st 1920-2010 Executive Committee Resolutions
Executive Committee Resolutions
Executive Committee Domestic Resolution Another Britain is Possible - Build a Working Class Movement to Challenge the Bankers, Bosses and their Government Economic and financial crises are endemic to capitalism 1. The capitalist world is in deep and continuing crisis—a crisis of finance and of production, each aspect feeding the other. It is not an aberration. It is not based on simple 'greed' of individual bankers. Such economic and financial crises are endemic to the capitalist system. 2. The Conservative-LibDem coalition is established on the strength of a vote for the Conservatives amounting to 24 per cent of the electorate. It does not reflect the aspirations of many Lib Dem voters who supported what they believed to be progressive policies. The Liberal Democrat leadership should be 'Con-Demned' by their party membership. 3. The crisis and the Con-Dem coalition confront us with a new political situation. We are experiencing a frontal, wide-ranging and accelerating attack on the working class. But in the face of the current crisis and the ruling class offensive, there is not yet a political crisis for capitalism and its ruling class. 4. The financial crisis has taken place against the background of a year-on-year, decade-on-decade spiral of decline in manufacturing employment in Britain—with the loss of over 6 million jobs since 1965, more than four million of those since 1979, and more lost during the period of the New Labour government than under the Thatcher and Major Tory governments. 5. The Bank of England predicts that lost global output could reach a figure between £42 trillion to £140 trillion, between £1.25 trillion and £5.2 trillion in the Britain, as the effects of the crisis continue. In Europe, manufacturing output is down 20 per cent since the beginning of the recession. 6. This huge decline in manufacturing gives even more significance to the banking and financial services section of the economy—and makes any recovery 'weak, fragile and uncertain' in the words of the IMF. The continuing destruction of industry is not just about the immediate job loss. It destroys the acquisition of skills for future generations of workers, undermines trade union organisation and breaks up whole communities 7. It is in this assault on the industrial working class that we see the origins of the financial crisis, a three decade period of 'financialisation' with the progressive dominance of the finance sector over the productive sector. This is a process which has taken place not just in Britain but, significantly, throughout the advanced capitalist world. 8. 'Financialisation' led to further lack of investment in the 'real economy', and the further undermining of workers’ incomes, and eventually resulted in the credit crisis—reaching unprecedented levels. 9. The current crisis has resulted in similarly unprecedented international co-ordination of the main capitalist states and their central banks in massive fiscal, economic and political intervention. This intervention has enormous costs—over £7 trillion—one fifth of the entire globe’s economic output and just under £1,800 for every man, woman and child on the planet.
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10. Britain has been the biggest of all the spenders on emergency measures over the last few years to support its financial sector, with its total bill being £1,350 billion—equivalent to the entire output of the British economy for a year and twice the total of public expenditure … with just £20 billion made available to support industrial production. 11. Now we see not just economic and financial crisis within capitalist economies but the potential bankruptcy of entire capitalist nations—the 'sovereign debt' crisis. The ruling class of the whole of Europe are forced to 'bail out' not just their bankers but other capitalist states, through a total €860 billion put together by the European Financial Stability Facility fund, European Finance Ministers, the European Commission and the IMF, with a €110 billion loan to Greece already made. Clearly such bailouts are linked directly to demands on governments to impose the most extreme 'austerity measures' on the working class of their countries.
State-monopoly capitalism 12. Co-ordination and intervention on the part of capitalist states to protect their system and its ruling class is not a new thing. Marxists analysed and described 'the general crisis of capitalism' following the 1914-18 war, and understood the growing dominance of monopolies and the development of 'statemonopoly capitalism'—the direct fusion of the capitalist state and monopoly financial and productive capital. 13. In earlier capitalist crises—prior to the total dominance of monopolies in finance and industry— Marx, while recognising the devastating effects of capitalist crisis on the working class, identified the destruction of sections of the least efficient parts of the economy as 'creative destruction', eliminating overproduction, allowing the dog-eat-dog system to 'rebalance' itself and to enter a new period of growth. 14. But the crisis of the 1930s was analysed by Marxists as the first crisis of 'a new and special kind', in which monopoly capitalists colluded to cut production to sustain profits—resulting in mass unemployment, the devastation of small businesses and growing political unrest. The monopolies demanded state intervention, the use of political, fiscal and economic tools to protect their interests and the system as a whole. 15. It is against this background we should note carefully the April 2009 IMF Global Financial Stability Report which concluded that economic recovery was likely to be 'protracted', and that 'strong political commitments under difficult circumstances, and further enhancement of international cooperation' was required. It warned that 'political support for such action is waning as the public is becoming disillusioned by what it perceives as abuses …' 16. The process of such state interventions has created huge public debt, although this is not historically unique. Now capitalist governments—representing their ruling class, and so unwilling or unable to seek solutions that would damage their wealth—either have to impose immediate, huge cuts, risking a 'double-dip recession', or put off the cuts in the short term and risk a run on their currencies. This is the 'argument' between Tory and Labour Parties. 17. The Con-Dem cuts agenda is immediate and huge, with projected cuts of between 25 and 50 per cent to almost all areas of public services. At present the government seeks to deflect opposition by promising 'protections' for the health service and other 'front line services'—which suggests greater cuts elsewhere—but it becomes daily clearer that the extent of the cuts makes such promises valueless anyway. Executive Committee Resolutions
18. The government now predicts the loss of 600,000 public sector jobs over the next five years. Many analysts believe that they are deliberately understating the figure, fearing the response.
