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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Lead

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 visit.

mission

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 doing.”

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”.

peace party

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.”

that word

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.”

building

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.

toppling

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.
 

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Editorial

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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