Tuesday, April 27, 2021

For a democratic Labour party


The media have been having a field day over the ugly confrontation between Sir Keir Starmer and a publican in Bath. The row between the Labour leader and the anti-lockdown landlord who claims to be a life-long Labour voter has gone viral. One could almost feel sorry for Sir Keir if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s utterly useless at campaigning on the street, or indeed anywhere else it seems.
    The Blairites said that all that was needed to revive Labour’s fortunes was to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and his followers. But thousands upon thousands flocked to hear Corbyn speak on the campaign trail. Few, if any, particularly want to hear anything Starmer’s got to say these days. But it’s not just a question of leadership. The Tories are nine points ahead of Labour in the opinion polls largely because the Starmer leadership is not prepared to fundamentally challenge the Tory austerity regime.
    Labour was founded by the trade unions to give workers their own voice in Parliament. But the Parliamentary Party leadership has been dominated by the middle class intelligentsia since the days of Ramsay McDonald. Nevertheless the working class element within the party remained strong, with figures like Nye Bevan and even Harold Wilson giving it credibility among the working class.
    The Labour leadership contest, under new rules designed to undermine Labour’s organic links with the unions, 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 in the leadership election in 2015. His victory was a brief but serious challenge to the minions of the ruling class who have dominated the highest levels of the Labour Party for decades.
    Though the Labour Party is dominated by the class‑collaborating right wing in the parliamentary party the possibility of their defeat exists as long as Labour retains its organisational links with the trade unions that fund it. The defeat of the right‑wing factions in most of the major unions in recent years demonstrates this possibility.
    The New Communist Party supports 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.
    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 fight for the membership against the employers and the right wing within the movement.
    We want a democratic Labour Party controlled by its affiliates. A Labour Party whose policies reflect those of a democratic union movement would become a powerful instrument for progressive reforms that would strengthen organised labour and benefit the working class.
    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.
    The NCP’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.

Monday, April 19, 2021

No to Patents on Vaccines!

 joint statement of communist and workers parties

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great tragedy for more than a year now. In this period, in many countries, millions of workers have caught the disease, losing their health, their jobs or even their lives. On the other hand, in the same time frame, some companies that have sold the essential needs food, hygienic materials, masks and finally, vaccines, as commodities, have become among the wealthiest in the world. The capitalist class has turned the pandemic into an opportunity for greater exploitation of workers in order to make more profits. 

Several vaccines that have been administered since the end of 2020 are developed by pharmaceutical monopolies. There is a substantial level of information on the clinical efficacy and dose intervals of these vaccines. Despite some of them being administered cautiously due to some adverse effects, they can effectively contribute to tackling the pandemic. However, since the administration of the first shot, only around 2.16% of the world’s population could have been fully vaccinated. 

The main method of combating communicable diseases is widespread, rapid and effective immunization. Unfortunately, capitalism in the 21st century has been incapable of implementing this basic formula for a worldwide infection, as seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons for this situation are clear: Despite all vaccine development studies having been conducted thanks to public funds and the collaborative efforts of thousands of scientists, in the great capitalist powers the final product was seized by pharmaceutical monopolies under the name of intellectual property, or so-called patents. Today, vaccines can be produced only in a number of countries. While the most powerful imperialist countries are ordering much more vials beyond their needs and getting a larger share on the stocks available now and in the future, tens of countries, mainly the economically less developed, would only be able to vaccinate a small part of the population, in an uncertain future. This is turning a blnd eye on the deaths of the citizens of those countries from a preventable cause. 

The most dangerous scenario in the case of infectious diseases is the vaccination of a very limited part of the population, which would facilitate the evolution of the virus so that it would have more advanced properties. This is what is happening right now. 

The COVID-19 pandemic will not disappear from the world at once. Moreover, the social and environmental conditions created by capitalism show us that humanity will be facing such epidemics again, though in other ways. The COVID-19 pandemic will also continue until an effective treatment targeting the virus will be found and/or a massive and rapid vaccination will be achieved; and the best-case scenario is that humanity will continue to live with the coronavirus with reduced morbidity and mortality. Therefore, it is in the common interest of the working class and the popular strata to struggle for priority to be given to vaccines and treatments against infectious diseases. 

