19 May 2021

Resolution on London referendum

Unanimously agreed by CPGB members’ aggregate March 8 1998. Published in Weekly Worker 231, it is available on the WW archive here


1. Blair’s proposals for a powerful directly elected mayor and a weak Greater London Authority are an integral part of his project of reforming the constitutional monarchy system. However unlike Scotland there is no mass movement in London, latent or otherwise, which is committed to, or yearns for something higher. There is not even a sentiment for the return of the GLC.

2. The May 7 referendum, because it contains only one pre-set take-it or leave-it question, is rigged, designed to get the ‘democratic mandate’ the government wishes for. Those on the left who stand for the maximum democracy under capitalism have no official opportunity to test support for their ideas through the official referendum. The CPGB will therefore call for a boycott of Blair’s London referendum.

3. Boycotting a rigged referendum is not the same as boycotting normal bourgeois elections. There is no contradiction between urging a boycott of the May 7 referendum and standing candidates for the local elections on the same day nor fighting for a leftwing candidate for the London mayor if the referendum gives the government the ‘yes’ result it expects

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