Socialist Worker

Letters—Orgreave justice campaign says keep the pressure on

Issue No. 2521

Jeremy Corbyn joins the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign outside parliament

Jeremy Corbyn joins the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign outside parliament (Pic: Guy Smallman)


I was among the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign members who met home secretary Amber Rudd in parliament last week.

We got a date by which Rudd will tell us whether she’s going to launch a public inquiry into Orgreave. We will know by the end of October.

This is good news—but now we need to keep the pressure on.

What happened at Orgreave was serious and unprecedented. Police attacked miners picketing the Orgreave coking plant in Sheffield during the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.

Today we still see police using kettling, excessive force and mass arrests. We still see the media backing up the police version of events.

They seriously injured countless pickets then falsely arrested them. Junior officers have said parts of their witness statements were dictated to them by senior officers.

But there was an orchestrated attempt to hide the truth, and distorted media coverage backed up the police.

Despite evidence of assault and falsification of evidence no police officer has been held accountable.

The trial of miners who were wrongly prosecuted collapsed—but there was no public inquiry into how and why that happened.

Orgreave has had a long-lasting impact. Many miners still suffer physical and psychiatric injuries. But the impact goes much wider.

Disaster

Five years later South Yorkshire Police used similar tactics to smear Liverpool fans after the Hillsborough disaster. Today we still see police using kettling, excessive force and mass arrests. We still see the media backing up the police version of events.

There must be a public inquiry into Orgreave. I don’t think there’s any wriggle room for them anymore.

We ask supporters to tweet and email Amber Rudd demanding a public inquiry. Write to your MP and get them to do the same.

Follow us on social media and publicise the campaign to everyone you know.

Miners are still waiting for truth and justice 32 years on. Please be part of the campaign to make sure they get it.

Joe Rollin

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

For more information see otjc.org.uk

Education for the few

The Tories have made themselves vulnerable with their new pronouncements on education reform.

The move to reintroduce grammar schools and, despite their protestations, secondary moderns is a dramatic attempt to appeal to the core of Tory membership.

Theresa May talks of “practical steps not dogma” and of “freeing up the school system to work for everyone.”

Her rhetoric is of “supporting individual talents” and “maximising social mobility to create a great meritocracy.”

Yet the dogma and mystification is there and plain for all to see.

Testing and class division at 11 ultimately “raises standards” for 15 percent of young people at the expense of most in society.

Class

Talk of “what parents want” is simply about what middle and upper class parents want.

Grammars were abolished and replaced by local, comprehensive, community schools.

This social model of education saw student-centred learning and an active model of enquiry become the aspiration and the educational norm.

The “meritocracy” in May’s system, with its trickle-down suggestions, means exclusion for most.

Teachers, doctors and rail workers should come together and fight for public provision, public infrastructure and the public good.

If they did, it could sweep the weak and divided Tories away.

John Clossick

South London


We can finish off the Tories’ Housing Act

Growing opposition to the government’s attacks on tenants and housing is hitting home.

Council leaders, including Conservatives, in the Local Government Association, have publicly attacked central parts of the Housing and Planning Act.

A summit of tenants, trade unions, councillors and housing campaigners on 22 October is attracting lots of interest.

In a speech at a property developers’ conference housing minister Gavin Barwell backed off from the fairytale that everyone can buy their own home.

Instead he wants to promote more private renting, a very lucrative business for landlords.

Where we’re organised, we can jump on every sniff of weakness and splits—even if they are between big developers and private landlords.

We need active resistance to beat this—and to make a reality of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s promise to build 500,000 new council homes.

Eileen Short

Defend Council Housing

For more information go to http://bit.ly/1VyAZL8?


Who can represent the workers? Not a boss

The government has appointed a former company director as the voice of workers on the board of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Susan Johnson has been chief executive or director at various big firms.

She was chief executive of the Northern Business Forum.

The HSE was originally set up to encourage “social partnership” and to try to remove class conflict from occupational health and safety.

Now the Tories have abandoned any pretence of listening to workers.

There is only one TUC representative left.

The HSE has been cut by 45 percent, and health and safety regulation has been undermined. Unions must fight for workers’ rights.

If the Tories want a fight, let’s give them one.

Simon Hester

North London


Expel donor over Nazi jibe

So sorry to hear Michael Foster, who compared Jeremy Corbyn supporters to Nazi stormtroopers, has been suspended from the Labour Party.

I was hoping he would be expelled.

He was the Labour candidate for Camborne & Redruth at the last election.

He was more interested in telling people how many

so-called celebrities he was friends with. A totally useless individual.

Mike Archer

Camborne, Cornwall


A Lammy to the slaughter

David Lammy graced Haringey Sixth Form College on Friday of last week. He told us how proud he is of his four storey house.

I asked why he wasn’t publicly backing Jeremy Corbyn. Lammy replied, “He’s from Islington” and, “He didn’t grow up with a single mother!”

Lammy went on, “I won’t have a white man who went to grammar school controlling what I think.”

But both Lammy and Corbyn went to grammar school on a scholarship.

Andriana Sotiris

North London


Racist media behind attack

The media that deplores the brutal racist attack on a pregnant woman in Bletchley (see pages 10&11) daily pumps out poisonous, anti-immigrant propaganda.

Britain’s racist media has blood on its hands.

Editors of right wing papers should be charged with incitement of race hatred.

Sasha Simic

North London


Tidings of joy and class war

Theresa May says she wants to defend British traditions like Christmas.

We should defend the tradition of working class militancy.

The junior doctors strikes could shake this government. And we’d all enjoy Christmas a little more if the Tories were on the back foot!

Blythe Taylor

Stoke-on-Trent


Article information

Letters
Fri 16 Sep 2016, 17:13 BST
Issue No. 2521
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