Letters

A reply to 'Labour Left the Building'

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Simon Hester’s letter in the January SR Labour Left the Building takes us to task for exaggerating the Labour Left’s resistance to Corbyn’s expulsion and ‘taking a toothcomb to the EHRC report on antisemitism instead of looking at the broader political objectives of Starmer’. However, he has underestimated the level of anger at the Labour Party grass-roots. Almost 20% of CLPs voted to express solidarity with Corbyn and/or no confidence in Starmer.

Le Carré’s legacy

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David John Moore Cornwell, better known as the novelist John le Carré. He leaves a remarkable body of work. Le Carré came to prominence during the great spy craze of the early sixties. But what distinguished his work from Ian Fleming’s James Bond or Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer was its authenticity, its humanity, and its relevance to reality.

Wrestling with art

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I greatly enjoyed the interview with John Molyneux ahead of the publication of his new book The Dialectics of Art (November SR). However, I was taken aback by his contention that ‘on average, high culture is higher in quality than most popular culture’, using examples such as professional wrestling to make his point.

I have been a professional wrestling fan for over thirty years, and I am a socialist. I was one before I was the other, but see no contradiction between the two.

Labour left the building

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The article “Can the Labour right destroy Corbyn and muzzle the left?” (December SR) misses the mark. It does not attempt to answer the question posed by the headline. Instead, it exaggerates the left’s resistance to Corbyn’s expulsion and takes a toothcomb to the detail of the EHRC report rather than looking at the broader political objectives of Starmer.

Starmer is attempting to expunge Labour of the politics of Corbynism, thereby proving to the ruling class and the media that Labour is fit to govern in the ‘national interest’. This is a full-on political attack on the left.

Marching in the rain

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Last month around 80,000 people marched in Glasgow for Scottish independence, in drookit weather that echoed the results of the general election a month earlier — though like the results, the weather didn’t hamper the desire for change.
The demo maintained its anti-Tory message, but it also carried within it a grander vision of a more socially-just Scotland.

The failures of the war on drugs

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Jim Barlow’s article “Tackling drug dependency” (January SR) revealed how damaging the government’s War on Drugs is. Its refusal to countenance the Scottish government’s proposal for safe places for those dependent on drugs to inject and dispose of needles will condemn more and more of the most vulnerable to dreadful ill health and early death.

The long depression

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Socialists can be forgiven for not noticing the Royal Statistical Society’s announcement of its UK Statistic of the Decade in December. The statistic was 0.3 percent. But beneath this rather dull figure lies a fascinating tale of the financial crisis, the long depression and Britain’s economic decline.

Vasily Grossman and state capitalism

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I greatly enjoyed Bob Light’s article “Vasily Grossman always sided with the oppressed” (January SR). Bob is correct to claim Grossman for the left.

It’s clear Grossman understood there was a fundamental difference between the aims and the achievements of the October Revolution and what constituted Stalinism. For Grossman the crucial year of change was 1937 — the year of high-Stalinism.

Understanding and feeling in film

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In her review of Terrence Malick’s movie A Hidden Life (January SR), Jessica Walsh contends that “you could easily lose over an hour without losing any plot points.” This argument betrays a rather functional approach to cinema.

Jessica is closer to the truth, I think, when she acknowledges that Malick’s contemplation of the anti-Nazi stance of religious conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter is “a meditative hymn”.

Love and alienation

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I very much enjoyed Sarah Bates’s insightful article on online dating (“Love me Tinder, love me true?”, January SR), and it’s very refreshing that a socialist magazine takes up such subjects on the borderline between the personal and the capitalist system we live in.

There are a couple of points however I tend to disagree with. Sarah writes “Tinder is a mirror held up to our society — one based on the buying and selling of love, sex and relationships as commodities.” But Tinder doesn’t actually sell relationships, it provides, at a price, a platform for people to meet up.

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