Former Labour MP Tam Dalyell, who died last week, should be remembered as a principled opponent of the lies used to justify wars.
He resigned from Labour’s front bench due to its support for the Falklands War of 1982. He then hounded Margaret Thatcher for months over the sinking of the Argentine ship General Belgrano.
Dalyell helped to prove that the ship was sailing away from the Falklands when it was attacked by a British submarine, killing 323 people—most of them sea cadets.
They died so that Thatcher could halt a possible peace deal.
In 2003 I remember him coming to speak to an offsite Stop the War meeting at the hospital where I worked. It was brilliant to have a Labour MP come to talk to us about Tony Blair’s lies.
When he retired in 2005, Dalyell described Blair as “by far the worst” of the eight prime ministers he had known.
Dalyell was a long way from Socialist Worker’s views on many other issues. But his contempt for the secrecy and lies at the top of society should be celebrated.
Diana Swingler, East London
If the Tories had any sense they’d take the recent failed missile test as an opportunity to scrap Trident. You can’t call it a deterrent if everyone knows it doesn’t work.
We could plough the billions saved into the NHS, social housing, renationalising the railways, welfare and new infrastructure projects.
Instead they will most likely say this is why we need to renew it—and spin it to get even more public money for Trident.
Chris O’Neil, on Facebook
May knew of the misfire before MPs voted on Trident renewal—but kept this from them. Surely her position is no longer tenable.
Nick Browne, on Facebook
Is air we can breathe too much to expect?
In London last week we were told that the air is toxic and that we should stay indoors and “reduce activity”. That’s easy enough for someone who hasn’t got the stress of bills and rent, but for a lot of people it’s just not possible if we want to eat.
If the air is that toxic, everyone should be protected, not just those who can afford it.
It is a basic human right to have clean air and it’s outrageous that it is fast becoming a luxury! I feel worst for construction workers who have to do heavy labour outdoors.
How is it that in one of the richest countries in the world people are unable to get clean air?
It’s unacceptable, especially as the technology to do something about it exists.
Maybe if the government weren’t so keen on helping big businesses burn fossil fuels this problem would be fixed.
Jasmine Fischer, North London
Disability benefit cuts are a killer
I was subjected to the government’s test for the Pip disability benefit in 2015 after it replaced the DLA. Most of the money was stopped while I had a six-month fight against the Department for Work and Pensions.
Two neighbours with greenhouses were able to give me fruit and vegetables.
Some 1,651 people died at the hands of former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s policies—and they were not all suicides.
The way they assess disabilities is stacked against the mentally ill such as myself, and people with Asperger’s syndrome or autism.
If Tories were allowed to use workhouses, they would. Now Theresa May has made the world even more dangerous. We need mobilisation to stop them.
Amina Siegersen, Glasgow
Let's burst the bubble
The film La La Land has been so over-hyped that, having seen it, I feel cheated. Its biggest failing is the lack of any attempt to locate its story in a world the rest of us share.
It portrays life in a technicolour bubble. There, even the dead end job you take is a doddle, serving drinks to film stars with an understanding boss.
You own fabulous clothes and go to parties around swimming pools with unlimited food and drink. There’s no racism or police violence.
Everyone is beautiful with no money worries.
Some people will say a musical is necessarily a fantasy and we should just enjoy the escapism. But the best musicals contrasted their escapism with reality.
The Wizard of Oz starts and ends in the Dust Bowl. 42nd St showed women struggling to escape poverty with dreams of stardom.
Watch this film on TV in a year or two and don’t add to the studio’s vast profits.
Alex May, Liverpool
The rich are worthless
In your editorial on the disgusting inequality in our society (18 January), you state that, “eight men are worth as much as the poorest 50 percent”.
These eight men may have as much money as 3.5 billion people, but their “worth” is entirely debatable.
Maurice Whyte, by email
Back Corbyn, but critically
Jim Hutchinson (Letters, 25 January) says Socialist Worker is being unfair to Jeremy Corbyn.
But here in Kirklees the Labour council just threatened to use Tory anti-union laws to stop social workers striking.
The same council is cutting services and doing the Tories’ dirty work, all without a word of criticism from Corbyn.
We desperately hope Corbyn is successful.
But we can’t give up the right to criticise if Labour policies attack the working class. If we do, we disarm ourselves.
June and Martin Jones, Huddersfield
Don’t trust Tories on NHS
You report an NHS boss admitting “someone may die” because of new Tory cuts plans. It’s not really surprising, but it’s still yet another example of the government’s uncaring attitude.
Ian Williams, on Facebook
Workers have had their fill
I enjoyed reading about the Harrods boss sacked after the dispute over tips (Socialist Worker online).
Did she fall on her fork?
Richard Faulkner, on Facebook
Whose is the real freedom?
Freedom of movement is not, as Jacek Szymanski argues, a worker’s right (Letters, 25 January). It is a right for employers to obtain cheap labour.
Workers have the advantage of being able to move to a different country, but they have the disadvantage of not being able to get a job in their own country.
They may have to take worse pay and conditions due to an oversupply of labour. This is a real difficulty for workers.
John Bossano, on Facebook
Keep up the good work
I saw your stall outside Bolton College. I support your message—Trump is unbelievably awful.