Socialist Worker

Blair is trampling over our democracy

by George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green & Bow
Issue No. 1963

Safe in the hands of the armed police? (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Safe in the hands of the armed police? (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Terrorists can plant bombs, but only the government can take away our fundamental freedoms.

And that is exactly what Tony Blair is proposing to do.

His new laws, to be debated in parliament next month, will not stop terror. But they will add to the sense of injustice that terrorism feeds on.

They are a further sordid twist from a government that refuses to accept that going to war in Iraq has placed the people of this country at greater risk of terrorism.

They are accompanied by innuendo about an enemy within or accusations of treason, which New Labour propagandists are levelling at those who have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, but who do dare to speak out against the government.

The height of treason is to put the people of this country at risk of attack and to send young men and women, recruited from the dole queues, to kill and be killed on a lie.

They told us there were weapons of mass destruction — there weren’t. They said the Iraqi people would welcome us with rice and rose water — they didn’t.

They said the world would be a safer place — it isn’t. They said al-Qaida was active there — it wasn’t, but it is now.

Lie, after lie, after lie told to parliament, the British people and our own soldiers.

For the anti-war movement to be silent in the face of this mountain of lies and this new assault on freedom would be itself an act of treachery.

The scapegoating of the Muslim community and the shredding of rights that survived two world wars and the 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland are designed to create a fearful blanket of silence.

New Labour seeks to intimidate because it has not been able to persuade — 85 percent of people say the London bombings are linked to Blair’s war on Iraq.

Now is the time to refuse to bow to intimidation. The anti-war movement has brought forward its national demonstration to 24 September.

From every community and workplace we need to pour people into London that day and send a huge roar in defence of the Muslim community and all our rights, and for pulling the troops out of Iraq.

March Saturday 24 Sept

Bring the troops home | Defend civil liberties | Defend muslims

Central London (details to be confirmed)

Called by: Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, CND

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Article information

Sat 13 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1963
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