Why is Britain always at war? - speech by Trevor Rayne

Speech given by Trevor Rayne to an RCG meeting entitled 'Why is Britain always at War' in London on 19 January 2016

In February 2014 The Guardian newspaper published an article that said that since the start of the First World War in 1914, British armed forces have been at war somewhere in the world in every year since. In four centuries England and then Britain have unleashed over 230 wars to seize other lands and enslave and exploit other peoples.

When the Royal Air Force began bombing Syria on 3 December 2015 it was the 139th separate British military intervention abroad since the end of the Second World War. Since the beginning of the year 2000 British armed forces have operated in East Timor, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cote D’Ivoir, Libya, Nigeria, Jordan, Somalia, Mali and now Syria. There has only been one year since the end of the Second World War when a British soldier was not killed on active service; that year was 1968.

This constant belligerence and warfare does not stem from some flaw in the British character, some martial trait that compels us to fight. It is the direct consequence of the British economy which we describe as a parasitic and decaying imperialism. Lenin identified the principle characteristics of imperialism one hundred years ago and he said: monopoly capitalism ‘which finally matured in the twentieth century, is by virtue of its fundamental economic traits, distinguished by a minimum fondness for peace and freedom, and by a maximum and universal development of militarism’.

Capital concentrates and centralises into monopolies that increase the scale of production. Increasingly, profitability depended upon the export of capital overseas and securing raw materials, markets and labour abroad. The very tendency of capitalism towards crises of profitability and accumulation drives it towards monopolies, a fusion of banking and industrial capital, and the partition of the world between competing capitals. The world is divided between spheres of rival imperialist powers’ interests and into oppressor and oppressed nations. This is the fundamental economic trait of imperialism that drives it towards wars: the First World War, the Second World War and the constant battles from Korea to Vietnam, to Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria since.

Capitalism in crisis

As my comrade, David Yaffe, writes in the latest issue of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI 248 December 2015/January 2016) British capitalism and imperialism have a very specific character which he has described for over 30 years and more. David writes that repeated economic crises have been accompanied by wars and occupations. He lists those crises and associated wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Afghanistan 2001 onwards and still continuing, Iraq 2003 onwards, Libya 2011 and Yemen 2015 and Syria – producing millions of refugees. David writes that Britain’s ‘critical dependence on the earnings from its vast overseas assets and particularly those of its parasitic banking and financial services sector – makes it extremely vulnerable to any external economic or political shocks’. ‘Britain’s relative industrial decline has been accompanied by a dynamic, aggressive expansion of British banking and commercial capital to every corner of the globe.’

Currently, UK gross external assets and liabilities amount to about six-times Britain’s Gross Domestic Product. The City of London has borrowed from abroad and lent out abroad at higher rates of return; making an overall profit. But, as David Yaffe points out, in 2013 and 2014 the net earnings on the UK’s investment account have become negative. Earnings on investments abroad are inadequate to cover payments out on investments made in Britain. This is due to the imperialist crisis throughout the world, with, in particular, inadequate rates of return, profits, on foreign direct investments. This signals increased bellicosity and an increased likelihood of wars.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (owner of Natwest) started the year advising clients that 2016 could be a ‘cataclysmic year’, urging them to sell everything but high quality bonds. In the first few weeks of 2016 $4trillion has been wiped off the value of shares on stock markets. Capitalism needs to increase the rate of exploitation at home and abroad. Any resistance to this drive to exploit and oppress is intolerable to the British ruling class. Hence, the unrelenting venom spewed out by the media an ruling class politicians on Jeremy Corbyn – they want him tamed and neutered – and the wars on Libya and Syria; no independence or resistance is tolerable. That is what the crisis of capitalism means. 

Military force, and the threat of its use are essential to maintain the flow of profits from abroad into British companies and to increase those profits. It was revealing when the former Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Portillo said that Prime Minister David Cameron had not made the case for Britain going to war on Syria. Portillo said the arguments were flimsy and that there seemed to be no strategic plan. Nevertheless, he said he was in favour of war otherwise ‘the US will begin to regard Britain as an unreliable ally’. Never-mind the tosh and nonsense about solidarity with France in the face of the 13 November 2015 attacks on Paris, what guided 397 MPs, including 66 Labour MPs, to vote for bombing Syria was the alliance with the US military machine, the biggest military machine in the world by far, and its role in protecting British investments abroad and the continuing global role of British imperialism. That is why they voted to bomb Syria.

