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LETTERS: NHS treats LGBT+ people like second class citizens

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Issue 2516
NHS workers march in Leeds Pride on Saturday
NHS workers march in Leeds Pride on Saturday (Pic: Neil Terry)

Several leading media outlets have responded to ground-breaking advances in HIV prevention with homophobic slurs.

The uproar centres on a drug called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

Like the contraceptive Pill, it’s a preventative drug. Instead of stopping someone getting pregnant, it reduces by 80 percent the risk of contracting HIV.

The NHS should be jumping at the chance to fight the HIV epidemic in Britain. Eight gay men contract the virus every day.

But NHS services are arguing between themselves about who should fund the drug.

Earlier in the year NHS England said local authorities were responsibile to fund the drug.

A high court ruling this week decided that the buck stops with NHS England.

But its first action was to decide to appeal the decision in a bid to shirk the responsibility of making PrEP available.

NHS England claimed that money spent on PrEP will detract from other treatments, and “deprive…children with cystic fibrosis a drug which could help them breathe.”

LGBT+ people are downgraded to second class citizens, whose health is not seen to be as important as “the worthy unwell.”

A blame culture says that “irresponsible gays” bring HIV upon themselves. And NHS England is still trying to insist that the financial crisis in the NHS is somehow the fault of the sick for demanding too much.

NHS chief executive Simon Stephens has said that “the prices that the manufacturer is seeking to charge probably also need to take a substantial haircut to represent value.”

Its continued existence is proof that LGBT+ people still have a long way to go before we are truly regarded as equals.

Dani Singer, East London

With social media we can win

Changes in the way that people get information have undermined the capitalists’ ability to limit the success of socialist movements.

The impact of the internet has been huge. As a result there is no longer any reason why a socialist cannot lead the Labour Party to electoral victory.

The press socialises people into the norms, values, and beliefs of the dominant social group.

Cultural hegemony is when people think that economic and social conditions are natural rather than created by people with a vested interest in the system.

This includes the belief that the rule of the dominant class is legitimate.

But now anyone with a reasonable mobile phone can record content and have it broadcast by news channels. We are in a period where still and moving images, in addition to the printed word, are now in a free for all.

Nobody controls the internet. I can publish anything I like. All it needs for an audience is someone willing to read or listen and pass it on to friends.

The Parliamentary Labour Party has the support of the majority of the capitalist mass media in its opposition to Jeremy Corbyn, yet despite this thousands support him.

All the left now has to do is keep on keeping on and not let the bastards grind us down. The road to power is wide open.

Martin Langley, West London

Workers in Britain need to catch French disease

The French Work Law is a brutal and direct attack on workers’ rights in France.

Unions there have called a day of action to have it repealed on 15 September.

Here in Britain we have the Trade Union Act, which is a bruising attack on our working rights.

We need to go to our union meetings and go up the chain of command to demand they call a strike on 15 September too.

We can raise solidarity with the French workers and also put pressure on the Tories to repeal the Trade Union Act here.

We need to be speaking to other union reps and work colleagues about the Work Law and the Trade Union Act.

This can help to build towards solidarity action and make sure that our colleagues are aware that the struggles that we face are the same as those in France and wider.

Neil Terry, Bradford

Stop Khan’s Wimbledon housing con

London mayor Sadiq Khan has nodded through plans to redevelop Wimbledon Greyhound track as a football ground with only 9 percent “affordable housing”.

Housing for 600 people is being built there.

Khan had previously said that developers needed to include 50 percent “affordable” homes on any new development. The thing with Sadiq Khan is that he doesn’t do what he says he’s going to do.

Where are all these houses going to go, and who’s going to have them?

Galliard Homes are building the houses but they’re not going to live up to what they’re promising.

They’re certainly not going to be for the working class or the unemployed.

Sheila Hill, South west London

A lesser evil does exist

Your column on whether or not the Democrats are a lesser evil in the US election got it the wrong way round (Socialist Worker, 2 August).

I supported Bernie Sanders, but Hillary Clinton is a warmonger and possible psychopath.

Trump has said he would defund Nato, be isolationist and have a dialogue with China and Russia.

The world would be a marginally safer place with Trump than Clinton.

The US has been the most destabilising force for evil in the world for many decades.

Geoff Bridges, on Facebook

What’s the Hinkley point?

It’s Great news that the plans for a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point have been delayed (Socialist Worker, 2 August).

I hope it’s scrapped in favour of technology that at least works!

Tom Stanger, on Facebook

Serious times for China

Your feature on the South China Sea was excellent (Socialist Worker, 26 July).

My Socialist Worker subscription is worth its weight in gold.

China and India are also crossing swords.

This is under-reported but it’s getting serious.

Otto Lujan, Hull

Migrants’ win is good for us all

Good on workers at the Falwey refinery (Socialist Worker, 27 July)! There are too many shitty bosses in this country.

Ade Ball, on Facebook

Migrant workers’ victory at Fawley shows that when we are united, and unionised, we can win.

Burger firm Byron’s decision to work with the state in their racist bid to criminalise migrant workers was disgusting.

But it was not shocking given the level of racism being pushed from the top of society.

Jane Harper, Eastleigh

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