“Many Labour Party members and ex-members are demoralised by Keir Starmer’s feeble response to the cost of living crisis and to the giant rip-off that is privatisation of energy, water, communications and transport”, former trade union president Andy Bain told the Communist Party executive committee at the weekend.
“Yet there is much vital work for socialists to do outside the confines of electoral and parliamentary politics and despite Starmer machine’s purge of the Labour left”, he insisted.
The CP industrial organiser pointed to the ongoing strike wave as evidence that mass struggle does not rely upon support from the Labour Party leadership in order to go forward, “which is just as well” Mr Bain added.
He congratulated the members and leaders of unions across the public and private sectors – notably in the privatised railway and airport industries – who are continuing their industrial action for pay and job security. But he also warned of the threat to the universal postal service as privatised Royal Mail seeks to restore profits after years of mismanagement.
“Ongoing strike ballot victories at Virgin Media and Heathrow airport, and from Manchester Metrolink to Swansea DVLA, show that workers are determined to defend living standards, their terms and conditions and standards of service to the general public”, Mr Bain declared.
At the same time, he urged trade unions to build greater coordination and unity.
“The Tory government has forced through its Bill compelling workers to break strikes, defeating amendments to exempt nurses and strikers in Scotland and Wales whose governments oppose this illegal Bill”, Mr Bain commented, arguing that only militant, mass organised defiance could make anti-strike laws unworkable.
Britain’s Communists welcomed the agreement of campaigning organisations to attend a meeting at the Marx Memorial Library on July 1 to discuss the need for a mass socialist women’s movement across England, Scotland and Wales.
The Communist Party executive committee also urged socialists and progressives to build the peace and anti-war movement to combat what it called “the dangerous drive to the precipice of economic and military war against China and Russia, spearheaded by the US, Britain, NATO and the EU”.
Britain’s Communists accepted invitations to send delegations to China, South Africa and October’s international meeting of Communist and workers’ parties in Istanbul and condemned the violent occupation of Sudanese Communist Party headquarters in Khartoum by one of the militias engaged in that country’s vicious civil war.