Saturday, September 12, 2020

NCP and Donbas communists hold Skype conference

By Vperyod correspondent

On 4th September, a Skype conference took place between Boris Litvinov, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic (CPDPR) and the General Secretary of the New Communist Party of Britain Andy Brooks.
     Mikhail Kukhtin, the head of the international department of the CPDPR and Theo Russell, a member of the Central Committee of the NCPB also took part in the discussion.
    During the discussion, Boris Litvinov informed the British comrades about the current state of affairs in the Donetsk People's Republic and the situation on the line of contact. In particular, he stressed that the diplomatic efforts of the participants in the Minsk process managed to achieve a ceasefire.
    But, despite the agreement reached, provocations by the Ukrainian army and its advance into the neutral zone and the side of the DPR people's militia positions pose a threat to a fragile truce. This is not the first time such tactics of the Ukrainian side, the use of a truce to create favourable conditions for the further unleashing of hostilities, have been used.
    Andy Brooks informed Boris Litvinov about the work of the New Communist Party of Britain and its supporters to support the struggle of the people of Donbas to strengthen their statehood. At rallies and demonstrations held by left wing movements in Britain, the communists carry flags and symbols of the DPR, express demands to the British government about non-interference in the internal conflict of Ukraine and the former part of it which has embarked on the path of self-determination and regularly cover their activities on the pages of their weekly, the New Worker. According to Andy Brooks, there are up to 100 British military advisers in the Donbas who train the Ukrainian army according to NATO standards.
    A significant place in the conversation was taken by the discussion of the question of the entry of the DPR Communist Party into the Solidnet international organisation of communist and workers' parties.
    Mykhaylo Khuktin confirmed that there have been talks between Boris Litvinov and some leaders of the Communist Party of Ukraine. He said “Our striving to join Solidnet was welcomed at least by some of them, although the overall situation remains complicated”.
    The British comrades were interested in the issue of the Donetsk communists’ relationship with other communist parties that are members of the Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union (SKP-KPSS).
    Boris Litvinov said that the CPDPR is an official observer in the SKP-KPSS, which actively participates in the work of this organisation and maintains close comradely ties with all participating parties.
    A special relationship has developed between the Donetsk communists and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Six years ago, the head of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, provided support and gave valuable recommendations during the creation of the CPDPR.
    The Communist Party of the Russian Federation provides significant humanitarian aid to the people of the Donetsk republic, especially its children. The General Secretary of the New Communist Party of Britain expressed the hope that in deciding the question of admitting the CPDPR to Solidnet, the Communist Parties of the SKP-KPSS will show their support.
    During the conversation, issues of the international situation were also discussed and the positions of the communists in various areas of party activity were expressed. Thus, the communists of the DPR and Britain agreed that the events in Belarus are an attempt by the West to first subjugate and then destroy the sovereignty of the state, toturn the Republic of Belarus into another springboard for an offensive against Russia.
    At the end of the Skype conference, the parties thanked each other for exchanging views on all the topics discussed and agreed to hold the next meeting in November.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Not so royal Windsor


the castle towering over the town
By Carole Barclay

Royal Windsor on the outskirts of London conjures up sedate images of the castle on the Thames, Eton college, a popular racecourse and Legoland. But behind the veneer of bourgeois respectability lies a much more turbulent past.
    Just down the road is Runnymede, where bad King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. Charles Stuart was held in Windsor castle during the Civil War before his trial and execution in London in January 1649, and Queen Victoria narrowly escaped death in 1882 when a “madman” took a shot at her outside the royal railway station.
    The massive fortress that towers over Windsor has dominated the town since Norman days. Although the bastions and curtain walls still follow their ancient course, the castle has long been a royal palace and what we see today is essentially a Georgian and Victorian gothic fantasy.
    The castle was originally built to control a strategic section of the River Thames in William the Conqueror’s day. It was converted into a royal palace a century later and so it remains until this day – but it wasn’t always so.
    In the 17th century Windsor was a Puritan stronghold. During the civil war it was occasionally used by Oliver Cromwell as his headquarters and a gaol for Royalist prisoners. In Cromwell’s day the castle became a home for invalided members of the New Model Army and their families, but it reverted to the Crown after the Stuart restoration in 1660.
    Wandering the streets you will see relics of bygone ages. Shops that go back to Elizabethan days and a 17th century Guildhall designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The grand central station once used by royalty now just provides a shuttle service to Slough; but the massive concourse has been converted into a Victorian-themed shopping centre that preserves many original features such as the Jubilee Arch and the Royal Waiting Room. Outside one of the cafes in the complex there’s even a full-size replica of the steam engine that hauled Queen Victoria's Royal Train.
    Just over the river is Eton college, the paramount public school that has reared the offspring of the ruling class since its foundation in 1441.
    The Duke of Wellington said that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton and he was probably right. Old boys include Boris Johnson and 19 other Prime Ministers, as well as a predictable bunch of military men, artists and sportsmen. It was also the alma mater of Guy Burgess, who went on to study at Cambridge in the 1930s. There some students embraced the communist ideal. Some joined the workers movement, others fought in Spain. But Guy and his friends, Donald Maclean and Kim Philby, went a step further by taking the principled decision to struggle for peace by working for Soviet intelligence.
    The “Cambridge Spies” whose defections rocked the British establishment in the 1950s and ‘60s all ended up in the Soviet Union. Guy Burgess died in Moscow in 1963 and his ashes now lie in his family's plot in West Meon in Hampshire.
    Etonians are naturally ‘conservative’ with a small ‘c’ and most of them are imbibed with the ‘One Nation’ Toryism that one would expect from a school where much of its intake comes from the landed gentry. But the school does encourage open discussion and in October 1998 NCP leader Andy Brooks was invited to address a packed meeting of Eton’s Shelley Society on the communist ideal. One or two of the boys even said they considered themselves to be “Marxists”. I wonder where they are now…