Britain’s Communists slammed the Tory government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic as an ‘incompetent and corrupt disaster’ at the weekend.
‘Millions of people are paying a heavy price for the government’s determination to put big business profits before public health, delaying vital protective measures and handing test-and-trace contracts to its big business mates’, Martin Levy told an online meeting of the CP executive committee. ‘As a result, many thousands more people have lost their lives, jobs are being destroyed and small businesses are going to the wall’, he remarked. But the CP’s Northern District secretary warned that worse is on the way unless Tory policies are resolutely challenged.
‘Faced with the prospect of mass unemployment, our economy urgently needs a boost in demand and production, not a public sector pay freeze and increased taxes on household spending’, he urged in anticipation of Chancellor Sunak’s one-year public expenditure review.
Mr Levy contrasted the government’s refusal to fund a supplementary pay rise for NHS staff to its readiness to spend an extra £4bn a year on the military as part of what he described as ‘the new Cold War against China and Russia’. Britain’s Communists urged trade unions to unite in a fight for public sector pay rises and called for solidarity with workers taking action to defend jobs, hours and wages in the private sector.
The CP executive also attacked proposals in the UK Internal Market Bill to revoke or override decision-making powers previously granted to the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, including those relating to state aid to industry. ‘Only a system of progressive federalism in Britain will ensure that the peoples of Wales, Scotland and the English regions can elect representatives with the powers and resources to intervene in the economy to safeguard essential industries and jobs’, Mr Levy insisted.
The CP executive also condemned the Labour leadership’s ‘dereliction of duty’ in failing to resist Tory policies. ‘Instead of attacking Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour left, Keir Starmer and general secretary David Evans should be discussing with trades unions, the People’s Assembly, the peace movement and civil liberties campaigners how to build an alliance against this increasingly authoritarian, big business government’.
The Communist Party welcomed the growing support for forthcoming online events, including its own celebration of the lives of Frederick Engels (November 28) and Caribbean communist Claudia Jones (December 1) and a seminar on the ‘Future of Work’ (December 5), together with Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s online rally (November 29) and virtual lobby of the Westminster Parliament (December 2).