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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by Daphne Liddle

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.
six pledges

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.
foul system

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 capitalist system.


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 reconciliation.

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 its defence?


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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