A Red Wedge to beat the blues

Communist Party assistant secretaries Alex Gordon and Phil Katz write about the aims for 10 Red Wedge events across Britain this weekend.

Throughout this weekend, the Communist Party is holding new and prospective member schools — our so-called Red Wedge offensive — across England, Scotland and Wales.

These 10 Red Wedge events mark a breakthrough for the party, involving online meetings and discussions with hundreds of workers.

Communist Party membership has grown steadily in the last year and accelerated since publication of the new 8th edition of our programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism, in March. 

The new programme is a sharp attack on the fundamentals of the world capitalist system and offers an achievable, alternative vision of socialism that works in the interest of the millions, not the millionaires.

It is no surprise that the publication of the programme has had a galvanising effect, now on its third print run in as many months, coming as it does in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and an underlying global capitalist crisis. 

Britain’s Road to Socialism offers a clear-eyed Marxist analysis and holds out a sense of hope and common purpose. 

Publication of the programme was swiftly followed with an Open Letter to Workers, alerting organised labour and working-class communities to the mounting employers’ offensive, which is leading to the shedding of jobs, wage cuts, company closures and a familiar ruling-class strategy to shift the bill for the damage wrought by Covid-19 and government inaction onto working-class communities. 

The CP warned of cuts to public services and a sharpening of the attack on the NHS, education and welfare services.

The CP’s 10 Red Wedge events have a twofold purpose. Yes, they aim to build the CP. The party maintains that when it grows and is active, this benefits the workers’ movement as a whole. 

But there is also a pressing need, set out in our Open Letter, to bring together and support workers, who want to struggle against the capitalist class and the Conservative government.

Those who have registered to take part in the Red Wedge are a cross-section of the hundreds who have recently applied to join the party. 

A large majority are in their twenties and thirties, have defined occupations and are members of trade unions. 

A sizeable proportion have recently read Britain’s Road to Socialism. Too few, however, are women. 

An all-Britain meeting of the Communist Party Women’s Commission recently set out a plan to set that right. 

Formation in the last year of CP Women’s Commissions in Scotland and London, the party’s publication this week of “Communist Women” and a forthcoming education programme on “Women and Class” aim to make the CP the party for women who are in the vanguard of fighting Tory attacks on our class.

The 10 events will be delivered online, using the latest technology and involve up to 40 tutors, many of whom are women. 

They will lead discussion on topics such as: “What is the Communist Party?” introduce discussion on a short film on Britain’s Road to Socialism, and discuss why the CP prioritises activism in working-class communities and the labour movement. 

Real political education means the opportunity to ask questions about our aims, structures and campaign priorities.

The CP is noted for attention to political theory and a strategy which seeks to pit the power of a united workers’ movement against the weakest point in the capitalist chain. 

It offers existing members and potential joiners an opportunity to develop their theoretical knowledge and to play a role in such a movement. 

In the CP each member has rights and responsibilities. The CP does not indulge in spasms of cult-like recruitment. 

Membership of our party involves a longer-term commitment, a will to self-educate and to be self reliant, but also to work collectively with others in the movement to build ideas, structures and organisation to strengthen workers in their fight for a better life.

The CP is entering new terrain in which our numbers grow, along with our fighting capacity. 

The entire labour movement should welcome this because we all know there is much to achieve, not least the end of this Tory government. 

The CP is internally united, has a programme and policies that provide a Marxist analysis and strategy and is recognised as a non-sectarian builder of alliances that strengthen the working class.

The CP advocates a federal republic across the island and islands of Britain. We campaigned strongly against Britain’s membership of the EU and for popular sovereignty. 

We are reinforcing that argument with a call for Britain to quit Nato, imperialism’s principal organisation of militarisation and war 

Those who attend the CP Red Wedge events will be asked to consider what role they can play in the struggle against the employers’ ill-conceived, malicious attempt to drive workers back to work before adequate safety measures have been put in place.

For the first time in years, the CP is opening new branches across Britain, with the latest scheduled for Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, the Thames Valley and mid-Sussex.

We are keeping registration open through the Red Wedge weekend, in anticipation of running a future event. If you are interested, go to www.communistparty.org.uk/redwedge until 8pm Sunday evening.

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