IRAQ 11-Britain 0.
The job we face shapes the form of socialist organisation. If all we had to do was make general propaganda in favour of socialism, then the loosest form of association would be enough. But that would mean sitting on the sidelines, only commentating on real struggles and actual movements.
BEWARE. FUNDAMENTALIST fanatics are on the streets of Britain and are coming to a town near you. No, this isn't a front page of the Sun or the Daily Express. These are Christian fanatics from the US and they come with Blair's blessing.
TONY BLAIR is drowning. As the seas rise to swallow him up he tries in vain, like King Canute, to turn back the tide. Two weeks ago a panicked Blair invited senior journalists from the Guardian newspaper to a cosy chat at his Chequers country residence. The journalists included Martin Kettle, a personal friend of Blair.
\"TONY BLAIR is swept away in October. George W Bush loses in November. President John Kerry and Prime Minister Gordon Brown rush to pull US and British troops out of an Iraq descending into civil war. The Saudi monarchy falls before the triumphant march of Islamist extremism. The oil price breaks through $60 a barrel and the world economy heads for stagflation. America's growing isolation in the world makes way for the return of American isolationism, globalisation for global protectionism.\"
US POLICY in Iraq is in meltdown. The pictures of torture by US and British forces in Iraq have underlined graphically that this is a war of terror, not a war on terror.
"TURN IRAQ over to the United Nations (UN)." That is now the cry of many who opposed the US war on Iraq last year, such as the Green Party. But the shrillest calls over the last two weeks for the UN to run Iraq have come from the very people who were more than happy to back the invasion.
Last week we argued that it is movements from below that can change the world. They draw their power from their capacity to mobilise large numbers of people. Movements provide most of the energy and creativity involved in great challenges to our rulers. The overthrow of capitalism will involve an immense movement from below. It will engage the self transforming activity of millions of working people, struggling for economic, political and cultural power.
I have to warn readers of a nervous disposition that I am about to use two words that will create fear and trembling among you. The words are Margaret Thatcher. I'm sorry if you're now hiding behind the sofa. The only reason for mentioning her dread name is that last week celebrations were held to mark the 25th anniversary of her general election victory in 1979.
THE WORLD has seen US troops' torture of Iraqi prisoners. These pictures have smashed the last excuse trotted out to justify the occupation of Iraq. As resistance to the occupation grew, apologists for imperialism clutched desperately at the idea that at least human rights would be better with Saddam Hussein gone.
THINGS ARE getting steadily worse for the US in Iraq. The fact that the Marines have been forced to step back from an all-out assault on Fallujah and accept the mediation of a former Republican Guard general is a real humiliation for the Pentagon. Last weekend the US was losing five soldiers a day to the insurgents in Iraq. Such a casualty rate, if it continues, is politically unsustainable in a presidential election year.
Man y people in the anti-war and anti-capitalist movements agree with us on general principles. They agree that socialists must oppose all forms of oppression. They agree that any movement against capitalism must involve the initiative, energy and imagination of millions of organised workers. They agree we must unite the widest forces against the fascist BNP. They utterly oppose the Tory party and don't trust the Liberal Democrats. Mostly, they know the Labour Party offers no way forward.
I'M WRITING to you today on behalf of SOTWOI (ELS). The initials stand for Supporters Of The War On Iraq (Ex-Lefties Section), a group with some very prominent members. You'll remember that John Reid was once in the Communist Party, Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Byers used to describe themselves as International Socialists and David Aaronovitch is used to describing himself.
'DOOMED TO failure.\" That was the conclusion of 52 ambassadors and top officials in a letter to Tony Blair slamming his relationship with Bush and his policies on Iraq and Palestine. These officials come from one of the most privileged and loyal layers of the British establishment.
TONY BLAIR'S shambolic surrender to the demands for a referendum on the draft European Constitution is the clearest sign yet that his premiership is close to collapse. When Blair came to office, he was distinguished from most of his predecessors by his enthusiasm for the European Union (EU).
TONY BLAIR has faced another stark choice over the last few days. He could stick with his fellow war criminal George Bush and slide deeper into the blood and horror of Iraq. Or he could follow the Spanish government and withdraw troops as quickly as possible.
From the Victorian era till the 1960s gays and lesbians were persecuted by the state. Police officers regularly entrapped and arrested gay men. In that repressive climate, most gays and lesbians hid their sexual orientation. Over the last three decades the worst legal restrictions and discriminations have ended. The level of popular prejudice against gays and lesbians is much reduced. Today every major TV and radio soap has gay or lesbian storylines, with sympathetic characters.
\"23 April-St George's Day-should be carved on the heart of every Englishman.\" These are the words of Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative MP for Romford-someone who pops up on numerous TV programmes championing St George's Day. Rosindell likes to present himself as part of a new young generation, a man who can both be \"cosmopolitan\" in his outlook and at the same time proud to be English. But don't be deceived by appearances.
"We hold these truths to be self evident. All men are created equal." So declares the American Declaration of Independence. Half the world replies yes, but what about women? Formal equality was part of the ideology of early capitalism. More importantly, the birth of the modern socialist movement made women's equality a feature of all progressive thought.
AS I'M sure Socialist Worker readers are aware, there has been only one story of importance in the British press over the last few weeks. The fighting has intensified, the partnership is weakening, and the situation is rapidly deteriorating. Yes, of course, it is the highly significant story of the relationship between Posh and Becks.