Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2796

Letters: Can the Royals descend any further into corruption?

Andrew will avoid a court case over accusations of sexual abuse and rape
Issue 2796
Royals Prince Andrew in Navy dress uniform

Will Andrew’s actions hit the Royals’ popularity? (Pic: Royal Navy Media Archive)

Prince Charles is going to lend prince Andrew millions of pounds so he can avoid a court case over accusations of sexual abuse and rape. Money that has been channelled to the royals from the taxes of ordinary people will go to keep Andrew clear of the justice he so richly deserves to face.

He reached an out of court settlement with Virginia Roberts Giuffre last month. It meant he no longer faced a jury trial on claims that he sexually abused and raped her on three separate occasions. The deal is for more than £12 million, including £2 million to a sex trafficking charity paid by the queen.

I don’t blame Giuffre for agreeing this deal. She must have faced the most horrendous pressure, and I’m sure we can all make our own judgment on what has happened.

Who agrees to hand over £12 million to someone they claim not to remember meeting at all unless there is something to hide? It will all add to discredit the royals, and I’m pleased about that.

When the queen goes, her successor will be up to his neck in the horrible events surrounding Andrew. It won’t be mentioned among the confected celebrations and the media’s loyal offerings.

But millions of people will know that the whole institution is rotten to the core.  There is a very subversive and very welcome process running through British society.

Although it has been diverted by the war in Ukraine, we should remember that Boris Johnson was at historic lows after the revelations about Westminster parties during lockdown.  Let’s hope Johnson’s recent recovery is only temporary and will be quickly reversed.

And again and again we’re reminded of the sexism and racism that is deep inside the police service. Roll on the day when the royals are no longer there to reign over us, and we beat the establishment.

Tessa Macgregor Peterborough


Hypocrisy over rights for women

On International Women’s Day last week, social media was awash with posts applauding women.

The government joined in, with a caption on Instagram boasting of its own “record of empowering women to fulfil their potential”. Yet on the same day, it rejected a petition calling for a review of crippling childcare costs, one of the greatest barriers to gender equality.

The 140,000 petition signatories received an email from the Department for Education stating that it had been “collectively concluded that a formal review is not needed”.

While elsewhere, free and subsidised places are the norm, childcare costs in Britain are the third‑highest globally.  Nationally, childcare costs £12,376 per year. The best price I could find for our daughter to attend nursery is over £16,000 a year in London. Such costs means hundreds of thousands cannot afford to work.

The Scottish Widows firm recently published findings that time out of the workplace and part-time hours mean women need to work on average 37 years longer to receive the same pension pot as men

Disgracefully—but not unsurprisingly—many reports also find that more families are forced to rely on food banks because of childcare costs.  We deserve better than empty words and performative Instagram posts.

Rena Niamh Smith South London


Look at the real record of welcoming refugees

Bob Geldof is right to criticise the hypocrisy of the Tories who pretend to care about Ukrainian refugees while using visas to block them in practice.  But he’s completely wrong when he says that Britain immediately welcomed 70,000 Jewish refugees before the Second World War.

When the Nazis took over Austria in March 1938, the Tory government introduced visa restrictions where none had existed before to prevent Jews fleeing to safety here.

The British prime minster said in private, “I don’t care a damn about the Jews.” Around 600,000 visa applications were received so the 70,000 taken was a tiny fraction of the total. Imperialists are never humanitarians. It’s all about political calculation.

Donny Gluckstein Edinburgh


How to end the era of the private car?

Some climate activists have organised to deflate the tyres of SUVs such as Range Rovers in a bid to force the end of these gas-guzzling climate destroyers. Their actions, seized upon by the right-wing climate-denying press to discredit the movement, won’t work on their own.

With at least 10 million SUVs on Britain’s roads, our energy must be better spent. Undoubtedly the era of the private car must come to an end if we are to stop climate collapse. And the scale of the task of reducing global-heating gases, including CO2, is massive.

We have to win the support of ordinary working people concerned about climate change but deeply stressed by the day to day housing crises of welfare, health, and debt.

What we need is mass action for systemic change. At this time of war and austerity, we need to build protests of hundreds of thousands, targeted at the fossil fuel and banking executives alongside their tame politicians.

Ensuring big protests on the 25 March school strike, with Extinction Rebellion from 9 April and building trade union action for green climate jobs is the way forward.

Tony Staunton Plymouth


Racism behind refugee issue

I support the right of all Ukrainian refugees to come to Britain without visas or other paperwork.

But I can’t help feeling that there has been a lot less outrage about the barbaric treatment of refugees from other conflicts. The difference is racism, I’m afraid.

Satish Sachdeva West London

Johnson and the oligarchs

Boris Johnson was apparently warned against associating with the Lebedevs by British intelligence when he was foreign secretary. He chose to ignore this advice because it would have interfered with his partying and free flights on private jets.

What is astonishing is that far from being satire, this seems to be literally true.

John Newsinger Brighton

Who won the Barts victory?

I note that the Unison union is claiming the credit after the decision by Barts Health NHS Trust to take previously outsourced staff back into NHS employment. Its statement neglects to mention the tremendous two-week strike by Unite union members (Socialist Worker, 9 March).

This must have been a decisive factor—but Unison did not back a strike. Struggle matters more than negotiations.

Gill Pannder East London

Foul revenge on Bangladesh

The Lithuanian government has cancelled a shipment of 440,000 Covid vaccines to Bangladesh. It’s because Bangladesh’s government abstained on a United Nations vote condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. What a horrendous revenge. Ordinary people will suffer illness and death. A quarter of Bangladesh’s population have received no vaccinations at all.

This is the politics of bullying backed by imperialism.

 Tracy Woodward Bristol

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance
One-off