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Leeds demonstration on Lebanon and Palestine - photos

dh | 30.07.2006 00:06 | Lebanon War 2006 | Anti-militarism | Sheffield | World

What is going on here. A big demonstration took place in Leeds today against what's going down, and sideliners, West Yorkshire 911 Truth Campaign have to come here to report it. Anyway it was great. Highly energised and full of righteously angry people from all sections of the community demanding justice

Photos from the demo taken by West Yorkshire 9/11 Truth supporter here

See link here

Hopefully many of those attending enjoyed the Twenty Deception notes, of which hundreds were given away
Many kids clamoured for them

The mayhem-mongering of the elites is sinking to new depths

Syria and Iran are the ultimate targets that Israel's dirty war is aimed at creating - out of this comes radioactive pollution inevitably

Help expose the false government-sponsored terror basis that all that is happening today is propelled by. Time is short

- e-mail:


Hide the following 20 comments

Wrong email

30.07.2006 00:40

Try here

mail e-mail:

These people might have some credibility

30.07.2006 01:22

if they could get their email addresses right at least on their second attempt
Oh well - third attempt - I'm pretty damn sure of this

mail e-mail:

Please Take Us Seriously and Come & Join Us!

30.07.2006 06:12

Thanks for publishing this without the implication that people working to expose the truth about 9/11 (and other false "terrorist" operations) are a load of nutters!

I attended the demonstration in Leeds yesterday (as I've attended many other such demonstrations, been on marches with "Stop The War" in London, etc) primarily because I am horrified and appalled by the invasion of Iraq, the treatment of the Palestinians and now this terrible massacre that is going on in The Lebanon.

There should have been thousands of people there yesterday - people should be en masse, demanding that we put an end to this slaughter and brutality. But they are not, are they? Most of them don't even seem to notice what is going on, and when you point it out to them, don't seem that interested.

From 9/11 itself, it seemed clear to me that the three towers were demolished with explosives, so there was something very "odd" going on - so I was sort of in "The Truth Movement" before I even knew there was one! Now I have found there are many others like me and we are all joining together. I feel that as the truth about this event (and others) gets out more and more of those people who don't seem to bother much about what is going on in Iraq, Palestine and now The Lebanon, will begin to "Wake Up" and notice when they realise they watched the twin towers were demolished with explosives and that they have watched this over and over again on the News without taking in what was really going on!

Then they might begin to notice other things "going on" they may even begin to start to care about what is going on and see those babies who are getting murdered in Lebanon as their own babies and want to take action to put a stop to it. I will still take part in demonstration to "Stop The War" but I am a bit fed up with just "demonstrating" now - I want to see things change radically for the better! Also, before too long the way things are going, it will be a "crime" to "demonstrate!" We who demonstrated yesterday will probably be seen as "supporting terrorists" and arrested! Don't laugh at this - Look at Lindis Percey and Helen John before you laugh! Quite what is their "crime"? The wish to preserve human life on this planet?!

Jane Pickup
mail e-mail:

Don't hijack protests with your conspiracy bollocks.

31.07.2006 18:19

I think it's disgusting that instead of reporting on the demonstration you hi-jack it by linking it to your conspiracy bollocks. Did Israel need the US to commit a huge, impossibly complex conspiracy to blow up buildings in New York to justify its invasion of Lebanon in 1979? No. It didn’t need it this time either did it?

Let me tell you a secret, capitalism is an open conspiracy, I have to go to work tomorrow or I can't pay my mortgage. That is the fundamental limit on my freedom. You won't find any conspiraloons talking about that. Now fuck off to a star trek convention and leave the politics to grown ups.


Please don't be so abusive

31.07.2006 20:07

I agree that capitalism is an economic system and not a conspiracy, however there is not exactly a shortage of evidence that the rulling class and often conspire to get richer, insider trading for example...

Nobody else has posted a report from the demo in Leeds last weekend and all you can do is have a pop at those who do, this isn't very positive is it?

There is a direct relationship between 9/11 and the oil wars in the middle east -- it's still being used to justify them.

I guess you haven't taken any time to look at some of the sites and films that are questioning the official story, I think if you did you wouldn't be responding in the way you are.

