Monday, January 31, 2022

Boris flails around

One could almost feel sorry for the Prime Minister as he flails around trying to fend off the charges from the jeering opposition benches because in the great scale of things Boris Johnson’s “partygate” lies pale into insignificance compared to Tony Blair’s duplicity over the invasion of Iraq. Blair was, in comparison, let off lightly by the Parliamentary Labour Party that let him quiet slink off to make a living on the American lecture trail and pose as a peace envoy for an imaginary UN Palestinian peace plan called the “road map” or some nonsense.
    BoJo repeatedly dismissed Labour calls to resign during heated exchanges in the House of Commons this week with one Labour MP calling him a “liar” to his face and Sir Keir Starmer saying Johnson had had “shown nothing but contempt for the decency, honesty and respect that define this country”. But it’s not Labour Johnson has to worry about – it’s the backstabbers in his own party that will bring him down sooner or later.
    There’s no shortage of wannabees waiting to take his place and the only reason that they haven’t so far moved for a motion of no confidence is that some would rather wait till after the local elections before showing their hand.
    Starmer & Co have been walking on stilts in recent days. Buoyed by the recent surge of support in the opinion polls they claim this is all down to Starmer’s embrace of Blairism and his purge of the Corbynistas. Though Labour has lost tens of thousands of members – some say up between 150,000 to 200,000 have left since Starmer took over this is seen as a “victory” for the Blairites who are rejoicing at the departure of a troublesome band of left social-democrats whose support for Jeremy Corbyn briefly derailed their “New Labour” project.
    They think that their current lead in the polls will translate into a real swing at election time that will sweep them back into government give them all the juicy perks that high office brings. But there’s no guarantee of that.
    What is certain is that a new Conservative leader will galvanise the Tories into mobilising their core vote at the next general election. Labour, on the other hand, will remain weak and divided as long as Starmer is at the helm.
    Starmer is a weak and uninspiring leader. He is clearly incapable of leading Labour to victory. He can’t even mobilise his own party let alone the working class it claims to represent. But the Labour’s problem isn’t to do with personalities. It’s policies that count. Who’s going to swayed by a Labour programme that differs little from those currently espoused by the Conservatives. Certainly not “middle England” or the mythical “hard-working families” that Starmer’s advisers from adland tell us are the keys to electoral success.
    Corbyn’s victory showed that the Labour Party is still a potentially strong weapon for our class and has vindicated our long held electoral position.The surge of support for Labour during the Corbyn era showed that workers could, albeit briefly, reclaim the party they founded and built from the agents and minions of the ruling class who have dominated its highest levels for decades.
What we need and what we must campaign for is a truly democratic Labour Party –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. It’s a tall order but it can be done. The alternative is more Johnsons and more Starmers.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

A finishing school for Nazis

by Dermot Hudson

Six Minutes to Midnight: Lionsgate 2020. Director: Andy Goddard. Writers: Andy Goddard (screenplay), Celyn Jones (story) and Eddie Izzard (story). Stars: Eddie Izzard, Judi Dench, Carla Juri, James D’Arcy, Jim Broadbent and Celyn Jones. 99mins. 12A/PG-13.

I recently stumbled on this historically based thriller, which proved to be an interesting and fairly enjoyable watch. It stars Eddie Izzard, who co-wrote the film, as an MI5 agent sent to infiltrate a school for German girls in the south of England. This was quite a change from Izzard’s usual roles, and he proves himself to be an excellent and capable actor. The film also includes veterans such as Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent.
    The film is set in August 1939, in the run-up to the Second World War. The plot revolves around an unusual private school for girls, the Augusta Victoria College in Bexhill On Sea. This is not just any old private school for posh girls however, but a finishing school for German girls, many of whom are said to be the daughters of top Nazis.
    The school is run by the Anglo-German Fellowship. It does of course need to be pointed out that the Augusta Victoria College and the Anglo-German Fellowship were both very real indeed. The Anglo-German Fellowship had many ruling-class figures as members, including a large number of Conservative MPs and peers as well as “National Labour” MPs. Although unlike the overtly ideological and political fascist movements such as Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, the Anglo-German Fellowship was ostentatiously a cultural organisation – it did however reflect pro-fascist, pro-Nazi opinion within the ruling class. After all, the appeasement of Nazi Germany in the hope that it would one day destroy the socialist USSR was an official policy.
    This is reflected in the film by the fact when the school has an open day many local bigwigs attend and for the most part its activities are unhindered, although British intelligence is very suspicious.
    In the film the Swiss-style finishing school has a definite espionage function and sports teacher Frau Keller is a German agent, and a dangerous one at that. The MI5 agent sent to infiltrate the school is found dead (although the film does not explain exactly how he was killed nor by whom).
    Another MI5 agent, the German-speaking Thomas Miller played by Izzard, is sent to infiltrate the school. Miller ends up getting framed by the Nazis and going on the run.
    The fifth-column fascist-sympathising part of the ruling class is represented by James D’Arcy’s upper-class police detective Captain Drey, who initially sounds righteously patriotic but is himself a Nazi agent.
    One positive of the film is that it captures the atmosphere of Britain in the run-up to the Second World War. There is some carefree jollity and scenes of the seaside, but also hints of what is to come such as the police removing road signs because they could assist an invasion force.
    On the negative side, a few of the characters switch sides but it is never clearly explained why. I also felt that there could have been a bit more anti-fascism in the film. Although the film is supposedly set around the east Sussex coast it was actually shot on location in south Wales – and the fortress is clearly not the Pevensey castle it’s said to be!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Taking the road to prosperity

Syria took a further step along the road to economic recovery when it signed up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) last week – a move that will help the defiant Arab republic break out of the shackles of the American blockade and create new opportunities for cooperation with People’s China and other countries in the Third World.
    The Belt and Road Initiative was launched in 2013 to build a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with other parts of the world along the ancient Silk Road trade routes and beyond.
    Since then the BRI has promoted economic prosperity and sustainable development. Under the initiative, a large number of highway, railway, airport and seaport projects have been carried out in Belt and Road countries, and important progress has been made in building "six corridors, six connectivity routes and multiple countries and ports", and the building of a multi-dimensional infrastructure network has been accelerated.
    The Belt and Road Initiative has also improved people's livelihoods and facilitated sustainable development in several countries. Currently, the 82 economic and trade cooperation zones under the Initiative have created about 300,000 local jobs. During the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, more than 300 local enterprises were involved with local employees accounting for more than 90 percent of the workforce. Also, a large number of livelihood assistance projects including housing, water supply, medical care and education, have been implemented in countries participating in the initiative.
    The Belt and Road Initiative stresses the continuous pursuit of green development. China has signed documents on the Green Belt and Road Initiative with the United Nations Environment Programme, and set standards for green product certification and green infrastructure construction.
    The Initiative offers huge trade and investment opportunities to the post-Brexit UK economy. But sadly Boris Johnson has chosen to grovel to the Americans instead. Perhaps his successor will think otherwise.

