Return to Europe menu
London bombs – Blair steps forward with shoot to kill

John McAnulty

25th July 2005

All other things being equal, Tony Blair should be history by now. Not only have there been absolutely predictable attacks on London and major civilian casualties, but it turns out that one section of the British intelligence service had just finished a self-satisfied evaluation, flying in the face of common sense, indicating that there was no significant threat to Britain.

Even more bizarrely, when another section of the intelligence community produces a realistic assessment, saying that there is a threat and that it is linked to British aggression in Iraq, the Government denounces its own servants. There is no link to Iraq, proclaims Blair. The bombers attack because ‘they oppose our way of life’. This nonsense is not challenged by the other political parties or by the media, even though a simple search through the web will show numerous statements from Bin Laden and his supporters indicating that European states that refrain from supporting the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be attacked.

It the absence of reason mawkish nostalgia is trotted out – a ‘we are not afraid’ website, Dunkirk, the Blitz. Above all we are fed a diet of the wonderful British Bobby, scoring wonderful intelligence successes (mainly due to the fact that the religious zealots littered the scene with their own bodies and their personal details).

All this is blown out of the water by the execution of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes by the state forces. In the same incident the driver of the tube train came close to meeting the same fate when he ran away from the gunmen.

After a brief attempt at cover up the state came clean. Yes, there is a shoot to kill policy; yes, the police and SAS can kill with impunity; yes, the procedures are those instituted following training by Israeli agents, the most reactionary exponents of state terror on the planet.

By admitting in days what in three decades and endless official cover-ups the British would never admit in Ireland the British state is making a massive step forward. It is legitimising the police state and challenging the opposition to protest. It is no accident that, rather than retreating, the police now demand the right to intern suspects for four months. In other words they demand a torturer’s charter – with months for the marks of torture to heal selected British prisons can be ‘Gitmoized’ to institute the regime of Guantanamo Bay and the prisons of Iraq and Afghanistan.

So what should be a disaster for Blair becomes an opportunity to increase state repression to undreamed of levels. This is possible because of the absence of opposition. The civil liberties group ‘Liberty’ responds to the execution by saying that the issues are complex. The ‘Castle Catholics’ of the Muslim religious hierarchy ‘understand’ the pressure the police are under. 

Following the London bombings it is clear that there is a threat to the British state from a tiny minority of zealots. It is also clear that the British state, having seen off a much larger and closer threat in Ireland, has the resources to defeat this threat. There is a further threat to British workers from the state itself and the new powers it is gathering together. In the long term the police state poses a far greater threat.

A resistance will be built. It will be built around one simple message. These are Blair’s bombs. These are Blair’s bullets. The way to peace lies through getting Britain out of Iraq and Blair out of Government.



Return to top of page