Socialist Worker

LETTERS: Don’t frack with Glasgow as the SNP funds the gas conmen

Issue No. 2549

Anti-fracking protesters at Grangemouth oil refinery, home of fracking firm Ineos

Anti-fracking protesters at Grangemouth oil refinery, home of fracking firm Ineos (Pic: Josh Brown)


The Scottish National Party (SNP) government was forced into a moratorium on fracking following pressure from below, yet licences are already in place for fracking in working class housing estates in Glasgow.

A moratorium should mean halting fracking, even if on a temporary basis. But the SNP has been funding test-drilling in the central belt of Scotland.

Their fake moratorium applies to commercial operations—which were not happening anyway—but doesn’t apply to exploration, which continues.

The people of the Milton housing scheme in North Glasgow are discovering fracking might be coming to their doorsteps soon.

Years ago, before the moratorium, Glasgow’s planners opposed the granting of such licences in Milton because of the impact on the local community—but they were overruled.

Locals who saw first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s moratorium as a timely reprieve now feel conned.

In the forthcoming council elections on 4 May, the SNP is expected to win control of Glasgow.

The ruling Labour group has cut over £300 million from Glasgow’s services—cuts passed on to them by the SNP government.

That will concentrate a lot of the arguments taking place around the independence movement.

Opposition to fracking has become a big issue in the Canal council ward, which Milton is part of.

Neither Labour nor the SNP can be trusted to defend working people from Tory cuts or frackers like Ineos.

I’ve lived in the ward all my life. I’m standing for election as a Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate who vows to oppose all cuts—whether they come from the Tories, Labour or the SNP. And I will campaign to build the anti-fracking movement locally and globally.

Angela McCormick, Glasgow


Tampon tax funds anti-abortion group

The 5 percent “luxury item” tax on tampons has been in the news again recently.

The Tory government has refused to scrap the tax that brings in around £12 million a year.

This is an attack on all women, but affects the poorest the worst.

There are reports of young women missing school because they can’t afford sanitary items. Other reports say women are having to use newspaper and socks as replacements.

In 2017 women should not be experiencing period poverty.

Former chancellor George Osborne announced that the money from the tax will go to funding women’s charities. But this includes anti-abortion group Life, which is set to get £250,000.

Women are being taxed for their bodily functions, and the money is going to a group that wants to further limit choice.

Reproductive rights have been under attack for a long time, and this tax is funding it.

As socialists we must call for an end to the Tampon Tax, an end to period poverty, and an end to funding anti-choice groups such as Life.

Bekah Patrick, Colchester


Holidays aren’t for the poor, say killjoy judges

I’m dismayed at the Supreme Court’s decision not to allow parents to take their children out of school for family holidays.

Jon Platt had successfully won two court cases against a fine for taking his child out of school.

The Supreme Court ruled that the words of the law saying children must attend “regularly” meant “in accordance with the attendance rules”.

Really? Until 2013 headteachers could grant up to two weeks’ term-time holiday for pupils with good attendance.

Then the government changed that. Now parents will have to pay for expensive holidays or not have one at all.

It is particularly hard for those who have extended families or roots in other countries. If you’re going to Bangladesh or Jamaica it’s useful to have flexibility.

Holidays are fun and could be educational. Why shouldn’t we have them?

Gizem Uysal, East London


Lenin’s victory is not enough for Ecuador

The right wing in Ecuador is vicious, but the left spent ten years in office attacking its own base.

Left candidate Lenin Moreno won the recent presidential election, but his opponent Guillermo Lasso is contesting the result.

Right winger Lasso is one of the bankers who were behind Ecuador’s financial crisis in the late 1990s. Many people voted for Moreno to keep Lasso out.

But others are desperate for change after former left wing president Rafael Correa attacked workers and indigenous people, and presided over corruption.

Lasso even won the support of a few groups by promising to repeal some of Correa’s unpopular laws.

There is a lesson here for the left—if it attacks its own base it will pay the price.

Rafel Sanchis-Palop, East London


To the ‘lost generation’

I was born in 1992 and we were sold the dream that universities would be open to anyone and jobs readily available. The free market was ready to solve all our problems. Now they talk about a “lost generation”.

The government has condemned millions to casualised work and low pay. Unless we fight now, those who have sold our future will deflect blame onto Muslims and immigrants. We need to unite to smash this racist capitalist system.

Jack, Newcastle


Strike to save social care

The Tories have attacked the social care system through privatisation. Private companies will force through attack after attack on workers’ wages and conditions.

They will also cut back the service leading to abuse and neglect.

Strikes are needed to defend decent contracts and prevent the assault on pay and the service.

There has to be a challenge to privatisation.

Ayesha Saleem, Edinburgh


Bad korma for racist landlord

I hope the activists who confronted landlord Fergus Wilson took the cellophane off those curries before posting them through his letter box (Socialist Worker, 5 April).

Ginny Stanners, Putland


A big slice of solidarity

I Completely agree with Martin Empson’s letter on coeliac’s disease (Socialist Worker, 5 April).

While it’s possible to make your own gluten free bread, many people might not have the luxury of time and rely on the gluten free alternatives on prescription.

Being gluten free when you have coeliac disease isn’t a choice but a necessity and this policy limits access for those who need it the most.

Katherine Igidbashian, on Facebook


Tory fail of the month...

The Tory fail of the month award goes to Michael Howard for his remarks about Gibraltar. For once not even Boris Johnson, who can usually be relied on to say something stupid, comes close.

Of course, if the noble Lord Howard had a greater capacity for thinking things through he may well have urged Theresa May to send off a task force to Madrid.

I’m a bit surprised that Howard didn’t bring up the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Richard Purdie, Bradford


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