The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Great Britain:
Blair and His "War against Terrorism"

Aug 15, 2005

The British government hoped to use the victims of the July 7 attacks in London to solidify public opinion behind Blair’s policy of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the events seemed to have had the opposite result, confirming what many English people already thought. These wars carried out by Bush and Blair in Iraq and Afghanistan have helped to spawn a larger pool of desperate and angry people, from which more terrorist actions can spring.

And what the British government did inside London caused a big reaction in the population. There was shock over the killing of the Brazilian electrician–who turned out to be a completely innocent young man. And the deployment of heavily armed police throughout the London transport system seemed to turn the city into a war zone, without bringing Blair any additional support for his "war against terrorism."What Blair wanted was to create an atmosphere which demanded a kind of patriotic unity, in order to push through a series of new repressive laws he proposed. Blair wants to allow the police to hold someone without charges for up to four months, instead of the current 14 days. Blair proposes to change the laws to make it easier to expel those considered "undesirable" from the country. An immigrant could be expelled for the use of certain Internet sites or for going to bookstores connected to groups the British government calls "extremist." British citizens would also be subjected to stricter controls.

It’s obvious that such laws do little to stop terrorists, since governments around the world have already de facto been carrying out such measures under "emergency" powers. But once such repressive laws are in place, they can also be used against combative English workers.

There is little chance of Blair convincing much of the British population to support the continued presence of British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why would they think it worthwhile to risk the lives of British troops, much less support the imposition of police-state tactics at home?