Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2494

Labour councils mustn't do the Tories' dirty work

Tory-run Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea councils are lobbying the government for more powers to move homeless people out of London.

Shamefully Labour councils, including Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Harrow are backing this lobbying.

The local authorities have written to the Commons communities and local government select committee to push for legal changes.

They want to make it easier to push homeless families out of their boroughs and to house people in the private rented sector.

These councils want to make it easier to do the government’s dirty work, forcing families out of their homes and communities, and stripping them of any remaining rights.

We know this social cleansing of our communities is already taking place, especially hitting young women, ethnic minorities and disabled people.

London councils report 1,653 placements outside the capital in 2014/15 compared to 637 in 2012/13.

There were 42,000 evictions last year, plus thousands more “no fault” evictions. This is taking place alongside soaring numbers of street homeless and crippling rents.

Millions of people are paying more than they can afford for an unsuitable, cramped and damp home offering no long-term security.

We need to change the law and create the council homes people need, not drive out communities to make way for speculators. The fight against the Housing and Planning Bill is about exactly this.

Labour councillors need to be encouraged not to collaborate with the government’s attacks on tenants, and instead join the fight to kill the Housing Bill and to secure homes for all.

Join the march for homes and against the Housing Bill on Sunday 13 March at 12 noon in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and demand your councillors come too.

Eileen Short, Defend Council Housing

Fast food workers organise

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed fast food workers’ struggle for “£10 an hour and a union”.

He was speaking at a 200-strong Bfawu bakers’ union fringe meeting at the Labour Youth conference in Scarborough earlier this month.

Corbyn stressed that current struggles are not just industrial, but about the kind of society we want to live in.

People are fed up of a society based on grotesque inequality, he said.

He said the Fast Food Rights campaign reminds him of our forefathers’ “heroic struggle”. Corbyn congratulated Hovis workers on their stand against zero-hours contracts. He said, ‘’The rights we have... were never handed on a plate by the wealthy and the powerful”.

Fast food workers from Glasgow, Scarborough, Hull and Oxford spoke of campaign successes.

Corbyn also called for internationalism in the trade union movement.

Bfawu president Ian Hodson renewed his call for a general strike.

He said, “To defend right to strike we need to use that right and strike.

“We want to bring this government down now, not wait until 2020.”

On 14 April, Bfawu members will join fast food workers across the world in a day of action against low pay and zero hours contracts.

Kim Hunter, Scarborough

Royal Navy workers in Scotland right to strike

We took unofficial strike action against management attempts to transfer six workers without consulting the union on Thursday last week (Socialist Worker, 26 February).

This has been a long time coming.

There is a culture of bullying and intimidation.

Not to tar everyone with the same brush, so to speak, but the management at Rosyth with Balfour Beatty are terrible at their job.

They move people at the drop of a hat, myself included, for no apparent reason.

The working conditions are poor and production supercedes safety.

I hope this changes conditions for the hundreds of employees at Rosyth, not just with Balfour Beatty but for all companies included.

Name provided, Rosyth

Election crisis for Irish elite

What a fitting way to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising to see Ireland’s establishment parties in crisis (Socialist Worker, 2 March).

The combined vote for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael barely reached 50 percent.

The left is now on a par with the Labour Party, which paid the price for propping up austerity. We should congratulate our comrades in Ireland.

When I was growing up in Ireland we looked abroad for inspiration.Today socialists across the world look to Ireland for that inspiration.

Paul Packham, Chesterfield

I don’t love EU, but...

Rejecting the European Union (EU) isn’t the same as leaving it.

Saying “I no longer love you (and I didn’t much like you to start with)” is not the same as “I want a divorce.”

There are still reasons to stay together. Think of the children...

Marjorie Caw, on Facebook

Given the options, I am not convinced that joining the Ukippers and Iain Duncan Smith to try and make a principled argument for leaving the EU will do us any good.

The EU has kept France and Germany from going to war for 70-plus years.

Andy Towle, on Facebook

Irish Labour gets punished

Ireland’s Labour Party has rightly suffered for joining a coalition to bring in austerity.

This is what happens to right wing Labourites. Will the British Labour Party learn the lesson?

Those supporting Jeremy Corbyn need to hammer home the message.

Jeff Hurford, Cardiff

We need a revolution

To live in a world without war we have to bring down the system and build a mass movement against warmongering rulers and Imperialism.

@EpochEternal, on Twitter

We need a revolution to galvanise people and to rid Britain of the Tories.

Patricia, on Twitter

There should be a general strike to get the Tory tossers out!

Sandra Noble, on Facebook

Trident is a dead end

the skills and jobs of workers employed on Trident would not be lost.Renewable jobs could be created.

The way forward is renewable energy, not missiles of destruction.

Brenda Poole, on Facebook

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Article information

Tue 8 Mar 2016, 17:38 GMT
Issue No. 2494
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