Socialist Worker

LETTERS—The report’s lies that Britain is a ‘model of racial equality’

Issue No. 2749

Anti-racist protesters take to the street against Trumps state visit in 2017

Anti-racist protesters take to the street against Trumps state visit in 2017 (Pic: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr)


The long awaited Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report suggests “claims of institutional racism not borne out”.

But Britain is built on the back of racism, and that legacy continues.

Downing Street responded to the report saying Britain should be seen as a “model of racial equality”. Politicians are choosing to ignore the facts.

Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched. Legislation is being pushed to endanger and victimise Travellers, Gypsies and refugees.

Sewell report denies institutional racism to obscure how the system works
Sewell report denies institutional racism to obscure how the system works
  Read More

Cardiff police stand accused of several serious incidents and home secretary Priti Patel continues to whip up the hostile environment.

Yet one of the only things the report can suggest is the scrapping of the term Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (Bame).

The term is often criticised as problematic—too broad to describe the communities it is supposed to represent.

Although a critique of this term is valid, we mustn’t forget the term can also unify different communities experiencing oppression.

The year 2020 was hit by two pandemics—one of racism and one of health. Black and Asian people were disproportionately affected by both, this reflects the inequality in our society.

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on how we envision our society to be. We want to live in a society that is not under threat from the police or a violent state.

Change however does not come from parliament but is fought for in the streets. Every civil right was gained from protests.

The Black Lives Matter protests last summer were inspiring and made gains. It showed a small glimpse of what’s possible.

We need to continue to fight, and not allow a racist government to have a say on what is and isn’t racist.

That includes fighting the government’s Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill, which criminalises disruptive anti-racist protesters with hefty sentences.

We cannot allow this government to deny us a world without racism.

Suhella Ahmed
South London


Suez Canal was built with blood

The Suez Canal has been a vital part of global trade since opening in 1869. By allowing ships to reach the Mediterranean at a faster rate, it increased the profit margins for capitalists.

We are told that this feat of engineering was an achievement of the Suez Canal Company and clever capitalists.

Yet, behind its construction lies the Labour of an estimated 1.5 million workers, with tens of thousands estimated to have died.

The recent crisis of a stuck boat that blocked ships from passing through the canal has subsequently been solved by workers.

The ship Ever Given was finally re-floated last Monday after workers from salvage teams and tug boats dislodged the container ship from the bank.

The closure of the route was costing global trade around £5 billion a day!

Yet the wages of the workers who cleared the canal do not reflect the value of the reopening.

Rather, those workers have been exploited for their labour while capitalists reap the profits.

It wasn’t capitalist ingenuity that led to the creation of the canal, it was workers who laboured and needlessly died during its construction.

It was also workers who freed the Ever Green and kept profits flowing.

Workers should claim these achievements as their own and fight for a world that sees their true value.

Brian Claffey
East London


Working from home is not a day off for us

In an attempt to encourage the reopening of offices Boris Johnson comments that people “have had quite a few days off”.

Not only is the statement untrue for many, it dangerously ignores the scientific advice stating it’s still unsafe to return to workplaces.

Throughout the pandemic the Tories have shown a complete disregard for people’s mental wellbeing and this is no different.

Key workers have been working non-stop to support us throughout the pandemic, yet the government now turns its back.

Recommending that nurses and the other health workers receive a measly 1 percent pay rise is a disgrace.

So is telling them they should be grateful because no one else got an increase.

Finally the idea that people “have had quite a few days off” shows once again if we’re not making them money we’re not worth the Tories’ time.

Molly Docherty
Manchester


The rich will not solve climate change

A brilliant article in Socialist Worker (24 February) on Bill Gates’ book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. The title certainly raised my eyebrow to start with.

The people who are blind to the facts are the people who are blind to sexism, racism and violence.

I have recently received communications from Greenpeace, who I deeply respect, but beg to differ on some of their theories on future power solutions.

But at least that’s possible with a magnanimous organisation. I wish I could say the same for the consumerist sector of our society.

The same must be said for those who are not socialist—they should be deemed “anti-socialist”—which instantly shines a different light on their actions.

It makes you wish you could take this article and somehow, in real right wing manner, force it into the minds of the Conservative ivory tower brigade.

They really, as Socialist Worker says, know nothing of conservation, but we must try.

I have missed this political interaction, living out in the sticks, I’m off to grab my wallet and subscribe!

Top marks Socialist Worker.

Dave MacFarlane
Leven, Fife


Close Guantanamo

I love Socialist Worker for highlighting the issues in Guantanamo Bay. I stumbled across the film The Mauritanian and there’s a lot more to the story than the film shows.

Mohamedou Ould Salahi has called on US president Joe Biden to close Guantanamo. Will he even respond?

Ika
Oxfordshire


Now give up on Labour

Bristol’s “Labour” mayor Marvin Rees says that Kill The Bill protesters “have no strategy or connection to any real politics”.

That’s rich, he should look at his own “Labour Party”. It has no strategy other than supporting the Tories at key moments.

It has no connection to the politics of everyday life and struggle for ordinary people.

Alan Tremeer
Harrow


We can break the state

Civil disobedience works. The leading political parties need to stop treating people like slaves for the elite.

People need to fight much harder and break these political parties.

Paul
On Twitter


Schools are virus hot spots

A surge in coronavirus cases in schools was entirely predictable as they returned.

What is crucial is to know what effect this will have on hospitalisation, long Covid and deaths.

This will no doubt put the NHS in a worse place.

Robert Green
On Facebook


Parliament will not beat Tories

This government is using the virus as a power grab. Unfortunately Labour’s Keir Starmer is helping it, just like previous Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson did.

The Tories still aren’t being challenged. The fight is clearly outside parliament.

Matt
On Twitter


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