Socialist Worker

Anti-war protests panic Blair

Issue No. 1833

BRITISH ambassadors were called back to London for a crisis meeting this week. The move was in response to growing panic in the government over global opposition to war on Iraq. Many of the ambassadors are worried that the drive to war is 'radicalising' people around the world.

The Guardian newspaper called the diplomats' meeting 'unprecedented'. It came as further signs of the panic in government emerged with the seemingly contradictory messages over war from Tony Blair and his foreign secretary Jack Straw.

Sections of the media have begun to reflect the anti-war feeling in Britain. The Sunday Express last weekend ran a double-page spread on the global anti-war movement. The Daily Mirror, which has campaigned against war over recent months, last week predicted the 15 February anti-war day of action will see 10 million people join protests across the world.

Bush and Blair are pressing ahead with their war plans. Britain this week called up thousands of reservists. But even Blair must worry about the consequences for his government of going to war when there is such massive domestic opposition.

That's why everyone must throw themselves into ensuring that 15 February sees a huge show of opposition to war.

Bomb 'em over there, starve 'em over here

NEW LABOUR sent a clear message to Iraqi people this week-if you try to flee our bombs, we'll starve you in Britain. New asylum rules came into force on Wednesday. They mean that tens of thousands of refugees will be denied any support and left without food to live on the streets.

The single largest group of refugees coming to Britain is from Iraq. Blunkett's rules will apply to every new refugee, including torture victims and those fleeing war. Bill Morris, leader of the TGWU union, blasted the government, saying, 'This is about basic dignity and humanity. We didn't campaign to abolish asylum vouchers to condemn thousands of asylum seekers to starvation. But clearly the Home Office is determined that, if it can't get asylum seekers out by the legal route, it will starve them out instead.'

New Labour's laws show its brutality towards refugees. They also show that war on Iraq has nothing to do with concern for Iraqi people.

Join the worldwide day of protest against war Feb 15 March in London, 12 noon, Embankment tube

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Sat 11 Jan 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1833
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