Portillo is a revealing figure: now known as a media personality – chat shows, exotic railway journeys and political punditry alongside Diane Abbott, among others. He went from being defence minister to become a director of Britain’s biggest manufacturing and arms company BAE Systems. Politicians become directors of arms companies, senior soldiers become academics at British universities. Careers are rotated through boardrooms, to government posts, to academic posts; soldiers, civil servants, corporate directors and government ministers mingle to determine government policy or positions on key issues of the day, in secret and out of sight. This is our democracy, where wealth is increasingly concentrated into fewer and fewer hands and as it concentrates so the radius of their power expands…

The Middle East   

The RAF’s bombing of Syria was Britain’s 50th separate military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa since the end of the Second World War. As well as bombing Syria, the RAF is also currently bombing Iraq. The RAF was founded in 1918, it is now in the tenth decade of its existence and it has bombed Iraq in seven of those ten decades. Five current heads of state in the Middle East trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst; they are those of Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. Why? We know the reason why: oil and gas. Who controls oil controls much of the world – that is how it has been for many years. The Middle East and North Africa were thought to contain two-thirds, 66%, of the world’s known oil reserves. However, recent discoveries have brought that down to about 60%, but it is control rather than just ownership of the resource and its distribution that gives global power.

As China and India develop so control over Middle East oil can serve as a means of restraining the emergence of any new power. Libya, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Yemen are or were seen by imperialists as insufficiently subordinate to imperialism – to independent and have to be destroyed or tamed. No resistance is tolerable in this period of internationalist capitalist crisis.

Cameron apparently said that Corbyn and his supporters were ‘terrorist sympathisers’. Saudi Arabia and Turkey sponsored and supplied the jihadists in Syria. Cameron and the British government and state are allies of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, they arm them, they are the terrorist sympathisers; indeed they are the terrorists. Ceaseless war in the Middle East since the Soviet Union collapsed, with Britain in the thick of it. Saudi Arabia, stoking sectarian hatred, practicing Medieval barbarity, and Turkey laying siege to it Kurdish people with tanks and heavy artillery – both pass unremarked by the British government.

British companies  

If we look at British companies and their operations abroad: of the Financial Times 100 biggest multinationals in the world, ranked by their market value, two are oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, two are banks, HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group, there is Unilever, British American Tobacco, the mining group AstraZeneca, plus Vodafone, SAB Miller, a brewer, and GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical and health care company. Four of the top six mining companies are British or Anglo-Australian. That is they overwhelmingly extract raw materials and fuels from abroad.

At the same time nine of the top 100 companies in the world for arms exports are British: BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce being the biggest British arms firms. Arms production is the largest part of British manufacturing industry; employing about one in eight manufacturing workers in this country. A look at BAE Systems board of directors reveals something of the concentrated power in this society - this is the ruling class for here sit the current and former directors of among others: the British Land Company, one of Europe’s biggest property developers; Bovis Homes; Barclays Bank; Goldman Sachs; Scottish Power; Cable and Wireless; Rolls-Royce; the Noor Hospitals Group, providing private hospitals in the Middle East; HMV and, as we are in a pub, Moet Hennessy, Diageo, Mitchell and Butlers and Coca Cola. Two directors sit on the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group and one is a fellow to the Said Business School of Oxford University, named after its founding benefactor Wafic Said, a Saudi-Syrian billionaire.

The militarisation of science

The extent to which monopoly capital and its accompanying military component have permeated British society can be seen in scientific research. The direction of scientific research is increasingly determined by monopoly corporations in combination with the state, and it is there that are primarily responsible for the militarisation of science.

At least half of UK universities have received military funding since 2000. This is funding for arms research. The biggest recipients have been Cambridge, Imperial College, Oxford, Sheffield and Cranfield universities. Several universities refuse to disclose details on military funding. Funding comes from the British government and arms companies such BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce and from the US Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Government military R&D spending has risen in recent years while public civilian R&D has been cut back. Spending on developing combat aircraft is approximately ten-times that spent on developing renewable energy. Three-quarters of the government’s military R&D is for offensive purposes, that is attack weapons, not defensive weapons. The main projects being drones, strike planes, attack helicopters, long-range submarines and nuclear weapons. Over 50 British universities have received Atomic Weapons Establishment funding; this body develops, manufactures and maintains Britain’s nuclear warheads.

Under decaying capitalism the forces of production are being turned into forces of destruction; science is increasingly being used to destroy.

