The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 13th June 2003

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Protesting in Paris against the new pension laws



Currency decision postponed again

by Daphne Liddle

CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown’s decision last Monday to defer joining the European single currency while launching a publicity campaign to win the public over to the idea is a reflection of the deepening rifts within the ruling classes in Britain.

 Most industrialists are dismayed at the delay, which will hit Britain’s trade with Europe at a time when unemployment has risen sharply for the first time in years and manufacturing industry is struggling.

 But Blair and Brown’s close friends across the Atlantic will not be disappointed at all at the delay.

 President Bush has his sights set firmly on United States total global hegemony and as the European Union is set for rapid expansion – absorbing most of eastern Europe and possibly eventually Russia – it must inevitably become a serious trading rival to the US.

 It could also become a military rival and one that would not be bullied as easily as Third World countries.

 Bush is torn between his desire to see his poodle Blair acting on his behalf in the heart of the EU, and his knowledge that Blair’s influence would be small after recent divisions with European leaders over Iraq and that he is seen and recognised as Bush’s servant.

much the same

Much the same would apply to Brown if he were to replace Blair as Prime Minister.

 Blair and Brown are postponing the entry into the euro because it is obvious to all that they would never win a referendum in favour right now.

 MPs were not surprised last Monday when Brown told them that his famous five tests for joining the single currency were nearly met but not quite and that the decision would be delayed.

 The europhiles are concerned that although a paving Bill, to allow a referendum to be held, will be tabled this autumn, there is no date for a referendum and no definite timetable for joining. They fear this delay scenario could be repeated, possibly indefinitely.

 The industrialists and other European governments will not be happy with this continuing uncertainty, which will damage the power of the euro compared to the dollar.

 Most finance experts now think it is unlikely that a referendum will be held before the next general election.


Citigroup economist Michael Saunders said: “Having delivered a verdict that the UK should not join EMU now, backed up by weighty research, it is hard to see how the Treasury could seriously deliver the opposite verdict as soon as 2004.”

 One of the key reasons given by Brown for delaying joining he single currency is that it would destabilise the housing market.

 House prices in Britain have rocketed in recent years – impoverishing workers who struggle to find homes and employers who have to pay extra wages to cover housing costs.

 But landowners like the royal family and their friends and relations have profited enormously from this. They and other extremely reactionary and nationalistic sections of the ruling class would be quite happy to see joining the euro delayed indefinitely.

 George Eustice, who directs the No Campaign, said that Brown had made the right decision. “The time is not right to join,” he declared.

 In practical terms, the earliest date that euro coins and notes could be produced and in circulation is 2007.

 Brown did make one concession to the europhiles and agree that Britain would change the way it measures inflation to be consistent with that of Europe and adopt a new, lower inflation target. That means pressure to cap wages.


And he might review the “five tests” again after next year’s budget.
 But in essence, Britain is scarcely nearer joining the euro than it was when Labour first came to power in 1997. Much has happened since then that has drawn Blair and Brown closer to the dollar than the euro.

 All this, of course, assumes that Brown and Blair will still be in place by the next budget – and this is looking less and less likely.

 It’s not only the “awkward squad” of trade unionists, Labour Party members and peace protesters who want to get rid of Blair but also the pro-European section of the ruling class.

 Blair has recently complained that “rogue elements” within MI6 are “out to get him”. He should remember that MI6 was created primarily to defend the interests of British business abroad. It is inevitable that elements within MI6 would reflect the views of the pro-euro part of the ruling class.

 The single currency, along with all the other steps towards a European super-state, do not benefit workers in the long run – in Britain, western Europe, eastern Europe or anywhere.


The EU is a finance capitalist creation to provide maximum possibility for profit-making – at the expense of the working class. It is not concerned about working class rights and democracy.
But the same can be said, even more so, for the aggressive and avaricious empire of the dollar. The danger is that he working class here, in Europe, in America and in the rest of the world, will be caught up in rivalry between the euro and the dollar that could lead to a third world war.


This is all the more reason to maximise international working class solidarity and project the call for peace and socialism.


Dark clouds over Korea

TENSION is once again rising on the Korean peninsula. American imperialism is stepping up its hate campaign against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and matching it with an ominous military build-up in the occupied south of the country.

Washington’s propaganda machine is now in top gear churning out the usual lies about life in the socialist north of the country including hoary old tales of “cannibalism” and “mass starvation” along with new smears including nonsensical allegations that the DPRK is involved in money-laundering and the international drugs trade.

This would be laughable if it wasn’t linked with a sinister redeployment of US combat troops in south Korea away from the ceasefire line that has divided the country since the end of the Korean War.

The pull-back to American bases at least 100 km south of the “demilitarised zone” is being presented as a gesture of peace and a response to the growing demand of the people of south Korea for the Americans to go home altogether. But the real reason, which is not denied by the US high command, is purely military.

The withdrawal is simply to increase the offensive capacity of the US army in south Korea by pulling them out of the range of north Korean heavy artillery and enabling them to act as a strike force against the DPRK.

Peaceful reunification

There has never really been a calm day since the end of the Korean War in 1953 and this is entirely due to US imperialism’s refusal to honour the terms of the armistice which called for the re-unification of the country once the guns fell silent. The imperialists had been badly mauled in the conflict by the heroism of the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Volunteers. Washington wanted the cease-fire but it was not prepared to release its grip on the southern part of Korea.

For decades US imperialism dominated the south with the support of crooked south Korean politicians and corrupt generals largely hand-picked by the Americans themselves to guarantee the continued exploitation of the south Korean economy for the benefit of American corporations.

For decades they ignored the calls from the north for talks to end the cruel partition of the country and rejected the proposals from Korea’s revolutionary leader Kim Il Sung for the peaceful reunification of the country, based on confederation and the principle of “one country - two systems”.

But in recent years the mood has changed in the south. The demand for an end to the American occupation and the cruel partition led to the restoration of civilian government and the establishment of realistic political forces ready to consider the proposals of the DPRK. For a brief moment in the 90s the Clinton administration in the United States responded to this mood by taking some steps towards normalisation with Democratic Korea.

Agreement was reached on the thorny issue of the north’s development of nuclear energy and a north-south dialogue began which led to the historic inter-Korean joint declaration of 15 June 2000 pioneered by Democratic Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

But the high hopes of the Korean people have been dashed by the Bush administration. The nuclear agreement with the north has been torn-up and American imperialism has returned to the old Cold War strategy of destabilisation, economic sanctions and threats of war.

The Bush administration hides its predatory instincts behind talk of “human rights” but denies the Korean people the basic right of all peoples - re-unification and freedom.

Tension on the Korean peninsula threatens the peace of Asia and the problem can only be resolved through peaceful reunification. The long standing proposals from Democratic Korea provide the basis for the peaceful resolution of the problem through the establishment of a confederal independent state based on the principle of “one country - two systems” - and has clearly worked in Hong Kong.

Democratic Korea has called for direct talks with the United States to resolve all the outstanding issues that divide them. The British government should support this call and stop slavishly following the twists and turns of Bush diplomacy.

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