Perhaps the best first films to watch is 911 Revisited, Sheffield Indymedia screened it last night:

You can watch it online, or drop Sheffield IMC a line if you would like a DVD -- it's not mad, it's an eye opener...

I used to write off all those questioning the official story as conspiracy theory nonsense till I heard about Building 7 and started to look int what happened with this building -- it's structural failure can only be explained by controlled demolition, take a look at the clips on this site and read what it has to say:

This building was not hit by a plane... What do you think happened here?


Thanks anti-capitalist

01.08.2006 00:06

The Israeli nazi Zionist front are propagating a war as an attack drone for the new world order's ambition of destroyindg Syria and Iran in their multiple field operations as promised in the PNAC document
While there might be temporary cessations in the targetted mass murder of civilians in Lebanon and Gaza and the destruction of the infrastructure, this horror is intended and arranged to go on into Syria and Iran perhaps with nuclear attacks as propogated in US military standing orders, or with bunker busters aimed at Iran's nuclear facilities, leading to a radioactive plume extending over south-east Asia and beyond
Rather than ratting at 'conspiracy theorists' people ought to get a grip on how serious this is
This is the start of the endgame
The depopulation as demanded in the 70's WHO documents and Carters Global 2000,
This is now the time, rather than rattling the conspiracy advocates, people with an understanding ought to be out there advocating complete withdrawal of support from the lying murderous fiends in control. These really are fucking satanists however you interpret that. They feed off the death and mayhem
Blair, Bono and Murdoch were around in San Francisco at the time of the Moloch worshipping Bohemian Groves Cremation of Care movers and shakers human sacrifice ceremony. This stuff is real Did they take part?
This is what the elite who staged 911, Bali,Madrid,7/7 are about
Get a real understanding of the world and forget the 19thC ideologies

mail e-mail:

Conspiracy theories are right wing.

01.08.2006 11:26

Anti-capitalist" (heavy irony on the name) said:
"I agree that capitalism is an economic system and not a conspiracy, however there is not exactly a shortage of evidence that the rulling class and often conspire to get richer, insider trading for example... "

This is a great example of why conspiracy theories are ultimately right wing populism. It's never an analysis of how power works systemically. It's always some group who are corrupting the system, which would be ok otherwise. This group could be neo-cons, Lizards, Jews... This is why all of this conspiraloon rubbish ends up with right wing sites like that Alex Jones.

This has been a danger in soft anti-capitalist argument for ages. The idea that capitalism is what multi-national corporations do or bankers. This can lead to seeing the problem as being the G8 meeting conspiring to carve up the world but of course even though they meet if they didn't we would still have capitalism. Capitalists don't have to conspire to be capitalists they and we act in the interests of capital as though it were a natural thing.

‘Capital’ is not something ‘out there’, something that we can fight against as if it were external to us and part of someone or something else—even if we sometimes talk about it as if it is. ‘Capital’ is not a person or group of people, nor an organisation or group of organisations. It’s not the sum total of ‘capitalists’ or ‘capitalist enterprises’. Capital is a social relation mediated through commodities. Capital is the way we live, the way we reproduce ourselves and our world—the entire organisation of the ‘present state of things’ as they are today.

So the solution isn't to reveal some hidden truth to the ignorant masses. Most people know the world is fucked up but don't know how to act to sort it out. That is the real task and it is made much harder by having real politics mixed up with people whose politics are like the plot of a bad B movie. The reason Hollywood loves conspiracy plots so much is that they are neat and involve the slow unfolding of a preordained story. Real life isn’t like that. It’s complicated and is contingent.

You can't just watch a film and then think you know. I bet you believed Oliver Stones JFK film as well but the arguments on that have been completely demolished. EG. The magic bullet theory is based on the wrong seating layout for Kennedy's car.

I have read "9/11 truth" sites and sites that counter those arguments but they are beside the point. The whole idea is so ludicrous no one can take it seriously. For a start a conspiracy of that size just couldn't be kept secret, forever. It's an impossible gamble and there's no real need for the proposed conspirators to do it. It's just not the way power works.

Not only are these conspiracy theories a huge diversion but they lead people into right wing patterns of thought as well as leading them to right wing web sites. We need a concerted campaign to isolate these ideas from our movements.