Turning the financial and economic crisis into a political crisis for the ruling class 19. The key feature for trades unionists and Communists is that the financial and economic crises have not yet translated into a political crisis for the ruling class or threatened the dominance of finance capital. 20. The Con-Dem coalition is using the recession to further attack all gains made by workers since 1945. In this they accelerate along the path followed by the previous New Labour government, and the Tory governments that preceded that. Despite the clear nature of the attack, they try unsuccessfully to suggest that, 'we are all in this together'. It is remarkable how clear workers are about the economic and political situation, given the mystification and misinformation presented by politicians and the media—with the very important exception of the Morning Star, which daily exposes the truth. 21. Many workers do not believe that 'we are all in this together'. They know that the rich get richer and workers get attacked, and that the recession is far deeper and will have more devastating effects than the capitalist class, its politicians and its media dare reveal. They know that there will be mass unemployment, pay cuts, attacks on pensions, housing repossessions and devastation of communities. 22. Many workers who previously might have thought of themselves as 'middle class' now realise that they have only their labour power to sell, and are just one or two pay cheques away from hardship and poverty. They also see jobs that were once secure now becoming threatened. 23. Many workers know the capitalist state is prepared to spare no cost in supporting the rich and powerful, particularly those in the City, while workers are thrown out of work—'necessary pain that we must all share', today’s equivalent of Norman Lamont’s 1992 'unemployment is a price worth paying'. 24. They know that the banking and financial service industry is again making huge profits, has restored its bosses’ bonuses, and will be soon fully handed back to the private sector. 25. They know that there is a 'revolving door' between the highest positions of the banking and finance industry and those of government. 26. They know that capitalists will export workers’ jobs and whole industries in search of economies offering higher levels of profit based on low pay and poor working conditions—and that they will import workers from overseas, who are super-exploited here in an attempt both to undermine hard won pay and conditions, and to set worker against worker. This is not the cosy 'free movement of labour' promoted by the European Union, it is a forced movement of labour for capitalism’s purposes. This lies at the heart of the much discussed 'concern about immigration' voiced by workers. 27. They know that the European Union is a bosses’ club designed to undermine national sovereignty in order to impose the most anti-worker policies and practices. 28. They know that unemployment is war on workers, and that the growth of casualised, temporary and precarious McJobs which have now risen to 30 per cent of those employed—particularly among young workers—is a threat to working class life, skill, organisation and communities Page 4
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29. They know that the state through anti-union legislation and the courts is determined to make resistance as difficult as possible, and illegal where necessary. 30. They know that the very survival of the planet is threatened by the pursuit of profit without regard to the environment. 31. They know that the government will use any stratagem including lies and 'black propaganda' to further develop weapons of mass destruction and to continue to wage war abroad, to pursue its imperialist interests together with the USA. 32. They know that the rich aim to stay rich by constantly seeking to divide workers on any pretext… gender, ethnicity, country of origin, sexuality, differing physical abilities, public sector/private sector employment, industrial workers and service workers … and many more 33. They understand that parliamentary democracy is being used to serve the interests of big business and that all the major parliamentary parties are fundamentally on the side of 'the system'—a system that is corrupt, and in the pocket of bankers, financiers and ‘big business’ monopoly employers. 34. But the great majority also believe that there is nothing that they can do about it. So despite the fact that all the parties of capitalism have made it clear that their intention is to make workers pay for the crisis, there is no political crisis for capitalism in Britain. Our task is to assist the process of turning the financial and economic crises of capitalism into a political crisis for the ruling class.
The need to build a unified trade union campaign of opposition 35. We express our solidarity with workers elsewhere in Europe, facing the same threats, organising broad based, well supported mass opposition—overcoming serious divisions in their trade union movements, and political divisions too, in order to face up to the capitalist attack. Yet in Britain such opposition is fragmented and relatively low key where it occurs at all. 36. That is not to say that sections of workers have not defended themselves. Many have—including civil servants, teachers, college and university lecturers, workers at Waterford Glass, Prisme Packaging, Visteon and Linamar car plants, Lindsey Oil Refinery, Vestas Wind Turbines, post workers, rail workers, BA Cabin crew and many others… fighting hard and well—often disregarding anti-union laws—and with success. Their struggles have been attacked, derided and vilified in the media generally while, again, the Morning Star has brought us news and analysis from these struggles, and consistently encouraged support and solidarity But despite solidarity messages and token support on the picket line, each section of workers has been left to fight largely alone and on the immediate issues facing them. 37. A big part of the problem is the Thatcher anti-union legislation which the New Labour government maintained, supported and extended throughout its 13 years of office. Now Cameron plans new antiUnion laws, characterised by the Institute of Employment Rights as 'too extreme for Thatcher'. 38. But the law is not the only problem. The TUC and many union leaderships have been unable and unwilling to organise across the movement, to coordinate action and to encourage workers to act together. Some union leaderships have even seen demands for such action from their own activists as being the main problem for the union, characterising them as 'ultra left'. At the 2009 TUC a motion calling for coordinated activity prior to the General Election was defeated. The TUC General Secretary had claimed that it was 'overtly political', and therefore 'not acceptable' to the TUC General Council
Executive Committee Resolutions
39. Yet a unified trade union campaign of opposition to the cuts, job loss and attacks on pay and conditions is essential to successful resistance. In 2005, public sector unions united in the threat of strike action to defeat attacks on their pensions. The result of just the threat was an immediate government climb-down. Now trade unions need to build an even more powerful alliance across both private and public sector unions if the current, much more wide ranging attack is to be similarly defeated. 40. The alliance must be built at national, regional and community level and must seek to draw in not only trade union councils, but community organisations, user groups, faith groups and—very importantly—all those within the Labour Party who continue to adhere to social democratic or reformist principles 41. Concerted and determined action must be the theme of the TUC. Ideas that such action is 'overtly political' and 'not acceptable' were wrong and destructive before the General Election. Now, in the face of the Con-Dem attack, any such continuing ideas would be disastrous for workers. 42. In 1979 55 per cent of all employees were organised in trade unions. Today it is around 30 per cent—and under 20 per cent in the private sector. If the trade union movement is to grow it will need to show such determination and success. Moreover, unions will have to show more than lip service to the 'organising agenda' and go out to 'organise the unorganised', with special attention to young workers and all those working in 'precarious employment'—the numbers of which are likely to grow in the near future. Organising the unemployed must also become a feature of the trade union movement, rather than simply providing training sessions to assist them in producing CVs, letters of application and improving 'interview technique'
Economism and the crisis of working class political representation 43. Militant trade unionism—an immediate priority—is still not enough. The deliberate separation of the daily fight of workers to protect themselves, the struggle for reforms of the system and the fight for working class political power prevents progress in the struggle for all of them. This separation afflicts both the trade union movement and the Labour Party. 44. This position has a long and not-so-proud history. It is a form of 'economism', so vehemently attacked by Lenin. It suggests that organised workers should simply fight their own corner on economic matters, and leave the politics to others—in our case, the Labour Party. It is a recipe for industrial and political defeat. Every struggle by the working class is essentially political, and this is even clearer when the class as a whole in under coordinated and strategic attack, as now. 45. The current position and character of the Labour Party needs to be carefully analysed and understood. It is central to the question of how the working class now moves forwards. We know as Marxist-Leninists applying dialectical and historical materialism as our analytical process, that nothing ever stands still, everything develops as a result of its internal contradictions and external pressures. We know that small, incremental changes result, at a particular point in that process, in fundamental qualitative change. This is as true of the Labour Party as of anything else. 46. The Labour Party has had a contradictory nature from its foundation—it has been the principal vehicle for working-class electoral politics, founded on the basis of the affiliation of mass working-class organisations, and at the same time it has been a party of the state, invariably using its terms in government office to advance the interests of capitalism.
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47. This duality reflects the fact that Labour has been dominated throughout by social-democratic ideology. This in turn reflects the domination of social-democratic thinking in the working-class and in the trade union movement. Until the advent of 'New Labour', differences within the Labour Party were between a right-wing which believed that necessary reforms to reconcile the working-class to capitalism were an end in themselves, and a left which held that such reforms could lead to a gradual transition to socialism. 48. The influence of imperialism within the working-class movement in countries like Britain, as analysed by Lenin in 1914 and subsequently, has underpinned this domination of reformist ideas. This is not a static phenomenon—it has been shaped both by the changing objective circumstances of British imperialism, and by the ebb and flow of the class struggle around it, above all the unity and militancy of the working class in pursuit of its social goals. 49. The record of previous Labour governments reflects this—always operating to preserve capitalism but on occasion, as in the 1945 and 1974 governments, also passing significant reforms as a result of mass pressure.
