3 IMCWP, Contribution of New Communist Party of Britain

6/22/01 12:58 PM
  • Britain, New Communist Party of Britain 3rd IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

New Communist Party of Britain
by Andy Brooks

The New Communist Party sees its work in the union movement
as a central part if the struggle to defend working class
rights and build the revolutionary movement.

The fight for higher wages is linked to the demand to
restore workers' rights and living standards to the level
in real terms enjoyed during the period of the last Labour
movement, which ended in 1979. We must campaign for an end
to the decline in the health service, in education in
social services and public transport, not by putting ever
increasing pressure on workers in these industries, and by
phoney performance target setting but by ensuring adequate
level of resourcing.

Our party's immediate campaigning demands must centre on
mobilising the class in defence of its living standards,
for higher wages and the restoration of state welfare to at
least the levels existing in 1979. We must continue to
demand the repeal of all-union legislation, fight for
flat-rate across-the-board wages and a reduction in weekly
hours with no loss of pay. We must expose the limitations
of working-time legislation and campaign for the closing of
opt-out clauses.

The fight for a reduction in working hours is as important
as the fight for higher wages. We should aim to unite the
labour movement around a demand for a maximum working week
of 35 hours.

These demands can easily be met by making the rich pay for
them by disgorging a fraction of the wealth the export from
the masses every day. The rich have plenty. They must pay.
Introducing a progressive tax system heavily weighted
against the rich, a wealth tax, scrapping Value Added Tax
(VAT) and other indirect taxation and scrapping Trident
would pay for all these immediate demands.

These demands can be won only if there is mass pressure
from the labour movement itself. The fight for a working
class united trade union movement is paramount. We need to
defeat social-democracy in the labour movement and replace
the time-servers, careerists and collaborators with working
class leadership committed to the struggle for the
advancement of the class.

We need militant working-class leadership in the union
movement to lead the class in defiance of the labour laws,
to restore collective bargaining and defend workers'
rights. We need a militant workers' movement to expose,
isolate and defeat those who claim to lead it.

Demands for progressive legislation, a fighting trade
union movement and a class conscious labour movement go
hand in hand with the fight to build the revolutionary
party and its influence within the working class. We must
encourage class consciousness and the socialist concept of
human rightsto counter the bourgeois concept, which only
applies to themselves.

The key is reaching out to the people, the millions the in
the factors, offices and housing estates up and down the
country. We have to go beyond those union �activists�
outside our ranks to reach the workers, the toilers, the
strives, who in the end make the revolution when the time
comes, has to be our task.

Reaching out to the workers in the factories, offices and
working class housing estates will ensure that we have a
class approach to recruitment and draw in countless
thousands who have not been subjected to reformist ideas.

The need is pressing for a massive reconstruction of
society. Within that agenda will be programmed eradication
of slums, poverty, racism, discrimination and bigotry.
Culture, sport, art, entertainment and recreation will be
made accessible for all. People's democracy will work to
ensure that co-operation, collective work and inclusiveness
replace the existing culture of selfishness, cut-throat
competition and individualism, where worker is pitted
against worker.

Menial and boring jobs may always exist. Only socialism.
However, can put such work into social context that
alleviates the adverse effects through education and
cultural pursuits. Working hours can be reduced without
loss of pay, to compensate for arduous, boring and menial

Only socialism can unleash the full potential and creative
power of all working people; we deserve nothing less.


The Labour Party was founded at the beginning of this
century to represent the trade union movement in
Parliament. Its establishment was a major defeat for the
ruling class and the class collaborators then in the
Liberal Party. It was an act of profound political
significance which the ruling class has worked for decades
to reverse.

The Blair leadership is moving to cut all Labour's
political links with organised labour, a drive which began
with the bans and proscriptions against communists and the
establishment of individual membership in the 1920s. The
latest attempts to construct a cross party alliance with
regard to joining the European Single Currency, is but the
latest manifestation of this trend. But the fact remains
that the trade union movement still has considerable weight
within the Labour Party. It is this link, through financial
support and organisation representation, that enable the
movement to push forward progressive demands.

The 1945 Attlee government developed state welfare and
created a public sector which went beyond the bourgeois
consensus on post-war reconstruction. The Wilson government
from 1964 to 1970 and the Wilson-Callaghan governments of
1974 to 1979 also had to take union demands into account
over wages and state welfare because of mass pressure form
below, despite the resistance of the right-wing of
social-democracy which consistently opposed all progressive
trade unionism and working class action. The possibility of
defeating the right-wing continues to exist as long as the
unions retain their overwhelming influence within the
Labour Party. If it were not so, the Blair leadership and
the ruling class would not be so determined to push for a
final break now when the left of the movement is weak and

Trotskyites and other ultra-leftists would have the class
believe that the Labour Party itself is a barrier to
communist advance, and that its very existence is a block
on the road towards revolution. If that were so, then the
ruling class and the class collaborators would be fighting
to defend the Labour Party's existing organisational links
with the union movement which guarantees its survival
instead of demanding a complete Labour break with the
working class.

