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Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V. I. Lenin

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No 1376 03rd September 2010

Blair memoir intervention calling for Iran bombing is the real agenda of capitalism which can only continue to head down a path of fascist blitzkrieg destruction to distract attention from its disastrous crisis failure. But Blair and Bush were brought down by growing Middle East and Third World resistance, and more defeat for imperialism is the crucial issue, opening up the chance for revolutionary socialist struggle (Leninism).

Multiple layers of dissembling and diversion underlie the “memoirs” of Tony Blair – and the liberal and bourgeois press hoo-ha around it - which go far deeper than simply pretending “justification” for the monstrous war-crime blitzkrieg and destruction of Iraq, and blaming all subsequent failure onto “bad personalities” and supposed incompetence by Brown etc.

The timing of this foul, venal self-lauding is also intended to sabotage any grasp that the war (and Afghanistan too), Blair’s forced stepping aside and the disastrous collapse of the Brown government are all driven by the profound and catastrophic failure of the entire capitalist economic order, and the increasing failure and defeat of imperialism’s world exploitation by the rising tide of bitter hatred and hostility of the Third World masses to their endless exploitation by tyrannical big capital.

Pretending that the collapses of the last three years are down to the failure of Brown and the rejection of “New Labour” which even the most die-hard Labourites now recognise as out-and-out repackaged Toryism (except such incorrigible reformists as Polly Toynbee desperate to believe there were ‘initially some achievements’ and therefore hold at bay any more profound – meaning revolutionary – conclusions) deliberately throws attention away from the objective disintegration of all the monopoly capitalist order and particularly the dominant power of post-war US imperialism, onto “wrong policies” or subjectively “flawed personalities”.

But the defensive “justifications” of the Brownite scumbags in response, and the multi-layered ranks of “Labour dissidents” and “lefts” who prop up the rotten reformist confidence trick with ever more “radical”, or even pretend revolutionary, buttresses, are just as venal, lying, opportunist and dishonest; of course they were “blown off course” by an international storm of financial collapse – but not one of them, firstly, ever warned the working class that such collapse was imminent and inevitable by the very nature of the production for profit capitalist system (which basic Leninist Marxist science easily understood and constantly stated clearly for years to warn the working class), not some “unexpected” and “unforeseeable” disaster; or secondly now explains to the working class the cause and depth of the unrolling collapse in the unstoppable accumulation of disastrous contradictions of a class-based private-ownership world.

Of course they will not either because it immediately raises the question of ending capitalism, (the cause of all the world’s chaos and difficulties) and that immediately raises the questions of (real) revolutionary struggles to overturn the old order for once and for all, to establish planned socialism.

No amount of “quantitative easing” money printing can save the world economy while capitalism exists except (theoretically) through total worldwide trade-war cutthroat conflict, turning into all out World War Three, exactly as two disastrous twentieth century World Wars have already shown to be the outcome and as Marx’s deep understanding of capitalist contradiction long ago predicted.

The rage and despair of the world’s billions is unlikely to go through something as horrific yet again (and on a far greater scale and intensity of blitzing destruction) without finally coming to the conclusion that it needs revolution, and dealing once and for all with the rotten-ripe depravity of out-of-time capitalism.

The struggle has been building.

Blair was forced out because the desperate way out of the already obvious (to the more knowing, core sections of the ruling class) oncoming world trade disaster decided on by the ruling US imperialist circles at the end of the twentieth century, started failing miserably even before the crisis finally broke in the October 2008 bank disasters.

“Shock and awe” intimidation was intended to force the world to accept continued US Empire exploitation, despite the complete bankruptcy of the supreme American economy, by suppressing Third World rebellion and major imperialist trade (and eventually, potential military) rivals alike, and riding out the deliberate war turmoil being whipped up to cover over the catastrophic failure at the heart of capitalism.

Iraq was selected not for any intrinsic problem, over any other likely victim, but simply for convenience, having a suitable villain at the top and a plausible bogeyman threat story (used constantly elsewhere and against communism throughout the Cold War) to stampede public opinion (which six decades of anti-theory, anti-communist nonsense and deliberate philistine consumerist dumbing-down has left wide open to easy manipulation (aided and abetted by revisionist “peace” struggle idiocies and Trotskyist hostility to the workers states swallowing every CIA “democracy” stunt in the book)).

Refusal to grasp Marxism is why this bourgeois press piece, expressing the growing dismay of the more thoughtful middle-class, still flounders around trying to understand why the Iraq war happened:

today the Iraq war was declared over by Barack Obama. As his troops return home, Iraqis are marginally freer than in 2003, and considerably less secure. Two million remain abroad as refugees from seven years of anarchy, with another 2 million internally displaced. Ironically, almost all Iraqi Christians have had to flee. Under western rule, production of oil – Iraq’s staple product – is still below its pre-invasion level, and homes enjoy fewer hours of electricity. This is dreadful.

Some 200,000 civilians are estimated to have lost their lives from occupation-related violence. The country has no stable government, minimal reconstruction, and daily deaths and kidnappings. Endemic corruption is fuelled by unaudited aid. Increasing Islamist rule leaves most women less, not more, liberated. All this is the result of a mind-boggling $751bn US expenditure, surely the worst value for money in the history of modern diplomacy.

...In Iraq the casus belli was a lie, perpetrated by George Bush and his meek amanuensis, Tony Blair. Saddam Hussein was accused of association with 9/11, and of plotting further attacks with long-range weapons of “mass destruction”. Since this was revealed as untrue, the fallback deployed by apologists for Bush and Blair is that Saddam was a bad man and so toppling him was good.

The proper way to assess any war is not some crude “before and after” statistic, but to conjecture the consequence of it not taking place. Anti-Iraq hysteria began in 1998 with Bill Clinton’s Operation Desert Fox, a three-day bombing of Iraq’s military and civilian infrastructure, to punish Saddam for inhibiting UN weapons inspectors. To most of the world, it was to deflect attention from Clinton’s Lewinsky affair.

Most independent analysis believed that Iraq had ceased any serious nuclear ambitions at the end of the first Iraq war in 1991, a view confirmed by investigators since 2003. Even so, Desert Fox was claimed to have “successfully degraded Iraq’s ability to manufacture and use weapons of mass destruction”. Whether or not this was true, there was no evidence that such an ability had recovered by 2003. Among other things, the Iraq affair was an intelligence debacle.