Taking the principled stand

Top tennis players are not known for championing human rights unless their own personal liberty is threatened. Look at Novak Djokovic, the vain anti-vaxxer who even claimed he was upholding free speech and human rights during his failed bid to remain in Australia to defend his title in the Australian Open.
    So it was good to see another more modest man, Andy Murray, turn down immense amounts of Saudi money when he refused to take part in exhibition matches in the feudal Arab kingdom because of “what’s gone on” in the country over human rights issues.
    The Saudis have recently hosted football, Formula One, boxing and golf events – programmes that have been fiercely criticised by groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for attempting to cleanse the House of Saud’s reputation on the international stage, a practice described as 'sports washing'.
    Though Murray was offered up to £1.5 million to play in Saudi Arabia the Scottish world champion insists he is not interested in “eye-watering sums of money” on offer from the autocratic kingdom that persecutes gays and treats women as chattels.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

China's Democracy that Works

by John Maryon

The outstanding economic growth and progressive political development of People's China have been impressive and dramatic. With a civilisation extending back over 5000 years the country has entered a period of rapid development. It is now just over 100 years since the Chinese Communist Party was formed and 73 years since Mao Zedong was able to proclaim the People's Republic of China at an historic gathering in Tiananmen Square. The Communist Party of China (CPC) has given the leadership to transform what was one of the poorest counties in the world from a semi-feudal society into a modern socialist state. The CPC has now successfully eradicated the last vestiges of poverty for the people. Also with its Belt and Road initiative, based upon infrastructure development and fair trade practices, the developing world will be in a better position to rid itself of the effects of neo-colonialism.
    China has become a major force for peace. It can be said to have taken over the role formally held by the Soviet Union in becoming the most powerful socialist state. It offers economic assistance to poor countries and has played an important role in helping the international efforts to combat the COVID‑19 pandemic. People's China has become a beacon of hope for all oppressed people.
    The USA sees People's China as a threat to its world hegemony and attempts with sanctions, trade embargoes and military threats to weaken and obstruct their progress. It is against this background that the USA and its craven allies have embarked upon a new cold war against the People's Republic. Outrageous lies are told to support allegations of genocide against ethnic minorities in China, to allege that the country is preparing for war and is undemocratic with widespread abuses of human rights. With its own dismal record and images, still in people's minds, of a black man being choked to death, the USA is in no position to lecture others.
    Today's reality is that the past centuries of feudal autocracy in China, made worse by the 1840 opium wars, held back a great nation. Under the leadership of the CPC one could say that the dragon has awakened as all the people of China can now work to build a new free and prosperous society. The State Council of the CPC has issued an important White Paper entitled China Democracy that Works, which shows the true situation in modern China today.
    The document defines what we mean by democracy, examines the various types, and shows that it is a relative quantity that requires some qualification. It explains that democracy is a growing process that can take diverse forms as it develops along the paths chosen by different nations.

To judge a democracy the following areas are considered important:

  • Is the succession of the leadership orderly and in line with the law?
  • In conformity with legal provisions, can the public express their wishes without hindrance?
  • Can all sections of society, including ethnic minorities, participate in political life?
  • Can people of high calibre be part of the national leadership?
  • Do people have the right to vote and to hold their elected representatives accountable?
  • Are the people really masters of their own destiny or are forces linked to wealth, corruption and greed in control as in much of the western world?
People's China ticks all the right boxes.

The point is made that democracy is not just a useless decorative ornament that hides reality and masks the truth without offering any real choice. This could be the case with many bourgeois democracies where the election of Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee changes nothing. The National People's Congress is the highest state body in China. It has the power to appoint or remove the President and other senior government officials. Election of its over 2,980 members takes place every five years. China's constitution stipulates that all power belongs to the people and the political system includes local people's congresses.
    China's democracy thrives in a wise nation with a long history. A nation that under the leadership of the CPC has been transformed into an advanced socialist state with a mixed economy. The CPC co-operates with eight other smaller parties representing various ethnic, religious and social groups in a Broad Patriotic Front. The National Congress of the CPC takes place every five years, at which representatives of its more than 95 million members can appoint the central committee and General Secretary. The CPC represents the people – not the vested interests of a privileged elite.
    The period 1949–1978 was a time of consolidation of state power and of socialist transformation of the means of production, including the abolition of private land. After 1978 a process of opening-up and socialist modernisation was undertaken. It has, however, remained fundamental that China would always stick to a socialist political process with Chinese characteristics. The CPC has led the people to become masters of their own country. It important to realise that CPC objectives to build a full Communist society are intended to take place over an extended period of time. The creation of a new society will result from gradual changes of both a quantitative and a qualitative nature, and with changes of direction to cope with new conditions as they arise.
    The White Paper points out that civilizations are enriched by exchanges and mutual learning. The Chinese people are willing to work together with all peoples of the world to carry forward the common values of humanity: peaceful development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom.
    An important factor that can adversely affect the democratic process is corruption. President Xi Jinping has made it an important priority during his tenure to tackle all forms of corruption. The CPC spares no effort to build trust and respect between officials and the people.
    The White Paper concludes that there is always scope to improve the system of democracy and suggests that humanity’s quest for improving the process will never end. Today the world is experiencing change on a scale unseen in the past, creating new opportunities, hopes and challenges. The CPC seeks to pursue peaceful development, increased democracy and improve the people's well-being.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Along the British Road