Patents or intellectual property rights have had an impact not facilitating the production of vaccines as argued, on the contrary, they slowed down the immunization of masses. 

But we cannot leave any issue concerning public health to the “good will” of profit-seeking monopolies and the competitions between them. 

Taking into account and valuing the actions of solidarity and cooperation, initiatives and efforts developed by some countries, as communist and workers' parties of the world, we are jointly calling for:


  • The abolition of the so-called intellectual property rights, namely patents, on all COVID-19 vaccines and treatment formulations used or being developed, as well as necessary legal regulations for this in all countries.
  • Production, distribution and implementation of vaccines must continue entirely by public means and the intensification of popular intervention. Public health system has to be immediately expanded and strengthened.
  • We denounce speculation on vaccines. All information on vaccines and treatment formulations should be presented transparently to international scientific organizations. Research in this field should be carried out with the principle of international solidarity and cooperation, not competition
  • Anti-vaccine campaigns and unscientific disinformation must be decisively addressed.

 The peoples must strengthen their struggle for the protection of health. We need to come into conflict with the interests of the monopolies, which sacrifice human lives for profit! 



SolidNet Parties

  1. Communist Party of Australia
  2. Party of Labour of Austria (PdA)
  3. Progressive Tribune-Bahrain
  4. Communist Party of Bangladesh
  5. Communist Party of Belgium
  6. Brazilian Communist Party
  7. Communist Party of Brazil - PCdoB
  8. Communist Party of Britain
  9. New Communist Party of Britain
  10. Communist Party of Canada
  11. AKEL, Cyprus
  12. Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
  13. French Communist Party
  14. German Communist Party
  15. Communist Party of Greece
  16. Hungarian Workers' Party
  17. Communist Party of India (Marxist)
  18. TUDEH - Iran
  19. Communist Party of Ireland
  20. Sociliast Movement of Kazakhstan
  21. Socialist Party of Latvia
  22. Communist Party of Luxembourg
  23. Communist Party of Mexico
  24. Communist Party of Norway
  25. Communist Party of Pakistan
  26. Palestinian Communist Party
  27. Palestinian People's Party
  28. Philippine Communist Party [PKP -1930]
  29. Portuguese Communist Party
  30. Romanian Socialist Party
  31. Russian Communist Worker's Party  - CPSU
  32. New Communist Party of Yugoslavia
  33. Communists of Serbia
  34. Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE)
  35. Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE)
  36. Communists of Catalonia
  37. Communist Party of Sri Lanka
  38. Sudanese Communist Party
  39. Communist Party of Swaziland
  40. Communist Party of Turkey
  41. Communist Party of Ukraine
  42. Communist Party of Venezuela


Other Parties

  1. Union of Communists in Bulgaria
  2. Fronte Comunista (Italy)
  3. Galizan People’s Union

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The communist answer

The death of the Queen’s consort, Philip, has inevitably been the major news focus of the bourgeois media over the past few days. The solemn bands of devout monarchists who gathered outside Buckingham Palace to pay their last respects tell a story.
    The fact that over a 100,000 viewers complained to the BBC about the programme rescheduling, including dropping of the MasterChef final, to make way for tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh, tells another.
    Though the “divine right” of kings ended with an axe in 1649 the cult of the modern monarchy that began with the House of Orange and the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 continues unabated.
     Many myths are fostered by the ruling class about the Royal Family. We are told that while the Crown is the traditional guarantee of our unwritten bourgeois constitution the monarchy has no powers at all these days. But while the reserve powers of the monarch, heavily curtailed by the 1689 Bill of Rights and later Parliamentary reforms, are essentially those of the ruling class as a whole it is ludicrous to suggest that one of the richest families in the world has no power or influence in the country.
     The Crown, like the House of Lords, ultimately represents the interests of all the other great land-owners by upholding the principle of inherited wealth. As such it remains the pivot of the capitalist class as a whole.
    We must never forget that the capitalist system is bankrupt, corrupt and viciously opposed to the trade unions and the whole working class movement. The current austerity policies reduce living standards and this exacerbates the deepening crisis by undermining any possibility of creating an expanding economy.
    It is the historic role of the working class, united and led by the revolutionary party to replace capitalism. There is no future for the working class in seeking a crisis-free capitalism. The working class now has the freedom of necessity to ensure a social revolution takes place. The alternative would be an increasingly authoritarian, brutalised and ruthless capitalist class keeping the working class down.
    Bourgeois democracy is democracy for the exploiters and dictatorship for the exploited. Bourgeois elections, when they are held, are used so that the smallest number of people can manipulate the maximum number of votes. Parliament no more makes the real decisions for the country than do the councils in the localities.
    All the major political parties in Britain seek to perpetuate capitalism. Communists, however, believe that socialism is essential to eliminate exploitation, unemployment, poverty, economic crisis and war.
    New technologies have allowed some capitalist enterprises to rise to become monopolies and become giant global powers. The state machine has been reinforced along with this rise. Alongside this there has been a relentless ideological campaign to popularise capitalism, using religion, praising the monarchy and making the armed forces part of the coercive legal system.
    At the same time the bourgeoisie have taken advantage of the divisions in the labour movement. Reformism, which means limiting working class struggle to gaining improvements within the capitalist system, remains the dominant theoretical trend within the working class. Sadly we still have a long way to go…

