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Tory care reforms will make childhood as joyless as work

There were cries of alarm in my children’s centre last week at Tory minister Liz Truss’s increase of child to worker ratios in early years settings.

It’s clear to everyone that it is simply lying to say that childcare can be improved by making adults responsible for more children.

Of course we want a well trained workforce for our youngest children.

Research shows that workers highly skilled in the understanding and practice of child development are most effective at supporting young learners. Low ratios are also crucial and we demand these too.

We want nurseries where childcare is collectivised, provided and paid for by local authorities.

What the Tories are doing is in fact making cuts. You can’t have good quality early years provision without a big injection of funding.

Unless we protest loudly we will see staff laid off and safety and welfare compromised.

Parents, don’t trust Truss—your children are not safe in her hands!

Paula Champion, Cambridge


Socialist Worker was right to point out the drive for profit behind Tory plans to increase the number of children that childminders can look after.

The Tories know that market logic will force nurseries to adopt the new ratios, driving down the standard of care.

Putting your child in nursery can be a complex decision. It’s about both the economic necessity that forces parents to work, and the positive effect that social interaction can have on your child.

But these “reforms” will destroy that positive side of childcare.

Nursery workers will be too busy firefighting problems to focus on children’s development.

Children will have to confront an ever more anonymous system that cannot meet their needs.

In Tory philosophy, that’s perfect training for life under capitalism.

Andy G Cunningham, Manchester


Bedroom tax fears

The “bedroom tax” is going to affect me. I am in social housing and have lived in this house for years.

I am disabled and had adaptations done to suit my needs. Moving into something smaller is not an option for me.

Now I face being evicted if I am unable to pay the rent, so I will end up homeless.

Why should I move from a community I know well to somewhere else where I will be isolated?

My MP supports the new welfare reforms and the bedroom tax.

He is, of course, a Tory. He lives alone, in a seven bedroom country mansion here in the Cotswolds.

Beverley Anne Rupar, on Facebook


Unite to win liberation

Progress has been made in recognising the human rights of LGBT people over decades, but homophobia and gender stereotypes are still pervasive.

This is rooted in an oppressive economic system that is dependent on the archaic nuclear family structures for survival.

But there is so much opportunity to overcome these outdated beliefs.

We need unity in the struggle to end oppression.

Protest, lobbying, and building broader links can create a far more efficient socialist movement and help battle against injustice.

Daniel Pitt, Mid Glamorgan


A Monty Python quiz to keep immigrants away

The government has revealed changes to its citizenship test, placing greater focus on the “values and principles at the heart of being British”.

This includes questions on the London Olympics, Monty Python and the influence of the Beatles.

This is part of a wider attack. We’ve seen international students threatened with deportation on bogus claims and LGBT asylum seekers asked to “prove” their sexual orientation.

Immigration minister Mark Harper is “determined to reduce net migration”.

The Tories are considering an ad campaign to dissuade people from Romania and Bulgaria from coming to Britain because “it’s horrible and wet”.

But between cuts, privatisation and knowledge of Monty Python, the weather might end up not having much to do with peoples’ decision to stay away.

Stef Newton, East London


What are we expected to survive on?

I recently claimed jobseekers’ allowance online. It took me well over an hour, for what I thought would be a simple task!

When I had my interview they said it would be 10-14 days before I received any money. What are you meant to live on?

There are 70 people chasing every job in Hull, the unemployment black spot of the country.

Only papers like the Socialist Worker keep my spirits up!

I urge all unemployed people to join the Unite union for just £2 a month—and vote for fighting candidate Jerry Hicks in its general secretary election.

Andy Reed, Hull Unite community branch


The Tories want to squeeze the poor until the pips squeak.

Their rage against benefits stems from the desire to smash working class culture and living standards.

This is an ideological assault on the welfare state and the “plebs” they see as idle thugs.

The Tory tyrants and their Lib Dem lackeys get a sadistic thrill from tormenting the disabled, the marginalised and the vulnerable.

Zekria Ibrahimi, by email


My nuclear war victory

I worked as a cost estimator in London a few years ago.

I was supposed to do commercial office blocks, but one day they gave me a new project.

It was a nuclear warhead research lab.

I refused to work on the project and was called into the manager’s office to be disciplined.

I put forward my case, and the company decided not to go ahead with the project.

They said I was like Spartacus. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Michael Ayton, Crawley, Sussex


Is this Tories’ new poll tax?

The Tories are about to turn the council tax into the poll tax by making the poorest pay the taxes of the rich.

If Labour councillors refuse to pass budgets that impose this tax next month, millions of working class people will support them. I hope they do this—but I’m not holding my breath.

The poll tax did for Margaret Thatcher.

This time, we’ve got to fuel the fire of protest with picket lines—and claim back our NHS and our welfare system.

Rupert Mallin, Norwich


Put the cops in their place

Police have been used to order strikers back to work in Athens.

The United Nations need to pass a mandate that defines the duties of police around the world.

Some of them seem to believe that their duties entail the protection of the state by any means possible.

Abiola Jomilogu, on Facebook


Down with the government

Less than half of the people who voted in the last general election voted Conservative.

But we now have a Conservative government imposing its right wing agenda.

The poorest are hit hardest while the richest receive additional tax relief.

Sarah Steele, on Facebook


Article information

Letters
Tue 5 Feb 2013, 17:08 GMT
Issue No. 2339
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