Sunday, January 28, 2024

Fanning the flames

The shameful decision of the Sunak government to send the RAF in to bomb Yemen in support of American offensive against the defiant Arab republic has done nothing for the merchant shipping the imperialists claim to be protecting. The Houthi government that controls most of the country have stepped up their blockade that’s closed the Red Sea to all Israeli shipping. And the US campaign, ludicrously called “Operation Prosperity Guardian” has now put the Red Sea off limits to British and American vessels as well.
    Though crawling to the Americans is second nature to Conservative and Labour leaders it’s a different ball game in Europe. Franco-German imperialism wants to sit this one out and the European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrel says that the bloc has no intention to send warships to the US naval mission in the Red Sea.
    “This bloc does not intend to escalate the conflict with the Yemeni army, we must do everything possible to ensure freedom of navigation, but at the same time avoid escalation,” Borrel said.
    The EU wants to distance itself from Anglo-American aggression to guarantee the continued supply of oil and gas from Qatar and the other oil kingdoms of the Persian Gulf which supply most of the continent with its energy needs these days. Qatar, which has long supported the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, has warned that the escalation of the crisis in the Red Sea could force shipping to take a much longer and more expensive diversion via South Africa that would seriously impact on LNG cargoes to Europe.
    It will also affect the delivery of supplies from the Far East to Europe. Tesla has announced that due to the auto parts flow disruption caused by transportation delays, it will stop its production in its Gigafactory in Berlin. Volvo, the now Chinese-owned car manufacturer. Has suspended production at its plant in Ghent, Belgium, due to delays in parts deliveries.
    The Houthi leaders have repeatedly said that their objective is to stop the slaughter in Gaza. Their blockade will end when the Israelis cease-fire. One call to Tel Aviv from the White House would do the trick, If the Biden administration had any sense it would do it now.

Preparing for Power?

The Tory government is on its last legs. Playing the race card over the refugee crisis has done nothing to boost their flagging fortunes. The pundits say Sunak will go for an autumn general election. The opinion polls put Labour streets ahead of the Tories. The media tell us Labour is preparing for power and Starmer is already writing the next King’s Speech. But what is Labour preparing us for?
    Absolutely nothing if anything the Labour leadership say is anything to go by these days. No national mass housing plans. No renationalisation of the railways or the energy and water utilities. No major increase in public investment in education or the health service, Doing whatever the Americans want – well that goes without saying.
    It difficult to see where Labour actually differs from the Conservatives on most issues – and this is what Starmer wants. Starmer’s spent most of his time knifing Corbyn in the back and driving out the former Labour leader’s supporters out of the party. The Labour leader clearly thinks this is the key to victory at the next general election.
    But a manifesto that consists entirely of vacuous platitudes will do nothing to mobilise working people to vote Labour – and if Labour can’t get their vote out then the Tories will win by default.

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