Greek setback proves that parliament is not enough
Alex Galanos is wrong to say that the left must rely on parliament (Letters, 12 September).
That is precisely what the experience in Greece illustrates.
Left wing party Syriza was unable to end austerity despite having parliamentary power.
This is because under capitalism it is the bosses, not parliament, who are the real rulers.
This usually is hidden because governments do the bosses’ work.
But if a party is elected that intends to oppose their interests, this ruling class can force them to back down—by sabotaging the economy or even through violence.
However capitalism creates another powerful force, the working class.
Workers produce everything under capitalism, so without them the system cannot run.
This gives workers the ability to take on their bosses. Therefore it is the working class and its struggles that the left must look to defeat austerity.
It’s true that at some point you need to take political power.
But this means setting up a fundamentally different system based on workers’ control of the economy—not winning elections to the bosses’ parliament.
Bethan Turner, East London
I recently watched the TV election broadcast for Greece’s anti-capitalist left front Antarsya. It is simple and brilliant.
It shows a poker game where a young man has been dealt a terrible hand.
He decides to throw the table over rather than playing.
Without words or slick polish, this clearly shows the choice facing workers.
They can’t win unless they refuse to play the capitalists’ game. The lesson is, stop playing and overthrow the system to win. That means revolution.
Jenny Leow, South east London
There's no justice in murder by drone
David Cameron sent his drones to murder two so-called “terrorists” with his own brand of terror. Is this justice? Who for?
My kid brother Jason Creswell was killed in Iraq. But do I want those guys killed for killing him? No I don’t.
Where does it stop? Do we really have to live in a world of hatred and murder? How much more pain and exploitation do we need to see?
How do you sleep at night, Mr Cameron?
Alan Creswell-Laing, Manchester
I agree with much of what Socialist Worker says—hopefully that won’t get me thrown out of the Labour leadership vote.
But I disagree with your criticism of drone strikes against Isis supporters (Socialist Worker, 12 September).
These guys joined an army that is fighting our Kurdish comrades, not just various bourgeois forces. It has committed numerous atrocities and has an intensely reactionary agenda.
Its fighters are my class enemy, not my national enemy.
I have zero sympathy for them and no desire to see them brought in front of any court.
Jon Fanning, on Facebook
Tory solar cut is hitting jobs and the climate
I work in a call centre that sells solar panels commercially.
We are all on zero hour, self-employed contracts on the minimum wage with no sick pay or holiday pay.
We have to pay our own tax and national insurance and can be sacked with no redundancy pay.
But it is still a job.
Now the government is cutting the “Feed in Tariff” subsidy that makes solar electricity viable.
We have already been told by our bosses that they are pulling out of solar energy. They promise our jobs are safe—but we don’t trust them.
The Tories are going to wipe out a big chunk of the renewable energy industry and replace it with fracking and nuclear energy. These are heavily subsidised.
This is a question of jobs and the climate. The Tories are destroying both. Trade unions and the left need to work with those prepared to stand up and fight.
Tim Knight-Hughes, Norwich
Time we got rid of the queen
I was looking forward to lying in bed with the radio on last Wednesday morning. But no such luck!
It was full of nauseating drivel about the royal family.
These oppressive parasites are being paraded as paragons of virtue to whom we should all be grateful.
Instead of celebrating the queen’s longevity on the throne, let’s get rid of these royal leeches. This could certainly help refugees and the homeless—after all, the queen does have a fair few spare bedrooms!
June Jones, Huddersfield
Sara Khan apology
We published a letter on our website in September 2015 alleging that Sara Khan, the Director of Inspire, had been dropped from a recent speaking engagement at Plashet School in East Ham.
This was untrue and we apologise unreservedly to Ms Khan for making this allegation.
We want both sides to lose
In the coming vote on the European Union, we will either be voting for Fortress Britain or Fortress Europe. Surely the position of socialists should be “Neither London nor Brussels but International Socialism”.
Roger Wellman, Dorset
It’s wrong to criticise Cuba
Nick Howard’s criticism of Cuba (Letters, 18 August) reads more like a US agent or Tony Blair than a socialist.
Like Nick, I spent time in Cuba and spoke to many Cubans. Not one criticised Fidel Castro or Che Guevara. They praised the revolution as a nationwide effort.
Cuba is a shining example of socialism—despite being blockaded by the US for over 50 years. Stop sniping.
Name provided, Bolton
What about communism?
The stigma of Stalinism is still attached to communism in the public mind.
And of course, proponents of communism are keen to distance themselves from Stalin’s brutal regime.
This leaves a vacuum, as communists have little public support. How can they be brought in to the wider movement and have an impact?
Adam Kitcheman, West Yorkshire
It’s IDS who’s not ‘normal’
Iain Duncan Smith’s comments about “normal non-disabled people” explain a lot.
With such a bigoted view of disabled people it’s no wonder he keeps attacking us.
Nicola Denbigh, Dumfries
TUC is being yellow-bellied
The government clearly means war with its new anti-union law.
So it’s good to see the TUC bringing out the big guns to fight it—such as the Tories’ washed up ex-sidekick Vince Cable.
If we’re relying on Lib Dems to fight for us we really are in trouble.
Nicola Theakston, Shepton Mallet