by Eric Trevett

Some people within the labour Movement argue that the Labour Party is not a party of the working class but a bourgeois party that is is part of the capitalist state machine and that revolutionaries should oppose it in elections.
    We in the New Communist Party believe that these arguments are wrong and an example of good people getting frustrated at the right-wing policies of the Labour Government and anti-working class policies that pave the way for the return of a much more anti-working class government.
    We believe that automatically writing off the whole institution of the Labour Party as a result of the policies of the government arises from a subjective analysis and runs contrary to the efforts to promote working class unity in the day-to-day struggles and in the more profound struggles for revolution and socialism.
    Before the Labour Party was formed the skilled working class tended to give its allegiance to the Liberal Party. When it became obvious that party would not defend the interests of the trade union movement there was a struggle to establish the working class party.
    The socialist parties in those days joined with the trade union leaderships and founded the Labour Party to represent the working class interests in Parliament.
    Most trade union members pay the political levy and are therefore affiliate members of the Labour Party irrespective of whether they are communists or socialists.
    The right wing was also involved in that struggle and from that day to this has been in the ascendancy for most of the time in both the Labour Party and trade union organisations.
    But with all its weaknesses the Labour Party has, from time to time and under pressure from the trade union movement, achieved a number of reforms beneficial to the working class.
    After the First World War in 1919 Clause Four was written into the Labour Party constitution – calling for the working class to take control of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
    And after the Second World War the Labour government was swept into office and launched a massive council house building programme. The railways and the coal and steel industries were nationalised. And the National Health Service was introduced.
    What the Labour government did not do was to carry through a socialist revolution and give the working class state power.
    And its foreign policy served the interests of imperialism, was strictly anti-Soviet and supported the spread of nuclear weapons.
    Historically the labour movement (the Labour Party and the trade unions) has had a reformist leadership whose priority has been to perpetuate capitalism.
    The trade unions are the Labour Party’s main source of finance. Most of the trade unions and the Co-Operative party are affiliated to the Labour Party. This is the basis of why we say the Labour Party is a working class party.
    The labour movement organisationally is not divided into warring trade union groups, as in Europe where the labour movement has been formed by different elements: socialists, Catholics and communists and this has hindered the struggle for unity. The unity of the movement in Britain is very important to maintain; it is an asset we should be proud of.
    It is true that with the introduction of individual membership it has been easy for petty bourgeois elements to penetrate the party and advance their personal careers and this has reinforced the position of the right wing in the Labour Party and trade union movement.
    But the way to counter this is to promote working class unity around working class policies. It is not for organisations to contest the Labour Party’s position in national and local elections. In truth we have seen in recent years that such efforts are futile. Both the Socialist Alliance and George Galloway’s Respect Party have collapsed and so has Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party. The tragedy of that is that Arthur Scargill has isolated himself from the movement in which he was widely respected.
    From its inception the Communist Party of Great Britain has tried to affiliate to the Labour Party; this aim was abandoned only in 1975. One of the reasons why the CPGB failed to win affiliation with the Labour Party was that it stood candidates in elections against Labour and the broad labour movement.
    In hindsight we believe this policy to have been wrong even in the days when the party’s vote was high and Gallagher, Saklatvala and Phil Piratin were elected to Parliament.
    Since then and in the post-war period the bankruptcy of standing against Labour was plain to see. Since the Second World War the emphasis on campaigning in elections in the localities has gained priority over the industrial work of the party. At one time factory branches were being closed in an effort to involve more party members in electioneering.This weakened the capability of the trade unions to exert pressure on the government of the day.
    Our declared aim is to work to strengthen the working class and its political consciousness and fight for the right to affiliate to the Labour Party ourselves as communists.
    That is the way we believe and demonstrate that we are genuinely concerned to participate in the struggles for full employment, peace and socialism in a manner that unites the working class and its allies, especially student bodies.
    It would be wrong for us to stand candidates in national elections because it would be seen to be weakening the fight against the Tories and reaction. This has not led to any watering down of our party’s critique of the right wing in the Labour Party.
    Experience has shown that communists do best in industry and at the places of work because they are a genuine, integral part of the working class and are regarded as such. It is there that we often get communists elected to leading union positions out of respect for their militancy, profound wisdom and practical understanding in the unending struggles with the employers.
    In today’s struggle against the cuts and for nuclear disarmament we can see rising levels of struggle in the localities and we must remember that most class battles are won in the field of struggle and not in parliamentary debate.
    No one knows exactly how the socialist revolution will come about in this country but the struggle outside of Parliament, which is a bourgeois institution, will be far more decisive that the struggle inside Parliament.
    If and when our party succeeds in affiliating to the Labour Party it will bring the struggle for fundamental change and socialism to a new height.
    We therefore ask those people who view the Labour Party as anti-working class to re-evaluate their positions and support the struggle as we have outlined.

Long live Marxism-Leninism!

Long live the struggle for working class unity in Britain and throughout the world!

first published in 2010

Monday, January 17, 2022

The King's man returns

by Ben Soton

The King’s Man. 20th Century Studios, 2021. Dir: Matthew Vaughn. Starring: Rhys Ifans, Daniel Brühl, Charles Dance, Harris Dickinson, Matthew Goode, Robert Aramayo, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Gemma Arterton, Stanley Tucci, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hollander and Djimon Hounsou. 131mins.

