Letters from our readers

On “The BBC and the police attack on Jody McIntyre



Jody McIntyre was also interviewed on BBC Breakfast News—I think it may have been after the Ben Brown interview—and he was treated fairly abominably by the presenters, Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams.


Every time he started to make a political point in response to their questions they interrupted him swiftly and told him to leave the politics aside. Jody was trying to explain that the reason for the police brutality against the student demonstrations was to stamp out any opposition to the austerity cuts.


They also blamed him for going to a demonstration when it was likely to be dangerous, without of course pointing out the reason for the danger—unprovoked violence from the forces of the state.


It was a truly appalling spectacle to watch this interview. Jody has cerebral palsy and has difficulty with speech, he is an incredibly brave young man, having been brutally dragged out of his wheelchair by police thugs, and here was being subjected to verbal thuggery by these so-called journalists.


Also on BBC local news programs presenters have tried to drive a wedge between parents and their schoolchildren who have attended the demos. But this has failed every time because the parents support their children’s decision to demonstrate against the cuts.


I feel it is significant that at times of sharpened political and class tensions these so-called journalists who claim to work for an impartial news service come out in their true colours as loyal servants of the ruling class.


Dave B
22 December 2010


On “Julian Assange replies to media smear campaign



Excellent article. I thought many of the same things. I just about puked while watching the interview. However, don’t forget it was BBC who read the lines from their script a bit early on 9/11, and announced that Tower 7 had collapsed—well beforehand. So, BBC once again makes their position clear. And it hasn’t changed since 9/11.


Paul G
22 December 2010





You completely missed what was going on in that interview.

Don’t know if you noticed, the interviewer asked a few questions that in the past, have caused JA to walk out on interviews before. And the interviewer never spoke over Assange when he was answering questions. The interviewer was asking questions in a mode that reflects the general attitude towards Assange, so that people, apparently like yourself would read into the interview that the interviewer was indeed hostile. But that was not the case. He posed the questions as a “hostile interviewer” and let JA answer them. It was quite controlled and the tone was quite intentional and agreed to.


22 December 2010


On “Julian Assange and the defense of democratic rights


This smear campaign against Sweden might actually be implemented by US authorities. They want people to believe Sweden can’t stand up for themselves. And the goal is to stop an extradition of Assange to Sweden, simply because an extradition to the US from UK is much easier to carry out, since the UK-US extradition treaty from 2003 (after 9/11) is much more US-friendly than the Swedish-US treaty from 1963. But maybe most importantly, according to the European extradition treaty, Swedish authorities actually has to ask UK for permission anyhow, before they can extradite Assange, because he came from there.



This means, two countries have to agree to an extradition from Sweden and that would be a really big problem for US authorities.


The saddest thing, though, is that almost every supporter of WikiLeaks, including Assange himself, swallows this US bait. Don’t be a part of it. Turn this ship around, before it’s to late.


22 December 2010




On “WikiLeaks cables: Spanish socialist government plans to renege on election pledges



All the WikiLeaks revelations are eye-popping but I have a feeling that this one is going to be huge. I was in Spain in the summer after the 3/11 bombings and I remember the enormous anger expressed everywhere at the PP for their obvious lies. As your article says, the PSOE was the undeserved beneficiary. I will be very surprised if the cable quoted doesn’t wash out whatever sand remains under the foundations of the PSOE.


Charles H
Texas, USA
24 December 2010

On “WikiLeaks cable reveals US role in 2006 Thai coup

Thank you, John Chan, for your excellent article on 18th December about the desperate state of affairs in Thailand. As you know, 2010 saw the killing of 91 pro-democracy campaigners at the hands of an un-elected PM, Abhisit Vejjajiva. Eton and Oxford educated, Mr Vejjajiva was installed in power using corrupt courts and military intervention in order to protect the interests of the Thai elite and reverse the democratic changes and rural development projects of our true PM, Thakisn Shinawatra. It is no surprise, given the resources available to the aristocracy/army that they have largely demonized Dr. Thaksin in many parts of the world and in many parts of Thai society, and as a result we have become accustomed to ridiculously misinformed articles from the foreign press and news groups.

What a joy it was then to receive a link to John’s article from a fellow Red Shirt campaigner a few days ago. Please keep up the good work to get the Truth out there. Thanks so much for your support.

Darryl S
22 December 2010





On “Hereafter: Another strangely unaffecting film from Clint Eastwood


I’ve been disenchanted with many aspects of the socialist philosophy for quite some time, but I accidentally came upon David Walsh’s very perceptive critiques on recent film releases. I appreciate Mr. Walsh’s sensibility, judgments and good writing, unlike so much that’s in mainstream journalism today (print and/or online). So—THANK YOU! A very unexpected and pleasing discovery!

Lisa H
Virginia, USA
22 December 2010


On “Christmas in America


I really want to know, are we better off without a welfare system? The scary fact is that with each economic downturn, more and more people fall into permanent poverty. We have an entire new group of impoverished Americans as businesses dump workers who are 50 or older (seniority) for cheaper labor, and businesses aren’t looking for new workers over the age of 50. These people have absolutely no means of support, and an arrogant nation’s response is, “So what?”


We have to look at the monster we created in the US since the Reagan administration, and ask if there is anything left that is worth “protecting and defending.”


Wisconsin, USA
25 December 2010

On “Reflections on class and race in America



I was talking to a disheartened liberal friend today and this article came to mind. I later sent it to her. It bears rereading—or reading for those who missed it the first time—especially when one considers the ecstatic celebrations of liberals and “leftists” in 2008 and their disillusionment and lamentations in 2010, as we enter a new period in the class struggle.


Lawrence M
22 December 2010

On the trade unions and a workers lockout in Brooklyn, New York

I live in Brooklyn, NY. The Flatbush Garden workers have been lockout since the end of November. Management wants to slash their wages by thirty percent and reduce or completely eliminate their benefits. The workers were going to go on strike but the union (1199) told them not to. Is it correct to say that the union is policing the workers? I’ve talked to some of the workers and they seem adamant about the union representing their interests. I don’t feel the same. The union took away the workers’ weapon. 1199 has hundreds of thousands of members yet the Flatbush Gardens workers seem isolated.


Jovenel J
New York, USA
22 December 2010