The 2012 National Security through Technology white paper, that is a government policy document, backs increased arms exports to keep the costs of government weapons purchases down. Since 2008 Britain has issued over £8bn worth of export licences to sell military equipment to Israel. As you can see in an article on our web site (Israel’s war against the people) Israel is used a laboratory and testing ground for imperialism’s weapons and tactics; from drones to cluster bombs to robotic machine guns and so on. After Israel, Britain’s next biggest arms customers are the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, both countries’ troops put down a democratic rising in Bahrain in 2011, equipped with BAE Systems Tactica armoured vehicles. The Royal Navy has recently established a permanent base in Bahrain.

What is in the offing: the British Medical Association has produced several reports on the use of drugs as weapons – the militarisation of medicine. The cabinet of horrors is being stocked with the instruments of genetic warfare. Shaker Aamer, recently released from Guantanamo, reports that a British officer observed his torture at the hands of US soldiers.

People in Britain are conditioned to accept that the state is permanently at war; it becomes unexceptional and normal. For over 100 years the mass media has been developed and deployed by monopoly corporations, they dominate the media in Britain. Before the age of television the Czech writer Franz Kafka said, ‘The cinema involves putting the eye in uniform.’ In his book 1984, George Orwell foresaw the way that the ruling class would use the media to condition and control people. Fidel Castro described the bourgeois media, ‘It is the most sophisticated media ever developed by technology, employed to kill human beings and to subjugate and exterminate peoples.’ The media is used to administer fear and demonise potential targets: Evil Saddam, Mad Dog Gaddafi, Putin and so on; repetition to create ‘facts’. Lies like Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, Libya and the impending massacre in Benghazi.

Read our newspaper, view our website, develop your own media, get out on the streets, get involved, join us and spread the message. We need a movement that is open and democratic and on the streets.

I am not the only one to see in Syria today the ominous portents of a greater war; the configuration of forces and alliances, the rivalry of great powers, international capitalism in crisis. This configuration, so like that in Sarajevo in 1914, that sparked with an assassin’s bullet that lit the conflagration that was the First World War.

International capitalism, imperialism, monopoly banks and corporations that guide the British state to war on the Middle East, to exploit its resources, labour and markets, now turn their attack on us in Britain, on the working class, on our housing and homes, on wages and jobs, the health service and education, the rights to strike and protest, to assemble and to express ourselves. The ruling class is promoting racism, introducing more racist laws and measures. This is capitalism in crisis and a ruling class that we must isolate and conclude them, end before they end us all and finish the human experiment in nature. To do this socialism is necessary.

Be assured that if we do not oppose the British ruling class’s wars abroad we will be unable to prevent the use of armed force against ourselves here in Britain.

Panic hits global markets

The deepening crisis hitting China and other ‘emerging market’ economies continues to send shockwaves through world markets.1 In the first week of January, measures taken by the Chinese government to support share prices and the renminbi only reinforced fears over the global impact of the slowdown in China’s economic growth. Share trading in China had to be halted for the second time in four days, within 30 minutes of opening, when the size of the losses triggered ‘circuit-breakers’ in place to prevent panic selling. This new sell-off came after the offshore renminbi fell to its lowest level against the dollar since it was established in 2010. Oil prices dropped to an 11-year low and more than $3.2 trillion was wiped off global stock markets. The prospects for the global economy in 2016 are deteriorating. David Yaffe reports.

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139 British military interventions overseas since 1945

The Royal Air Force’s bombardment of Syria beginning on 3 December 2015 is the 139th separate British military intervention abroad since the end of the Second World War and the 50th British military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa in the same period. These are overseas interventions that the British state acknowledges. Not included in the 139 are covert excursions whose records are not available. 1968 was the only year since the end of the Second World War when British military personnel were not killed on active service.

British overseas assets reached £10.17 trillion at the end of 2014, equivalent to nearly 6 times Britain’s GDP. Almost two thirds of these assets are formed of bank loans and deposits and financial derivatives; these are the features of a decaying and parasitic capitalism that is predatory and aggressive. The record of British monopoly capitalism’s foreign policy is one of near constant war, millions of deaths and broken lives - the Union Flag atop a mountain of corpses.

The sequence of British governments has been 1945-51 Labour, 1951-64 Conservative, 1964-70 Labour, 1970-74 Conservative, 1974-79 Labour, 1979-97 Conservative, 1997-2010 Labour, 2010-15 Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, 2015 Conservative. Be they Labour or Conservative governments they have demonstrated a readiness to deploy armed force in defence of British imperialism’s interests. To the British left we say New Labour = Old Labour, the Labour Party is a war party.

