Socialist Worker

LETTERS: Getting paid less is an insult too far for us young people

Issue No. 2500

David Cameron, George Osborne, and the looks on their faces

David Cameron, George Osborne, and the looks on their faces (Pic: Number 10)

I still remember the look of self-satisfaction on George Osborne’s face when he announced his new “national living wage” to a raucous House of Commons.

This is a rebranded minimum wage of just £7.20 an hour—and it only applies to people 25 and over.

I stared incredulously, wondering what exactly there was to celebrate.

I’m under 25 trying to survive in London on £6.70 an hour. To me this was just another message from the Tories that young, working class people are a negligible concern.

They already saddled us with three times the student debt when they tripled tuition fees in 2012. Now they are robbing us of maintenance grants. Young people are leaving university with bleaker prospects than ever.

To exclude under 25s from a pay increase is adding insult to injury.

I am currently living with seven other people and working two jobs just to survive. But now people a few months older than me are being paid more for doing the exact same work.

In defence of those over 25, the 50p an hour more they get is the typical Tory approach of attempting to placate us with scraps from their banquet table.

Meanwhile they dodge taxes and continue their relentless attack on public services and ordinary people.

I can’t afford to both get public transport to go home and visit my family and to pay my heating bill on time. While I debated which one to pay, Osborne swanned off in his Jaguar after giving his announcement.

The Tories and their ilk have absolutely nothing in common with young, working class people.

Their pathetic attempt to feign an interest in some of our futures is just more smoke and mirrors.

These are politicians whose only concern is maintaining their own way of life and position of power.

Krystle Millward, London

Refugees fleeing war are shot in Calais

I’ve been teaching at the Darfur school in the refugee camp in Calais for three months.

Conditions are appalling and the CRS riot police are brutal.

I’ve personally witnessed the CRS taking selfies with burning shelters in the background and firing tear gas at women and children.

I have a man in my class who witnessed his family being murdered in Syria. He was seriously injured by a tear gas canister in Calais.

And an Afghan man was shot at point blank range with a CRS rubber bullet. It went straight into his liver. He wasn’t rioting—he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Those refugees who are seeking asylum in France are moved to smaller camps.

The authorities said they would be integrated, for example getting French lessons, but they are only fed.

I’ve seen very little of the truth in the British or French media.

Where can I go to make the world know what our governments are doing?

Stephen Hill, Calais, France

Tax tycoon grabs free school

The teachers’ NUT union in Islington, north London, has long opposed schools being privatised as academies and free schools.

So three years ago we campaigned against Whitehall Park free school being established.

Little did we know then that the joint owner of the company running it is an oil tycoon with a British Virgin Islands company set up by Mossack Fonseca.

He is caught up with a Malaysian fund now under investigation for money laundering.

Teachers want schools to be run for the benefit of students, not oil tycoons and tax-dodging financiers.

Ken Muller, joint secretary, Islington NUT

Labour is not Corbyn

If I could vote for Jeremy Corbyn directly, I would.

But he’s the left wing leader of a largely right wing party. Labour brought us 28-day detention, PFI schemes and a crackdown on migrants.

My local MP is the warmonger Hilary Benn. The councillors in our deprived inner city ward include a banker and a property baron.

The Green Party is far from perfect. It is too middle class, and supports the regressive and ineffectual sugar tax.

But at a local level, I suspect it is the best choice.

Labour would have to try much, much harder to win back my vote.

Richard Edwards, on Facebook

What about damage done by government, Crabb?

New work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb seems to have double standards about what constitutes damage.

The People’s Assembly held a protest outside his office calling for him to resign from his role as patron of learning disability charity Mencap. He’d voted for a £30 per person cut from the Employment Support Allowance benefit.

When someone sprayed “Y do you hate the sick” on the wall he was outraged enough to comment, “There are lots of ways to communicate to convey concerns but criminal damage just isn’t an option”.

What a pompous arse.

Some of us have been “communicating” concerns about the government’s attacks on all our class for quite some time.

Crabb can whinge about a bit of paint on his wall and call it damage—but taking money from disabled people’s livelihoods is apparently ok.

Juliet Richardson, Swansea

Turn Brexit into ‘Scexit’

To keep Britain in the European Union (EU), David Cameron will need support from Scotland, which is thought to be pro-EU.

SNP leaders Nicola Sturgeon has promised a new referendum on independence if Britain leaves the EU.

Supporters of Scottish independence should tactically vote Leave.

Many who voted No last time may vote Yes to in a new independence referendum to stay in the EU.

Sylvio Le Blanc, Montreal, Canada

Who profits from selloffs?

Iain Duncan Smith, George Osborne and many other MPs have shares in private health firms that will skyrocket if the NHS is privatised.

This is an indefensible conflict of interest.

Ang Wentworth, on Facebook

Is Cameron really guilty?

I’m not Cameron’s greatest fan. But he didn’t do anything wrong.

Susan Bruce, on Facebook

David Cameron is treating this country like a dead pig’s face.

Angela Clemson, on Twitter

Shove your EU booklet

When David Cameron’s £9 million pro-EU propaganda booklet lands on our doorsteps, it should be sent with a letter of complaint to the returning officer.

I’ll vote to stay in the EU, but it is not worth socialists falling out over when the ruling class is in such disarray.

Hugh Parsons, Swansea

Solidarity over Hillsborough

I applaud the tenacity and bravery of Hillsborough campaigners.

I thank them for the light they shed on media lies and police cover ups.

The 96 loved ones and the families of the 96 will never walk alone.

Den Carter, on Facebook



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Article information

Tue 19 Apr 2016, 17:43 BST
Issue No. 2500
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