Meanwhile, the west’s sanctions made Iraq a siege economy, eradicating its middle class and elevating Saddam to sixth richest ruler in the world, though he faced regular plots against his person. Western hostility may have shored him up, but opposition would have eventually delivered a coup, from the army or Shia militants backed by Iran.

Even had that not happened soon, Iraq was a nasty but stable secular state that no longer posed a serious threat even to its neighbours. It was contained by a no-fly zone that had rendered the oppressed Kurds de facto autonomy. It was not appreciably worse than Assad’s Ba’athist Syria, and its oil production and energy supplies were improving, not deteriorating as now.

The Chilcot inquiry has been swamped with stories of the American-British occupation on a par with William the Conqueror’s “harrying of the north”. That any 21st-century bureaucracy could behave with such cruel and bloodthirsty incompetence beggars belief. The truth is it was blinded by a conviction in its neo-imperial omnipotence. However much we delude ourselves, the west is still run by leaders, especially generals, drenched in the glory of past triumphs: leaders who refuse to believe that other nations have a right to order their own affairs. The awfulness of Iraq in 2003 was not so grotesque as to be our business – even had we been able to build the pro-western, pro-Israeli, secular, capitalist utopia of neocon fantasy.

Germany, France, Russia and Japan did not go near this war. They did not believe the lies about Saddam’s armoury and did not see any duty to liberate the Iraqi people from oppression. In his other-worldly performance before Chilcot, Blair offered only a glazed belief that he was revelling as a latter-day Richard the Lionheart.

All wars wander from their plan, since all armies are good at landings but bad at breakouts, and dreadful at occupations – known to every military manual long before Iraq. The truth is that this was always to be a headline war, fuelled by a desire to see what Bush celebrated as “mission accomplished” just when a nervous Pentagon was murmuring: “We don’t do nation-building.” It was a political invasion, not to win a battle or occupy territory but to score a point against Islamist militancy. That it meant toppling one of Asia’s few secular regimes was another of its hypocrisies.

The overriding lesson of Iraq comes from that dejected goddess, humility. The dropping of thousands of bombs, the loss of 4,000 western troops and the spending of almost a trillion dollars still cannot overcome the AK-47, the roadside explosive device, the suicide bomber, and an aversion to occupation. Nations with different cultures cannot be ruled by seven years of soldiering. Bush and Blair thought otherwise.

The Iraq war will be seen by history as a catastrophe that did more than anything else to alienate Atlantic powers from the rest of the world and disqualify them as global policemen. It was a wild overreaction by a paranoid, overmilitarised American state to a single spectacular, but inconsequential, act of terrorism on 9/11. As such it illustrated how little international relations have advanced since the shooting of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Its exponents are still blinded by incident.

All the UN’s pomp cannot stop such incidents running amok. The UN is powerless in the face of glory-seeking statesmen, goaded by military-industrial interests of unprecedented potency. We might think that after history’s mightiest lesson book – the 20th century – the west would be proof against repeating such idiocy. Yet when challenged to show prudence and maturity in response to terror, it plays the terrorist’s game. It exploits the politics of fear.

The west is leaving Iraq in a pool of blood, dust and dollars. It remains wedded to Iraq’s twin sister in folly, Afghanistan.

Though he fails to draw it out, the “shooting of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo” is precisely the point; this assassination by “terrorist anarchists” in August 1914 was not the cause of the suddenly escalating Great War. Tension had been brewing and developing for two to three decades of profound inter-imperialist rivalries and colonialist skirmishing, embedded in a network of alliances and diplomatic skulduggery, and complex war plans and schemes (such as the German plans to invade the US even at the end of the nineteenth century or the “dreadnought” arms race between Britain and Germany), driven by the ever more desperate conflict for markets.

It was unstoppably ready to explode over the slightest incident, which it did.

It was inter-imperialist war and was the making of the Bolsheviks which alone under Lenin’s leadership understood its predatory nature, calling for the defeat of each and every ruling class of the major powers, against complete capitulation of the reformists and pretend revolutionaries of the time around the Second International, who universally supported their own capitalist rulers under the guise of “defending the Motherland” or “fighting aggression”.

The same underlying historic crisis factors are at work now, except vastly more complex, in a world of much greater monopoly dominance by the single US power, and with a long history of partial revolutionary achievement, anti-colonialism and general experience which makes the masses far more ready to turn to revolution than ever before.

The same call for the defeat of imperialism is central to revolutionary understanding, including exposing the “war on terror” nonsense which Blair is still pumping out.

It is this deep down cynical deliberate warmongering to cope with crisis – only part of which was revealed by the follow-on WMD scam exposures – which is not brought out at all by any of the fake-“lefts” and their shallow “war for oil” or “war for resources” or “renewed expansionism” theories.

These, for all that they may have a percentage of truth in them, miss out the extent and historic desperation of capitalism’s war plunge which is trying to get the ruling class off the hook of complete historic epochal disintegration.

And they miss it because they have no real feel or grasp of the complete transforming upheavals the world is entering.

And they miss that because for all they posture about revolution (in buried paragraphs and long-winded articles only) they are not remotely revolutionary, just petty bourgeois dilettantes, who capitulate to every vicious ruling class onslaught when push comes to shove, like universally going along with “condemnation” of “terrorism”, the expression of Third World upheaval at present.

But it is the inchoate insurgencies and anti-imperialist struggles – however backward some of their religious notions might be – that have trapped imperialism in the stalemate quagmires that its war programme has run into.

And the more imperialism is defeated – by whatever opposition – the better.

That does not remotely imply support for barmy ideologies as such (a trap the museum Stalinists fall into in their desperation to pretend they are tough-nut rebels) because it is crucial not to mislead the working class into thinking such unscientific leaderships are the answer – only Leninist objective science, struggled for in public open polemical battles in front of the working class by a party of a new type, the Leninist revolutionary party – is the full answer.

