Readers' Letters

Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Fans Qatar protest, death blame and why Green Party

16:23 19 October 2016

The protest at the Emirates Stadium  (Picture: Steven Powell)

The protest at the Emirates Stadium (Picture: Steven Powell)

Steven Powell

I was pleased to see the unacceptable conditions that construction workers in Qatar working on World Cup 2022 projects are currently required to endure exposed at the Emirates Stadium last Saturday, writes Steven Powell, Highbury Station Road, Islington.

Fans of both the home club and the visitors from Wales joined together in protest. I was pleased to lend my voice as a Gooner.

Almost all the workers are migrant labour. They are ruthlessly exploited. They have no right to an independent trade union to represent them; they are effectively held captive and required to surrender their passports to their employers; receive miserable wages that are often paid late or not at all; and are required to work in unsafe, inhuman conditions. The rates of serious injury and death are apalling.

I love the World Cup but I have no desire to see my passion paid for with exploitation. Meaningful change is required or Qatar should lose the right to host football’s biggest world event.

It is sobering and sad to read about the unnecessary death of Jeroen Ensink (Gazette, October 13), writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

People rightfully want to understand how this occurred – but how much of this is down to a lack of capital in a failed system that focuses on expensive management systems instead of investing in services which are fit for those affected by serious mental illness?

Should there not be a village outside London to absorb these people as they try to recover where they can be evaluated in opposition to being stuck on a ward locked in and fed drugs which don’t work?

Also how many people with chronic mental condictions are in prisons, which must be the worst place in the world for them? It is not the CPS that is to blame but central government policy which is outdated and a century behind where it should be.

Why this man was not charged before is economic, I suspect. The police are a state organisation, the CPS is a state organisation and the accused was also under state provision so had he been charged he would have gone to prison, which is not the correct location for people with such conditions. Where were the services that were meant to help him? Who are those responsible for this failure which had such a tragic outcome for all concerned?

I have just moved to Islington to continue my studies, writes Eric Fabrizi, full address supplied.

Naturally, money is at the forefront of my mind and the big issue is student loans.

As soon as you stop being a student, you need to find a way to make a living, yet you’re aware that all the money you earn exceeding £21,000 will have 9 per cent deducted to make payments on your large, growing, debt; for me, this will be approximately £80,000 plus interest.

I think George Osborne put the issue succinctly; it is like a “tax on learning”. It’s a disincentive to be successful and to contribute to society much in the way that graduated income tax thresholds throw up the similar problems.

This is why I am a Green Party member. I want to see an economy in which future generations, possibly of my own, will have significantly more individual freedom. One where no one is shackled to a debt, but is free to pursue their interests and desires. I think the Greens consistently show they sincerely take this view, whether it is the pledge of a guaranteed basic income, a foundation that would keep government out of people’s decisions among countless other advantages, or simply the attitude, as local representatives, that the people they represent, and most importantly their views, are the top concern.

We have some way to go in building this future, but I look forward to it.

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