Extract from Defence Questions in the Commons, 25th October Mr. Harry Barnes (North-East Derbyshire) (Lab): Would it not make more sense to have American troops in Iraq under British control rather than British troops under American control? Have we not made a better fist of things than the Americans, whose activities have been disastrous? Mr. Hoon: From time to time in Iraq, British troops have been under American control and American troops have been under British control. That is in the nature of coalition operations.
Lindsey German, Convenor of the Stop the War Coalition claims (Guardian October 25) that “Our position, which is the same as that adopted at the TUC conference, is that an early date be set for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq”. But that is not the whole story. The officers of the Stop the War Coalition released a statement condemning the IFTU as collaborators while ominously warning that “The StWC recognises once more the legitimacy of the struggle of Iraqis, by whatever means they find necessary’. The newspaper she supports, Socialist Worker, calls the IFTU a ‘fake union’. And … Continue reading Response by Alan Johnson to Lindsey German
The following information about the timetable and rules for the Iraqi elections of 2005 is taken from the website of the Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party.
Union fury at Stop the War coalition’s sectarianism Patrick Wintour, Kevin Maguire and Michael White Saturday October 23, 2004 The Guardian The public sector union Unison has threatened to sever its relations with the Stop the War coalition, whose internal strains have prompted one prominent leftwinger to resign. It accused the coalition yesterday of seeking to undermine its general secretary, Dave Prentis, and of abusing officials of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions because the federation wants the US-led forces to stay in place at least until the Iraqi elections in January. Earlier this week the coaltion founding member Mick … Continue reading Guardian report on strains within Stop the War Coalition
Mick Rix, trade unionist and former General Secretary of ASLEF, has resigned from the Stop the War Coalition steering committee. He says: “I do not agree with assertions made over the conduct of union delegations at the Labour party in the recent statement, and indeed the attacks made on Abdullah [Muhsin, the UK representative of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions]. I think in these difficult times, the recent outbursts that have been made, and the personalisation have vastly reduced our influence and support in the movement. I thought it would have been better and more democratic, before these statements … Continue reading Mick Rix resigns from Stop the War steering committee
Business Statement, House of Commons, Thursday 14th October Mr. Harry Barnes (North-East Derbyshire) (Lab): May I press for that debate on Iraq? There are people with different perspectives on the matter, ranging from my hon. Friend the Member for Blaenau Gwent (Llew Smith), who asked for the debate, to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House. There are some of us who believe in a third way – I thought that the Government might be interested in third ways. We say that the invasion itself was wrong and that some of its consequences were predictable, but that everything … Continue reading LFIQ President Harry Barnes MP proposes Third Way on Iraq
We appreciate Labour MP Geraldine Smith’s concerns (Mirror, 14th October) but suggest that she also addresses the immediate need to back brave Iraqis trying to build independent trade unions and women’s groups as well as new parties and newspapers in order to create a democratic Iraq. They need all our help. Gary Kent Director Labour Friends of Iraq
An early day motion (EDM) — number 1744 — introduced by Harry Barnes MP.
An extract from Jack Straw’s address to Labour Party Conference 30th September 2004. The full speech is on http://www.labour.org.uk And where, under Saddam, those who campaigned for free trade unions often ended in a mass grave with a bullet in their back, now there are free trade unionists. One of its members, Abdullah Muhsin of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions is here today. Hear what he wrote in the Conference Daily on Tuesday, and I quote: “You have two options before you this week. One would give hope to all those in Iraq who want to see free trade … Continue reading Jack Straw: “Now there are free trade unionists”