But it was defeat in Iraq which forced out Blair, the disillusionment forcing the pace of the already growing contempt of the working class for New Labour and behind that, for parliamentary politics itself, as this bourgeois press account partly says:

Some salient facts. Between 1997 and 2010, Labour lost 5 million votes, of which 4 million went under his watch. In the eight years up to 2005 the party also mislaid over half its membership..

At his last general election, moreover, Blair led the party to a truly hollow victory: the support of 22% of the electorate, an outcome sufficiently chastening that he stood outside Downing Street and claimed to have “listened and learned”. In both the noise surrounding publication or the text itself, almost none of this has been mentioned.

A typical leader in one of today’s papers paid tribute to his three “emphatic” victories, and in his Andrew Marr interview Blair looked back on the 2010 defeat with the same black-and-white analysis. “If we departed a millimetre from New Labour, we were in trouble,” he said, as if he bore none of the blame. Far from what the memoirs call “an approach based on reason, on the abstinence from ideological dogma”, this is its complete reverse: the thinking of the zealot, as full of dogmatic stupidity as the hard-left politics Blair still sees round every corner.

Of late – as evidenced by warnings from Blair, Mandelson and those voices who share their view of things – this has resulted in one of the more depressing aspects of the Labour leadership contest: claims that “Red” Ed Miliband is a dangerous old Labour throwback. No matter that his handful of policy proposals – for the tentative roll-out of a living wage, or a graduate tax, or the high pay commission also supported by his brother – are modest and somewhat cautious. In the wake of an editorial claiming that even his brother was in danger of drifting too far to the left, one Times columnist – the venerable David Aaronovitch – compared him to Michael Foot.

On Monday, I turned on the Today programme to hear another pundit say: “He is properly leftwing. Really leftwing. He wouldn’t admit this now, but if you’d asked him a few years ago who his political hero was, he’d have said Tony Benn. And I don’t mean cuddly, modern Tony Benn, I mean Tony Benn in his pomp, in the 1960s and 1970s.”

...At least twice in his book, Blair parrots a rollcall of English towns – “Hastings, Crawley, Worcester, Basildon, Harrow” – whose people, he seems to imagine, have experienced no downside of his beloved “liberal economic policies”, and even as the cuts bite, will not want anything significantly different. One is reminded of a priceless sentence, uttered circa 2008 by an unnamed Labour minister, seemingly convinced that the stockbroker belt ran far wider than once thought. “£150,000 isn’t much money in Reading,” he reckoned. Just to set the record straight, half the people who work in that town earn less than £21,000 a year.

No housing shortages in “middle England”, surely; no insecurity at work, or time poverty, or fretting about the debt that people’s children now rack up in pursuit of an education; come to think of it, none of the bundle of worries that always sit under all those concerns about immigration. Even with the application of work and imagination, Blair and his cheerleaders allege, modern social democracy has no hope in these places; and by implication, it has no realistic chance at all. This is not just a counsel of despair, but a desertion of Labour’s most basic mission.

In a possible double-bluff, Blair’s “warnings” against reversion to the “old Labour” order as being “dangerously left wing” may even be deliberately intended to try and give credibility to the tired old racket again, (as this piece wrongly swallows) helping the ruling class to have something in place to take over if the dangerously unstable pretence of the LibCon ruling class onslaught should collapse at any minute.

But it would do nothing but carry on as before, helping feed the fascist atmosphere which is the only real strategy capitalism now has for survival.

Blair’s insistence on “readiness to bomb” Iran is the agenda being pushed by capital in order to once more get the warmongering underway, which can only be stopped by ending capitalism.

Meanwhile the rancid domestic hatreds are being whipped up on a scale every bit foul as the Nazi Jew and communist scapegoating of the 1930s, as the need for distractions grows to keep the working class split and away from revolutionary politics. The frenzy of anti-Hispanic “anti-immigrant” racism being deliberately stirred up by new border control laws in assorted reactionary US states goes hand in hand with escalating anti-Muslim scapegoating:

In the New York Times last week, writing about the eruption of hatred for Muslims in the US, Frank Rich asked what seems an increasingly pertinent question: “How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?” Americans who are shocked by what the columnist Maureen Dowd calls a “weird mass nervous breakdown” accuse the usual suspects – rightwingers whose “fear and disinformation” is “amplified by the poisonous echo chamber that is the modern media environment”. But anti-Muslim toxins were injected into the mainstream well before August 2010, and not by rightwingers alone.

Bestselling authors like Ayaan Hirsi Ali may be the “new heroes”, as the writer Peter Beinart puts it, of the Republican party’s crusade against Muslims. But “professional” former Muslims have long provided respectable cover for the bigotry and, more often, plain ignorance of mainstream western commentators on Islam. This Monday Germany’s Hirsi Ali, the Turkish writer Necla Kelek, stood shoulder to shoulder with the German central banker and Social Democratic party (SPD) member Thilo Sarrazin as he asserted that Muslims are out-breeding white, presumably “Aryan”, Germans and that “all Jews share the same gene”.

Most of these ex-Muslim “dissidents” lucratively raging against Islam in the west wouldn’t be able to flourish without the imprimatur of influential institutions and individuals in the US and Europe. Hirsi Ali, who wishes to be the Voltaire of Islam, commands rapturous endorsements from not only rightwing crazies like Pamela Geller and Glenn Beck but also Tina Brown.

Certainly, the story of Hirsi Ali’s life attests powerfully to the degradations suffered by many women in patriarchal cultures. There is no question that she should feel free to say that Muslims are programmed to kill infidels and mutilate female bodies, however much these opinions may offend some people. There is little reason, however, for most of her opinions to claim serious intellectual attention.

Declaring that the civilised west has no choice but to stamp out barbaric Islam in the clash of civilisations, Hirsi Ali seems useful only to her bellicose neoconservative employers in the US and their ideological kin in the caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And her recent exhortations to Muslims to convert to Christianity make her sound more like Billy Graham than Voltaire.

Yet the mildest criticism of Hirsi Ali’s naivety triggers a tsunami of vitriol from her army of prominent supporters. In recent months Clive James as well as Melanie Phillips have rebuked Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash for not joining the chorus of praise for Hirsi Ali, a defender of the western Enlightenment, and for being “soft” on apparently closeted jihadists like the Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan.