‘The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilisation lies unveiled before our eyes, turning from its home, where it assumes respectable forms, to the colonies, where it goes naked’ - Karl Marx.

1) 1945-46 Java Restoring Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia.
2) 1945-47 Italy Occupation army. Clashed with Yugoslav partisans around Trieste.
3) 1945-52 Japan Occupation army.
4) 1945-55 Germany Occupation army.
5) 1945-89 West Germany and West Berlin British soldiers patrolled the borders.
6) 1945-55 Austria Occupation army. On 8 May 1945 the end of World War II was signed in Europe and on that day British soldiers clashed with Yugoslav partisans over disputed territory, opening the Cold War.
7) 1945-46 Indo-China Restoring French colonial rule.
8) 1945-48 Partition of India.
9) 1945-48 Palestine Reinforce British occupation army until the end of the mandate.
10) 1945-48 Greece Participation in civil war against the communists.
11) 1946 Albania Royal Navy challenges the Albanian government for control of the straights between the mainland and Corfu.
12) 1946 Iran Counter Soviet influence and Kurdish and Azerbaijani republics.
13) 1947 Aden Suppression of civil disturbances.
14) 1948-49 Germany The Berlin airlift.
15) 1948 Gold Coast (Ghana) Suppression of riots.
16) 1948 British Honduras (Belize) Threat of Guatemalan invasion.
17) 1948–60 Malaya Suppression of Communist–led struggle. 350 British soldiers and 159 Gurkhas killed, with 6,710 communists confirmed dead and another 1,000 dead from starvation and illness due to the British strategy. The British Labour government banned several trade unions and imprisoned trade unionists. A 1970 Scotland Yard investigation into the massacre of 24 villagers at Batang Kali was halted by the Conservative government.
18) 1948-49 Somalia Prevent re-unification of the country and maintain protectorate.
19) 1948-51 Eritrea Suppression of the Shifta revolt.
20) 1949 China River Yangste incident between the Royal Navy and the People’s Liberation Army.
21) 1950 Singapore Suppression of ‘Hartog riots’.
22) 1950-53 Korea The Korean war with four million Koreans killed at a cost to the British of 749 British soldiers dead.
23) 1951 Iran Aqaba Iranian oil nationalistion.
24) 1951-54 Suez Canal Zone.
25) 1952-56 Kenya Suppression of the Mau Mau revolt. 11,500 Mau Mau were killed and 1,016 Kenyans were executed for breeching the emergency regulations. Just 12 British soldiers died.
26) 1952 Monte Bello island (Bikini atoll) First British atomic bomb test.
27) 1953 British Guiana (Guyana) Constitutional crisis British coup against the elected socialist government of Cheddi Jagan.
28) 1954–83 Cyprus Suppression of EOKA and occupation.
29) 1954 Egypt Intervention on the Nile.
30) 1955 Singapore Suppression of riots.
31) 1955 Buraimi Oasis Preventing incursion from Saudi Arabia and its allies.
32) 1955-60 Yemen border incidents.
33) 1956 Bahrain Suppression of riots.
34) 1956 Hong Kong Suppression of riots.
35) 1956 Singapore Suppression of riots.
36) 1956 Egypt Suez crisis and invasion.
37) 1957-59 Muscat and Oman Suppression of resistance struggle.
38) 1957 British Honduras (Belize) Threat of invasion from Guatemala.
39) 1958 Nassau (Bahamas) General strike.
40) 1958 Iraq Military coup ousts King Faisal II.
41) 1958 Jordan Military assistance to regime following Iraq coup.
42) 1958 Kuwait Iraqi General Qasim claims Kuwait is part of Iraq.
43) 1958 Lebanon Attempt to bolster Pro-western Christian government.
44) 1958 Nyasaland (Malawi) Suppression of riots.
45) 1958 North Atlantic ‘Cod war I’ Iceland extends territorial waters from four to 12 miles.
46) 1959 Gan (Maldives) Suppression of riots.
47) 1960 Jamaica Suppression of Rastafarian uprising.
48) 1960-61 Cameroons Aid to the government.
49) 1961 Kuwait Prevention of Iraqi incursion.
50) 1961 Zanzibar (Tanzania) Suppression of revolt.
51) 1961 British Honduras (Belize) Impose order after Hurricane Hattie.
52) 1962-70 Yemen Civil war Britain sided with Royalists. 200,000 Yemenis killed.
53) 1962 British Honduras (Belize) Suppression of Belize Freedom Fighters.
54) 1962 British Guiana (Guyana) Suppression of Georgetown riots.
55) 1962 Brunei Suppression of revolt.
56) 1962-66 Malaysia Confrontation with Indonesia.
57) 1962-75 Vietnam Support of US war (see FRFI 196 April/May 2007).
58) 1963-66 Borneo Counter-revolutionary intervention. British Labour defence minister Dennis Healey said that the Borneo campaign would be recorded ‘in the history books…as one of the most efficient uses of military force in the history of the world’. Total British and Commonwealth forces dead were 114 with considerably more than 600 Indonesians killed.
59) 1963-67 Aden Attempted suppression of socialist-led national liberation struggle.
60) 1963-64 British Guiana (Guyana) Suppression of riots and enforcement of State of Emergency against the elected socialist government of Cheddi Jagan.
61) 1963 Swaziland Reinforcements sent to cover period of strike.
62) 1963 Zanzibar (Tanzania) Preparations for election.
63) 1964 Yemen Radfan campaign against socialist-led revolutionaries.
64) 1964 Zanzibar (Tanzania) Suppression of revolt.
65) 1964 Tanganyika (Tanzania) Army mutiny.
