Socialist Worker

LETTERS—Tackling crime means major change in economic system

Issue No. 2669

cops

Poverty and isolation are drivers of crime (Pic: Terry/Wikpedia)


Sadie Robinson (Socialist Worker, 21 August) accurately describes the way the Tory government is creating a climate of fear in order to bring in authoritarian policies.

She correctly identifies the poverty and isolation created by the capitalist system as being one of the major drivers behind crime.

Further proof of this can be found by looking at any local newspaper. Day after day pages are filled with stories about people who have been convicted for stealing food because they have been left destitute by harsh benefit sanctions.

An extra 20,000 police officers will do nothing to address the deep-seated social inequality stalking many communities, often driving desperate people to crime. The real answer is a radical rebalancing of the economic system in the interests of working people, their families and their communities.

Crime is present at some level in all societies.

But under a fairer, socialist, economic system its prevalence would be greatly reduced.

Where crime did still occur, it would be addressed through restorative justice delivered in the community with an emphasis on rehabilitation.

These are exactly the sort of approaches to dealing with crime that the Tories have consistently starved of funds.

Their preferred approach is to be “tough” on crime by putting more boots on the ground and, maybe, batons facing an angry populace.

Adam Colclough

Stoke-on-Trent

  • “Fear Cops not Crime’’ (Socialist Worker, 21 August) is not the emotion most people feel when they are victims of crime and these days they get angry when the police don’t turn up.

The police are not a homogenous mass. Most are ordinary human beings.

Socialists must strive to get all groups together and that includes the police and military.

Philip Chambers

Molesey


Labour has to mobilise students

A poll last week suggested support for Labour among students has dropped to its lowest level in four years.

Labour still has by far the biggest support. The survey found that 38 percent of those who are eligible and likely to vote would back Labour.

But that’s down from 70 percent in February last year.

The figures suggest a surge in support for Remain parties, such as the Liberal Democrats.

It’s another sign of the disastrous effect of Brexit dominating political life.

Labour hasn’t been active enough in pushing its excellent anti-austerity policies and mobilising students.

If there were real calls for students to be active against the Tories it would be much easier to win them to Labour’s vision,

It clearly is the best for young people and everyone else.

It’s incredible that the Lid Dems, who so shamefully betrayed over tuition fees, have regained some backing.

It doesn’t help that the Labour Students organisation is such a farce. There were just 507 eligible voters in its leadership elections this year.

Yet there are 30,000 who pay Labour’s student membership rate.

Young people were important in the 2017 general election and they will be again next time.

Labour has to mobilise students now.

Susan Rose

East London


The fires are burning in central Africa too

Over a period of two days recently Angola in central Africa had roughly three times more fires than Brazil.

There were 6,902 fires in Angola and 3,395 fires in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. For comparison there were 2,127 fires in Brazil.

What’s happening in the Amazon is horrendous, but it is not an isolated example.

Some of the African fires may be started by farmers. They cut down some of the vegetation and set fire to the rest in order to clear the land to plant crops.

The “slash and burn” technique can lead to deforestation, soil erosion and a loss of biodiversity.

But it is the cheapest way to clear land and the ash provides nutrients for future crops.

Capitalism both leads to global warming and creates poverty that leads to unsustainable practices. Both are deadly.

Hannah Williams

West London


How my local football club was buried

The football club I have supported since I was a child collapsed last week.

Bury FC disappeared after people who had considered buying it said there were “systemic failings” that made it too much of a risk.

With capitalist market-led priorities trumping all other considerations, other clubs could go the same way. Bolton only just survived last week when it was bought out.

Bury collapsed because of the ruinous financial processes of professional football.

Just nine months ago the club was sold for £1 to Steve Dale, a local building and property magnate.

Previously it had been owned by another businessman who lumbered the club with a ruinous mortgage.

For many people a football club is simply a business like any other.

Bury was reduced to an asset-stripped shell, sunk by debt and mortgaged to a company based in Malta via the British Virgin Islands.

The Premier League’s 20 clubs made record revenue of £4.8 billion over the 2017-18 season.

Yet there is not enough cash for a club like Bury to survive.

Capitalism invades every area of our lives, and distorts every sort of pleasure.

Margaret O’Reilly

Manchester


Time for us all to rise up

The people must rise to close London roads, form rings around parliament,and train stations.

This government is a lying stain on our history.

The unions and the people need to shut down the country to show this government they are not all powerful.

People have taken their own lives because of the hurt caused by this government.

People rise up.

Name and address supplied


Does the TUC have any role?

It couldn’t be a better time for the TUC union congress to meet.

There is the crisis over Boris Johnson suspending parliament. And there are actions planned over climate change.

But I can virtually guarantee that there will be virtually no concrete action by the TUC.

Is it still worth anything?

Andy Graham

On Facebook


Labour wrong on Scotland

i cheered when I heard that the Labour Party leaders were saying they would not block a second referendum on Scottish independence.

But then last week Jeremy Corbyn said that in the “formative years” of a Labour government he would prevent one.

Goodbye to loads more votes.

Malcolm Jenner

Paisley


Great response to the bigots

Before Manchester’s recent Pride festival, Alan Hancock hung a rainbow flag from a window in his house in Old Trafford.

Soon after he was subjected to homophobic abuse and threats of violence. He reported the incident on Facebook.

Alongside a huge online wave of support, a neighbour hung a flag from her window and put in an emergency order for more.

It ended with over 30 of his neighbours in Wellington Crescent hanging out rainbow flags in solidarity.

John Murphy

Stockport


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