Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2486

Tories, councils and bosses do nothing for flood victims

I’m a disabled pensioner at risk of pneumonia, and I’ve been living in the upstairs of a damp house since the floods on Boxing Day.

Even though our block backs onto the river we got no warning that it was about to flood. And I didn’t see anyone from the council for three days afterwards.

Only after I called did they send someone from the gas board round to check the gas was safe.

I’ve lost every single thing in my home—the fridge, the freezer, the three piece suite, everything. I’m just waiting for the van to come and take it away.

The government is offering people £500 compensation, but £500 is nothing.

I went to Curry’s electrical store and would have had to spend £3,500 for new stuff. All you see lately is their van making deliveries.

It’s the only shop for electrical goods people here can get to if they don’t have a car.

Everyone’s in the same boat, and Curry’s are making thousands out of them.

So I asked, what help are you giving flood victims? And they said, nothing. They wouldn’t even give a five percent discount.

From a giant corporation I think that’s disgusting.

I can’t fault the volunteers. They have been incredible.

Three men walked past my house and asked if I needed any help. They ended up coming in and tearing up my floor for me.

One woman brought around bacon sandwiches she’d made herself, another made a roast dinner for 25 people.

The other day we had Salford’s lord mayor and the police chief come round. I asked if they’d come to help, and they said no, we’ve come to look.

Local people have helped each other, while the council and the housing association have done jack.

Name provided, Lower Broughton, Salford

BDS activists get Orange Israel cut off

French phone company Orange has announced it is dumping an Israeli affiliate. This follows a campaign by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists.

Disgracefully Orange’s

Israeli affiliate will receive £37 million in compensation.

Orange Israel provided direct support to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) during the assault on Gaza in 2014 that killed 2,200 Palestinians.

It provided the IDF with a free service and the firm also sponsored a military unit that took part in the raid.

Orange is complicit in the violation of Palestinian rights through its direct investment and support for the occupation of Palestine.

But Orange will still retain a £11 million investment in Israel in an internet company.

After eight months of campaigning it’s good to mark the successes. It’s also vital that BDS campaigning continues.

Ayesha Saleem, Edinburgh

Why is losing 65,000 jobs not a crisis, SNP?

Scottish National Party (SNP) Aberdeenshire West MSP Dennis Robertson’s claim last week that “there is no crisis” in the North Sea oil and gas industry was almost imaginary.

Come on Mr Robertson, really? You’re out of touch. Do you want the meaning of crisis written out and read to you a couple of times?

Even the bosses’ Oil and Gas UK said in September last year that 65,000 jobs and £800 million had been slashed in a year.

Another £1.3 billion was to be cut this year. And it’s not profits that’ll be hurt.

Next time Robertson decides to deny the crisis offshore someone should remind him about the “jobs task force”. It was set up and extended “for the foreseeable future” by his own SNP Scottish government.

James Furie, Aberdeen

Nationalise this uncaring industry

Your article on the care home crisis was excellent and well researched (Socialist Worker, 9 January). No other national newspaper will print the truth about the labyrinth of private firms masquerading as caring organisations.

They treat older and disabled people no differently to chickens in battery farms. They want to squeeze maximum profit from the misery of being dependant on the state to meet basic human needs.

Seamus Monday, Waterford, Ireland

When I worked for a private care company some of the stuff I found myself doing went way beyond the call of duty.

There’s the cleaning up shit, washing and dressing, shopping, night sleeps and cooking. You have to drive around the community and the wear and tear on your car is not paid for by the company. On top of all that, the pay is poor.

Earning £6.50 an hour is not worth it when you consider that some supermarkets pay nearly

£9 an hour for stacking shelves. It’s no wonder you have people treated in this manner. It’s the same in any industry where wages are kept low.

Let us not forget that some people who work for these care firms have no job security and work on zero hours contracts. Holiday pay is naff, sick pay is naff.

The care industry needs to be nationalised. That will eliminate the majority of those sorts of bad care practices.

Subyatee Bertram, Nottingham

Support those we all rely on

Junior doctors have got my support. We must stand together as workers of the NHS, and the public who rely on these people when they are unwell.

Liz Sinar, on Facebook

Cameron doesn’t care

It is no use David Cameron coming up north for photo opportunities when thousands of homes have been swamped and people left without power.

He has slashed funding for flood defences and cut jobs at the Environment Agency and the fire service.

Locals volunteer their services to help in any way they can.

They don’t seek money, glory or fame—they do it because they care.

That’s something Cameron doesn’t understand.

John Appleyard, Liversedge, West Yorkshire

Big response for refugees

Just before the Christmas break Camden Unison union branch raised over £820 for Save the Children Syria Crisis and one of the charities in Calais helping refugees.

To maximise donations, we called on the council chief executive to mention it in his weekly blog to all staff. We also asked for permission to collect inside council buildings.

This coincided with the first Syrian families being resettled in Camden—it was a very positive experience.

Phoebe Watkins, Central London

A Chilcot afternoon

I think we should start using the word “Chilcot” in everyday use.

It means a period of time that never ends.

For example, you are in work on a Friday afternoon and all you are thinking about is getting the weekend underway.

It seems that time has almost stopped.

You could say “this afternoon is just like a Chilcot!”

Neil Terry, on Facebook

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Article information

Tue 12 Jan 2016, 16:46 GMT
Issue No. 2486
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