Write On: Letters to the Editor

March 14, 2009

Write On: Letters to the editor

What paper are you reading?

Allen Myers's letter (GLW #786) said: "It would be nice to see a socialist analysis of the economic crisis in GLW."

I'm not sure what newspaper he thinks he has been reading, but it can't be this one.

Space considerations prevent the listing of all the most recent examples, but regular readers would find it difficult to miss the explicit socialist analysis of the crisis GLW has published, from John Bellamy Foster, Margarita Windisch, Graham Matthews, Peter Boyle or Reihana Mohideen to name just some regular contributors.

Although Myers has had trouble locating these and other articles, he believes he has uncovered "a standard Keynesian view of the economic crisis" in Matthews's interview with Bill Mitchell (GLW #785) titled "Could the government provide full employment?".

While Mitchell himself did not outline the case for the abolition of capitalism, this is hardly the point. His call that government "restore full employment by making an 'unconditional job offer' at a liveable minimum wage to all who want to work" is something socialists should endorse, rather than distance themselves from.

As the economic crisis bears down harshly on working people, socialists cannot afford to limit themselves to criticism of capitalist economic theories in the abstract.

Demanding that Australia's capitalist government guarantee full employment does not equate to socialism. However, it's an important transitional demand that can open the road to even more radical developments.

Simon Butler

Glebe, NSW

Support appreciated

The article written by Tony Iltis (GLW #786) is an excellent analytical report with facts and figures. We, Tamils, appreciate you for highlighting the atrocities forgotten or ignored by the powerful countries that inspired the extremist Sri Lankan government to annihilate and hence marginalise any resistance to the unabated human rights violations and an intended military solution.

The UN and international players are waiting to dig mass graves where innocent Tamils, aid workers, journalists, Tamil MPs and NGO volunteers are buried by the military and assisted paramilitaries once the military victory is declared, and call in the International Criminal Court to prosecute the president Rajapakse, his brothers and the head of the Armed Forces, Sareth Fonseka.

Sith Shanmugam

Coventry Tamil Welfare Association

Coventry, UK [Abridged.]

Tamils in the media

I just read the Tamil article on your website (GLW #786). It was well featured, analysed and brought some truth and facts. It was a complete contrast to the majority of reporting in the English-language media, which usually portrays the Tamil struggle as a terrorist issue and the Sri Lankan government as the saviour of Tamil people.

I always wonder why journalists around the world don't write the truth like you in their publications and stand by true journalism and support the local journalists who live under constant fear in Sri Lanka, as the media freedom is suppressed and the country is designated as the worst place for journalists.

Instead, most of the foreign media reports the government news.

Jeff Fernando

Melbourne, Victoria [Abridged.]

Bushfire protection vs forestation

It would be a strange irony if in our zeal to protect our families, homes and communities from the dangers inherent in living near the bush, we were to carry out large-scale land-clearing and destroy what is unique and appealing about living in these wonderful places.

In doing so, we would also wipe out vital wildlife habitat and contribute to exacerbating the drought and climate change. These are the very things that have contributed so much to making these bushfires so destructive.

Australia has already lost half of its native forests; we very much need what's left. We must always keep in mind the importance and the myriad collective health, environmental and economic benefits of trees. Trees provide shade and shelter, improve air quality, combat soil erosion, slow stormwater run off, act as windbreaks, provide habitat for wildlife and, most importantly, store carbon and thereby reduce the effects of global warming.

Trees also produce oxygen, they inhale carbon dioxide, use it and release oxygen, as well as filtering and cleaning the air we breathe. We could not exist without trees; they are in fact essential to life.

Steven Katsineris

Hurstbridge, Victoria [Abridged.]

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