Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2491

Fans score victory over football bosses' ticket price hikes

The backing down by Liverpool Football Club’s US owners over ticket prices is a welcome step in the right direction.

We hope this is the start of a process that will meet our request for 70 percent of fans paying £30 or less.

This is a fair price for a club in one of the most deprived areas of Britain.

Three years ago, the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ union called two mass meetings and asked supporters of every football club in England to attend.

At those meetings we said that fans from every club were being priced out.

Every person in the room knew someone who used to follow their club everywhere and no longer did.

To have any hope of changing this we had to stand together and fight together (Socialist Worker, 10 February).

That meant Liverpool fans had to stand with Everton and Manchester United. That Spurs had to stand with Arsenal.

After the meetings old enemies shook hands and new friendships were made.

Since then there have been joint protests by Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United, and City, and most other supporters.

Once upon a time they only spoke to each other via threats and shouts over barbed wire fences.

Soaring ticket prices mean there are fewer working class people in football stadiums.

This has led to a lack of atmosphere and the passionate crowds that those in charge of our clubs market the game on.

We will continue to work with supporters of all other clubs in the hope that football can be made affordable to all working people at every club.

Our ultimate aim is to see fan ownership at Liverpool Football Club.

If you’re a football supporter, you might hate your rival fans. But I promise you that you have far more in common with them than the people at the top who run your club.

Phil Rowan, Spirit of Shankly Management Committee

Greek workers need solidarity, not Syriza

Alex Galanos is wrong to argue that Greece’s Syriza government deserves solidarity (Letters, 10 February).

We don’t give solidarity to Syriza but to the working class people fighting against its austerity.

These are the people occupying schools and universities, saving lives in Lesvos, demonstrating against the Nazis of Golden Dawn and who made the general strike so successful.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras was always ready to “guarantee the continuity of the civil state”.

Syriza remained loyal to its principles—the principles of reformism.

The attempt to satisfy the profoundly different interests of workers, capitalists and European institutions led to it agreeing an austerity deal with its creditors.

Syriza’s U-turn was not an obligation towards any patronage but a result of its own contradictory nature.

Alexandra Kriti, Sheffield

How is blocking migrants progressive?

Alex Callinicos points out (Socialist Worker, 6 February) how national borders are reappearing across Europe with refugees as their main target. But something else is going on.

European Union (EU) leaders caved in to Tory David Cameron on migrant workers’ in-work benefits, saying there is “a problem”.

The new deal negotiated by Cameron outlines changes to EU law which roll back free movement.

EU law gives the family of an EU worker the right to live with their partner in Britain.

Under the new plan, many family members will now be forced to apply under stricter immigration rules.

EU leaders are joining Cameron’s attack on British citizens’ right to bring their families to Britain. This is increasingly used by people who cannot meet the £18,600 minimum income threshold for non-EU migrants set in 2012.

EU leaders are implementing Cameron’s proposal to treat people who do this as if they are evading Britain’s immigration rules.

Cameron’s deal will hit people across all 28 member states. He is being aided by the leading politicians of the EU.

True internationalism means exposing this rotten deal, not keeping quiet or pretending it is progressive.

Ed Mynott, Manchester

Stop the Nazis marching

Two weeks ago Swedish police detained three Poles who attacked a pro-refugees demo in Stockholm.

Last week police arrested 14 people armed with weapons who were preparing to attack a refugee centre in Nynashamm, 40 miles from Stockholm. Among them were Polish neo-Nazis.

Nazi groups from Poland have linked up with British fascists.

National Rebirth of Poland (NRP) was working closely with the British National Party (BNP). The basis of that cooperation was to whip up racism against non-white communities.

The decline of the BNP has led the NRP to abandon them and establish contact with fascist gangs of “Infidels”.

The North-West Infidels have called an anti-Muslim demo in Manchester on 27 February. A group of Polish Nazis calling themselves “Hooligans” is joining the rally. Their leaflets say “fuck Islam and Isis”.

Unite Against Fascism has called a counter demo in Manchester to block the Nazis. Polish anti-fascists are mobilising for it, preparing leaflets in Polish explaining why we need to stand up to fascism.

I am sure that Poles will turn up on our side of the barricades. The answer to the international hate of fascism is the international solidarity of workers.

Jacek Szymanski, London

Go to hell Albright

US politician Madeleine Albright said there was a “special place in hell” for women who don’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

I hope that there is a “special place in hell” for people who say—as Albright did—that the death of half a million Iraqi children is a price that’s “worth paying”, which is what Madeleine Albright said.

Sasha Simic, Hackney

New leader, same Labour?

Why aren’t Birmingham Labour politicians supporting sacked NUT union rep Simon O’Hara?

Nowt’s changed under Jeremy Corbyn. Labour are still a bunch of frauds.

Pip, on Twitter

It’s an interesting time for politics. The rise of Corbyn has shifted political debate to the left.

As socialists we must support him in his fight for reform.

But we should also continue the discussion on social democracy versus revolution.

Gabby Thorpe, West London

Support the junior docs

The Tories’ attacks on the junior doctors and student bursary is part of a growing assault on the NHS.

The campaigns must unite to save the NHS.

Sami, London South Bank University

To hold our doctors hostage to unfair terms and contracts is to disregard the health and safety of the public.

Jean, on Twitter

No help for abuse victims

Police should examine evidence and listen to victims of abuse rather than ignoring them.

They are too often dismissed as “promiscuous”. They need resources and help the Tories won’t provide.

The Tories don’t care. They don’t want the abuses of the rich and powerful to be reported.

Name provided, Swansea

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Article information

Tue 16 Feb 2016, 16:07 GMT
Issue No. 2491
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