‘State support for the capitalist monopolies and their profits is at the root of society’s major problems, including the Tory government’s disastrous handling of the Covid-19 crisis’, Bill Greenshields told a meeting of the Communist Party’s executive committee over the weekend.
‘This approach characterises the whole range of government policies from austerity and privatisation to state subsidies and the woefully inadequate test-and-trace system’, he charged. Mr Greenshields said that Britain’s successful vaccination programme owed most to the role played by public sector investment, the NHS and other public health and education institutions. ‘Despite their huge profits, the big pharmaceutical companies have had to be bribed and coerced to make their contribution to the anti-Covid struggle and, with one or two exceptions, have so far failed across Europe to meet production targets and honour their obligations’, he accused.
Britain’s Communists renewed their call for large-scale public ownership in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that research, development and manufacturing addressed people’s health needs at home and internationally, instead of seeking market share and maximum profits from the NHS and private treatment for the rich. Mr Greenshields, a former trade union president, welcomed the growing readiness of workers and their trade unions to resist attacks on jobs, employment contracts, pay and pensions, urging greater unity between them in each sector of the economy.
The CP executive endorsed his call for an alliance of labour movement bodies, the People’s Assembly and other campaigning organisations to oppose monopoly domination of government policies and the economy. ‘We need an Anti-Monopoly People’s Convention to highlight the negative role played by big business in our society – and to highlight an alternative strategy’, Mr Greenshields proposed.
The CP executive received reports on recent discussions with communist and progressive parties from Palestine, Venezuela, India, Cyprus and Guyana and confirmed that a conference on ‘Sisterhood, Socialism and Struggle’ will go ahead on May 8. Membership secretary Alex Gordon revealed that 105 applications are currently being processed by the party.