Yesterday we received the following email:
"Subject: Appeal to vote the Labour Party minus Tonny Blair
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 20:55:52 +0100 (BST)
Please cast your Valuable vote in favour of the Labour Party for protecting the interests of the Workers, Women and Children. But defeat Mr. Tony Blair in his constituency, because he with his God Father Bush has killed hundreds of children in Iraq war, which was initiated by him and Bush by giving false information to world. If you support this idea of ours, please forward this e-mail to at least 10 friends of yours through e-mail within 4th May, 2005.
In solidarity with,
For and on behalf of the World Socialist Forum"
Judging it to be genuine (a not a clever attempt by the Labour Party to get doubters to vote Labour, in the full knowledge that Blair will be re-elected in his own constituency) we sent the reply below. We should add that the "World Socialist Forum" is not to be confused with the forum of the same name, sponsored by the World Socialist Movement of which the Socialist Party here in Britain is a part, and which can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WSM_Forum/
Thank you for this email, but we cannot agree with what you say. The decision to go to war in Iraq was not just that of Blair but of the whole Labour Cabinet and was endorsed by a majority of Labour MPs. In other words, the Labour Party as a party supported the war. This was normal in view of the fact that governments under capitalism have to run the capitalist system in the only way it can be: as a profit-making system in the interests of the tiny minority of profit-takers in the country concerned.
The Labour government, supported by a majority of its MPs, judged that the Saddam regime was such a threat to the security of oil supplies from the region for western capitalism that participation in the US attack on Iraq was justified. In similar circumstances, they would do it again as they have in the past (for example, the colonial war in Malaya in the 1940s, the Korean War).
In any event, changing leaders changes nothing. In fact, changing governments changes nothing. In the unlikely event of Blair losing in his own constituency, another Labour Leader would emerge who would do the behave in the same way, because obliged to by the nature of being a government within capitalism. It's not bad leaders that are the problem, but a "bad" social and economic system. Wars are built-in to capitalism because capitalism involves competition and conflicts of interest between rival groups of capitalists, backed by governments, over sources of raw materials, trade routes, markets and innvestment outlets and strategic points and areas to protect these. Normally, these are settled by diplomatic methods (in which armed might, ie the threat of force, is a factor, which explains why the waste of resources on weapons of destruction and preparations for war is also built-into capitalism), but, when a particular State feels that the "vital interest" of its capitalists are at stake (as the Bush administration judged in Iraq) it goes to war. This means that, as long as capitalism lasts, there will be the continual threat of a war breaking out somewhere and a continuous waste of resources on arms.
World socialism, where all the resources of the Earth, natural and industrial, would have become the common heritage of all Humanity, is, quite literally, the only way to have a world without wars, the threat of war, and preparations for war. In such a world the resources now wasted in this way could be used to contribute to the satisfaction of people's needs, so that no man, woman or child in any part of the world goes without proper food, clothing, shelter, education or health care.