Greetings and solidarity to all of the delegates attending the YCL’s historic 50th Congress this weekend at Ruskin House and to all the comrades and branches who have participated in Congress debate and discussion this year from the length and breadth of Britain.
Our Congress meets at a time when the stakes for our class and for humanity could not be higher.
The importance of the Congress to the democratic lifeblood of our organisation cannot be overstated. Our constitution provides that “The Sovereign Body of the League shall be the Congress.”
As Communists we are democrats in the fullest sense of the word. Indeed, we have all been lead to our membership of the Young Communist League, to our participation in this Congress, to a lifetime of dedication to the class struggle, by a fundamental belief in democracy.
We believe in a truly democratic society. A society controlled by working people. A society which operates not only in the interests of the working class of Britain but also our planet and all humanity.
We reject the deception and cleverly constructed edifice that is bourgeois democracy in Britain in 2021. A democracy in name only where all political power is wielded by bankers, financiers and their servants in the interests of finance capital. A country where the voice of the youth, working people and our communities is drowned and smothered by greed and the power that money can so easily buy.
All of this we have set ourselves the task of doing away with and ushering in a new era of working class state power and real people’s democracy based in our communities, work places and campuses.
In this struggle we must embody and exemplify the ideals of working class democracy which we fight to make a reality. Within our own organisation, within the League we must foster the democratic ambitions of our class. Our own organisation must stand as a beacon, popular and incorruptible.
This is the context in which our Congress is so essential. We organise according to the Leninist principle of Democratic Centralism. Without democracy this would be little more than bureaucratic management.
It is the duty of this Congress, constituted by the delegates of our branches from the length and breadth of Britain to decide the policies and priorities of the League for the next two years. This is no small task in current chaotic and pressing domestic and international situation. As delegates you should not underestimate not only the scale, but also the fundamental importance, of the task before us.
As the General Secretary of this organisation, I appreciate the difficult straits that the YCL, our Party and the international communist find ourselves in at this crucial hour. At present our numbers remain too small, our level of organisation and the effect of our agitation are insufficient to meet the task which history has laid before us. Nothing less than the dismantling of the dictatorship of capital and big business and the construction of the socialist system. Not yet enough to fulfil our duty to the class.
But this is no reason to despair. And we as the young communists do not. Not even for a single second. Instead, we brim with hope and optimism. It is impossible to be a member of our organisation in the absence of these feelings.
As Communists we have hope. Hope in the very best of what makes us human. We have optimism. Optimism that society can advance to socialism before it’s too late. Before time runs out. Before capitalism poisons the earth.
I would ask that no comrade underestimates the significance of our Congress or their role in it. Our organisation is small but it is growing. Day by day. Member by member. Branch by branch. From the acorn comes the oak. From a dedicated and well organised cadre of young communists is the kernel of a mass movement.
Here in Britain, we face an especially hard task. Britain remains one of the major centres of imperialism. Our country plays a pivotal role in maintaining the chains of the imperialist system. Historically our Communist movement has been small compared with the power of social democracy.
Does this make us resile from the task at hand? Does this make us accept the limitations of social democracy? As young communists we say no. Not for a minute. Not for a day.
The daunting power of the British State has to be smashed and will be smashed. In doing so we will usher in a victory not just for working people in Britain but oppressed peoples everywhere. Far from deterring us, the difficulty of our task and the importance of our task spurs us on to greater dedication to the struggle. We know that a decisive blow for the workers of Britain will be a mortal blow against global imperialism.
We proudly raise the banner of Communism in Britain to a new generation of youth. Only the Communists offer a genuine explanation of the chaos of the current system and how this can be resolved to offer a future in the interests of the working class and of humanity. More and more working class youth are joining and will join the League as we remain clear in our direction and militant in our stance.
The next two years will be pivotal not only in rebuilding our organisation but in fighting for our class. This Congress is entrusted with determining how we will fulfil our historically essential role.
Do not doubt for a single second the importance of the League. Do not doubt for a single second the importance of this Congress. Do not doubt for a single second the importance of your role in it.
Our Congress! Our Struggle! Our Future!
Long live the Young Communist League!
100 years! 100 more!
Young Communist League