Saturday, April 17, 2021

US out of Ukraine!

by New Worker correspondent

On 10th April anti-war activists rallied outside the army recruitment centre in New York’s Times Square to demand justice for five-year-old Vladik Shikhov, killed on 3rd April by a Ukrainian drone strike on his Donetsk village. They called for an end to the US-NATO war build-up against the Donbas people’s republics and Russia.
    Protesters chanted, held posters and passed out informational leaflets to people passing by on this warm spring day. It was a modest first step toward building a movement to challenge the next imperialist war and educate workers in America about a critical conflict that has been systematically hidden from them.
    “President Joe Biden has a long history of supporting the far-right government in Kiev, dating back to his term as vice president and the 2014 U.S.-backed coup that overthrew the legally elected government of Ukraine,” said Greg Butterfield, coordinator of Solidarity with Novorossiya & Antifascists in Ukraine.
    “Biden, like Donald Trump before him, is acting on behalf of Wall Street and U.S. Big Energy companies that are determined to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project from bringing Russian gas to Western Europe.
    “Washington considers Donbas civilians, like five-year-old Vladik, expendable. We do not,” Butterfield said. “We don’t believe that poor and working people in the U.S. would support risking war with Russia for Wall Street profits if they were informed of the facts.”
    The New York emergency protest has inspired the Anti-Imperialist Front and other anti-war movement to call for an international day of solidarity with the Donbas on Saturday 17th April.
    The call to action, No US-Ukraine war on Donbass and Russia, has been endorsed by the NCP and other parties and movements around the world.

Easy Money?

 by Ben Soton

The Syndicate, Series Four. Created and written by Kay Mellor, BBC TV (2021–). Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1, also available on BBC iPlayer. Stars: Neil Morrissey, Liberty Hobbs, Emily Head, Kieran Urquhart, Taj Atwal, Katherine Rose Morley.

We live in a society where a few people are very rich and most of us get by; from time to time some people don’t get by at all. This system is called capitalism.
    Some of us have been arguing for a system where everybody gets by all of the time and are able to expand their own horizons and talents to the benefit of society and themselves. This is called socialism or in its more advanced form communism.
    Meanwhile, the very rich people who benefit from capitalism have devised ways of keeping the rest of us under control. These range from sheer brute force, media manipulation – another word for lying – to more subtle methods of social control. It could be argued that one of these methods is the National Lottery.
    The idea behind the National Lottery is that if you spend £2 on a piece of paper you could possibly win the money to give you the lifestyle of the super-rich: yachts, luxury villas, cars that cost more than your house, watches that cost more than your car, the list is endless. There is a slight problem to this otherwise brilliant idea – it is bollocks. If you ever someone hear tell you that socialism is a good idea on paper but doesn’t work in practice, throw this argument back in their face.
    The National Lottery is a grand illusion, rightly described as a “tax on the poor” (Daily Telegraph 27/7/2009) and a “national disgrace” (Independent 17/01/2013).
    Lottery winning is the basis of Kay Mellor’s television franchise, The Syndicate. It’s fourth series brings another dimension into lottery winning – fraud.
    In this series the lucky winners work at a dog grooming parlour in Yorkshire, owned by the unscrupulous Graham Woods (played by Mark Benton). A shopkeeper, Frank Stevenson (played by Neil Morrisey), steals the ticket however, and runs off to Monaco. Meanwhile our somewhat miffed dog-groomers head after him to claim their winnings.
    The series shows society’s problems by zooming in on the lives of the characters. Our winners include Keeley (played by Katherine Rose Morley), a gambling addict, whilst her mother (played by Kim Marsh) scrapes by on a zero-hours contract. Meanwhile Collette (played by Emily Head) is a former student previously forced into prostitution to pay for her studies.
    What unites them is gullibility and the complete lack of awareness. For instance, Keeley believes she can win the money to pay for their airfare with scratch cards. This depiction is a possible sign of the BBC’s contempt for working class people and anyone outside London.
    But isn’t the Lottery itself based on gullibility? This paper subscribes to the view that human nature is not fixed but is linked to the social system under which we live. We do not blame individuals for wanting more than they currently have – after-all, a demand for higher wages is a demand for more money. Neither would we encourage theft. Is it that surprising however, that a shopkeeper might take the Lottery winnings for himself?
    The irony of this story is that to claim their winnings a group of workers must act collectively – the very opposite of what the Lottery encourages. The dog groomers should have perhaps considered collective action against their employer.
    Another irony is that when workers organise against their employer they are portrayed as greedy whereas when they win the lottery, they are heroes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

