The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 5th October 2018

Theresa in wonderland

THEY SAY that Theresa May left Birmingham slightly happier than when she arrived for the Conservatives’ conference that her supporters feared would close with a fatal challenge to her lack-lustre leadership. Prancing around to the tune of Dancing Queen drew predictable cheers from the faithful, there to hear the usual platitudes that they hope will steer them through to victory at the next election.

Whether Mrs May will still lead them is another matter altogether. But whilst a number of Tory grandees covet her job none of them, not even the immensely vain Boris Johnson, were prepared to trigger a leadership challenge that could seal her fate or destroy their own political careers in the offing.

This isn’t really a good time to be Tory leader, let alone Prime Minister, with the party deeply divided over Brexit — which should, in theory at least, take place on 29th March 2019. All of this is a matter of indifference to working people however, who can expect no favours from Tory governments of whatever persuasion and, in any case, have no say in the matter.

Divisions within the Tory ranks over the European Union mean that parliament could vote down the final withdrawal bill in 2019 whatever the outcome of the talks in Brussels. This will strengthen the hand of the Remainers clamouring for a second referendum, which they believe can reverse the original Brexit vote.

For us the issue is clear. We want another election to get Labour in and the Tories out. We want Labour to stand by the people’s vote to leave the European Union without any ifs or buts. And the surest guarantee of Brexit is a massive majority for Labour at the next election.

The never-ending saga

MEANWHILE, the May government is milking the Skripal affair for all its worth to demonise Russia and justify further NATO expansion in the Middle East. Last week the Telegraph told us that a third Russian intelligence officer had been identified as an accomplice by counter-terrorism police and the security services in the alleged Novichok attack on the Russian defector and his daughter in Salisbury in March.

There are several possibilities behind the poisoning of the retired spy, who had been released by the Russian government in a spy swap with Britain. It is unlikely they would release him if they wanted to kill him. Why can’t these unnamed intelligence sources give us a credible reason for Russian involvement in the Skripal affair?

Perhaps the answer to this riddle lies in Syria, where the Assad government and the Russians have long accused the NATO powers of using the bogus ‘White Helmets’ to fabricate false-flag poison gas attacks on civilians to provide the pretext for NATO attacks on Syrian government targets.

The White Helmets are a NATO-backed front that was set up by a British intelligence officer in 2014. They posed as an independent search and rescue service dedicated to helping civilians caught up in the Syrian civil war. They were founded by James Le Mesurier, a former British army intelligence officer, who has taken part in various British and NATO deployments in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Lebanon.

The Kremlin is calling for inspections by the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate Russian and Syrian claims. These efforts are being blocked by US imperialism and its other NATO allies whilst Britain has launched another diversion, warning Russia that it will pay a “high price” if it continues to use chemical weapons following the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

That is why some observers believe that the real motive behind the Skripal affair is simply to provide a reason for excluding Russia from any future international investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria..