ANYONE WHO listened to the debate in parliament on 8 October about the war in Afghanistan would have been struck immediately by one fact-nobody spoke clearly for an immediate end to the attacks by the US and Britain. A handful of MPs raised serious questions about the war aims, details of the attacks and what should happen next. But nobody said the war was wrong in principle.
"WE WERE just herded out onto the streets." So said Jeanette Dearden, one of 700 workers at two Viasystems factories on Tyneside who have been thrown out of work.
The exchange between longstanding anti-war activist Tariq Ali and Peter Hain took place at a 200-strong fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference after Tony Blair delivered his speech.
Tony Blair summed up Labour's mission as, "Let us reorder this world," when he spoke at the Labour conference last week. He said the "international community" could sort out the world's problems. But when Blair talks of the "international community" he does not mean ordinary people showing solidarity with one another.
THE spectacular collapse of Railtrack ought to be the final nail in the coffin for privatisation. Shareholders were screaming for compensation this week. And Railtrack was threatening legal action to free up £350 million to hand to them.
TUBE DRIVERS in London were set to strike on Friday of this week in a dispute that should be a rallying point for everyone opposed to New Labour's privatisation plans for London Underground.
THE SOCIALIST Worker Appeal has shot up by over £14,000 in the last week. Our readers and supporters have raised a total of £75,332 so far. Every penny of this is being thrown into campaigning against the war, and the cuts and privatisation Blair is trying to sneak through.
"BLACK WEDNESDAY". That was the Mirror's banner headline last week as the scale of the job cuts sweeping Britain became clear. Behind the figures lie workers whose lives will be devastated as they are thrown on the dole. Thousands more workers will be terrified that they too could be caught in the jobs cull.
AS THE New McLabour conference pushed an agenda of war and privatisation, Socialist Worker responded by taking to the streets to support the Brighton protest against privatisation and for peace.
"THE WHOLE conference has been an exercise in avoiding debates. "It's incredible that we have avoided the issue over public services and have not taken a position on Star Wars."
"THEY ARRIVE at an undefended village, assemble all the residents in the town square, and then proceed to kill, in full view of the others, all persons working for the government-including police, local militia members, party members, health workers, teachers and farmers."
WHILE THE government spends billions on the build-up to war, it is pushing through vicious attacks on disabled people's benefits. New Labour is preparing to rob the sick and vulnerable of Incapacity Benefit. Many Labour Party members and disability rights campaigners were furious when Tony Blair announced the plan in July.
OVER 1,000 people gathered in London last Saturday for an anti-capitalist conference organised by Globalise Resistance. Throughout the day the main venue, the former Hammersmith Palais, was a throng of people, debate and discussion.
"YOU'RE SACKED." That's the blunt message tens of thousands of workers are getting from their bosses. Behind official talk of pulling together behind the "war on terrorism" a growing number of firms are ramming through savage job cuts.
"I SPENT most of my time being a high class muscleman for big business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. I was a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
US GENERAL SMEDLEY BUTLER
IN THE last week Socialist Worker has been part of building anti-war meetings and protests across the country.
The building of a movement against war was given an enormous boost at a marvellous rally in central London last Friday. At just a few days notice over 2,000 packed into Friends Meeting House opposite the capital's Euston station. There hasn't been a meeting like that in London for at least 20 years.
THE WORLD economy is on the verge of a major recession. That was the bleak message last week as 100,000 workers on both sides of the Atlantic lost their jobs and the stock exchange plunged downwards.
"IT HAS been suggested that it is appropriate to hold back our anti-privatisation campaigning for the forseeable future, in the wake of events in the US. Such a move might make sense if the government itself was suspending the privatisation drive, but it is clearly doing no such thing.
THOUSANDS of workers across Britain and the US are facing the prospect of redundancy in the aftermath of the events in the United States. Aerospace industry and airline bosses have been at the forefront of sacking thousands of workers.