What have a Zulu warrior fighting with Rasputin to the tune of the 1812 overture, Mata Hari seducing Woodrow Wilson, and VI Lenin accepting the abdication of Nicholas II got in common? Firstly, they never happened and secondly, they all feature in {The King’s Man}, a film I have been waiting almost two years to see.
    Delayed eight times due to production issues and the impact of the Covid pandemic, {The King’s Man} is a prequel to the two earlier Kingsman films, Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) and Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) – all based on the the Secret Service comic book series that debuted in 2012.
    The Kingsman Agency, a private security firm based in a Savile Row tailor’s shop, had its origins in the First World War. The Agency consists of its founder, the Earl of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes), his son Conrad (Harris Dickinson), a working-class English nanny (Gemma Arterton) and a Zulu warrior (Djimon Hounsou). Meanwhile, a sinister organisation, resembling James Bond’s Spectre, is hell bent on the destruction of the British Empire. To do this it employs Mata Hari, Gavrilo Princip, Grigori Rasputin and Lenin. Its plan is to get Russia out of the war and prevent the USA from entering it, thus leading to a German victory and British defeat.
    In recent years there has been talk of conspiracy theories and the film’s plot is ultimately based around one of them. Reactionaries have for years promoted the view that the First World War was the result of a sinister plot, either explicitly or implicitly linked to World Jewry. But in {The King’s Man} the sinister organisation intent on destroying the British Empire is has at its helm not a Jew but an enraged Scotsman.
    Right-wing historians often view the period from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 to the outbreak of First World War as a largely peaceful period, signified by European and British dominance the globe. This is largely a myth. This imagined ‘golden age’ saw numerous wars between European Powers; perhaps most notably the Franco-Prussian conflict, as well as a number of minor conflicts. It also saw the plunder and carve-up of Africa; an important factor behind inter-imperialist conflict that led to the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. Arguably, the outbreak of hostilities in 1914 was simply the conclusion of those events not a break with them.
    The film also promotes the fiction that the forceful personality of Queen Victoria prevented conflict between the three countries headed by her grandsons: George V of Great Britain, Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany. Tom Hollander manages to play all three roles, with George V portrayed in the most positive light. He mentions fear of revolution in Britain and not wanting to suffer the same fate of either of his cousins.
    Ultimately the 19th Century was a period when capitalism fully established itself as the dominant system on the planet and faced no competition from rival systems, namely socialism. If you watch this film, be aware of conspiracy theories and false historical narratives. Conspiracy theories are not simply the property of the tin-foil hat brigade.

Tax the Rich

By John Maryon

Britain's bloated capitalists will have heaved a huge sigh of relief when Jeremy Corbyn was removed as Labour Party leader, in the sure understanding that they would now continue to get richer as the poor get poorer.
    Since the 1970s both Tory and Labour governments have cut public spending in real terms. Vital services such as the NHS, public transport, local amenities and social services have become seriously underfunded. The money to pay for these services is raised by various forms of taxation but that levy should be fair. It is the wealthy who should be made to pay through progressive fiscal policies that can take more of the burden of taxation from the workers whilst ensuring that the rich are fully taxed.
    For many wealthy capitalists tax avoidance appears to be regarded as a sport. They may employ sharp-witted accountants to 'do' the books, establish overseas tax havens and arrange financial transactions to indicate seemingly lower profits to reduce their tax burden. It was recently claimed that cleaners, on basic low wages, were paying more tax than the highly paid staff who worked in the offices that they cleaned.
    In 1979 the top rate of tax was 83 per cent, today it is 45 per cent (46 per cent in Scotland). Council tax and VAT, both regressive measures, play an increasingly important role. Changes have ensured that more of the tax burden has shifted from the wealthy to those who are poor. The New Communist Party  maintains that the burden should be shifted from the backs of the workers on to the wealthy who can afford it. The party is opposed to regressive taxes such as VAT.
    All income tax payers will have their personal allowances frozen for a number of years, which represents a significant and rapidly increasing tax burden. As incomes rise, in an attempt to keep pace with inflation, millions of workers will not only pay a higher percentage of their income as tax but may also become victims of 'fiscal drag' as they become eligible for a higher rate tax bracket. These changes taken with historically high VAT rates and changes to National Insurance (NI) contributions will hit hard.
    With higher tax rates it could be expected that those with higher incomes would pay more taxes. Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) presents a rather different picture.
    In 2015–16 the poorest 10 per cent of households paid 42 per cent of their income as taxes of all categories. For the richest 10 per cent that figure was just 34. 3 per cent. The NCP seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives by reducing economic inequality and urges the Labour Party to make a commitment to do so by increasing the higher tax rates.
    Higher-rate tax payers are able to gain extended tax thresholds with Gift Aid. They are able to benefit as donations will extend the basic tax band, meaning that less tax is paid at a higher rate. For those earning over £100,000 even more relief is available – in this case the tax-free personal allowance reduction of £1 for every £2 of additional income is off-set by £1 for every £2 of gift aid.
    A fundamental question is to ask why the same proportion of tax is not paid on profits as on wages and should the liability be calculated in a similar manner. Any extra revenue generated would make it possible to boost pensions and benefits to help the community. Once full socialism is created many taxes may be reduced or abolished. Essential funding would come from the surplus value generated by publicly owned enterprises.
    In November 2020 Boris Johnson announced that defence spending at £41.5 billion per annum would increase by £16.5 billion over the next four years. Whilst public services continue to suffer, no questions are raised in regard to this dangerous and unnecessary waste of money. The Labour Party has said that the announcement signalled a welcome and long overdue upgrade.
    Further financial pressures are created by tax avoidance and evasion. According to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) the amount of tax income lost through non-payment, avoidance and fraud amounted to £35 billion in 2019–20. The actual figure could be much higher.
    The government has faced criticism for raising national insurance tax on workers rather than directly taxing the wealthy. In 2021–22 the rate for Class 1 NI contributions is 12 per cent; this will increase to 13.5 per cent in 2022–23 and represents an increase of 1.25 per cent. The system is unfair because high earners do not pay at full starting rate, meaning that those with incomes exceeding £50,000 will pay proportionality less of their income in tax. The measures will place a heavier burden on the young whilst those with property and shares, who usually vote Tory, will be less affected.
    The NCP seeks a much fairer tax system; a fundamental change that goes far beyond any existing Labour Party pledges. Our Communist policy calls for a wide range of essential measures:

  • PAYE personal tax allowances to be increased substantially to exempt low wage earners from tax liability.
  • The employee’s upper earnings limit for NI contributions should be abolished so that higher earners pay their fair share.
  • Employer’s NI should be raised to 20 per cent.
  • New PAYE tax bands to be introduced for higher earners, with a rate of 98 per cent for those earning over £120,000.
  • Capital gains should be treated as income.
  • The abolition of gift aid.
  • Removal of tax on domestic fuel.
  • Taxes on insurances to be withdrawn.
  • Government grants to local authorities to be increased to pre-1979 values.
  • Drastically cut defence spending, which exists to support US hegemony
  • Corporation tax to be increased and rebates abolished.

