Socialist Worker

Why will nobody play Brutus to Blair’s Caeser?

Issue No. 2013

Tony Blair is cutting an increasingly isolated figure even within his own cabinet - we are told. His shameless support for Israel’s slaughter has shaken even New Labour diehards - we are told. Ministers are deeply embarrassed by the prime minister’s deranged remarks about a Muslim “arc of extremism” - we are told.

What we are not told is why he still clings to office. Why are these senior Labour politicians so keen to brief journalists of their profound concerns, yet so reluctant to speak out publicly, or follow through the logic of their position and wield the knife?

Not one of these conspirators has the guts to play Brutus to Blair’s Caesar.

This pathetic display underlines the corruption of the entire leadership of the Labour Party. They stood by Blair’s imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - and now they find themselves paralysed by the stench of blood on their hands, powerless to hold the prime minister back over Lebanon.

If the Labour Party cannot act to end the premiership of this paranoid murderous wretch, then the responsibility falls on the people that party once claimed to represent. The anti-war movement, so visible and vibrant last Saturday, must surge forwards in their thousands to Manchester next month. Only we have the power to cast Blair down.

Tommy Sheridan

A victory for the left

Everyone on the left ought to be celebrating Tommy Sheridan’s magnificent victory over the News of the World.

However, a small minority in the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), not content with testifying for Rupert Murdoch’s paper in court, continues to campaign against Tommy.

MSP Rosie Kane has gone on record arguing, without a hint of irony, that Tommy “sold the assets of the SSP - our integrity, our reputation, our solidarity”. A 12-page document written by Alan McCombes has been mailed to every SSP member comparing Tommy to Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken.

Rosie Kane wrote in the Scottish Sunday Mail, “Whatever happens, I can never work with Tommy again.” Lets hope that she and all those who lined up with the News of the World do the decent thing and resign.

Underlying the fight in the SSP are wider tensions between the majority of party members who want to build a broad party and work with forces outside the party, and a small minority who don’t. Tommy’s victory has been a confidence boost for the majority of party who want to continue building a movement against poverty and war.

Race and immigration

A dangerous game

John Reid, Blair’s loutish home secretary, last week boasted of plans to impose a limit on immigration and complained about “this daft so called politically correct notion that anybody who wants to talk about immigration is somehow a racist”.

From Enoch Powell in the 1960s onwards, we know that politicians who whip up the “immigration” issue give a green light to racist attacks and abuse on the streets. John Reid knows this too. His comments are calculated - and all the more repellent for it.

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What We Think
Sat 12 Aug 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2013
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