Socialist Worker

LETTERS—Grouse shooting rule shows what the elite are about 

Issue No. 2723

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Setting up the shoot (Pic: Uncredited/Geograph.org.uk)


As if we need yet another example of how out of touch the Tories are, here we go again.  

Exempting grouse shooting and hunting from the new regulations which state no more than six people can meet is a bit of a push to say the least.  

I think most people understand the importance of sport when it comes to mental and physical health—but shooting the heads off innocent beasties? 

I am not a fan of bloodsports to begin with but this government of the rich pandering to their wealthy donors shows just where their priorities lie. 

The old boys’ club strikes again.

Disappointingly, the Scottish National Party has gone trotting along behind and agreed the exact same exemptions in Scotland.

I am on the side of the poor wee grouse who, like the working class, has to spend his time dodging wealthy bullets.  

Catriona McKay

Dundee 

Under the guise of a humble, quaint, tradition the hunting industry is nothing but. 

Every year water beds are drained and heather is burnt on a huge scale, releasing stored carbon in the underlying peat. 

If the Tories are serious about tackling climate change and becoming carbon neutral by 2050 they wouldn’t let this cruel practice take place.

The Conservative Party is proud to have links to blood sports, receiving huge donations from its advocates. 

This shooting loophole is a disaster for health.

Shooting clubs openly advocate travel across the country, in large groups crammed into 4x4 cars—potentially spreading the virus. 

Annually 700,000 grouse are shot, costing around £75 each to kill. It shows where the ruling classes priorities are. And the scapegoats are working class people attending a party, protest or picnic. 

Sam Ord

East London


The fight is on in schools

I’m a teacher and we’re fighting for safer conditions in schools. As part of the NEU Left, what we’re asking for is investment now. 

We need government funding for smaller class sizes, we want laptops and Wifi for all students and better testing facilities. 

Although as socialists we recognise the contradictory relationship the education system plays, we want schools open—but safely. 

Education is important for students and they need opportunities to socialise. 

Covid testing in my borough has been an absolute disaster—students are told to go home to self‑isolate and they’re not able to get tests or get results. 

As a union rep, I’ve got people coming to me now saying how nervous and scared they are.

And as a socialist I think the union needs to be very clear on when we move to “blended learning” outside the classroom. 

It’s great we’ve got a campaign, but at the moment it’s just rhetorical. 

In the United States, teachers have been balloting and striking—we have to be looking to that if we don’t get what we want. 

Maybe that means organising protests, and maybe it means organising strikes. 

It’s time to say we have economic power, and it’s not good enough just to repeat slogans, we need action as well.

Emma Davis

East London 


Unite climate fight with other struggles

Yet again governments are failing to act on the climate emergency.

A new United Nations report shows none of the targets agreed in 2010 have been met. 

These targets, designed to halt biodiversity loss and the destruction of wildlife and ecosystems, were agreed by 200 countries.

Some 1 in 4 species remain under threat of extinction and rising temperatures mean this year is on track to be the hottest year on record.

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen Extinction Rebellion return to the streets. It has worked with anti-racist and LGBT+ campaigners to demand climate justice, drawing out arguments around colonialism, racism and the refugee crisis. 

We must forge these connections with wider struggles to strengthen the resistance against the system which puts profit before the planet.

Blythe Taylor

Stoke on Trent


We should expose nuclear energy myths

Hitachi’s decision to pull out of the North Wales nuclear power plant at Wylfa must be welcomed. 

Falling renewable energy costs, wider possibilities of societal de-carbonisation, and the long term problems of nuclear energy and waste made the entire project environmentally irrational. 

In Wales, the decision avoids another scenario where economic deprivation is used as an excuse to push through harmful development on the basis of “jobs”. 

Developers have been blackmailing communities for decades with the promise of employment. 

But this is a cover and a euphemism for corporate profit.  

Our demands for employment and de‑carbonised energy are consistent and achievable. 

North Wales holds enormous potential for a dynamic renewable energy industry. 

Tidal, wind, and solar options need to be enhanced.

They should be developed with sensitivity towards biodiversity and the carbon-sinking habitats of upland and coastal shelf ecosystems. 

Only then will Wales go a long way towards turning the words of its Wellbeing of Future Generations Act into deeds. Da iawn (well done)!  

Ian Rappel

Talgarth, Powys


Sex work debate

Your piece on OnlyFans (Socialist Worker, 13 September) is drenched in moralism. 

It implies that sex is something extra sacred and that it’s bad to have an OnlyFans account and see it as a source of income because you are participating in something bad.

Yes capitalism taints everything we do. No shit. Sex work is work. It’s not in itself an act of rebellion or fighting the system that’s true of so many other things we do on a daily basis. 

Maximilian Pogrzeba

On Facebook

If I criticise the business model of Deliveroo that doesn’t mean I’m demonising the riders. Criticising the business model of OnlyFans doesn’t mean you’re demonising sex workers. Nothing in the Socialist Worker article attacks sex workers. Why shouldn’t sex industry bosses be subject to the same criticism we’d make about bosses in any other industry?

Bethan Turner

On Facebook


NHS rules are right

I read your article on restrictions on pregnancy care during the pandemic, (Socialist Worker, 11 September).

Yes the other rules about pubs are hypocritical, but that’s the useless Tories for you. The less people in hospitals who don’t need to be there helps protects the wider NHS family. I’m a nurse, and I support the ban. If we lift it for maternity we can’t impose it for any other specialities.

It’s all or nothing. It’s tough but its right.

Sarah London

On Facebook


Cliff was correct 

At least 20 years ago, I listened to a talk by Tony Cliff. 

I can’t remember the title of the meeting but one comment struck me and has stayed with me ever since. He said, “We are living in a period of time that is similar to the 1920s and 30s but in slow motion”. 

I feel that now the film has sped up somewhat.

Duncan Melville

Lisbon, Portugal 


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