Communist demands for a progressive tax system would redistribute wealth. Making the rich disgorge a fraction of their wealth would go a long way to enable the repair of social provision that has been cut back since 1979. The ruling class will not give up their inflated share of wealth and it is up to the workers to step up the class struggle to achieve justice.

Calm returns to Kazakhstan

getting ready to leave
by New Worker correspondent

An uneasy calm has returned to the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan following a week of riots that pushed the country to the brink of civil war. The draconian price hikes have been suspended for six months. The hastily despatched Russian-led peace-keeping force is preparing to leave, and the government is trying to pick up the pieces following days of looting and violence that ended with 18 law enforcement officers and hundreds of civilians dead.
    Some 10,000 people have been detained amidst the unrest that began when the government doubled the price for liquefied petroleum gas and bumped up the tariffs on water supply, sanitation and heating at the beginning of the new year. But the mass street protests supported by the independent unions and the underground socialist movements soon turned ugly after an angry mob torched the presidential palace in the former capital, Almaty, whilst gunmen emerged to confront the police and security forces in the new capital, Nur Sultan, and many other cities in Kazakhstan.
    Who’s behind it nobody knows. A former Kazakh minister living in Paris has offered to lead the protest movement. Mukhtar Ablyazov, who fled the country after being accused of stealing $6 million from a Kazakh bank, sees himself as the "leader" of the ongoing protests and claims that he has routinely consulted people on the ground in Almaty on tactical issues. He says he’s ready to return to his homeland and lead a “provisional government” once the protests reach the right magnitude.
    The Russia media say the rapid descent into bloodshed shows the hidden hand of the Western powers trying to orchestrate regime-change in this strategic, oil-rich Central Asian republic, whilst the Tokayev government openly accuses sectarian Muslim movements of being behind some of the violence.
    ISIS and Al-Qaeda are said to be operating in the south of the country, and a man from neighbouring Kyrgyzstan who was arrested in Almaty told the police he was paid $200 to cross the border and take part in the protests.
    When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the corrupt Kazakh communist government of Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev carried on Yeltsin-style to plunder the country in the name of the ‘free market’ for nearly three decades. Whilst most Kazakhs were reduced to near-poverty, these former communists amassed untold riches and spent millions more on ludicrous vanity projects designed to boost the international image of the Nazarbayev clan.
    Although the “Leader of the Nation” stepped down in 2019, Nazarbayev kept his seat on the powerful State Security Committee until now. Many now believe that his successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has taken advantage of the chaos to finally shunt the old man into political oblivion.
    In Moscow the decision to send peace-keeping troops to Kazakhstan has divided the communist forces. All of them support the basic demands of the protesters. But the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) says the intervention was an “adequate and timely measure” to prevent an imperialist “colour revolution” whereas the much smaller Russian Communist Workers Party gives full support to the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan, which is calling for “organised resistance to military-police terror” in their country.
    The Union of Communist Parties – CPSU, however, warns that: “Having unleashed the bloody massacres in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, global imperialism, led by the United States, is getting closer and closer to the borders of Russia and Belarus. Hybrid war against them is already being waged on the territories of Ukraine, Moldova and the Transcaucasian states. Now the Central Asian republics are on the line. Today, it is especially important not to allow the state sovereignty of the largest of them-Kazakhstan-to be undermined. Terrorist centres that are generously financed from abroad have been active there for a long time. It is they who play a key role in fomenting pogroms, destabilising the system of government, and brutal massacres of law enforcement officers and soldiers…we support those political forces of the Republic which, defending social justice, are now resolutely fighting against the looting and lawlessness which prevailed in these days of January.”

Saturday, January 15, 2022

A walk in the garden

The problem that most incorrigible liars have is their inability to distinguish reality from their own fantasies. Boris Johnson admits he was at a Downing Street lockdown garden party and gives grovelling apology but still seems unaware that the game’s up for his premiership.
    But this isn’t about the genuine wave of outrage at the latest revelations about parties in Downing Street while the rest of us were living under the Covid lockdown regime. Nor is it really about lying in Parliament though this is, to be sure, frowned on by the grandees on both sides of the House, as it gives them all a bad name.
    What it really boils down to is the fact that the key players amongst the ruling class within the corridors of power have no further use for Boris Johnson. He’s incapable of restoring the “special relationship” with US imperialism let alone building a post-Brexit working understanding with Franco-German imperialism. His antics have become an embarrassment and he’s an electoral liability that needs to be replaced before the next general election. Even Sir Keir Starmer is calling on Johnson to go and it’s not often that he gets things right.
    But as usual Starmer is incapable of exploiting the political crisis for Labour’s benefit. Though Labour is ahead, for once, in the opinion polls this is only down to Tory disaffection with their own leader rather than any genuine swing to Labour. No one knows what Starmer stands for apart from supporting Israel and loathing the Corbynistas.
    Johnson clearly is on hjs way out but there’s plenty of leading Tory wannabees ready and able to take Johnson’s place to lead their party into the next election. Starmer also needs to go but who is going to replace him?

Street protests work

The Israeli Elbit arms factory in Oldham has closed following a sustained campaign by Palestine Action that has cost the company millions of pounds worth of damages. While Elbit simply say they’ve sold the plant as part of their restructuring strategy in the United Kingdom the Palestine campaigners say it was their prolonged campaign that forced their hand.
    The Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham is one of ten owned by Elbit in the UK. A majority of it was sold to British firm TT Electronics for £9 million.The Elbit Group makes drones and it is responsible for 80 percent of Israel’s military drones. The Israeli company’s products have been used to target Palestinians in Gaza and equip Israel’s apartheid wall with surveillance technology.
    Over the past 18 months Palestine Action supporters have blockaded the plant sprayed the premises with blood-red paint, smashed windows and occupied the entry to the factory. Some 36 people have been arrested but no one has been charged with a crime or prosecuted yet.
    This sort of direct action, which is a stage up from sit-down protests, requires the sort of agility and fitness needed to scale buildings and protest in all weathers. Some of us may not be up for this sort of robust protest but we can all support the view of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network that said this "victory speaks to the successful nature of strong direct action to impose a meaningful and material cost upon the profiteers of the colonisation of Palestine and Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people".