Free Associator

Many conspiracy theorists are right wing

01.08.2006 12:04

Sure, many conspiracy theorists are right wing, Alex Jones is a good example of a right-wing survivalist nutter...


The official conspiracy theory about 9/11 doesn't hold water. At all.

The left has, almost without exception, gone along with the official conspiracy theory and this is very unfortunate as it has left the issue available for the far right to exploit.

There are some on the left however questioning the official story, WSWS for example, -- they seem to have a "Bush let it happen on purpose" take on it, which is better than all other far left groups...

Michel Chossudovsky is probably the best known lefty questioning the official story:

Portland Indymedia has done a good job:

And their comment from 2004 is still relevent:

"Capital is a social relation mediated through commodities. Capital is the way we live, the way we reproduce ourselves and our world—the entire organisation of the ‘present state of things’ as they are today."

I agree.

JFK - I don't know what happened to him, I'm not really interested, the assinations of King and Malcom X seems far more relevent but again this isn't something I have studied...

"For a start a conspiracy of that size just couldn't be kept secret, forever."

Well it's not being kept secret very well is it... All the relatives are gaged by buying them off with compensation linked to waivers, gagging orders are used, what about Sibel Edmunds -- fired from her job as a contract FBI translator and then given more government gag order thany anyone in history.

But this isn't the key thing for me. What is key is the physics of the structural failure of the 3 sky scrapers -- no explaination other than controlled demolition fits. All 3 towers fell at close to free-fall speed, this is not something that is ever caused by fire. The official story is a lie.

And if the official story about the 3 buildings is a lie then you have to start to question a lot of other things...

"The whole idea is so ludicrous no one can take it seriously."

This isn't true, lots of Sheffield activists attended the recent 5 nights of films:

And nobody turned up to argue that the official story is true, in fact the only people in Sheffield who have been making the arguments that you are making have been supporters of the SWP.


But if it stops the next war...

01.08.2006 12:27

"the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in men's better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange"

The truth about 9/11 coming out isn't going to end capitalism.

It might prevent the USA from nuking Iran.

war on terra

You miss the point.

01.08.2006 13:15

"Anti-capitalist" you argue that no-one on the left agrees with the 9/11 conspiracy bollocks except the couple of you quote but then later say that in fact the SWP are the only ones that doesn't agree with the 9/11 conspiracy theories. This may seem contradictory but is exemplary of populist thinking. The people are mindless drones that can't see such an obvious conspiracy but at the same time everybody actually thinks like you because it's common sense.

You claim that the reason for your beliefs is your grasp on science, in fact that proof is based on a shoddy inaccurate view of how science functions and the reasoning processes that go into it. The Towers didn't fall at free fall. Here's a site that counters those arguments:
But this site is not the reason I'm so against your conspiracy theories.

You use the same techniques that tobacco companies use to still claim there's no link between smoking and cancer. It's always possible to raise doubt close up, that's how the scientific method works it's only when you step back and look at it more widely you can see how things fit together and assess the evidence. It's when you step back that the ludicrousness of your argument reveals itself.

However the real point is you're overall view of politics follows the right wing populist pattern that there's a conspirator fucking things up. When in fact the problem is systemic and so much more difficult to solve. In fact it's quite scary to think that there isn't actually anyone in control, that we fuck ourselves up and will have to sort it out ourselves and not just replace an evil conspiratorial elite with a nice, new elite who will do things right.

I'm not SWP I've been a militant in the anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement for over 20 years.


You are listening?

01.08.2006 13:42

""Anti-capitalist" you argue that no-one on the left agrees with the 9/11 conspiracy bollocks except the couple of you quote"

OK, perhaps this need more qualification: none of the organised left or anarchist groups appears to be seriously considering the evidence pointing to 9/11 being an inside job. Perhaps there are some I have missed, I'd be interested if there are, I haven't come across them.

"but then later say that in fact the SWP are the only ones that doesn't agree with the 9/11 conspiracy theories"

Again, to qualify this, thousands of flyers were given out in Sheffield for the "Summer of Truth" screenings, at lots of different events and demos in the city and the only people upset by it were supporters of the SWP.

The politics of those at the screening was diverse, anti-capitalist activists from the, now-defunct, Matilda collective, Morning Star supporters, Left Communists, Anarchists and others, and people who are not activists who don't fit in with any of these descriptions.

