Birmingham Communist Party host Marcel Cartier

Marcel Cartier Meeting on Korea and Ukraine

The Communist Party in Birmingham hosted US musician and journalist Marcel Cartier today at a well attended meeting. Birmingham CPGB-ML and Red Youth were extremely happy to receive Marcel who only returned from a trip to Cuba this weekend.

Addressing comrades and friends Marcel spoke about the very contrasting experiences he has had this year, witnessing the horror of imperialism at work in the Ukraine – with the emergence of the fascist Kiev coup-government and conversely the inspirational visits he’s made to the DPR Korea and socialist Cuba where he has been able to see the achievements of those peoples who have so bravely stood up to imperialist aggression since the 1950s. In the presentation and again in the discussion which followed, comrades affirmed that they will not fall in with the anti-Russian/anti-China propaganda which aims to tie the movement here to the war chariot of imperialism; we reject the characteriasation of Russia and China by some on the left as dangerous imperialist powers and we point our fingers squarely at the war mongers and finance capitalists of the US and Britain in particular.

Comrade Marcel has a website which can be viewed here and he’s also a guest the the CPGB-ML International celebration of anti-imperialist resistance which takes place next Saturday:

International celebration of anti-imperialist resistance and solidarity
26 July 2014 (1.00pm onwards)
Saklatvala Hall, Dominion Road, Southall, UB2 5AA

A social event to celebrate two important anniversaries in the revolutionary calendar:
– the victory of the Fatherland Liberation War in Korea
– the storming of the Moncada Barracks in Cuba.
This year we will also be marking the 10th anniversary of our party’s founding!
An excellent event for bringing friends and family and friends to enjoy a mix of inspiring speeches and informal socialising with like-minded comrades.
Alongside representatives from fraternal embassies, come and hear journalist Marcel Cartier report back from his recent trips to Ukraine and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
All welcome, including kids. 

Contact: rango@cpgb-ml.org 
Map: click here

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTVNjGf-IQw]

Spectator’s confused rant – Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, Fascism, Totalitarianism…

Image

Our party had a proud contingent on this year’s Mayday Rally in London – and will have another tomorrow in Manchester, for anyone who wishes to join us. The Spectator (a mainstream conservative mouthpiece of British imperialism) have kindly reproduced a beautiful picture of our banner (above) along with the confused headline “I’ve just seen Nazi banners in Trafalgar Square. Well, almost“, followed by a hackneyed, wholly irrelevant, and breathtakingly ignorant rant conflating socialism/communism and fascism. It is a series of arguments that hold little water, and increasingly seen by British workers for the blatant lies they are. Moreover, we have answered these lies time and again – but are not afforded the air-time in this ‘democratic’ society to reach a mass audience.

Stalin remains a figure of controversy in this country – it must be acknowledged. But then so does history in general. For the record of the October Revolution, the Soviet Union, and their profound impact upon the modern world, is a class question – one that threatens the misanthropic interests of our ruling class as no other. And like all class questions, there is no single “national interest”, but the conflicting interests of the great mass of workers on the one hand [and overwhelmingly, the British population remain workers, although they are encouraged to think of themselves as little capitalists], and the currently dominant interests of a tiny handful of city financiers and great industrialists, who control the great mass of British Capital, on the other.

There are some feint-hearts, even among ‘socialist and communist’ groups, who think it ‘tactically unwise’ to openly carry such ‘provocative’ banners on the streets of London. But they miss the point. To advocate socialism, is to ask that power be transferred from the hands of the capitalists to the hands of the workers.

To even hint at such a policy will bring charges of ‘stalinism‘ from the bourgeois class, and their ideological agents in the working class movement. And quite right. Stalin, after all, was a serf who participated in the October Revolution that overturned a feudal and religious empire. He went on to lead the construction of a worker’s state, which liberated 1/6 of the world’s surface from exploitation of man by man, and nation by nation. The Soviet Union and the Red Army went on to defeat the mightiest (Fascist) warmongering armies of capitalist imperialism ever assembled on the face of this earth, ushering in a period of peace and prosperity for a third of humanity, who built a socialist economic system. To give up the example of the Soviet Union from the outset is to give up on socialism altogether.

Whose interests did Stalin serve? That is the question. The answer is ours. British workers, as much as Soviet workers. [Consider, for example, the real reasons behind the provision of the NHS after Soviet Victory in WW2, and its increasing privatisation now the Soviet Union is no more] That is why he remains a colossus, that cannot be removed from the pages of history and the consciousness of the workers, despite all the malign lies, and gnawing criticism of the intellectual and political servants of the imperialist monopoly-capitalist class.

On the role of Britain’s imperialist ruling class supporting fascism, there is no shortage of material, whether we turn to the recent example of the Ukraine, or the older examples from the run up to world war 2, and the Spanish Civil War.

On the legendary role of the Soviet Union in combating fascism, and the part played personally by Stalin in this battle, there is also no shortage of material. Indeed, without understanding the military, economic and political events that lead to the defeat of the German 6th Army, that flower of the NAZI war machine, by the Soviet Red Army at Stalingrad, modern history is simply incomprehensible.

Henry Metelmann’s personal account of the battle of Stalingrad – and his experiences of German fascism before, and his reflections on WW2 and the intervening period since, are revelatory.