Those who tirelessly cheerlead Hirsi Ali’s war on totalitarian Islam today did not have much, if anything at all, to say about the original despoiling, by western-backed Muslim fanatics, of Pakistan and Afghanistan during the anti-Soviet jihad in the 80s. The long-gathering backlash that finally arrived in the west on 9/11 sent them scampering to bone up about “Islam” – about as gainful a mode of knowing your enemy as Afghans sitting down to read Kant’s essay What is Enlightenment? after a US drone has destroyed their village.

Many of these Islam watchers championed the misbegotten wars that have already killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims and ruined innumerable more lives. But they still present themselves as virtuous and lonely warriors, indefatigably rooting out the internal enemies of western civilisation, who tend to be either Muslims sinisterly reluctant to embrace the true American patriot’s worldview, or politically correct liberal-lefties too scared to hear, let alone speak, the real truth about Islam.

Thus the writer Paul Berman, a self-described “laptop general” who first stalked Ramadan and hounded Buruma and Garton Ash in the New Republic – once the principal periodical of liberal America – and then expanded his 28,000-word indictment into a much-reviewed book, could recently lament in the Wall Street Journal, the Murdoch-owned US newspaper, that we are living in the “age of the zipped lip”.

Oddly, this persecution complex afflicts people with the easiest access to mass media and the greatest influence on public opinion. Defending Martin Amis, who had fantasised in the Times about subjecting Muslims to multiple humiliations, Ian McEwan protested that leftwingers were closing down “debate” on Islam.

As it turns out, millions of angry Americans have opened up an equally unedifying “debate” on Islam. “You look them [Muslims] in the eye and flex your muscles,” Hirsi Ali exhorted the west recently, “there comes a moment when you crush your enemy.” Well, that much-awaited moment is here. Populist sentiment, which Democrats as well as Republicans clamour to represent, fully endorses the scapegoating of a religious minority for America’s recent military and economic failures.

It remains to be seen how the previously besieged critics of Islam respond to the mob of Koran-immolators. Certainly their critiques of Islam, always redolent of tabloid wisdom, can no longer be passed off as acts of moral courage. And it may be too optimistic to expect them to go to Muslim countries, or befriend a few Muslims, and then discover, as EM Forster did, that: “Islam is more than a religion … it is an attitude towards life which has produced durable and exquisite civilisations.”

Even a conservative figure like Henry James, while recoiling from Jewish immigrants in Manhattan, manifested a curiosity about America’s new population that transcended the bigotries of his time. In comparison, the liberal assumptions of superiority today have seemed experience-proof. The mass anti-Muslim hysteria has now thrown them into crisis – finally, long after it has become clear that Hirsi Ali-style denunciations, vigorously amplified by mainstream intellectuals and politicians, have potentially terrible consequences for the millions of Muslims in the west.

Writing about another “foul, ignoble” episode in America’s recent history – Joe McCarthy’s witch-hunts against America’s internal enemies – James Baldwin marvelled at the “ignorance and arrogance” of intellectuals who went on discussing the threat to the “free” world while “every hour brought more distress and confusion – and dishonour – to the country they claimed to love”.

The stigmatisation of racial and religious bigotry counts as one of the very few instances of moral progress in the previous half-century. It’s not, alas, an irreversible advance, and the witch-hunters of today can still occasionally have a field day. But it is their intellectual accomplices who will invite the severest contempt of posterity.

To have Timothy Garton-Ash cast into some “left” role by this festering confusion only underlines the nearly demented defeated frenzy of the petty bourgeois reaction in the States, since he is a major anti-communist historian and a key figure in pumping up the Solidarnosc counter-revolution in Poland in the 1980s, the first major CIA success in pretend “democratic” and “trade union” movements which helped pushed the degenerated Stalinist revisionism in Moscow into final capitulation and liquidation of the still solid workers state economy and state in the USSR under Gorbachev.

The alleged “popular trade union”, which all the Trots fell for (and still wriggle over as their petty bourgeois anti-communism was clearly revealed by it), has long ago shown its true face as Pilsudski-fascist-supporting pro-capitalist governments, willingly backing the Western warmongering in Afghanistan, and up to their neck in the lauding of the Nazi SS squads and Hitler fascism which is rampant among the venal middle class in the East European states since 1989.

But the sour foulness brewing in the US is a sign of desperation and failure as the world heads rapidly for the deepest collapse ever seen.

The few moments of “economic recovery” bought by pasting trillions more worthless paper dollars around the rotten hollow superstructure of the capitalist economy cannot last.

Every slightest change on the stockmarkets or in falling production figures or housing sale crashes (all in the last month) brings waves of renewed speculation from bourgeois economists and press analysts about possible collapse or “double dip” recession.

None say it, or even perhaps understand it, but there is no way out for the capitalist way of organising the world.

It makes no sense, it is out of time and only planned socialism can take the world forwards.

Revolution is the way to get it, and the only way.

Build the vital Leninist party needed to develop Leninist science and lead the coming struggles that the crisis is forcing on workers – the only way to change things.

Don Hoskins


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Prostitution will end when capitalism is ended for good; and, as socialism and then communism are built, at first a national then a global level, human alienation will rapidly decrease and die away too, leading to the full flourishing of rational world civilisation

The CPGB Weekly Worker crypto-Trots recently published this counter-revolutionary garbage in a lead article, by way of a conclusion to their feeble, non-Marxist discussion of the recent Crossbow Cannibal murder of three prostitutes:

“Communists prefer a policy of decriminalisation, with all the usual legal protections extended to prostitutes no longer treated as an underclass of semi-criminal riff-raff (or, for that matter, utterly helpless victims), and the business left to operate under its own initiative to the same degree as any other industry. We are under no illusions - prostitution cannot be swept away, and attempts to do so simply sweeps it under the carpet. As long as it exists, sex workers have every interest in being integrated not just into the working class as a class, but into its organisations and struggles.

Full legal equality will not make this happen overnight - but it will at least be easier to link the spontaneous forms of solidarity that arise among groups of prostitutes to an organised, conscious project for advancing their cause in society. It will allow prostitutes to go to the police when they need to - without being subjected to an intrusive bureaucratic apparatus (or, at least, more intrusive than usual for the police). Prostitutes do not need to be ‘rescued’ by the benevolent state, either through bans or legalisation; they need the forms of class solidarity which allow them to take control of their own lives.”

