Image of Hammer and Sickle

New Communist Party of Britain

Speech moving the main political resolution

Andy Brooks, General Secretary, New Communist Party of Britain

Dear friends, comrades and honoured guests

We meet again at a time of intensifying struggle in Britain and throughout the world. We meet while the British ruling class and the bourgeoisie throughout the imperialist world continue with their all‑round austerity offensive to make the working class pay for the capitalist slump that began in 2008 and still continues without an end in sight.

Surely it is an obscenity when one of the richest countries in the world spends billions on the Trident nuclear weapons system and overseas aggression while millions are unemployed or working for bread‑line wages. Surely it is obscene that millions of working people are being driven to the food‑banks and forced to live in abject poverty under the benefits cuts regime while the rich brazenly flaunt the wealth they’ve acquired through extortion, exploitation and plunder at home and abroad.

We meet as working people rally round the new left‑social democratic leaders of the Labour Party against austerity and take to the streets to oppose the bombing of Syria.

We meet as the Tory government launches a new wave of oppression that threatens to strip the unions of their last remaining immunities that takes us further down the road to the authoritarian state and the open dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

We meet today in a world where the primary contradiction is still between American imperialism and the rest of the world it seeks to dominate.

A new economic and political counter to US‑led imperialism is being built by Russia, China, India and Brazil to provide an alternative to imperialism’s so‑called free trade agreements and “partnerships” that solely serve the interests of the trans‑national corporations of the imperialist world.

Globalisation, the internationalism of the division of labour, has continued apace since the turn of the millennium; it is a product of science, technology and the development of the productive forces and should be at the service of humankind with the right of every human being to develop and practice their talent, skills and knowledge. But globalisation, when put to work by monopoly capitalism, is nothing else but raw imperialism. Imperialism, represented by the leaders of the developed countries, has striven through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to tighten their grip on the economies of all countries, in particular those of the developing world.

The view of the imperialists is that the raison d'être of these extra‑governmental organisations is to remove any restrictions on trade, regulation of internal markets in trade or services, to drop any restrictions on the movement of capital and removal export subsidies and import tariffs which protect home grown industries and agriculture — in other words to give maximum freedom to the monopoly capitalists

But wherever there is oppression, there is resistance and now imperialism is on the defensive.

US imperialism struggles to hold on to what it’s already got. It has been forced to reach an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran that recognises the Iranian right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It has also been forced to end the diplomatic blockade of Cuba.

But US imperialism and its feudal Arab and Turkish lackeys continue to stoke up the flames of sectarian conflict throughout the Arab world. Cuba still suffers from the US economic embargo and the Americans are working to prop up the remaining reactionary regimes in what they like to call their own “backyard” to halt the advance of popular democracy in Latin America. Israel continues to deny the legitimate rights of the Palestinian Arabs and Korea, Cyprus and Ireland remain partitioned.

In Europe the imperialist plan for the total takeover of Ukraine has been blocked by the resistance of the people of Crimea and the Donbas. Imperialist plans for regime change in Syria have run aground in the face of the resistance of the Syrian people who have closed ranks around the popular front government headed by Bashar al Assad. The Palestinian people continue to fight Zionism and imperialism and for the restoration of their legitimate rights

The dreams of Anglo‑American imperialism turned to dust in the streets of Iraq. Imperialist plans to dominate the Caucasus were thwarted when the Russian government stepped in to protect the south Ossetian and Abkhazian communities from Georgian aggression. And in Ukraine the anti‑fascist and communist movements are leading the resistance to the fascist regime in Kiev that was installed after the coup in 2014. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the second socialist country today to possess nuclear weapons, stood firm in the face of threats of the US imperialism and by so doing forced the Americans to negotiate face to face to ease tension on the Korean peninsula.The Venezuelan peoples have mobilised to defend their freedom and throughout Latin America democratic forces have come to power with mass support.

The bastions of socialism: People’s China, Democratic Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos stand firm politically and economically while the capitalist world sinks into decadence and economic stagnation. And in the developed capitalist world — the imperialist heartlands of North America and Western Europe — millions of working people are now demanding change.

Peace remains the central issue. We are communists and not pacifists and the peace movement has be an anti‑imperialist movement and not just a movement for generally registering support for peace to effectively stop war. It must become a movement for concrete actions to defend peace and oppose the war‑mongers.The labour and peace movement must maintain the fight to bring about the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all British troops from Ireland and ensure that they are never used to attack the forces of the legitimate and elected government of Syria. At the same time it must mobilise to stop the Government from spending billions on the needless and useless replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

We have always maintained that peace is the central issue in all our campaigns. In Britain the labour and peace movement must step up the fight to bring about the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all British troops from every other part of the world, scrap all British nuclear weapons and close down all US bases on our soil.