"The people are mindless drones that can't see such an obvious conspiracy"

This is crap and it's clearly not something that I said -- you made this up. I could make up some daft quotes from you but I don't think it would help us get anywhere...

"The Towers didn't fall at free fall."

Well, I didn't say that did I?

I said: "All 3 towers fell at close to free-fall speed".

I failed to find any data on the timing of the fall of the 3 towers on the site you referenced -- did I miss it? Can you point me to it?

This site has timings for the fall of WTC7:

And analysis of the time for the collapse of the twin towers is here:

Most the rest of your reply doesn't really deserve a response, but I agree that we need to sort out this shit ourselves and no elite is going to do it for us.

PS I assume you are in Leeds, I might know you, if you were in Sheffield I probably would, I've also been around for a while...


I rest my case.

01.08.2006 13:46

dh wrote:

"This is the start of the endgame
The depopulation as demanded in the 70's WHO documents and Carters Global 2000,
This is now the time, rather than rattling the conspiracy advocates, people with an understanding ought to be out there advocating complete withdrawal of support from the lying murderous fiends in control. These really are fucking satanists however you interpret that. They feed off the death and mayhem
Blair, Bono and Murdoch were around in San Francisco at the time of the Moloch worshipping Bohemian Groves Cremation of Care movers and shakers human sacrifice ceremony. This stuff is real Did they take part?
This is what the elite who staged 911, Bali,Madrid,7/7 are about
Get a real understanding of the world and forget the 19thC ideologies"

For fucks sake. So called "anti-capitalist" you let this go without comment. Do you believe this too. A slippery slope from your indepth analysis of the structural integrity of steel under heat to the rise of the anti-christ isn't it.

Forget your 2000 year old theologies


Look the point is.

01.08.2006 14:14

I'm not interested in an argument over the structural integrity of Steel under heat. I'm sure you can find some disagreement over this among people who study it. Just as there are some who dispute gobal warming or who believe that smoking and cancer aren't causally linked. The point is when you step away from that and see that the rest of the worlds climate change scientists believe something else and you understand the political logic and interests behind the disputes then you can make a proper decision. What's interesting about the climate change dissenters is the political logic that lies behind it that can cause such huge blind spots.

The important thing about conspircay theories is the political logic that lies behind it. I'm dismayed that people fall into conspiracy logic because it shows the influence of right wing ideas on our movements.

Of course I think it's ludicrous so aren't inclined to go finding evidence for something I think is pointless. Unfortuntely that's the problem with arguing with someone, you get drawn onto their territory. If you argue with a nazi you end up arguing on the evidence on whether black peoples skulls are thicker than whites. When what you want to talk about is how race is a political category and not a biological one.

Anyway that website does have some footage that times the collapse. I for one can't be bothered to find it. All the best. I'm off to the real world for a while.

Case unrested.

If this is pointless...?

01.08.2006 15:19

"I'm not interested in an argument over the structural integrity of Steel under heat."

I'm not really either, but you are the one who brought this issue up -- I was simply pointing out that the rate of the collapse of the 3 skyscrapers is only consistent with controlled demolition, fire does not produce a structural faliure of this manner.

"I'm dismayed that people fall into conspiracy logic because it shows the influence of right wing ideas on our movements."

You have fallen for the official conspiracy theory, so you are clearly influenced by right wing ideas since the official story was produced by right wingers in the US...

"I think it's ludicrous so aren't inclined to go finding evidence for something I think is pointless"

If this is all pointless what are you doing here arguing about it?


Tower free fall debunked

01.08.2006 15:21

here's a de-bunking of World trade tower 7's controlled explosion conspiracy theory:

Of course you will have read these before seeing as you campaign around this. I'm sure you 've weighed up these arguments carefully.

Will you stop picking at it.

Not convincing

01.08.2006 15:50

Minimum time for the collapse, if every floor collapsed like dominos.
Minimum time for the collapse, if every floor collapsed like dominos.

So, the page you reference has this conclusion:

"So Grimmer thinks a 12 second time might be more reasonable, in the case he describes? Yet we (and others) suggest a collapse time of 15 seconds or more is more accurate, significantly longer still."

