism faced by Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall has not been confined to Tory journalists. 

Cooper has been accused by people in her rival candidate Andy Burnham’s campaign of being influenced by her husband, the former MP Ed Balls. 

As a female working in a male-dominated environment she certainly experiences sexism whether from within parliament or the media. 

Sexism should be called out whenever it occurs regardless of your position or class background. 

Suggesting she needed her husband’s “balls” of aggressive tactics, as if a women couldn’t play dirty all on her own, is a typical misogynistic narrative that needs to stop. 

While recognising the sexism Cooper experiences, I have no sympathy for her using the fact that she is female as the reason to support her.

We certainly do need more women leading in politics. Gender equality has a huge role to play in fighting for a better society. 

It would be great if 50 percent of MPs were female, and that more parties were led by women. But those changes alone won’t solve gender inequality under capitalism.

Cooper touts herself as being the strongest candidate to beat the left wing candidate Jeremy Corbyn.

She has set herself up as an ideal candidate for right wing Labour members to vote for. 

Looking for votes on the basis of gender suggests Cooper thinks voters are foolish enough to buy into the idea that gender matters more than politics. 

But what really matters is the need for some real opposition to Tory austerity plans that hit working class women the hardest. 

Kulsoom Mall Greenford

Peterloo massacre memorial

Bolton marchers walked into Manchester for a meeting last week ? just as they had done in 1819, when 60,000 rallied at the earliest campaign for universal suffrage in Britain.  

 This year’s annual commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre attracted hundreds. 

The names of the fifteen martyrs killed by the Yeomanry Guards in 1819 were read aloud.

And actor Maxine Peake read out the famous Peterloo massacre poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Masque of Anarchy.  

The campaign has pushed the Manchester City Council to erect a permanent memorial for the Peterloo Massacre.

Unfortunately, it will not be ready in time for the Tories to see when they hold their annual conference on the very site where a Tory magistrate ordered peaceful protesters to be attacked in 1819.

Mark Krantz Manchester 

The right attack Corbyn for listening to the masses

When they criticise Jeremy Corbyn for lack of credibility what they really mean is that he is pandering to the wants, wishes and desires of the masses.

They believe that we are a bundle of irrational emotions. We do not have the dispassionate intellectual rigor of the educated movers and shakers.

One question blows that out of the water-why did the 2007-2008 economic crisis happen? A question that makes the shakers quiver-they have no answer.

It was precisely why Karl Marx spent the latter half of his life buried in the British Library to lay the foundations for understanding capitalism and its contradictions - why it is the most creative and at the same time the most destructive system humans have devised.

Graham Hodgin West London

FDA approved 'female Viagra' drug for profit

The drug flibanserin, meant to improve women’s sex drive, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration last week. 

Sometimes described as “female Viagra” it is actually very different. It affects the brain’s chemistry like an anti-depressant and needs to be taken daily.

Flibanserin was denied approval twice before, due to concerns that it causes dizziness and nausea. 

According to a famous 1999 study, 43 percent of women sometimes experience loss of sexual desire. There are many reasons for this—not all treatable with a pill. 

The vocal campaign group Even the Score has argued that women should have the same access to medicines as men. 

Even the Score gets some of its funding from the pharmaceutical industry, who have shown little interest in addressing the causes of the problem.

Viagra makes more than £1 billion a year. Their interest is in finding new markets for their products.

Camilla Royle East London


South African activists cleared of attempted murder

We were arrested in February 2014 and charged with attempted murder during the platinum miners’ strike of 80,000 workers. That’s because we were shop stewards and leaders of the strike.

We spent 21 days in jail before being bailed. For over one and a half years we have had to report to a police station every Friday.

The Bofokeng Regional Court dismissed the case against us on Wednesday 19 August.

The prosecutor admitted that he had watched a video and had seen that the police “had acted improperly.” 

We always knew that this was a malicious prosecution to get rid of us as strike leaders.

We won the strike in Marikana and we won the case made against us.

We want to thank Socialist Worker newspaper for its support.

Makhanya Siphamandla, Jacob Khoza and Bheki Buthelezi Rustenburg, South Africa


Rulers use racism to divide us

Years ago I wrote a letter to Socialist Worker fretting that pro?migrant slogans might make it harder for us to get a hearing. I was wrong.

Anti-migrant racism is the most effective way to keep us divided. 

We have to take on the arguments and stand in solidarity with all looking for freer, better life.

I’m proud to buy and sell SW and be a member of the SWP, especially now.

Ben Drake York

Buffy Sainte-Marie should blame the warmongers

John Appleyard referred to Buffy Sainte-Marie, a singer I greatly admire (Letters, 22 August).

However, I have always felt that the song Universal Soldier blames individual soldiers for wars and atrocities, rather than those who cause them.

I prefer the late Phil Ochs, I Ain’t Marching Any More, where he blames the warmongers.

Dave Clinch Torrington

Why forget the Anti-Fascist Network?

It was very disappointing to read the report (Socialist Worker, 22 August) on the anti-fascist demo in Liverpool.

The Unite Against Fascism march had broad support, but what stopped the Nazis at Lime Street was the Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) mobilisation. 

If the Left is to make progress then you really can’t give an account of the day without saying hats off to the AFN.

Alan Gibbons Liverpool

Bluster from Brown busted

Gordon Brown declared socialism is “out of date”—the same genius who claimed he had fixed capitalism’s “boom-bust” cycle.

Sasha Simic London

Corbyn grants for a revolt?

Corbyn plans to give grants to working class people who wish to represent the Labour Party as MPs. We can use the money system to overthrow capitalism.

Alan Creswell-Laing Manchester


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.