The Labour Party in itself is nt a barrier to communist
advance. A militant trade union movement behind a strong
Labour Party creates the best conditions for the class to
advance in this country. A democratic Labour Party which
genuinely reflected the wishes of the millions of
affiliated members would not be led by the craven class
collaborators of today. A labour Party whose policies
reflected those of a democratic trade union movement would
become a powerful institution for progressive reforms which
would strengthen the unions and benefit the working class.

To this end the right-wing leadership of some of our trade
unions must be challenged. The attempts of the Blair
government to greatly reduce the influence of trade unions
within the labour movement is being facilitated by the
actions of some trade union leaders.

Britain is an old imperialist country and British
social-democracy was able to advance on the backs of the
super-profits extracted from its colonies - a process which
continues today in a country which still has the fourth
largest economy in the world. Stalin pointed this out in
his comments on the British General Strike of 1926 - a
struggle betrayed by the social-democratic leaders in
parliament and the labour movement. He said:

�How could it happen, it may be asked, that the powerful
British proletariat, which fought with unexampled heroism,
proved to have leaders who were either venal or cowardly,
or simply spineless? That is a very important question.
Such leaders did not spring up all at once. They grew out
of the labour movement; they received a definite schooling
as labour leaders in Britain, the schooling of that period
when British capitalism was taking in supper-profits and
could shower favours on the labour leaders and use them for
compromises with the British working class; whereby these
leaders of the working class, becoming ever more closely
identified with the bourgeoisie in their manner of life and
station, became divorced from the mass of the workers,
turned their backs on them and ceased to understand them.
They are the kind of working-class leaders who are dazzled
by the glamour of capitalism, who are overwhelmed by the
might of capital, and who dream of �getting on in the
world� and associating with�men of substance�.

There is no doubt that these leaders - if I may call them
that - are an echo of the past and do not suit the new
situation. There is no doubt that in time they will be
compelled to give way to new leaders who do correspond to
the militant spirit and heroism of the British proletariat.
Engels was right when he called such leaders bourgeoisified
leaders of the working class.

We share Stalin's optimism. Communists must act at local
level to ensure that our union leaders more closely
represent the interests of the working class. Revolutionary
advance requires a strong communist movement rooted in
Marxism-Leninism as well as a militant labour movement.

Communists must fight for both. The party must campaign for
a democratic Labour Party controlled by its affiliates. The
Party must fight to build the communist movement around the
revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism.

The New Communist Party was founded in 19977 precisely for
that purpose. Since then we have fouth for the maximum
working class unity against the ruling class while
campaigning to build the revolutionary party.

Unlike the revisionists and ultra-leftists we spurn the
�parliamentary road� and electoral politics. The old
Communist Party of Great Britain abandoned the
revolutionary road when it adopted the British Road to
Socialism, a revisionist programme of reformist and
social-democratic ideas which led to its political
isolation within the class and its inevitable liquidation.
But revisionist, reformist and social-democratic ideas
continue amongst its successors and amongst the Trotskytes.
The derisory votes gained by these parties when contest
elections, witnessed in the recent general election this
June, reflects the futility of their programmes which argue
that the only way to defeat social-democracy is in fact to
imitate it. It calls for social-democratic reforms while
campaigning against the only mass force for
social-democratic reform, the Labour Party. It inevitably
ends up in targeting the Labour Party itself rather than
the ruling class as the main enemy of the working class.

This is why these parties, together with the Trotskyites,
remain isolated amongst the workers and people they claim
to lead. The Labour Party remains an instrument for the
working class reform and as long it remains its
organisational links with the union movement it will
continue to be the only practical instrument for reform in

Working people often wiser than those sectarians and
ultra-leftists who claim to represent them, recognise this
and this accounts for the mass support for social-democracy
in Britain. His mass support is however, vulnerable at
certain times of particular dissatisfaction with Labour
leaderships and governments, which was clearly evidenced in
the 1999 European elections. An eight per cent turnout for
Labour dispayed much more than indifference to the European

The demands for reform, for the restoration of state
welfare, the public sector, the National Health Service,
progressive taxation and trade union immunities, are
progressive calls which would benefit working people. The
NCP supports these demands and will continue to support
Labour in national and local elections precisely because it
is the only instrument to achieve them. Our strategy for
revolution calls for the building of a revolutionary part
while our electoral policy is based on the historical
development and organisational form of the labour movement
as a whole.

The call for a democracy Labour Party has to be made
throughout the movement along with support for left Labour
Party activists with mass support when they come into
conflict with the Blair leadership. It has to be stressed
that without mass pressure from the working class and the
organised labour movement, significant reforms will not be
achieved and progressive conference decisions will not be
complied with. Working people have never achieved state
power through elections.

Social-democracy has never led to socialism and revisionism
has only led to the destruction of communist parties, and
in the Soviet Union and the eastern Europe,
counter-revolution and the destruction of the socialist
states. The NCP's opposition to social-democracy and
revisionism is not a dogmatic creed but the living
application of Marxist - Leninist science.

We must continue to combat these ideas along with those
pie-in-the-sky ideas of the utopian socialists, the
idealist and individualist views of the anarchists and
syndicalists and the anti-Communist theories of the

In combating ideas which are fundamentally wrong we must
uphold the communist alternative and strive to win people
away from these erroneous counter-revolutionary and
ultimately futile theories.