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Heroes of the Korean War!

by Keith Bennett

The Battle at Lake Changjin, directed by Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam, premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival on 21st September 2021 and was released in China on 30th September. As part of its international distribution it has been showing at selected cinemas all over the world. With a budget of some $200 million it is the most expensive Chinese film ever made. The acclaim with which it has been received however, has also made it the highest grossing film of 2021, the highest grossing film in Chinese history and the highest grossing non-English language film.
    At just two minutes under three hours in length, the film is a revolutionary epic, with the main action centred around the Changjin Lake area of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the bitterly cold winter of 1950, shortly after the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPVA) intervened to help the Korean people during the conflict the Chinese call the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea.
    Confronted with the harshest natural and climatic conditions, forced to survive on starvation rations and faced with an enemy that was better trained, better equipped, better fed, better armed and with complete mastery of the skies, the Chinese troops “fearing neither hardship nor death”, to use the well-known Chinese expression, continued to forge ahead in the most courageous and ingenious of ways. Armed with the element of surprise, and although making the ultimate sacrifice, by successfully blowing up the Shuimen Bridge they scored the most decisive victory, ultimately ensuring the achievement of China’s objectives in the war.
    A great strength of the film is how it weaves into a seamless whole the grand politics of national leadership and vital decisions of war and peace with the lives, sentiments and aspirations of the masses of poor and working people, those whom Chairman Mao always insisted were the real heroes. We see Mao addressing his comrades and arguing his case. We see him absorbed in contemplation. We see his close comradely relations with the CPVA commander Peng Dehuai (something that tragically was not to survive the later twists and turns of the revolution), and we see the interplay between Mao Zedong, his son Mao Anying and Peng.
    Already a seasoned revolutionary in his own right, Anying is determined to be amongst the first to volunteer for the Korean front. Peng tries his best to dissuade him. He doesn’t want the Chairman to be left without his son. But Anying cannot accept that his family should not make the same sacrifices that countless other families throughout China would make. It is Mao Zedong who tells Peng to “let him go”, not because he doesn’t love his son, but because he loves all the sons and daughters of the Chinese working people – something that recalls Stalin’s attitude when his son was held a prisoner of war by the Nazis and which reputedly originally inspired the title of Arthur Miller’s 1946 play All my Sons.
    This interplay may be said to constitute a bridge to the depiction of the mass of Chinese people in war and revolution. The film begins with People’s Liberation Army soldier Wu Qianli returning to join his illiterate parents and younger brother in their home village in Zhejiang province and carrying an urn containing the ashes of his other brother Wu Baili, who has fallen as a revolutionary martyr. Although Qianli will return to the army, he assures his worried mother, who has already lost one son, that the war is over and there are no more battles to be fought. As a result of land reform, the family have been given a modest amount of land as their own and Qianli’s great dream and plan is to build there a home fit for his parents to live in.
    He has scarcely reached home however, before he is called to leave at once for Korea. Again relating the vital questions of international politics to the daily concerns and needs of the people, the point is made that those who have at last gained their own home and land must now fight to repel those who would come and take it away. In a separate scene, Mao opines that the country has only just been liberated. There is so much to do to build a new China. He doesn’t want to fight another war at this time. But if, he presciently observes, this war brings China decades or even a century of peace, then it will be worth it. Moreover, Mao observes, by sending its military forces to Taiwan, the USA has already committed aggression against China.
    Later, in the terrible conditions of battle, the soldiers console themselves with the thought that their sacrifice will mean that their children will not need to endure the horrors of conflict. They will enjoy a better life in peace. For this reviewer, it was a touching vindication of that to be able watch the film in a cinema in London’s West End, with an audience otherwise made up of young students from China.
    Much of the film’s human story is centred on the relationship between Wu Qianli and his younger brother Wu Wanli. Wanli’s brother is a people’s army soldier and a revolutionary martyr, whilst, at least initially, he is a mischievous, somewhat ill-disciplined but in reality quite naïve peasant boy, who starts out by thinking that war is some kind of adventure or game.
    Qianli is horrified that Wanli has sneaked away to enlist together with him. Wanli’s progression from naïve teenager to heroic soldier and revolutionary, and not just in a military sense, but for example in learning to write a self-criticism, in a sense recalls the evolution of Pavel Korchagin in the classic Soviet novel How the Steel was Tempered. Towards the end, it is noted that the Wan in Wanli means ten thousand, indicating that his example will be followed by countless revolutionary successors.
    The developing relationship between Qianli and some of his closest comrades on the one hand, and Wanli on the other, plays out against the lives and interactions of the company as a whole. The good-natured ribbing conceals but also highlights and nurtures a deep camaraderie characterised by a willingness to sacrifice for others, both for the person next to you and for the wider cause, a profound humanism and a genuine comradely love. The resulting political synthesis of revolutionary heroism and class hatred, of patriotism and proletarian internationalism, becomes the living embodiment of Chairman Mao’s great call to Resist America, Aid Korea, Safeguard the Motherland and Defend our Homes.
    The film provides a vivid, intense and at times harrowing depiction of just what it means to fight with next to nothing against almost insuperable and apparently hopeless odds – in exposed terrain at the mercy of US bombers and in temperatures that often fall to more than minus 40 degrees Celsius, compounded by a lack of food and adequate warm clothing. And to triumph in the face of such adversity. There is a poignant contrast between the lavish Thanksgiving dinner enjoyed by the US troops at their base with the Chinese volunteers attempting to ward off starvation with a handful of small, rotten and undercooked or raw potatoes – sharing with each other what very little they had. But no amount of roast turkey with all the trimmings can obscure the dawning realisation that Douglas MacArthur’s boast, seen towards the start of the film, of victory by Thanksgiving and home by Christmas was not going to materialise.
    The note of caution raised at the start, that behind Kim Il Sung stood Mao Zedong and Stalin, was arrogantly dismissed with chauvinistic deprecation of peasant fighters. But the history of the 20th Century is in major part a history of Asian peasants fighting and defeating US imperialism and its stooges – in China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. They were often equipped with the most rudimentary of weapons – but they were also equipped with the most advanced revolutionary science of Marxism-Leninism and the leadership of a communist party. Of course, both the fact that China chose to make this film at this time, and the fact of its phenomenal box office success, is not unrelated to the New Cold War unleashed by imperialism against China and other socialist and anti-imperialist countries – a cold war that, just as it did in Korea in 1950, can all too easily become an outright military conflict. For Asian workers and peasants in power, however, the days of fighting with rudimentary weapons are over. People’s China and Democratic Korea are both proud nuclear powers, ready and able to defend their independence, sovereignty and socialist gains, as Malcolm X memorably put it, “by any means necessary”.
    It should not be the job of a reviewer to say too much about a film’s ending but suffice to mention that even a US commander is finally moved to salute the courage of the CPVA troops and to opine that it is impossible to prevail against men with such a degree of motivation. This symbolism brought to mind the words of Comrade Fidel Castro, speaking about Bobby Sands and his fellow hunger strikers in the north of Ireland: “Let tyrants tremble before men who are prepared to face death after more than 60 days without food.”

