New Communist Party of Britain
New Communist Party of Britain
adopted December 2015
The New Communist Party was founded in 1977 to build the communist movement around the revolutionary principles of Marxism‑Leninism. Since then we have campaigned for the maximum working class unity against the ruling class, while campaigning to build the revolutionary party.
Working people can never achieve state power through bourgeois elections. Bourgeois elections are democratic only for the ruling class and their instruments, a tool to mask their real dictatorship. All bourgeois elections are the manipulation of the largest number of votes by the smallest number of people.
We reject the “parliamentary road” and electoral politics. The old Communist Party of Great Britain abandoned the revolutionary road when it adopted the British Road to Socialism. Its successor in the Communist Party of Britain continue this essentially social‑democratic and revisionist policy today. Other left electoral platforms like the Socialist Labour Party, Respect, Scottish Socialist Party, TUSC, RISE and No2EU all express essentially the same theory.
The paltry results of all these parties reflect the futility of trying to compete with the Labour Party in bourgeois elections. These gains are more than matched by the non‑socialist Greens which shows the futility of programmes that argue the only way to defeat social democracy is in fact to imitate it.
They call for social‑democratic reforms while campaigning against the only mass force capable of implementing reform, the Labour Party itself. They foster the illusion that there is a left electoral alternative to Labour when the reality is that the only alternative — in the current situation — to the Conservative government is a Labour government.
All of them end up attacking the Labour Party rather than the ruling class as the main enemy of the working class. Objectively they end up in the camp of the class enemy.
But the masses are often much wiser than those who claim to lead them and this is why these parties remain isolated amongst the working class, despite all their pretensions. The Labour Party is not the enemy of the working class nor is it a barrier to communist advance.
The NCP’s electoral policy is to vote Labour in all elections apart from the bogus European parliamentary polls, which we boycott. This is not because we supported the venal right‑wing policies of “New Labour” or the former leadership around Ed Miliband. Or because we think a future Labour government can solve the problems of working people, that isn’t possible in a capitalist “democracy”. It is simply the best possible outcome in the current circumstances.
The Labour Party has always been a mass party encompassing a very wide political spectrum, and it has always tolerated right‑wing social‑democratic factions. Though every now and again it would purge those from the left, particularly those of a Trotskyist persuasion and Trotskyite entryists.
Though it was founded by the trade unions to give the working class its own voice within Parliament, the Parliamentary Party leadership has been dominated by the middle class intelligentsia since the days of Ramsay McDonald.
But the working class element within the party remained strong, with figures like Aneurin Bevan and even Harold Wilson who gave it credibility among the working class.
The Labour leadership contest under new rules designed to undermine Labour’s organic links to the trade union movement which opened up the ballot to individual registered supporters that played a decisive role in the surge of support especially among young people for Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran left‑social‑democrat, in the leadership election in 2015. His victory means that the front line of the class struggle is now out in the open as the working class has a real chance to reclaim the party it founded and built from the agents and minions of the ruling class who have dominated the highest levels for decades.
Corbyn’s victory shows that the Labour Party is still a potentially strong weapon for our class and has vindicated our long held electoral position. That is not to confuse the Labour Party with a revolutionary party or imagine that we can gain a workers’ state through parliamentary elections.
A Labour government, with the yet unbroken links with the Labour Party, the trade unions and the co‑operative movement, offers the best option for the working class in the era of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. Our strategy is for working class unity and our campaigns are focused on defeating the right‑wing within the movement and strengthening the left and progressive forces within the Labour Party and the unions.
Day‑to‑day demands for reform, progressive taxation, state welfare and a public sector dedicated to meet the people’s needs are winnable under capitalism, particularly in a rich country like Britain today.
We support these demands and back the demands of those within the Labour Party and the trade union movement who are campaigning for greater social justice.
We support those in the Labour Party fighting for left policies. It is part of our struggle for a democratic Labour Party.
Though the Labour Party is dominated by the class‑collaborating right wing in the parliamentary party and the trade union movement, the possibility of their defeat exists as long as Labour retains its organisational links with the trade unions that fund it. The defeat of right‑wing union blocs in most of the major unions over the past ten years demonstrates this possibility.
We support the affiliation of unions to the Labour Party. We must fight for affiliation in those unions that are presently not affiliated and we must demand that the Labour Party reflect the wishes of the millions of its affiliated union members, expressed through the unions’ democratic procedures along with the new registered supporters won for Labour during the Corbyn campaign.
The fight for a democratic Labour Party is linked to the fight for a democratic trade union movement. In the unions we must struggle to elect genuine working class leaderships, who are prepared to represent and fight for the membership against the employers and against the right wing within the movement and to campaign for the removal of all anti‑trade union legislation.
The Party must campaign for a democratic Labour Party controlled by its affiliates; a Labour Party whose policies reflected those of a democratic union movement would become a powerful instrument for progressive reforms that would strengthen organised labour and benefit the working class.
We welcomed the creation of the new Labour Representation Committee (LRC) that was restored by a number of left Labour MPs and trade unions in 2004 to secure political representation for the labour movement and promote a series of progressive policies for a future Labour government.
In February 2005 the NCP affiliated to the Labour Representation Committee, which was only possible under the LRC’s rules because the NCP does not run candidates against Labour in the elections. Marxist‑Leninists, for the first time since the 1920s, are now making the case for communism within a part of the Labour Party itself.
At the same time we must build the revolutionary party and campaign for revolutionary change. Social democracy remains social democracy whatever trend is dominant within it. It has never led to socialism. Revisionism, which poses as communism, has only led to the destruction of the Soviet Union and the people’s governments of eastern Europe and the destruction of some mass communist parties millions strong.
Our Party’s strategy is the only way to fight for the communist alternative within the working class of England, Scotland and Wales. We want day‑to‑day reforms and they can only be achieved by the main reformist, social democratic party in Britain, the Labour Party. We want revolution and that can only be achieved through the leadership of the communist party.