Britain’s Communists have welcomed Keir Starmer’s conference pledge to renationalise the railways and establish a public body, GB Energy, in the privatised energy market.
‘But much more is needed if Labour is to overturn the 80-plus Tory majority in the House of Commons’, Robert Griffiths told the Communist Party’s political committee on Tuesday evening.
‘Not even this week’s 12 to 17* point lead in the opinion polls would guarantee a majority Labour government at the next General Election’, he added.
The CP general secretary said it was ‘scandalous’ that a Labour government would leave most of the water, sewerage and energy industries in the hands of ‘profiteers and polluters who reap super-profits while refusing to invest in a clean, green and fair-priced future’.
He also accused Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves of ‘financial illiteracy’ for not understanding that restoring the 45p top band of income tax could only create extra funds for the NHS by cutting other spending programmes by between £2bn and £6bn.
‘Retaining the reduced basic rate at 19p would also mean cutting public spending by around £5bn’, he pointed out.
The CP political committee welcomed the resurgence of industrial action for higher pay, decent jobs and better services.
‘We urge workers, the unemployed, students and pensioners to show their solidarity with rail and postal workers on the picket lines, in meetings and on demonstrations’, Mr Griffiths declared. In particular, he called for mass turnouts for the People’s Assembly and Midlands TUC demonstration at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on Sunday, October 2, and the national demonstration in central London on Saturday, November 5.
‘Chancellor Kwarteng gave notice in the mini-Budget that we face the fight of our lives as the Tories plan to destroy the right to strike by imposing “minimum service agreements” and yet more costly ballots on the unions’, Mr Griffiths warned.
Britain’s Communists expressed their solidarity with the women and other progressive forces opposing the theocratic dictatorship in Iran, praising the Tudeh Party and its allies who oppose any Western imperialist intervention in their country.
The CP political committee also welcomed China’s call at the UN for talks and a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine War which takes account of the legitimate security concerns of all parties to the conflict.
* Various polls, some having as high as a 33% gap have been published. 12-17% was a correct figure at the time of the PC meeting, which adopted this statement. A separate analysis of the situation in Scotland is being drawn up and will be published in News and Views.