The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 5th November 2004
New Communist Party of Britain delegation in China last week
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker
THE NAMING OF IRAQ’S DEAD
by Caroline Colebrook
FORMER AS THE UNITED States went to the polls last Tuesday all
around the world peace vigils were held to honour and name the
thousands of people who have died as a result of the illegal Bush-Blair
invasion of Iraq.
Ceremonies were held in Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Iraq.
In Britain there were mass ceremonies in London, Cardiff on Tuesday and
in Glasgow on Saturday.
The dead who were remembered included around 100,000 Iraqi dead –
according to the latest estimates from the medical journal The Lancet –
as well as over 1,100 American dead military personnel, 69 British and
other victims from many countries.
At the London ceremony in Trafalgar Square, cosmologist Stephen
Hawking joined London Mayor Ken Livingstone and TGWU general secretary
Tony Woodley, former boxer Chris Eubank, writer Harold Pinter, actors
Neil Pearson and Corin Redgrave, MPs Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway
and many others to take turns in reading our the names of the Iraqi
Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time, told the
assembled crowd, using his voice synthesiser: “The war was based on two
lies. Both the claims of weapons of mass destruction and linkage to 11
September had proved untrue.
“It has been a tragedy for all the families. If that is not a war
crime, what is?”
Then he added: “I apologise for my pronunciation. My speech
synthesiser was not designed for Iraqi names.”
Tony Woodley said: “The civilian casualty toll from this
unnecessary conflict may now be as much as 100,000. We should remember
these innocent victims of aggression and pledge to ensure that such a
war is never fought again.”
In Cardiff a peace vigil at Cardiff City Centre army veteran
Michael Peterson, wearing his medals, read the names of members of the
armed services who have died in the war.
He read out their names, their rank, the day they died and their
country. Most came from the US, followed by Britain but there were
others from Bulgaria, El Salvador, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands,
Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand and the Ukraine.
Retired nursing sister Beatrice Smith read the names of Iraqi
civilians who have died. The youngest victim named was an
eight-month-old baby boy, Aumar Mahamed Jeasem. He was killed by a bomb
on 23 March 2003 in Al-Bassra Dooer, Al-Nafuat Blooks 5.
Half the Iraqi civilians who have died were women and children.
The ceremony ended with two minutes’ silence to remember the
names of the dead and honour them.
The ceremony in Glasgow last Saturday was organised by the
Campaign for Justice for Gordon Gentle.
Gordon Gentle was a young Scottish Fusilier who was killed in
Basra on 28 June this year. The 500-strong rally was led by his mother
Rose and his sister Maxine.
Speakers included Tommy Sheridan MSP, Ewa Jasiewicz from Voices
in the Wilderness and Reginald Keys, whose son Thomas was killed on
military service in Iraq.
Four more years
BARRING a spectacular reverse
in Ohio or last minute legal challenges to the vote in other states, it
would seem that George W Bush has won the US presidential election by
the slenderest of margins. This will be good news for the most
reactionary and aggressive circles within the American ruling class who
can now look forward to four more years of war and plunder.
It will doubtless please Tony Blair and his sycophants who believe that
Bush’s supposed prestige can prop up his discredited leadership and
General Sharon will be comforted at a result that will guarantee
unlimited American support for the continued persecution and oppression
of the Palestinian Arabs. For the rest of the world the struggle to
contain and defeat American imperialism continues.
In Iraq the resistance is bracing itself for a new American offensive
against the liberated city of Fallujah that is part of Anglo-American
imperialism’s plans to impose the peace of the grave in advance of
fraudulent local elections in January.
The British people may have no say in the election of America’s leaders
but they have plenty to say about ours, and they have been saying it
time and time again in local elections and on the streets – and the
message is that they want Blair out.
Blair is openly thinking about calling a snap election early next year
to head off challenges to his leadership from within the Labour Party.
If he remains leader he will take the Labour Party to the brink of
Gambling with our
BLAIR OFTEN parades his
Christian beliefs and, though his ministers more modestly refrain from
citing Jesus Christ as an example to follow, they often like to pose as
social reformers in the spirit of the early pioneers of the Labour
Party. But the best they can come up with is a plan to deregulate
gambling that will open the door to money laundering, organised crime
and corruption on a scale never before seen in Britain.
Can anyone seriously believe that a casino in every city will transform
deprived areas into mini-Monte Carlos? Can anyone doubt that
round-the-clock gambling halls in the heart of towns will lead to the
greater impoverishment of working people lured by the bright lights of
the slot machines, the spin of the wheel and the twist of the card?
Sure gambling, for good or bad, is part of British culture. For
instance, income from Premium Bonds and the National Lottery is used to
help culture and sport. But this Government has done little or nothing
to support traditional working class pursuits like horse and dog
racing, where betting does involve a modicum of skill and judgement.
No, it prefers to encourage games of pure chance where the only
ultimate winner is the House itself and the only people who
get-rich-quick are its proprietors.
Roman Emperors spent fortunes on gladiator fights, arena battles and
chariot races. By these means they sought to divert the masses away
from the reality of their oppression. At least the bread and circuses
were free in those days. Now we are expected to pay for it out of our
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