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LETTERS – I backed the EIS workers’ strike because college has changed my life

This article is over 4 years, 11 months old
Issue 2555
Students rallying in support of striking lecturers in Scotland
Students rallying in support of striking lecturers in Scotland (Pic: Duncan Brown)

I am a student and I supported the recent college lecturers’ strikes in Scotland. I started a Facebook group for students to show solidarity—and it really took off.

It encouraged students to get involved and make their voices heard.

Our education is as important as honouring the deal management agreed with the lecturers last year.

Students were messaging all the time to find out what they could do.

I feel like I was doing the job that student associations should be doing. But they weren’t being as supportive as they could be—and they kept too quiet.

It’s not right—they’re elected by students and should have been speaking up for us.

I can’t thank Socialist Worker enough for its support for the strike.


We were up against a propaganda machine. And students faced going into exams without enough teaching.

But the simple fact is if principals had honoured the deal earlier, we wouldn’t have been in that situation.

Going to college has opened new doors for me and helped me develop as a person. I took up photography after a time in my life when I’d lost confidence and self-esteem.

The lecturers have given me great support, spurred me on and built my confidence.

So for me the lecturers’ strike was personal. My course means so much to me.

I had a bit of a down spell at one point where I wasn’t sure I’d finish. If it were not for the help and support from my lecturers, I’d likely have given up and failed.

They supported me and helped me find something in myself that I never recognised before—a passion to learn, and to achieve.

The lecturers make the colleges successful. They deserve the deal they won and I fully support them.

Cheryl Marie Healy, New College Lanarkshire

Why we should vote Labour, not Green

Calling for a Green vote in certain constituencies (Letters, 17 May) misses the point about what Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour represents.

What’s at issue is how to build a much higher level of fightback against the Tories and bosses.

The best way to do that is to work alongside Corbyn-supporting Labour members. The Greens’ “progressive alliance” with the Lib Dems is a disastrous mistake.

In Sheffield, former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is standing to the left of Labour.

But that electoral pact could mean vote for Bennett, get Nick Clegg.

In other circumstances we would rightly call for a vote for Bennett. But this is not about individuals.

This election will be seen as a referendum on Corbyn. There should be no exceptions.

The Green Party ignores the real conflict at the heart of capitalism.

Labour also tries to reconcile the interests of workers and bosses. But it remains organically linked to the working class.

Green Party members will join protests. But the party does not focus on building a fightback among the working class.

Phil Turner, Sheffield

Good stuff in Labour’s manifesto

Labour’s education policies can help get young people out to vote. It’s not often we get someone who proposes something that will actually benefit us.

The £9,250 a year headline figure for tuition fees will put people off going to university. So getting rid of them will make a big difference.

But it’s also important to remember that it’s not an especially radical policy.

Higher education is free in Scotland and it was free here until recently.

To those who say we can’t afford it, I’d say we could afford a lot more if we hadn’t spent so much on cutting corporation tax and on Trident nuclear weapons.

Conor Muller, North London

I’m pleased to see that in the Labour Party manifesto there is a pledge not to frack for gas.

In a matter of weeks Sherwood Forest, Britain’s most famous woodland, could be at risk.

A huge energy company called Ineos wants to explore underneath it to frack for gas.

If this goes ahead Sherwood Forest could be filled with spluttering lorries, heavy machinery and explosives by next month.

I am asking the Forestry Commission not to give the green light and to protect the forest from the destruction caused by fracking.

I’m sure Socialist Worker readers will feel the same.

John Appleyard, West Yorkshire

We need more TV like subversive Doctor Who

“The end point of capitalism. Bottom line where human life has no value at all, we’re fighting an algorithm, a spreadsheet like every worker everywhere!

“We’re fighting the suits! They take our lives, we’ll take their station and every penny they make from it!”

This was one of many anti-capitalist lines from a recent Doctor Who episode.

As a revolutionary, there is a lot to be happy with in Doctor Who.

A previous episode in an earlier season showed Socialist Worker ‘No Third Term For Thatcher’ posters displayed prominently.

Jeremy Corbyn is standing on the most left wing Labour manifesto in most people’s lifetime.

The latest openly subversive episode could not have come at a better time.

This is the kind of stuff we need to see more of in TV shows.

Jack Blackett, Newcastle

I support the NHS pay fight

It is right that the RCN is calling for a “summer of protest” (Socialist Worker online, 15 May).

Nurses and NHS staff have had their pay held down. At the same time, the Tories unveil a plan to get workers to care for elderly and sick relatives unpaid for a year.

This is insulting, but a fightback can build on widespread anger in order to put the Tories on the retreat.

Nick Browne, On Facebook

Back Greek general strike

Solidarity with striking Greek workers (Socialist Worker, 17 May).

Their pay alone has been cut in half by Euro banks!

@Undefeated66, On Twitter

Shut it, Len McCluskey

On the day of the Labour Party manifesto launch, Len McCluskey said Labour could not win the general election.

This bag of wind needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut and when to turn his militant rhetoric into action.

Jeremy Corbyn has fought a right wing Parliamentary Labour Party and the press for two years.

To have achieved the poll rating he has, and to have begun to get an echo for his manifesto pledges, is testimony to his leadership.

John Curtis, Suffolk

Absolutely agree with this (Labour can win—if it comes out fighting, 17 May).

Let’s get these rallies organised, Labour!

@coalvilledave, On Twitter

Tories hate our children

Margaret Thatcher was the milk snatcher, Theresa May plans to take children’s free lunch away!

Meanwhile taxpayers continue to subsidise each of Eton College’s 1,300 full time pupils to the tune of £6,654 per year.

The Tories hate working class children.

Sasha Simic, North London

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