Just approaching the topic in this way says all that needs to be said about the sickly, counter-revolutionary, middle-class complacency of the CPGB – that they are prepared to publish this as a bogus “solution” to the question of prostitution.

War, crisis, capitalist cultural degeneracy, rat-race induced alienation, the anti-working class nature of the capitalist state, and above all the need for revolution to make a start in putting the world to rights for all workers simply makes no appearance.

Instead, there is a tissue of lies about reformist measures that will “solve” a lot of problems, and make the world a better place!

“Prostitution cannot be swept away” the WW/CPGB opportunists state. Not true: socialist revolution can hugely sweep it away, as all the conditions driving people to prostitution are rapidly changed by revolution, as happened both at the most heroic times of many workers states, but also at the heights of their best phases of development (China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, etc).

The fact that prostitution can return, in some form, as in Cuba (catering largely for Western tourists) – under the most strained and isolated-by-US-blockade circumstances, as now, shows that, for prostitution to be completely wiped away from the annals of human degradation, the socialist revolution must triumph at a world level.

Chris Barratt

Our workers’ associations and trade unions, too, ought to organise an “exhibition” of this kind. It will not yield the colossal profits brought in by the exhibitions, of the bourgeoisie. A display of proletarian women’s poverty and indigence will bring a different benefit: it will help wage-slaves, both men and women, to understand their condition, look back over their “life”, ponder the conditions for emancipation from this perpetual yoke of want, poverty, prostitution and every kind of outrage against the have-nots. CAPITALISM AND FEMALE LABOUR V I Lenin May 5, 1913 in Pravda No. 102


But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the bourgeoisie in chorus.

The bourgeois sees his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.

He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.

For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.

Our bourgeois, not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.

Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.

The Communist Manifesto – Marx and Engels

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).

Racism and indigenous resistance in Australia

by Emma Clancy – Granma

WHEN Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal people in February 2008, hopes were high that this indicated a new approach from the government in its relations with the country’s Indigenous people.

But Rudd, elected in November 2007 after 11 years of conservative, Thatcherite rule under John Howard, has continued many of his predecessor’s policies, which undermine the rights and wellbeing of Australia’s Indigenous people.

2007 marked the 40th anniversary of the national referendum that acknowledged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as citizens in their own land. Prior to 1967, Indigenous affairs had been assigned to the ‘flora and fauna’ department of government – they were not even recognised as human beings.

An Aboriginal civil rights movement, supported by progressive non-Aboriginals, arose in the 1960s, inspired by the black civil rights movement in the United States. This movement was just the latest incarnation of resistance in the long history of struggle for Indigenous rights since Australia was invaded and established as a series of penal colonies by the British in 1788.

At the time of invasion, there were approximately one million Aboriginal people living in Australia; today there are 200,000. Indigenous people resisted colonisation, and their sovereignty of the land was never ceded. No treaty or agreement was ever negotiated. The British invented the myth of ‘terra nullius’ – land without people – to justify their brutal annexation of the country.

Genocidal violence was carried out by the colonisers against the Indigenous people for many decades following invasion. In Tasmania in the early 1800s the entire Aboriginal population was killed, and massacres were carried out with impunity across the continent right up until the 1930s.

Throughout the 19th century, whole populations were forced off their lands into missions, and their language and culture were banned.

Up until the 1970s, Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families and communities, in order to ‘assimilate’ what was labelled a ‘failed race’ into the broader Australian population. These children, who numbered in the tens of thousands, are collectively known as the Stolen Generations. They were lied to about their heritage, and were often used as slave labour – as domestic servants, on cattle stations, or in state or Church-run institutions. Many were physically and sexually abused.


Despite achieving formal equality, Aboriginal people remain the most oppressed and marginalised group in the country.

The absolute health crisis in Indigenous communities today is routinely described as a national disgrace – or ‘genocide by neglect’. The life expectancy of Indigenous people is 17 years younger than the national average – one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. In 2006, Save the Children described conditions in impoverished black communities in Australia as “some of the worst we have seen in our work all around the world”.

Extreme racism persists at all levels of society and is institutionalised in the policing and justice system. While Aboriginal people make up 2% of the Australian population, they make up 26% of prisoners. Most Aboriginal women in jail are there for crimes of poverty, such as not paying fines. Deaths in custody continue.

In 1990 a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody produced a list of 339 recommendations to prevent deaths; but not a single one has been implemented. Since the report was produced more than 200 Aboriginal people have died in custody, usually through police violence, suicide and neglect.


A popular slogan of the Aboriginal rights movement is, “White Australia has a black history”. But this history is not taught in Australian schools. To acknowledge that the brutality of the past even occurred is to subscribe to “the black armband view of history”, according to John Howard and other conservative commentators.

On 13 February 2008, Rudd did what Howard refused to for his 11 years in power – he said sorry to the Stolen Generations. The apology was an important and necessary symbolic step forward and made a significant contribution to raising the level of awareness in Australian society of the wrongs that have been done to the country’s Indigenous people. But the rhetoric of reconciliation from the Labour government has unfortunately not been matched by actions.

The Aboriginal community welcomed the apology but have insisted that it’s meaningless if not accompanied by major changes in government policy, including providing compensation for the Stolen Generations and other victims of racist colonial policies; negotiating a Treaty; massively increasing funding to deal with the crisis in Indigenous healthcare, education and housing; and reforming the policing and justice system to end institutionalised racism.


The key issue that Aboriginals want the government to address is the ongoing ‘intervention’ into remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory (NT), initiated in June 2007 by Howard and continued, even expanded, by Rudd.

The intervention, which includes sending the army and more police into these communities under the pretext of preventing child abuse, has been described by Aboriginal leaders as a ‘racist land grab’.

Following the publication of the report Little Children Are Sacred in 2007, which documented the sexual abuse of children in remote Aboriginal communities in the NT, Howard passed the NT Emergency Response legislation in June 2007, unilaterally taking over more than 70 communities.

Under the legislation, 50 per cent of welfare recipients’ payments is ‘quarantined’ – replaced with food ration cards that can only be used at major supermarket chains. Alcohol is banned for all residents in the ‘intervened’ communities.