'New Labour'—embracing neo-liberalism 50. The changed world situation in the 1990s provided the essential backdrop to the emergence of 'New Labour'. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the world socialist system, the defeats sustained by the labour movement in Britain (and elsewhere) in the course of the 1980s, and the vast global expansion of wage labour described as 'globalisation', together leading to a widespread ideological perception that capitalism was now triumphant and the only viable world system created the circumstances for 'New Labour' to break from the traditional social-democratic positions described here. Indeed, it made it seem that such a break was essential, since only such a 'new' party, accepting the post-1991 consensus, could seem to have any hope of securing office. 51. It is clear that quantitative, incremental changes in the Labour Party over the last three decades have now resulted in a qualitative change. A milestone in this was the 'official' abandonment of Clause 4, though it had long since been abandoned as a genuine ambition. From its origins as a mass party of workers with promises of major reform, today’s Labour Party stands openly for capitalism, though the fight continues inside the party. 52. The main feature of 'New Labour' from the outset was its unabashed embrace of neo-liberalism, encapsulated in Peter Mandelson’s notorious remark that the Party was 'intensely relaxed about the filthy rich'. The 'New Labour Project' was based on the experience that the room for manoeuvre for the capitalist class had significantly increased—particularly with the developments of 'globalisation' and the demise of the Soviet Union—while the ability to win reforms by or on behalf of workers was very much reduced. To be a party of government, it was essentially argued, the Labour Party had to clearly and increasingly overtly be a party of capitalism. 53. Starting with a determination to distance itself from any hint of trade union influence, 'New Labour' went on to support the main demands of the City without exception—more privatisation, deregulation, a celebration of the financial services sector at the expense of manufacturing, low taxes on the rich and on corporations and the extension of market reforms in the remaining public sector. Such progressive measures as were introduced were either inherited from Labour’s last socialdemocratic leader, John Smith, like the minimum wage and devolution, or reflected a desire to use the tax proceeds of the City-led economic boom (now exposed as largely fictitious) to fund better public services, particularly in health and education. Executive Committee Resolutions
54. Under Tony Blair Labour in office also embraced the ideology of aggressive neo-conservatism which found its bloody expression in the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and above all Iraq. Allied to increasing social authoritarianism at home, 'New Labour' was without doubt a thoroughly bourgeois government and the most reactionary in Labour’s history. As a result, it progressively lost the powerful electoral mandate it secured in 1997 from a country eager to move on from the Tories.
The roots and lessons of Labour's electoral defeat 55. This process culminated in the defeat of May 2010. The Labour Party went into the General Election on a programme of defending their record, a record which included manufacturing and public sector job loss, attacks on pay and pensions, the privatisation of services, maintaining anti-union laws, huge bank bail outs, a widening wealth/poverty gap, the renewal of weapons of mass destruction and continuing war. In addition they promised, if elected, public spending cuts 'deeper and more severe than those of Margaret Thatcher' in the words of the then Chancellor, Alistair Darling. 56. They were thrown a lifeline by the TUC Congress which unanimously urged them to adopt the principles of the People’s Charter in the run up to the election. The lifeline was left sinking in the water. As was the Labour Party. Compared with 1997, Labour lost five million votes. However, only around 20 per cent of these votes had switched over to the Tories. The rest were lost to abstention, to the Liberal Democrats (because of their opposition to the Iraq war, above all), or to smaller parties. 57. It could not be clearer that Labour lost because it was to the right of the mass of the people on a range of issues, including its timid response to the economic crisis from 2008 onwards, a response conditioned by a desire to restore the pre-crash status quo as much as possible as fast as possible. Despite halting steps in the direction of social-democratic interventionism, Labour offered no clear alternative to the bourgeois parties at the General Election, and in fact shared their obsession with public spending cuts as the centrepiece of economic policy. 58. However, the general election result indicated the continuing strength of the Labour Party’s roots in working-class communities. Even after 13 years of reactionary government, under the particularly inept leadership of Gordon Brown in the last period, the bulk of working-class voters supported Labour candidates. None of the various left electoral projects launched in the period of 'New Labour' in office succeeded in establishing a viable and durable pole of electoral opposition. 59. The political tasks of the working class movement are now conditioned by these twin circumstances—the unfolding world economic crisis, for which most people want to see at least radical reformist responses centred on decisive state intervention; and the electoral defeat of Labour’s neoliberalism, which leaves the 'New Labour' clique politically exposed.
An anti-monopoly alliance and mass struggle 60. The main aim must be to build the broadest based anti-monopoly alliance, and mass struggle against the effects of the crisis and in support of demands expressed in the People’s Charter and the Left Wing Programme. Such an alliance and struggle is the only context in which the struggle to reclaim the Labour Party could have a chance of success. All socialists, whether inside or outside the Labour Party, have a critical role to play in developing mass campaigns against the effects of the crisis, against the cuts, against the loss of manufacturing, against the war in Afghanistan, against racism and fascism. Such united activity provides the essential underpinning for any campaign to shift the politics of the labour movement, whether or not those involved see the possibility of Labour being changed as a viable one.
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61. A key element in the triumph of the Blair-Brown clique in the Labour Party was the attack on democracy in the Labour Party, initially designed to dilute trade union influence but ultimately leading to the attenuation of all forms of democratic involvement in the Party and removing the government from the slightest form of party control. A critical step in the struggle within the Labour Party must be the reconstitution of Labour democracy, including the full involvement of affiliated organisations in the selection of parliamentary candidates and in policy-making, the restoration of the right of Party conference to formulate policy and the expectation that the parliamentary leadership will carry it out. 62. The role of the Labour Party affiliated trade unions, which represent the majority of organised workers in this country, and almost all the organised industrial workers, will be critical. Trade union leaders bear a significant part of the blame for the record of Labour in office, in failing to mount a serious campaign of opposition, pulling their punches when a sustained campaign for alternatives was urgently required. The repeated failure of affiliated unions to divert and defeat the 'New Labour' strategists was a major reason for the loss of working class votes for the Labour Party. Repeated actions and warnings by the Communist Party and allies in the trade unions were rejected by trade union leaders. Their 'donâ€™t rock the boat' stance, based on their lack of philosophy, in fact sank the boat. This reflects in part a lack of political self-confidence in the movement which the victory of more left-wing union leaders in recent years has far from wholly reversed. Trade unions must be won for a far more militant policy, and for taking the steps to ensure that the Labour Party reflects this.
