Socialist Worker

New Labour sinks to new depths

Issue No. 1874

HOW MUCH lower can New Labour go? Millions of people in the anti-war and trade union movements must be asking this question as the Labour Party drags George Galloway, the MP most associated with the anti-war movement, before a kangaroo court.

In his speech at last month's Labour Party conference Tony Blair said, 'Iraq has divided the international community. It has divided the party, the country, families, friends... I do not at all disrespect anyone who disagrees with me.' But Blair's respect does not go far. Galloway's tribunal could see him thrown out of the Labour Party.

How much longer can trade union leaders and others back this corrupt and bankrupt government?

New Labour's behaviour is driving people out of the Labour Party. John McAllion, a leading Labour figure in Scotland and until earlier this year an MSP, quit Labour last weekend. He said he was likely to join the Scottish Socialist Party, saying, 'I believe in a mass party to help the working class but New Labour is no longer that party. In Scotland the SSP is the only party where socialists should be.'

But it is not just in Scotland that people are debating this question. The Socialist Alliance has played a role in trying to bring together people on the left. George Galloway will join the platform at an important meeting to discuss what kind of alternative we need which is taking place in central London on Wednesday 29 October.

Similar meetings are planned around the country. There will also be a Convention of the Trade Union Left on 7 February. These meetings are part of the process of creating a challenge to New Labour. Anger at Blair over the war and the Labour Party conference make this the perfect time to create a broader alternative to New Labour. People urgently need to get on board now or risk this opportunity slipping away.

The planned Bush visit is fuelling the anger at Blair. The bigger the protests against Bush and Blair on 19-21 November, the bigger the challenge to New Labour will be in the coming months. We urge all our readers to throw themselves into building the movement against Bush and the alternative to New Labour.

Bush runs into protests on Asia tour

SIX HUNDRED people defied bans and police to protest against George Bush when he attended the Apec economic summit in Bangkok, Thailand, last weekend (see picture).

Police prevented thousands of farmers from travelling to the city. 'But we were determined that the protests should go ahead,' said Giles Ungpakorn, a march organiser. There were protests in Manila when Bush visited the Philippines. Anti-war activists were also preparing for a series of protests when Bush arrived in Australia.

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What We Think
Sat 25 Oct 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1874
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