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Letters—Fuel crisis chaos is another consequence of capitalism

Issue 2774
Drivers have queued at petrol stations for hours in order to fill their vehicles.
Drivers have queued at petrol stations for hours in order to fill their vehicles. (Pic: Brianna Laugher/Flickr)

As usual, crises created by capitalism hurt those who are most vulnerable in society. This is highlighted at the moment by the gas and fuel crisis in Britain.

Some environmentalists applaud this crisis for making people think about the role of cars in society.

But we must remember that, for the time being, cars are essential to some workers if they wish to earn a living.

Many workers are on poor wages, living paycheck to paycheck, where missing one day could be detrimental.

This is especially true for essential workers who only a year ago were applauded as heroes but have yet again been left out to dry by the Tory government.

However, this need not be the case if we reconsider the role of transport in our society.

In Liverpool a day ticket for the bus can cost upwards of £4.50 and services are unreliable at best.

How can workers be expected to pay and rely on such a poor service?

This in part is because they are one of the only reliable ways for workers to get to work, the shops and to see loved ones.

Prioritise people’s energy needs and dump fossil fuels
Prioritise people’s energy needs and dump fossil fuels
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We could have publicly-run transport services that weren’t at the whim of capitalists and the market.

There would be transport that is reliable and environmentally friendly, where fuel crises never need to happen.

And the stockpiling of fuel isn’t simply down to individuals being irrational. It is part of a system of insecurity.

Scapegoating working people isn’t the answer to another crisis of capitalism.

It is a fundamental distrust in the market and the government that aided the stockpiling of fuel.

Far from irrational, it is extremely rational to have no trust in the system or its leaders.

It is our job to take this distrust to its natural conclusion by creating a system built on need, not greed.

Sky Golding


Speak up for our #MeToo victories

Singer and Music producer R Kelly’s conviction on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking charges should definitely be hailed as a victory for the #MeToo movement.

This is especially true considering this is the first major trial in the aftermath of #MeToo where most of the victims have been black women.

Hundreds join vigils after murder of Sabina Nessa
Hundreds join vigils after murder of Sabina Nessa
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Not only does this show that more women are speaking out, but they are finally being heard by authorities because of their collective strength.

However, women had been making accusations against Kelly for at least 20 years prior to the trial.

We should really question how music and film industries, alongside judicial systems, are complicit in abuse and controlling how it is dealt with.

This is another step in the struggle to bring down a system that has enabled abusers.

They’re protected in their positions of power to exploit, harass and assault young women with little to no consequences.

And we must put this case in context against the thousands of cases of domestic abuse, rape and violence that go unheard and never make it to court.

It’s a call for us all to fight for the voices that are not heard or deemed too quiet to make a difference.

Elisa Rowland

East London

Stop the burn campaign

Stop The North London Incinerator demonstration on Saturday 25 September saw around 200 march against plans to expand the Edmonton incinerator in north London.

Local residents, environmental and anti-racist activists took over the North Circular Road, despite police attempts to stop them.

Speakers highlighted the catastrophic climate and health impacts of waste incineration that will impact the poorest disproportionately, especially black people.

Anger was vented at the “publicly” controlled North London Waste Authority, run by a majority of Labour councils.

It is shamefully, pushing forward with the expansion plans.

Banners from Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group, Day Mer and Stand Up to Racism were present.

Protests have already forced some corporate interests to pull out of the project, encouraging protesters to build even bigger mobilisations in the future.

Raj Perera


The Norwegian left is winning changes

Socialist Worker shouldn’t ignore the success of the Red Party in Norway.

The party has increased its representation in the Storting—the Norwegian parliament—by seven seats. It’s also stated clearly in its election campaign that bigger changes than what can be won by MPs must be the people’s aim.

It has already prevented privatisations of childcare in the capital Oslo and helped to prevent increases in charges in day care elsewhere.

Like Die Linke in Germany, the Red Party is fighting for more immigrant rights and system change not climate change.

However the Labour Party, whose leader is a businessman, obtained the largest percentage of votes despite losing a seat. It is already compromising on climate change, allowing the oil and gas industries to continue limited production until 2030.

It is likely to form a coalition with the Socialist Left Party which is fighting climate change. And the Centre Party, which represents farmers opposed to fighting climate change.

The Red Party is unlikely to be invited, being opponents of Nato and climate change. It is also regarded as a Marxist party.

Jim Hutchinson


Woe for poor, bonuses for the rich

Many are facing a “Winter of Woe”, from a 30 percent rise in fuel prices to the £20 cut to Universal Credit.

And in April there’s the 10 percent increase in National Insurance contributions plus the ending of the “triple lock” on state pensions.

Meanwhile the Financial Times reports, “Partners at the professional services giant, Deloitte, are to receive an average individual payout of £1 million—the highest in a decade.”

The payment has been approved after the Big Four firm’s profits rebounded from a pandemic slump.

Amanda Squire

East London

Keep occupying the M25

It’s great to see Insulate Britain occupying the M25 at Cobham, Surrey.

It is where Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers occupied land in 1649.

They said the Earth was a “common treasury”. Exactly.

Chris Fuller


Vaccines discriminate for the West

From 4 October Britain’s rules around people entering the country will change.

Only people vaccinated in certain places, such as Britain, Europe and the US, will be counted as vaccinated.

This excludes others who are vaccinated with the exact same vaccines as we have, for instance AstraZeneca or Pfizer.

How shockingly discriminatory is this?

Especially when Big Pharma in Britain and the US has made so much money selling vaccines all over the world.

And governments continue to block patent waivers—The Tories in particular—that would allow more vaccines to be made worldwide.

Joanna Redman


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