The struggle for reforms, working class political representation and state power 63. In the context of an economic crisis which, around the world, is eroding the basis of reformism and raising the urgency of an alternative to the continuation of the world capitalist system, this struggle must also attack the deeper roots of social-democratic ideology in the labour movement. The alternative to 'New Labour' cannot be a return to the 'old' Labour of the 1960s and 1970s, but has increasingly to focus on ending capitalism and moving towards a socialist society. 64. There can be, of course, no guarantee that the Labour Party can be regained as an instrument of working-class political advance. If, in circumstances of global capitalist slump and electoral defeat, 'New Labour' were to nevertheless consolidate its grip on the party and advance its agenda of severing the trade union connection, then it would become increasingly clear that the necessity for a mass workingclass party would have to be expressed through other means (by every measure less favourable ones). However, that point could only be reached through first of all a determined and united fight by socialists and the trade union movement to defeat 'New Labour' at its moment of weakness. Such brave attempts, which deserve the support of the Communist Party, will of course face strong opposition from the autocratic leadership of the Labour Party, their right-wing opportunism backed by current undemocratic procedures and processes and ideological capitulation to capitalism. 65. The Communist Party will continue to support a Labour victory at the next General Election in order to remove the Con-Dems, although we recognise that such a victory will almost certainly require a fundamental shift in policies away from New Labour and towards those in the interests of the working class and the majority of the population. At the same time, we will seek to maximise Communist Party participation in the electoral struggle, whether as independent Communist Party candidates or as part of a wider alliance such as Unity for Peace and Socialism which is consistent with the Party's political outlook. 66. Our analysis shows what workers in and outside of the Labour Party already know through hard experience; there is a crisis in terms of working class political representation. The working class needs Executive Committee Resolutions
a mass party that is capable of fighting for real reforms, committed to opposing the diktat of Capital, and capable of forming a government also committed to these things. This is not the current Labour Party, though the struggle for those principles continues in that Party. A mass working class party cannot be imposed on the working class 'from the outside'. It can’t be cobbled together by disparate 'left' groups. It needs to emerge from the struggle within the organised working class movement, and the struggle between that movement and capitalism. That struggle includes those fighting to 'reclaim' the Labour Party and those who believe that fight to be unwinnable. The united fight is not exclusive to those who want to reclaim the Labour Party, but it must be recognised that there are differences in strategic aims. 67. In this process the Communist Party has a vital role to play in leading a discussion about the relationship between the struggle for reforms, the fight for political representation, and the struggle for state power. That discussion best takes place in the context of mass activity, and the organisation of workers in that activity. The current situation provides plenty of scope for such activity and discussion.
The People's Charter for Change 68. The People’s Charter is a very important development in this direction. It encourages education and debate, organisation and action, and as such is a natural environment for Communists to work in. It needs to develop further as a main focus of Party organisations’ work. The Party played a very big part in developing and launching the People’s Charter. Now building the Charter as part of the campaign against Tory policies should be on the agenda of every Communist Party meeting. 69. The endorsement of the People’s Charter by the TUC and subsequently by an increasing number of affiliated unions, regions and branches—and by Trades Councils—was a great success, in which again the Party played a strong role, which overcame the defeatist view within the trade union movement that any serious class activity around it would be likely to undermine the Labour Party both in electoral and longer terms, and therefore could not be accepted. 70. Based on its six radical reforming points, it is not a socialist programme but it starts to challenge the power of the monopoly capitalist class, opening up the possibility of more thoroughgoing measures. 71. It can assist those still fighting for its principles inside the Labour Party, and those who are exploring new possibilities for political representation from within the organisations of the working class, showing the 'reclaim' or 're-establish' debate is an unnecessary division. 72. It establishes the class links between many areas of struggle. It has the potential to bring together those active in the trade unions, in campaign groups and community organisations. In some areas People’s Charter groups have been set up through Trades Councils. In others, a People’s Charter group has provided the stimulation to resurrect a moribund Trades Council. 73. It demands not just activity and organisation but debate and education about how to move forward—and, of necessity, the relationship between the fight for reforms and the fight for socialism. It provides a vibrant forum for the promotion and development of the Alternative Economic and Political Strategy and the Left Wing Programme, and for testing them in practice. It raises the questions of solidarity and unity, the nature of class struggle and that of the state.
The fight against racism and fascism 74. It rejects sectarianism and division, and promotes class unity. This is particularly important at a time Page 10
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of unemployment and growing hardship when, we know from historical experience, racism, xenophobia and other divisions in the class are more likely to come to the fore and provide a breeding ground for fascism. The divisions fostered by the British National Party, English Defence League and other fascist and racist organisations serve the cause of the ruling class. Apart from the hurt and violence they inflict on individuals and communities, they divert attention from the real enemy of workers, and weaken the class by causing disunity. 75. But not all those who voice support or vote for BNP are fascists. Many are workers who, fearful for the future, and feeling abandoned and betrayed by the political parties—and particularly by the Labour Party—look for some answers. The 'easy answers' offered by the fascists can be all too easily adopted. 76. There are times when the fascists need to be driven off the streets and out of our communities. It is imperative to identify them with the Nazis and their crimes against humanity. We need to ensure that there is no room in our trade unions for their members. We need to promote class activity to prevent them from working alongside us. But it is not enough to simply denounce the BNP and EDL and their like as fascists, to isolate them from our workplaces and organisations, and expect that to be enough to prevent them from gaining some significant support among workers. 77. The anti-racist movement has to deal with the real issues facing the working class, and bring a class view to tackling these. We have plenty to say about unemployment and lack of future for youth. We campaign on housing. We recognise and share workers’ real concerns about the forced movement of labour and the super-exploitative importation of labour from abroad. We are active on the question of community cohesion, and attempts to divide children and families on religious or cultural grounds. 78. It is a distorted and poisonous view of the solutions to these real issues, and others, that the fascists rely on to build their support. It is a socialist class view properly promoted in action among workers on these same issues that will defeat fascist ambitions, and help build workers organisations in fighting back. 79. The fascists did not do as well as some expected in the recent elections, but there is certainly no room for complacency. The People’s Charter needs to build work around these issues into anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigning, and vice versa.
The Charter for Women and the centrality of the fight for equality 80. Alongside the People’s Charter, we have the firmly established and widely supported Charter For Women. This Charter highlights campaigning points linking the three areas of struggle faced by women: in society, at work and in the labour movement. It has been adopted by the majority of trade unions and is the basis for a broad based revival of the women’s movement. The Party needs to give renewed attention to this vital work. 81. It is entirely predictable that women in both private sector and public sector employment will be disproportionately severely affected as the Con-Dem attacks take effect—in terms of unemployment, inadequate training, attacks on pay generally and equal pay in particular, the further abuses of temporary contracts and growth of 'precarious employment'. As poverty grows, again women are disproportionately affected—the concept of the 'feminisation of poverty' is an important one that the Charter For Women highlights. 82. But it is not just in the apparatus and operations of capitalism that we see continuing discrimination Executive Committee Resolutions
against women. The trade union movement too, for the most part, sees women under-represented and marginalised—yet the history of our movement is full of the enormous contribution of women in all its aspects. 83. Again, the Party played a big part in establishing the Charter For Women, and in winning support for it. The Communist Party needs to be at the forefront in building the pressure within workers’ organisations for the proper representation of women. It is an issue for all workers regardless of gender. 84. The Con-Dem government is unlikely to pay much attention to equality issues. There were gaping holes in the Labour Government’s Equality Act: scant concern will now be given to remedy the defects. Where does this leave the equality agenda? Any progress will now be in the hands of the labour movement and equality organisations.
