IF MARCHING CHANGED ANYTHING THEY'D ABOLISH IT
Back in 2003 the Stop the War Coalition had two tactics to prevent war in Iraq: marching from A to B and then going home, and marching from B to A and then going home. Neither of these cunning plans worked, but they seemed so good to Tony Benn, Lindsey German and their friends it is all the StWC’s done to stop the war. This may let them claim the moral high ground: but how many divisions can that muster? Any superiority this might give them has, anyway, been squandered by their adherence to tactics which have failed to achieve their stated objectives. The British state has faced StWC down once and knows it can do so again if, for example, it chooses to partner the US in an attack on Iran.
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
Thankfully not all protestors followed the supine policies of the StWC. School and college students walked out of their institutions, disrupted traffic, and showed a willingness to wrestle with the police. When demonstrators travelled to disrupt the Fairford airbase, there was no ‘right’ to demonstrate, only the illegal actions of the police. Clearly they recognised the threat posed by direct action to the Government’s war plans, even if the StWC could not.
NO WAR BUT THE CLASS WAR
Gordon Brown is committed to the neo-conservative project. Those who celebrated Tony Blair’s resignation ought to consider that he handed over at a time of his choice to the successor of his choice who shares his politics. Britain remains in the missionary position and will remain so regardless of whether Bush, McCain, Obama or Clinton’s on top. Given this, a militant anti-war movement is as necessary as ever. Sadly the StWC is as impotent now as five years ago.
TALKING A GOOD FIGHT
To cover up its flaccid nature, the StWC has as many excuses as an incapable lover. Their 2008 pamphlet begins with the following astonishing claim by Viscount Stansgate (Tony Benn): ‘The Stop the War movement is the most powerful and influential popular political movement of my lifetime and possibly of any period of our history’. If the last five years have been a victory, we would have hated to see a defeat! Such lies can also be found amongst the witterings of the SWP leadership, with John Rees informing us that ‘Tony Blair was Britain’s worst ever prime minister’ (has he never heard of Margaret Thatcher?) and that ‘we [the StWC] had driven him out of office’. This is nothing short of collective delusion and helps explain why the 1.5 million marchers in 2003 have been followed by ever decreasing turnouts. Working class people are used to being lied to by mainstream politicians – we do not need such lies from the self-proclaimed leaders of the anti-war movement as well.Given it has been such a flop when it matters, the Stop the War Coalition needs a good dose of Viagra. We are calling on demonstrators today to let the Stop the War Coalition leadership know their feeble approach satisfies only the state and the war-mongers.