No US-Ukraine war on Donbas and Russia

Joint statement 

initiated by Solidarity with Novorossiya & Antifascists in Ukraine

The right-wing government of Ukraine, supported by the US, has been at war with the people of the independent Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbas for seven years. More than 14,000 people have been killed, according to the United Nations. The people of Donetsk and Lugansk live under a blockade by Ukraine and its Western allies. Workers in Ukraine suffer repression, joblessness and price hikes while their government sells off the country to Wall Street.
    On April 3, a Ukrainian military drone strike killed 5-year-old Vladik Shikhov and wounded his 66-year-old grandmother in Aleksandrovskoye, Donetsk. On April 4, another Ukrainian drone strike wounded a civilian in Nikolaevka, Lugansk. On March 22, a 71-year-old pensioner was killed by sniper fire near the capital of Donetsk. Many members of the anti-fascist People’s Militia have also been killed while defending residents.
    Since January, Ukraine has been building up its military forces on the front line of the conflict. It uses prohibited weapons, targets civilians, schools and homes in violation of international law and regional ceasefire agreements. Battalions of troops affiliated with neo-Nazi groups have been sent to the region, replacing regular Ukrainian Army troops. But the Ukrainian and U.S. governments and mainstream media blame Donetsk and Lugansk for taking steps to defend themselves, and threaten Russia for pledging to protect the people there if Ukraine invades.
    The Biden administration, as the Trump administration did before it, wants to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would allow Germany and other Western European countries to purchase Russian gas. Children, elders and other civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk are considered expendable targets by Kiev and Washington as they try to provoke a crisis to give them an excuse to further NATO military expansion and punish Russia.
    In recent days, the US and NATO have been warning of a Russian military buildup near the Ukrainian border, but never mention that one of the largest US Army-led military exercises in decades has begun and will run until June: Defender Europe 2021, with 28,000 troops from 27 countries operating in a dozen countries from the Balkans to the Black Sea. This is where the real danger of war is coming from.
     We say no! People in the U.S. don’t want war with Russia to protect the profits of Big Oil and U.S. banks. We don’t want the U.S. proxy regime in Ukraine to kill our sisters and brothers in Donetsk and Lugansk. We don’t want U.S. troops to be sent to fight and die in another needless conflict. We need an end to racist police brutality and anti-Asian violence. We need money for jobs, housing, healthcare and schools, not war.
    End U.S. aid to the Kiev regime! End all U.S. wars and sanctions! Shut down NATO and bring the troops home!



