January 6, 2022
From Socialist Party (UK)
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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1161/33512

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 January 2022

Tony Blair has joined current Labour leader Keir Starmer in being knighted, rewarded for his services to the bosses’ establishment. Socialist Party political secretary Peter Taaffe was interviewed by Andrew Castle on LBC radio on 2 January. Below we print a shortened version of the interview. The full recording can be found at globalplayer.com from 13 minutes:

Tony Blair, Tory infiltrator into Labour, photo Chatham House (Creative Commons)

Tony Blair, Tory infiltrator into Labour, photo Chatham House (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Interviewer: What do you think? Tony Blair, highest honour?

Peter: It depends who you are talking to. To the millionaires and billionaires which his governments unfortunately benefited, he perhaps deserves this. It’s no more than we expected. But for the suffering masses of Britain, and particularly Iraq – it’s been an unmitigated disaster. We are still living with the legacy of the Iraq war: the broken lives and the broken limbs of the population of Iraq, and also the consequences worldwide in the initiative it has given to terrorism and so on, to inflict further suffering on working people who had no responsibility for the war. That was a decision taken by a cabal at the top, by the ruling class, by the Blair government, and we and the Iraqi people are still paying the consequences.

Interviewer: What about Northern Ireland and the national minimum wage, and also the fact that Tony Blair got elected?

Peter: We have consistently opposed Blair, who came from the right. He demonstrated, before he was elected as Labour leader, the kind of person he was likely to be. He was a plaything of the powerful economic and social forces in Britain and worldwide to do the bidding of capitalism, the rich and the powerful – not the working people.

There are some things in the course of the Labour government that he was forced to introduce, in relation to the minimum wage and so on. But there are many things on the other side of the balance sheet which are entirely negative: the privatisations that were carried through, which was a Tory policy and has left a legacy on which the Tories have been able to build. The cuts that were carried through at national and local level.

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party’s material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers’ movements with a socialist programme – one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.


We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.


In The Socialist 6 January 2022:


Capitalism in crisis

Britain in 2022: Build a coordinated working-class fightback


News

Tories’ cost of living squeeze – build the workers’ fightback

NHS Covid staff crisis

Blair knighted for services to the rich and powerful

Tory test shortage failure

More fares misery for passengers – renationalise the railways

Schools: union action needed for Covid safety


Workplace news

Strike threat forces Tesco to improve pay offer

West Mids metalworkers strike over pay

Sheffield JustEat couriers escalate dispute as action spreads

Scunny scaffs enter twelfth week of strike action

South Yorkshire Stagecoach workers start indefinite strike

Invergordon posties mutiny


International news

Chile’s working class delivers a landslide vote against ultra-right Kast


Socialist history

New unionism – when mass workers’ action changed Britain


Local elections

TUSC appeals for widest possible anti-austerity socialist unity for May elections


Campaigns news

Coventry: Private profits from hospital parking charges

Fighting Fund – 162% of target, ÂŁ162,000 raised

Trinity Community Centre: Shameful eviction by Newham Council


Obituary

Obituary: Kate Jones – 1953-2021 A life of socialist struggle


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