Response by Alan Johnson to Lindsey German

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 her RESPECT running mate in the London Mayoral elections, George Galloway, also a leading figure in the StWC, famously saluted Saddam Hussein but attacks the IFTU Foreign Representative as ‘Iraq’s very own quisling’. Such attacks – wittingly or unwittingly – surely created a climate conducive to the intimidation and no platforming of the Iraqi unions at the European Social Forum