Imperialist Labour

imperialist labour

Middle East

• Labour has repeatedly unleashed British military force to preserve Middle East oil reserves for imperialism and has been a consistent defender of Zionism.’ One of the greatest factors in helping us to overcome our initial difficulties was the fact that from the first, since 1917, we constantly received encouragement from the British Labour movement,’ – Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel.

• In 1948, the Labour government withdrew British troops from Palestine, making way for the Zionist terror that drove 900,000 Arabs out of Palestine. From then until today, the Zionist ‘Friends of Israel’ group has regularly claimed over 100 Labour MPs as members.

• Before the 1991 Gulf War, Labour tried to outdo the Conservatives in bellicosity, with Shadow Foreign Secretary Kaufman denouncing the government as ‘slack, lax and negligent’ in response to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. At the end of the war, Kinnock defended the slaughter of retreating Iraqi troops. He was supported by the General Council of the TUC.

Malvinas

• In 1982, Labour supported the war against Argentina for the Malvinas/Falklands Islands. They supported the sending of the task force, the exclusion zone, the sinking of the Belgrano and the needless slaughter of some 1,000 soldiers.

Africa

• Not one African colony achieved independence under the 1945-51 Labour government.

• The 1964-70 Labour government colluded with the illegal racist Smith regime in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe to break sanctions and threatened to veto any mandatory resolutions in the UN Security Council to isolate the regime.

• The 1974-79 Labour government backed a South African request for an IMF loan, allowed Marconi to sell battlefield communication systems to the South African Defence Force and vetoed a UN resolution embargoing arms sales to South Africa. By 1977 it had used its UN Security Council veto four times: each time in support of apartheid South Africa.

Southeast Asia

• The 1945-51 Labour government used British troops, concentration camps and death squads to keep the tin and rubber revenues flowing from Malaya. It also restored French colonial rule in Vietnam, pushing that country into 30 years of war for liberation.

• The SAS were dispatched to Vietnam by the 1964-70 Labour government, and to Indonesia by Labour Defence Minister Denis Healey in 1965 where they helped destroy the biggest communist movement in Asia outside China. Over 700,000 people were killed and 200,000 gaoled.

Ireland

As in the rest of the world, Labour has taken care not to be outdone by the Tories in their willingness to resort to the most brutal methods in defence of British imperialism’s interests in Ireland.

• In 1969, Labour sent the British Army into the Six Counties to suppress the nationalist working class.

• In 1974, Labour passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act and then presided over the Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6 trials.

• In 1976-79, Labour ran a regime of terror with the use of torture in Six Counties police stations. Special Category status was withdrawn from Irish political prisoners and the H-Blocks were set up.

• In 1981, Labour sent Shadow Minister Don Concannon to tell Bobby Sands, as he lay dying on hunger-strike, that Labour would not support the demand for political status.

• In 1988, Labour joined in the House of Commons celebrations at the murder of the Gibraltar 3. George Robertson, then Labour Foreign Affairs Spokesman, opined: ‘I don't think anybody can afford to be squeamish ...’

• Last year New Labour refused to vote against the renewal of the PTA and threatened to expel Jeremy Corbyn MP for inviting Gerry Adams to the House of Commons. New Labour is, in its own words, ‘four-square’ with the Conservatives over their north of Ireland policy; together they seek to isolate and subdue the nationalist working class.

FIGHT RACISM! FIGHT IMPERIALISM! 136 ELECTION SPECIAL APRIL/MAY 1997

Labour: a racist party

labour and prisons

The 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act is the latest in a long line of increasingly draconian anti-immigration laws introduced by the current government. The Act withdrew state benefit from any refugee who does not announce their intention to apply for asylum immediately on arrival in this country. It introduced a so-called ‘white list’ of countries from which asylum claims are presumed bogus and brought in ‘fast-track’ procedures, which speed up deportation and leave would-be asylum-seekers no time to collect vital evidence about their mental and physical torture. Despite a succession of court cases which have reaffirmed the obligation on local authorities to feed and house asylum-seekers, withdrawal of benefits has already left many destitute and homeless. Nearly 37,000 decisions on asylum applications were made by the Home Office in 1996: 6% were granted refugee status and 14% ‘exceptional leave to remain’; the other 80% were rejected. Without a hint of irony, the government cites these figures as ‘proof’ that its system of weeding out ‘bogus’ applicants is working.

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The attack trade unions

the attack on the unions

The last 18 years have seen an unprecedented attack on the trade unions, with no less than seven laws being passed restricting their right to organise:

- 1980: Secondary picketing made unlawful

- 1982: Unions made responsible for unlawful industrial action, with possible sequestration of their funds as a consequence

- 1984: Industrial action made unlawful without a secret ballot

- 1988: Industrial action to enforce union membership made unlawful

- Separate ballots now required for each workplace involved in an action

- Action by unions against scabs made unlawful

- 1990: All secondary industrial action made unlawful

- Unions now financially liable for unlawful industrial action called by any union official or body

- Dismissal of employees taking part in unofficial action is now permitted (eg the Liverpool dockers)

- 1992: Existing laws consolidated

- 1993: Seven days’ notice required for all industrial action

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The condition of the working class

condition of working class

It is now just over 150 years since Engels wrote his celebrated work on The Condition of the Working Class in England. It was the first serious attempt to portray the appalling conditions in which the mass of the working class lived at that time, crowded into slum houses lacking any sanitation, always on the verge of starvation with no prospect of basic education for their children let alone health care. With today's General Election focusing entirely on the concerns of the middle class, it is time to look at the impact of 18 years of Tory government on the condition of the working class.

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General Election: A general fraud

general election general fraud

The General Election is a complete fraud. Six weeks of electioneering are being presented as the high point of political life in this country. In reality, it is a crude auction for the votes of the greediest, most bigoted, egotistical sections of this society: the middle class. In the 19th century before the secret ballot was introduced votes were openly bought and sold in the street. Nowadays, there is an attempt to make it look respectable. Instead of hard cash or favours, it is tax cuts or selective education. The candidates do not buy the votes directly: instead they offer IOUs and promise that in government they will maintain the privileges of middle class people. No one at this election will represent the working class. So what's the state of play in the auction so far? Round one to New Labour. With its support for complete deregulation of the media it picked up the support of The Sun. That is how politics works. New Labour promises Rupert Murdoch a free hand to dominate the media by opposing any limits to cross-ownership of the TV and the press. Rupert Murdoch gives his support to New labour. It is that simple. What next? Well the Tories gave the middle class a top tax bracket of 40 per cent. Labour have matched the offer with knobs on: 40 per cent top tax bracket for a further five years at least. The Tories re-introduced the policy of selective education to give middle class children a better start. New Labour have matched it – grammar schools are safe in their hands! You want cuts in public spending? Labour and Tory will give them to you! You want the streets cleared of the homeless, of noisy working class children, black people? Either will oblige.

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