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Voice From The Back

Kids are dying
Defenders of capitalism are fond of depicting it as a system that gradually improves the lot of the world’s population, but how do they defend the following? “The number of malnourished people worldwide has grown to 840 million – including 300 million children – even though there are ample supplies to feed them. James Morris, World Food Programme director, said the number of malnourished was growing by about five million a year. ‘There is enough money, enough food and enough goodwill in the world. Everybody simply needs to do a little more,’ he said” Herald (14 September). We intend to do all we can by propagating socialism – the only answer to this problem.

No mean city?
The City Fathers are fond of dreaming up fancy slogans about it – City of Culture, City of Architecture and so on, but there is another side to Glasgow far removed from Art Galleries and Opera Houses. ”A generation of ten to twelve year old Glasgow children will be lost to drugs because their parents do not care enough. According to a study, the city has at least 60 pre-teen heroin addicts, and there could be many more . . . Jim Doherty, of Gallowgate drug prevention and family support group, warned: ‘Tragically, we may have to concentrate on saving the next generation.’ And Professor Neil McKeganey, who led the research, added: ‘If we fail to meet the needs of vulnerable children, we face the prospect of increasing numbers addicted before their voices are broken.’  . . . But it may be too late for some, Mr Doherty added: ‘I have addicted sons. Sometimes I feel the only help I can give them is to ensure they get a decent burial’” Scotsman (24 September). This story could be repeated in many other cities in Britain. Surely you can see that there is something dreadfully wrong with a society that has 12 year old drug addicts.

The uncaring society
Capitalism is a society based on commodity production with the only driving force being the need to create more and more wealth for the tiny handful of privileged parasites who own all the means of production. If you are poor in this society – tough! If you are poor and disabled in this society – tougher still! Here is an example of how the owning class treat the disabled. “Nearly half of families with disabled children receive no support from the NHS or social services, according to research published today. Centre-right thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) found that 48 percent of families with disabled children received no help from outside the family and a further 30 percent received less than two hours support a week” Guardian (1 October). Think about the new socialist society wherein we all look after each other whether we can speak well, read well, see well or hear well. This is why we are socialists.

Poverty in the UK
The thinktank Catalyst in their recently published paper “Why Inequality Matters” has come up with some child poverty figures that illustrate the uselessness of Labour’s tinkering with the system. “The international comparisons are as embarrassing as ever: in purchasing power, the poverty of the poor British child is 11 percent worse than that of their American counterpart and nearly 30 percent worse than in France. It’s a shocking thing to say, but if you are going to be poor you’d be better off in America” Guardian (11 October).

Poverty in the USA
“One in every five US jobs pays less than a poverty-level wage for a family of four, according to a study by the nonpartisan Working Poor Families Project. The result of so many low-paying jobs is that nearly 39 million Americans, including 20 million children are members of ‘low-income working families’ – with barely enough money to cover basic needs like housing, groceries and child care, the study found” Yahoo News (12 October). Socialists don’t go in for comparing different levels of poverty in capitalism. As far as we are concerned capitalism causes poverty amidst plenty throughout the world and should be abolished.