The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 21st November 2003
Bush visiting Blair and the Queen for (Texas) tea.
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PUSH OFF BUSH!
by Elizabeth Farrell
GEORGE W BUSH arrived in London amid a storm
of anti-war protests on Tuesday.
The controversial state visit comes at a time when death tolls are mounting
in Iraq and anti-war protesters have vowed to make it very clear to the US
President that he is not welcome here.
Bush was greeted by Prince Charles at Heathrow Airport and flew by helicopter
to Buckingham Palace where he will be staying during the three days of his
During the first day of his visit, Bush told an audience at Banqueting House
that Anglo-American imperialism “share a mission” to defend freedom. He called
the British people “kind and steadfast and generous and brave” – adding that
“the British people are the sort of partners you want when serious work needs
But not everyone agreed. London Mayor Ken Livingstone condemned Bush as
“the greatest threat to life on this planet that we’ve probably ever seen”.
The popular Mayor reflected the views of the majority of Londoners with
his remarks. He is also holding a “peace party for anyone who is not George
Bush” in the City Hall on Wednesday.
As the President arrived in London, peace campaigners kicked off the first
in a series of protests, with a massive “Stop Bu$h” meeting at London’s Friends
House. The main hall at Friends House was so packed that an “overflow” meeting
had to be held – and still not everybody could get in.
Vietnam veteran and author of the book Born on the 4th of July Ron Kovic
desribed how he had volunteered to “fight and die for my country”. He was
convinced at the time that he was doing the “right thing”. “I believed in
Kennedy and in America”, Kovic told the huge crowd. “Like the troops now.
But things are beginning to change, families of soldiers are beginning to
speak out. And this is all about change.”
Ron Kovic recalled writing in his diary that he was “ready to die for freedom”.
“And they are still using that word”, he added. “They are still using that
word ‘freedom’ to describe the exploitation and occupation of the Iraqi people.”
He then told the rally how he had come to change his view. Kovic was paralysed
in the Vietnam War, and ended up in a US hospital. “The hospitals were like
slums,” he said. “And this is where my political life began. That’s where
I started thinking for the first time… …I realised I had been deceived and
misled. We were told a big lie.”
The troops are still told that lie. And Ron stressed that we must do everything
we can to stop that. “We must change this world if we are to survive.” He
said that the people of the world are “building bridges now”.
We will change this world, Kovic concluded. “Because we are together now,
and we do not have to do it alone.”
Tony Benn told the rally that “we are building a movement which is the best
guarantee for our survival”. He reminded us that “imperialism is motivated
by economic interests”, and said that we must defend ourselves against the
mass media describing the anti-war movement as “trouble makers” when the biggest
trouble maker of the world is coming to London.
CND chair Kate Hudson warned that “Bush has a vision for US global domination.
We can clearly see the criminal military face of US imperialism.”
“We don’t like it and we don’t want it – that is why we are protesting”,
Kate Hudson said. “Bush is not welcome here.”
And George Galloway MP, recently expelled from the Labour Party, said: “This
man is dangerous, foolish, right wing and a religious fundamentalist. He is
as welcome as the plague in Britain.”
On Wednesday the protests continued, with anti-war campaigners holding an
“alternative state procession” with a mock President Bush riding through London.
And anti-war groups scored a victory on Monday when the Metropolitan Police
agreed to let protesters march through Whitehall on Thursday, during the main
demonstration against Bush.
The march will end in Trafalgar Square with the toppling of a Bush statue
made of paper mache and chicken wire. More than 100,000 people will take to
the streets on in this massive demonstration that will leave George Bush under
no illusion that he is welcome in this country.
Bush not wanted here
GEORGE W BUSH has arrived in London with his entourage
and an army of security personnel for a state visit that the American president
hopes will puff up his flagging popularity at home. But while the red carpet
is laid out at Buckingham Palace, thousands upon thousands of protesters are
demonstrating the mounting anger of the people against Bush’s war and Britain’s
servile and shameful role in it.
Remember the lies we were told to justify the criminal invasion of Iraq?
First there was Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” that have still not
been found seven months after the total occupation of his country. Then came
claims of an Iraqi role in the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington
- totally false and barely mentioned theese days.
The warmongers told us that the Iraqi people would welcome the invaders
with open arms and that a new era of “democracy” and “progress” was about
to begin in the Middle East - disproved by daily reports of the Iraqi resistance
and the guerrilla war spreading like wildfire throughout the country.
The people of Britain were not consulted and the American public were deceived
by Bush and his willing tool, Tony Blair. But millions saw through their lies
and millions more can see that this stunt is just another pathetic attempt
by Bush and Blair to prop themselves up in the face of growing demands for
an end to the war in Iraq.
Nor is Blair
Tony Blair, if anything, is in a weaker position than Bush. He’s turned
his back on the trade union movement and Labour’s grass-roots. He ignores
public opinion when it suits him. His policy of crawling to US imperialism
at the expense of Britain’s allies in Europe has angered a substantial section
of the ruling class.
The pro-European wing of the bourgeoisie - those who expected the Blair
government to push for the euro and the drive towards greater EU integration
- have now ceased giving him the benefitt of the doubt. Their media gives
qualified support to the anti-war campaign and those politicians who took
the principled stand against the war. Their motives are, of course, venal.
Like the French and German imperialists, they see their economic interests
threatened by American domination of the world. Like the rulers of France
and Germany, they need mass support to succeed in their struggle to change
the direction of this government.
Working people also want change. They want a Labour Party that heeds the
demands of organised labour and the peace movement. They want a Labour leadership
that at least keeps to the promises it made in its election manifesto. They
want a Labour government that restores the health service and provides
affordable council housing like it did in the past, a decent transport system
and large-scale public ownership to give working people a standard of living
this immensely rich country could easily provide. But above all they want
peace. Blair has got to go.
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