The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 7th September 2007

Busy NCPB stall at Burston rally

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by our Arab Affairs correspondent

George W Bush and his top aides flew into Iraq on Monday for a secret “war council” while an increasingly sceptical US Congress returns to consider the “success”, or lack of it, in quelling the anti-American uprising. General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, reports on the “surge” offensive to Congress next week and he will doubtless claim sufficient progress to promise some token troop withdrawals to head off the growing demand for a complete pull-out.

But the “surge” has failed and so far, every month of 2007 has seen more US soldiers killed in action than the same month in 2006.

Bush’s stopover, en route to Australia for an economic summit with Asia-Pacific leaders, was essentially a propaganda exercise. White House spin merchants claim that Bush chose to meet his generals and his local Arab lackeys at an American airbase in the al Anbar province to show that such a meeting could take place in the heart of resistance controlled territory. But though Bush’s Air Force One, escorted by US fighters, landed in broad daylight, the airbase has a 16km perimeter guarded by 10,000 troops and even they couldn’t stop the partisans from opening fire on Bush’s transport.

Back in Baghdad the resistance greeted Bush’s arrival of with a mortar attack on the top-security US “Green Zone” – sending plumes of smoke over the compound where the US and British embassies and the offices of the American-installed Iraqi puppet regime are barricaded behind heavy fortifications.


The Americans are moving closer to dumping puppet Iraqi “premier” Nouri al Malaki, a sectarian Shia leader whose close ties with Iran could pose a problem if Bush decides to take out Tehran’s nuclear installations later in the year. But all they’ve got waiting in the wings is Iyyad Alawi, a Baathist turncoat who headed the first puppet regime under occupation.

Alawi broke with the Arab Socialist Renaissance Party (Baath) in the 1970s and has spent most of his time living in exile in Britain where, it is widely believed, he was recruited as an agent of British intelligence. Though he is also Shia the Americans think his business contacts and the links he forged with elements in the old Iraqi army when he was running an anti-Baathist movement abroad could help him recruit a wider pool of quislings to serve imperialism.

But claims that his return would be welcomed by his old comrades have been dismissed as nonsense by the underground Baath.  The Baath told the resistance media that: “Our party rejects the return of Iyyad Alawi in any form because he is a spy and a criminal who prepared the occupation and the destruction of Iraq. The party also underlines its firm position calling for the withdrawal of the occupation forces and to punish the collaborators who came with them, first and foremost Iyyad Alawi, for their crimes against Iraq and its people.”

Though the imperialist media is again full of US-intelligence inspired stories about a massive US air-strike against Iran that would destroy the Islamic republic’s military capability “within three days” this has, after-all, been part of a destabilisation campaign that started as soon as Iran began developing its nuclear industry. The first objective was to boost the chances of pro-imperialist forces in the Iranian elections but that backfired. The second was to cow the Ahmadinejad government into submission and that has also failed. Pentagon hawks still dream of a cheap victory based on air power. General Yahya Rahim Safavi, the senior military advisor to the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, thinks not. The United States has deployed 200,000 vulnerable troops in the region and we have identified all their bases very precisely, the Iranian general said on Tuesday.

“The United States is facing three problems in invading Iran. Firstly, it is not aware of the volume and manner of Iran’s response. The US cannot foresee the level of the vulnerability of its 200,000 troops in the region while we have identified all the bases very precisely. Secondly, it doesn’t know what will happen to Israel. And thirdly, the United States cannot predict what may happen to the flow of oil,” he added.

Whether even Bush would risk an attack, with such an uncertain outcome, in the run-up to the 2008 US presidential elections remains to be seen.


Tory nightmares

FORMER Tory deputy leader Michael Ancram last week launched an unexpected attack on the party leader, David Cameron and accused him of trying to prove the Tories had changed “by trashing our past and appearing ashamed of our history”.

 In a 30-page document, Still a Conservative, Ancram voiced the views of the Tory backwoodsmen, many of whom are very rich and very powerful. Their main concerns, as ever, are yet more tax cuts, supporting traditional marriage, the European Union – and of course keeping the trade unions and the working classes in their place.

 We can see that if they were ever allowed back into power we would get an anti-working class government even worse than the one we have had for the last decade.

House prices in Britain have risen way above inflation since Thatcher began selling off council houses in the 1980s.

Cameron plans to set this process in motion again by pressuring council tenants on low incomes, with the aid of grants, to try to buy. Such tenants will be taking a huge risk. If they fail to keep up the payments, the mortgage companies will get their hands on the council houses and there will be even fewer affordable homes in Britain – homelessness for many but more profit for the speculators.

 The Greater London Pensioners’ Association, a broad-based campaigning organisation, boasts that it has no allegiance to any political party. Yet in the latest issue of the monthly Greater London Pensioner, it calls on members to support Ken Livingstone to be re-elected a London Mayor on one main issue – the precious Freedom Pass. It is given to pensioners and the disabled and allows them free access to all public transport in London.

 It is an essential daily lifeline for those who carry it but it was hard won in struggles by pensioners’ organisation in the capital. It is now under threat. If Tory hopeful Boris Johnson should win the mayor’s job – or even if a Liberal Democrat should win – the Freedom Pass is likely to be sacrificed to cut local taxes in London. Boris has not even mentioned it. When he’s not showing off on his bike in front of press cameras, he and his friends Ancram and Cameron go about in luxury cars – to them buses are just traffic obstacles.

 But for all their wealth and power people like Johnson and Cameron can never win an election without the support of masses of working class Tories – most of whom like to think of themselves as middle class. These people, when they get older, do appreciate the Freedom Pass.

 Getting Labour elected is no guarantee of working class policies – we have seen this for the last 10 years. Prime Minister Brown is now adding insult to injury by appointing a few Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs as his policy advisers – which is likely to leave many Labour voters wondering what the point is in bothering to vote if the opposition get into power anyway.

 Brown keeps talking about a “new kind of politics” and inclusive government “of all the talents” with hand-picked “citizens juries” to give an automatic nod to whatever is proposed. This will make elections seem even more of a futile gesture and is part of a ruling class strategy to alienate the working masses from even the most minimal participation in political life.

 We must fight this trend. We must defend the limited amount of democracy we have within this bourgeois state – and demand a lot more. Taking part in elections is the absolute minimum we can do. It will take far more than this – a socialist revolution – to achieve real change for the benefit of the working class. But we’ll never achieve that revolution if the working masses are so alienated they do not even vote. The working class has the potential power to overthrow this corrupt and increasingly oppressive bourgeois regime – but only if the class is aware, mobilised, organised and united. That road includes strikes, protests, demonstrations and all other forms of struggle – including putting crosses on pieces of paper.

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