OK, for the sake of argument let's say that it was the higest time, 15 seconds, even though this is longer that the official report...

Page 305 of the 9/11 Commission Report states, "At 9:58:59, the South Tower collapsed in ten seconds, .... The building collapsed into itself, causing a ferocious windstorm and creating a massive debris cloud."

15 secs still doesn't work out-- see the diagram above taken from the site.

If we just take the 80 or so floors from the lowest impact to the ground you have 0.1875 seconds for the structural failure of each floor if you assume that the collapse between each floor takes no time!

Or put it another way, dropping something from 80 floors up would have taken about 8 seconds (in a vaccum) to hit the ground so this leaves at most 6 seconds for all the floors to fail, 0.075 seconds for each floor structure and the corresponding steel columns to fail. This is simply not credible.

As for building 7 the site you referenced doesn't seem to have any analysis of the collapse time. Can you point it out if it does?

More on this:


Look at the background evidence

01.08.2006 21:45

"Blair, Bono and Murdoch were around in San Francisco at the time of the Moloch worshipping Bohemian Groves Cremation of Care movers and shakers human sacrifice ceremony. This stuff is real Did they take part? " - my quote

Personally I don't care for some of the political views of Alex Jones, but to make him out to be some kind of rightwing nut is just part of the ideological trap based on an old paradigmatic view of the world

Let's just take this one view of the world of Bohemian Grove as a for instance, in the first place exposed by Jones with the cooperation of Jon Ronson and Channel 4
Let's see - once a year various main people - the Bushes always, Kissinger always,Greenspan, Karl Rove, Rockefeller, major politicians from around the world, owners of media, Ronald Reagan, major industrialists, the formulators of the Manhatten project, Arnold Schwarzenneger, as many as you want to mention- get together for a two week jamboree at the Bohemian Club in the latter part of July
All well documented and a matter of public record

They have a lot of fun pissing against the Redwoods, getting pissed , importing rentboys out of SF for the delectation of the participants, - a women's lodge has recently been introduced - Reagan attended when just a B-Movie actor - later President. Major political networking and arrangements come out of this

The culmination of the event , just in time for Tony's appearance in SF, is the Cremation of Care ceremony where the great and powerful dress in monks robes and cowls and witness the mock? ritual sacrifice of a child on the shores of the lake under a 40 foot statue of an owl. To the soundtrack of satanic kind of laughter and replete with screams The 'body' is then burnt on a raft and sent drifting across the lake
The alleged aim is to rid the great and the good of the pressures of 'care' that impinges on them the rest of the year, including of course the use of phosphorus weapons and gas against the children of the Lebanon

For godssake get a grip of what's going on here
I'm not associated with anticapitalist here and dont have any wish to undermine his message with weird stuff - his stuff stands alone as entirely valid - but all the above is true - it happens and has just happened

You folks shouldn't be entrapped by a notion of intrisicity of systems of organisations and interests

This world is a manipulation of process and reality root and branch

Get the fucking point


An Equation For You

02.08.2006 00:15

While all this conspiracy theory and 9/11 bullshit may be highly boring and irrelevant for some of you, I would just like to point out:

9/11 + War On Terror = War In Middle East + Decimation Of Our Civil Liberties

If you're not bothered by any of this - then enjoy the 'real' world while you can!


Bohemian Grove

02.08.2006 00:24

Crossing the Russian River
Crossing the Russian River

I know little about what happens at Bohemian Grove but the report of protests there did catch my eye:

Anti War and Immigrant Rights Activists Confront the Power Elite at Bohemian Grove

by Bill Hackwell ( hckwll [at] )

Sunday Jul 23rd, 2006 6:14 PM

Monte Rio California on Saturday was the spot for an anti war pro worker demonstration against the annual Bohemian Grove party for the super rich.

Every July on a secured 2700-acre compound along the Russian River the richest of the rich converge to network with other privileged ruling class males for 2 weeks. The Bohemian Grove founded in the late 1800’s is nestled in one of the largest stands of old growth redwoods in Northern California and acts as a playground for these policy makers as far away as possible from the workers and poor who have created all of the wealth that they enjoy. Ex presidents, military leaders, corporate heads from all the major media conglomerates, arms manufacturers etc. are members. Haliburton, Becthel and Weyerhauser officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, get to marvel at trees over 1500 years old in the grove while sharing notes on their neo liberal policies that has laid waste to much of the world’s environment.

