Thursday, 17 January 2013

Stop the war on Mali

The French government (with British logistical support – though the planes keep breaking down) has launched a military adventure in the former French colony of Mali. As with all the Western interventions of the last decade, this will destabilize the region and lead to greater conflict rather than less. It must be opposed in the strongest terms.

Mali has been subject to ‘Western help’ for the past 20 years and has imploded largely as a result of it. French intervention is to support a military government mired in corruption and every bit as brutal in its torture and murder as those being bombed. The rebels being bombed were given their battle training and weaponry in Libya by the very Western forces now seeking to crush them.

The British government is behaving shamefully in offering support in this dangerous adventure. There has been no public discussion or Parliamentary vote on British involvement. Instead, the British military are being dragged into an ethnic conflict that reaches back to the appalling mess made in Libya in 2011.

Equality of Sacrifice

This government is out to drown the poor. In a sinking ship, the bankers and the millionaires seek safety and comfort while pushing everyone else out of the life boats or down the ladders. This is the 21st century that the Tories and the Liberal Democrats want for us.

They will not punish the bankers or the tax evading companies that produced this economic mess because these are their chums. They are hell bent on using the mess they created as an excuse to roll back the role of the state to help the poorest and turn it into a mere clearing house for profitable government contracts in health, education, transport, even prisons.

By 2020, the TUC estimates that living standards will have been cut for the majority by a further 15%. This comes on top of the most consistent fall in living standards since the 1930s. From 2005, living standards have fallen by an average of 1% per year. Last night, the House of Commons voted for a Welfare Bill that will make 7 million working families worse off and increase the despair and desperation of the unemployed. The government ministers laughed and joked as they did this, including the Prime Minister, whose family wealth was secured in tax avoidance schemes.