Young people have to have compulsory medical examinations to check for signs of abuse. Child health workers have pointed out that these forced examinations are themselves a form of child abuse.

The issue of child abuse has been cynically exploited by both Howard and Rudd, but several reports on the impact of the intervention have shown that incidence of child abuse was no higher in Indigenous communities than in the broader Australian population and that the intervention has failed to reduce either child abuse or violence against women.

The Little Children report included 97 proposals to address social problems that can lead to abuse and neglect (including housing shortages, overcrowding, and lack of primary health-care programmes) but none of these have been implemented by Howard or Rudd.

While police carry out ‘military-style’ raids on remote NT communities, arresting hundreds of people for ‘alcohol offences’, not a single new house or women’s shelter has been built, nor a single new social worker been put on the ground.


The UN, Amnesty International and even Australian government-commissioned reports have all found that the intervention is a violation of the rights of Aboriginal people and that the legislation is inherently racist. To pass the legislation, the government had to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act. It also suspended the NT Land Rights Act.

Land ownership in the communities has been transferred from communal Land Councils to the federal government under five-year ‘leases’, and there is now a push from the Government to extend this to 40-year and even 99-year leases.

Thousands of people are fleeing ‘intervened’ communities, resulting in more homelessness and overcrowding in the larger town camps and urban fringes. The voucher system has forced a huge population dispersion. People are being forced off their traditional land and away from their communities to redeem the vouchers.

The long battle for land rights – crucial for establishing Aboriginal self-determination – is being rolled back 40 years by this intervention. And it’s just a happy coincidence for the government and mining giants that 75 per cent of Australia’s uranium deposits are found in the NT, most of it on land now affected by the intervention.

Demanding an end to this new wave of dispossession, Aboriginal leaders have stated that, “Saying sorry means you won’t do it again”.


AS part of the Northern Territory (NT) intervention in Australia, launched by former Prime Minister John Howard in 2007, the military and police were sent into remote Aboriginal communities under the pretext of preventing the sexual abuse of children.

While the government has since changed, with the election of the Labour Party under Kevin Rudd at the end of 2007, there have been no changes made to government policy, and the Indigenous people of the desert land have begun a remarkable and inspiring campaign of resistance.

As part of this, the Alyawarr people staged a walk-off from the Ampilatwatja community in the NT in July 2009. They walked beyond the boundary of the government lease forced onto their land, and back to their traditional homeland where they have set up a protest camp, saying they refuse to live under the government’s paternalistic control.

Alyawarr elder and walk-off protest leader Richard Downs provided his first-hand view of the NT intervention in an interview earlier this month:

“The situation since the start of the intervention back in 2007 has meant total disempowerment of the Indigenous people in the NT. Since the intervention, consultation and partnership projects have been abandoned.

Aboriginal people now have no right to engage with the government at any level. The government makes no attempt to consult or engage Aboriginal organisations on any issue.

This has taken us back 40 to 50 years.

It has taken Aboriginal people that long to build up our organisations, to implement programs (totally underfunded by governments) and establish a working partnership with the Government. We had some measure of control.

But when those army tanks came to stay in our communities, we lost everything. Our offices were closed down. All have gone after decades spent building these organisations and associations. We’ve lost all of them.

At first, there was shock and fear in the communities. It appeared to us that the Australian government was going to war with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. There were tanks and military personnel with guns.

People were threatened by the federal police with guns and targeted with laser-sighted guns.

We couldn’t understand why this was happening. We have nothing to fight with, we are a peaceful people. News of the violence spread like wildfire across the territory and people were really afraid of the army coming in. This fear of the military had people in its grip for nearly 18 months.

Then people got over their fear. They have begun to stand up against the government policy of intervention by walking off the communities where we currently live. These communities were created by previous governments, as they have herded us into smaller and smaller spaces, away from our homelands.

The current situation with the NT intervention is not working and should end. We want the territory and federal governments to engage and consult with us. The original 2007 Little Children Are Sacred report [documenting the sexual abuse of children in remote Aboriginal communities] that was prepared by Patricia Anderson and Rex Wild has recommendations we should put on the table.

Part of the policy is the creation of 15 or 20 hub towns throughout the territory and the closing down of our traditional homelands. The hub towns will get all the new houses of the funds allocated in the intervention. These hub towns will mean the loss of over 73 communities.

They will force people into these hub towns, creating ghettos. There are 73 language groups in the region. A mixture of different tongues means that some will die away completely. Once you lose the language, the culture, traditions and ceremonies are also lost. This strategy of the government is about ending the traditional customs of our people.

The justification for the intervention was that sexual abuse of children was rife throughout the communities. This was a complete lie, like the “children overboard” lie. [In the lead-up to the 2004 federal election, John Howard had claimed that Middle Eastern refugees on the Tampa ship had “thrown their own children overboard” into the sea to try to pressure the Australian government into allowing them to enter Australia. It took several years for this to be exposed as absolutely untrue.]

If you look at the 2007 Little Children Are Scared report, it clearly states that the sexual abuse of young Aboriginal girls and women is mostly committed by non-Aboriginal people living in the area.

The report also stated that the sexual abuse of young girls and children is not a black issue, it’s a national issue. And the Australian Crime Commission confirms this. It was all lies – the federal government’s excuse to send in the military and take control of Aboriginal affairs.

This is much clearer when you look at the issuing of exploration licences. In 2006, there were 180 exploration licences issued; in 2009 there were 400. What is of great interest to the government – and mining interests – are the huge deposits of uranium, gold, oil and iron ore on Aboriginal land.

At first we did try to engage with the government representatives appointed to our communities as part of the intervention. We tried to work with them and give them advice about the communities, but they wouldn’t listen.

That’s when we decided that we don’t want to be part of it. We thought: the country outside of the townships is our traditional homeland, we’ll move back out there.

Our walk-off is aimed at the governments to show them that we can create a homeland. We will be focusing on building the communities with renewable energy and permaculture, where people will live off the land in a way where people are comfortable and happy.

When we walked off, we had over 250 people with us. We said to the younger generation that they should stay in the community because of the children who need to go to school. They can support the old people by visiting regularly.

