THE WHEELS have come off Tony Blair's bandwagon. Millions of people have rumbled his lies over the war. A television mock trial, which presented the anti-war case badly, still found Blair guilty of mass deception by a margin of two to one. The aftermath of the war and New Labour's ongoing attacks are producing immense political debate and questioning across Britain. It finds only the faintest echo in the cosseted world of official politics.
But in schools, colleges, workplaces and communities there is increasing discussion of the vital issues that affect the whole planet - war or peace, global inequality, why our working lives are being thrown back two generations. This is where politics really matters. Out of this can emerge a powerful left wing opposition to Blair and the system he defends. A 600-strong conference of the Stop the War Coalition last week naturally spilt over to wider issues. The same is true of public meetings that are drawing hundreds of people nightly.
Trade union conferences have been marked by deep bitterness with the government and vigorous political debates. In a sign of the times, the RMT union in London held its first political day school last week, attracting 70 members.
GREAT CHANGES in society happen when those at the top cease to dominate what those at the bottom think. We are reaching such a point now. How far we move forward depends on the answers we have to a world in crisis. The Marxism 2003 event, which starts in London on Friday of next week, draws together thousands of people to discuss those answers.
They will range from well known figures through to the local activists and trade unionists who make the movement happen. Discussions will involve everyone from school students who struck magnificently against the war to 70 year old lifelong socialists who feel inspired to bring their experiences to a new generation. Socialist Worker urges all our readers to get to the event.
Marxist forums in local areas will continue in the summer to follow through on the ideas raised. But there is nowhere other than Marxism 2003 where thousands can take part in such a range of discussions. There's no better springboard for deepening the movement for radical change.
Marxism 2003 4 - 11 July, Central London
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