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Morning Star Hails “much-needed intervention” as Communist Party of Britain Stands Against Labour in Local Elections.

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Candidates Against Labour, “for a sovereign, united and internationalist working class.

The Morning Star, independent of the Communist Party of Britain, and owned by the co-op, leads with this Editorial Britain’s communists and the May elections: a much-needed intervention.

For many years British Communists have stood ‘witness candidates’ in elections. This year the Communist Party of Britain is running in local elections.

They are engaged in a battle across the country. Who are our enemies, who are our friends? They ask.

TOMORROW sees the launch of the Communist manifesto — the Communist Party (CP) of Britain’s manifesto for the Scottish, Welsh and English local elections, that is.

Revolutionary Left.

The party is standing its biggest slate of candidates since the 1980s after six years in which it didn’t stand — calling, as did much of the revolutionary left, for maximum support for Labour during the Jeremy Corbyn years.

Much of the labour movement remains sceptical of voting left of Labour. Despite the party’s lurch right under Keir Starmer, there is a widespread belief that a non-Labour vote only helps the Tories in England and Wales, and the SNP in Scotland.

Here is the Communist Party of Britain standing up to the right:

Labour Movement Welcome.

Labour’s poor projections nationally — with polls placing it about 10 points behind the Conservatives — can encourage this caution. Yet there are good reasons the renewal of communist election campaigning should be welcomed across the movement.

The British government’s handling of coronavirus has been catastrophic. We have one of the highest death tolls anywhere in the world and the deepest recession in Europe. Tens of thousands of lives could have been saved, hundreds of thousands would not have lost their jobs, had Britain adopted the zero-Covid strategies implemented by countries as diverse as China and New Zealand.

Follow the successful models of Cuba and Venezuela!

As countries which have successfully kept deaths and disruption to a minimum have proved, Covid-19 did not need to provoke a prolonged crisis. The worst-affected countries have been the heartlands of neoliberal capitalism — western Europe and the United States in particular. In Latin America, the contrast between the performance of socialist-led countries such as Cuba (40 deaths per million) and Venezuela (62) and neoliberal ones like Ecuador (995), Colombia (1,308) and Brazil (1,673) has been especially dramatic (figures from statista.com).

Covid has put the status quo to the test and found it wanting. There are plenty of people who recognise that. The point is regularly made from trade-union platforms and at online meetings.

But the pandemic struck Britain just as Labour was transitioning from a socialist leadership to a restorationist (??? Note to Subs, translate) one that has rowed back on the Corbyn movement’s searing critique of economic inequality and social injustice while stressing its support for (fawning on) “business as usual.”

With a handful of honourable exceptions, this has deprived institutional politics of voices drawing out the lessons of the pandemic to challenge the capitalist system itself.

Public Debate.

Yet we sorely need a public debate on an alternative economic and political strategy: one that understands the role of the market in creating the jobs crisis, the housing crisis, the climate crisis — and outlines real solutions to these, which must involve a big expansion of public ownership and economic planning.

Labour is not raising these issues. In a campaign in which it seems determined to compete with Priti Patel’s increasingly authoritarian Tories for the “law and order” vote, and in which it has even been caught distributing race-baiting anti-Gypsy and Traveller leaflets, the importance of an intervention from the left is paramount.

Learn from China’s Example of Racial and Political Tolerance!

Standing Against Labour Will Help Left Unity.

Far from undermining left unity, the left within Labour will be strengthened by the promotion of socialist solutions to the crisis and by leftward pressure on Labour candidates across Britain.

But besides that, we know that Labour’s long assumption that working-class voters have nowhere to go has been exploded by events — for years now in Scotland, more recently elsewhere. Refusing to challenge Labour from the left has not upheld its vote: it has simply meant disillusionment and anger at a party that no longer seems to represent ordinary people has been expressed by not voting at all or by voting for parties to its right.

The left has lost a lot of ground across Britain over the past year. We cannot sit out the first significant Britain-wide platform for political debate since the pandemic struck. The Communist Party’s election campaign will be a significant contribution to the revival of a militant and combative socialist movement.

What serious spotters want to know is if there are any contests between Communist candidates and the Socialist and Trade Union Coalition (TUSC), and the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 13, 2021 at 11:07 am

16 Monster Raving Loony Candidates (and one TUSC) in Kingston on Thames Council By-Election.

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Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Faces Tough Competition From Monster Raving Looney Party.

Newshound David Walsh writes,

In this strange week where nothing political is stirring – anywhere – and nowhere on the left, please see the attached notice of nominations for a mundane by election in the Chessington South ward of Kingston upon Thames Borough Council.   This follows the death of a Lib Dem Councillor.

When you open it, you will see that beside the three main parties , there are 13 candidates for the Raving Monster Looney Party – ranging from the Lady Dave Pither to the Count of Casual Corinthians via Captain Coily.  In a ward where the last elections saw the Tories fighting off the Lib Dems in the mid one and a half thousands, and Labour trailing in with a couple of hundred it seems an odd place for Loonyism.  Street view shows solid upper middle England villas and detached houses, and Google Earth shows a lot of big gardens with the blue dots of swimming pools.  For the Loonies to have got the 130 signatures is a job of industrial enterprise.  Odder still, the contest also sees a TUSC candidate – they must have found a hidden proletarian enclave that escaped me.  See PDF from the council.

The following is a statement of the persons nominated for election as Councillor on Thursday 6 May 2021

Looniest election: Why 13 Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidates are competing for your vote in the same seat.

A total of 13 candidates for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party are standing for just one seat in Kingston’s Chessington South by-election, possibly setting a record for the number of candidates a party has contested in a single-seat election.

