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28 February 2006
Supporting the next aggression.
It's nice to see Little Green Soccer Balls revert to type - I knew that yesterday's bout of sanity was too good to last. They are now urging people not to sign this petition, that was created to oppose the next bout of American aggression, the one involving Iran.

The excuse given is that the document carries the names of Howard Zinn, George Galloway, Tony Benn and Harold Pinter. Let's pause for a moment and consider each of these in turn:

Howard Zinn, historian. Probably the greatest living American historian. In A People's History of the USA he did for his country what E.P. Thompson did for mine with The Making of the English Working Class. He made ordinary people come alive again, so that their struggles are not forgotten.

George Galloway MP. What can I say? Thrown out of the Labour Party because he stood shoulder to shoulder with Iraq in her hour of need. He stood for the newly founded Respect Party and took the London seat of Tower Hamlets from the paws of a NewLab bimbo. He went to Washington and made a Senate committee look very foolish indeed. What can I say? The man's a gem.

Tony Benn, constitutionalist, author and former MP. The voice of the socialist left within the Labour Party for many years. His body is frail, but his mind is as sharp as ever.

Harold Pinter, playwright and Nobel Laureate. He helped transform the English stage from its hidebound past, and helped usher in its modern age. He will be remembered long after we are all dead.

Very good... Galloway is not as left-wing as people think, but what we have here is the voice of socialism, as it speaks through history, the stage, the printed page and the Commons. What these men have in common is consistency: socialists oppose intervention because they know that such interventions help prop up the odious system that all socialists seek to destroy. It is one thing to criticise George Galloway for his Popery, but not for his opposition to imperialism's aggressions.

These men have not changed. Their ideology is the ideology of socialism. The people who criticise them have no right to even call themselves socialists. They no longer stand inside the laager - if they ever did.



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