66) 1964 Uganda Army mutiny.
67) 1964 Kenya Army mutiny.
68) 1964 British Guiana (Guyana) Communal riots.
69) 1965 Mauritius Suppression of riots.
70) 1965 Bechuanaland (Botswana) Guarding the BBC’s Francistown radio station.
71) 1966 Indonesia British Special Forces participate in coup which results in approximately one million people killed, many of them communists and communist supporters.
72) 1966 Honk Kong Suppression of riots.
73) 1966 Das Island Abu Dhabi oil dispute.
74) 1966 Seychelles Suppression of riots against detachment of island possessions.
75) 1967 Hong Kong Suppression of Red Guard riots.
76) 1967 Libya Guarding oil installations and preventing coup against King Idris.
77) 1968 Bermuda State of Emergency.
78) 1968 Mauritius State of Emergency.
79) 1969 Antigua Operation Sheepskin against a civil uprising.
80) 1969 Anguilla Suppression of uprising.
81) 1969 onwards North of Ireland Suppression of revolt – between 1969 and 2001 3,523 people were killed and 710 British serving troops.
82) 1970 Cayman Islands Suppress opposition to colonial rule.
83) 1970 British Honduras (Belize) Guatemalan invasion threat.
84) 1970 Jordan ‘Black September’ Operation Shoveller to protect King Hussein against an uprising in support of the Palestinians under attack from Jordanian troops. This was a critical intervention shaping the Middle East henceforward.
85) 1971-76 Dhofar (Oman) Suppression of socialist-led revolt.
86) 1972 Bomb scare on Queen Elizabeth II.
87) 1972-73 North Atlantic ‘Cod war II’ Iceland extends territorial waters from 12 to 50 miles.
88) 1973 Egypt RAF moves UN troops after Yom Kippur war.
89) Pakistan/Bangladesh Operation Lucan RAF assist in exchange of refugees.
90) 1973 Bermuda British governor and his assistant assassinated, State of Emergency imposed. Alleged assassin hung, although the death penalty was abolished in Britain it continued in the colonies.
91) 1974 Malta Defence of British bases during anti-crown disturbances. Premier Dom Mintoff declares Malta a republic and negotiates end of bases by 1979.
92) 1974 Falkland Islands/Malvinas Tensions over possession with Argentinian government.
93) 1974 Kuwait.
94) 1974 Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean) Removal of population. Labour government purchased the Chagos Islands from Mauritius for £3 million.
95) 1974 Gibraltar.
96) 1974 Cyprus Operation Ablant evacuation of British nationals after Turkey invades.
97) 1975-76 North Atlantic ‘Cod war III’ Iceland extends territorial waters from 50 to 200 miles.
98) 1977 British Honduras (Belize) Guatemala invades.
99) 1977 Somalia British Special Forces support their West German counterparts at Mogadishu airport after the Red Army Faction hijack a Boeing 737.
100) 1978 Lebanon Supporting UN force; transporting Fijian troops via Tel Aviv en route to Lebanon.
101) 1979 Iran Revolution Evacuation of westerners.
102) 1979-84 Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).
103) 1980 New Hebrides Operation Titan Suppression of civil unrest by Royal Marines.
104) 1982 Falklands Islands/Malvinas war against Argentina.
105) 1982 Egypt Part of UN force stationed in Sinai.
106) 1983 Lebanon stationed in Beirut.
107) 1983 Aden/Yemen Evacuation of British nationals.
108) 1986 Gibraltar Reinforcement of air defences after US bombed Libya.
109)1986 Cyprus Reinforcement of Akrotiri base after US bombed Libya.
110) 1987-88 Dubai Persian Gulf minesweeping by Royal Navy and RAF.
111) 1988 Gibraltar SAS assassinate three Provisional IRA volunteers.
112)1991 Gulf War I.
113) 1991-2003 Iraq RAF bombing raids and enforcement of no-fly zones.
114)1992-2008 (Bosnia) Yugoslavia.
115) 1994 Yemen Evacuation of embassy.
116)1994 Kuwait Operation Driver to reinforce British garrison and warn Iraqi regime against invasion.
117)1995 Angola Operation Chantress with UN after civil war.
118)1997 Congo Operation Determinate to evacuate British nationals caught up in civil war.
119) 1998 Congo Operation Ladbrook to evacuate British nationals.
120) 1999 onwards Kosovo with NATO force.
121) 1999 East Timor Part of UN contingent.
122) 2000 East Timor With UN force.
123) 2000 Sierra Leone Intervention in civil war and attacks on Gambia.
124) 2001 Macedonia Operation Essential Harvest to disarm Albanian irregular troops.
125) 2001 onwards Afghanistan.
126) 2003-11 Iraq War.
127) 2003 Congo Operation Coral with the UN on ‘stabilisation duties’.
128) 2003 Sierra Leone Operation Keeling to retrieve British soldiers captured by ‘West End Boys’.
129) 2004 Cote D’Ivoire Operation Phillis to evacuate British nationals.
130) 2011 Libya to evacuate British nationals.
131) 2011 Libya NATO removal of Gaddafi-led government.
132) 2012 Nigeria Attempted hostage release.
133) 2012 Jordan Support and training for forces opposed to Syrian government.
134) 2012 onwards Bosnia Herzegovina as part of EUFOR Operation Althea.
135) 2012-13 Somalia Fighting al-Shabab
136) 2013 Mali Support for French occupation force.
137) 2014 onwards Iraq Part of anti-Islamic State (ISIS) operations.
138) 2015 onwards Part of UN contingent supporting the African Union fighting al-Shabab.
139) 2015 onwards Syria Part of anti-Islamic State (ISIS) operations.