The Morning Star—a great weapon sharpened every day 85. The Morning Star is and will remain in the coming period a great weapon in the hands of workers. It informs and encourages serious debate on the left and within the working class movement, simultaneously and steadfastly non-sectarian and challenging,. The Morning Star is an embodiment of the fact that all knowledge comes from an analysis of the real world and the struggles within that world—in direct contraposition to almost all other newspapers and media pundits, who present as fact their own class based prejudices and idealist notions of reality. 86. Now in its 80th anniversary year, The Star’s longevity infuriates the ruling class, and there can be no doubt that they would want to see it destroyed. We can expect growing attacks on the paper from all kinds of quarters, and the Party must treasure its continued existence and vital role—and put that into practice with a renewed commitment to the paper and the establishment of new Readers & Supporters Groups—both geographically based, and based in trade unions and areas of work. Recently, for example, one Readers & Supporters Group has been established for members of the PCS union, another for Education workers. Party branches and Advisories should give attention to such developments.
Building the Communist Party—recruitment, internal unity and discipline based on conviction 87. Alongside all such work we need to build our Communist Party. The working class needs a strong Communist Party to play a leading role in uniting, mobilising and guiding the working class, the labour movement and the popular anti-monopoly alliance. In the first instance, in a modern capitalist society, such a party can only be built by recruiting workers and young prospective workers to it, usually from within the most militant, politically conscious sections of the working class. Lenin’s view was that militants and revolutionaries should join the Communist Party, even when they had significant differences with its policies. He also argued that Communists should consciously seek to win militant workers and revolutionaries to the Party, despite those differences. Obviously, once inside, all Party members would be bound by the requirements of democratic centralism 88. The Party needs to take up these challenges and go out to recruit the most militant workers, the most politically aware activists—and to ensure that a challenging and thorough Marxist-Leninist education programme, to be followed by all Party members no matter how experienced and politically knowledgeable, delivers the internal Party unity necessary to make democratic centralism work. We must genuinely 'question everything' and encourage all members to do so. Party discipline and Page 12
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sustained lifelong activity in membership come only through conviction, and conviction is only sustained by informed political education and discussion. Communist Review is an important vehicle for developing this, and it is vital that its circulation is built, both within and outside the Party. 89. We need to take up the challenge for the Party to continue and develop its leading role in uniting, mobilising and guiding the working class, the labour movement and the popular anti-monopoly alliance. Every Party member needs to be involved to their full potential. It is dependent on Party members being embedded in the life and struggle of the working class, and demands a strong Party centre, proper District organisation and regular, lively purposeful branch meetings. 90. It demands the building of strong Party advisory committees, creatively applying the general line of the Party to their area, and involving comrades in their collective work. This work is essential if the Party is to present the clearest, coherent and united leadership in struggle and to win recognition from organised workers generally for that leadership. 91. We live in times of financial and economic crisis for capitalism. We have to ensure that this becomes a political crisis for the ruling class, and that the working class refuse to be ruled in the old way. The Chinese do not have a single character for the word 'crisis'â€”they have twoâ€”'dangerous opportunity'. It is a time full of danger for the working class, but also full of opportunity for political development. Our party must seize that opportunity and lay the basis for opening up the road to socialism
Further recommendations 92. The Party should: 93. Review our Advisory structure, particularly in terms of: i. The functioning of the Advisory Committee on Unemployment, which should include 'precarious' employment in its remit. ii. The EU Advisory, through which the Party should urgently propose a meeting of Communist and workers' parties in the EU area to consider the forced movement of labour and reactions among workers to questions of immigration and emigration. iii. The Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Advisory, which should include representation from all Party district and nation committees. iv. The Science, Technology & Environment Advisory, which should consider the development of our policy and propaganda on the politics of environmental crisis. 94. Win further affiliations to the United Campaign for the Repeal of Anti-Trade Union Laws and the Institute of Employment Rights, to participate fully in the 'Too Extreme For Thatcher' campaign and to press for immediate demonstrative activity by trade unions against the further extension of anti-union laws. 95. Investigate ways, perhaps together with the Labour Representation Committee and the Peopleâ€™s Charter movement, to lead a wide discussion on the relationship between the fight for reforms, the political representation of the working class within capitalism, the fight for socialism and the nature of state power. 96. Establish a review of Marxist-Leninist education conducted within the Party and provided by the Party within the broad working class movement.
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97. Emphasise again to all Party organisations the top priority of developing the People’s Charter at national, district and local level; ensure that all trade unions at branch, regional and national level discuss support for or affiliation to the People’s Charter, and how to take the work forward in their union and among workers in their area of organisation; work to co-ordinate People’s Charter groups with Trades Councils. 98. Support the Morning Star in every way possible, and defend it against attacks from whatever quarter; initiate and support the development with our allies of further Morning Star Readers & Supporters Groups—exploring the possibility of promoting their establishment through our Party advisory committees
Communist Party 51st Congress
Executive Committee International Resolution Oppose Imperialism’s Drive to Super-Exploitation and War The shift in the balance of world forces since 2008 1. In the wake of capitalism’s most recent crisis a significant shift has taken place in the balance of world forces. China, Brazil, India and Russia have emerged economically stronger. China particularly has maintained a scale of growth that is shifting world investment patterns towards primary producing countries in Africa and Central and South America. As a result a degree of cohesion is being developed, both globally and in certain regions, among countries acting independently of the US and its allies. 2. Yet the US remains the dominant imperialist power. It controls much of the international banking system key technologies and has overwhelming military strength. Its control over the world’s strategic resources is in part maintained through the global deployment of its military forces—although under President Obama the emphasis of US policy has shifted towards: i. More hegemonic alliances with other imperialist centres in Europe and Japan. ii. A tighter focus on relations with China to sustain existing patterns of investment and to contain what is seen as the main potential rival to the US economically, ideologically and militarily iii. A greater level of state-monopoly capitalist (SMC) intervention in the domestic economy to defend US technological dominance. 3. The systemic character of the capitalist crisis has also deepened contradictions among the imperialist powers. 4. The crisis of SMC financial control across the European Union has put in peril Germany’s banking system and its continuing ability to provide the long-term investment that has sustained its technological and productive primacy in world markets. The new powers accorded to the EU under the Lisbon Treaty are now being used to impose strongly deflationary policies—resulting in a crisis of local capitalist production in the weaker EU member states and a concentration of capacity in the hands of German and French monopolies. The exercise of these powers has clearly demonstrated the neo-liberal and federal character of the EU. 5. The biggest potential conflict within the EU is over the penetration of US finance capital and hence between Germany and France, on the one hand, and Britain, the key base for US finance capital operations, on the other. Britain seeks to defend the freedom of US investment banks and hedge funds to seize control of assets in EU countries—as well as its own ability to act as a production platform in the EU for US multinationals. This conflict of interests is likely to prove a fundamental one as deflationary policies threaten deeper economic recession. 6. Britain’s ability to act as an independent imperialist power has steadily diminished over the past two decades as its own productive base has been eroded and its banking system has been subordinated to external speculative capital, mainly from the US. Its capacity to maintain global influence has depended upon: i. The utility of the City of London to US capital. ii. The military utility to the US of Britain as a nuclear power with a seat in the UN Security Council and as a NATO partner able to influence policy in the EU. iii. The continuing ability of British multinationals to draw super profits from minerals, energy, Executive Committee Resolutions
military technology, food production and luxury services—notably in the Middle East and Africa. 7. The global role of the City of London is now challenged. In these circumstances, the increasing importance of primary resources is likely to enhance the significance for British finance capital of their interests in the Middle East and Africa—with growing dangers of deeper military involvement with the EU, the US and the extension of Britain’s mercenary role.
