The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 22nd September 2006
A message to Blair!
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker
by Daphne Liddle
“HE HAS dishonoured the UK, undermined the UN and international
law and helped to make the world a more dangerous place,” Labour MP
Clare Short said of her leader, Tony Blair, last week.
Short, who quit her Cabinet post shortly after the illegal
invasion of Iraq, last week said she was now “profoundly ashamed”
of the Government and Blair’s “craven support” for the United States
and declared she would prefer a hung parliament after the next general
This call leaves Ms Short open to “fast track discipline” by the
party and possible expulsion. But last Wednesday’s meeting of Labour’s
National Executive Committee deferred any decision over Clare Short’s
future in the party to avoid a confrontation in the run-up to next
week’s national party conference in Manchester.
This retreat reveals the current weakness of Blair’s position
within the party.
Short’s voice was only one of a still growing chorus calling for
Blair to go long before next year. He has publicly said he will go
within a year and that this will be his last conference as leader – but
refuses to be more specific.
Many of the others calling for Blair to quit now are supporters
of Brown, people like Geoff Hoon, who pointed out that Labour faces a
catastrophe in next May’s local, Scottish and Welsh elections if Blair
is still leader by then.
This concern has been echoed by other NEC members like Harriet
Yeo, a trade union representative – a Blairite who now realises that he
is an albatross around the party’s neck.
The Labour leadership is now openly dividing into two camps, with the
Brownites afraid to topple Blair because this will open up a real
debate on policies while the Blairites, at last realising their hero
must go, are frantically manoeuvring to find one of their number to
challenge Brown and act as a front man while Blair continues to dictate
from the background.
Possible Blairite candidates are Alan Johnson, Alan Millburn and
even John Reid. It is a ridiculous battle because there is less than an
atom’s width of difference between Blair and Brown on the most
important policy issues.
Nevertheless control freak Blair is using his remaining time in
office to set up structures to bind his successor to his policies.
He is setting up four ministerial reviews to debate and fix
policies on foreign affairs, public services, economic competitiveness
and security and migration – and claims he is preparing the ground for
a fourth Labour election win.
Knowing Blair he could even use this as an excuse not to step
down at all.
The Brownite camp is denying that Blair is imposing this
wide-ranging policy debate on them ahead of next year’s Government
Any idea that the actual Labour Party should be the source of
Labour policy seems long forgotten.
Blair is also cooking up proposals for a “school of government” –
presumably his American advisers’ answer to the British establishment’s
Eton and neither exactly in favour of power to the workers.
There is also a scramble going on between Blairites and Brownites
for who will replace John Prescott as deputy leader of the party –
Prescott is expected to step down at the same time as Blair.
These contenders include Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Hilary Benn,
Jack Straw, Jon Cruddas and Harriet Harman. They are all jockeying for
position – not wanting to offend Brown who is expected to succeed Blair
but at the same time some of them are ready to challenge for the top
job, casting themselves as an acceptable compromise between the two
Few come across with any real integrity. Only John McDonnell from
the Labour Representation Committee, who has sworn to challenge Brown
to a fight for the succession, has come out with a clear alternative
political agenda – against the war and against privatisation.
He is unlikely to win but by forcing a challenge, these issues
will be debated. And the voting process will put the power to decide in
the hands of rank and file Labour members and members of affiliated
trade unions – so it is possible that McDonnell could win.
This is the only path that can lead to a renewal of the Labour
Party as the voice of Britain’s working class and any hope of
pro-working class policies.
Whatever happens, the real struggle for workers’ power goes on
outside of the Whitehall Theatre of farce. It goes on in the shops,
factories, offices, hospitals, schools and streets all around the
country. It goes on in the process of mobilising and organising the
working class to challenge for real working class power.
Dump Blair now!
THE DEMAND for Tony Blair’s
resignation started even before the bombs began to rain down on Baghdad
three years ago.
Millions upon millions of people in Britain and throughout the world
took to the streets to protest against the drive to war. The popular
anger against the lies and hypocrisy of Anglo-American imperialist
aggression in the Middle East and Afghanistan have continued non-stop.
The venal pro-American governments in Spain and Italy were brought down
by the anti-war movement. Now, at long last, the end of Blair is in
The criminal Anglo-American invasion of Iraq has led to the deaths of
hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis along with many British
servicemen sent to do Bush’s dirty work in Basra. More suffering
was heaped on the Arabs when Anglo-American imperialism encouraged
Israel to invade Lebanon and crush the Palestinian administration in
Gaza and the West Bank this summer and now more lives are being lost in
the Afghan mountains.
While American imperialism bangs the drum for “human rights” and
“democracy” and sheds crocodile tears over suffering in Africa, it
imposes economic blockades and sanctions against Cuba, Democratic Korea
and Syria for daring to stand up to American imperialism. While Bush
bleats on about “good” and “evil”, the transnational corporations of
world capitalism extract their pound of flesh from the peoples of
Africa, Asia and Latin America who they mercilessly exploit. While Bush
and Blair trumpet their avowed belief in Jesus Christ, the Prince of
Peace, their legions are preparing for a new onslaught against Iran.
All of this is done in our name and all of this is done with the money
and blood of working people who are being sacrificed in pursuit of the
impossible dream of world domination.
The people have seen through Tony Blair, his lies and deceits. Blair
can barely show his face in Britain without attracting protests and
calls for his resignation. The unions are sick of him. The
Parliamentary Labour Party that he claims to lead has at last realised
that Blair is an albatross around their necks. Schoolkids denounce him
and everyone is clamouring for him to go. Everyone apart from Gordon
Brown, who believes he is chosen to succeed, wants a seamless transfer
to avoid making any promises to the labour movement to secure his
election. But Brown must be made to realise that the Labour leadership
is not Blair’s to give or inevitably his to take.
Blair serves the most venal and aggressive sections of the British
ruling class – the land-owners, capitalists and exploiters who believe
their interests are best served in alliance with American imperialism;
those who think that they’ll get a slice of the loot if American
imperialism wins. A defeat for Blair is a defeat for them.
Blair is opposed by those in the ruling class who want closer relations
with the European Union. They, like their counterparts in France and
Germany, are opposed to the war in Iraq – but only because they want
build the EU into a new imperialist bloc that can challenge its
American rival for control of the world’s markets. They court the
anti-war movement from time to time when they need mass support for
their own policies. But they can never represent or defend the
interests of working people. Only the masses, the millions upon
millions who put Labour where it is today, can bring Blair down and
when he goes the fight begins for a Labour leadership that meets the
demands of the unions that established the Labour Party in the first
place and continue to largely finance it today.
Blair says he’s going within a year but every day he remains in Downing
Street is one too long. The anti-war movement must step up the pressure
on the leaders of the labour movement in the unions and the Labour
Party to force a leadership election now. Blair must go now.
Troops out of Iraq!
Don’t attack Iran!
No Trident replacement!
SATURDAY 23 SEPTEMBER
1pm, Albert Square, Manchester.
New Worker sellers meet outside Town Hall,
north side of Albert Sq. 12 noon
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