Editorial

Who Wants This War?

Issue section: 
Author: 

August was a bad month for hawks.

Despite the best efforts of the Bush and Blair governments to continue their preparations for war without public scrutiny or debate, increasingly loud and anxious voices continued to be raised about exactly why the US and Britain were proposing to attack Iraq. These voices included a great number of trade unionists, Labour MPs and anti-war activists, but they also encompassed some of those who have been enthusiastic warmongers in the past. James Baker, key adviser to Bush Sr, is only the latest to have counselled caution.

Safe as Houses?

Issue section: 
Author: 

Welcome to Britain in the 21st century--a place where the old are told they will have to work until they die; where even some of those on a reasonable income cannot afford a place to live; where the sick are forced to wait months, if not years to get treatment; and where the poor are blamed for the state they're in.

New Labour politicians constantly tell us that the economy is in good shape. They point to the low levels of inflation and high levels of employment and say everything is alright. Yet if this is what we face after a period of so called boom, how much worse will it be when the economy goes into crisis? Serious economic problems are now obvious as is seen with the collapse in share prices, both in Britain and the US and the threat of recession.

Waging War at Home

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The resignation, when it came, was widely expected. The decision by Stephen Byers to quit the government has cheered everyone who is sick of the appalling state of the transport network.

The railways teeter on the brink of collapse, the privatised air traffic control system repeatedly breaks down and the roads are congested.

Byers and New Labour claim none of this is their fault. The line following his resignation was that he was forced out by a hostile media and City investors who are angry with his decision to take Railtrack into administration. For many, however, the last straw came with the deaths of seven people at Potters Bar following a train derailment.

Red Alert

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

'The centre cannot hold.' This is the conclusion of the French presidential election, whose results sent shock-waves around the world.

The fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen knocked Socialist Party prime minister Lionel Jospin out of the second round. Jacques Chirac, the right wing president, scraped just under 20 percent of the vote. His expected win in the second round will hardly be a ringing endorsement, since he will be elected by those bitterly opposed to his policies.

The Power of Protest

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Thousands of jobs to go in the Post Office; taxpayers to fund a compensation package to Railtrack shareholders; open talk about a leadership challenge to Tony Blair. Is it any wonder that the gloss is coming off the New Labour project?

Recent polls suggest that Labour's lead over the Tories has been halved over the last month. One poll for the Sunday Times found that 54 percent of people said they felt Blair had been a disappointment, 20 percent thought he should go now and 43 percent thought he should go at the next election. The speed at which the disillusionment with New Labour is increasing is now alarming even the most ardent Blairite loyalists. Former Labour ministers such as Chris Smith, Peter Kilfoyle and Glenda Jackson have all spoken out against the government.

The Evils of War

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Can the US be stopped? This is the question millions of people are asking as George Bush gears up to launch an attack against Iraq.

That war will take place seems certain. Bush's 'axis of evil' speech to the US Congress confirmed what many people suspected, that the war against Afghanistan was only the beginning. The fact that Tony Blair is to visit Washington in a few weeks, where, we are told, 'action against Iraq will be top of the agenda,' confirms that an attack is imminent.

Strained Relations

Issue section: 
Author: 

People left on hospital trolleys waiting for treatment; bosses recruiting non-union labour to break a legitimate strike, with a nod and a wink from the government; a cash for favours scandal erupts engulfing ministers and their advisers. You could be mistaken for thinking that the dark days of the Tories have returned. But no, this is life under New Labour.

While he travelled the world spreading the gospel, Tony Blair forgot one important fact - the problems back home are mounting. This is most starkly seen in the continuing deterioration of public services. The railway system teeters on the brink of collapse, and schools and hospitals continue to suffer from years of underinvestment. The decision by Blair and Brown to stick to Tory spending plans in their first two years in office is now having serious repercussions. All the anger that the union leaders put on hold following 11 September has returned with a vengence.

Aims in Conflict

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The year opened with the world looking a much more unstable place than 12 months ago. It is embroiled in war, threatened with deep recession, and the contradictions caused by the reach of global capital are more acute than ever. The choices facing millions of people around the world are increasingly between the destruction of lives and livelihoods or collective action in order to change the world for the better.

The terrible consequences of the 'war against terrorism' are all too evident. India and Pakistan have come to the brink of war over Kashmir--a war which would involve two sides armed with nuclear weapons. The killing of Palestinians continued as part of the escalation of war there by Israel and with the virtual imprisonment of Yasser Arafat. The bombing of Afghanistan continued with the toll of civilian casualties now higher than the number of victims of 11 September--and no sign that the original war aim of capturing Osama bin Laden is any closer.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Editorial