Analysing current challenges Imperialism’s military agenda 8. The Unites States remains the dominant imperialist power of the early 21st century. Its number one political and military goal in the post-Cold War era remains that of ensuring that no rival power emerges to challenge its position. 9. This has led to the eastward expansion of NATO and an increase in its out-of-area operations, as well as the strengthening of US military alliances and bases in the Asia Pacific. It has led to a growing intervention in the wider Middle East and Africa, and an expansion of the US military presence in Latin America. 10. At the same time, changes in the relation of world forces—in particular the rise of China and capital’s deep and on-going economic crisis—have weakened US hegemony, so that the United States becomes increasingly reliant on its undisputed military strength to uphold its role of leading imperialist power. 11. Nuclear weapons and a global network of foreign bases are crucial to the maintenance of US military supremacy. The US aims at having the capability to carry out a nuclear attack against its opponents whilst protecting itself from retaliation. To this end, it is: i. Seeking to preserve its superiority in strategic nuclear weaponry. ii. Developing and expanding its tactical nuclear weapons for use in regional wars iii. Expanding its so-called missile defence programme, especially mobile and theatre missile defences. iv. Establishing new US bases in strategic locations. 12. Thus the increasing use of military power by the US is the driving force behind nuclear proliferation, raising the spectre of a new 21st century arms race and threatening the future of humanity. 13. Within the context of a changing balance of world forces, these developments in US military power have also stimulated the emergence of alternative political and security structures. Two challenges to US unipolar dominance are worthy of particular note: 14. Founded in 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) has laid the foundations for a new regional realignment and is expanding its influence. Iran, Pakistan and India have taken observer status; and Belarus and Sri Lanka have opened partnership dialogues with the SCO. 15. The past decade has seen a shift to the left in Central and South America, with progressive governments established in Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua beginning to challenge US hegemony. At the same time, the survival of socialism in Cuba remains an inspiration in the region and Page 16
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beyond. Under the presidency of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has played an indispensable role in bringing about economic and political alternatives in Latin America, including the formation in 2006 of the Bolivarian Alliance of the America (ALBA). Together with Cuba, Venezuela has also played a leading role in the drive to establish the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations (CALC), which is due to take place in 2011.
Middle East and Central Asia 16. The US-led wars of aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan have dominated the first decade of the 21st century. US imperialism maintains strong geo-political interests in the wider Middle East, where the world’s biggest oil and natural gas reserves and some of its most strategically important distribution routes are to be found. However, US relations with its chief allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are increasingly insufficient for upholding its interests. 17. A just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict remains fundamental to securing a sustainable peace in the wider Middle East. Pressure on Israel is growing. Despite destroying the southern infrastructure of Lebanon, Israel’s 2006 invasion resulted in defeat—failure to achieve the destruction of Hezbollah as a serious military force. International anger at Israel over the attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-09, reinvigorated by its recent attack on the Gaza aid flotilla and murder of peace activists, reflects a significant shift in international opinion. In the region, relations with Turkey, previously a key regional supporter of Israel, are breaking down. 18. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the establishment of a puppet regime represented a military victory for US and British imperialism. In consequence, the US now has control of Iraqi oil and is setting up permanent military bases there. But the occupation has failed to produce a stable environment. The US is forced to maintain a huge troop presence to prop up the weak and disunited Baghdad regime, and will need to do so for the foreseeable future. Seven years of conflict have taken their toll on the Iraqi people. But resistance, though fragmented, remains widespread. 19. An unintended consequence of the Iraq war has been the strengthening of Iran as a major regional power and the chief opponent of the US in the Middle East. Iran, which holds substantial oil and gas reserves, is developing some powerful strategic allies. Given its size and strategic location, it has the potential to seriously damage US interests. Repeated attempts by the US to isolate Iran diplomatically have failed. China and Russia have not supported a full sanctions regime and, more recently, Turkey and Brazil opposed a US-backed resolution at the UN Security Council. 20. Despite oft-repeated threats, US military inaction is a tacit admission that it cannot achieve a successful 'surgical strike'. It understands that war on Iran could ignite a military-political storm that would be likely to engulf the entire region including Afghanistan and Pakistan. 21. In Central Asia, Afghanistan is of geo-strategic importance to imperialism, lying at the cusp where east meets west. After nine years of war against one of the world’s poorest countries, the US has failed to achieve any of its military objectives. At the same time, its military campaign in Afghanistan is seriously destabilising Pakistan. 22. The war in Afghanistan is an unwinnable war. US military strategy is publicly in crisis, with deep divisions in the top ranks of US military and political personnel over the size of troop deployment, rules of engagement and relations with the Taliban. Meanwhile, Taliban forces are notching up significant victories and the numbers of foreign troops killed and injured is mounting, matched by growing opposition to the war in all the countries which supply NATO forces. The Afghan Army is Executive Committee Resolutions
unfit to take over from NATO and will remain so in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, with the sole exception so far of Britain, the United States NATO allies are preparing to withdraw from active participation.
Central and South America 23. The first decade of the 21st century has seen the emergence of progressive governments and left social forces. In particular, the continued presence of the progressive Chavez government in Venezuela is seen as an immediate threat to imperialist interests. Openly critical of US exploitation, Chavez is developing strong and independent international relations, including with China and Russia, whilst seeking to establish regional political and security relationships and structures that contest US dominance. 24. On the pretext of fighting a war on drugs, the US has responded to these developments by stepping up its military intervention in the region. It seeks to exercise strategic control in Latin America to defend imperialism from left leaning governments and social forces, and thereby protect its access to the natural resources of a region rich in oil, as well as timber, rubber, gold and bauxite. 25. Claiming concern over a supposed regional arms race led by Venezuela, the US established access to seven military bases in Colombia when it signed a bilateral treaty in October 2009. Colombia is the region’s highest military spender, devoting 4 per cent of its GDP to the military budget; its 254,000 troops are second in size only to Brazil. The US has also given material support to the military coup regime which replaced the progressive democratically-elected government of Honduras. 26. The US now has nine bases across Central and Southern America in El Salvador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Curacao, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay and on the island of Cuba. And the US Navy’s Fourth Fleet, deactivated at the end of World War Two, is patrolling regional waters again. 27. At the same time, the US has extended its blockade of Cuba. For half a century Cuba has been subject to sustained economic, political and sometimes military attacks by the United States aimed of isolating this small island and defeating the Cuban revolution.
