Socialist Worker

LETTERS—Don’t stand apart or sneer at canvassing for Labour

Issue No. 2683

Getting the Labour vote out in Pudsey

Getting the Labour vote out in Pudsey (Pic: Momentum/Twitter)


I agree with your editorial that campaigners and canvassers should not see people just as “objects of a campaign to get them to vote” (WhatsApp to Victory? 20 November).

But many of us are in fact seeking encouraging people to see the need to “transform society for themselves”.

In campaigning on the streets for Labour, people I speak to understand the need to get more involved themselves, whatever the outcome of the election.

This approach has already led me to recruit 3 people to become union reps.

I think it’s a shame that Socialist Worker isn’t campaigning and canvassing for the Labour Party. There really isn’t any difference between saying vote Labour in your paper, putting a poster in your window or telling your friends to vote Labour, and campaigning with the Labour Party to tell your neighbours to vote Labour.

The latter allows the wider arguments about how to transform society to be heard much more.

Dave Jones

Brighton

  • Your editorial made the wrong criticisms of Momentum and jars with the rest of the paper.

Why scoff at bike-riding 20-30 somethings using their online skills to push forward the Labour election campaign? Of course canvassing is not enough, but for many it is an extension of their current political activity. For some it is a first taste of political activity and can lead them to become tomorrow’s broader activists.

There are criticisms of Momentum. One is its strategy of directing almost all resources away from safe Labour seats into marginals.

Whether Corbyn wins or loses, the battle for the future will depend on mass mobilisations and strikes by workers in Labour voting heartlands.

We know getting Corbyn elected will just be the start, but you don’t win people to the fight to come by sneering at them now.

Mike Simons

East London


Kick out Tories to save NHS

A couple of years ago I slipped and fell causing a hairline fracture in my right thigh bone. This was daytime.

I was taken to hospital where I was X-rayed then put on a trolley as there were no beds available.

And on that trolley I remained all night in incredible discomfort with merely a blanket, no pillow and no food.

A sandwich came eventually.

I kept being told all night that a bed would soon be free but none was available all night long.

This was a large hospital—the Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Staff do their best. But the closure of wards and loss of beds as well as staff make their job near impossible.

It’s time to get this rotten government out, as they are responsible for this crisis in our NHS.

A vote for Labour could reverse some of this horror.

Andy Coles

Manchester

  • I am a Staff Nurse in the NHS.

I have worked in the NHS since 1984.

I am so proud and passionate about our NHS—the jewel in our crown.

I also remember my lovely grandparents telling me what it was like before the NHS was created.

Please folks—don’t let the buffoon Boris Johnson send us back to those dark days.

Karen Scarrott

On Facebook


The EU will protect the big energy firm bosses

The European Union (EU) will stand in the way of Labour’s plans to renationalise large parts of the energy industry.

Labour’s manifesto set out plans to nationalise the National Grid, as well as the “supply arms” of the “Big Six” energy companies.

It’s a start—although they promise the bosses who own those companies a pay-off. Yet city law firm Clifford Chance said last week that the EU’s energy charter treaty demands those bosses get “fair compensation”—in other words, much more money.

That’s one reason why we’ve got to be prepared for a fight if Labour wins the general election.

But its also why its ridiculous for Jeremy Corbyn to say he’ll be neutral in a second referendum.

Elsie Garner

Grantham


Is your ­university complicit?

Universities in Britain have invested nearly half a billion pounds in companies that arm Israel or support Israeli settlements.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has compiled a database of 117 universities, and their £450 million worth of investments.

PSC released the database last Wednesday, when students held an “Apartheid Off Campus” day of action.

You can use the database to see if your university has any investments—and campaign to make them divest. The database is online at palestinecampaign.org/university-complicity-database

Kelley Conner

Carlisle


Lib Dems out to stop Labour

We just had a Liberal Democrat leaflet shoved through our letterbox.

It’s headlined “The only way to stop Labour”—in a marginally-held Tory constituency!

John Murphy

Stockport


How did Evo Morales rule?

The mainstream media might give the impression that Bolivia’s Evo Morales was a dictator in the mould of Joseph Stalin.

I visited Bolivia twice before Morales’ election and found a country where the vast majority of indigenous people lived in grinding poverty.

One policy Morales carried out was to measure oil pipelines.

Multinationals were massively under-declaring the length of pipelines to dodge tax—they were stealing from the people.

Is this the sort of society opponents of Morales prefer?

Ian France

Poitiers, France


Sturgeon is short-sighted

Nicola Sturgeon has contributed to giving credibility to the smears used to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.

But if Corbyn becomes prime minister with SNP support, they won’t be exempt from the fire that bosses and their media will direct at his government.

By feeding these attacks for short term electoral gains, Sturgeon is undermining all those fighting against Tory rule—and stocking up problems for the future.

Frank Mullholland

On Facebook


Remember Markievicz

Lots of people celebrated 100 years since Tory Nancy Aster was elected to parliament.

They called her the first female MP.

They conveniently forget Constance Markievicz—the revolutionary socialist and Irish republican, elected a year before.

She never took her seat as she refused to recognise British rule.

Alice Sanders

Inverness


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