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Letters—Of course people don’t trust our rotten political system

Socialist Worker readers share their thoughts on what politicians get wrong about D-Day, question whether teachers should be confiscating phones and share experiences of the general election
Issue 2910
Tory politician Matt Hancock

The Tories have been responsible for a regime that has eroded public confidence in politicians (Flickr/ Downing Street)

Four out of every five people in Britain don’t trust politicians, according to the latest Social Attitudes Survey.

Some 58 percent said they almost never trust politicians “to tell the truth when they are in a tight corner”, the highest figure since the 2009 MPs expenses scandal.

Commentators are wringing their hands over the survey. But it should come as no surprise that politicians are seen as liars who will jettison any principle to save their careers.

The Tories gave us Partygate, Liz Truss and the cost of living crisis. But the discontent expressed in the survey is about much more than the last five years. It is the legacy of decades of austerity, growing inequality, cynical lies and spin and a deadening political centrism. 

Poverty is blighting millions of lives. Some 73 percent polled said they believed there was “a great deal” of poverty in Britain. This is the highest proportion recorded since 1986 when the question was first asked.

Most people realise the NHS is under threat. The poll found that 52 percent were dissatisfied with the health service—more than double the proportion in 2019 and the highest on record.

The dissatisfaction it reveals can only have been deepened by cross party support for Israeli genocide,  its toxic environmental policies and for sacrificing public services.

The pantomime of the mainstream general election campaign seems almost orchestrated to infuriate and frustrate voters seeking real change.

A record 79 percent of the 5,500 respondents said Britain’s current system of governance needs “significant improvement”. And most people know it won’t be delivered by politicians, whatever the election results. We will only get improvements if we fight for them.

Judy Cox

Bradford


The legacy of D-Day

The politicians who attended the D-Day commemorations are dubious for two reasons. Firstly, the Normandy invasion is proclaimed a battle for freedom against Nazi tyranny, but the commemoration this month was dripping in the symbolism of Empire.

For the British ruling class the Second World War was to save their brutal domination. People like Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are promoting the same racist scaremongering as in the 1930s and that helps the likes of Tommy Robinson today.

Secondly, D-Day in 1944 was not the turning point of the war as claimed. In 1943 Winston Churchill ignored desperate pleas from his Russian ally for a second front in the West to split the German forces.

He thought the Empire would be safer if Russia and Germany exhausted themselves first. The Russians won those key battles but at the price of tens of millions of lives.

Churchill backed D-Day once Red Army advances became possible. D-Day began a race to Berlin to preserve Western imperialism from Russian imperialism. It led to a draw which left Germany divided in two.

However, the troops who died were motivated by hatred of dictatorship and racism and their sacrifice deserves commemoration. We can do that by opposing the racist politics of Farage, Sunak and Starmer. That is a worthy epitaph.

Donny Gluckstein

Edinburgh


Should teachers be taking phones away?

Of course children and teenagers should be stopped from using their phones too much. Hardly a day goes by without a scary story about how these attention-sucking machines are rotting their brains.

Adults find it hard enough to stop endlessly scrolling on the things, how are young people supposed to know when to switch off?

But I do baulk at teachers having strict behaviour policies about schools. Strict rules don’t actually help kids learn, and they can end up actually pushing students out of education.

And what’s next, parents receiving fines? Such a measure puts too much responsibility in teachers’ hands. I also find it a bit rich that the education system is set up for screen learning and now they want to restrict our kids’ technology.

Susan Foreman

Bristol


Keep raising Palestine during election

I was part of a lively protest outside the hustings in Bournemouth last week. We chanted “your hands are washed in Palestinian blood” as Tory MP Tobias Ellwood entered the building.

Ellwood made some pretty unpleasant comments about mobs, violence and how we were spreading hate. But I told him that the only thing we hate is genocide and the mass slaughter of children.

By protesting that day we changed the agenda and forced them to address the key topic. In Bournemouth, we’ve got another protest planned at an election hustings. It’s right to keep taking to the streets during the general election and raise the issue of Palestine to our rotten politicians.

Pete Wearden

Bournemouth


Where’s the big politics?

I was a big fan of Jeremy Corbyn during the high points of his time as Labour leader. Corbynism was so exciting! It raised big questions about the kind of society we want.

But I can’t help but feel he’s really lost his way this election. I don’t see any of that in the current Corbyn campaign. Ok, he’s not the Labour candidate but I feel like I haven’t heard anything about his campaign. Do you think he actually wants to win or is he just running down the clock until 4 July?

Ginni Ellington

Central London


Manifesto nonsense

It was so gross to see the Social Democratic Party’s reappear during this election and promise to put “family, neighbourhood and nation” first.

The party, which emerged out of a Labour split in the 1980s, said in its manifesto it wanted to focus on the “epidemic of family breakdown”. It’s a load of reactionary nonsense, designed to desperately pull people away from the Tories or Reform UK.

Jane Mycast

Middlesbrough


Let’s take on Nigel Farage

I was disgusted to see Nigel Farage pelted with objects while out and about campaigning in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Disgusted, that is, to see that there was only one person getting stuck in. Clacton first, Barnsley next, maybe next time there will be a bigger gaggle of people pelting him whenever he shows his face.

Richard Ivan

West Susex


Right to ban clinic demos?

I just noticed that the  Scottish parliament has banned protesters outside abortion clinics. I do think it’s a good move that the anti-choice bigots will be moved on but what if this impacts on pro-choice protests?

Jenna Blanch

Bristol

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