The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 13th January 2006
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BLAIR SAYS GENERAL
by Daphne Liddle
FORMER SAS commander General
Sir Michael Rose last week called for Tony Blair to be impeached over
the war in Iraq, saying that Blair should not be allowed “to walk away”
from the crime of taking Britain to war on a false premise.
The general, who commanded the United Nations forces in Bosnia in 1994,
said: “The impeachment of Mr Blair is now something I believe must
happen if we are to rekindle interest in the democratic process in this
country once again.”
In a press interview he began by saying that unity in action
between a government and its army, behind a common cause, was essential
for winning a war. He added that military commanders will inevitably
most cautious about using force “for they understand better than most
the consequences of engaging in war”.
General Rose said that although in a democracy military
commanders must remain subordinate to the elected government, “they
have a duty to point out when political strategies are flawed or
He emphasises that soldiers who are asked to sacrifice their
lives must be assured that “the war is just, legal and the last resort
Rose accused Blair of failing ever to give a clear justification for
the war – “the intelligence he presented was always embarrassingly
patchy and inconsistent”.
“What is more,” he added, “his unequivocal statement to the House
of Commons that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction
that could be used within 45 minutes was made without being properly
validated – for it was decided in Washington and London to launch the
invasion of Iraq early, on the basis of the flimsy evidence available.
“This was done without asking the United Nations weapons
inspectors who were actually on the ground in Iraq to investigate this
“Ultimately, as the inspectors suspected and as we all now know,
it turned out that there were no such weapons. Britain had been led
into war on false pretences. It was a war that was to unleash untold
suffering on the Iraqi people and cause grave damage to the West’s
prospects in the wider war against global terror.”
Blair convinced Parliament to back the war on the false
information about weapons of mass destruction and an imminent threat
that Saddam could and would deploy them within 45 minutes.
Blair now says it does not matter that the information about WMD
proved false because the war has deposed a tyrant. But MPs would never
have supported the war if they believed that its reason was a regime
Blair himself in 2003 had insisted that regime change was not nor could
ever be a reason for going to war.
The real reason for the war was to secure control of Iraq’s vast
oil supplies for Washington and the giant American oil companies.
But even from their point of view, the war has been a total disaster,
thank to the continued resistance of the Iraqi people.
There have been a number of efforts to bring Blair to account for
one of the worst political decisions in British history.
One Plaid Cymru MP 18 months ago did start a process to impeach
Blair over the decision to join Bush’s illegal war against Iraq. It was
a long-shot and did not get enough parliamentary support to happen.
There have been many calls for a full inquiry into the reasons for the
war. But Blair has managed to field these away by granting first of all
an inquiry into the issue only of the WMDs.
When that led to the death of Government weapons expert Dr Kelly,
there was another inquiry into that.
Blair carefully chose the people who conducted these inquiries.
They last many months and were very expensive but they did not ask the
most important questions.
At the end of this process, all who had hoped Blair would be
brought to book were disappointed.
There are new calls now for another proper inquiry. Last month an
all-party group of MPs tabled a motion calling for an inquiry into the
war. The group included former Tory Cabinet Minister Douglas Hogg and
acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell.
But Blair was beginning to think he had got away with it until
General Sir Michael Rose spoke up. He represents that part of the
ruling class that has suffered because of the rapacious adventurism of
Bush and his neo-Con henchmen. They will never go away until Blair is
brought to account – and then they will go after Bush.
A matter of respect
TONY BLAIR last week launched
his new Respect action plan in the so-called war against anti-social
behaviour. It’s yet another propaganda assault on the working class
“undeserving poor” and their failure to share his middle class values.
There are to be more anti-social behaviour orders, where mainly young
people are accused, tried, found guilty, stigmatised and threatened
with imprisonment without any recourse to a judicial process, standards
of proof or a legal defence. Already we have seen Asbos imposed on
autistic children and others with mental and physical health problems –
criminalised because of their illnesses.
Working class parents also come in for some serious threats from
“parenting orders” and fines to eviction. Most working class parents
are working flat out to do the best they can for their children in
difficult circumstances. A combination of growing debt and long working
hours prevent many from being able to give their children the essential
adult time and attention they need more than anything else.
Some parents do struggle to cope with the behaviour of their
children. But the reality is that when they ask the state for help,
nine times out of 10 underfunding of social services means there is no
help available until it is too late – and then they are blamed for the
More provision for those who ask for help is needed and more
social provision for the care of children – affordable youth clubs with
activities like drama, music, dance and sports would give children the
message that society values them and is prepared to give them time and
Recent research by John Moores University showed that praising
good behaviour is far more effective in achieving good discipline than
criticising bad behaviour. How about more recognition and reward for
good behaviour among young people?
What message do we give children when the only way to get our
attention is to behave badly?
RESPECT MP George Galloway last
week made a catastrophic political mistake in taking part in the
Celebrity Big Brother programme on Channel Four. His declared aim was
“to bring political debate to wider audience” of young people who are
out of touch with political issues. But the programme makers have
gagged him. Every political word he utters is edited or bleeped out.
It has to be so. Broadcasting standards authorities do not allow the
expression of political opinions in programmes unless they are
“completely balanced” with a right of reply for all mainstream
viewpoints. Programme makers cannot achieve this except in designated
discussion programmes, documentaries and well-signposted satires.
This is why in dramas and soap operas no character ever expresses
an opinion on any current major news topic or takes part in any
political activity. This has led to a generation of young people who
have grown up thinking that getting involved in politics is not quite
George Galloway is experienced enough to know that no aspect of
the bourgeois state can be used against the system. He has made a fool
of himself and played into the hands of those who want to discredit his
campaign against the war on Iraq.
Just a few months ago his political stature was miles high after
he publicly berated the US Senate Committee over the war on Iraq. Now
he has undermined his own credibility by mistaking a programme chiefly
about sleaze and voyeurism for a political platform.
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