  •  Jose Maria Sison: Chairperson Emeritus of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
  •  Phil Wilayto: Coordinator, Odessa Solidarity Campaign
  •  Berta Joubert-Ceci: Coordinator, International Tribunal on U.S. Crimes against Puerto Rico
  •  William Camacaro, Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle
  •  Sharon Black, Peoples Power Assembly
  • John Parker, Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice, Los Angeles;
  •  Joe Lombardo, National Co-Chair, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
  • Professor Vijay Singh, editor, Revolutionary Democracy journal, New Delhi (India)
  •  Bridget Dunne, Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine (UK)
  •  Theo Russell, International Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity (UK)
  •  Andy Brooks, General Secretary, New Communist Party of Britain
  •  Gedrius Grabauskas, Chairperson, Lithuanian Socialist Front
  •  Donatas Shultsas, Chairperson, Lithuanian Union on Human Rights; 
  • Heinrich Bücker, Coop-Anti-War-Café Berlin
  •  Panagiotis Papadomanolakis, Editor, GuernicaEu (Greece)
  •  Gerry Downing, Socialist Fight (UK) 


  • Anti-Imperialist Front
  • Socialist Unity Party (U.S.)
  • Struggle-La Lucha newspaper
  • Borotba (Ukraine-Donbass)
  • Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic
  • Union of Political Emigrants and Political Prisoners of Ukraine
  • Women In Struggle-Mujeres En Lucha
  • Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  • Workers Voice Socialist Movement (U.S.)
  • International Action Center
  • No Pasarán Hamburg (Germany)
  • Anti-NATO Group Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany)
  • “Frente Unido América Coordinamento Ucraina Antifascista (Italy)
  • "Latina" Berlin (Germany)
  • Communist Revolution Action – KED (Greece)
  • Liaison Committee for the Fourth International (LCFI)
  • Frente Comunista dos Trabalhadores (Brazil)
  • Tendencia Militante Bolchevique (Argentina)
  • Socialist Workers League (U.S.)
  • Trotskyist Faction/Consistent Democrats (UK)
  • Socialist Solidarity Party of Bangladesh
  • Molotov Club

Ex-Minister savages top politicians in explosive memoir


 by Max Gorbachev


 In the Thick of It: The Private Diaries  of a Minister by Alan  Duncan. Publisher:  William Collins, 2021.  Hardback: 512pp; RRP £25.00, Kindle: 512pp; £12:99.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been called an “embarrassing buffoon” and a “clown” in a memoir penned by former government minister Alan Duncan. In the Thick of It, the book which the media called one of the most “explosive political diaries ever to be published”, covers Duncan's final years in the government.
    The author, Alan Duncan, served as minister of state for Europe and the Americas as well as Boris Johnson's deputy when the latter was the head of the Foreign Office between 2016 and 2019. He resigned in protest when Johnson become the leader of the Conservative Party.
    In one of the excerpts recently published in the Daily Mail, the former Tory politician details his row with Johnson, who served as Foreign Secretary between 2016 and 2018. Duncan claims that Britain's top diplomat summoned him over a press report about diplomats treating Johnson as “an international joke”. Duncan writes that Johnson believed his deputy was behind the report.
    “We had a stand-up confrontation – he had completely popped” the ex-minister wrote. “Why don't they take me seriously?”, Johnson asked. “Look in the f**king mirror!”, Duncan replied, adding that in the ensuing row he told Johnson to admit that the allegations in the article were true and that he was, indeed, a “joke”.
Duncan then chastises his colleague calling him an “ill-disciplined, shambolic, shameless clot”, a showman and “an international stain” on Britain's reputation. The former minister alleges that Johnson knew none of the details of Brexit and claims some officials shared his opinion of Johnson.
    "[Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said] Boris doesn't appreciate that diplomacy is not about nice conversations with your friends: it's about engaging with those who are awkward", Duncan wrote. Who Else is mentioned in the memoir?
    The former minister didn't stop at Boris Johnson. He castigated many of his colleagues – current and former officials:
    Former Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been Duncan's friend since university. The ex-minister, however, did not mince words when speaking about her. Duncan writes that she led “a government of walking dead” with a “Cabinet of zombies” after the 2017 snap election, which saw the Conservative Party lose its majority in parliament.
     “A frightened rabbit … cardboard cut-out. You never know what's churning away beneath her undemonstrative demeanour. Her social skills are sub-zero”, Duncan wrote about May.
    Home Secretary Priti Patel was dubbed “a nothing person” and “a complete and utter nightmare”. Duncan writes she was not popular among officials when she served as secretary of state for international development. “They hate Priti, mainly because she seems to hate all of them”, he wrote.
    Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was criticised for his failure to keep the Tories' campaign promise not to increase taxes. “He has no feeling whatsoever for people on low incomes, and is a Spock-like trampler over anyone else's sensitivities”, he wrote. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove was branded “an unctuous freak” and “a whacky weirdo”. Alan Duncan’s memoir is set to be released on 15th April.

