Lib Dem candidate’s ‘lunatic fringe’ comment politically illiterate

Posted by John Eden
From: Dr. Peter Latham

Sent: Monday, April 07, 2014 5:12 AM


Subject: Lib Dem candidate’s ‘lunatic fringe’ comment politically illiterate

Dear Editor,

Please consider my letter below for publication in next Friday’s issue of the paper.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Latham

Lib Dem candidate’s ‘lunatic fringe’ comment politically illiterate

Lib Dem local election candidate John Jenkins, according to your report on 4 April, was furious that he would be speaking at Croydon Radio’s hustings programme on 6 April alongside Communist and National Front candidates he describes as the “lunatic fringe”.

In fact Ben Stevenson, Croydon Communist candidate for Bensham Manor ward, dropped out of the show immediately we learnt that a National Front candidate would be appearing. This follows our ‘no platform to racists or fascists’ policy, which is a matter of principle held not only by communists but also by trade unions and vast sections of the labour and progressive movement. We therefore applaud the decision by Andrew Pelling – who is also a Labour local election candidate – to resign from Croydon Radio because the NF were given a platform at the station’s hustings programme on 6 April.

John Jenkins is also politically illiterate when he equates communists with fascists because fascism is the last resort of a capitalist state in crisis. Moreover, the very first people Hitler sent to the gas chambers were the German communists as shown by Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous poem: ‘First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist… Then they came for the Socialists…the trade unionists…the Jews… Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me’.

Capitalism is again in crisis today and this is why the Communist Party of Britain is part of the No2EU alliance (set up by the late Bob Crow) whose manifesto will go to all households urging voters on 22 May to support a non-racist socialist exit from the European Union with its austerity policies.

Similarly, Ben Stevenson, John Eden in Selhurst and Peter Latham in Broad Green are standing as Communist candidates in the local elections to show that there is an alternative to the austerity policies of the three main parties both nationally and locally. For, as noted in my forthcoming book on The imminent demise of local government, all of the cuts in welfare, health, education, housing and local authority services can be reversed and services massively increased by:

· a two per cent wealth tax on the richest 10 per cent of households who own an estimated 44 per cent of Britain’s wealth (revenue £90 billion a year)

· a 10 per cent ‘Robin Hood’ tax on City transac­tions (revenue £112 billion a year)

· ending tax dodging by the super-rich and big business (revenue £70 billion a year).

(Dr.) Peter Latham, Flat 8 Scoresdale, 13 Beulah Hill, London SE19 3LH


Two developments concerning the future of the Labour Party and its relationship with progressive forces outside that party, including the Communist Party, have been reported this week. First, at the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) AGM there was a motion, remitted to the EC, calling for the establishment of a new party affiliated to the Labour Party, much as is the Co-operative Party, to represent the left within the party. The second development was that Len McCluskey, General Secretary of the Unite union, speaking to parliamentary journalists this week, suggested that if Labour lost the next general election on a programme of cuts, a new workers party might gain his union’s support.

The CLPD pretty well represents the last vestige of socialist organisation within the Labour Party. There are, of course, still a few individual socialists in the Labour Party and there exists the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) which aims to build support across the left inside and outside the Labour Party. The effectiveness of these efforts is, however, hampered by Labour’s prohibition on organising a party within the party and on members who are also members of a party that stands candidates against Labour. The Communist Party has always taken a principled stand on this. We stand in elections, where we can, not because we have any realistic prospect of being elected under first past the post elections dominated by a capitalist mass media, but because we think a truly democratic party, which we are, should be prepared to put its views before the electorate where it can. We also recognise that Labour’s prohibition on membership of parties that stand against it was and is directly targeted at the Communist Party. Unlike many other parties on the left, we refuse to bow our knee over this. Entryism may appeal to some on the left but it is not our style of working.

It is difficult to see how we might gain from the CPLD’s idea for a new, tame party affiliated to Labour even if the Labour Party were to approve such an affiliation, which seems most unlikely.
Whether there might be an opportunity for the Communist Party in the new workers party envisaged by Mr McCluskey remains to be seen.

Elections are expensive. That is why the Communist Party does not currently stand in as many as we would like. We will, however, by standing in three wards in Croydon at the local government elections on 22 May: Broad Green, Selhurst and Bensham Manor. Support, financial and physical, would be very welcome.

Martin Graham
Election Agent for the Communist Party in Croydon

Croydon and Beyond


By John Eden.

