Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2489

We helped the flood victims that our council abandoned

I live in West Northumberland and helped found Tynedale Flood Appeal to help flood victims.

The floods have caused devastation. Some places here have been flooded four times since December.

Many people have had to live upstairs in their homes because of the damage. Others had to leave and a lot are still not home.

People have been told it will be at least October before their homes are habitable again. That’s nearly a year out of their lives.

But we’ve been overloaded with support. We had to stop accepting donations because we had so much stuff.

For the first two weeks in December we were running around like headless chickens collecting things and delivering them to people.

We try and make sure people are clean and safe, and take basics such as a kettle, a toaster, cutlery and cleaning materials.

Different support groups are in contact with each other now. If a group has something another needs then we swap things.

The council has done some PR exercises but there’s not enough support for people. People are very angry. They feel abandoned.

There needs to be a plan of action because we know this will happen again and climate change means it will get worse.

But we’re filling the gap for the council.

One couple in their 70s were living in a bungalow and it was completely trashed by the floods.

When we turned up with things for them they were sharing a fork. They just burst into tears when they saw we’d brought them things.

Many people have been badly affected by shock. People are upset and very anxious.

We need to keep the issue in the media to put pressure on councillors. They should stop sitting in meetings and get off their arses.

Gail Ward, Tynedale Flood Appeal

Bernie Sanders can make a difference

I think that Bernie Sanders is a great man and am praying that he is elected (Socialist Worker, 30 January).

I am 66 years old and retired on social security.

It isn’t much so I moved to Mexico as it is cheaper to live here. I hope that Bernie Sanders, if elected, will help the Latino population who are undocumented.

To get real change, policies need to pass through Congress. And as long as the Republicans are in Congress they will vote the way their funders want them to, not how the American people do.

But Bernie Sanders is a start in the right direction. The Democrats are a lot better than the Republicans.

Before the election for president there are four Supreme Court judges retiring. If a Republican puts one in, there is no telling what we will get.

We have to have a Democrat in the White House.

Bob Drews, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Mohammed Faisal Abu Sakha needs your help

I wanted to let readers know about the campaign to defend Mohammed Faisal Abu Sakha.

Mohammed was arrested last year and is being held without charge in Israel.

Nearly 12,000 people have signed a petition demanding his release.

Mohammed was arrested aged 18—and told it was because he’d previously been seen throwing a stone when he was 14.

He was kept in solitary confinement.

His case has captured attention because Mohammed is with the Palestinian Circus School.

Most of the people in Israeli prisons don’t have a lot of media attention. But his arrest has sparked international outrage and can shed light on the reality of the Israeli state.

Supporters plan to hold a big demonstration in solidarity with Mohammed in London next month.

Please support the campaign and sign the petition at and contact the campaign at [email protected]

Name and address provided

Our union will take on Prevent

At an EIS union council meeting last month we unanimously passed a policy against the Prevent strategy.

The fact that it passed with no opposition shows the potential to resist.

Prevent is part of the Tories’ attack on Muslims.

EIS will now have a “campaign of rejection against any attempt to make training in the Prevent scheme mandatory for all teachers and lecturers”.

To argue for a boycott, we would need a ballot of members because the anti-Muslim strategy is part of performance.

But this will give us an opportunity to take the argument into the colleges.

Penny Gower, EIS council (personal capacity)

Why block Momentum?

In Wales we seem to face the same division in Momentum as you reported last week (Socialist Worker, 30 January).

Some want a caucus of Labour members. Others want a broader movement involving all those inspired by Jeremy Corbyn.

Yet Labour Grassroots already functions as a caucus and could grow.

Why does it feel the need to try and stop Momentum from developing a wider movement, which seems to be its policy at present?

Jeff Hurford, Cardiff

Goldsmith is threat to poor

The London Mayoral election has two serious contenders—Labour’s Sadiq Khan or vile Tory Zac Goldsmith.

A Goldsmith mayoralty would help the campaign to socially cleanse London of workers and the poor.

Peter Cole, Suffolk

The Daily Mail is a disgrace

The Daily Mail is trying to undermine support for helping refugee children by claiming they are in fact adults.

It has sunk to a new low.

Lyndsey Stevens, South London

Tories lost the Miners’ Strike

There’s been a lot of debate about the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike recently.

I think in a sense the miners won the strike. The Tories wanted to break the spirit of the working class. They failed.

Will Counsel, Peterborough

Don’t listen to Neil Kinnock

Neil Kinnock has said Jeremy Corbyn might need to step down if he fails to “connect with the electorate”.

This is the same Kinnock who lost two elections for Labour.

Natalie Greenwood, Sheffield

Thinly-veiled Islamophobia

Reports last week said schools could be marked down by Ofsted if students wear the veil.

But the veil is hardly worn in schools at all. This is just more racism aimed at making Muslims feel under threat.

Lauren Reed, Bristol

Football? The Sky’s the limit

Sky Tv is forcing Championship football clubs to move the day and time of their matches to better fit their scheduling.

Now fewer fans can get to away games. Sky is killing the game.

Yasmeen, East London

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Article information

Tue 2 Feb 2016, 16:30 GMT
Issue No. 2489
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