Osborne’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement - On with the show...

‘Mr Speaker, when I presented my first Spending Review in 2010 and set this country on the path of living within its means, our opponents claimed that growth would be choked off, a million jobs would be lost and that inequality would rise. Every single one of those predictions have proved to be completely wrong.’
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Autumn Statement, 25 November 2015

The British Parliament has always had an ambiguous relationship to lying. Calling a fellow MP ‘a liar’ leads to immediate eviction, but lying was simply frowned on. Today, lying is the tool of choice when it comes to any government statement. The most slavish sections of the British lackey press, like the Telegraph, greeted Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review with the headline ‘End of Austerity’. Nothing could be further from the truth: the Conservative Party is on course to move Britain from being, in their words, a ‘high welfare, low wage economy’ to a ‘lower welfare, higher wage economy’. The ‘higher wage economy’ is Osborne’s ‘Nirvana’ of the national living wage at a paltry £7.20 an hour from next year and the chimera of unbridled economic growth that is impossible.

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Imperialists foster climate of fear after Paris attacks

On the evening of Friday 13 November 2015 a series of co-ordinated bomb and machine-gun attacks ripped through Paris, resulting in 130 deaths; another 350 people were admitted to hospital, many with serious injuries. The main targets were a football match and a rock concert, with additional shootings in restaurants, cafes and the street. Seven perpetrators died at the scene, apparently by detonating suicide vests they were wearing. Others allegedly involved died or were arrested during a police raid in St Denis on 18 November. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed in a communiqué purportedly issued by Islamic State (IS). Nicki Jameson reports.

This was an overt act of terror against the people of Paris and there was an immediate outpouring of sympathy and solidarity from across the world. The day after the attack the General Command for the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG) and Women’s Defence Units (YPJ), fighting against Islamic State in Rojava, Syria, sent condolences and solidarity to the ‘families of the victims and all French people’. On the same day, in northern France, migrants living in the Calais ‘jungle’ camp staged a solidarity vigil, holding a banner which read ‘The refugees are crying with the French people’.

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