Communist Party of Britain and Morning Star

Loyalist violence means advance?

When loyalist violence erupted in Northern Ireland in April, the Morning Star responded with an article (15 April) by one Lynda Walker that concluded: “The cause of the problems which the unionist and loyalist communities have cited, the border and policing, must be solved politically. In addition to those orchestrating the violence, the British and Irish governments, the EU and the DUP should be held responsible for this situation.” The words “statement” and “bleedin’ obvious” spring to mind. At least Walker’s article includes the British government in its roll-call of those to blame. Back in...

Scrap the Thatcher anti-union laws! No shortcuts!

On 1 May a “May Day manifesto” by John Hendy and Keith Ewing was published in the Morning Star, under the headline “A New Deal for Workers”. A New Deal for Workers is a slogan that has been used by the TUC and various unions, particularly the CWU [Communication Workers' Union]; this is a new attempt to flesh it out. There is much in the document worth comment and discussion. On the crucial issue of the right to strike and repealing the anti-trade union laws, it is weak. Hendy and Ewing are leading lights in the Institute of Employment Rights (IER). In recent years the IER has focused heavily...

Alliances, "anti-monopoly" and other

Andrew Northall, in his reply to Jim Denham on the “Anti-Monopoly Alliance” in Solidarity 589, writes: “Jim says... the Labour Party and unions are the arena for the debates and struggles that take place within the British working-class movement’. Really? So Black Lives Matter, Reclaim These Streets, the Sarah Everard protests, opposition to the Police Bill etc., are down to the Labour Party and the trade unions or not relevant to ‘the British working class movement’?” By contrast, Andrew writes: “The strategy of the BRS [Britain’s Road to Socialism, the Communist Party of Britain program] is...

Why is the Morning Star so quiet about the Unite election?

The race is on to replace Len McCluskey as general secretary of the Unite union. This is the second most powerful position within the British labour movement, after leader of the Labour Party, and the outcome will have massive repercussions not just for the Unite, but for the movement as a whole and the Labour Party. The four declared candidates, Steve Turner, Howard Beckett, Sharon Graham and Gerard Coyne, will be seeking sufficient branch nominations between now and 7 June. The election runs from 5 July to 23 August. You would expect the Morning Star — a publication largely aimed at, and...

Xinjiang: the UN report that wasn’t

Even by the standards of the Morning Star — a publication whose coverage of anything to do with China is now little more than Beijing propaganda — Kate Woolford’s article on 13 April was an extraordinary exercise in dissembling whataboutery. Woolford is, apparently, a member of the Southampton Young Communist League and social media editor of Challenge, the Young Communist League magazine. Her article is entitled “Xinjiang: staying afloat in a wave of disinformation” and claims to be an examination of “what is really going on in north-east China.” In fact, the article contains no new...

A reply on the "Anti-Monopoly Alliance"

I am grateful to Jim Denham for his response (Solidarity 587) to my letter (Solidarity 586). I thought I had made it clear — certainly Britain’s Road to Socialism (BRS) does — that the “popular, democratic, anti-monopoly alliance” is primarily about transforming and uniting the broadly defined working class into a force for overthrowing capitalism and replacing it with the political rule of the working class i.e. socialism. The references to smaller capitalist and intermediate strata (not the same thing) are fairly few and frankly marginal and I would agree with most of what Jim says in his...

Civil liberties or the Chinese model?

Back in the early days of the pandemic (24 March 2020, to be precise), theMorning Star carried two articles, side by side: “Instead of chauvinism towards China, we must learn from China. All anti-racists have a duty to campaign for the government to drop any racist inhibitions and adopt the Chinese approach that saves the maximum number of lives”, began an article by Sabby Dhalu. Alongside, another writer had a piece about the emergency powers being enacted in the UK: “Concern as state control tightens — As the government races emergency powers through parliament to tackle the Covid-19...

Coaxing small capitalists?

Andrew Northall (Letters, 24 March) takes exception to my Antidoto column (10 February) on the Communist Party of Britain’s concept of the “anti-monopoly alliance”. One thing Andrew says is undoubtedly correct: “The ‘anti-monopoly alliance’ is very much written into the DNA of the CPB and its programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism”. Where we disagree is on whether or not this represents (in Andrew’s words) “a cross-class alliance that cannot by definition be anti-capitalist since it includes small capitalists.” Andrew claims that the term monopoly capitalism “simply describes the nature of...

Morning Star goes quiet on 40% more nukes

On 16 March the government set out its plan for a post-Brexit “global Britain” in the so-called “Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy”. One aspect of the review caused consternation even in the Tory press: “Shock plans to increase the country’s nuclear warheads by 40 per cent were met with fury last night... the remarkable move comes more than 50 years after the signing of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty” noted the Daily Mail. Even the Sun asked “And why do we need 80 more nukes... aren’t 180 city-destroying bombs enough?” TheMail also noted that “In...

Letter: Anti-monopoly doesn't mean backing small capitalists

I am struggling to understand what points Jim Denham was trying to make in his article 'Return of the Anti Monopoly Alliance' (Solidarity 581). I am not a spokesperson for the Communist Party of Britain but I am in favour of left and socialist unity and believe this can only happen if we are open and honest with each others’ respective political positions and not construct straw windmills. Jim claims the concept of the Anti Monopoly Alliance is making “more frequent reappearances” in his favourite daily newspaper, theMorning Star. Actually, it never went away. The “anti monopoly” nature of the...

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