Their lies have been exposed; now we need to stop their wars, at home and abroad!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
17 January 2024

As if the stream of lies coming out of the mouths of government ministers and the big bosses hiding behind them were not outrageous enough, today this stream has become a torrent.

    Starting with the "domestic" issues, this week a Parliamentary Select Committee questioned the current boss of the Post Office and the European boss of Fujitsu over the Horizon scandal - the "worst miscarriage of justice in British history" - as Sunak himself calls it!

    Yet it took the ITV drama "Mr Bates vs the Post Office" to wake up the "great" British parliament as a whole, to this scandal! Ex-sub-postmaster, Alan Bates, appearing in front of this committee asked, "why on earth has this taken 20 years"?

    Despite the public outing of the case and Sunak's proposal to pass a law to clear the names of all those falsely accused of theft, it's derisory to offer a £75,000 up-front payment (or even £600,000 to those who were imprisoned). In fact to date, only 67 of the 555 postmasters who were part of Alan Bates' collective fight for justice have had any compensation at all, even though they actually won their case against POL almost 5 years ago, in 2019! One member of their group is 91 years old and still waiting!

    As sub-postmistress Jo Hamilton said, the irony is that those like her, who suffered criminal convictions at the time, have already had pay-outs, since they had to go through the (should be much worse!) criminal compensation system! She pointed out that still today, the Post Office is paying its lawyers millions in order to fight postmasters' claims (including from Bates' group), rather than compensate all the falsely-accused ASAP, and without question!

Useless, endless, inquiries

But of course no amount can make up for what victims of this war of falsehoods against post office employees - the "small" people - have been through: thousands (so far 4,000) have come forward who lost everything they owned in an attempt to make up for the "discrepancies" in their cash which the faulty POL Horizon system threw up. One was driven to suicide.

    During Tuesday's hearing, the current boss of the government-owned Post Office Limited was unable (or unwilling) to answer some of the absolutely vital questions regarding the scandal. He hadn't even bothered to prepare himself properly. The boss of Fujitsu said "sorry" (at least!) and said Fujitsu would contribute to compensation payments. But neither POL nor Fujitsu would say by how much. One billion, asked one MP? In fact they should have an open chequebook and pay all those who apply what they ask for and without delay.

hands off Gaza, hands off yemen!

And then we come to the war-drum-beating Sunak, Cameron and Shapps... Their open support for the lies of the Israeli state makes them complicit in the lethal consequences of this "war" against Gaza. Echoing the US, they claim it's justifiable "self-defence", rendering this phrase meaningless. Neither do they question the Israeli's implausible motive, i.e., "eradicating Hamas".

    To date, 24,000 men, women and children have been killed, 60,000 injured and at least 7,000 buried under the rubble of bombed-out buildings. According to UNICEF, more than 10 children each day, have lost limbs: 1,000 have had both legs amputated. This is the horror that is mendaciously called by Israel "defending itself" against Hamas' small guerilla army whose rockets can't even penetrate Israel's iron dome.

    And every day they compound the lie. Ministers contemptuously call Yemen's Houthis "tribal" people who are "naturally war-like": this is dangerous racism, yes, but no surprise, given the government's long-term support for the Zionists' apartheid regime against the Palestinians and Britain's former colonial domination of Yemen.

    So Shapps, Cameron and Sunak now warn of wars to come. They joined US strikes on the Houthis claiming it is retaliation (Britain's right to defend itself!) against attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. Sunak says the Houthis are lying when they claim their attacks are in support of Gaza, targetting cargoes bound for Israel. In fact he has come up with a conspiracy theory (another lie!) involving "Iran"... Never mind that the last thing the Iranian regime wants is to get involved in the conflict.

    Having handed out another £2.5bn to Zelensky this week, Shapps announced that he is increasing the defence budget by £5bn/year. Yes, in the very same week that junior doctors were told that their pay claim, which would cost £1bn, was "unaffordable"!

    War and the threat of war may help prime ministers win elections, it is true... Especially since Sunak's "unsafe" Rwanda Bill is being doomed by his own MPs and he seems to be on such a losing streak at home...

    So, what is to be done? Can the working class mount the collective resistance needed to win the fight for its interests, and, even more importantly, the interests of all the "wretched of the earth", who face US/British big guns and the smaller guns of their Israeli and Ukrainian proxies? The answer is "yes", if workers unite across all divides. We need to prepare to do so.