The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 22nd June 2007

Starting as we mean to go on!

Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition

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by Daphne Liddle

Party has gained three percentage points in opinion polls since Blair announced his departure date – 27th June – according to the Independent’s “poll of polls” published last week.

 Brown may not be offering much in the way of changing policies but people are simply glad that Blair is going.

 But we must, grudgingly, admit that Blair and his best friend Bush have done some good in the world – though not in the way they intended. They have done more to divide and discourage global imperialism than many on the Left. They have led it into an impossible adventure in Iraq where it is bogged down and unable to react against Left advances in Latin America and other places.

 Last Monday senior Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs berated Blair over whether his “liberal intervention” strategy would survive after he leaves office.

 Labour MP Mike Gapes, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, said the case for intervening in other countries in future has been “discredited and undermined” by the experience in Iraq. And he accused Blair of being out of step with world opinion.

 Tory MP Edward Leigh asked Blair if he was “in a state of denial” over Iraq, and said it would be engraved on his political tombstone.
haunt him

And he asked whether, “in the dark watches of the night” the thousands of people who had died in Iraq returned to haunt him.

 Blair defended the invasion, claiming that if Saddam was still running Iraq, the world would face a different set of problems. He also denied that he would not be leaving office now if it was not for Iraq and claimed that intervention was now needed in Darfur.

 Later, in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Blair claimed he was losing popularity simply because he had been Prime Minister for so long and people were getting tired of him.

  As Blair prepares to quit Number 10 it has become clear that his wife Cherie is to happy to be giving way to Gordon Brown, as a former family friend, Barry Cox, revealed that throughout Blair’s 10-year premiership she has urged him to sack Brown for insubordination.

 Cabinet colleagues past and present – including Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, Estelle Morris and Clare Short – also lined up in a Channel Four documentary shown on Thursday night to detail the long-running personal feud between Blair and Brown.

 Some of them seem to be queuing up to sabotage Brown’s premiership before it has begun – such is their loyalty to Labour in government!

 And last week we saw a rare difference between Blair and Brown that was actually about policy – the European Union constitution.

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been trying to resurrect the EU constitution that was rejected by voters in France and Holland a couple of years ago. The new version – to be voted on in an EU summit currently under way – has been altered slightly and is now called a treaty, not a constitution.

 On this basis Blair has asserted that it will not be necessary to put its acceptance to a referendum in Britain. Blair’s spokesperson said: “This treaty should be an amending treaty. Previous amending treaties have not required a referendum and we do not believe that this treaty should have the characteristics of a constitution.”

 Brown on the other hand, is ready for a referendum and Europe Minister Geoff Hoon also said that a referendum may be necessary if the deal is unsatisfactory to Britain.

 This provoked squawks of protest from Downing Street and Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, angry that Hoon had suggested they might easily sell out British interests.

 Suspicions are high that Blair is suddenly all for the new EU treaty/constitution in the hopes that he might get the job of figurehead – and end up still as Gordon Brown’s boss.

 This is very unlikely to happen, given Blair’s past relations with the EU, but Merkel and French leader Sarkosy are unlikely to make this clear to him until the results of the summit are signed and sealed. And Blair is eager to snooker everything he can before Brown takes over.

 Whatever the result, it is bad news for the working class and labour movement in Britain. We can only hope that the current rifts and feuds within the New Labour clique will give an opportunity for the unions and rank and file Labour to get rid of them all.


‘Calamity’ threatens Palestinians

THE IMPERIALISTS tell us they are fighting a war against terror. They call it “humanitarian intervention” when they try to use the United Nations as a cover for their aggression. They claim to fight for “democracy” when they try to install puppet leaders on countries they seek to plunder and exploit. They call those who stand up to them part of the “axis of evil”.

But when the Palestinians elected a government not of their choosing, the imperialists wrung their hands in horror and imposed an economic boycott that has plunged the “autonomous” areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into poverty and chaos. Needless to say, nothing is said when it comes to Israel, a state founded on terror and ethnic cleansing.

The Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006, taking 76 seats in the 132-strong legislative council that, in theory, runs the “autonomous” zones in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 Support for Al Fatah, the movement which dominated Palestinian politics in Yasser Arafat’s day, crashed. Fatah, which was left with just 43 seats, had been punished by the voters angered at the corruption of its officials and the weak and ineffectual leadership of Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Arafat as President of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005.

Since then Abbas has done his best to undermine the Hamas administration that has been crippled by the imperialist and Zionist blockade. Hamas, a nationalist movement that refuses to recognise the Zionist entity but is ready for a 10- year armistice in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, offered to form a government of national unity with Fatah but that was rejected.

Now Palestinians are fighting each other in the occupied territories. The Hamas militia has chased Fatah out of the Gaza Strip and Abbas has proclaimed a state of emergency in the West Bank, dismissing the Hamas government and has appointed one of his own choosing. Hamas has dismissed the new West Bank-based cabinet an “illegitimate” lackey of Israel and the United States and vowed to continue to hold on to power.    

Nothing could be more pleasing for the Israelis, still smarting from their defeat in Lebanon last year. A Palestinian civil war would be a bonus. A victory for vacillating and collaborationist forces would hit the jackpot.

Abbas is now basking in the phoney praise of the Israelis and the imperialists who ultimately control the Zionist entity. In Washington US President George W Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immediately started to call Abbas the “president of all the Palestinian people” while pledging to support the Fatah government in unspecified ways, though it’s obviously going to take the form of guns and money.

But the first thing must be to end the fighting between the rival Palestinian factions and this is the call of the progressive Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which said: “At this critical time, in which a national disaster and great calamity are threatening, the Popular Front demands that the Fatah and Hamas movements put an absolute end to solving differences within the national ranks by any means other than democratic dialogue, and instead to use reason and supreme national interests as the methodology”.

The Palestinian Arabs are perfectly capable and fully entitled to choose their own leaders without Zionist and imperialist interference. But, ultimately, they will never be able to exercise their democratic rights until Israel withdraws completely from the Arab territories it seized in 1967 and recognises the Palestinians’ rights to self-determination, which must include the right of the millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

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