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Letters

Stalinist?

Dear Editors

Truth is (August Socialist Standard) that we paid our staff more than our competitors in the newspapers and even included BUPA. The unions, when we were negotiating, said we could go on with the BUPA, but mustn't mention it. Never quite understood what they stood for when their officials drove off in Jaguar XJS', etc.

As far as the 'sharecropping' goes, there is a shortage of allotments in the area and we were trying to free up some of our land near the hotel to fill that local gap. It was a win-win situation.

Nothing more - but if it's a move against the workers of the world...then fine. I think the reason socialism continually fails is because the greed of the political and bureaucratic classes and their lack of efficiency and vision is a stronger deterrent to the common man than the greed of bankers, lawyers and the rest of those who dip their snouts in the working man's taxpayer trough. We can at least get rid of these guys eventually, because that's how capitalism works. And working man is mostly middle-class now, anyway.

For socialism read Stalinism. Read subjugation. Read gulags and firing squads and torture of your own people. Oh happy days.

Eddy Shah (by email)

Reply: Just because we use the words “capitalism”, “socialism”, and “exploitation” doesn’t mean that we therefore supported Stalin’s Russia. We didn’t (and we didn’t support Lenin’s Russia either). There was exploitation there too under a system of state capitalism. It was never socialist. We’d have thought that an employer who wanted to run his business without trade union interference could more justly be likened to Stalinism. After all, there were no trade unions in the USSR either – Editors.

Corruption

Dear Editors

It's hardly “political rocket science” to understand the decay and corruption that lies at the heart of New Labour as affirmed by yet another dismal by-election defeat for Labour in Norwich North.

Throughout the coverage of this by-election some mainstream political commentators lampooned former Labour MP Dr Ian Gibson (whose resignation sparked this contest) as a maverick left wing politician, thus implying there was some justification for the New Labour “star chamber” to deselect him over the second home allowance scandal.

Maybe if there actually were more left-wing MP's or prospective parliamentary candidates selected democratically by their local parties and who are periodically adjudged by their local party members on how they stand up for the basic principles their party stands for, then not only would these commentators have had something politically tangible to commentate about but more essentially the new Tory MP Chloe Smith might have had to face a genuine political contest based on policies and ideology rather than personalities and scandals.

Whilst this by-election campaign enticed Tory leader David Cameron to visit Norwich North on six occasions and to predictably hail his victor as a “rising star”, her victory was in fact, as indeed all Tory poll successes are, wholly attributable to the failed free market economic policies of New Labour which are the normal mainstay of the Tory Party itself. Apart from Tory core voters who'd vote Tory under any circumstance, the fact that many floating voters in Norwich North voted Tory during a recession underlines how utterly skewed British political attitudes and opinions have become due to this bipartisan political climate that deludes millions of apathetic voters into thinking that they have a legitimate choice.

Yet in essence Dr Gibson is no maverick and he certainly wasn't a radical left wing MP. What proved too much for New Labour's “star chamber” is that he, along with a handful of other Labour backbenchers on occasions, was mildly critical of New Labour's right-wing free market agenda. Because the majority of Labour MP's today just poodle along passively from day to day far more concerned about their careers and expenses rather than the wellbeing of society in general, then the likes of Dr Gibson are labelled mavericks, hence easily held up as scapegoats for the MP expense scandal.

At least Dr Gibson was right to resign immediately if only to expose how the treatment meted out to him exposes how the New Labour leadership has undermined internal Labour Party democracy all along and how, barring a miracle it's going to result in a future Tory government. The real question however is why these very same commentators within the alleged free press and media totally ignored the fact that the behaviour of Dr Gibson, albeit an alleged 'lefty' who should have never have accepted the second home allowance in the first place, was relatively quite trivial in comparison with the behaviour of Chancellor Alistair Darling or employment minister Tony McNulty. A greasy pole indeed!

NICK VINEHILL, Snettisham, Norfolk

Reply: Of course it wouldn’t make any difference if all Labour and Tory MPs were honest and democratically selected. They still wouldn’t be able to make the capitalist system work in the interest of the majority class of wage and salary workers – Editors.

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