The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 6th January 2006

  Remembering Frank Ryan and he International Brigade

Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition

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



by Daphne Liddle

PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair has started the New Year by declaring his firm intention to carry on his programme of “reforms”, saying he will be making “critical decisions” on many issues: public services, pensions, energy and his “personal respect” agenda.

In his New Year message he painted a picture of a prosperous and beautiful Britain with strong allies in Europe and the United States, ready to make changes that will affect generations to come.

 This is somewhat at odds with the picture painted in various other New Year reports and statistics, which show Britain with record personal debt at £1.13 trillion; 66 per cent of businesses predicting a “year of pain” in an economy expected to deteriorate; rocketing gas and petrol prices; soaring transport costs and budget deficits everywhere from hospitals to pension schemes.

 Blair himself is looking more and more battered after his mauling and humiliation in the battle of the European Union budget and with the prospect of a series of damaging back-bench revolts against his Tory policies.

 He is likely to depend on the actual Tories to get much of his legislation through. He admits he is “battling on all fronts” and is now calling for party loyalty in the face of a revival by the Tories.

 But even his close allies are now predicting that Blair will stand down within the year if Labour MPs fail to back his “reforms” on the major issues of health, education, pensions and benefits.

 Blair has already rolled over on the issue of the smoking in public places after pressure from MPs to make it a complete ban. He and Education Secretary Ruth Kelly are trying to negotiate compromises on the Education Bill as opposition strengthens.

 His allies say he is still determined to manage a “stable and orderly transition” to Gordon Brown taking over the premiership – though as time goes on this is looking less and less like a certainty.

 Brown has publicly supported all of Blair’s policies but is now leaking suggestions that he has very different ideas on a range of Blair’s favourite policy points.

 He is said to be in favour of introducing a law prohibiting any future government from going to war without the backing of a Parliamentary vote – a subtle admission of the disastrous decision to go to war against Iraq.

 He is also said to be lacking enthusiasm for the proposed national identity card scheme – mainly on the grounds of cost.

 And Brown is reported to be less keen than Blair about introducing market forces into public services. He has said that Labour must “balance choice and equity” and added: “There is such a thing as the ethic of service, which is more than contracts, markets and exchange and is about compassion, duty and respect.”

 This is still a long way from a return to socialist principles and more like old fashioned Victorian paternalism. He has picked the issues that he knows will resonate with the largest number of voters and suggested a different approach without saying anything definite.

 A professional politician, he knows how to make statements into which people who are desperate for change can read what they most wish to see.

 He is unlikely to be much better than Blair but the removal of Blair in itself will mark a rejection of his craven subservience to the Bush regime and his manic urge to privatise everything.

 New Tory leader David Cameron has also been trying to catch the imagination of the voters with populist statements about defending the NHS, quotes from Ghandi, making poverty history, making Bob Geldof a policy adviser and disrespecting the Thatcher legacy.

 Young though he is, Cameron also has the skill of coming out with the words that people in Britain want to hear without making any real policy commitments. When the fine print is examined his policies are still to the right of Blair’s – they are slightly left only in comparison to those of his predecessor Howard.

 And can anyone take seriously his promise to stand up to big business, when big business created the Tory party to defend its interests above all other considerations?

 If only the Labour leadership was as loyal to its class origins!

 But Cameron does stand a good chance of confusing and alienating many rank and file traditional Tory supporters. No doubt the extreme right-wing fringe parties will be trying to recruit them.

 Meanwhile Cameron, after saying he wants an end to “Punch and Judy politics”, launched a blistering personal attack on Gordon Brown – implying that Blair is now so weak he is not worth bothering to attack.


Let us speed the day

  ACROSS THE WORLD the New Year was heralded with traditional displays of fireworks and mass celebrations.  Religious leaders of all persuasions gave their usual blessings while  bourgeois politicians of all hues rolled out the usual platitudes reserved for this time of the year to remind us of their supposed commitment to peace and their alleged concern for global poverty and the environment.

 Behind the mask of seasonal goodwill what our masters are actually saying is that not only is it normal for vast tracts of the globe to be controlled by a tiny fraction of its population but that this is the only way the world can be run.

Blair and Bush say they want peace when they really want war. Iraq and Afghanistan are ablaze. Cuba, Iran, Syria and Venezuela have already been targeted. The bill is paid by the lives and taxes of working people throughout America and Britain.

The capitalists and landowners would have us believe that their system of exploitation and oppression, which enables them to live the lives of Roman emperors, is totally justified and positively beneficial for the whole of humanity while the suffering and misery of working people is entirely of their own making.

Though the bourgeois media does not attempt to deny the abject poverty of much of the Third World it never dares to explain that this is entirely due to the capitalist and feudal social structure that is imperialism.

 The poor and the oppressed are blamed for their own woes. The fact that most of their leaders are little more than lackeys of the big corporations that plunder their resources and ruthlessly exploit their labour is never mentioned.

Driven by desperation millions are forced to seek a new life in the imperialist heartlands. Though their cheap labour underpins the prosperity of western Europe and the United States they are treated as third class citizens or  labelled as “illegal” immigrants and “bogus” asylum seekers.

If they dare to stand up for themselves, like the youths of France who took to the streets in November, the might of the bourgeois state is unleashed against them. If they take destiny into their own hands, like the heroic people of Iraq and Palestine, they are branded “madmen” or “terrorists”.

Bourgeois politicians boast about Britain’s economic might while preparing new onslaughts on the living standards of working people. Pensions, housing, the health service and education are all under attack. Billions can be found for the war in Iraq and Britain’s nuclear arsenal but workers’ wages barely keep up with inflation. The “ open market” is hailed as the sole economic law except when it comes to the unions still   chained by repressive anti-union laws that prevent free collective bargaining.

But the spectre of communism still haunts the ruling class. People’s China has become the new power-house of the emerging world. Before the revolution China was the poorest country in the world. Now living standards are soaring and China has once again become the work-shop of the world. One would expect bourgeois economists and politicians to rejoice at the fact. Far from it. They can only speak of China’s growth and prosperity with fear and apprehension.

When the DPRK was hit by natural disasters in the 1990s the imperialists rejoiced and predicted the end of socialism in north Korea. Now, through the immense efforts of the masses mobilised by the Workers’ Party of Korea, the country is back on its feet with a bumper harvest last year and the prospect of greater advances in 2006. Nothing is said about this in the bourgeois media let alone the successful drive to eradicate poverty in Cuba, Vietnam and Laos.

Socialism is the future for all humanity. Let’s ensure that the struggles of the coming year speed the day.

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