The British TUC (Trades Union Congress) Congress opens up today. NUJ General Secretary and TUC  General Council member Jeremy Dear spoke to Socialist Appeal about the tasks and perspectives for the trade union movement

A general perspectives document on the economic, social, political and trade union position in Britain, produced at the beginning of 2003 by the Socialist Appeal Editorial Board.

In the nine months since the publication of our perspectives' document, The New Situation in Britain, events internationally and here in Britain have continued to accelerate.  The consequences of the imperialist adventure in Iraq have had an even greater impact in Britain than in the US. Here the furore over the death of weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly and the Hutton inquiry represent the most important crisis faced by Blair to date. It is clear that the new situation in Britain is part and parcel of a new, profoundly unstable and tumultuous period in world history.

In Part one of his article Phil Mitchinson looked at the world situation and how this affects Britain. In this second part he looks at the devastation of British manufacturing over a period of decades as shown by the investment and output figures he provides. He goes on to chart the degeneration of the British ruling class, from its far-sighted predecessors to the current degenerates who can't see past their bank balances. This reflects itself in the present mess the Tory party finds itself in.

George Galloway, the Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin, was yesterday expelled from the Labour Party by the three-member National Constitutional Committee, which is in reality a kangaroo court designed to simply rubber stamp whatever Blair wants. George Galloway took a clear stand against the war in Iraq. This is the reason why he was expelled. They had tried to remove him on the basis of falsified documents “found in Iraq”. As they were not able to remove him with these, they decided another road.

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