Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/295/13969
Money for services, Not for War!
BUSH AND BLAIR are war criminals for using cluster bombs against the innocent people of Iraq. But they are also guilty of attacks upon the people of their own countries.
Ken Smith, Socialist Party representative on the Stop The War Coalition
The invasion of Iraq will cost well over $100 billion. Bush, Blair and Brown can find money for this 'priority' at the drop of a Stetson hat.
And while big multinationals queue up to gain their spoils of war, in the US and Britain it's working people who will pay the price through cuts in public services and tax increases.
So far, this imperial re-conquest of Iraq has seen 800 cruise missiles launched at $1 million a time and 80,000 smart bombs dropped - ranging in cost from £40,000 to nearly £200,000 a time.
In one night, £3 billion worth of missiles and bombs were dropped, killing and maiming innocent Iraqis.
That's equivalent to Britain's contribution to the conflict (so far). But that money could provide 30,000 extra staff nurses for five years or provide five years' wages for 25,000 new teachers.
Brown is now increasing tax by 1% through his 'stealth' rise in National Insurance contributions.
Latest projections for the British economy suggest that Brown will face at least a £20 billion deficit by 2005, requiring further tax increases of 4%-5% - the equivalent of £600 a year robbed from families on £20,000 a year.
Alternatively, it means huge cuts in already ailing public services.
And that's how it looks before the full costs of this war are known. How much will we be expected to pay for this imperialist crusade?
The Socialist Party says not a penny more should be taken from working people.
We do not trust the Blair government with our pensions, our health, education, pay and workplace rights at home so why should we let them get away with raising taxes to pay for their wars of conquest?
We want regime change in Britain. But in getting rid of the hated Blair regime we don't want to see the return of the Tories - as unlikely as that seems - or even Brown or another New Labour minister.
All of them supported the war and are in favour of attacking public services and workers' conditions to pay for it.
We want to see a new mass working-class alternative built that is anti-Blair, anti-war and anti-capitalist - a new mass party that will genuinely represent working people's interests and support workers' struggles.
In The Socialist 12 April 2003: