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Letters to the editor

April 19, 2002 | Page 12

OTHER LETTERS
He fought for a better society
Kudos to SW for the good work
Correction

Don't mourn the death of a parasite

Dear Socialist Worker,

Since the death of Britain's "Queen Mother," the mother of Queen Elizabeth, the press has bombarded us with tributes to this "beacon of hope and courage" who was "surprisingly common."

Are they joking? The woman was a gin-swigging parasite who led a life of incredible luxury that we "commoners" can't even begin to imagine.

The media praised her for refusing to leave London during the bombing in the Second World War. But the truth is that while ordinary people were forced to sleep in open fields to escape the bombs, she spent her nights in the safety and comfort of Windsor Palace, far from London.

At one point during the war, she thought she would raise the morale of people whose homes and lives had been destroyed by Nazi bombing by "gracing" the poor in the East End of London with her presence. Instead, people hurled bricks and spat at her as she passed by.

Even though she never worked a day in her life, she was worth about $100 million--and still received approximately $1 million a year in taxpayers' money! Yet despite her massive wealth, she was notoriously stingy and refused to pay her servants a living wage.

A bigot who supported making concessions to Hitler and South African apartheid, the Queen Mother referred to Blacks as "nig nogs" and mourned the decline of British imperialism.

Like the rest of the royal family, the Queen Mother had nothing in common with regular people. For working-class people, hers is not a death worth mourning.

Susan Fitzgerald, Boston

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He fought for a better society

Dear Socialist Worker,

On March 31, Phil Hellesto, a member of the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA) and an activist for labor and human rights, died as a result of an engine-room fire aboard the ship Cape Horn while it was 800 miles from Honolulu.

Phil was an active member of the Bay Area Charleston Five support committee. He also played an active role during the anti-World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in November 1999. In 1988, Phil was part of a delegation of U.S. union activists who went to El Salvador to provide protection to Salvadoran union leaders targeted for assassination.

Phil believed that unions had an important role to play in the struggle to build a better society--beyond simple "bread-and-butter issues." His longtime friend and union brother Paul Norman described Phil as someone "who lived for unionism" and "who walked the talk."

Those of us in the struggle for labor and human rights can best honor his memory by continuing the struggle.

Ken Morgan, San Francisco

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Kudos to SW for the good work

Dear Socialist Worker,

Kudos for your coverage of the "war on terrorism" as well as the continued Israeli war on the Palestinian people.

As a human services worker, I find it appalling that this government, which some people call a "democracy," can spend countless billions of dollars on death and destruction, and yet my own job--funded by the Department of Mental Health--could be axed in this year's round of Republican budget cuts.

This regime doesn't care about the clients I serve--mentally ill people. Their budget cuts could put my clients and me out on the street. These politicians care only about one thing: more money for the rich.

It all goes to show what the priorities are in this country, and how important it is that we struggle for a socialist tomorrow.

I've been a reader of SW for nearly 10 years, and the paper never disappoints me. Keep up the good work!

Bruce Burleson, Boston, Mass.

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Correction

IN A STORY in the last issue of SW ("Media miseducation about Israel's barbarism"), we incorrectly identified Mark Regev as Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Regev works for the press office of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.

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