The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 18th February 2005
For a report of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Congress - see New Worker News
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ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH
by Daphne Liddle
AS THE next general
election approaches, Tony Blair is getting desperate for our votes –
and it shows. His personal ratings in the polls are so low he is doing
things he would not have dreamt of only a few months ago – like
admitting he had become arrogant and nervously venturing out and about
among ordinary people.
But he is failing to impress. The number of people saying they are
unlikely to vote is growing and we seem to be heading for a record low
turnout at the general election, which will probably be on 5 May.
According to a national Opinion Poll conducted for the
Independent last Wednesday only 55 per cent of people said they were
likely to vote. This is not apathy – it is dissatisfaction with all the
parties, with the whole system.
Blair has issued six pledges – printed on a pocket pledge card – at the
Labour Party’s spring conference last weekend. The promises are similar
to those issued just before the 1997 general election and cover
childcare, education, health, crime, the economy and immigration.
And they are just as bland and meaningless – and unlikely to be
remembered a month after the election.
Blair is trying to recapture his early popularity and claiming
that the party faithful will connect with these pledges.
He said: “We are trying to say, in the past seven or eight years, not
everything has changed for the better in this country; not everything
has been the way we like it. Life is a struggle – but my goodness this
country has moved forward.
“There will always be a razzmatazz about election campaigns and
pre-election campaigns but one thing is for sure. What matters is
having the will in Government to make changes.”
Blair is trying in vain to put the clock back to before the Iraq
war – the one huge issue that he makes no mention of at all, that he
wishes everyone would forget.
But as the election campaign goes forward so the bad news
continues to arrive from Iraq. In particular the current trial in
Osnabrück, Germany, of British soldiers accused of abusing
Iraqi prisoners who had been caught looting in Basra just after the
illegal invasion of their country by the British and Americans, keeps
Britain’s Iraq shame in the headlines.
And last Wednesday new cases of abuse and murder came to light as
the bodies of six Iraqi victims of British abuse were exhumed.
These six were allegedly shot dead by soldiers in the
British-controlled area of southern Iraq. At least two of the cases are
expected to result in charges.
The army has accepted that some of the killings were “mistakes” –
innocent bystanders shot during disturbances. In one unrelated case
seven paratroopers have been charged with the murder of an 18-year-old
youth who was beaten to death.
These cases are bad enough but are small beer compared to the killings
of thousands of innocent men, women and children by American and
British bombing of Iraqi cities, during the invasion and ever since.
The dreadful attack on Fallujah at the end of last year left
hundreds dead and the historic city in utter ruins because local people
dared to resist the occupation.
The people of Iraq continue to resist, despite the sham
elections, and will continue to do so.
The violence and horror will continue until the illegal
occupation is ended and the American and British troops are withdrawn.
That is one pledge that Blair has failed to make in his shallow
election pledges. Does he really think he is fooling the people? He
remains as arrogant as ever.
But what are the alternatives? The Tories are decidedly worse –
and their support is also declining sharply.
The Liberal Democrats, on the surface, seem better. They are
taking a stand in defence of civil liberties that are now under attack
from Blair’s government, with its proposals for compulsory identity
cards, house arrest and imprisonment for terrorist suspects without
charge or trial.
But the reality of Lib-Dem policies, as anyone knows who has
lived under a Lib-Dem local authority knows, are no less harsh in the
long-run. And their basic ideology is one of opening up the country to
the global markets, to privatisation and so on.
This is the nub of the problem. Bourgeois democracy stinks
because we are not actually ruled by the people we elect to Parliament
but by capitalism, by money and the markets.
Whoever we put in power in Westminster will be forced to do much
the same thing. Blair is a scoundrel but the Labour Party is still the
only party in which the organised working class has any input or
influence at all.
We must re-elect Labour but remember that voting is not enough. We must
get rid of the whole foul system and that needs a socialist revolution,
led by the organised working class.
If we really want change, we must build that class, its organisation,
its unity and its strength to first throw out Blair and then the whole
Democratic Korea stands up!
THE GOVERNMENT of the
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has justly withdrawn from
the six-party talks and developed its own nuclear deterrent in the face
of unprecedented threats from American imperialism.
In the hypocritical world of imperialist diplomacy
the DPRK is reviled and condemned. But nothing is said about their
lackey Israel, whose vast arsenal of weapons of mass destruction
threatens all the Arabs. Nothing is said about Israel’s secret atomic
weapons establishment at Dimona or Israel’s nuclear potential which
Mordechai Vanunu got 18 years for when he exposed it.
Democratic Korea threatens no one, least of all the
United States. It is the US that occupies the south of the country. It
is US nuclear weapons that are targeted on north Korea and it is US
imperialism that threatens the peace in north east Asia with its Cold
War diplomacy that amounts to little more than ultimatums.
During the Clinton administration progress was made
on the nuclear issue and many other outstanding matters and the DPRK
government remains committed to dialogue, negotiations and
But over the past four years the Bush administration has waged a
relentless hate campaign against Democratic Korea, branding it part of
the “axis of evil”, threatening “regime change” and using its
propaganda agencies to spread lies and distortions about the people’s
government, their leaders and the Workers’ Party of Korea. Is it
surprising that DPRK has now had to turn to its own resources to secure
Bye Bye Gyanendra
In 1952 the Egyptian masses,
enraged at the crimes of British imperialism, took to the streets of
Cairo torching every symbol of colonialism they could lay their hands
on. Gazing out of a palace window, King Farouk gloomily predicted that
“eventually there will only be five kings left in the world. The king
of spades, the king of diamonds, the king of hearts, the king of clubs
and the king of England”.
The Egyptian king’s prophesy came to pass quicker
than he expected as Farouk was kicked out soon after by Nasser’s Free
Officers. But sadly monarchs still outnumber the crowns in a pack of
cards. Our people, who executed Charles Stuart in 1649 and established
a republic that lasted until 1660, are still burdened with a
parasitical and immensely rich royal family who live off the backs of
working people. Other monarchs across the globe live the lives of Roman
Emperors while their subjects eke a miserable existence on the poverty
line and no more so than in Himalayan kingdom of Nepal.
There, King Gyanendra has swept away his own
appointed cabinet to play the tyrant in a desperate response to the
Maoist guerrilla movement that now controls over half the country. Most
of the leaders of the parliamentary parties, including the powerful
Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), are under house
arrest. Others have fled to India to lead the campaign for the
restoration of democratic rights.
The guerrillas under the leadership of the Communist
Party of Nepal (Maoist) are moving to blockade the capital, Katmandu.
For years major differences with the other political parties, including
the UML communists, have led to bloodshed and made the building on a
united front against the monarchy impossible. But Gyanendra has now
managed to unite virtually the whole spectrum of Nepalese opinion
around the demand for the end of the monarchy.
The differences amongst Nepal’s workers and peasants
are ones only they can resolve. But all progressives can support the
general demand for an end to the feudal monarchy and the establishment
of a democratic republic. Farouk packed his bags in 1952. The sooner
Gyanendra goes the better – and that goes for the Windsors as well.
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