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



Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

You would think that this might be an excellent time to step up the campaign against the New Labour government and to broaden the discussion about possible alternatives. The hounding to his death of government scientist Dr David Kelly has backfired on the Blair regime in a spectacular way. Even the genteel Hutton inquiry has exposed the fabricated nature of the infamous Iraq weapons dossier for all to see.

Pubic support for New Labour is falling away, not just over Iraq but on a range of issues like education, transport and the health service. A great opportunity, one could argue, to discuss political possibilities beyond New Labour and ways of extending democracy representation beyond a powerless parliamentary system.

Unless you are the leadership of the Stop the War Coalition (STWC), in which case you do everything in your power to avoid these issues. Well before the countdown to the invasion of Iraq, the STWC leaders had one single objective - to corral the mass movement that sprung up in opposition to war and confine its aspirations to doomed protest activities.

This self-appointed leadership is made up predominantly of the opportunist, pseudo-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party, the remnants of the Stalinist Communist Party of Britain, the pacifists around CND and a few Labour ‘left’ MPs.

Despite their apparent differences, what unites them is an agreement that we cannot get beyond the political status quo of a New Labour government and existing “democratic” forms like the House of Commons.

Their sole aim, therefore, is to increase the pressure on the Blair government to abandon its policy of invading countries like Iraq and, according to the People’s Assembly declaration of August 30, “adopt instead a foreign policy based on principles of peace and social justice”.

Despite lots of militant noises from the floor about how economic interests lay behind the invasion, the declaration adopted by the gathering was a betrayal of the aspirations of all those millions who marched against the war. They constituted a social movement whose horizons were lifted beyond New Labour and the limited nature of parliamentary democracy.

The STWC leadership, on the other hand, wants to march them back into political line. This was clear from the moment they called the assembly with the aim of “indicting the government” for lying about the reasons for invading Iraq. Anyone who has given the matter a moment’s thought long ago worked out that the Blair regime viewed the so-called weapons mass destruction as a peripheral issue. The invasion was always about forcing Iraq into the world market dominated by transnational corporations.

In any case, since when have imperialist governments ever given the real reasons for their wars? The implication is, of course, that if New Labour’s “evidence” had been correct, we should have had to support the war because it was based on “truth”.

The STWC declaration of August 30 actually declared that the conduct of the Blair government in systematically lying about WMD “represents a negation of democracy” when, in fact, the opposite is true. The use of the term “democracy” in this way lends credibility to a political system controlled by a powerful minority.

It is the same “democracy” that rules on behalf of economic corporations that are plundering the developing world, exploiting working people on a global scale and polluting the planet towards its extinction as an environment for human life. This “democracy” has waged countless imperialist wars against rivals and ruled over empires built by force and oppression, justified by lies and propaganda about “national interest” and “threats to civilisation”. The invasion of Iraq was, therefore, entirely consistent with capitalist “democracy”.

As for the declaration’s demands, they won’t have Blair quaking in his boots. These are restricted to the call for the government to be “held to account by the public and parliament for these lies and this assault on democracy” and for the withdrawal of UK and US troops from Iraq.

Blair himself has declared he would have to resign if the story claiming that Downing Street had “sexed up” the WMD dossier were true. You will not find such a suggestion in the August 30 declaration, however. This omission is in stark contrast to the resolution passed at the first assembly in February, which declared that “in the event of war starting, the prime minister should resign”.

The August 30 declaration effectively gives Blair and New Labour a political lease of life. Those attending were urged to “demand that the British government dissociate itself from all further wars of aggression planned by the US administration” and “adopt instead a foreign policy based on principles of peace and social justice”.

So the message is: “Dear Tony, please behave better in future and keep away from those naughty Americans. Yours sincerely, STWC leadership.”

If anyone ought to be indicted for political fabrication it should be the STWC leaders. They deceive the anti-war movement when they propose that New Labour can be “turned” by pressure from a warmongering government into one pursuing “peace and justice”.

You can’t reform New Labour because it is tied to the corporations and the state. That is the truth, unpalatable as it may seem to the SWP and others. Anything else amounts to a political sleight of hand, such as we witnessed on August 30.

Movement for a Socialist Future
4 September 2003