Stop war Stop war. Photo: Public Domain

It has to be a clear priority for the left to strengthen the anti-war movement

In official politics and the media, questioning the drive to war is off limits. All the main political parties are fully on board with Nato’s unprecedented escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. None of them challenge the growing hostility to China. There is cross-party agreement that ‘defence’ spending should rise.
There are almost no voices in the media prepared to even question the frightening militarisation of Britain’s foreign policy.

The British government has played a central role in all the major wars of the 21st century. Its support for these wars has made it one of the largest arms spenders in the world.

Britain’s approach to the Ukraine war is among the most belligerent in Nato. Behind the US it is the biggest supplier of arms to Ukraine. The Tories continue to push for more support for the war internationally and have helped scupper calls for peace and negotiations.

As even senior US officials have made clear, the war in Ukraine is a proxy war between the Nato powers and Russia. It is a bloodbath that has already led to hundreds of thousands of casualties. It is in the interests of all those in the region to end the war as soon as possible.

The Tory government has also championed the Aukus pact which provides nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, and entered a whole range of other deals aimed at greater confrontation with China. This can only bring the terrifying prospect of war with China closer.

It is a big mistake to believe that a government determined to attack working-class people at home is acting in the interests of working-class people abroad.

Just as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, UK foreign policy in Ukraine and over China is being driven by our rulers’ own economic and imperial interests. These interests are pushing us toward further, potentially catastrophic wars.

The movement needs to be opposing the priorities of a government that is refusing to rebuild literally crumbling schools, pay decent wages or fund the NHS while it is ramping up military spending.

It has to be a clear priority for the left to strengthen the anti-war movement in every locality, to take on anti-war arguments in every trade union and Labour Party branch and to ensure there is an anti-war message being delivered out on the streets everywhere.

  • Join the Stop the War TUC Fringe meeting, Wages not War: Why Peace is a Trade Union Issue, Monday 11 September, 6:30pm, at Holiday Inn Express, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AD
  • Join the Wages Not War Bloc at the People’s Assembly Protest the Tory Conference National Demonstration, Sunday 1 October, Assembly 12pm on Oxford Road, Manchester

From the September issue of the Counterfire freesheet

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