slp banner

Latest News & Comment

Chilcot and the Lie that Won’t Die!

In January 1991 a US led coalition began carpet bombing Iraq. The latter's invasion of neighbouring Kuwait was, they said, the perfect cause, since all nations agree the aggressor must be repelled.

Dropping more tonnage in less than a month than was dropped by all powers combined in World War II, they massacred a large part of Iraq’s conscript army and destroyed much of the infrastructure of the country. Coalition casualties were fewer than would have been expected in comparable military exercises outside of war.

Iraq’s surrender did not end the ‘war’. This ‘aggressive’ regional ‘superpower’ had to be contained.

Having used them against the Iraqis the ‘allies’ decided that weapons of mass destruction would be the new ‘cause’. After all, this too is a ‘principle’ on which we all ‘agree’.

While the coalition powers increased their arms sales to Iraq’s neighbours, in violation of their own UN resolutions, Iraq’s defences were dismantled and sanctions were imposed which were so wide ranging Iraq could no longer adequately feed or care for its people.

During this twelve year period the combined effects of continual illegal bombing raids using intelligence supplied by ‘weapons inspectors’ and the 'United Nations' sanctions killed more than a million people with others dying slowly from the effects of the depleted uranium released into the atmosphere by allied bombs, tanks and shells.

The media in the allied countries reported a story of Iraqi ‘intransigence’. In the war on ‘Saddam’, Iraq was rarely if ever referred to by its name or treated as a nation.

In 2003 the invasion finally came. The warnings of some establishment figures that ‘regime change’ would unleash sectarian violence across the region came true and the WMDs were not found. The terrible lie - that the ‘war’ was about weapons of mass destruction - would be sustained now by the only narrative left … the narrative of the ‘mistake’.

With the publication on the 6th July of the Chilcot Report, the lie began the final stage of its journey to becoming official ‘truth’.

The war makers knew what objectives were being served by the terrorism inflicted on another poor country; the opening of new ‘markets’, the re-inforcing of outside political control.

Supported by historical precedent, the 'evidence' is substantial and easy to interpret. Since they were not the reason for the war, it didn’t matter what anyone believed or was told about WMD. And as the war makers had sought the disintegration of Iraq, why would it matter to them what happened after.

We can assume that people who know they’ve made a ‘mistake’ try not to repeat it. After Libya and in light of the ongoing pursuit of regime change in Syria, we can assume that, like the WMD, the narrative of the ‘mistake’ doesn’t actually need to be ‘believed’.

Kim Bryan, 8th July 2016

They lied to us all in 1975. Let us show the EU adherent politicians what we think of them now!

Back in 1975 we were told by the British and European political elite that we were voting on membership of a trading organisation. They didn't tell us that what they really had in mind was a political union or a 'United States of Europe'. They didn't tell us that we would lose the power to make our own laws or that they would form a European Army. They didn't explain the consequences of free movement of labour and capital. They swamped us with false literature whereby they spent nine times more on 'In' propaganda than those of us on the 'left' had available.

We now have the opportunity to redress 41 years of living under a lie by telling the liars where to get off! We must all take this opportunity to regain our freedoms and leave this 'gravy train' for the rich which subjects the rest of us to continued austerity.

Vote for SOCIALISM-VOTE OUT!

Arthur Scargill 'Vote to Leave', Birmingham, June 2016

Battle of Orgreave: Arthur Scargill calls for public inquiry

The SLP flag flown at Burford Levellers Day

slp at burford levellers day 1 SLP at Burford Levellers Day 2

It is now clear that the best way to avoid TTIP being inflicted upon us is to leave the EU.

President Obama has well and truly given the ‘Out’ campaign a terrific boost. He has just arrived in Britain and stated that should Britain leave the EU, then we shall be at the back of the queue as regards trade agreements with the United States. Since the major threat to Britain from the United States is the imposition of TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Industry Partnership, then it is superb news that we can dodge this huge potential blight upon our lives by leaving the EU as quickly as possible.

TTIP threatens that any resistance to the imposition of mass privatisations, including the NHS, will mean that any British Government can be taken to court by American corporations. It is well known that these corporations, along with the whole American system is highly litigious and there is no doubt that the ‘wolves of Wall Street’ are already licking their lips in anticipation of taking over British state owned institutions for a mere pittance. The European Union is currently in secret negotiations with the Americans on how to impose this coercive measure. The workers in the EU are not even allowed to know anything about these negotiations!