The Battle at Lake Changjin is currently freely available on YouTube and Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Beating the virus

The lights are turning off and the decorations that brightened up an otherwise sombre Christmas are coming down. Last year we were struggling to overcome the Covid plague that was sweeping through the world. Covid is still with us but at least some of the jabbed population have been spared this time round. But the battle to beat the virus continues.
    Covid-19 is having an unprecedented effect on working life. Trade unions can play a vital role in keeping workplaces safer, and keeping workers’ informed of their rights.
    Trade unions are challenging employers and the government over inadequate sick pay offers, failure to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing, and the urgent need to safeguard jobs in disrupted industries.
    Tory politicians bleat on about the need to keep the offices, factories and transport going but this will only work with the support of the TUC and the rest of the labour movement. Boris Johnson should remember that. So should Sir Keir Starmer.

Blair gets a gong

Boris Johnson can take some comfort at the continuing furore surrounding Tony Blair’s knighthood over the New Year. Another knight, Sir Keir Starmer, says "Tony Blair deserves the honour, he won three elections, he was a very successful Prime Minister" but Blair still can’t show his face at any labour movement event.
    The hundreds of thousands clamouring for Blair to be stripped of his award clearly shows that the former Labour leader is more hated than Johnson though that, in itself, is nothing to be proud of these days.
    While the petition with over half a million signatures and still growing is only of symbolic value, it has it has, at least for the time being, halted the Blairite drive to rehabilitate their old leader and his “New Labour” project.

Black lives do matter

We can likewise take comfort at the acquittal of the four Bristol protesters charged with “criminal damage” after the statue of a prominent local slave-dealer was toppled and dumped into the harbour last summer.
    The campaign to remove the statue of Edward Colston, a merchant who made a fortune out of the slave trade in the 17th century began in the 1920s. He was involved in the transportation of over 80,000 slaves from Africa to the New World of which almost 10,000 were children. An estimated 19,000 died on ships bound for the Caribbean and the Americas.
    Colston spent part of his blood-money on alms houses, hospitals and schools and in Victorian days he was held up as benefactor and a pillar of the Anglican church. In Bristol streets, buildings and even a local bun were named after him. But times have changed and it all came to a head last year during the Black Lives Matter protests that followed to killing of George Floyd in America last year.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

The Red Buttons

by Ben Soton

Red-Button Men: Red-Button Years: Volume 3 by Ken Fuller (2021). Independently published. Paperback:‎ 365pp; RRP: £12.99. Kindle: 484pp; £5.99.

This is the final instalment of Ken Fuller’s trilogy, now available on Amazon and Kindle.The ironically named novel sees the end of the London & Provincial Union of Licenced Transport Workers (LPU), known as the ‘Red Button Union’. In 1919 the LPU merged with the more moderate and less democratic Amalgamated Association of Tramway & Vehicle Workers, known as the Blue Button Union, to form the United Vehicle Workers (UVW).
    The novel’s title is a reference to those activists who attempted to continue the militant and democratic traditions of the Red Button Union into the new organisation.
    Once again Fuller introduces real historic figures such as Ernest Bevin, Sylvia Pankhurst and Theodore Rothstein, alongside fictional characters such as Mickey Rice.
    Rice is the ultimate personification of a principled trade union activist, devoid of any opportunism, either from the right or left. This contrasts with both Sylvia Pankhurst and Ernest Bevin.
    Pankhurst, a militant suffragette and socialist, formed her own party rivalling the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), and sided with the so-called left-communists who opposed Lenin’s New Economic Policy needed to re-build the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the Civil War. Bevin became a fervent anti-communist and the architect of the 1945 Labour government’s foreign policy based on subservience to US imperialism.
    The book covers the period from 1919–1922. It includes the formation of the CPGB although, arguably, insufficient attention is given to this historically important event whilst perhaps too much attention is given to the actions of Ms Pankhurst.
    Significant to the novel are the events of Black Friday 1921; a reference to 15th April 1921 when the infamous leader of the National Union of Railwaymen, JH Thomas, failed to come to the aid of the miners. Black Friday led to a series of setbacks with several unions, including the UVW, forced to accept wage restraint. This in turn led to demands for a breakaway union, the Trams Omnibuses & Tubes, known as the TOT union.
    The novel goes into considerable detail regarding the finer points of negotiations between the UVW and the employers. On the one hand, this shows extensive research on the part of the author. On the other hand however, at times I wondered if this was not too detailed for what is after all a novel and not a reference book.
    Unlike the earlier two novels, Love and Labour and Romance and Revolution there is less reference to the romantic adventures of the main character Mickey Rice, who is now happily married to Annette, the daughter of a leading Belgian Communist.
    Ultimately, the UVW amalgamated with several other unions in 1922 to form the Transport & General Workers Union (TWWU), which in 2007 formed the basis of the general union Unite. Red-Button Men is a fitting finale to both an informative and still readable set of novels.

China, democracy, justice and the communist movement

 Last month a number of communist parties including the New Communist Party took part in an online conference organised by the Communist Party of China around the theme of Democracy, Justice, Development and Progress. This is the contribution from NCP leader Andy Brooks.