We are now planning to build a new community in our traditional homeland. This action is about our self determination. We want to show the government and the Australian people, black and white, that you don’t have to accept such paternalistic control. That you can set up a sustainable homeland with solar power, wind turbines and permaculture systems.

This is going to happen at the protest camp as a statement on climate change, on moving away from fossil fuels and using clean energy.

The government wants to lease the whole northern part of Australia, a pristine wilderness, to those who would rip it all out and pollute the waterways, the streams, the oceans and the air.

That’s why it’s so important for all of us, Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people to come together and stop this happening.”


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).

A permanent objective for Latin America and the Caribbean too

by Nidia Díaz Granma International

THE unresolved conflict between Britain and Argentina over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands has returned to the fore of bilateral relations between those two countries and has raised tensions and anger over London’s unilateral decision to send an oil exploration rig to the waters in conflict, perceived as a challenge and provocation by the Buenos Aires government.

With no prior notice, the British Ocean Guardian rig arrived in the vicinity of the islands to allow the UK Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration companies to begin drilling for oil in the disputed waters to the north of the archipelago.

Every British government has set aside significant resources to study the riches of the archipelago, located 1,800 kilometers from Buenos Aires and 12,000 kilometers from the UK capital, having reached the conclusion that a minimum of 60 million barrels could be awaiting in its depths. Yet another reason for Argentina’s sovereignty demands being accompanied with identical forcefulness in defense of the potential natural resources located there.

It is well documented that the archipelago in dispute is located on Argentina’s continental platform in the south Atlantic, and comprises two large islands, Gran Malvina (in the west) and La Soledad (in the eastern region), as well as the island groups of the Georgias and Sandwich del Sur. In total, 200 islands with an extension of 11,718 square kilometers.

Beyond its extensive and icy territory, occupied by fewer than 3,000 British subjects - the so-called Kelpers - the Malvinas constitute an invaluable strategic enclave given their location at the entrance to the Antarctic and their domination of the waters where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.

Not to mention the incalculable reserves of oil, minerals and precious species of marine algae, highly priced for their protein value and considered “the food of the future.”

One thing is clear: history testifies to Argentine rights over the archipelago.

Sovereignty over the islands was exercised by Spain from the 16th century as a colonial metropolis, a right that was transferred to Argentina 300 years later, when it won its independence.

The archipelago is located some 1,800 kilometers from Buenos Aires and 12,000 kilometers from the British capital.

Despite acknowledging that new condition in 1823 and, two years later, signing a Friendship, Trade and Navigation Treaty with Argentina, Britain, with the arrogance that has always accompanied it, occupied the territory in 1833 after a number of incursions that prompted litigation, which remains to this day given London’s refusal to recognize what by reason and justice corresponds to the Argentine people.

Many years later, in 1954, the case was taken before the United Nations on the basis of Resolution 1514 of the Decolonization Committee, and since that date the overwhelming majority of the international community has recognized, year after year, Argentina’s right to restore its sovereignty over the archipelago.

In 1965, the UN itself decided to call the parties in conflict to initiate a dialogue and negotiations in that context, but it was not until 1980 that the United Kingdom, in what seemed like a crude joke, stated that it would accept Argentine sovereignty in exchange for the lease of the Malvinas for a period of 99 years.

The onerous conditions lacerated the very independence of Argentina and were rejected, until that April 2,1982, when the war for their rescue began.

A bloody dictatorship, born of the “doctrine of national security” devised by Washington to control the continent and exterminate the revolutionary movements of that time, was unable to act in response to such a historic responsibility or far less lead a popular war of liberation. On the contrary, it presented London with the argument that the sovereignty issue was dead and buried, as long as it was won by the force of arms.

The governments that succeeded it in the so called transition democracies were likewise incapable of mounting a struggle on an even footing to restore the archipelago’s sovereignty.

Under the Carlos Menem government, not only was there no work in that direction but, in 1995, against the will of significant political forces, Menem signed a controversial agreement for the joint prospecting of a huge oil deposit around the disputed Malvinas, thus tacitly accepting British rights over the territory and betraying Argentina’s historic right and demand. Nothing else could be expected of a convicted and self-confessed traitor.

But the times have changed.

While in 1982, to the surprise of many, Latin America rose up in defense of Argentina and the Organization of American States - acknowledging the betrayal of the Ronald Reagan administration in favor of his NATO ally and colonialism - condemned for the first time those who were usurping the Malvinas by force, today, support for the South American nation is beyond all doubt, even though a colonial mentality can always exist in the heart of a regional community that is demonstrating itself constantly more aware of the restoration of collective sovereignty in the face of extra-continental interference.

It was not fortuitous that President Cristina Fernández raised the issue in the first session of the recent Summit for Latin American and Caribbean Unity in Riviera Maya, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where she received the unconditional support of the region, as stated in two of its final resolutions approved by the heads of state and government present.

Moreover, the Argentine government has signed Decree 256, which demands prior authorization for British vessels involved in oil drilling in the area under litigation to navigate within the limits of its jurisdiction.

There is no doubt that the conflict is recommencing. The British decision to unilaterally initiate prospecting for oil in the vicinity of the Malvinas Islands and to disregard the UN call for negotiations with Argentina has initiated a new chapter in Argentina’s historic struggle for the restoration of its sovereignty over a territory that belongs to it by right.

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
Truth costs nothing: it’s suppression of truth that’s costly

Bloody Sunday – a partially admitted crime

by Laura Friel – An Phoblacht

ANOTHER milestone in the struggle to establish the truth about Bloody Sunday has been met with the publication of the Saville Report. This is the second report commissioned by the British Government into the killing of civilians in Derry’s Bogside on January 30th 1972 by British paratroopers.

The first report was published less than three months after the shootings. The second inquiry was announced amidst negotiations that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement. Twelve years and £200million later. Saville achieved the dubious accolade of becoming the longest-running, most expensive inquiry in British legal history.

Killings on Ireland Bloody Sunday admitted as a massacre by British imperilaismIn 1972, the day had begun with a political rally and ended with British troops committing the single largest massacre of citizens within the state’s own jurisdiction in over 150 years.

In Ireland, people drew comparison with a more recent atrocity, also carried out by British soldiers on Irish soil: the Croke Park massacre of 1920, another Bloody Sunday.

