Andrew Murray

More Time for Politics

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Tony Benn, Hutchinson, £20

When Tony Benn left parliament in 2001 after 50 years service as an MP, he followed his late wife Caroline's advice and famously announced that he was doing so to "spend more time on politics".

As we all know by now, he wasn't kidding. His diaries of the period 2001-2007, extracts from which have just been published, are a record of political struggle in the front line, not of a placid retirement. Indeed, no serving MP - George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn being the two exceptions - could produce a similar story of campaigning endeavour over these tumultuous years.

Fighting the long war

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The political landscape is starting to change around the anti-war movement. The departure of Tony Blair from office much earlier than he would have preferred - itself the result of the catastrophe in Iraq and the consistent campaigning of the movement - creates a new situation.

The British government is already committed to a gradual military withdrawal from Iraq, where the troops now seem to be serving no conceivable purpose even in the government's own terms. Gordon Brown may decide to accelerate this process. Likewise, he may announce a clear intention to set up an inquiry into the circumstances under which the country went to war in 2003.

New Book: History in the Making

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Leading figures in the Stop the War Coalition Andrew Murray and Lindsey German have just written a compelling account of this unique movement. Here we print extracts from their book.

Introduction

This is not just another book about the Iraq war and its military, diplomatic and political history. Of those, there are plenty already. Instead, it is the story of a remarkable mass movement.

Mass movements appear to come from nowhere and they take a direction which is often unpredictable. They gather a momentum which sometimes appears unstoppable and they can change the face of politics for a generation.

War and Resistance: Within Political Inches

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Andrew Murray and Lindsey German reflect on the achievements of the anti-war movement.

Colonial war has now brought Tony Blair and, by extension, the entire New Labour project, to the edge of a richly deserved political abyss. If the most reactionary prime minister ever associated with a democratic labour movement is indeed brought down it will be because of the fall out from the illegal and aggressive Iraq war, of which Ministry of Defence scientist Dr Kelly is just the latest, and particularly poignant, victim.

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