Socialist Worker

LETTERS - People’s Vote isn’t left wing, but don’t dismiss marchers

Issue No. 2628

Part of the Peoples Vote march in London earlier this month

Part of the People's Vote march in London earlier this month (Pic: Tim Jokl/Flickr)


I shudder to think that I’m part of the same movement as Tory MPs, war criminals Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair and their like.

And I cringe when Remainers such as Labour peer Lord Adonis make patronising remarks about people who voted to leave.

So why did I join the People’s Vote march last Saturday alongside all the pro-European Union (EU) types?

Because the Leave side is worse.

Look who is leading it. They are not by any stretch of the imagination socialist, green, egalitarian or democratic. The Leave campaign leaders are disaster capitalists.

They want Britain to move away from pesky EU laws on tax, environment and workers’ rights—no matter how timid they are.

This is so they can live out their Thatcherite fantasy and gut our land, our society, and our lives.

They have all admitted their love of Thatcherism. They spent their formative years in Eton public school, Harvard University or the City of London.

The left is not leading the campaign against the EU.

Only one person has ever told me that they voted to leave the EU because it’s a neoconservative capitalist institution.

And he’s a mate of mine with the same left wing books on his shelves.

So I joined the People’s Vote march because the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

At least until Jeremy Corbyn gets into Downing Street, the other side can sod off.

Benn Jamieson, Ross-on-Wye


There were more than a few celebratory and dismissive comments on my Facebook timeline about the People’s Vote march.

At the risk of alienating all, I think both views are wrong.

The march was led by people who have no quarrel with capitalism.

They have no quarrel with a decade of austerity and no quarrel with a Fortress Europe which has claimed the lives of thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean.

But that wasn’t why a lot of the people marched.

The friends of mine who marched are the same people I’ve fought with against academies and racism and for trade union rights and the NHS.

It is a huge error to put faith in the European Union and dismiss the vast bulk of the Brexit vote as a grunt by the racist, reactionary, great unwashed.

What the Tories and New Labour did to public services, the trade union laws, fracking, racist scapegoating and privatisation all happened without any challenge from the EU.

Yes the Tories want to be worse—but it is an error to see the EU as a barrier to right wing, pro-business governments.

To those who marched to defend public services and stand against racism, I think you need to take that energy in a different direction.

We have to become our own bulwark to the bosses and their ilk in parliament.

We need anti-capitalist, anti-racist, pro-environment, pro-NHS, pro-equality movements in trade unions and on the streets.

A People’s Vote is the wrong strategy.

The real people’s vote should be a general election to kick this racist, ruling class Tory shambles out.

Doug Morgan, Birmingham


Racist Rod writes lies

Residents of Tower Hamlets were supposed to be thrilled by getting name-checked in Rod Liddle’s Sunday Times column last week.

The definitely non-racist pundit Liddle suggested that supporters of Anjem Choudary blow themselves up in our east London borough.

Left wing “snowflakes” like us readers of Socialist Worker might think that suggesting Muslims are blown up is racist.

But that’s because we don’t understand that Tower Hamlets is apparently already governed by the iron fist of Sharia law.

Surprising, isn’t it? Neither myself nor any of the 304,000 residents of Tower Hamlets realised we live in an “Islamic State”.

Bethan Turner, East London


Separated by the state

The Cage detainee rights organisation recently held a successful meeting in Birmingham to highlight how the state separates parents and children.

Separation takes place under the “Prevent” strategy, which targets Muslims for signs of “radicalisation”.

Cage is organising to open a branch in Birmingham to challenge Prevent authority and support local families

Mirfat Sulaiman, Birmingham


Scared of solidarity

I recently asked my Unison union branch officers if we could arrange solidarity visits from Birmingham home care strikers.

The response I got was, “We’ve just settled a new deal with care workers here and they might think they could do better if they meet with a load of strikers.”

Socialist Worker is always saying that union leaders won’t lead struggle unless they’re pushed.

I’ve never heard this proven so succinctly before.

A Unison member, Address provided


Good to see women fight

The strike for equal pay by council workers in Glasgow is brilliant—it shows the power of women!

Whizzy Wickinson, On Facebook


Remember Obama crimes

I read your article about the 8,000 migrants from Honduras in Central America marching on the US border (Socialist Worker, 24 October).

It should make all those Barack Obama fawners still out there think.

“The mainly Honduran migrants are fleeing violence and poverty which US foreign policy is largely responsible for,” said your article.

In 2009 the US-backed a coup in the country and installed a vicious regime that pushed through free market reforms. And that was carried out with Obama’s knowledge.

Fleck Fletcher, On Facebook


Ruling class predicts a riot

Former tory prime minister John Major said he feared the roll out of Universal Credit could spark riots (Socialist Worker, 24 October).

It’s good when the state fears the people, but bad when the people fear the state.

Militie Zonder Grenzen, On Facebook


Trump is part of the system

i was horrified to read that Donald Trump has threatened to build up the US’s nuclear arsenal as a warning to other countries.

And I was equally horrified by the response from some parts of the media.

One BBC journalist suggested that it’s just “the way that the president negotiates”.

Trump is particularly horrific.

But all establishment politicians and their hangers-on would be willing to risk our lives with threats of nuclear war to appear strong on the world stage.

Becky Sedley, Central London


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