6th IMCWP, Contribution of New Communist Party of Britain

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • Britain, New Communist Party of Britain 6th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October, Contribution of New CP of
From: SolidNet, Monday, October 18, 2004
http://www.newworker.org , mailto:party@ncp.clara.net

International Meeting Communist and Workers' Parties

"Resistance to Imperialist Aggressiveness. Fronts of
Struggle and Alternatives"
8 10 October 2004, Athens

Contribution of New Communist Party of Britain

Dear Comrades,

We have met many times before to exchange views,
co-ordinate our campaigns and strengthen our solidarity
with peoples in struggle across the globe. We have seen
good times and bad times but this time we meet in an
atmosphere of optimism and hope.

The remaining bastions of socialism, People's China,
Democratic Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos stand firm
politically and economically while the capitalist world
sinks into decadence and economic stagnation. The
Venezuelan people have closed ranks to defend the
democratic Bolivarian Revolution against US imperialism,
the African countries are developing their own independent
institutions and the masses in Africa, Asia and Latin
America are demanding change. The flames of resistance burn
bright in Palestine and Iraq. And in the developed
capitalist world, the imperialist heartlands of North
America and Western Europe a massive anti-war movement has
arisen to challenge the neo-colonialist conspiracies of the
ruling circles in Britain and the United States.

The primary contradiction in the world today is between
United States imperialism and the rest of the world it
seeks to dominate. George W Bush's administration
represents the most reactionary and aggressive sections of
the American ruling class. The last Republican
administration, headed by his father, presided over the
counter-revolutions in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe,
encouraged the revisionists and traitors who destroyed
socialist society in Europe and openly declared its
ambition world domination, which they called the "new
world order".

The new Bush administration came to office in 2000
determined to continue along the same path under the banner
of "globalisation" and "human rights". Countries that
refused to surrender their independence together with the
remaining revolutionary strongholds were demonised as the
"axis of evil" and targeted for destruction.

Afghanistan and Iraq have been invaded. The economic
blockade against Cuba and Democratic Korea has been
tightened and new sanctions have been imposed on Syria.
Zionist Israel has been armed and encouraged to crush the
Palestinian uprising and separatist movements in the
Russian Federation are being covertly supported to
undermine the efforts of the Putin government to restore
its economy and break up the Russian federation.

But wherever there is oppression there is resistance and
no more so than on the streets of the towns and villages of
Iraq. The heroic resistance, drawn from all sections of
Iraqi society including the patriotic communist movement,
has taken up the gun to drive the Anglo-American garrison
out. The puppet regime is on its knees and the US-led army
of occupation has its back against the wall. The hideous
crimes of the invaders, their concentration camps and
slaughter of innocent civilians has fired the anger of the
peoples in Europe and the United States who have built a
consistent anti-war campaign that led to the defeat of the
reactionary Spanish government and the withdrawal of all
their troops and movements that are challenging the
leadership of Tony Blair and George W Bush in Britain and
the United States.

The primary contradiction today is between United States
imperialism and the peoples of the world and between the
most aggressive sections of the US ruling class and those
sections of the bourgeoisie in the rest of the world who
are not prepared to accept the permanent second class
status implicit in Bush's "new world".

The Putin regime in Russia is strengthening its relations
with the socialist countries, India, France and Germany to
try and preserve its independence. French and German
imperialism combined with some of their allies within the
European Union to oppose US imperialism's attempt to
control the entire Middle East and through that the global
oil market when it opposed the drive to war against Iraq at
the United Nations. They detached Turkey from the
Anglo-American camp and their stand has helped exasperate
the crisis over Iraq within the British ruling class that
has divided them in a way not seen since the great
divisions over Free Trade and the Corn Laws in the 19th

After the Second World War British imperialism realised it
could no longer maintain its vast maritime Empire alone and
sought to preserve its global interests through alliance
with the vastly more powerful United States. But this was
an unequal relationship and while British imperialism
generally did the bidding of its more powerful partner it
soon realised that US imperialism's interests were not
identical to those of Britain. The Americans encouraged the
break-up of the old European colonial systems to open them
up for exploitation by US corporations and the United
States stood aside when Britain, France and Israel invaded
Egypt in 1956 to stop the nationalisation of the Suez

A section of the British ruling class increasingly saw the
merits of partnership in Europe in the 1950s and 60s but
few were prepared to wholeheartedly endorse the European
project because they realised British imperialism would
never be more than an equal partner to Germany and France.
The US alliance, called the "special relationship" was
maintained to defend British imperialism's remaining global
interests and the international standing of sterling while
Britain acted as a "bridge" across the Atlantic into
Europe. By these means: having a foot in two camps, and
possessing a nuclear arsenal second only to that of the
United States, British imperialism believed it could
continue to maintain its Great Power status and play off
one against the other.

