The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 22nd September 2006

A message to Blair!

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Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker is informed and credited.



by Daphne Liddle

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 election.

 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 spending review.

 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 camps.

 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 sight.

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.

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!
1pm, Albert Square, Manchester.
New Worker sellers meet outside Town Hall,
north side of Albert Sq. 12 noon

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