marxism-digest V1 #5453

T.Hartin t.hartin at qmul.ac.uk
Wed Feb 12 02:56:05 MST 2003


Gary Maclennan wrote:
>
> Could someone post on the situation in London - with the ban on Hyde
> Park.  the New York ban and the British one are of course related at a very
> deep level.  We have a ruling class taking an offensive in both countries
> and they have prepared badly for it and as a consequence are vulnerable to
> public protest.
>

It is true as Einde mentioned that the STWC adopted the correct tactics
and defied the ban on the Hyde Park Rally. But it is indicative of the
wider situation here. Blair has exposed himself on both flanks if you
like...the War is horrendously unpopular within his own party and Blair is
isolating himself within Europe.

There has been a series of interviews on the BBC in which Blair is given
free reign to sell his case..and man, he has come across as a crazed loon.
For instance some punter asks a very reasonable question from the floor
and Blair's response is so convoluted that even Jeremy Paxman (the
interviewer) loses the thread halfway through.

I suspect the ratcheting up of the rhetoric from the "ackward squad" left
trade union leaders is because they sense this weakness. I would dearly
like to think that there will be mass strikes on the outbreak of war
but at this stage i reckon it is still largely bluster from the
bureaucrats (without diminishing what the rank and file may decide to
do anyway). For instance of the reality, you would think this was a
prime time for the Firefighters to press home their strike and win
through...but their leaders are criminially hesitating

Still... Feb 15 will be a further inspiration... the longer this current
situation of phoney war lasts the larger will the response be built.

Yesterday we were greeted with the news that 450 troops and 1000
para-military police were on the streets here supposedly to thwart a new
"terrorist threat" at Heathrow. I suspect they also have one eye on the
imminent anti-war march.

cheers,
Tony


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