During the Cold War this policy appeared to work. British
imperialists like Tory premier Harold Macmillan flattered
themselves at playing the "Athens" to America's "Rome".
Labour premier Harold Wilson tried to solve Britain's
balance of payments problems through IMF and World Bank
loans but was still able to resist US pressure to send
troops to Vietnam. Mrs Thatcher won US support during the
war with Argentina over the Malvinas islands but still
defied Washington when it came to selling Rolls Royce
engines for the Soviet oil pipelines.

The Iraq crisis destroyed all these assumptions. Tony
Blair's Labour government, like all previous Labour
governments ultimately served the interests of the ruling
class. But the Blair government has aligned itself to the
most venal and craven elements of the British ruling class
those who believe that British imperialism cannot survive
without the United States and those who think that the
Americans will give them a share of the spoils if they act
as America's chief running dog throughout the world.
Consequently the Blair government has backtracked on its
pledge to join the European single currency. It has reneged
on its promises to Sinn Fein and the Irish people in the
Good Friday Agreement and it actively sabotaged the moves
towards the EU constitution favoured by France and Germany.

Other sections of the ruling class those representing
manufacturing industries, banking and commerce committed to
European integration have been horrified at the breach with
Paris and Berlin. Needing mass support for their efforts
they have supported the anti-war campaign and are working
to harness it to their own class interests. The issue of
the "weapons of mass destruction" and the "dodgy dossier"
that Blair used to justify his lies about the Saddam
Hussein government will not go away. Public outrage at the
war has even extended to those Neanderthal elements within
the ruling class who object to the use of British troops
as sepoys to do America's dirty work in Iraq but are as
opposed to the European Union as they are to the US

The bourgeois press is divided almost equally between the
two camps. The Liberal Democrats, the smaller bourgeois
party that has long embraced Euro-federalism, has used its
opposition to the war to great effect in recent local and
parliamentary elections. Labour is deeply divided with a
significant minority of backbench MPs opposed to Blair. The
Conservatives are also divided though to a much lesser

This has created favourable conditions for a sustained
anti-war campaign millions-strong that has committees
throughout the country that can mobilise hundreds of
thousands for mass demonstrations in London. It has engaged
vast sections of the working class and the new generation
of young people in a campaign that has a distinctly
anti-imperialist nature. This was reflected in this year's
TUC and Labour Party conference, that had until recently
been dominated by Blair's followers. Though the Blair
leadership remained dominant it was forced on the defensive
for the first time.

Of course no section of the ruling class can ever represent
the interests of working people. Those opposed to Blair are
not opposed to all war only this one in Iraq. Like Chirac
and Schr�der they all supported the bombing of Serbia and
the destruction of the Yugoslav federation. The Liberal
Democrats want workers' votes but they can never act of
their behalf. Their attitude to the unions and public
ownership differs little from that of the Conservatives.
Liberals like to call Lord Beveridge the "father of the
welfare state" , and indeed this Liberal academic did draw
up the blueprint for the "Welfare State" for Churchill's
wartime coalition government in 1942. But only a Labour
government could have implemented it and it did after
Labour's landslide victory in 1945.

The fringe left social-democratic platforms like Respect
and those that have gone before them like the Socialist
Alliance and the revisionist communist parties in Britain
garner a small protest vote but they are not an alternative
to Labour and their influence in the labour movement as a
whole is marginal.

Our Party believes that working people can never achieve
power by parliamentary means. People's democracy and the
dictatorship of the proletariat can only be won through
revolutionary struggle. But we also believe in the
importance of winning working class reforms in the day to
day struggle between capital and labour. Reformist policies
are best left to reformist parties and that's what the
Labour Party always was. But the major reforms that Labour
pushed through under the Attlee government and the later
Wilson/Callaghan administrations in the 1970s were due to
mass rank-and-file pressure from the unions and the Labour
Party itself. It's no co-incidence that, according to
current social studies, British working people enjoyed
their highest standard of living during the 1970s and the
restoration of everything working people had won from 1945
to 1979 must be the minimum demand of the British union

We believe that within the labour movement the first step
must be the defeat of the Blair leadership and its
replacement by those ready to end the war and heed the
demands of organised labour.

We believe that communists must always maintain an
independent communist campaign within the broad ranks of
the anti-war movement based on the principles of
proletarian internationalism.

We believe that communists in Britain and all round the
world must rally in support of the socialist states, the
revolutionary movements and the peoples of the world
fighting Anglo-American imperialism and their lackeys in
Afghanistan, Palestine and above all, Iraq.

The issue is clear. The Iraq war was an illegal and unjust
war. British troops should never have been sent to Iraq in
the first place. They must be brought home immediately. The
Iraqi people's legitimate rights to independence and the
control of their resources must be upheld. The Iraqi people
have taken up the gun in a new fight for independence.
Their resistance must be supported.

Andy Brooks
General Secretary