Over 30,000 people had attended what was a peaceful protest against detention without trial. Shortly before 2.30pm, the British Army entered the Bogside, opened fire and continued firing for around 20 to 30 minutes, by which time 27 people had been shot, thousands of protesters terrorised and an entire nation traumatised.

Thirteen civil rights protesters died at the scene and a fourteenth of his injuries some months later.

Five of those wounded were shot in the back. All those killed were men and boys. Of the two women who were seriously injured, one was shot (the other was run over by an armoured car).

Seven of those shot dead were teenagers, many looked like children.

The official cover-up began as soon as the shooting ended.

In the immediate aftermath, the British Army told lies and fabricated ‘evidence’ in an attempt to hide the fact that soldiers had opened fire, killed and wounded unarmed civilians exercising their democratic right to peaceful protest.

The most notorious attempt was by British soldiers manning a checkpoint who planted nail bombs in the pockets of one of those killed. Photographs were circulated as ‘evidence’ that those killed had been ‘targeted’ because they had been actively engaging in republican violence. It was not true.

It was claimed some of those shot dead were known ‘agitators’ and ‘wanted’ by the British Army. That wasn’t true. It was suggested British soldiers had engaged in an armed exchange with the IRA and civilian casualties were caught in the crossfire. That wasn’t true either.

But if the official cover-up began almost immediately, so too did the struggle to challenge it. Resistance took two forms: ongoing campaigns to expose British rule and an armed insurrection against military occupation.

Bloody Sunday had exposed the colonial nature of Britain’s military intervention in the North and if the British state regarded unarmed civilians demanding democratic rights as military targets then, as one observer put it at the time, “We’re all in the IRA now”

In the immediate aftermath, 30,000 people in Dublin laid siege and burned down the British Embassy. Tens of thousands of people across

Ireland, together with Irish communities throughout the world, took to the streets to protest against the actions of the British Army and demand answers from the British Government.

Forced to respond to popular and International concern, the British Government announced an inquiry.

Lord Chief Justice Widgery was tasked with “restoring public confidence” and British Prime Minister Edward Heath was very clear about just whose confidence he expected to be restored.

On the eve of the tribunal, the judge was ‘advised’ by his prime minister that ‘it has to be remembered that we are fighting not just a military war but also a propaganda war”.

The Widgery Tribunal was never about the victims and their families: it was never about the people of Derry: it was never about justice for the Irish people. It was about maintaining the confidence of the British public in their own government and ensuring their continued support for the deployment of British troops in Ireland.

The campaign to expose Widgery began immediately. It received an unexpected support from a coroner conducting inquests into 13 of the deaths. An inquest cannot compel witnesses nor comment on any criminal or civic liability and is restricted to declaring an open verdict where murder or manslaughter is suspected.

In August 1972, the jury returned 13 open verdicts. The following day, the coroner accused the British Army of running amok, ‘firing live rounds indiscriminately’ and “shooting innocent people”.

“I would say without hesitation that it was sheer unadulterated murder. It was murder,” he said.

And what was the British Government’s response to this open accusation by a public official? Widgery had exonerated the actions of the British soldiers on the ground and asked no questions about their military and political masters.

As far as the British state was concerned, it was over. But for the people of Derry, particularly the families of the victims, and the wider Irish community, it was not over. The struggle for truth and justice continued.

The British state had killed citizens engaging in legitimate democratic protest. In doing so, they were in obvious breach of international law. To bring a case before the international judiciary, a petitioner must demonstrate all domestic avenues of redress have been exhausted.

Unfortunately, this prerequisite encourages stalling and prevarication on a grand scale by nation states cited by citizens seeking justice. If a state appears to have dealt with the matter, then a double-lock has to be unpicked. It requires new evidence and a refusal by the government in question to re-examine the case in light of this.

In January 1994, relatives of those shot dead wrote to the British Prime Minister outlining major flaws in the Widgery inquiry and report.

Meanwhile, the British Irish Rights Watch organisation submitted a report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Executions.

In August, an application was submitted to the European Commission of Human Rights on the grounds that those killed had been intentionally and wrongfully deprived of their right to life.

In 1996, while trawling through the Public Records Office, a confidential memo was discovered of a meeting which took place the day after Bloody Sunday between Lord Chief Justice Widgery and the British Lord Chancellor. The memo, important in its own right, also suggested there was further material held by the British Home Office that had never been made available.

The British Government was forced to admit there were 13 categories of documents relating to Bloody Sunday that had been closed to public scrutiny. Twelve of those were subsequently released but the last, relating to medical reports or those who died, was withheld. In early 1997, the families were able to approach the Irish Government with substantial evidence to expose Widgery as a whitewash. The Irish Government presented the evidence to the British in June 1997.

Then British Prime Minister Tony Blair was faced with the dilemma of either refusing a new inquiry at the risk of triggering an international probe or reversing the position of successive British governments by ordering a new inquiry. Blair announced a second inquiry and Saville opened in Derry on April 3rd 1998.

During the course of the inquiry, the Saville team received around 3,500 statements, considered 160 volumes of evidence, listened to 121 audio-tapes and watched 110 video-tapes. The finished report runs to ten volumes, 5,000 pages and comes in at a cost of £200million. Even before its publication, it had been heralded by Establishment figures as a colossal waste of public ????money.

But any waste has to be laid at the feet not of the families and campaigners who have fought so long and hard for truth and justice but the British state and its agencies who have always known the truth but repeatedly chosen to suppress it.

Truth costs nothing; it’s suppression of truth that’s costly, and not just in monetary terms. Its cost lies in 14 lives lost on the day and the thousands of lives subsequently lost in the decades of conflict that followed.

Its cost lies in the tens of thousands of people arrested, tortured, imprisoned and the brutality of the H-Blocks and Armagh Jail. It lies in the deaths of hunger strikers and those killed or injured through shoot-to-kill, collusion or the deployment of plastic bullets. It lies in the millions of small stories of lives disrupted and hopes denied.

Bloody Sunday was a crime against humanity, a declaration of war against a civilian population seeking justice and, in that very real sense, a war crime. When the British admit as much, we will have all moved on.


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