85th Anniversary of the Morning Star

This year marks the 85th anniversary of the Morning Star. The paper first came out on 1 January 1930 under the title, the Daily Worker. It changed its name to the Morning Star in 1966. The paper is the voice of organised labour. It’s the only paper that reports on the industrial and political issues that matter to ordinary people. And it will play a crucial role in this general election year as the political debate sharpens and we fight to get rid of the Con-Dems in May.

We need more people to buy the Morning Star to cover production costs and ensure the voice of socialism is heard. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to buy the paper by placing an order at your local newsagent or buying a subscription to the e-edition: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/subscribe

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Labour’s Failure to Grasp the Privatisation Nettle

The news that Royal Mail workers have voted four to one in favour of industrial action against the impact of Con-Dem privatisation plans, throws into sharp relief Labour’s continued refusal to grasp the opportunities handed to it on a plate to scupper the Royal Mail sell-off. All it would take is a public commitment to its re-nationalisation after the next election. But this is of a piece with its failure to support the return to public ownership of the railways, energy and water. This should come as no surprise to socialists.

What’s curious, though, is the logic behind their feeble efforts to appear a bit more radical, without dropping their essential support for a pro-business, neoliberal ideology. This is destined to fail, as no amount of recalibration of a fundamentally flawed regulatory system can address the substance of monopoly power and the loss of vital infrastructure that used to belong to us all.

As Bertolt Brecht famously said, ‘If you fight you might lose, if you don’t you have already lost.’

Chris Guiton

Ben Stevenson Reflects on the Croydon North By-election Result

The result of the Croydon North by-election was announced earlier this morning. Ben Stevenson, the Communist Party candidate, said, “I am pleased we increased our share of the vote at yesterday’s election. Although voter turnout was low, we secured a respectable proportion of votes.

But this is not just about turning up for occasional elections. The Communist Party in Croydon is here for the long-term. We have a good record of involvement in the fight against privatisation and for the protection of public services. We stand for jobs, investment in industry and green technologies, public ownership of the banks and major utilities, and progressive taxation.

Frankly, Britain can’t afford capitalism. The Communist Party offers the only authentic working class voice in Croydon and I look forward to continuing the fight against the cuts, the use of the economic crisis as cover to destroy the welfare state and the actions of this greedy, cynical and corrupt Government.”

 

Crunch Time Today in Croydon North By-election

Read the feature in today’s Morning Star on Ben Stevenson and the Croydon North by-election:

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/126623

Vote Communist for a people’s Britain not a bankers’ Britain!

Croydon Communists to Contest By-election

News Release

Croydon’s Communists pledged to step up the fight against coalition cuts today as local members confirmed that Communist Party National Secretary Ben Stevenson will stand in the forthcoming Croydon North by-election.

Mr Stevenson, who is also active on Croydon Trades Union Council, said: “We’ve had two years of coalition cuts to jobs, pensions and public services which has only further weakened Britain’s economy. And worse is to come as 80% of the cuts planned have yet to take effect.

“Working people are sick of slimy professional politicians who are more interested in toadying up to the super-rich and spivs in the city, and feathering their own nests, rather than representing the interests of those people they were elected to serve.” he added.

“I stood in 2010 to make the argument, that whatever government was formed it would be working people who would be forced to shoulder the burden of the capitalist economic crisis. But even we couldn’t have predicted the scale of corruption, greed and double-speak of this coalition government, who are clearly using the crisis as cover to destroy the NHS and the other gains made since 1945 through the welfare state.”

The Communist Party will campaign in Croydon in opposition to coalition cuts and EU austerity measures, putting the case for alternative policies that would place the burden on the super-rich and big business via progressive taxation; investment in manufacturing, green industries and housebuilding; and renationalisation of the rail network and energy companies.

Mr Stevenson pledged to “challenge the collective amnesia that exists in Westminster – as it does in nearly every centre of power in Europe – and remind them that this economic crisis wasn’t caused by public sector workers, unemployed young people or the millions of pensioners condemned to poverty.

“The programme of cuts being pursued by this illegitimate and undemocratic government isn’t going to help drag Britain out of recession, create jobs and provide the kind of future that the hard-working people of Croydon North deserve.”

Instead Mr Stevenson said: “they deserve better than this government or the lacklustre ‘Tory-lite’ response being offered by the Miliband-Balls ‘purple’ Labour plan of exactly the same policies dragged out over a couple more years. There’s a ‘battle for ideas’ taking place right now – and the Communist Party aims to be leading that fight.”

[ends]

 Notes to editors:

  1. Press officer: Chris Guiton 07854 129732 croydon@communist-party.org.uk
  2. Ben Stevenson is 28 years old and National Secretary of the Communist Party. Since moving to Croydon from his native Birmingham in 2005, he has been heavily involved in local labour movement politics through the Croydon Save Our Schools Campaign, the campaign against the Beddington Lane Incinerator and the Croydon Trades Union Council’s Executive Committee.
  3. The Communist Party was founded in 1920 and is part of an international movement involving millions of people in more than 100 countries across the globe.

 

Labour Need to Commit Now to Taking the Rail Network into Public Ownership!

By Chris Guiton

In a recent interview with Progress, Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary, has denied any ambition to re-nationalise the rail network, stating ‘I’m not interested in setting up some monolithic, centrally-run-from-my-desk nationalised body to run everything to public ownership.’ Instead, she  waffled about devolving power to local communities. You wonder if this represents a retreat from her earlier more positive response to the ‘Rebuilding Rail’ report published by the think tank Transport for Quality of Life, on behalf of the main rail unions: Aslef, RMT, TSSA and Unite.

The report sets out a strategy for how public ownership of the railway could be restored and how a future Labour government could reintegrate rail operations and infrastructure. It calls for Labour to make a number of commitments: use money saved from reintegration to lower fares; award no new franchises; review all existing franchises to assess whether they should be bought out; reduce ‘dividend leakage’; and campaign against the European Commission’s intention for member states to open domestic passenger services to competition.

With rail fares set to rise in January 2013 by inflation plus 3% – in effect, up to 11% depending on the franchise terms, Labour are clearly missing a trick here. Even Tory MPs are waking up to the impact of fare rises on their constituents – and those in marginal seats with significant commuter populations appear to be getting decidedly nervous. Many Croydon residents use the train service to commute to London and elsewhere, and with no prospect in sight of an end to this grossly unfair squeeze on rapidly diminishing incomes, people are justifiably angry.  The case for re-nationalisation is well-understood. A publicly owned, integrated rail network would deliver a better service, cost the taxpayer and commuters less and avoid the excessive transaction costs and profiteering generated by privatisation.

Every reason for Labour to be bolder and for Croydon voters to act accordingly!