The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 8th April 2005

Karol Wojtyla 1920-2005 obituary

Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition

Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker is informed and credited.



by Daphne Liddle

formally fired the election starting gun last Tuesday morning after Prime Minister Tony Blair visited her last Tuesday and the campaigns are now fully underway in what will be one of the most difficult elections to persuade people to vote ever.

This is not because the people are apathetic or do not care but because disillusionment with all three of the main parties is so deep.

 This is not surprising. Blair’s catastrophic policies on Iraq, his slavish following of Bush, his deceit and his adherence to Tory policies of continuing privatisation have outraged millions of progressive people in Britain.

 The problem is that we are living under a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, which means that the only real choice we have is between Blair and Howard.

 The only real difference in the policies they are proclaiming is that Howard is threatening even more draconian measures against immigrants, asylum seekers and the whole law and order issue. He is appealing to the lowest feelings of fear, racism and xenophobia.

 Howard is also promising to repeal all human rights legislation and withdraw Britain from international agreements on refugees.

 If he were elected he would indeed probably keep these promises.

 On all other issues, whoever got in – Blair, Howard or even Kennedy – would probably do exactly the same thing. They would do what the global ruling class told them – as they always do.

 The privatisations will continue, the attacks on the unions and the standards of living of the working class would continue and the strengthening of the bourgeois state machinery – with ID cards, house arrests, detention for alleged terrorists without trial – will continue.

 We do not get rid of these evils merely by voting, it takes something much stronger.

 The main beneficial thing that did come out of the June 1997 election was a revival of the trade union movement and a revitalising of Labour’s grassroots. Working class confidence is an essential ingredient of any revolutionary situation.

 The important thing is for the working class to be confident in itself – not in its treacherous New Labour leadership – which will only lead to disappointment.

 But the danger is that disappointment with Blair and his clique will lead to a return of the Tories. Last week’s opinion polls put them just two or three points ahead of the Tories.

 A combination of Labour voters refusing to turn out, or voting for a fringe party as a protest, could tip the balance in many seats.

 There is certainly a real possibility now of a hung Parliament forcing a coalition with the Liberal Democrats – or even worse a coalition of Tories and Liberal Democrats.

  This would not be better than what we have now. The Liberal Democrats zeal for privatisation is even greater than Blair’s. Their main difference with Labour and the Tories is that they clearly favour being part of a European super state rather than the 51st state of America.

 So it is important to get the highest possible vote for Labour in spite of Blair’s treachery.

 But it is much more important to educate, agitate and organise among the working class until the labour movement is strong enough to take on the ruling class and overthrow it.

 That would be a huge step and not one that could happen immediately. But there are smaller steps that will take us in that direction. One is keeping the Tories out. The next is developing labour movement strength to throw out Blair and his entire New Labour clique.


The election race has begun

THE New Communist Party will be calling on working people to vote Labour in the general election, not because we support the venal right-wing policies of “New Labour”, Blair and Brown, or because we think a 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.

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.

Working people have made some gains since Labour returned to office in 1997, gains that would not have happened under the Tories, like the peace process in Ireland, devolution for Scotland and Wales and the restoration of the Greater London Authority, improved terms and conditions for workers and reduced child poverty.

The alternatives, all ultimately based on the revisionist thinking of the old communist party’s “British Road to Socialism”, are nothing more than an illusion. Running left candidates against Labour divides the movement and the class. It doesn’t strengthen the left within the Labour Party and ignores the obvious fact that the only realistic alternative governments are those of the Tories or the Liberal Democrats that would be much worse than any Labour government.

Blair & Co hope that the election will force the class to close ranks around their class collaborationist, war party “New Labour” agenda. We must campaign for a Labour victory that strengthens the genuinely progressive and democratic trends within the labour movement that ultimately are the only force that can defeat them.


The stench of corruption

The Birmingham ballot-rigging scandal is a damning indictment of the new postal ballot system and the New Labour culture that allowed it to happen. Though Labour has now washed its hands on their councillors in Bordesley Green and Aston, found guilty by an election court judge of “widespread fraud”, the Government would like us to believe that this was an isolated incident.

In the past postal ballots were allowed simply to cover voters on holiday or too ill to cast their vote in person. The extension of postal balloting, accelerated by the Labour Government, was intended to encourage more participation, particularly in local and regional elections. But what is has also done is opened the door to electoral fraud not seen since the introduction of the secret ballot.

The election commissioner, Richard Mawrey QC, said there was evidence of “massive, systematic and organised fraud”. He noted with regret that the Government had dismissed warnings about the failing of the current postal voting regulations as “scaremongering” and added that “anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to the evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising”.

The ease in which postal ballots can be abused is illustrated by the case of the six Birmingham Labour councillors accused of using forgery and deception to collect and amend thousands of votes. The lack of supervision and control, inevitable in a system that relies on individuals returning a ballot in the post, makes vote-buying and false returns  easy and often impossible to prove practices.

The obvious answer is to return to the old procedure and ban postal ballots altogether except for those on holiday or infirm.

 Back to index

To the New Communist Party Page