There is nothing in the rules against this stunt, and there have been occasions in the past where two or three candidates have stood for one political party in a seat.

But it obviously makes it harder for a political party to win if their votes are split between several candidates. But then maybe that’s the point…

The story continues.

Loony candidate A. Gent Chinners tweeted about the political ploy stating: “It’s going to be a squeeze getting all 13 of them into that seat!”

He told MyLondon that despite “this massive plan of mine taking up far too much time” it was something he’d always wanted to try and arrange in a local election “and this one just seemed right what with lockdown.”

Speculation is growing in the international workers’ movement as to whether TUSC will manage to beat the Official Monster Raving Loony Party in a crucial contest in the proletarian heartlands.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 11, 2021 at 9:56 am

Prince Phillip: Mixed Responses to 8 Days of National Mourning.

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Prince Philip wears full collection of SEVENTEEN medals | Daily Mail Online

Not a Real, but an Ersatz Patriot says Morning Star.

Partisans de la ligne de la Tendance! Respond to the passing of Prince Phillip with dignity.

Quiet Mourning, and Condolences to the Family should be the hallmark.

Alas, this well meaning advice does not seem to have been universally followed.

This is what is happening (Telegraph).

“Britain has entered eight days of mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh during which flags will be flown at half mast, TV presenters will wear black and Parliament will pass no new laws.”

“MPs are expected to wear black armbands while they are at work, and armbands are likely to be worn at sporting events this weekend. A-two minute silence will be observed at the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.”

Parliament will scale back its work in a similar way to periods of “purdah” before elections. No new laws will be passed, no Government announcements will be made and no ministers will give interviews or tweet about policy unless it is specifically to give public health guidance.”

“Major TV channels responded to the Duke’s death by cancelling planned programmes and showing tributes instead. Presenters and newsreaders were told to wear black or dark clothes and black ties. The official Royal family website was replaced with a single memorial page to the Duke, while the Prince of Wales’s website was suspended.”

This is excessive, as Cde Osler has remarked, Christians only have four days to mourn the death of Christ – a somewhat more important passing for millions of people.

No wonder that this was a reaction.

Within six hours of Prince Philip’s death being announced the BBC had received so many complaints about its wall-to-wall coverage of the news that it opened a dedicated complaints form on its website.

The BBC curtailed dozens of broadcasts on Friday, taking the nation’s most popular television and radio channels off air and reduced dozens of other broadcasts on stations across the country, in order to provide uninterrupted coverage of tributes to the Queen’s husband.

This lot have no idea of how to react either:

Socialist Worker: Queen mourns as another racist bites the dust.

Prince Philip looked like the living dead whenever he left hospital during recent health scares. On Friday, he was just dead.

The racist royal finally snuffed it after 99 years of privilege, triggering “Operation Forth Bridge”, the British government’s plans for the funeral. In line with his wishes for “minimal fuss”, there will only be eight days of official mourning for the queen’s husband.

The anti-Labour and national Sovereigntist Morning Star attacked the Duke of Edinburgh for being a real patriot.

They began by making a side-swipe at the Labour Party.

“The diktat from the Labour leadership that the party’s election campaign be immediately suspended until further notice will doubtless be obeyed.”

The paper, independent of the Communist Party of Britain and owned by the Co-op will no doubt carry reports of Communist Campaigning in local elections in the coming days.

To the Daily the Royal Family are not genuine patriots.

“Philip himself — second cousin to his betrothed and the princely son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg — personified the nonsensical conceits of an ersatz patriotism in which the closely related royal families of European nation states and Russia shared class interests and family links while the peoples over whom they ruled were dragooned into war and inter-imperialist conflict.”

From the Red-Brown Front there’s more appreciation:

Frank Ferudi writes in Spiked,

Even though I am not a royalist, I always admired Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He was often criticised in the media for his many so-called gaffes. However, his formidable track record of saying unfashionable things in public can be taken as a positive testimony to his refusal to follow the rules of media training.

It’s all about me:

I first encountered Prince Philip accidently in Nakuru, Kenya in 1972. I was travelling around doing interviews for my PhD thesis on the Mau Mau revolt. He was running so fast on the street that his posse of bodyguards could barely keep up. Occasionally he would stop to exchange a few words with some locals and then move on. at struck me was the effortless way he conducted himself and the affectionate reaction he got from the people he talked with

Even though I am not a royalist, I always admired Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He was often criticised in the media for his many so-called gaffes. However, his formidable track record of saying unfashionable things in public can be taken as a positive testimony to his refusal to follow the rules of media training.

Unlike most of the other royals, Philip was often ‘off-message’. In a world in which royalty comes wrapped in the accoutrements of celebrity culture, Philip stood out as a genuine individual who was reluctant to express himself through a script written by public-relations advisers.

I first encountered Prince Philip accidently in Nakuru, Kenya in 1972. I was travelling around doing interviews for my PhD thesis on the Mau Mau revolt. He was running so fast on the street that his posse of bodyguards could barely keep up. Occasionally he would stop to exchange a few words with some locals and then move on. What struck me was the effortless way he conducted himself and the affectionate reaction he got from the people he talked with.

The next time I met Prince Philip was three decades later at the Royal Geographical Society in London

The former leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party concludes, “Yet despite all the small-minded and sneering criticism he faced from the new cultural establishment, Philip had a good run. In decades to come, he will be remembered as someone who turned out to be a very human prince.”

We await the response of Baroness Claire Fox, if her ladyship can surmount her grief and write a tribute.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 10, 2021 at 11:27 am