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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

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Hutton washes the state whiter than white

In Britain, constitutional lawyers are fond of prattling on about the “independence of the judiciary” from the government and other parts of the state. Judges do not take orders from government, even though they are appointed by a cabinet minister in the first place. They function free from direct interference by the executive. This is what first-year law students are taught about the democratic virtues of the unwritten British constitution.

In practice, the position is somewhat different, as the Hutton report has shown. The judiciary is without doubt part of the same state machine that includes the police, the army, the civil service, parliament and the government. Whether it gets direct instructions about what to do is not the point. In Britain, the judiciary is an integral part of the ruling elite and knowing how to act is a matter of reflex behaviour learned over hundreds of years of capitalist rule.

When push comes to shove, when the state’s legitimacy is threatened by scandal and lies as it is over Iraq, this so-called independence is exposed as a sham. That is the meaning of the Hutton whitewash report that, in the face of the evidence submitted, found in favour of the New Labour government on every count over the suicide of Dr David Kelly. The inquiry report claims that: Blair, Hoon and Campbell did not witch-hunt Kelly; the dubious Iraq dossier was all the work of the spies, without interference from No.10; the 45-minute claim was solid; Kelly broke the rules; Andrew Gilligan’s story was wrong, etc., etc. Perhaps there should be an inquiry into the inquiry. Was Hutton reporting on another case altogether? His experiences as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland – which is not exactly known for its justice – obviously served him in good stead.

As Jeremy Dear, the president of the National Union of Journalists, which is representing Gilligan, commented: "Whatever Lord Hutton may think, it is clear from the evidence he heard that the dossier was 'sexed up', that many in the intelligence services were unhappy about it, and that Andrew Gilligan's story was substantially correct." The Blair regime concocted a “case” for a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq based on the “intelligence” they wanted to read and material cut and pasted from web sites. As David Kay, the man sent by Bush to find the WDM, said on the same day as Hutton reported: “We were wrong, we were all wrong.” Even former cabinet ministers Robin Cook and Clare Short have said that intelligence chiefs told them in the months before the invasion that they did not know whether Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction”; the spooks confirmed to Cook and Short that Iraq’s military capability did not present a “clear and immediate danger” to Britain, as Blair claimed.

The mistake the BBC made in reporting the disquiet of people like Kelly is that the organisation thought it was an independent body whose duty it was to tell the truth. In fact, New Labour like all governments consider the BBC part of the state, just like the judiciary. In 1926, the BBC was used by the government to broadcast false propaganda about the General Strike. From time to time, the BBC is allowed a certain leeway, making critical programmes on occasions. But to challenge the integrity of the state itself in the shape of the Blair government was a step too far. This was too much for Downing Street to swallow and the unprecedented onslaught followed.

Blair told Hutton that the government was "in a quandary" and the issue was "very important".  Meetings were held involving the highest ministers and officials in the land without a note being taken. The cabinet secretary was absent from all crucial meetings. Key phone calls went unrecorded, which is against civil service rules. Over a two-week period, there were only three written records for up to 17 meetings a day as the state machine rolled into action against Kelly and the BBC. It drove Kelly to his death and now has produced the resignation of New Labour supporters Gavyn Davies and Greg Dyke, as chairman and director-general of the BBC. The onslaught from the state was simply unrelenting and they caved in.

Even the final report could not obscure what emerged from the evidence submitted. The political and administrative sides of the state are now dovetailed one into the other. New Labour has brought them together in an unprecedented way. Special advisors rule over civil servants and answer directly to the prime minister. Blair has built a Cabinet Office machine that bypasses departments and takes his orders. The control of information is subject to political decisions. Intelligence agencies and their political masters do each other’s bidding.

Anyone who steps out of line is literally treated as an enemy. That is the mark of an authoritarian regime, one which uses the state machine for its own political ends. Blair, an unelected president, and his coterie are demanding apologies all round following the Hutton report. Do not expect a rush to pen and paper from the majority in Britain who know they were deceived by the governments “case for war”.

The Hutton report is being used as another plank in the building of the New Labour one-party state. Not for nothing is Berlusconi, the corrupt, dictatorial prime minister of Italy, Blair’s best pal. Berlusconi’s corporations run nearly all Italy’s TV stations, state and commercial. They pump out incessant propaganda for his government and party. How New Labour would love such a set-up in Britain.

What we have in Britain is a reactionary state machine that is now politically corrupted and tightly controlled by New Labour. Parts of this machine, like parliament, have fallen into total disrepute, more a spectacle for tourists than institutions of democracy. Hutton has inadvertently shown how deep this degeneration is. Our future lies in the forging of alternative, democratic bodies where economic and political power are truly in the hands of the people. The whitewash only adds to the strength of this case for fundamental change.

Movement for a Socialist Future
29 January 2004

 

 

 


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