This shows the completely undemocratic nature of the EU. Obama has given us a great opt-out chance from this Doomsday scenario!

We have already had a bonfire of workers’ rights since being in the EU.

As a staunch opponent of the European Union over the decades, Jeremy Corbyn’s sudden abandonment of his old viewpoint has shown all the backbone of a jellyfish. Those who signed up temporarily to vote for him in the Labour Party leadership election must be gravely disappointed at the rapid rate that he has abandoned many of his old political positions. The anti- NATO and anti- austerity stances are just two that have also shifted quickly and significantly.

It is absolutely outrageous to mention a bonfire of workers’ rights if we leave the EU. British workers have seen nothing but a total diminution of their rights since we joined this bosses’ club back in 1975.

One of the most important of these rights is that of decent well-paid employment. The list of industries that the EU regulations have forced us to close down or prevented us from defending include the British coal industry, the British ship building industry and more recently most of the British steel industry. We have been unable to provide cheap, readily available rail transportation for the use of our workers. Large parts of our Country, for instance North Devon and North Cornwall have no rail connections to the national network. EU directed privatisations have resulted in overcrowded and grossly overpriced train services in many other areas. Other types of Public transport have been decimated in many rural areas.

British manufacturing, once heralded as ‘the workshop of the world’ has been in continuous decline because of membership rules. Meanwhile, decent employments have been replaced with pittance based jobs in fast food outlets, supermarkets and low quality service jobs in, for example, accommodation and holiday industries. Before our membership, a man could normally support his family on his weekly wages without the necessity of his wife having to work. This no longer holds true. Back before we joined the EU, British workers could expect large annual wage increases and even under Ted Heath’s Tory regime of the 1970’s, there were 10% increases across the board. Workers these days count it a bonus to hang on to their jobs!

A further decimation of workers’ rights has come with the introduction of laws designed to prevent those in struggle from supporting each other. Consequently, secondary picketing in industrial actions has been outlawed and trade unions have been threatened with sequestration of their assets in strike situations. Furthermore, obstacles have been placed in the way of trade unions calling strikes. These include complicated ballot requirements and the need for large positive percentages being required for strike votes to become valid. These requirements compare with parliamentary election votes when Governments can become elected with 24% of the electorate. Similarly, police commissioners can be elected with ridiculously low percentages. Furthermore, it is also probable that some right wing M.P.’s have overspent in elections when forming part of the governing elite. The Electoral Commission seems to be in the pockets of the Elite since it fails to uphold electoral rules on spending and has also handed public money to right wing groups in the European referendum campaign. It is clear that the SLP should have the bulk of any monies available in the ‘No’ campaign since many of its members have been opposing EU membership since at least 1975, long before the UKIP’s and Boris Johnsons of this world appeared upon the political scene.

British workers should also have the right to eat decent wholesome food. With the EU, we have seen the sneaking into our diets of G.M. foods from US giant corporations. We have noted the pollution of our food through complicated re-routing of products such as meat throughout Europe. People buying beef products have been found to have been really purchasing horse meat. Perfectly eatable food has been required to be discarded because it has not met stupid EU regulations. Forcing British workers to eat substandard foods has also led to a vast increase in health and dietary problems, including obesity.

British workers should also have the natural right to easily affordable and comfortable housing. EU regulations, however, have played their part in causing a huge housing bubble with vast swathes of properties being out of the financial reach of ordinary people. Social housing has become a miserably small housing sector whilst private renting of property has, as we would expect, meant overcharging, exploitation and large scale misery.

One of the main claims made on behalf of workers across Europe is that membership of the EU has brought peace. This is another lie, however since socialist Yugoslavia was deliberately broken up by EU and American backed violence. The EU has also intervened in other European countries such as Turkey and Ukraine, where violence has also featured on a large scale.

To be objective in regard to the EU, it was set up as a bureaucratic ‘bosses’ club with ex- Nazi sympathies largely to the fore. It is no surprise, therefore, that British workers’ rights have been whittled away since our membership. It is claimed that the socialist elements in the EU will give us protection against right wing political attacks. The evidence of the aggressive bullying of Greece and the fact that only 30% of the make-up of the European Parliament bear any socialist traces gives the lie to this. The mass privatisations of TTIP, as advocated by Obama and the US, will not be resisted by elements operating within the EU. Neither has our membership in the least protected us against tax evasion and avoidance by the rich and powerful. British workers will continue to be the ones picking up the tab if we don’t vote to get out of this shambles as quickly as possible!

The LAST name that you would want to hear!

