Socialist Worker

Vote Respect — punish Tony Blair on Thursday

by George Galloway, Respect candidate for Bethnal Green & Bow
Issue No. 1950

Protesting Blair’s visit to Stratford, east London, last week

Protesting Blair’s visit to Stratford, east London, last week


I believe I was the first figure in British public life to call Tony Blair a liar over the war.

It was after Blair returned from George Bush’s Texas ranch in March 2002 and denied they had been discussing war on Iraq. The interviewer was aghast that I could question the prime minister’s integrity.

Today, can there be a sentient being in the land who does not think he lied to take us to war, and set that course at least a year before the invasion?

In the last few days we have seen the briefing from the government’s senior law officer, Lord Goldsmith, that warned the war was illegal.

The head of Britain’s armed forces at the time warned on Sunday that Blair and Goldsmith will join British soldiers in the dock if they are prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq.

On the same day another secret document revealed how Blair had determined the path to war a year before it began.

And Blair’s response is to pretend that criticism of him is all with the benefit of hindsight. Another lie.

The anti-war movement shouted these truths from the rooftop at the time. Two million of us took to the streets. Blair and his tame MPs ignored us. If every one of those warmongering, pro-privatisation poodles is re-elected on Thursday, why should they change course when Blair forms a government on Friday?

They won’t. There will be more privatisation and unquestioning support for further Bush wars. But if Respect scores a victory on Thursday it will shatter that arrogance.

In east London, where we are in a two horse race with New Labour, there is a scent of victory in the air. In Bethnal Green & Bow alone we had 500 canvassers out on Saturday.

Over 160 foreign news organisations have applied to cover the count.

New Labour is panicking. It is deploying the lie machine that concocted claims about weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes to now attempt to smear us.

If they succeed, Blair will tell the world he has seen off the anti-war movement. No one who cares about peace and justice should let it happen.

We are appealing to everyone who has had enough of Blair’s lies to join Respect’s campaign, particularly in east London.

This chance to punish Blair at the polls will not come readily again.

For information on how to help our election campaign

Phone 07743 325 932 or 07749 411 191

Web www.respectcoalition.org

E-mail office@respectcoalition.org


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Article information

Features
Thu 5 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1950
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