Climate change and imperialism’s military agenda 28. Climate change is inextricably linked to imperialism’s military agenda. 29. The expansion of society’s productive forces in the capitalist era has led to a profound reshaping of ecological and, consequentially, social systems. Global warming, a continuing rise in the earth’s average temperature caused by a build-up of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, has resulted in a number of detrimental changes to the natural environment—such as more frequent extreme weather conditions, the threatened extinction of animal and plant species, coastal erosion, desertification, etc. The result is increasing immiseration, migration and conflict. 30. These human impacts of global warming are differentially distributed. The world’s poorest regions, countries and people bear the brunt of adverse ecosystem changes. For example, the destruction of rainforests in Amazonia and elsewhere, through logging and agricultural clearance, has reached emergency proportions causing droughts and loss of food crops with severe consequences for indigenous peoples. 31. Global warming has generated an increasingly urgent 'climate change' debate and, in some cases, Page 18
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mass popular movements opposing the activities which bring it about. Under capitalism, however, the search for solutions is distorted by the drive for profit and the accompanying competition over scarce natural resources. Imperialism regards access to these resources as an important component of state security. 32. In the 21st century, adequate supplies of non-renewable petroleum—especially oil, which is the most flexible of all energy sources—is a foundational component of economic growth and development. Oil is equally indispensable to ensuring military strength. But demand is growing at the same time as world supplies are diminishing. Without the (unlikely) discovery of significant new reserves or its (at present, equally unlikely) replacement by an adequate quantity of sustainable alternatives, competition will intensify. Given that oil and natural gas reserves are located in some of the most politically volatile parts of the world, this raises the likelihood of military intervention by the US and its allies to maintain and extend imperialism’s access. Hence, oil wars are a feature of the new century.
The legacies of British colonialism 33. Britain’s past role as the world’s biggest colonial power still casts a powerful and dangerous shadow—both in terms of attempts to mobilise chauvinist attitudes in Britain and attempts to exploit them in support of direct and indirect interventions in areas of traditional British interest. 34. In Africa particularly there have been repeated interventions, economic, diplomatic and directly military to support those who perpetuate neo-colonial exploitation on behalf of British finance capital. The increasing strategic importance of Africa’s resources to imperialism is likely to increase such intervention under the guise of peace keeping, nation building and the exercise of Britain’s civilising mission. 35. In Ireland also we need to be aware of a continuing imperialist agenda. Every attempt is being made to normalise the inclusion of the northern six counties as part of the territory of the United Kingdom and to establish the belief in Britain that the Good Friday Agreement was an agreement to continued partition and that British, US and EU interest in the North of Ireland is entirely benevolent. British finance capital, together with that of the United States and the EU, still exercises disproportionate political and economic control over the resources of Ireland, north and south, and together exploit the resulting political influence for their own purposes within the institutions of the EU—with disastrous consequences for Ireland’s working people. The territorial division of Ireland continues to powerfully inhibit the development of a united working class movement that can challenge this exploitation and assert popular sovereignty.
Areas for our strategic intervention Peace, nuclear disarmament and climate change 36. The 21st century opens with a period in which capitalist economic crisis and competition over increasingly scarce resources make imperialist-driven wars more likely. In these circumstances, the chief duty of communists and socialists in the heartlands of imperialism is to place every possible obstacle in the path of imperialism’s drive to war, which threatens the very future of humanity. 37. This is an especially important strategic task in Britain, which remains a major imperialist, a nuclear power and the chief ally of US imperialism in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It puts a strategic premium on building the biggest and broadest possible anti-war and anti-nuclear weapons movements Executive Committee Resolutions
and solidarity campaigns as well as the less developed networks and actions on climate change. 38. We must situate the Communist Party of Britain at the heart of these movements—mobilising the widest opposition to imperialism’s military agenda by promoting and supporting activities which objectively hinder its advance. We will use our influence in trade unions and among other progressive left forces and individuals to encourage them do likewise. 39. Specifically, we continue to support Stop The War Coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Palestine, Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Campaigns and Justice for Colombia which are leading organisations in Britain promoting progressive policies in these areas. We likewise encourage branches to affiliate and to ensure comrades participate in the structures and activities of these campaigns. We also stress the importance of the active involvement of the trade union movement in all these areas of struggle and solidarity. 40. Relations between US and Britain rest on mutual arrangements over nuclear weapons, military bases and intelligence-sharing. In the post-WWII period, all mainstream British political parties have supported an Atlanticist foreign policy, believing that Britain’s international status is maintained by the primacy of its relationship with the USA. This bipartisanship profoundly distorts the policy options— domestic as well as foreign—available to successive British governments. 41. The Communist Party of Britain reaffirms its commitment to the unilateral abandonment of all Britain’s nuclear weapons and an end to the siting of all US bases on British soil and in British waters. We call for an end to Britain’s involvement in US missile defence systems, including the use of Fylingdales and Menwith Hill bases in Yorkshire, and the development of new generation nuclear weapons at Aldermaston and elsewhere. We support the campaign against Trident replacement.
Israel, Palestine and the wider Middle East 42. The Communist Party will: i. Campaign for the immediate withdrawal of British, US and NATO troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and for justice for the people of Palestine. ii. Support the establishment of a Nuclear Free Middle East, and call for the dismantling of all Israeli nuclear weapons and facilities as a first step towards this. iii. Oppose the US-led war in Afghanistan, and support the right of the Afghan people to determine their own fate free from imperialist interference. iv. Support the resistance of the Palestinian people to Israeli occupation, backed by US imperialism. We call for the creation of a viable state of Palestine based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and for the right of return of refugees in compliance with UN resolution 194. We demand an end to the blockade of Gaza, to the building of illegal settlements and demand the tearing down of the apartheid wall. We call for the immediate release of Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, including Marwan Barghouti. We support the demand for an end to British trade credits to Israel, for a ban on arms sales and for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions as part of a campaign to ensure that the Israeli government complies with the full intent of UN resolutions on Palestine. v. Oppose the US occupation of Iraq and support the right of the Iraqi people to resist including by force of arms. In particular, we support the struggle to establish independent trade unions and movements to defend and extend the rights of women which are now under attack. vi. Acknowledge the right of Iran to develop civil nuclear power facilities under the terms of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. We condemn the double standards of US imperialism in seeking to prevent this, and oppose the imposition of sanctions. We recognise the existence of an imperialist threat of attack on Iran and will work with Stop The War, CND and others to prevent Page 20
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this. vii. Support the work of CODIR and develop solidarity with progressive movements in Iran. viii. Develop solidarity with progressive movements in Sudan similarly facing severe repression.
Central and South America 43. The Communist Party will: i. Enhance solidarity with progressive forces in Latin America and the Caribbean seeking to develop a progressive, alternative course to US imperialism, and continue to defend the gains of the Cuban revolution. ii. Support the right of the Cuban people to decide their affairs free from imperialist interference and call for an end to the US blockade against Cuba, and for the British government to continue to oppose it. iii. Defend the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution and support the right of the Venezuelan people to determine their own future free from imperialist interference. iv. Campaign to secure practical assistance and support for popular movements and trade unions in countries such as Colombia and Honduras where they suffer bloody repression.
