The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 2nd June 2017

Vote Labour!

WE GO TO the polls next week. The Tories represent the most reactionary and aggressive sections of the British bourgeoisie, but it is a ruling class divided between those who want out of the European Union (EU) and those who believe that British imperialism’s interests are best served as full partners of Franco-German imperialism within the EU.

You would have thought that the issue had been settled by the referendum last year but Mrs May thinks not. The Tory leader claims that she needs a firm new mandate to strengthen her hand in the exit negotiations with the EU — but her real reason in calling the snap election is to strengthen her hand over the Tory Brexiteers who are currently making all the running over the EU these days.

For us the referendum is binding and the sooner we get out of the EU the better. But divisions within the ruling class can benefit the working class and this one certainly has.

This election is a golden opportunity to kick the Tories out. The Tories were banking on the collapse of UKIP to give them a landslide victory on 8th June. They believed that their hate campaign against Jeremy Corbyn had made Labour unelectable. They said that Labour could never win more seats in England and Wales to compensate for the tranche of seats lost to the Scottish nationalists at the last election.

But Labour has recovered on the street and in the opinion polls. Some pundits are saying the Tories will be lucky to keep what they’ve already got — others are talking about a hung parliament.

There can only be two possible outcomes in June — the return of the Conservatives and the continuation of austerity, or a new Labour government. Either five more years of cuts in education and the health service, food-banks and homelessness in a low-wage austerity regime, or a Labour government that has promised to restore free collective bargaining, boost education, health and council house building, and restore part of the public sector that was sold off to the profiteers over the years by successive Tory governments.

The New Communist Party has never stood in local or national elections. Our electoral strategy is to support Labour and build working class unity. We support Labour at the polls because that will produce the best outcome for the working class under the current system but without any illusions that this will bring socialism.

We want a Labour victory. But we have no illusions about reformism or bourgeois democracy.

All forms of balloting in bourgeois states are designed so that the smallest number of people can manipulate the largest number of votes. If it were otherwise we would have — in Britain, where the vast majority of people are workers — a parliament dominated by members of the working class. In fact you could probably count the number of MPs who are working class on your hands.

But faith in reform and social-democracy is not innate in working people — neither are they simpletons or fools — workers vote for reform because they first of all believe that lasting changes can be won from the bourgeois ballot box, and secondly because they are not convinced of the necessity for change.

As Marxists we know that change is both necessary and inevitable, but revolutionary change, the change required to end the system of oppression and exploitation, requires a revolutionary party — and that revolutionary party must be based on the proven methods of the communist movement if it has any hope to succeed.

The revolutionary party must be based on iron discipline, democratic centralism, confidence and sacrifice, a monolithic party that speaks as one to the class and the class enemy. One that can lead the working class and one that learns from the working class.

In the meantime we must use every resource the labour movement possesses to win the biggest possible vote for Labour in June. But victory will come only by mobilising the mass support that swept Corbyn to the helm of the Labour party in the first place, and reaching out to everyone on the street and in the factories, offices, colleges and estates across the land.