Tony Blair’s drive towards war with Iraq is producing convulsions throughout the Labour movement. With the threatened resignation or sacking, which ever comes first, of Cabinet Minister Clare Short, after her attack on Blair’s policy on Iraq as “reckless”, the whole edifice of New Labour is threatening to come crashing down.

The dramatic resignation of Robin Cook, until yesterday the Leader of the House of Commons was a devastating blow to Blair and represents another nail in the coffin of Blairism. The prospect of war has shaken British politics to its foundations. There is no going back for Blair now. Sooner or later his days as Labour leader are numbered.

According to the Sunday Times, two British service men were sent home from the Middle East after refusing to fight in the war against Iraq. The two face a court martial and up to two years in jail for disobeying orders.

With the latest issue the Socialist Appeal journal in Britain has gone fortnightly. It will be published twice a month for the duration of the war and its immediate aftermath. This is an important step forward for the forces of Marxism in Britain. It is a clear indication that Marxist ideas are getting a wider echo in the British Labour movement. To mark this occasion, we are publishing the Editorial of the first fortnightly edition.

Now the battle for Baghdad is under way, capitalist commentators are going euphoric. The war against Saddam could possibly be over in days. The stock market is already rocketing up on the prospect. Capitalism is renewed, such is the current mantra.

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