Blair Fended Off Caution With Resignation Threat

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LABOUR MP Jack Straw yesterday announced that he is to run Gordon Brown’s campaign for the Labour leadership.

Straw’s declaration was answered in the media by articles stating that Prime Minister Blair is continuing to urge Environment Minister Miliband to stand for the Labour leadership against Brown, adding that in Blair’s delusional opinion Miliband will beat Brown.

However, the same media had to admit that Blair’s hold not just on his office, but even on his liberty, is growing more and more tenuous. It revealed that only his threat to resign as premier prevented Scotland Yard interviewing him under caution as a suspect last January 16th over the alleged cash for peerages scandal.

As if this was not enough, earlier last Friday, another nail was driven into the premier’s political coffin, by Harriet Harman, the wife of Jack Dromey, the TGWU deputy leader and Labour Party treasurer (Dromey helped to bring the secret Labour Party donations scandal out into the open).

Harman, the Solicitor General, demanded that Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, should not be allowed to attend cabinet meetings, since his doing so helped to undermine public trust and confidence.

She was alluding to the role that Goldsmith played in the run-up to the Iraq war, when after many well recorded hesitations, he gave the government and the military the legal ruling that a unilateral Anglo-US attack on Iraq would be legal, and would not be a war crime.

Harman was also looking ahead to Goldsmith deciding on any future request by the Department for Public Prosecutions to put Blair in the dock over the cash-for-peerages allegations!

The Miliband bandwagon has not had a good weekend.

It was set in motion earlier this month by ex-Home Secretary Clarke and ex-Health Secretary Milburn at their joint press conference just over two weeks ago. It was supported by EU Commissioner Mandelson yesterday when he urged that younger Labour MPs should decide on the new leader.

The fact that these three cheerleaders are either sacked or resigned cabinet ministers, one of whom, Mandelson, was sacked twice by Blair, is an expression of the dregs that are now being churned up by the crisis.

The problem for the Blair gang is that they have driven straight into the brick wall of the resistance of the Iraqi and Arab peoples abroad, and the millions of workers and middle class people who support the NHS and the Welfare State at home.

The Blairite chariot has buckled and lost all its wheels.

The discussion in the ruling class is over the right time to get rid of it completely, with a section of the ruling class egging on Scotland Yard, an important part of the capitalist state, to bring the Blair government down now.

However, there is a role marked out for the Blairites, especially in the event of the economic crisis deepening and producing a hung parliament. This role is to follow the path blazed by Ramsay Macdonald in 1931 – to form a national government with the Tories, by splitting the Labour Party and imposing an austerity programme alongside the Tories.

The Blairites’ opposition to Brown is because he is too much of a Labour Party man for them, whereas for them it does not matter which party buries the Welfare State as long as it is buried.

If Labour, because of its trade union base, cannot carry through this struggle, it must be scrapped and a new grouping or coalition be formed to do it. Blair has always sought to do this, and considers Brown to be yesterday’s man.

The Blair gang is now running out of time. Disaster will strike Labour at the Scottish and Welsh local elections on May 3, and Blair will be out by June 22, so Miliband will have to make his move or forever hold his peace.

The trade unions and their over seven million members cannot stand by and just watch as their fate is being decided. They must be forced to take the initiative in the defence of the NHS and the Welfare State and must act to prevent any return of the Tories.

This means taking action to bring down the Blair-Brown government to go forward to a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies to resolve the crisis of capitalism in the interests of the working class.

Central to carrying out this task is the building of the WRP into the leadership of the working class and the decisive force inside the trade unions.