Originally published in The Leninist No.113 December 4 1991. Available on our archive here
On November 23 the Euro congress ‘transformed’ the Communist Party of Great Britain into the Democratic Left. Just after the Euro vote comrade Anne Murphy read the following statement to a packed press conference organised by the Provisional Central Committee
COMRADES, friends and others: Nina Temple and her sad little shambles a few hundred yards away in Congress House want us in the Communist Party to bite the bullet and admit that “the era of mass communist parties is over”.
We have news for Nina and her friends – our time has not even come yet. Despite the best efforts of her and her chums in the media, the Communist Party lives and will be built into the mass Party we need!
Over the past week or so, our organisation has been subjected to a sustained press barrage telling us that our Party, founded in 1920 as part of Lenin’s world party of revolution, has finally given up the ghost; that, it seems, we are no more.
This is an example, once again, of the establishment’s media substituting wishful thinking for reality. So, let us set the record straight at this press conference in a way that allows no misunderstanding for our media friends:
Point one – the Communist Party of Great Britain is not dead. Our Party founded in 1920 has parted company with those elements who attempted to hijack the party, who has dragged its banner through the mud. Those has-beens have now finally admitted that they never had anything to do with communist politics. The Party is not over – the Party is alive, Kicking and growing under new leadership – the Provisional Central Committee.
Point two – to underline the fact that the reports of our death are grossly exaggerated, the Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party will be standing four candidates in the next general election.
Stan Kelsey will stand for the party in the traditional communist constituency of Bethnal Green and Stepney in the East End of London; Tam Dean Burn will be the Party’s rep in Glasgow Central; Mark Fischer will be standing up for working class politics in the Rhondda; and I will be standing against the pale pink imposter, Ken Livingstone in Brent East.
Point three – for the period of our general election campaign, the Communist Party is proud to reiterate the fact the we will relaunch our mass, popular daily newspaper – the Daily Worker.
Point four – at today’s press conference, we are proud to launch the first in our new book series, Communism Lives!. Taken together, these books are the most authoritative and weighty answer of communists to the triumphant cries of the bourgeoisie internationally. These books provide a comprehensive set of handbooks for anybody interested in changing the world, for anyone interested in progress. They are indispensable reading for anyone who wants to know the shape of politics in the 21st century.
We have been asked why we are actually standing in the forthcoming election. After all, we are told that communism has be so discredited by the collapse of socialism in the east that all we can expect are derisory votes and lost deposits.
The Communist Party is clear: we are standing in the next general election to plant a flag. We are introducing a unique element into the forthcoming charade that passes for ‘democracy’ in Britain.
In four constituencies the will be the chance to vote for genuine working class alternative. What choice are the ordinary people being presented with otherwise? Either Tweedledee Major or Tweedledum Kinnock.
In these four constituencies, electors at least have the chance to vote for a candidate who can stop the rot; who can say, after 12 years of our class being kicked from pillar to post, “enough is enough!”.
Four constituencies is not enough, but it is a beginning. The election campaign of the Communist Party poses the question to all those who profess to stand for the working class – okay, here is your chance. We are standing candidates who will:
- Enter parliament committed first and last to the jobs, living standards and democratic rights of the working class.
- Waive parliamentary niceties to hammer home the message. We are not interested in the tame pillow fights that currently constitute ‘debate’ in the house of commons; in terms of parliamentary etiquette, our comrades will be tugs.
- Take only the average wage of their constituencies from the generous handouts MPs vote themselves and donate the rest to strengthen organisations of the working class.
- Be clear that we are not entering parliament as pompous ‘legislators’ there to ‘liberate’ the working class. We go in under covering fire our class as a guerrilla unit in the enemy’s camp. Our MPs will be there to work to promote the fightback where it really matters – not the musty halls of Westminster, but in the mass movement of ordinary workers.
That is why we are standing in this election. A vote for the Communist Party will be a vote for socialism. For a decent future for humanity. We urge all genuine fighters for the working class to help build the election campaign for the Communist Party.
As I said, our press conference is also organised to launch the Communism Lives! book series. Communist do not have an ostrich-type attitude to reality. We recognise that there is a need to singlemindedly analyse the experience of living socialism thus far, its weaknesses as well as its strengths; we have to analyse the current stage in which capitalism finds itself, and more imortantly, where is it going.
But none of those books in the series Communism Lives! will be exercises in dry Marxist quote-chopping. The ideals in our books are there to be used, to be applied in the real world.
That is the message that the Communist Party wants to give out from this weekend. As we illustrate in our election campaign, in the content of our books, we have taken to heart Marx’s dictum that the point is not simply to interpret the world…
We plan to change it!
If you believe the world needs changing, then your place is with us, in the struggle to reforge the only working class party ever built in this country, the Communist Party of Great Britain.