I hadn’t read the letters page of the Socialist Worker newspaper for a decade and a half until I started to contribute to this blog. Silly me.
I have missed out on several hilarious examples of self-delusion every week. Take the first letter from “Youth Worker” in West London. None of his or her sentences seem logically to relate to what follows or precedes it:
The police are using the government’s anti-social behaviour legislation as a licence to criminalise young black and Asian people. There have recently been ten anti-social behaviour orders slapped on young people on a number of estates in the area. These could result in prosecutions for the most petty of crimes. A young person can end up facing five years in prison and their families being evicted from their homes
It is not clear if “Youth Worker” is trying to argue that black and asian hooligans should be exempt from anti-social behaviour orders because of their race or even whether, in fact, the orders were slapped on white hooligans. Nor does he/she explain what the most petty of crimes means or why those who commit these crimes should end up doing five years in jail for it when you can do less for manslaughter. The only thing which is clear from the contents of the letter is that “Youth Worker” is too ashamed to put his or her name to the letter. I can see why.
Sue Bond of Oldham is less bashful when she comments on a recent legal decision which she disagrees with:
THE HOUSE of Lords recently made an unbelievable decision against a lesbian teacher who had been driven out of her job as a result of homophobic bullying. The House of Lords decided that such behaviour is not sex discrimination under the law dating from the 1970s.
The decision is hardly unbelievable when you consider the court decided that the woman had quite possibly suffered from discrimination but that it was not covered by the Sex Discrimination Act and that they could not rule on that discrimination as a result. The poor women should sue her legal team for attemping to argue being a lesbian entitles you to say you are actually a seperate sex.
I am not sure whether the writers of these letters are aware that they are talking absolute rubbish and don’t care, or whether they are just stupid and being patronised by the editor of Socialist Worker. Either way it must be depressing to have an IQ of more than 100 and an SWP membership card whether as a reader or journalist on the paper.