Socialist Worker

Blair sinks into mire of blood and filth

Issue No. 1861

TONY BLAIR is in a crisis for one reason - his whole case for war on Iraq was based on a great lie. To justify that lie, Blair lied again, and again and again. He constructed a pyramid of lies and now that pyramid is collapsing around him. Blair's government is in chaos. The BBC and the government are at each other's throats. More and more people, in the media, the Labour Party and the establishment, are calling for Blair to go.

Despite all the acres of coverage the mainstream press has ignored a central reason for Blair's turmoil. None of his lies would have started to unravel without the strength and impact of the global anti-war movement. Blair is doomed because two million people marched through London against the war.

In cities, towns and villages across Britain people got organised and held protests, school students walked out of school, and trade unionists joined marches. We did not manage to stop their catastrophic war, but our protests have thrown this government of warmongers into crisis. It is vital we do not just sit back as New Labour and the BBC hurl insults, accusations and recriminations at each other.

Millions of people across Britain hate Tony Blair because of his war on Iraq. They are sickened by the total lack of accountability of parliament and Britain's supposedly democratic institutions. Many of these same people hate what New Labour is doing to our hospitals, schools and services, and to our pressurised working and family lives. We cannot rely on those at the top to bring the kind of change so many people want. Lord Hutton's inquiry into the death of David Kelly will not end the occupation of Iraq.

The manoeuvres inside the Labour Party may get shot of Blair, but their aim is to bring us Gordon Brown, the architect of New Labour and loyal supporter of the war. If we want to bring real change we need to keep up the marvellous, diverse movement of young and old, black, white and Asian, we built against the war. We need to make the second People's Assembly for Peace on Saturday 30 August in London into a mass, representative and democratic event.

And we need to go all out to mobilise people in their hundreds of thousands to come to London to protest against the occupation of Iraq at the national demonstration on Saturday 27 September.

The widespread anger against the war and Blair's lies is linked to a bubbling sense of anger and injustice that exists among rank and file workers around Britain. That feeling came to the surface last weekend when check-in workers at Heathrow airport walked out, furious at threats from their BA bosses. They didn't wait for their union leaders or the snail's pace of the balloting process. They simply walked off the job, and in doing so showed the strength and power workers have when they act together.

Health workers, bus workers and other workers have shown a similar mood of 'we've had enough' in recent weeks. This feeling and the sense of fury and betrayal over Blair's lies are a potentially explosive force. We need to do everything we can to make sure that it blows up in the face of all the New Labour, Tory and establishment warmongers in the weeks and months ahead.


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What We Think
Sat 26 Jul 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1861
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