- Created: Wednesday, 20 May 2009 09:59
- Written by Jane Bennett
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.
Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass
There are still some in Britain who believe that the Labour Party will be born again through the appointment of a new Prime Minister when Tony Blair finally shuffles off. There are even some on the left who think that Gordon Brown is closer to ‘Old Labour’ than Blair’s New Labour – by which they mean that with Brown in the driving seat, the Labour Party will restore its allegiance to the working class, trade unions and ‘socialism’. ‘Give them another chance’, they will cry. Think again. Gordon Brown is every inch an imperialist, just like Blair and the Labour Party they both belong to. This is Brown’s record on some of the main issues.
War in Iraq...
‘The international community should not – and cannot – tolerate or leave unaddressed the issue of a regime that proliferates chemical, biological and potentially nuclear weapons in absolute defiance of international agreements and decisions...’
Gordon Brown, FT interview September 2003 – never retracted despite the evidence that there were no WMDs, chemical, biological or nuclear, no contacts with Al Qaida and no threat to imperialism.
‘A secure, safe and strong Britain requires concerted action against global terrorism with all the means at our disposal: military, security, intelligence, economic and culture. To this end coordinating the way we address international terrorism will be a central feature of the coming Spending Review...’
Gordon Brown, Hansard
...and the War on Terror
‘... as Jack Straw, Charles Clarke and John Reid have said, both internationally in Afghanistan and Iraq and at home we will at all times have the strength and resolution so that there is no hiding place for terrorists – or those who finance terrorism – and so we will protect and defend the security of the people of this country.’
Gordon Brown, Labour Party Conference 2005 – (Charles Clarke and Jack Straw lost all resolution shortly after).
Detention without charge of suspects under the Terrorism Act for 90 days
‘I think people have got to wake up to the complexity, the scale, the global nature of this and why the police need more time...’
Gordon Brown, BBC interview after the defeat of the government’s proposal, February 2006
Wage restraint for workers (Ooops!)
‘Let our party be the pro-enterprise as well as the pro-fairness party: Labour the party of small businesses and the self employed in Britain just as much as we have always been and are the party of employees.’
Gordon Brown, Labour Party conference September 2002: (the term ‘workers’ is so 1996!)
‘Wage discipline must match investment in public services.’
Gordon Brown, May 2005
Public Finance Initiatives (PFIs)
‘Having promised at the election that we would put schools and hospitals first, we must keep our promise to the people ...When the plans are drawn up, the building workers are there and the money provided, the public will not tolerate delays.’
Gordon Brown, Labour Party conference 2002
‘The English language, he will say, should be made an essential element of citizenship, through mandatory language courses for jobseekers found wanting.’ (from Press release)
Chancellor advocates annual celebration to emulate the US Fourth of July, January 2006
‘So out he goes to bat for the ID cards he used to think wildly too expensive. In his speech yesterday on security, he even made a reasonable stab at pretending a pressing need for the ‘glorification of terrorism’ clause, which virtually no one in the Commons believes. His speeches are taking a Churchillian turn as he reprises his Britishness theme, calling for ceremonies in every constituency for Veterans’ Day and new cadet schemes to instil military discipline in state-school pupils.’
Polly Toynbee, The Guardian February 2006
– Guantanamo Bay camps, immigration, human rights, ASBOs, police powers ... Brown just needs to keep prudently quiet. As the Lebanese and the Palestinians battled for their lives and the imperialists bought time for the Zionist invaders over the summer, Brown was holed up in Scotland bottling his ‘socialist’ credentials.
FRFI 193 October / November 2006