The 18th Congress of the New Communist Party of Britain
by New Worker correspondent
Marx House was packed as comrades gathered for the 18th Congress of the New Communist Party of Britain (NCP). That historic house in Clerkenwell Green, with its memories of Lenin and the Marxist pioneers of the British working class movement, was once again the venue for the NCP’s triennial congress that took place over the first weekend in December.
|DPR Korea ambassador Hyon Hak Bong|
Congress was opened by National Chair Alex Kempshall, and delegates and guests stood in silence to remember comrades Jack Harrison, Peter Harrison, Marguerite Oldham, Renee Sams, Dolly Shaer and Eric Trevett who had sadly all passed away since the last congress.
After the formalities of electing tellers, the Congress panels and standing orders committees, General Secretary Andy Brooks moved the main resolution that was the product of the intense discussion which has taken place in the Party Cells, Districts and the Central Committee over the past 11 months.
The NCP leader said: “Surely it is an obscenity when one of the richest countries in the world spends billions on the Trident nuclear weapons system and overseas aggression while millions are unemployed or working for bread-line wages. Surely it is obscene that millions of working people are being driven to the food banks and forced to live in the abject poverty of the benefits cuts regime whilst the rich brazenly flaunt the wealth they’ve acquired through extortion, exploitation and plunder at home and abroad.
|Laotian ambassador Sayakane Sisuvong|
“We meet as working people to rally round the new left-social democratic leaders of the Labour Party against austerity and take to the streets to oppose the bombing of Syria.
“We meet as the Tory government launches a new wave of oppression that threatens to strip the unions of their last remaining immunities that takes us further down the road to the authoritarian state and the open dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
“We meet today in a world where the primary contradiction is still between American imperialism and the rest of the world it seeks to dominate…”
Over the weekend delegates spoke about imperialism, revisionism, and the growing resistance to austerity in Britain and throughout Europe. Comrades called for greater campaigning to end the partition of Ireland and the need to build solidarity with the anti-fascist movements in Ukraine, and heard reports of the struggle across the globe.
Four London ambassadors from the people’s democracies of Cuba, Korea, Laos and Vietnam brought solidarity greetings from their ruling parties. Representatives from the Italian Communists, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), AKEL (Cyprus) and the African Liberation Support Campaign of Ghana (ALISC) spoke in detail about their campaigns. We heard comrades from the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) praise our joint work over the years and a message from our new friends in the British Posadist movement.
|Vietnamese ambassador Nguyen Van Thao|
Other honoured guests included representatives from the embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Workers Party of Ireland and the chair of the Colchester Trades Council, present during the two-day congress that charted the course of the Party for the next three years.
Delegates spoke about the sweeping changes in the Labour Party following Jeremy Corbyn’s victory last summer, and the role of the peace and anti-war movement in the mass movement. Others talked about our achievements, including the launch of the new 12-page [New Worker] and building the cell organisation in London and supporters groups in other parts of the country.
On Sunday delegates raised £746 for the New Worker fighting fund, and voted to endorse the reports of the standing orders and panels committees; and the main resolution, setting out the NCP’s policy for the next three years, was agreed.
|Cuban ambassador Terisita Vicente|
Winding up, NCP leader Andy Brooks said: “We salute the revolutionary parties and peoples of China, Cuba, Democratic Korea, Vietnam and Laos. In taking the socialist course, these countries are transforming their nations and serving the interests of the working class throughout the world. We salute the revolutionary parties throughout the world that have rejected revisionism and opportunism and hold high the Red Banner of Revolution.
“Our party came into being out of the struggle against revisionism, with the intention that we strive to serve the interests of the working class. We shall not be diverted from that.
“Let us work together to build the movement that will ensure that this century becomes the era of socialism”.