Biden renews struggle for US dominance

Joe Biden called on American workers to back him in his successful fight to topple Donald Trump. The march of the most reactionary and racist elements of the US ruling class and the degenerates they mobilised to build the Trump movement has been stopped – at least for the time being – by the mass movement that grew from the Black Lives Matter movements and the rage on the street at the Trump government’s indifferent response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping through the USA.
    Now in the White House, Biden has begun to tackle the coronavirus plague that was criminally ignored by the Trump administration and is launching a massive two-trillion-dollar plan, the biggest since the New Deal, to create new jobs and provide living wages to workers in marginalised communities.
    In the global arena however, Biden clearly wants to continue where his predecessor, Barack Obama, left off – to restore US hegemony throughout the capitalist world and lead a global imperialist front to confront Russia and People’s China.
    The American Establishment hasn’t abandoned the dream of world domination that it once called the “new world order” or “globalisation”.
    Biden says he wants America to lead “by the power of our example”, but what this means in reality is simply using its military and economic might to force other countries to do the bidding of US imperialism.
    The US-led economic blockade of Cuba, Iran and Democratic Korea continues, and new sanctions have been imposed on Russia and China. American dollars prop up puppets in Ukraine and the Caucasus and the reactionary separatist movements in Hong Kong and China.
    Now the greedy eyes of the hawks in Washington are once again focusing on Ukraine. The US imperialists are supporting the Kiev puppet regime’s bid for NATO membership.
    The Kremlin says that any Ukrainian move to join the imperialist alliance would destabilise the whole region. But Russian warnings have, as usual, been ignored.
    Tension is rising along the cease-fire line in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainians are stepping up their provocations in breach of the Minsk agreements that were supposed to end the fighting and pave the way to a negotiated settlement that would recognise the legitimate rights of the people of the Donbas.
    Ukrainian forces using prohibited weapons are targeting civilians, schools and homes in violation of international law and regional ceasefire agreements. Only last week a Ukrainian drone strike killed a five-year-old boy and wounded his 66-year-old grandmother.
    In preparation for the escalation of hostilities the Kiev regime has begun to release neo-Nazis, previously arrested for crimes such as murder, torture and robbery, to join the hard-core fascist units that prop up the puppet regime. On the front-line the Ukrainians are deploying heavy weapons, tanks and artillery, and similar movements are clearly evident on the other side. The armies of the Donbas people’s republics are also on full alert amidst reports of a Russian mobilisation along the frontier.
    The imperialists think that they can scupper the soon-to-be-completed Russian natural gas pipeline to Germany by provoking a new war in the Donbas. But they are playing with fire. A major offensive by the Kiev regime against the Donbas people’s republics could swiftly lead to direct and deadly confrontation between NATO and Russia.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Trouble north of the border