This year we saw Labour once again defeated in the general election largely because the right‑wing leadership were not prepared to fundamentally challenge the austerity regime. We constantly said that the Miliband leadership were assuming that they would be swept into office on the back of the collapse of the Liberal Democrats. We said this was a dangerous assumption and we were proved right.

The bourgeoisie, of course, do not want debate on the street to go beyond the issues in which they themselves have differing opinions. Our task is to fight for working class based politics and argue the case for socialism. Everyone knows that Britain is an immensely wealthy country and that economic basis for socialism has existed here for over a 100 years. But we are no nearer to socialism than we were in the 1900s. The fact is that the class as a whole is still committed to social democratic reform. This is not because the class is collectively stupid but because they know, quite correctly, that the British ruling class could restore the entire public sector and the entire Welfare State and more by simply disgorging a fraction of the profits they make at home and abroad and because they believe, erroneously, that fundamental and permanent changes in favour of the working class can be won through bourgeois elections.

Our 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 reactionary policies of “New Labour” or the neo‑Keynesian reformists in the Labour Party.

It’s not because we think a Labour government can solve the problems of working people. We know that isn’t possible in a bourgeois “democracy”. Our policy, which has been discussed and elaborated from Congress to Congress since 1977, exists because it is based on the concrete conditions that exist in Britain today.

In our view 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 to create a democratic Labour Party that will carry out the demands of organised labour when in office.

Let’s be clear about bourgeois democracy. We believe that the working class can never come to power through bourgeois elections but that doesn’t mean that we turn our back on working class demands for social justice and state welfare.

We believe that social democracy can never lead to people’s democracy but that doesn’t mean that we turn our back on social democratic movements that represent millions upon millions of working people in Britain in the unions and within the Labour Party.

We believe that the class collaborationist ideas of social democracy can and must be defeated within the working class. But it cannot be defeated by imitating it in the countless variations of the British Road to Socialism upheld by the revisionist, pseudo‑communist and Trotskyist movements in Britain today.

The fact that these platforms do not work; that they are rejected time and time again by the same working class these programmes claim to advance, never deters these pseudo‑revolutionaries who believe they can change the consciousness of the masses through rhetoric and wild promises.

Now we can all play that game and conjure up imaginary legions beyond the British working class to take us down the revolutionary road. We can all invent a class that is seething with anger and mobilised for revolutionary change that is just waiting for the correct party with the correct formula to lead them to victory. As communists we have to work with the working class that exists and not the phantom of romantic ultra‑leftism.

Standing left candidates without mass support against Labour divides the movement and the class and ignores the obvious fact that the only realistic alternate governments are those of the Tories and the Liberal Democrats that have been and would be much worse than any Labour government.

Since the 1920s communists have been isolated from the mainstream of the labour movement largely due to hostility from the right‑ wing within the movement and partly due to the sectarian and revisionist policies of the old CPGB.

We have worked since our foundation in 1977 to end these artificial and anti‑working class barriers and that is why we affiliated to the Labour Representation Committee in 2005 and focus much of our work in building that movement.

We will support social reform and our immediate programme outlined in this document charts our demands and details how it could be achieved by a left social‑democratic government and how it all could be paid for through taxing the rich and scrapping Britain’s weapons of mass destruction.

But our major task is to build the revolutionary core within the class. The communist movement is based upon the revolutionary principles of Marxism‑Leninism. Its purpose is to equip the working class so that it can establish working class state power and then build a socialist society.

Bourgeois democracy is a fraud. It is democracy for the exploiters and dictatorship in all but a formal sense of the exploited. Bourgeois elections, when they are held, are used so that the smallest number of people can manipulate the maximum number of votes.

We have continued to make political and organisational progress over the past three years. Our general position on the Labour Party, Ireland, peace and national liberation is known throughout the British labour movement and the international communist movement.

We stand for peace and socialism. Peace because only the oppressors and exploiters want war. Socialism because it is essential to eliminate exploitation, unemployment, poverty, economic crisis and war.

All of this is reflected in the analysis of the main resolution which is the product of the intense discussion that has taken place in the Party Cells, Districts and the Central Committee over the past 11 months. Now this document comes to the highest authority of the Party, the Congress, for debate and to chart our course for the next three years.

We salute the revolutionary parties and peoples of China, Cuba, Democratic Korea, Vietnam and Laos. In taking the socialist course, these countries are transforming their nations and serving the interests of the working class throughout the world. We salute the revolutionary parties throughout the world that have rejected revisionism and opportunism and hold high the Red Banner of Revolution.

Our party came into being out of the struggle against revisionism with the intention that we strive to fulfil to serve the interests of the working class. We shall not be diverted from that.

Let us work together to build the movement that will ensure that this century becomes the era of socialism.

5th December 2015