While this pro imperialist anti worker gathering was taking place this weekend hundreds of protestors converged at the gates of Bohemian Grove to draw attention to the expanding war and occupation against the people of the Middle East and the war here at home. Despite temperatures that were well over 100 degrees demonstrators came from all over Northern California. Organized by the Bohemian Grove Action Network and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition the demonstration was a way for organizations to network for future actions. A.N.S.W.E.R filled a bus from San Francisco and another bus came from Garberville organized by Veterans for Peace.

An opening rally featured the Native Resistance Drums and Cora Lee Simmons from the Round Valley Indians for Justice. Mary Moore from the Bohemian Grove Action Network welcomed the protestors. The event was chaired by Miguel Molina and Kris Welsh from KPFA radio. Other Speakers included Calvin Gipson from Glide Memorial and A.N.S.W.E.R., Richard Becker the West Coast Co coordinator of A.N.S.W.E.R. and Casimiro Alvarez the regional director of the United Farm Workers. Alvarez called on the need for the progressive movement to be unified in their different struggles. The UFW has launched a boycott of Charles Krug and Mondavi wines. Mondavi recently fired all of its long-term workers to replace them with sub-contracted labor to avoid paying benefits.

The mile long march into the grove was stopped by layers of California Highway Patrol officers just before the gates to Bohemian Grove but that did not prevent the strength of the demonstration from being heard inside. Before the protest returned to the rally site participants agreed that the next step in confronting the war makers was August 12 in San Francisco, Washington and Los Angeles

- Homepage:

Blair, Murdoch and the oligarchy

02.08.2006 10:28

As Tony Blair once again lines up behind another US-backed war in the Middle East, in defiance of public opinion, millions might ask just whom Britain’s prime minister really represents. The answer was made clear this week, and not only by his joint appearance with US President George W. Bush.

Blair’s July 28 White House press conference took on a major significance due to events in Lebanon. But his flight to America was in fact planned months ago so that he could address the annual gathering of the executives and journalists of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Even given the political imperative of solidarising himself with Bush, Blair spent just a few hours at the White House before flying to California to begin five days of engagements addressing movers and shakers in the business world, of which Murdoch’s gathering was the centrepiece.

Media reports of the News Corp. event would lend the impression that Blair was the star of the show. But that is in no small part due to the veil of secrecy drawn over the gathering in an attempt to spare the political blushes of others seeking to curry favour with the media magnate.

The panel of leading politicians assembled by Murdoch provides an insight into the domination of a global financial oligarchy over world affairs. Indeed, the title of U2 singer Bono’s talk on his campaign against poverty and AIDS—“The Power of One”—is a more fitting description of the gathering in California.

Joining Blair at the exclusive Pebble Beach resort were former President Bill Clinton and his wife and potential Democrat presidential candidate Hillary; former US Vice President Al Gore; the current frontrunner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Senator John McCain; and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In addition to the stellar Republican-Democrat line-up, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres scheduled time out from waging war against Lebanon to make a speech on “Islam and the West.”

Blair stands out from the crowd only in the extent of his reliance on the backing of Murdoch’s media empire. He even used his speech on “leadership in the modern world” as part of his ongoing efforts to defend himself from criticism over his support for Washington and Tel Aviv.

Nevertheless, this does not alter the fact that all those in attendance were hawking themselves to the man who is undoubtedly the world’s highest bidder.

As Blair departed from Britain, there were reports that Murdoch might offer him a position in News Corp. after he leaves office. If so he would join former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Marie Aznar, another staunch supporter of the US-led war in Iraq. For his part, Bill Clinton—who closed the event—also has direct ties to Murdoch. News Corp. Executive Vice President Gary Ginsberg was a lawyer in the Clinton White House, and last month Murdoch hosted a New York fundraiser for Hillary.

Even if Blair does not take up a job offer, he remains Murdoch’s creature.

Consider the implications of his devoting himself to the Pebble Beach jamboree at a time when the world is facing such a major political crisis. Blair can hardly be bothered to maintain the pretence that he functions as the political representative of the British people. As far as his policy goes, it is stamped “Made in America” and copyrighted by News Corp.