Yesterday I read on the “Inside Croydon” blog that the Council are setting up Twitter account so Croydonians can air their views to the Council, the “inside” blog welcomed the idea, but seemed sceptical of the motives, I don’t feel we have to get into speculation, I welcome any furtherance of the democratic process, how can it be detrimental to the interests of the people of Croydon, I am pretty sure that “inside Croydon” understand that.

On the leaflet the Communist Party in Croydon have been circulating over the recent weeks, against the building of a giant incinerator on Beddington lane, we wrote about the hypocrisy of the local Labour Councillors being against it in Croydon, but their colleagues on Merton Council supporting it, (the plan to build is a joint venture  of four Councils Croydon, Merton, Sutton and Kingston).

Well the hypocrites are at it again, in a report in the “Croydon Advertiser” Friday August 24th page 7 entitled “Labour: “We will force firms to employ locals” Labour leader of the opposition Cllr Newman pledges to tackle the high unemployment in Croydon by forcing building Employers undertaking new work in the borough to take on 20% of the workers from Croydon, it would be welcome! but this is the same Councillor who as leader of the Council in 2006 closed down the Council run Local disabilities Factory (only days before the people of Croydon remove them from office in the local elections of May of that year) thus creating unemployment amongst already vunerable workers’, it is said only two of them have found employment so far, six years on. The factory had been opened by the then Conservative Council in 1961, when I challenge one of the Labour Councillors after their defeat, and said  “closing it, contributed to their losing control of the council”  the reply was, well the Conservative can restore it, but I replied ” you closed it and all the machinery as been removed”. No call me cynical but Cllr Newman remarks as more to do with electioneering.

Croydon Council a possible conumdrum

By John Eden.

We have been leafleting Croydon door to door since the end of  June, with the intention of standing candidates in the next local elections in 2014, without going into all the reasons why we are standing, I think Croydon is unusual, especially in the South of England in that it as only two parties on the Council,  Labour and Tory, there is no third-party such as the Lib-Dems or Independents (ie usually meaning Independent Tories).

The Tories control the Council which is divided 37 Tory 33 Labour, all the wards in the North of the Borough are labour, in the South all are Tory, the Centre is divided between the two.

The elections in 2014 might spring a very interesting situation, should the Labour party win two seats, the Council would be split 35 seats each, one party would have to supply the Mayor, who only as a casting vote, therefore the Mayor’s party, in the bipartisan politics of Croydon, would always be in a minority.This is a real possibility because of entrench positions in the North and South of the borough.

So no party would logically want to propose a Mayor from their own ranks, I was speaking to a labour Party member from Croydon about this, and he said, that if this did arise the most likely out come is that one councillor, lured by the possibility of becoming Mayor would jump ship, and join the opposition, most likely someone who would never have been considered having the possible qualities in normal times.

The only difference between the two parties in local politics nationally, is their enumeration for being part of the quite recent introduction of the cabinet system of local government, the leader of  cabinet of the ruling party might get £70k per year, other cabinet members less but still substantial, the Leader of the opposition cabinet a few thousand less, but the politics are the same, Labour in London Boroughs where they are in control have made cuts just as deep as the Tory boroughs. So Jumping ship can be very rewarding.

Time to elect Communists Councillors.

Support Stop the South London Incinerator Campaign

By John Eden

Croydon Tory Council are supporting the building of an enormous Incinerator at Beddington Lane, when built it will be run by private contractors for profit. The contact will be worth £1billion, private profit and people’s health are incompatible. The site will be close to Croydon North, which is the largest mainland Parliamentary constituency in England, it is overwhelmingly working class, every local councillor, and there are twenty four are Labour. This is a part of Croydon the Tories can’t win and the Labour party can’t lose, that’s why it seems they are putting all their efforts into winning the three seats in the Waddon ward and one in the New Addington ward in the local elections in 2014, if Labour win three, they then will control of the Council, but by then the Incinerator will have been built. The time to fight is now! That’s why we support the “Stop the South London Incinerator Campaign”

Visit their website  read about the dangers of incineration and sign their online petition.


Lobby of Labour lead council, Brixton town hall Feb 29th 2012

John Eden                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight I shall be going to lobby the  Lambeth labour run Council meeting along with other delegates of Lambeth Trades Union Council, we are opposing the around £30 million cuts to services, and we have given our full support to any Labour councillor voting against the cuts, there is likely to be only one, and as far as I am aware the only one in Britain.In Croydon where the Labour Party is in opposition to the Tories , they are voting against their proposed cuts. OK good, but what do they think of their fellow Labour Councillors in Lambeth? Tweedle dee Tweedle dum.