Letters from our readers

5 May 2012

On “UK local elections: Workers explain why they voted Socialist Equality Party

Congratulations to Danny Dickinson and the hard working comrades in the British SEP. It sounds like they put in a lot of effort to reach the working people of St. Helens and it paid off. Keep up the good work!

Vance O
California, USA
4 May 2012

 

On “The social crisis in the US and the 2012 elections

Not surprised to read that preschoolers in some parts of the US have a life expectancy comparable to children in parts of Africa. Elsewhere I’ve seen news that the proportion of babies born premature as a percentage of all babies born in the US is comparable with proportions born in Somalia and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa (12 percent apparently). According to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail, in 2009 the preterm birth rate for African-Americans was as high as 17.5 percent compared to 10.9 percent for whites.

Although part of the high preterm birth rate for the US can be attributed to doctors saving very young babies who would otherwise die in Third World countries, the bulk of it must be attributed to falling living standards and the decline in health among Americans generally; for one thing, obesity and its consequences (diabetes among others) arising from diets of cheap, energy-rich but nutrient-poor foods are likely to affect the health of pregnant women. Another must be declining standards of care in hospitals, which may force doctors to perform premature Caesareans on women who would otherwise have normal vaginal births at full term if they had good care.

You have to wonder what the long-term consequences will be for the health and longevity of the US population (and its ability to sustain the kind of vital culture and society that the country had in the mid-20th century) if quality of life continues to decline.

Jennifer H
4 May 2012

On “The establishment politics of the May 1 Occupy protests

Comrade Kishore,

“[T]hey combined the unserious play-acting of anarchist groups with the thoroughly practiced and reactionary posturing of the trade unions.” Genuine humour, love it. Was in Melbourne (Australia) on May Day and this describes it exactly. Thirty or forty anarchists, with hangers-on, and a speech or two from Trades Hall. Although, to give them their due, they tried to raise awareness through traffic stoppages and a bit of fun and games with the passersby. It is well past time to get serious, but, as has been said before—what is to be done?

Keep up the good fight,

M
Melbourne, Australia
3 May 2012

On “David North speaks in defense of Leon Trotsky at Cornell University

It is inspiring to read about discussions on the relevance of Trotsky to the present that happen across the world both in academic institutions and the gatherings of the international working class. On the part of the established academia, the desperate attempt to disown Trotsky from his relevance to our burning problems today is not an accident.

Academic establishments across the world today are tightly tied to the political establishment that is devising vicious strategies to drive millions to the grave prematurely and resolve the crisis of international capitalism in the favour of the international bourgeoisie. The latter seems to misappropriate common resources and engage in conspicuous consumption as if the socially concerned world citizens are not at all aware of this brutality.

It is therefore heartening to know that the Socialist Equality parties in different countries in the world have taken up the phenomenon of the relevance of Trotskyism to resolve the current predicament of humanity. It is also equally heartening to learn that the US is taking the forefront in this momentous task. Down with established academia. Victory to the ICFI’s perspective, which is oriented to awaken the international working class to the challenge it is facing today on behalf of the well-being of humanity. Hats off to David North.

IVE
Sri Lanka
3 May 2012

On “SEP campaigns at Detroit job fair

I’ll bet you the real unemployment rate nationally is close to 50 percent ... just about everyone I know is unemployed or underemployed!!!

Philip B
Michigan, USA
3 May 2012

On “FBI provocateur ensnares Cleveland protesters in ‘bomb plot’

A biting, excellent piece. Thank you.

Gabe E
3 May 2012

 

On “Labour-run Newham council pioneers social cleansing in London

This article correctly states the conditions that are depriving huge numbers of the fundamental right to a roof over their heads. What is necessary by the UK section is an analysis of the land/property prices here.

Even when Stephenson was building the first railway line he complained that a quarter of the cost was taken up in buying the land. Today renting is so exorbitant partly because of land and the deliberate shortage of housing forcing up rents even further.

Everything from HS2, to Crossrail to the most menial of housing—and many are hardly fit to house humans—have the costs hiked because of this speculation. This must be addressed more forcefully in raising the consciousness of the homeless, those poorly housed and struggling to remain in their homes.

John U
3 May 2012