Live video message to the online Friday October 30 2020
From Robert Griffiths, Communist Party of Britain
The Communists of Britain salute you on your party’s centenary.The bonds between our two parties go back to the foundation of both in 1920. Those between the working class movements of Britain and Australia go back even further. Leaders of the Merthyr Rising of 1831 and the Chartist Rising in Newport in 1839 were transported to Australia for life. During the Great Dock Strike of 1889 in London, the stevedores of Australia sent £3,000 in solidarity.
One of the leaders of that strike, Tom Mann, later spent eight years in your country helping to build your militant trade union movement. He returned in time be a founding member of the Communist Party in Britain and then organised the Pacific Bureau of the Red International of Labour Unions, which included Australia. When he died in 1941, the red flag was flown over Melbourne City Hall. The last speeches of our party’s most celebrated general secretary, Harry Pollitt, were delivered in your country in 1960. He died on the ship back to Britain.
Comrades, the red flag still flies in Australia and Britain today.But the whole international communist movement now faces enormous challenges:
- The Covid-19 pandemic and the mortal dangers of global warming, with their roots in the ‘metabolic rift’ that Marx identified in capitalism’s reckless violation of the natural world.
- The new Cold War against China and imperialism’s threats to peace in other parts of the world.
- And the scourge of capitalism in its neoliberal phase, which – to an unprecedented extent – empowers money at the expense of jobs, living standards and human society.
That is why our Marxist-Leninist commitment to socialist revolution must be stronger than ever. In Britain, we are going through a series of prolonged crises. In particular, you may have heard about the suspension of the former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn from his party.
Make no mistake about it, the prospect of a left-led Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn frightened the British ruling class after Labour’s gains under his leadership in the 2017 General Election, when Labour stood on its most radical manifesto since the early 1980s. The most dishonest, scurrilous campaign against him was then intensified to bring about Labour’s defeat in December 2019, assisted by elements inside the Labour Party including its current leader Keir Starmer.
The Communist Party in Britain is therefore working to unite and mobilise the left to reverse this suspension, as part of the left-right struggle in the labour movement which finds an important reflection in the Labour Party itself. Comrades, we all face great challenges, so I say:
- Long live the Communist Party of Australia!
- Long live Communism!
- Socialism will win!