The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 24th September 2004
Resistance patrol in Basra
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LABOUR: SACK BLAIR NOW!
by Daphne Liddle
PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair faces mounting challenges to his
leadership as the Labour Party assembles for its conference next week
The main issue of contention is of course the illegal war against Iraq
but the unions are also likely to win support for renationalising
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw last week shattered any hopes Blair
might have had of the Iraq issue fading when, just a week before
conference, he made public documents dating from a year before
the attack on Iraq, expressing serious reservations about the coming
Straw sent the documents, based on the advice of Foreign Office
officials to Blair in March 2002, warning that a second Iraq war
would lead to chaos and that the Iraqi system could “revert to type”
after such a war.
The documents warned that there would be no legal basis for the war
unless Bush and Blair could “wrong foot” Saddam and give an excuse for
The papers also predictd that Iraq would cause enormous problems after
an invasion, making government impossible without keeping large numbers
of troops there “for many years”.
A paper compiled by the Cabinet Office Overseas Defence Secretariat
said: “The only certain means to remove Saddam and his elite is to
invade and impose a new government, but this would involve
nation-building over many years.”
Straw wrote to Blair concerning the US plans: “I think there is a
real risk that the administration underestimates the difficulties.
“They may agree that failure isn’t an option but this does not
mean they will necessarily avoid it.”
On the same day United Nations general Secretary Koffi Annan declared
the war against Iraq had been illegal and “in conformity neither with
the UN Security Council nor the UN Charter”.
And in the same week came the final report of the Iraq Survey
Group, set up by the invaders to find the alleged weapons of mass
destruction that were the excuse for the war.
The 15-month search concluded that Iraq had no WMD. Iraq, however
reluctantly, had fully complied with the UN resolutions forbidding it
to develop WMD. Bush and Blair bombed the country to smithereens
anyway, sending a message to the rest of the world that compliance with
UN resolutions is no protection from invasion – whereas really
developing WMD might make the imperialists think twice.
A Guardian/ICM opinion poll published last Wednesday showed
overwhelming public support for Blair to be held to account for his
blunders over Iraq, and for the unions’ demand for rail
On Monday Blair declared the war now raging in Iraq is a fresh
conflict inspired by global terrorism. But nobody accepted this.
It is the same war conducted by the Iraqi people to throw out
their invaders that Bush and Blair started in March 2003.
And since that invasion was in contravention of international
law, those Iraqi resistance fighters who are battling to free their
country are fully in compliance with international law.
In the meantime the case for impeaching Blair is gaining
strength. Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price initiated this move and he now has
the support not only of his own party but the Scottish Nationalists,
the Green Party and 20 individual MPs.
This number is expected to swell to 50 early next year, enough to force
a Commons debate. Those backing the move say there is now, after
Straw’s revelations last week, more than enough evidence to show that
Blair deliberately misled the House of Commons and the country.
If he gets away with it, this will set a precedent that
misleading the country is acceptable. We have long known it was
impossible for Iraq to have had WMD because the UN sanctions regime
along with constant US surveillance made it impossible to develop them.
Bush and Blair knew this too.
We have long known the real reason for the war was imperialist
greed for Iraq’s oil and to intimidate other Third World nations who
might consider resisting US global hegemony.
But now there is enough documentary proof that even our bourgeois
rulers cannot ignore. And there remain strong ruling class interests
that have been damaged by Bush and Blair’s armed robbery. Sooner or
later they will topple Blair.
But if the Labour Party is to succeed in the next general
election it needs to change its leader now, well before electioneering
Next week’s party conference will be a good time to make the move.
Puppets on a string
LAST WEEKEND we were treated
to the nauseating spectacle of Tony Blair and the chief quisling
of Iraq trying to prop themselves up with their own lies outside
Iyyad Alawi, the imperialist appointed Iraqi “premier” tells us
“we are succeeding against the forces of evil”, meaning the heroic
Iraqi resistance. Blair informs us that we are in a new war against
“global terrorism” – another imperialist term for the resistance –
adding that “whatever the disagreements about the removal of Saddam,
there is only one side for sensible and reasonable people to be on”.
Both statements are utterly false.
The American military HQ comes under daily mortar and missile attack
from just a few blocks away in central Baghdad. Major cities have been
liberated. No road or railway is safe from partisan attack and the oil
pipelines are sabotaged every week. No one in their right minds could
describe the imperialist position in Iraq as successful unless Alawi
and his masters consider staying alive a measure of it.
As for this nonsense about a “second” war, when did the first one end
and who actually won it? The problem for Blair and his desperate
spin-merchants is that they believe everyone is as stupid as
themselves. No one falls for it, least of all the Iraqi people.
Now Blair has put the banning of fox-hunting in England and Wales top
of his parliamentary agenda. Fox hunting is a “sport” that should have
been banned years ago. Working class “blood sports” like cock-fighting,
bear-baiting and dog-fights were all banned in the nineteenth century
because of the cruelty to the animals involved and the gambling
which accompanied it. Ripping a fox to bits with a pack of hounds
however was a sport of the upper crust so it was conveniently ignored.
Blair backed down when he was courting the votes of a “Middle
England” that exists largely in his own mind. There certainly is a
Neanderthal lobby of land-owners determined to assert their absolute
right to private property as well as their right to indulge in their
favoured pastime. Few, if any, ever supported Blairism in the first
place. Now many of them are enraged at the Government’s crawling to US
imperialism so Blair now considers them fair game. Blair also thinks he
can divert the opposition within his own ranks from the Iraq crisis by
puffing up legislation that can be easily moved through parliament
given Labour’s overwhelming majority.
Let him do it and at the same time lets force Blair to come clean on
the “dodgy dossier” that led to a war that the UN Secretary-General
himself now concedes was illegal.
Iyyad Alawi was foisted on the Iraqi people by the Anglo-American army
of occupation. Tony Blair and his kind foisted themselves onto the
Labour Party with glib promises of a better life for all. Now Labour is
in the doldrums. More and more working people have seen through
their lies. Some are turning to the Liberal Democrats. A few are even
taken in by the racist propaganda of the fascist British National
Party. Most may simply not bother to vote at the next election if Blair
is still at the helm.
The Lib-Dems are making the most of their anti-Iraq war credentials but
they are only another liberal bourgeois party whose social programme
differs little from that of Blair or the Tories. The racist BNP claims
to support workers – if they’re white that is – but all their fascist
creed amounts to is that workers could get more of the crumbs from the
rich man’s table if they shove workers from ethnic minorities out.
Labour’s crisis of confidence revolves around the Iraq war no one
wanted apart from the most aggressive and venal sections of the British
ruling class who are aligned to the ruling circles in the United
States. The vast majority of population want out.
Blair refuses to listen to the labour movement or the people. His
personal standing in the country sinks by the day and he’s dragging the
Labour Party down with him. He’s got to go.
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