The announcement of the general election is welcome news for anyone who is committed to challenging the racism and austerity we have suffered under the Tories.
It provides us a chance to get rid of this rotten government and elect a socialist prime minister in Jeremy Corbyn. But we can’t let the election cause us to stop fighting for two reasons.
Firstly, no one can predict an election and we can’t place all our hopes on getting the right result.
The stakes are too high. Whether in Grenfell Tower or in the back of a lorry in Essex, lives are lost every day because of this vicious government. We can’t afford to gamble—we need to fight and win now.
Secondly, in fighting now we will actually increase the chances of a Jeremy Corbyn victory.
I’m a postal worker and often have discussions with colleagues about support for Corbyn.
Those discussions are much easier now we are likely to strike.
Corbyn has already come out in support of us whereas the Tories put through the privatisation that threatened our jobs in the first place.
It’s much easier to show my fellow workers who really represents their interests when we are fighting. The Tories will try to make this election about Brexit to distract from the important issues that people face.
The more we fight the more we expose the real divisions in society and the more we allow Corbyn to show he’s on the right side.
- It’s great an election is now on but I can’t help but be worried about Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
Are hardcore Tory Brexiteers going to trust Boris Johnson to see the project through?
I’m worried the racist Brexit Party have the most to gain from the general election, but I hope I’m proven wrong.
Don’t trust the Tories’ health lies
People should not be taken in by the Tories’ talk of giving more money to the NHS.
Until 2010, the NHS budget used to have an average uplift of 4 percent a year.
But since the Tories got in, it’s only been 1 percent, which is not enough to even keep up with inflation.
So even if they did put more money into the NHS, it wouldn’t be enough to make up for the cutbacks.
And health secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS is not “up for grabs” to private companies last week. But that’s because even many of the Tories’ supporters are against selling off the NHS.
Their record shows they’re slowly fragmenting the health service.
GP in east London
- We need to completely get rid of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which totally opened up the NHS to privatisation.
Labour was saying it would keep the contracting out services, but make the NHS the “preferred bidder”.
But we want better, because we know contracting out will always means cutting corners and reducing staff conditions.
There was more money for the NHS under the Tony Blair years.
But that funding came hand in hand with an increase in privatisation, so money was being funnelled into putting out and running the contracts.
Health worker in Bristol
Tell your miners’ strike stories for a new film
We’re inviting former miners, their wives and families and anyone who supported them during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85 to come and speak on camera.
We want their favourite stories—sad, funny, inspiring, or anything they wish to share—from the time.
Filming will take place throughout the day on 7 December from 10am until 4pm.
And you can also browse the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) banner collection in the Miners’ Hall and see images from artist Darren Coffield’s Ashes and Diamonds exhibition.
Tea and coffee will be provided.
Unite union North East, Yorkshire and Humber region
Sat 7th December,10am–4pm
2 Huddersfield Road,
Barnsley S70 2LS
Contact Joe directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Reject a no-deal, but don’t support EU
We do not support a no-deal or any other kind of Tory Brexit, but
Sabby Sagall is wrong to argue that we should support remaining in the European Union (EU)
(Socialist Worker letters, 16 October).
A Remain vote would provide the Tories with an alibi to blame anything that happens subsequently on the decision to stay part of the EU.
Even mainstream economists believe that we are on the brink of new, possibly very deep recession triggered by company debt.
This would likely cause companies to go bust creating mass unemployment.
And we would see a doubling down on austerity whether we were in or out of the EU.
Imagine the response if there was a Remain vote and then a new recession created the kind of conditions that Remainers said would happen with a no-deal Brexit.
There would be a huge boost for the far right.
The only way we can defend our rights and working conditions is to fight for them, rather than relying on right wing EU governments to do it for us.
Brexit is real danger
Steve Wilkins is right to stress that workers always need to fight to protect their hard-won rights and conditions. However, this does not mean that they don’t also need legal protection.
The Tories and capitalists will always seek to overturn these rights and protections—the Grenfell fire tragedy would not have occurred if there had been strong legal protections—so it is better that governments and the EU support them than not.
There is no contradiction between the two. If there were, what would be point in having legal rights within English law, such as the minimum wage or health and safety legislation?
The Tories may well try to use a future Remain vote as an alibi to blame any economic problems on the decision to stay part of the EU. Whether this would wash is debatable.
A far greater danger, however, is that their Brexit deal will have a seriously adverse effect on working class wages and employment. Some 3 million jobs are linked to trade with the EU. And Britain receives £66 million of investment from EU countries daily.
However, there is a serious political risk that simply ignoring the referendum result will drive many working class Leave voters into the arms of the Tories, or worse, the Brexit party. It would be better to support Labour’s ‘soft Brexit’ position of Britain negotiating to remain in a new customs union, a close single market relationship and guarantees of rights and protections, followed by a second referendum, with that deal and Remain on the ballot.
Canning Town was bad idea
You are very wrong and mistaken to back the Extinction Rebellion protests at Canning Town Tube station (Socialist Worker, 23 October).
It’s unbelievable those claiming to be socialists would back people who disrupt ordinary working class people trying to get to work.
And to equate these protests with Tube strikes is ridiculous.
Striking Tube workers are taking industrial action for better working conditions. These protestors on the tube were mostly wealthy middle class people.
You will come across as alienating working class people with this attitude.
Break down British border
The Essex lorry deaths were the result of the British racism that ensures grim, ‘impermeable’ frontiers.
People traffickers are just the symptom of the dilemma that is British bigotry.
The answer is to smash down British borders.
Vietnam is to blame too
Socialist Worker is right in say that Tories have “blood on their hands” of the 39 people who died in a lorry last week.
Vietnam’s government should also take responsibility.
It has overseen a long economic boom going on over decades, while making no attempt to solve the pockets of extreme poverty.
Brexit debate is such a drag
The debate over Brexit has dragged on for ages and, in my opinion, it has turned people away from political debates and interests.
Whether Britain should remain or leave is not an argument over fighting for a socialist or just society.