Blair considers Murdoch as his most important and strategic backer, someone whose publications such as the Sun make him a political kingmaker. This view is shared by Murdoch.

In a recent candid hour-long interview on US public television, Murdoch boasted of his ability to set the political agenda of the Blair government. “Right now we are giving them a bad time,” he said. “We’ve supported him, but we fought him pretty hard on Europe. We said, stay away from there. He’s come around.” His newspapers had also set the government’s agenda regarding “the breakdown of law and order in Britain and the thuggishness and the social behaviour that has come about through mistaken changes in the law.”

When asked whether he would transfer his allegiances to Chancellor Gordon Brown, Blair’s likely successor, or switch to supporting the Conservatives, Murdoch replied, “I would like to see, well before the next election, a match up between Brown and the new Conservative leadership and just see how they look.”

Blair’s relationship with Murdoch is only the most high-profile of his dealings with big business. There is a question here of immediate self-interest. Not a few commentators have pointed out that when Blair leaves office, he will be able to make millions from the lecture circuit in the US. His audience will be fabulously rich and overwhelmingly right-wing. His visit to California will, at least in part, have been aimed at consolidating the network of contacts required to launch such a post-governmental career.

However, it is not just Blair that is politically on sale. He went to California as the representative of Labour PLC—a party that functions as an instrument of a global financial oligarchy at whose behest it slashes public expenditure, cuts corporate taxes, privatises public utilities and conducts an aggressive militarist foreign policy.

Blair’s broader itinerary in California is revealing. Prior to his Pebble Beach engagement, he was the guest of George Shultz, secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan and a leading member of the so-called “Vulcans”—key neo-con policy advisers to Bush including Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz. Shultz is also on the board of the US engineering giant Bechtel, whose company is bidding to build facilities for the 2012 London Olympics in London.

Blair also met with numerous other CEOs, including John Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco Systems, which is seeking government contracts in IT that include the new biometric identity card scheme.

The prime minister’s speech to the News Corp. executives, full as it was with his usual hyperbole and grandiose moralising, was also politically instructive.

Explaining why he had opposed an immediate ceasefire in the Lebanon, he said that it was necessary to “deal with the underlying causes of confrontation,” whose roots “reach right down into a more basic struggle: between those who want to embrace and those who resist the modern world.”

Blair presented this as a struggle between Islamic fundamentalism and Western democratic values, but for him the “modern world” more correctly means the right of global corporations to plunder the oil reserves of the Middle East.

Recognising the imperatives of globalisation must also dictate politics in the advanced capitalist countries, he stressed. Blair repeated his claim that there is no longer any significance in the traditional division between left and right. He added that the fundamental fault line in politics was now “open versus closed.”

“The response to globalisation can be free trade, open markets, investment in the means of competition: education, science, technology. Or it can be protectionism, tariffs, tight labour market regulation, resistance to foreign takeovers,” Blair said. “The traditional European welfare state and social model is hopelessly inadequate to meet the challenge of the modern competitive global market,” and also that “traditional civil liberty arguments are not so much wrong, as just made for another age.”

“The most misunderstood speech I ever made was my Party Conference speech of 1999 about ‘the forces of conservatism,’ ” he continued. “This was taken as an assault on Conservatives. Actually it was an assault on small ‘c’ conservatism, resistance to change, which can be every bit as much from the left as from the right.”

Blair’s bracketing of Islamic terrorism alongside those opposed to the destruction of the welfare state and concerned with the preservation of democratic rights is truly chilling.

Let it not be forgotten that on the eve of his remarks, Israel’s military machine—with the backing of US and Britain—was reducing Qana to rubble in the name of the “war against terror.” For weeks, Blair has opposed all calls for a ceasefire and demonstrated his supreme indifference to the terrible suffering of the Lebanese people. He continues to do so, knowing that this will have earned him kudos from both Murdoch and Bush.

But Blair’s attitude to Lebanon is only the most debased aspect of a political agenda founded on contempt for the democratic and social aspirations of working people the world over and a determination that nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the interests of the oligarchy. That is what has earned Blair a favoured place at Murdoch’s table.

Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland
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