Africa 44. The Communist Party will: i. Seek to strengthen contacts with Communist and progressive parties in Africa, work to win an understanding in Britain of the current role of British imperialism and update and use the CPB publication Africa and British Imperialism Today. ii. Oppose economic, diplomatic or military interventions by Britain, either directly or through the EU, in support of neo-colonial regimes or to destabilise governments that are seen to threaten British interests such as that of Zimbabwe. iii. Win support for the initiatives of the Southern African Development Community when defending the rights of the peoples of Southern Africa to chart their own future free from imperialist control.
The European Union 45. The Communist Party will work to: i. Win the trade union and labour movement for active involvement with trade unions across the EU to defeat deflationary policies and the assault on the public sector by challenging the Stability and Growth Pact, the Lisbon Treaty and the EU as an institution. ii. Win an understanding in the trade union and labour movement of the character of the EU as a tool for imposing pro-big business, neo-liberal policies and eroding the progressive democratic potential of national parliaments. iii. Strengthen existing organisations campaigning to demonstrate the inherently anti-democratic, neo -liberal, federalist and militarist character of the EU and to promote alternative models for international economic cooperation not subordinated to SMC interests and instead enabling working people to assert popular sovereignty. iv. Support the developing movement across the EU against NATO and the EU military agenda. v. Work with Communist Parties across Europe to combat attempts, at state and EU level, to rewrite the historical record in order to suppress the role of Communists and the Soviet Union in the defeat of fascism. vi. Support Communists in Hungary, Latvia and Poland in opposing the bans on the public display of the symbols of socialism and communism.
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Ireland 46. The Communist Party will seek to: i. Work jointly with comrades in the Irish trade union and progressive movements to challenge the anti-people policies of state-monopoly capitalism organised at the level of the EU. ii. Expose British finance capitalâ€™s use of Britainâ€™s territorial possession to exploit the people of Ireland both directly and by perpetuating divisions among its people. iii. Win an understanding in the trade union movement of the need for the British government to become an active persuader for unity and to see this work as part and parcel of combating the continuing legacy of British imperialism.
Solidarity with socialist countriesâ€”a prime duty 47. The socialist countries existing today demonstrate a variety of approaches to strengthening the economic well-being of working people and to building up the economic potential of anti-imperialist forces. All have shown themselves able to maintain growth through the world capitalist crisis. Cuba, despite the imperialist blockade, has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to provide assistance to other countries in the region. It has also played an important part in developing a new model for regional economic cooperation through ALBA. China has provided essential infrastructure aid to countries across Africa and Latin American, initiated internal programmes to rebalance development between east and west and introduced new welfare provisions. Its Labour Contract Law of 2007 has also enabled workers in externally-owned enterprises to use their collective bargaining power to increase wage levels. 48. At a time of acute capitalist crisis, Communists must remain alert to the dangers of military intervention against socialist countries and those in alliance with them. We have a duty to win support for the right of peoples to build socialism in their own circumstances and to secure an understanding of both the difficulties which have to be overcome and of the achievements which have been won. Doing so remains integral to our own struggle for socialism.
Communist Party 51st Congress
Executive Committee Enabling Resolution Britainâ€™s Road to Socialism This 51st Congress authorises the incoming Executive Committee to issue a new edition of Britain's Road to Socialism in line with recent Congress resolutions.
Executive Committee Amendments to Rules Amendment 1 Amend Rule 5 to read: 5. Membership Dues and Contributions (a) Membership dues shall be payable on the basis of self-assessed pre-tax personal income in accordance with scales and rates set by the Executive Committee. (b) The Executive Committee shall seek to match the level of income generated by membership dues to basic Party operating expenditure, including Party Centre and executive functions. It shall also maintain a separate Election Fund, allocating an appropriate portion of dues income towards this, to which additional individual contributions may be made. (c) Additional planned voluntary contributions, along with monies raised during special appeals that may be decided upon by the EC from time to time, shall be combined and held in a National Organising Fund (the 'Fund'), which shall be utilised for Party and YCL development activity. i. All Party members are urged to make planned voluntary contributions where possible, preferably by direct debit. ii. Party organisations will make planned approaches to members and supporters to make regular or one-off voluntary contributions to the Fund. iii. It is the responsibility of all Party organisations to encourage additional planned voluntary contributions to the Fund and the Executive Committee and its appropriate sub-committees will make a high priority of attending to this task. iv. The Fund account shall be separate from the general account and managed by the Executive Committee and its designated officers. v. Every functioning Party branch will be guaranteed a grant from the Fund, made annually from the beginning of the first full year of its operation. The total of Branch Organising Fund Grants dispersed shall not normally exceed between 30 and 40 per cent of the Fund's income during the preceding year. vi. Party organisations may also make costed bids to the Executive Committee for development projects in their area of responsibility to be assisted by the Fund. Amendment 2 Amend Rule 7(b) on the National Congress, second sentence, to read: Delegates from Party Branches, elected in accordance with their numerical strength (defined as the number of dues-paying members reported no more than four months before Congress), on a basis to be determined by the EC. Executive Committee Resolutions
Amendment 3 Amend Rule 18 to read: 18. The Admission of members The following procedure shall be adopted in the admission of new members: (a) Where applications are made directly to a Party branch, the applicant shall immediately be interviewed by a representative of the Branch or other leading committee concerned, who shall report back so that the Branch or committee may discuss and decide upon the application. Immediately on acceptance the Branch or committee shall take steps to ensure that a Party card is issued, issue a Party card with a copy of the Party Rules and relevant information provided of Branch activity, and a welcome given to the new member at the next Branch meeting. Upon the issue of a Party card the record form shall be filled in completed and returned to the committee concerned to a copy forwarded to Party Centre. (b) Where the branch or committee concerned has not exercised its responsibilities to applicants under the provisions of Rule 18(a) by week 13, Party Centre may, with the authority of the Executive Committee or two members nominated by the Committee for that purpose, issue a full membership card, providing that adequate arrangements to ensure the payment of dues have been made. (c) Where applications are received directly by Party Centre, membership may be granted, with the authority of the Executive Committee or two members nominated by the Committee for that purpose, during the first 13 weeks from the date of application. Such members shall have the normal rights of all full members but not the right to vote or be nominated for any Party position in any circumstances. (d) In the course of carrying out their Executive Committee responsibilities, individual Executive Committee members may issue membership Party cards but must report this as soon as possible to Party Centre and the next immediate meeting of the Executive Committee. Such members shall have full membership rights. (e) In all admissions under clauses (b), (c) and (d) of this Rule, Party Centre shall endeavour to allocate new members to an appropriate branch as soon as possible. (f) If the applicant is refused admission by a Branch, it shall be the responsibility of the District or Scottish or Welsh Committee to inform the Executive Committee of the reasons for its action. In this instance, the decision of the Executive Committee on an application shall be final.
Communist Party 51st Congress