Seven reasons to join the Communist Party!

A reflection by Nigel Green

Our three Communist candidates each got only around 50 and 80 votes at last week’s local elections in Croydon. This was, of course, nowhere near enough to win, but our campaigning on a left, socialist platform nevertheless helped radicalise an otherwise lacklustre election.

Our efforts to raise the level of debate in the campaign was not unhelpful to Labour, the eventual winners, and we contributed to the outcome in which Croydon voters shunned the Tories, UKIP and the neo-fascist BNP.

Despite the difficulties we face under our first-past-the-post electoral system in which mass media, from which we are largely excluded, brings in the votes, not local campaigning, there are still seven good reasons for working people and trade unionists to join the Communists in Croydon, right here, right now:

1. Economics/Political economy – Communists characterise the present system as ‘State Monopoly Capitalism’, where the economy is dominated by a relatively small number of privately–owned, profit driven conglomerates. A key function of the capitalist state is to defend the interests of these giant monopolies and the neo-liberal market system that enables them to thrive.
2. Workplace issues and priorities – Communists in our programme ‘Britain’s Road to Socialism’, argue that trade unions must be at the heart of the opposition to austerity and workplace attacks. We campaign within unions for their leaderships to adopt a militant but very realistic campaign on pay, pensions and jobs.

3. Organising to win – Communists always advocate and adopt a collaborative approach to campaigning and seek to involve other organisations where we can – trade unions and grass roots organisations. We campaign to win but we are not sectarian in the way we go about this!

4. Political campaigning and the Labour Party – Communists say that Labour governments under rank and file union pressure have enacted some important reforms, but have never challenged the capitalist system. This is where Communists come in – we are fighting to end the capitalist system and establish a socialist and ultimately, in the more distant future, a fully communist society. We agitate on this all the time!

5. Internationalism and anti-racism – Communists stand in solidarity with workers in many countries. We are part of the international communist movement and there are very few countries where we do not have good contacts with our sister parties. We oppose fascists of every kind, wherever they reside, and we campaign for pay parity and full rights for migrant workers.

6. We campaign to exit the European Union in a socialist direction – we seek its dissolution because it is the main instrument for imposing big business, neo-liberal policies on member states. That is why, along with other socialists and the RMT union, we called for a vote for ‘No2 EU’ in the Euro elections the other week. On the other hand, we totally oppose Ukip for the racism lurking beneath its surface and its right wing agenda hostile to the interests of ordinary working people.

7. The environment – The current capitalist-made devastation of the earth’s climate and ecology is the most important issue ever faced by humankind. Communists put defence of the environment at the heart of everything we do.

Seven reasons to join the Communist Party! The eighth is that, by joining, you will make us a bigger party and thus more effective in pursuing these aims. Read our fighting socialist daily newspaper, the Morning Star, join our local Marxist education programme (details at http://communistuniversity.wordpress.com), but, most importantly, e-mail office@communist-party.org.uk and say you want to join the Communist Party. Now is not the time to hold back!

Nigel Green

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Local Elections: No 2EU – Yes to Workers Rights, The Communist Party and UKIP

A Posting by Nigel Green

Croydon’s communists have welcomed the No2EU – Yes to Workers Rights challenge in the elections on Thursday for the European Parliament as a vital antidote to the reactionary and anti-foreigner poison of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

Communists have condemned UKIP as preying on people’s disillusionment with establishment politics and the European Union. As the Communist Party’s General Secretary Rob Griffiths has pointed out, UKIP leader and ex-City speculator Nigel Farage is a first-class passenger on the Brussels and Strasbourg gravy train who opposes trade union and employment rights, proposes further tax cuts for the rich and big business and wants to privatise the NHS.

UKIP supports the austerity and privatisation policies that have made 26 million people unemployed across Europe, but then cynically seeks to ‘whip up a vile wave of xenophobia’ to make workers in Britain fear for their jobs.

Also standing in the European elections, No2EU – Yes to Workers Rights will, on the other hand, be campaigning against austerity and privatisation, for public ownership and full employment, and for equal rights for all workers to ensure that employers can’t use cheap migrant labour to undercut wages, terms and conditions.

The No2EU electoral alliance comprises the RMT rail and transport union, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Indian Workers Association and other progressive groups and individuals.

Croydon Communists alongside others in the local labour movement, will not allow UKIP, the BNP and the Tory right in our town to dominate anti-EU opinion with right-wing arguments. We oppose the EU as it is an anti-democratic big business club in which an unelected EU Commission and an unaccountable European Central Bank enforce neoliberal policies enshrined in EU treaties.

The international secretary of the Communist Party, John Foster, has warned, too, about the growing militarisation of the EU as the European pillar of NATO. John said ‘Led by the unelected president Jose Barroso and high commissioner Baroness Ashton, the EU has fuelled the drive eastwards to impose a new economic and military order on the peoples of the former socialist countries and Soviet republics’. Seventeen communist and left parties in Europe, including Die Linke in Germany, Portugal’s Left Bloc and the Danish Red-Green Alliance, have now signed a joint statement condemning the EU as ‘in essence neoliberal and militarist’ and therefore ‘unreformable’.

Calling for Britain’s exit from the EU because it is neoliberal and militarist is the Communist Party’s internationalist duty as well as a national necessity.

Nigel Green

UKIP ANTI-EU CREDENTIALS EXPOSED

A posting by Nigel Green

Writing in this weekend’s Morning Star ( 10/11th May 2014) Natasha Hoarau daughter of the late, great Bob Crow, says that her Dad who did so much exposing the EU empire for what it is – an undemocratic club for big business bosses – “had no time for UKip”.
She points out that while Bob’s union the RMT “campaigned vigorously on the streets for public ownership of our transport networks”, Brussels based Ukip MP’s were demanding that “member states follow EU rail directives imposing privatisation and fragmentation across the EU”.
Natasha emphasizes that Ukip “aims to add to the austerity measures being imposed on us, not fighting against them.”
The BNP and NF are open extreme right neo-fascist racist groups with violent thugs in their membership. These organisations should have no place in any fair – minded society based on peace, justice and equality. However, we are not getting very far if their support simply transfers to Ukip. Although not fascists as such UKip are a hard right, anti-immigrant outfit and as we keeping hearing on the mainstream media, contain large numbers of racist bigots.
They are also rampant neo-liberal free marketeers, who hate the public sector and workers rights. Apart from wanting to dismantle any vestige of public ownership of our transport systems, Ukip would:
• make it easier for employers to fire staff
• cut Statutory Maternity Pay by more than half
• hand over the NHS to private companies, leaving little left other than the NHS logo
• introduce a flat rate of tax for everyone, which would hurt the poorest much more
• scrap rules which prevent corporate tax avoidance
• scrap the legal right to four weeks paid holidays, statutory sick pay and redundancy pay
(Source: Labour Research May 2014)

The Communist Party says these measures will be catastrophic for working people, men and women alike, and completely opposes every one of them.
The Party welcomes the launch of the ‘No to EU, yes to Workers rights’ platform this week, who are standing in the Euro-elections on 22 May. ‘No 2 EU’ includes Communists on the slate. So if you want Britain to leave the EU, but in conditions that favour working people and public ownership, and in conditions favouring a socialist non-racist exit, then vote for ‘No 2 EU’.
I am especially pleased to report that In London, Natasha Hoarau is standing on the ‘No 2 EU’ slate in place of her father. So good luck to Natasha and all ‘No 2 EU’ candidates.

Nigel Green