First of all I would like to thank the organisers of this conference for giving me the opportunity to say a few words about our Party’s views on democracy, the issue of the day that the imperialists are once again trying to use as a smokescreen to mask their plans for world domination.
    Their latest stunt has been to hold an online Summit for Democracy, organised by the USA to provide a platform for a new propaganda offensive against People’s China and the rest of the world that refuses to submit to Western economic and political control. Whilst this virtual summit posed as a forum for free debate on democracy and human rights, the participants were all hand-picked by the White House and the outcome was therefore totally predictable.
    The attendees, including some of the worst human rights abusers in the world, such as Israel, Ukraine and, of course, the USA itself, are closing ranks around a new anti-communist campaign to prop up the austerity regimes of the ailing capitalist system that is floundering in a world-wide slump that began in 2008.
    American politicians like to pose as defenders of what they call the “free world”. During the Cold War they portrayed their country as some sort of capitalist utopia and claimed that their “American dream” summed up the hopes of working people throughout the world. It wasn’t true then and it certainly isn’t true now.
    The ruling circles in the USA rejoiced when the counter-revolutions that they had worked so long to achieve took place in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They told us that socialism was finished and that history was dead. They preached about the superiority of the capitalist system. But now they cannot point to a single country where it works – least of all the USA, whose cities, where millions live in abject poverty, are plagued by drugs and crime.
    They say that socialism means dictatorship and that capitalism stands for freedom. But it is freedom only for the exploiters to continue to rob and plunder working people across the globe to ensure that a tiny handful of parasites can live the lives of Roman emperors on the backs of the millions upon millions of working people.
    They claim that they stand for intellectual freedom – but it is the freedom of the straitjacket and the dungeon. They preach this freedom with their bombers and drones, their special forces and blockades against all those who dare to stand up for themselves. We see what the ruling class mean by freedom in occupied Palestine, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine.
    They talk of peace whilst spending billions upon billions on weapons of mass destruction to back up their blockades, embargoes and trade wars on countries striving to develop their own independent economies.
    They say they have free speech and democracy, but it’s democracy and freedom only for themselves. If the Western powers really were democratic, we would expect to see the majority of representatives in their bourgeois parliaments and assemblies drawn from the majority of the population – the working people. In fact, outside the ranks of the communists, you could count the number of workers in parliament on your fingers.
    Bourgeois democracy is democracy only for the exploiters. It’s dictatorship in all but the formal sense for the exploited. Bourgeois elections are used so that the smallest number of people can manipulate the maximum number of votes. Parliaments may reflect the divisions in the ruling class but ultimately all these assemblies are a fraud to mask the fact that bourgeois government rests on the bourgeois state, which exists solely to serve the interests of the ruling class. Whether it’s bogus bourgeois democracy or open bourgeois dictatorship depends on the economic situation and the balance of forces in any given country.
    We meet today in a world where the primary contradiction is between US imperialism and the rest of the world it seeks to dominate. But a new economic and political counter to US‑led imperialism is being built by China, whose Belt and Road initiative provides 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.
    In the past China’s wealth was the preserve of a ruthless, feudal ruling class. These days China’s wealth is being used to finally eradicate the last vestiges of poverty, raise the standard of living of everyone in the people’s republic, and help the development of the Third World through genuine fair trade and economic assistance.
    The Chinese revolution that established the people’s government on 1st October 1949 has transformed the country that was then the poorest in the world. Since then China has risen from being a weak semi-feudal, semi-colonial country to become a force for peace in the global arena with the second largest economy in the world.
    People’s China, the fifth permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is the only veto-power actively supporting proposals for multilateral nuclear disarmament. Pledging never to be the first to use nuclear weapons in any conflict, China stands for the complete prohibition and total destruction of all atomic weapons.
    China, backed by many other countries, has repeatedly challenged the West to implement the entire non‑proliferation treaty, which was signed in 1968 not only to halt nuclear proliferation but also committed the signatories to work towards universal nuclear disarmament. In the meantime China calls on all the major nuclear‑weapon states to abandon their policy of nuclear deterrence.
    The struggle to abolish nuclear weapons is crucial for the survival of humanity. But central to averting a Third World War is the need to eliminate the causes of war. And that is why communists have always understood that the struggles for peace and socialism are indivisible.
    Whilst millions of people scrabble to earn a living just to keep a roof over their heads, a tiny elite live lives beyond the reach and often beyond the imagination of most workers. Only socialism can end this. Only through socialism can the will of the masses, the overwhelming majority of the people, be carried out. Only socialism and mass democracy – not the sham democracy of the bourgeoisie – can end the class system and free working people from their slavery.
    The great socialist philosophers, Marx and Engels, spent much of their creative lives in Britain as practical revolutionaries. They knew they would never see socialism in their own lifetimes, but they never doubted the inevitability or the necessity for change. And the torch of freedom that fanned the fires of the Paris Commune lit the flames of the 1917 Russian Revolution that continues to blaze in Democratic Korea and Cuba, and the people’s democracies in Laos. Vietnam and above all, the People’s Republic of China.
    After 70-plus years of practice and development, China has successfully charted a path of democracy with Chinese characteristics, which suits China’s national conditions and meets its people’s aspirations. It is called the whole-process people’s democracy.
    In People’s China we see mass democracy at work. Back in 2014 Communist Party of China (CPC) leader Xi Jinping said: "The very purpose of the CPC's leadership of the people in developing people's democracy is to guarantee and support their [the people’s] position as masters of the country.”
    The people administer state affairs and manage economic, cultural and social affairs through various channels and in various ways. In practice, more than 99 per cent of Chinese citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election.
    Voter turnout is around 90 per cent in every direct election of deputies to the county- and township-level people’s congresses. The will of the overwhelming majority of the people is fully reflected in the election results. Apart from democratic elections, people have the right to participate in the management of national and social affairs in day-to-day political activities.
    This is the people’s power that enables the Chinese people to improve their lives in a concrete and realistic way. Democracy is not an ornament used for decorative purposes. It should be used to address concerns of the people.
    Whole-process people’s democracy favours substance over form. It is genuine democracy and not the shameful charade that passes for it in the West. It is, in fact, the will of the people.
    Or as the Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping says, whole-process people's democracy in China is "the broadest, most genuine, and most effective socialist democracy" safeguarding the fundamental interests of the people.