With thousands of jobs in the British steel industry under severe threat as a result of disinterested foreign ownership (as well as many British Capitalist politicians), the continuation of this vital industry in the UK should mean that Public Ownership should be the obvious priority.

Such are the strange times that we live in, however, that even some British Trade Union leaders (along with Tories and some Labour Party ‘Tories’) are publicly spouting that this is not the answer.

We have seen all the ‘hand-wringing’ over loss of vital industries before. Huge swathes of the Labour Party failed to support the British coal miners in 1984-5 when the political decision by the Tories was made to close the Industry. The ‘triple alliance’ had historically meant that the Steel Unions and Rail Unions should have come out in solidarity with the miners. The Rail unions were generally sympathetic but the Union leadership of the Steel industry failed to stand by the unwritten but historically traditional requirement of giving support.

Further treachery to the working class came in the form of the Labour Party leadership which used weasel words of half-hearted support for those fighting for their futures. One of the most infamous in this treachery to the miners came from the then leader, Kinnock, who made much of his working class origins. He blamed the miners’ leadership for the 1984-5 strike, in effect saying that they were ‘crying wolf’ over pit closures. History and subsequently revealed documents have revealed that there was indeed a Tory political agenda for pit closures and that the miners’ leadership were totally correct in their actions.

In the intervening years, the Kinnock family got well and truly on the European ‘gravy train’. With their amassed wealth, it seems strange that they need to even soil their hands in the business of modern day politics. The latest Kinnock to reside in the House of Commons is now being wheeled out by the Establishment controlled media, again weeping crocodile tears, this time over steel plant closures. With support from such sources, the steel workers should be worried-VERY worried! It is not a name that you would want to hear being involved if your industry was in jeopardy.

The EU club for bosses has given no protection to the jobs of British workers so why should any Trade Union or political party of the ‘left’ continue to support membership?

Diane Abbott stated on BBC Question Time the other evening that all the British Trade Unions were in favour of staying put in the European Union. She was immediately corrected by a fellow panellist who pointed out that at least two Trade Unions, ASLEF and RMT are calling for a British exit from this club devised for and on behalf of Europe’s bankers and bosses.

It is very perplexing why any British Trade Union would wish to remain inside this organisation which resembles a modern day ‘Tower of Babel’. The biblical Tower of Babel was a structure in which countless different languages were heard in a complete mixture of anarchy and confusion. The track record, since we became members of the then Common Market, for the jobs of British workers has been abominable. We have seen the closure of British coalmining, shipbuilding, steelmaking, decimation of manufacturing, including car making, running down of the railway infrastructure and the removal of vast swathes of well - paid British workers’ jobs abroad. The main European Country that seems to have benefitted from this British demise seems to have been Germany. The protection given to British workers in other spheres like housing and taxation from membership has also appeared to be non-existent. Why then would we rely on the EU to protect us against the attacks from US capitalism like the imposition of TTIP, whereby companies like Monsanto could sue the British Government if it resisted further introduction of genetically modified foods? The political impact of the ‘left’ within the EU has a track record of being and continues to remain minimal.

Similarly, the US ‘Establishment’, including Obama, has been calling for us to remain in the EU. This should be a big clue as to why we should get out as soon as possible. The undemocratic nature of the EU organisation with the Council and Commission not having the ‘bother’ of popular elections also means that British workers have little chance of protecting their rights. At least, our own Parliament would have a chance of advancing the cause of workers’ conditions and rights if we once more truly governed ourselves. Not that the Labour Party has made any effort in that direction over recent decades where they have almost continuously acted in the interests of the bankers and ‘big business’.

The British main media, of course, are only giving voice to ‘right wing’ opposition spokespersons of the EU. They are not prepared to vent any left wing discussion on reasons for EU withdrawal. This is a re-run of the 1975 referendum when the British people were sold a ‘false prospectus’. We were told that we would be joining a purely trading organisation, not a political union of states with its own law making, financial system and army. For that 1975 referendum, expenditure for the ‘In’ campaign was nine times that of the ’No’ campaign. It is remarkable that we on the left managed to secure a third of the vote for the ‘No’ campaign. As then, big business and most of the British ‘Establishment’ want to stay on their own ‘gravy train’ at the expense of the rest of us.

The silencing of the true ‘left’ in British politics on this and other issues should spur us on to kick up a hell of a ‘stink’ with media outlets like the BBC who seem to wallow in their own mire of sleaze and political bias against the true ‘left’ of British politics.


More current news stories from the SLP HERE.