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LETTERS: The Chennai Six case is a story about capitalist wars

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Issue 2583
There has been a big campaign to get the Chennai Six released
There has been a big campaign to get the Chennai Six released (Pic: 70023venus2009/Flickr)

The “Chennai Six” are no doubt going to get a heroes welcome when they finally return.

They’ve been in an Indian prison for four years after being arrested for getting caught with semi-automatic rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The Sun newspaper has been running a campaign and there will be lots of “our boys” flag waving, with Tory foreign secretary Boris Johnson trying to ingratiate himself with the public.

But these are not just sailors, they are mercenaries getting paid as much as £3,000 a month.

And the Chennai Six weren’t the only ones aboad. There were 29 other crew members arrested with them that The Sun and others clearly don’t feel a need to mount a campaign about.

The Indian government said the weapons were “illegally obtained”. At the time the mercenaries worked for AdvanFort—a company that provides armed escorts for merchant vessels, to the tune of £60,000 for each passage.

They were on the “anti-piracy” ship MV Seamen Guard, which was supposed protect commerical ships from pirates—who cost the shipping bosses huge money.

And they said the guns were for “anti-pirate activity”.

I find it hard to feel sorry for people who kill for a living. But the real story is about war and capitalism.

The privatisation of warfare is also graphically exposed. Greedy shipowners do what the rich have always done, profiteering from the chaos their system creates.

War is business and people are suffering horrific consequences—that’s who my heart goes out to.

What a few hard mercenary ex-soldiers had to put up with is nothing by comparison.

I’d like to see the bosses of the shipping and mercenary companies in the dock. Because someone is making big money out of the anti-piracy trade.

John Tipple


Stuff the wedding—and sack the royals

We are approaching near a decade of austerity and even the “experts” agree that people are dying as a result of cuts.

The Tories are intent on punishing the poorest so the greedy well-off can have lives of luxury.

It can often seem like there’s no end to the misery of people struggling to make ends meet.

But now we don’t have to worry as the ruling class has seen fit to provide us with a distraction—the royal wedding.

Food banks have become a common sight and children have to go to school hungry.

That a single penny of public money should go to the royals is obscene, let alone celebrations for one of them finding someone foolish enough to marry them.

The cost of the security alone for the previous “bread and circuses” wedding five years ago went well into the millions. The amount it’s being talked about in the media is ridiculous.

The announcement has sparked up the debate about whether we need a royal family at all.

The answer is no.

Some people argue that they bring in loads of money through the tourism industry. But the French royal family were beheaded and people still visit Paris.

It’s time to get rid of the royal scroungers once and for all.

Liam Anderson


Trump is not welcome after shameful retweet

Theresa May did condemn US president Donald Trump’s retweeting of fascist group Britain First last week as as wrong.

However, she didn’t think it was wrong enough to cancel his state visit—despite a petition signed by over 1.8 million people.

Trump’s support for Britain First will no doubt bolster their confidence—and their racist supporters will also feel more confident after the President’s endorsement.

The retweet shows Trump’s tolerance of the far-right—both in the US and Britain.

May shouldn’t have offered him a state visit—and if it happens there should be a huge united protest.

We also need to build an anti-facist movement to oppose Britain First and other Nazis every time they come out on the streets.

Blythe Taylor


Cowardly Hunt hides from NHS staff

Does secrecy have anything to do with government ministers and their visits to front line staff?

In the case of Jeremy Hunt and the NHS, yes.

Normally if a government minister is visiting a workplace, then this would be publicised widely.

But only negative publicity comes from Hunts visits.

He’s been doing the rounds recently.

The latest victims were the staff and patients at Southmead hospital and Callington Road hospital in Bristol.

But NHS activists got a tip off about Hunt’s visit to Callington Road hospital, the main mental health facility in Bristol.

With recent concerns about mental health funding being stopped, this seemed like the perfect place for real people to meet the Health Secretary.

A last minute protest was organised, and Hunt met some resistance upon leaving his last secret meeting for the day.

One of the protesters jumped on the bonnet of his car.

I’m sure the workers would have done more than this given half the chance.

Edward Lawrence


Austerity is murderous

The Tories have killed 120,000 people—mainly the poor and also disabled people.

To put this in perspective, the 1952 Great Smog of London killed about 12,000, which is regarded as Britain’s largest “industrial accident”.

This is how aggressive this Tory government has been.

Richard Stephens


Trojan Horse was a scam

The government is using the Trojan Horse allegations to push their agenda and the takeover claims were patently false.

But there were some issues. I don’t think religious education has a place in schools.

Jon Fanning

on Facebook

Kick racism out of footie

I read with interest your report on campaigning against the Football Lads Alliance in Scotland (Socialist Worker, 21 November).

There is a section of Rangers fans who have anti-Catholic views—but to bring attention to these fans alone is ignoring broader issues.

The mainstream press use divide and rule tactics and say that hatred and bigotry is exclusively a Rangers problem.

Steven Marr


Bradford’s Labour cuts

I was alarmed to read about Bradford council cutting childrens services (Socialist Worker, 29 November). I think it’s time the Tories, Labour and Liberals were replaced by a true socialist government.

Andres Viveros

on Facebook

Royal family is useless

All the royals do is smile, cut ribbons and eat meals. Anyone could do it.

Having a queen on a rota would be more productive.

Mark Krantz


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