Thoughts on May Day, 2007

The aftermath of the fertiliser bomb plot trial has resulted in more than the imprisonment of a half dozen men for conspiring to carry out terror attacks in the UK.

This has led to the revelation that the securocrats had come across two of the 7/7 bombers before, they were not ‘clean skins’ as had previously been claimed.

The focus will again fall upon the Muslim community here in the UK. There will be endless talk of ‘hate preachers’, cultural issues will be raised, the miasma of islamophobia will again surface.

It is worth recalling that at the height of the Provisionals mainland bombing campaign the papers were full of racism – of the anti-Irish kind.

Racism serves imperialism, it legitimises the war Iraq and Afghanistan and the neocolonial relationship Britain has with much of the world’s people. Islamophobia is undoubtedly a form of racism. The media has ‘racialised’ religion.

State terrorism has not come under the same scrutiny as ‘retail’ terrorism. And with good reason. The first Brit to be convicted of war crimes was sentenced to a year in a civilian clink, just yesterday. Were there equal application of the law, the whole of the Blair-Brown would be carted off by the police – for the serious matter of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon, not the trivial cash for honours farce (a traditional practice).

The war in Iraq, as with Afghanistan, as led to no great improvement in the living conditions of the masses. Things have got worse, in fact. Puppets have been installed and natural resources privatised. The struggle will not end with the ousting of coalition forces…

*

It is May 1st. Labour day. Or as Reagan renamed it in the States, Law Day. Hopefully we will see a repeat of last years massive protests in America, when millions of immigrant workers went out on strike – shocking the ruling class with their sudden and near unanimous withdrawal of labour. (And the Economist has the cheek to say there is no appetite for a Bolivarian Revolution in the USA!)

Here in the UK, we will see the death of the Labour Party in the elections to local councils, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament. Perhaps I am being premature, but they look set to lose the Scottish Parliament to the SNP, come third in the English council elections, and be forced into a coalition in the Welsh Assembly.

Blair will be going in the coming weeks and his successor Gordon Brown will probably face a left-wing challenge to the leadership of the party. For the first time in years, there may actually be a discussion on the Party’s policies. Ten years of Blairism has decimated the Labour Party. There is an opening for an alternative.

Brown will be leaving his post as chancellor with an uncertain economic climate – rising inflation, rising interest rates. A generalised discontent is growing – with the war, with the spending cuts, with the wage freeze, with the doubling of income tax for the poorest workers.

Socialists remaining in the Labour Party would do well to back McDonnell’s campaign for the party leadership. Those from without should engage with this process…

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