The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 24th September 2004

Resistance patrol in Basra

Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition

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



by Daphne Liddle

Tony Blair faces mounting challenges to his leadership as the Labour Party assembles for its conference next week in Brighton.

The main issue of contention is of course the illegal war against Iraq but the unions are also likely to win support for  renationalising the railways.

 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 war.

 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 war.

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”.
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 renationalisation.

 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 starts.
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 Downing Street.

 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.

fair game

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.

dump Blair

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.

 Back to index

If you find these articles from the New Worker Online interesting and useful them why not subscribe to our print edition with lots more news, features, and photos?

To the New Communist Party Page