The feud between the current and former leaders of the Scottish National Party has bitterly divided the Scottish nationalist community. Nicola Sturgeon has fended off the drive to force her to resign over what she, or her husband, did or did not do over the Salmond affair. But it the row clearly has damaged her credibility as First Minister of Scotland while leaving Alex Salmond politically wounded but not down and out.
    Salmond, who led the Scottish government from 2007 to 2014, has rallied his followers behind the banner of his new Alba Party which he hopes will propel him back into the Scottish parliament when the Holyrood elections take place in May.
    Meanwhile Scottish Labour sits on the side-lines unable to exploit the splits within the nationalist camp while having little to offer to the Scottish electorate apart from old Blairite clichés that Scottish workers turned their backs on years ago.
    The establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 led to a semi-autonomous “devolved” Labour- Lib Dem coalition government that used their powers to pass some modest reforms beneficial to the working class. But toeing the Blairite line meant they were easily undercut by the nationalists who won many Scottish workers over with a reform package that was tagged on to their long-standing demand for independence
    In 2011 the Scottish National Party secured a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament. Following the collapse of the Scottish Labour Party in the 2015 general election the nationalists have been successful in deluding many people that they are a left‑wing party. But they’re not. Like the Liberals of the 19th century they will support some popular demands to win the workers’ vote. But they are an essentially a liberal bourgeois party. They campaign for independence because they believe that the Westminster parliament stands in the way of Scotland’s integration within the European Union – though that is out of their reach for the moment.
    Though the nationalists have also taken much of the Tory vote in Scotland there are clear divisions within the ranks of the Scottish bourgeoisie on the question of outright independence. Some believe it is unattainable and others that it is undesirable at a time of global capitalist crisis. Scottish banks relied on the Bank of England to bail them out in the 2008 slump and some fear that an independent Scotland would not be able to weather the storm when the next crash comes.            Nevertheless independence would free the Scottish working class from an increasingly oppressive and intrusive Westminster government.
     Independence, in itself, does nothing to preserve national traditions and culture or strengthen working class power. In the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, self-governing administrations comprised of local exploiters have presided over the virtual demise of all their heritage and culture while introducing labour laws and practices even worse than those implemented by the mainland Tories since 1979.
    But independence would open up the prospect of a genuinely left-wing Scottish Labour government. The organised workers of Scotland — the trade unions — would still have to fight for such reforms but they would be easier to win than trying to wring them from Westminster.
    The New Communist Party has long recognised the rights of the Scottish people to full national self‑determination. We support Scottish demands for the right to preserve and develop their culture and national identity. We support their right to possess and control all the physical and other resources present on their land and territorial waters.
    There can be no doubt that Scotland can hold its own as an independent state. If and when that question is again put to the Scottish electorate the New Communist Party will support a vote for independence.

The Untouchables?

 by Ben Soton

Line of Duty Series Six, BBC TV, seven episodes. Premiered on BBC One on Sunday 21st March, 9pm; also available on BBC iPlayer. Stars: Kelly Macdonald, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar. 

 In a recent television drama, a serving police officer murders a woman and dumps her body in a sack. The officer had previously been accused of indecent exposure, although seemingly trivial this often leads to more serious sex offences and even murder. His fellow officers do nothing about it and try to cover it up. A group of women organise a vigil to remember the dead woman and are attacked by the police. Just rewind for a second – this is not a television drama but real life.
    It is ironic that the BBC have produced a television drama on the subject of police corruption; namely the long-awaited Series Six of Line of Duty. The success of the drama is its constant ability to keep the viewer wondering about the identity of a mysterious character only known as ‘H’.
     The series revolves around three untouchables who work for a department know as Anti-corruption 12(AC12). They are the Gaffer, Superintendent Ted Hastings (played by Adrian Dunbar), Detective Sergeant Steve Arnot (played by Martin Compson) and Detective Inspector Kate Fleming (played by Vicky McClure).
     Like all untouchables they live dysfunctional lives; unable to form or keep relationships and often estranged from wives and family. On numerous occasions throughout the series the viewer has been asked to pose the question of whether these three are as untouchable as they appear. In Series Five it almost looks like Hasting is the elusive H.
   Over the previous five series the trio have uncovered corruption, murders, rape, collusion with criminals and paedophilia within the police force – the sort of thing that only happens in real life.
     The police force in this country is known for its institutional racism, corruption and complete incompetence. In 2019 a number of police officers in Basingstoke were recorded making racist comments and ridiculing victims of crime. Although they were dismissed from the Hampshire Police such attitudes were only the tip of the iceberg; the officers concerned were simply stupid enough to get caught.
    Series Six starts with Fleming having left AC12 and a bored Arnott trying to find work elsewhere in the force. After the murder of an investigative journalist and evidence that Fleming’s boss is up to no good AC12 tries to use her as an undercover asset. However, Fleming has divided loyalties. AC12 once again find themselves up against a secretive cabal of bad apples; a common theme of many recent conspiracy theorists.
    The idea of a deep state conspiracy was is a feature of Trumpian conspiracy theories such as those put forward by the likes of QAnon. But such theories contain an element of truth. The concept of the deep state, although misused by the far-right, emanates from the Marxist-Leninist theory of the state as an instrument of class rule. What separates this from the conspiracy theorists of the far-right is that change comes from ending the rule of the capitalist class – not by voting for an anti-elite demagogue, who is himself a member the elite or through the action of a few untouchables. The state including the police exist to serve the interests of the ruling class; there is no conspiracy about it.