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Socialist Review has promoted an important debate on mental health issues in the last few months, with a diversity of views addressing a complex subject. The last contribution from Susan Rosenthal (“Marxism and Psychology”, February SR), however, has little regard for complexity. It is hard to take seriously dismissive comments such as, “Freudianism…reduces the mind to the genitals.”

Political trade unionism

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Michael Bradley’s article on political trade unionism (February SR) raised important issues about how socialists in workplaces and union branches can relate to current community political campaigns. He showed how and why campaigns can be brought into the workplace to help in the process of rebuilding rank and file confidence and organisation. This might then assist in building workplace resistance both to immediate employer attacks and against the wider Tory assault.

Legal advice for doctors

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In their battle against an intransigent monotone Tory ideologue imposing unjust contracts the junior doctors can draw inspiration from the recent victory of legal aid lawyers.

In December 2012 Chris Grayling was promoted to minister of justice. Immediately he set to work putting his sole talent to use; asset stripping legal aid. The cuts meant the closure of 1,000 criminal legal aid firms to be replaced with the likes of Eddie Stobart Law. Morale among lawyers was at an absolute low and there was an overwhelming feeling of paralysis and powerlessness.

Photo correction

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The photo accompanying the article on the Stars Campaign for Interracial Friendship (January SR) showing two black men in front of grafitti saying “KBW” was wrongly captioned as being taken in Notting Hill.

In 1955 KBW stood for “Keep Brixton White”, the slogan adopted by the Union Movement in local elections. By 1958 it was being used all over the country as Keep Britain White.

But I digress, the photo was taken circa 1955 in Brixton.

Clarifying the terms of debate on sex and gender

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Mark O’Brien’s article on Freud and sexuality (“Freud, Sex and the Socialist Imagination”, December SR) is both unclear and wrong.

Consider a question he poses: "Is our mature sexual identification in some sense there at birth, awaiting its cultural triggers; or is the ‘maleness’ or ‘femaleness’ of the infant simply a matter of anatomical labelling, with no intrinsic meaning or later sexual attachment.”

Be fair to Greens' Caroline Lucas

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Just one point with regard to Shaun Doherty’s excellent article, “On Corbyn’s Side for the Wider Left” in last month’s SR. His criticism of Green MP Caroline Lucas was unfair.

On 7 January she was one of the speakers at a very successful Stop the War meeting attended by getting on for 200 people in Brighton. She made absolutely clear not only her opposition to the bombing of Syria but also her regret at the way her resignation as a patron of national Stop the War had been used as a stick to beat Jeremy Corbyn.

Flaws come tumbling down

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In his intermittently fair review of my book Promised You a Miracle: UK80-82 (December SR) Kevin Devine suggested that I hadn’t included Paul Weller’s band the Style Council because their left wing politics didn’t fit with my argument that some pop musicians of the time turned into “secret Thatcherites”.

In fact, my book mentions quite a few left wing bands approvingly, such as the Pop Group and Gang of Four. I left out the Style Council because they did not form until 1983 — after the period my book covers.

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