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LETTERS: We need open borders not single market and ID cards

This article is over 5 years, 11 months old
Issue 2594
The last time ID cards came up was under Tony Blair
The last time ID cards came up was under Tony Blair (Pic: Sam Greenhalph/Flickr)

The right wing Progress organisation inside Labour wants compulsory ID cards.

It rightly says immigration has been “overwhelmingly positive” but concludes Labour needs “a practical argument for safe, secure borders, and a sense that migration is a managed process”.

We are told that ID cards would help justify staying in the single market and its free movement by reassuring those fearful about “a migration free-for-all”. Progress also claim ID cards are “Corbynite”

These arguments are wrong.

The reason many miss immigration’s overwhelmingly positive impact is due to structures like the EU and its single market.

Total commitment to neoliberalism enforces austerity and exploitation while diverting the anger towards “outsiders”.

Look at recent election results across the single market.

The way to reassure the fearful is to argue crumbling social services, lack of decent housing and low wages are caused by the rich.

ID cards are not Corbynite but damage prospects for left Labour government.

Any concession here panders to a belief that problems are because of migration.

Labour progressed against all odds in the general election by focussing on the capitalist few, and refused to be diverted.

Remember Corbyn’s stand after the Manchester bombing.

The last time ID cards came up was under Tony Blair.

His call symbolised a more authoritarian and right wing government that ended in imperialist invasions, curbing of civil liberties, creation of a refugee crisis and the stoking of terrorism

This time the reasoning is different, but ID cards are equally flawed.

We need to fight for free movement to benefit ordinary people, not as part of a bosses’ single market.

Donny Gluckstein


Too poor to be healthy

Jamie Oliver said last week that the obese poor think “in a different gear” and lectures about healthy eating that follow middle class logic will not help them.

Those from poorer backgrounds have greater health inequalities compared to those who are richer.

Poor children are twice as likely to be obese as rich ones, which leads into adult obesity.

In some ways, Oliver’s comments are well meaning, but poorly phrased and patronising.

Oliver perpetuates the idea that the working class is far too stupid to consider its own health.

When you have more money, you can afford to buy healthier food.

But those paying high rents, on zero hours contracts or suffering from attacks to the benefit cuts will have a significantly lower budget for food.

If you don’t have the space to even store foods or the ability to get to a supermarket, you’ve got limited food choices. If you work multiple jobs, then you’d have limited time to shop and cook.

It’s important that health professionals can educate about healthy options, but we have to consider why people might choose the unhealthier options.

Capitalism is linked to the contributing factors in obesity—how food is produced, sold and marketed to us, but also in reducing obesity and encouraging fad diets which do nothing for our health.

Katherine Igidbashian


Media will use any excuse to be sexist

The stories about the poisoning of spy Sergei Skirpal have filled the newspapers for days.

The press saw an opportunity to explore the glamorous and secretive world of Russian spies.

When the right wing press found out about Anna Chapman—the Russian spy “swapped” with Skirpal—the tabloids must have cried with joy.

The Sun pondered “which nation’s men does she think are the easiest to seduce?”

They’ve also described her as “sexy” and “seductive”.

Of course sexism is to be expected of the right wing media—it often combines news with the objectification of women.

Their only job is to perpetuate the ideas of the ruling class, you can see that in the printing of racist rhetoric about immigrants.

Articles like this only highlight how obvious that agenda is.

Sophie Squire


Tories are trying to curb voting rights

In recent weeks we have been celebrating 100 years since some women won the right to vote.

But the Tories want to take us back in time with attack on voting rights.

They are trying to bring in voting restrictions under the guise of a Voter ID programme being trialled in a number of places at this May’s local elections.

The restrictions force people to present ID at the polling station or forfeit their vote.

Bromley in south east London is one of the six areas where this is being tried out.

Many of the poorest will avoid the expense of a passport or driving licence when relying on food banks to eat. Some will find themselves struggling to collect together the right combination of other documents to claim their vote on polling day.

Residents in Bromley have reported that the notification letter from the Tory council hid the list of acceptable forms of identification on the back.

Voting alone cannot solve all the problems we face.

But this attack on the right of ordinary people to have their voice heard must be resisted.

Mark Dunk

South east London

Tories and Saudi Arabia

I Remember Home Secretary Amber Rudd claiming selling arms to Saudi Arabia was good for business when she stood in for Theresa May in the 2017 general election leaders’ debate.

The Tories amass money for the top 1 percent and to hell with the rest. They have a mind blowing disregard for humanity.

Pauline Smith

on Twitter

Strikes can win for us all

An inspirational strike in West Virginia, US.. Not only did the West Virginia education workers win, but they won for all state employees.

That’s like Unison local government members going out on illegal strike and everyone from nurses to teachers getting a 5 percent pay rise.

Martin Empson


Jeremy has my support

I’ve been following with some amusement the Tory newspapers’ smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

It seems to me they know how many people support Labour’s policies and they’re reduced to attacking the personalities of him and his candidates.

Will Counsel


Renationalise the Clyde Port

Clyde Port Authority was privatised in 1993.

The Scottish Government must take action to return control of the river to the public for the benefit of the communities along the Clyde.

Robert Buirds


Don’t trust the police

I read your article about the woman badly mistreated by police. It’s no wonder young people are frightened to turn to police.


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