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LETTERS: Steel jobs should be part of the climate change solution

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Issue 2498

The threat to 40,000 jobs in the steel industry and associated work in Britain is an absolute disgrace.

Not only will huge numbers of workers and their families suffer, but their technical expertise will be lost. While making steel is a significant contributor to carbon emissions, it is also a crucial part of the solution.

We need steel for the manufacture of low carbon public transport, such as new buses and trains. We will need steel to build a more efficient national energy grid.

And as the World Steel Association has pointed out, “Every part of a wind turbine depends on iron and steel”.

The fight to save the steel industry in Britain is one for every trade unionist and every environmentalist.

We must get behind demands for nationalisation and support any fight by the steel workers for their jobs.

Martin Empson, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group (pc)

Couldn’t a steel plant be occupied, like Carnegie library in south London?

The community and other trade unionists could support them by bringing food.

Julia Richardson, on Facebook

Good to see Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn standing up for steel workers who face massive job losses.

Steel is another industry that was privatised by Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s. Now we see the consequences.

The current Tory government has announced plans to sell off the Land Registry. This is a profitable public service that records the sale of houses and land.

This is another short sighted move to make a quick buck. It could mean a worse service and a hike in prices for all of us.

John Appleyard, West Yorkshire

IDS is gone—and we’ll fight on

We are all glad that Iain Duncan Smith has resigned. But his replacement with the bigot Stephen Crabb will make little difference.

What will matter is continued pressure from groups such as Disabled People against Cuts and Axe The Bedroom Tax.

The bedroom tax continues to induce poverty, despair and hunger.

It was the work of campaigners which made sure many tenants received discretionary housing payments.

We still have the £30 cut to the miserly Employment and Support Allowance.

Those entitled to a Personal Independence Payment are still under pressure to comply with a complicated tick-box shambles.

We still have the indignity of work capability assessments and sanctions on job seekers.

Billions of pounds have been wasted on outsourcing to private companies like Atos and Maximus, and the failed Universal Credit.

We still await the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act to be actually enforced.

To add to all this hurt we have the Housing and Planning Bill.

The bill can only result in even more homelessness and the trap of expensive, insecure and unsafe private renting.

We need mass campaigning in every town and city.

The Tories are weak and divided. The time to defy their rule is now.

Liz Kitching, Unite Community union Leeds and Hands Off Our Homes

The left must unite to turn EU words into action

the Tories are in civil war and the media is intent on scapegoating Muslims.

We need to turn our criticism of the European Union (EU) into effective action.

The EU referendum is a key issue.

The debate encompasses democratic control, war, migrants and racism.

The very survival of the Tory party is at stake. We need to up the ante!

In Dorset the Communist party has agreed to explore the possibility of a joint Left Exit public meeting with Poole Socialist Workers Party.

The left group Counterfire also supports an internationalist left exit.

Isn’t it time these groups and others allied themselves in a campaign for an internationalist left exit, and changed the terms of debate?

Tim Nicholls, Weymouth

Activist murdered in South Africa

South African activists were shocked and outraged at the recent murder of the chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe.

As chair of the ACC, Bazooka was helping to lead the struggle of Amadiba residents in opposing open-cast titanium mining by the Australian mining giant MRC.

Hitmen came in a white car with a rotating blue lamp on the roof.

Two men knocked at the door saying they were the police.

Bazooka was shot with eight bullets in the head.

His assassination is a reminder of the pattern of criminal attacks on civil society formations, especially those in townships, informal settlements and rural areas.

It is worst felt when the victims are poor and black, and when major industries stand to make billions in profit.

Please support the call for the arrest and prosecution of the killers of comrade Bazooka and contribute to the solidarity fund.

Full details can be found at

Siphiwe Mbuthuma, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Get the Tories in (prison)

I don’t think we should be trying to get the Tories out of power.

We should be trying to get the most murderous of them in prison.

I would rather society was protected from them without actually inflicting pain on them.

Jackie, Birmingham

Think of the children

Teachers voting for strike ballots are thinking of our schools and our children.

It’s a shame Tory Nicky Morgan doesn’t see fit to do the same!

@samm_hale, on Twitter

Does Labour back strikes?

Is the Scottish Labour party backing workers taking industrial action in Scotland?

@weescosha, on Twitter

No justice for Jean Charles

It’s horrendous that the European Court of Human Rights has said it was right not to charge the police who killed Jean Charles de Menzes.

It’s a licence for police to kill people who are wholly innocent. Shocking.

Gordon MacLeod, Lancashire

Could Bernie Sanders win?

Bernie Sanders only needs to win an average of 56 percent of the vote to become the Democratic candidate in the US presidential elections. It’s still a long shot, but not by much.

If he wins the popular vote but loses because of “superdelegates”, it would almost certainly split the party.

Shawn Whitney, on Facebook

Poll tax riot remembered

It was the 26th anniversary of the Poll Tax riot last week.

I remember it well—police, waving batons, chasing us on horseback—very scary!

Judith Rafferty, on Facebook

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