The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 7th July 2006
War on terrorism, or war on civil
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
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OUT THE REAL TERRORISTS
by Daphne Liddle
PRIME Minister Tony Blair last week lectured Britain’s Muslim
community, telling it, in the run-up to the first anniversary of the
7th July London bombings, that Muslims must root out the extremists and
supporters of terrorism in their midst.
This is rich coming from a man who took part in instigating the shock
and awe bombings of Baghdad and the illegal invasion of Iraq on the
basis of a lie about weapons of mass destruction.
The hypocritical lecture also came in the wake of a glut of scare
stories about the alleged number of supporters of Al Qaeda among
MI5 claims it is monitoring some 8,000 suspected Al Qaeda
sympathisers. Undercover officers are spying on Muslims in colleges,
mosques, internet websites and many other places, looking for those who
are alleged to be “grooming” or radicalising those sympathetic to the
aims of Al Qaeda.
The intelligence agency also claims that some Al Qaeda sympathisers
have tried to sneak their way into MI5 by responding to job adverts.
This must be confusing and disturbing for thousands of Muslims in
Britain. They see Bush and Blair waging an international “war on
terror”, that has involved the invasion and occupation of Iraq and
Afghanistan, the imposition of brutal puppet regimes and continuing
death and destruction.
The people of Baghdad and Kabul now face violence equivalent to
the 7th July bombings almost every day. Of course Muslims are angry
about this – as are millions of ordinary people around the world from
all cultures and backgrounds.
But if Muslims in Britain dare to voice their anger, they are in danger
of being suspected of supporting terrorism. Blair has made this country
a target for revenge terrorism but is now trying to shift the
responsibility for policing that threat on to the Muslim community, so
that if another incident occurs, he can blame the whole community.
The leaders of Britain’s Muslim community have responded by producing a
list of major recommendations they have made since the bombings but
which have been completely ignored by the Home Office.
The recommendations include holding a public inquiry into the
bombings, establishing a rebuttal unit at the Department of Culture,
Media and Sport to “encourage a more balanced view of Islam and British
Muslims”, working with the Department of Education to combat
Islamophobia, setting up an “Islam on line” website to combat extremism
Blair’s demands on the Muslim community also come within a week
of Gordon Brown’s warning that the Government intends to try again to
pass anti-terror laws that will allow suspects to be held without
charge or trial for up to 90 days.
This measure was defeated in Parliament at the end of last year
in a revolt by backbench Labour MPs. It mirrors the 90-days law of
South Africa’s Apartheid regime that allowed political activists to be
held without charge or trial for three months, released for a few
minutes then re-arrested and held for another 90 days.
Blair and Brown both claim that the compromise 28 days detention
law that was passed is not enough time for police and MI5 to find
evidence to bring against terror suspects that would stand up in court.
But it’s not just the backbenchers who are alarmed by Blair’s
determination to turn Britain into a police state. The judges have dug
their heels in firmly and refused to let the Government get away with
breaching the civil liberties of suspects indefinitely.
That is why two weeks ago the courts ruled against the control
orders – effectively house arrest – imposed on six alleged terror
suspects who had previously been held in Belmarsh prison without charge
or trial for around three years.
The control orders restricted the movements of these men and who
they were allowed to speak to or communicate with. In all that time no
shred of evidence has even been brought against them.
The Government and police are also trying to recover from the egg
on their face over the Forest Gate raid fiasco.
The fall in support for Labour is reflected in last week’s two
by-elections. In Blaenau Gwent Labour failed to retake the seat that
was taken from them by veteran Labour activist Peter Law who quit the
party to stand as an independent.
When Law died the seat became vacant but his agent Dai
Davies held it. His widow Trish took the Welsh Assembly seat. She said:
“Tony Blair has brought his own demise about, not me. They have said in
the ballot box they do not want Blair; they do not want New Labour.”
And in the Bromley and Chislehurst seat Labour came fourth after
As the Labour conference approaches it is time for the Labour and
Trade Union community to root out the real terrorists, the extremist
supporters of Bush. Both Blair and Brown must go.
The old lie
LAST WEEKEND the Government
commemorated the first ever British Veterans’ Day – a straight copy
from the United States – and combined it with marking the 90th
anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
In that terrible battle hundreds of thousands of young lives –
French, German and British – were thrown away by greedy contending
imperialist powers seeking to dominate the planet, control world trade
and industry and reap the rich rewards.
Inflexible senior officers ordered hundreds of young men over the
top to charge at machine gun posts until they were virtually all wiped
But last weekend we saw a view of the battle presented this
country had not seen since the time of the First World War. We saw
military “experts” justifying the battle and the war; presenting the
Somme as a great victory for Britain and France against the Germans.
These “experts” claimed that, although tactics had been poor
initially, leading to unnecessary loss of life, lessons had been
learned that led to better tactics in future and a great victory by the
goodies over the baddies.
So why, in the following year, were more thousands of young lives
squandered in the hell that was Passchendaele? This was the battle that
inspired Wilfred Owen to write his most famous poem, Dulce et Decorum
Est, in which he described the horrific death of a young soldier from
gas poisoning and then speaks of “the old lie” – that it is sweet and
fitting to die for one’s country.
Lenin and the Bolsheviks, along with small groups of true
socialists and internationalists throughout Europe, condemned that
obscene war as a slaughter of working class cannon fodder for the
benefit of the rival imperialist powers of Europe.
But the power of jingoist propaganda at the time was so powerful
that it undermined the internationalism and working class solidarity of
many lesser “socialists”.
Now we see jingoism being revived to brainwash a new generation
who are reluctant to enlist to die in Iraq and Afghanistan – as so many
British squaddies did long ago – for the benefit of the new
Anglo-American imperialism. Those who are uneasy with this culture are
accused of being disrespectful of the hundreds of thousands of war dead
– on the Western Front in the First World War and in Iraq and
This is partly why we are having a revival of patriotic
propaganda. The other reason is to obliterate the culture of the
working class – a culture of friendship, internationalism and
solidarity of one worker with another, wherever they come from, against
the exploiters and warmongers.
Margaret Thatcher led an assault on working class values with
the declaration that “there is no such thing as society” and her
policies fostered individualism, greed and selfishness.
Last week a report commissioned to mark the anniversary of Live8,
the Make Poverty History Campaign and the Gleneagles conference
concluded that the lack of progress in solving the problems of Third
World poverty has left many people disillusioned and, for the first
time in 10 years, most Britons believe the good life is built on
looking after themselves and not caring about others.
The working class, united, mobilised and organised has the
potential strength to smash capitalism and build a world of peace and
socialism. Fragmented and individualised, workers are helpless against
exploitation, alienation and being dragooned into supplying a new
generation of imperialist cannon fodder.
We must resist this revived culture of jingoism, xenophobia,
Islamophobia, selfishness and individualism and fight it with the
international working class culture of solidarity and socialism; we
must stand shoulder to shoulder with our working class brothers and
sisters throughout the world who are in struggle against
The worst insult to the dead of the Somme, of Passchendaele
would be to allow the same mistakes to be repeated and allow our young
people to fall for “the old lie” again.
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