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Letters

Gang culture

Dear Editors

David Starkey was wrong to suggest skin colour played a part in the riots (by saying Enoch Powell had been proved right), but he had a point about youths having been corrupted by a gangster culture (although the guilty gangsters aren't the ones he had in mind).

The gang actually responsible for corrupting and inciting youths is the capitalist gang. Tax avoiders, like Sir Philip Green (who sent a £1 billion dividend offshore a few years back) are celebrated, praised and palsy-walsy with our most prominent politicians who reward their selfish immorality with peerages, knighthoods, CBEs and MBEs.

And it is these same prominent politicians who themselves have had their snouts in the expenses trough for years. It is truly galling to hear the likes of Gerald Kaufman MP asking the Prime Minister how rioters can be "reclaimed" by society, after he submitted a claim for three months' expenses totalling £14,301.60, including £8,865 for a Bang & Olufsen television.

And David Cameron himself, quick to declare, regarding former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, that "everybody deserves a second chance", shows no interest in giving second chances to those who took a pair of trainers or packet of cigarettes from riot-hit stores.

It is this hypocrisy and double standards, with one set of rules for the rich and powerful, and another set for everyone else, that creates underlying anger, bitterness and hopelessness in society which can then suddenly erupt in violent mayhem.

As long as capitalism continues, there will exist a tiny asset-owning elite pursuing ever greater piles of wealth through immoral exploitation of resources and human beings which they should never have had ownership and control of in the first place.

The most sickening criminality hasn't been seen during the rioting, it's been seen from the corrupt capitalist system aided by successive two-faced cheating governments.
MAX HESS, Folkestone

Two countries

Dear editors

We actually live in two different countries.

On the one hand, we have a tiny minority of people, who own and control this land of "theirs". On the obverse side of the coin, we have us, the vast majority whose only real possession, is our ability to labour, to use our mental and physical abilities, to earn a wage or salary.

The businesses we toil for do not belong to us. Our only interest is our salary or wage, at the end of the week or month. There ends our interest in the firms that employ us.

According to the Land Registry, 75 percent of the land mass of the UK belongs to approximately 1400 people. I am not one of them, are you? The figures on share ownership are similarly skewed, with less than 1 percent of the population owning over 99percent of all marketable shares!

We live in two different countries. For the mouth-pieces of capitalism to say "we are all in this together" is arrant lies and nonsense. Whether said by Coalition or Labour figures makes not one jot of difference to us, the majority.

They own, we do not. We labour and toil, they do not. We are leaves on the capricious winds of capitalism's speculation, they are not. We worry about the price of food, energy, housing etc and all the fluctuations of this system, they do not.

Capitalism is not "fair" to the vast majority of us, the population of the Earth. It does not work in our interests. It subverts our nature as co-operative human beings. It and they treat us as dumb adjuncts to the productive process that affords them vast wealth and opulence, whilst at the same time, condemning us, the majority, to the stress, poverty, starvation, homelessness, misery, insecurity, etc, etc, etc, that afflicts our lives every second of everyday, of our lives.

Only a revolution in thought and understanding of this reality will serve to free us from this. Only a working together of us, the disenfranchised and powerless within the present system, capitalism, will ensure that we live in a world where we all can live in dignity, inclusion and empowerment and not in want, insecurity and fear.
STEVE COLBORN, Seaham, Co. Durham.