The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 4th November 2005
Comrade Nuno Guerreiro of the Portugese Communist Party dies
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AND BLAIR IN DEEP TROUBLE
by Daphne Liddle
PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair and
his best friend George W Bush are both fighting for their political
lives this week as their dishonesty and warmongering came back to haunt
them with a vengeance.
Blair came within one vote of defeat on the latest Anti-Terror Bill as
an amendment was defeated by 300 votes to 299. The amendment would have
meant that “glorifying terror” would only be a crime if it could be
shown that is what the accused person intended.
The closeness of the vote forced Home Secretary Charles Clarke to
seek a postponement of voting on another amendment to the proposal to
allow police to hold terror suspects for 90 days without charge or
Clarke appealed for the issue to be delayed while he sought consensus –
meaning while he retreated to some compromise, possibly shortening the
90 days to 28.
Either way, extending the time that people can be held without
trial could and probably would be used as a weapon of political
repression, as it was in Apartheid South Africa.
This was the culmination of a very bad week for Blair, with
Cabinet rebellions sprouting like mushrooms, the scandal that led to
Blunkett’s resignation (under pressure) and new critics of the Iraq war
reported every day.
These included BBC security correspondent Frank Gardener –
paralysed from the waist down after being shot by terrorists while
filming in Saudi Arabia. He told MPs that the terror threat to the West
had been “raised dramatically by events in Iraq”, which had “breathed
new life into al Qaeda”.
And some bereaved families boycotted a memorial service for the
victims of the 7th July bombings in London because they were angry over
delays to much needed compensation money and because Blair’s
involvement in the illegal invasion of Iraq had made London a target
Tory leader Michael Howard pointed out that Blair had “endured an
extraordinary week” which had seen “the seepage of his authority turn
into a haemorrhage”. Blair has also brought new troubles on his head by
proposing the abandonment of targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions –
in line with the policies of his mate Bush.
And across the Atlantic Bush has also been in hot water. First
Lewis “Scooter” Libby – chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney –
was indicted, charged with perjury, two counts of making false
statements and obstruction of justice. Libby is also under
investigation for revealing the identity of a CIA agent – a Federal
offence with a possible 30-year prison.
The agent in question, Valerie Plame, is the wife a former
ambassador, Joe Wilson. Wilson had angered the White House when he
revealed that Bush made false claims that Iraq was seeking to obtain
uranium to establish a nuclear weapons programme.
Libby has been charged but his trial is likely to bring his boss
Cheney under investigation. In addition Bush’s chief mentor and
confidante, Karl Rove, is also under investigation.
This is a scandal that goes deep into the heart of the Whitehouse,
leaving few leading figures untouched. At its roots are the lies told
by the Bush administration to lead his country to war against Iraq.
Those lies are now being unpicked, detail by detail.
Two thousand US troops have died in the Iraq war – according to
official statistics. This does not count those who die later from
wounds or who commit suicide. And the war is taking a heavy economic
toll on all Americans. The war is becoming very unpopular.
The American ruling class is now deeply divided and the neo-con
warmongers are finding themselves more and more isolated as those
opposed to the war grow in strength and numbers.
Last week Democratic senators took the unusual step of forcing
the US Senate into closed session for over two hours and accused the
Republican majority of colluding with the White House by failing to
investigate whether intelligence had been manipulated to justify the
When the Republicans expressed anger, Democrat leader Harry Reid said
that the American people and US troops deserved to know the details of
how the country became engaged in the war.
He accused the Republican chair of the Senate intelligence
committee of breaking a promise to conduct a full inquiry into the
pre-war intelligence and whether or not the White House misused it.
The Democrats succeeded in winning an agreement to create a
two-party group of six senators to report on the intelligence
Read said: “The Libby indictment provides a window into what this
is really all about, how that administration manufactured and
manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempt
to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.”
TONY BLAIR and his spin doctors
are trying to convince us that we must accept a new generation of
nuclear power stations because the ones we already have are ready for
the scrap heap, world oil reserves are running out fast and nuclear
power is somehow more friendly to the environment. He also argues that
we need the extra power resources to remain competitive in face of
“globalisation”. These power stations will be enormously expensive to
build. They will be paid for by taxpayers but owned and controlled by
the private sector. Can we trust the private sector with the planet’s
The existing generation of nuclear power stations is now costing
far more to decommission than it took to build them. The costs of
dealing with the radioactive waste they produced will continue to be a
burden on generations to come.
But there are enormous profits to be made from milking the
taxpayer on this one – so it is worth bending the truth a bit. There
are reports that the shortage of world oil reserves is being
exaggerated by vested interests – including the oil companies who
benefit from higher prices.
Blair mentions the expanding Chinese economy a lot to persuade us
that we must throw all caution to the wind to keep up. He forgets that
China is a socialist country that is strengthening its labour
protection laws as he is upholding the Tory abolition of our union
And he is forgetting Britain’s main power reserve. We are still
sitting on 300-years supply of coal. True, this is a carbon-based fuel
and wrongly used will increase global warming. But the technology now
exists to clean the emissions from coal-fired power stations. This
technology is now cheap compared to the rising price of oil.
For Blair, and for the whole western ruling class, the problem
with restoring King Coal is political, not economic. It would restore
the strength and standing of the industrial working class in Britain
and Europe. Blair should note that China is expanding its coal-mining
operations, abolishing unregulated pit management and improving safety
and environmental protection legislation. These things can be done –
MICROSOFT billionaire Bill
Gates last week announced a gift of $258.3 million to combat the
scourge of malaria, saying it was a “disgrace” that the world had
allowed malaria deaths to double in the last 20 years, when so much
could be done to prevent the disease.
A couple of generations ago, young socialists were frequently
told of the generosity of men like Andrew Carnegie and the motor tycoon
Lord Nuffield – to “prove” that capitalism could be a good thing and
that some capitalists were “nice people”.
But where do these millions they dish out come from? All wealth
is created by work. No individual can do enough work to create that
much wealth. Gates may have genuinely earned some money himself from
his bright ideas a couple of decades ago.
Since then he has employed others to have his bright ideas for him. And
he employs – directly or indirectly – a global army of workers to build
and assemble computers and all the other peripheral gizmos that go with
It is this unsung army that has created his vast wealth. Just as
other unsung armies created the wealth of all the world’s billionaires.
And if these workers had any kind of democratic control over the wealth
they create, disgraces like malaria and HIV-aids would have been dealt
with long ago.
Bill Gates is giving the largest part of his donation ($107.6
million) to a giant drugs company to work on a vaccine. We do not lack
the science to prevent malaria. Westerners holidaying in the Third
World are routinely given anti-malaria jabs.
Malaria, when experienced in the Third World, like HIV-aids, is a
different and far, far more lethal disease than that experienced in the
West. These are the diseases of poverty that strike because people are
vulnerable through hunger, through lack of clean water supplies and
through lack of proper healthcare systems. Malaria strikes children
whose parents cannot afford a simple anti-mosquito net to put over
their bed at night. They are like the victims of tuberculosis in
Victorian Britain, which killed thousands of workers and left their
Capitalism does not care as long as enough workers survive to
carry on the wealth making. If the wealth produced by African workers
were used for their benefit, it would be the most healthy and wealthy
continent on the planet.
Bill Gates’ $258.3 million is a drop in the ocean compared to
what is needed – and compared to the wealth he has acquired from the
work of others.
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