Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



Make the G8 leaders history

Millions of people, including some of the world's most famous musicians, are taking part in protests at the appalling conditions in which large numbers of their fellow human beings live. They want the leaders of the world's richest countries meeting at the G8 summit in Edinburgh in July to act to "make poverty history". As even Bob Geldof - the founder of Live Aid - has acknowledged, in the end charity can't solve global poverty - there has to be a political solution.

Geldof, the Make Poverty History campaign and charitable organisations believe that putting political leaders like Blair, Bush, Berlusconi and Chirac under mass pressure is the way forward. If enough political will is generated, these leaders would be compelled to tell the real masters of the universe - the global corporations - to mend their ways and tackle poverty in Africa as well as climate change. Or so the argument goes. Unfortunately, the harsh realities of existing political and economic power suggest that this is an unrealistic strategy.

As the campaigning group Corporate Watch explains in a special report on Edinburgh: "The G8 is intended as a forum to build consensus amongst the world's most powerful nations. Whatever their differences on a raft of different policy issues, all the G8 leaders embrace without question the Washington Consensus, the political position that favours the breaking down of all barriers to corporate trade and investment, based on the belief that private companies and market systems always find the most efficient way to share out resources."

Corporate Watch's report adds: "With the G8 governments controlling over half of the votes at World Bank and IMF [International Monetary Fund] meetings, the Gleneagles summit will be just one part of a continual process by which trade and business agreements are thrashed out between powerful Western governments and corporations."

In other words, today indissoluble connections and virtually seamless links exist between economic and political power. It is difficult to tell where one stops and the other begins. There is a neat division of labour. Bush, Blair and the others are essentially the political wing of giant corporations whose ruthless economic activities dominate all of our lives. These leaders in turn command national and international state institutions that constantly reinforce the values, structures and control mechanisms that protect capitalism as a social system.

The corporations cannot change their spots. In their world, they have no choice but to seek out the cheapest resources, including labour, in order to maximise profits. Even as the Make Poverty History protests are gearing up, the corporations go unchallenged by G8 leaders as they continue to pillage Africa of its natural resources, making only corrupt politicians and businessmen rich. Meanwhile, in America whole areas of environmentally-crucial wilderness, protected everyone thought by the tightest laws, are now being opened up for oil and gas drilling as a result of influence on the Bush government. In Brazil, the "left" Lula government has just arrested a group including top civil servants in its own environmental protection agency who have helped wipe out large areas of the Amazon rain forest in the name of profit. In Britain, whole areas of the country have been written off by New Labour to destitution and unemployment. When asset-stripped corporations like Rover fold, the government washes its hands and blames mysterious "market forces".

Can such leaders and states, whether in the rich or the poor countries, tied as they are to the fortunes of global capital, make poverty history, even allowing for whatever cosmetic debt "initiatives" Blair and Brown might announce to show that they are "listening"? Absolutely no chance. They are making democracy history though, turning the political process into a farce and riding roughshod over basic human rights. Yet the tide is turning. Wherever they rule the G8 leaders enjoy no real support or authority. In France and the Netherlands, people voted decisively against their political élites when it came to extending the reach of free-market capitalism deeper inside the European Union. More and more people are focusing on the corporations as the real source of poverty and are prepared to take to the streets to make their point. Meanwhile, the G8 is meeting at Gleneagles behind barbed wire, protected by British and American soldiers. So popular are these leaders!

Politics is the answer - but not the politics of protest and pressure, which can make absolutely no impression on an increasingly isolated and authoritarian political system. Making poverty history demands a massive change - nothing less than a comprehensive democratic political and economic revolution. The aim has to be the transfer of power into the hands of ordinary people based on a not-for-profit economy and democratic political alternatives. Instead of "Make Poverty History", the slogan for Edinburgh should be: "Make the G8 leaders history".

A World to Win is a new kind of political organisation and movement that will put the issues of economic and political power at the top of the agenda. Let's focus the potential of the anti-capitalist movement on the central heart of power. Come to our launch conference on July 23 and help shape the new organisation. Your action will have real meaning by helping to create the conditions in which people can make their own history and determine the kind of world they want to live in.

6 June 2005