Socialist Worker

They dare to call this democracy

A corrupt, lying, undemocratic regime. That’s the only conclusion to draw from Lord Hutton’s contemptuous whitewash of this warmongering government.

Issue No. 1886a

WE’VE NOT seen the like of Hutton’s PR job for Tony Blair since Lord Widgery’s cover-up of the Bloody Sunday shootings 32 years ago. Back then Brian Hutton was barrister for the British army, which got away with killing 14 peaceful demonstrators in Northern Ireland.

He has clearly learnt to serve his masters well. He ignored a mountain of evidence implicating Blair and his cronies, and diverted all blame onto the BBC. Hutton’s conclusions were so off the wall that journalists in the courtroom burst out laughing when he delivered them. One Blairite official shouted, “Make that man a duke.”

Hutton even managed to smear dead weapons scientist Dr Kelly. As Kelly’s widow spoke of “betrayal”, a smarmy Blair grinned from ear to ear.

That sickening spectacle has convinced none of the majority of people in this country who opposed Bush and Blair’s criminal war on Iraq. They and millions more are asking the question sidestepped by Hutton—there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so why did Blair’s government take us to war on a bare-faced lie?

This has been a week of lies that has exposed the sham democracy of Tony Blair’s Britain.

On Tuesday a government elected on a promise not to introduce top-up fees brazenly rammed that elitist policy through parliament. Blair got away with the fees vote in parliament because the vast majority of Labour MPs backed him and betrayed working people.

Gordon Brown, the supposed “alternative” to Blair, also rode to his rescue, just as he did over the drive for war.

It is clear that we cannot rely on Labour MPs or on establishment judges.

As for the Tories and Liberals, they backed the war as the cluster bombs tore apart 15,000 men, women and children. They say the troops must remain in Iraq as the bodies of civilians and of US and British soldiers pile up. They are for the same policies of privatisation and favours for big business as New Labour.

It is not them but the huge anti-war movement that has left Blair holed beneath the waterline. And it is that movement, together with wider resistance, that has exposed the rottenness of the entire political establishment.

Democracy in this country lies with the millions of people who took to the streets against the war. It lies with the BBC workers who bravely left their offices this week to protest after New Labour’s attempt to smash critical and independent journalism.

Their action is what a free media is about—not billionaire press barons like Blair’s pal Rupert Murdoch.

Democracy lies with the trade unionists and campaigners who are fighting back against the bosses and government—and starting to win.

We need to build and deepen that resistance over Iraq, fees, and every other issue. Blair is gloating. That’s because he is hopelessly out of touch with the mass feeling in this country. If we come together and act we can wipe the smile off his face.

After a historic meeting last weekend we can now do that at the ballot box too.

The Respect coalition was launched at a 1,500-strong convention last Sunday. It aims to stand against New Labour in the European, London and local elections on 10 June.

Attending the launch were anti-war activists, trade unionists, socialists, environmentalists, community groups, Muslims (attacked daily by the government), and many others.

George Galloway MP, who was expelled from the Labour Party for opposing the war, told them, “The Respect coalition is the historic work of a new political force.

“If we can keep our unity, we can turf out of their seats those who have misgoverned the country.”

Everyone sickened by a Labour prime minister who thinks he can literally get away with murder and by this rotten political establishment should throw themselves into that election challenge.


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Thu 29 Jan 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1886a
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