We would particularly ask our readers – friends and critics – to familiarise themselves with this material in order to negotiate the blathering of such confusionists as the Spectator’s Mr Bloodworth, or the Telegraph’s Mr Walters, and all the other heirs of the Hearst Press, stretching back to Gobbles himself, of whom this unfortunate pair are but minor examples.

Millions Killed by Communism?

The origins of the fantastic figures for “alleged deaths attributable” to Stalin and Mao, are shrouded in obscurity, for the methods used to conjure them up are so unscientific as to be laughable, were they not propagated on an industrial scale by the press of the capitalist gangs that seek to continue their domination, without subjecting their assertions to the slightest level of scientific rigour, scrutiny, peer-review, or basic journalistic standards. The wilder the accusation, the more gleefully they are propagated.

Mario Sousa’s excellent pamphlet, Lies concerning the History of the Soviet Union, has been translated into English by Ella Rule, our vice president and international secretary, and should be compulsory reading for anyone who wishes to understand the Soviet Union, the working class movement, socialism, or modern history.

As to the Spectator’s scurrilous assertions regarding China, and Mao’s alleged death toll during the Great leap forward, we would also ask all interested in the truth to read this article reproduced in Lalakar, and simply note the massive increase in life-expectancy (from 35 to 69), health and population in China during the time of Chairman Mao’s leadership of New China when the Chinese people can truly be said, to have stood up!

Given that the Soviet Union is no more, and the UK state spends much of its time justifying its armed incursions abroad, and at home, on the basis of fighting the bogeymen of “islamist extremism” and “religious fundamentalism”, one might ask why we are subjected to this constant stream of invective against the great communist leaders at all –  since they have already been dismissed as a historical irrelevance time and again.

We should note in passing the breath-taking hypocrisy of our British imperial masters, who claim to be motivated by deep concern for ‘democratic and peaceful’ aims, but feel ‘morally obliged’ to promote their humanitarian sentiments by funding such agents as the medieval Al-Qaeda nutters in Syria (who, fresh from lynching black Africans in Libya, lop off heads and devour human livers, in order to overturn a secular, progressive, democratically elected and socialist leaning anti-imperialist government – who incidentally won’t allow the US any military bases on their soil, but are one of the chief supporters of all popular democratic forces across the Middle East), and openly fascist pro Nazi Racists in the Ukraine.

British workers must learn to hold our heads up high, reclaim our history and challenge the lies that aim to keep us on our knees!

Long live Mayday! Long Live the glorious memory and example of the USSR! Slava Stalin!

How does Capitalist Crisis affect Socialist Countries?

Keith Bennett gives an interesting presentation on the impact of the world capitalist economic crisis of overproduction upon the economic and social life of socialist countries, at a CPGB-ML seminar held as economic meltdown hit in 2009.

The classic case of a socialist country immune to crisis is provided, he says, by the Soviet Union in the 1930s, whose economic output increased 5-fold while the capitalist world’s declined, mired as it was in the great depression that followed the Wall Street Crash, and dragged on until it fuelled events leading to a second World War.

The Soviet Union, after temporary concessions to capitalism following the destruction of world war one, the civil war, and the war of intervention, put aside Lenin’s ‘New Economic Policy’ and embarked upon full scale collectivisation in the countryside, enabling increased agricultural production and rural prosperity. This in turn allowed the towns to grow, to be fed, and increase their industrial output. It was the economic, cultural and technical development consequent upon its socialist economy that enabled the Soviet Union to defeat German Nazi Imperialism in the Great Patriotic War (WW2) between 1941-45.

Keith goes on to discuss modern China, the inroads of capitalist economics into her social life, the extent to which she always had a dual economy, and the fact that China’s economy, while continuing to expand, has been adversely affected by the declining capacity of the capitalist world to absorb her exports.

Referring to the history of the world economy, Keith points out that Capitalism cannot offer a sustainable source of economic growth, peaceful or stable development, and remains inherently prone to crisis, dislocation, instability and war.

Capitalism, if allowed to flourish in the economic sphere, will inevitably seek political power, and to change the nature of the state to suit its interests, he concludes.

The Morning Star and the “single, divisive individual”

stalin For some months now, Red Youth has been receiving requests to contribute financially towards an advert in the Morning Star, ostensibly to commemorate the birth of JV Stalin. This advert was being prepared by Second Wave Publications, a small left-wing publisher.

In the course of their efforts to publish this advert, comrades at Second Wave ran into a stumbling block in the shape of the editor of the Morning Star, Richard Bagley. We publish below the correspondence that has followed between a supporter of the advert – CPB Morecombe Bay & Lancaster branch secretary Norman Hill – and Mr Bagley, along with the original advert. Our readers may in this way judge the issue for themselves, while becoming better acquainted with the present editorial policy of the Morning Star.

It is our opinion that both the political outlook of the designers of the advert and the editorial policy of the Morning Star represent considerable obstacles to the struggle of the working class in its fight against capitalist crisis and for socialism.

On the one hand, Second Wave seeks to ‘celebrate’ Stalin in such a grossly abstract and amateurish manner that it would be better to spare him the shame, whilst the Morning Star would rather not discuss the matter at all, lest it expose their total capitulation to barely-concealed opportunism, economism and social democracy.

Any celebration of the life of Josef Stalin must be closely connected to, and make absolutely clear, the world-historic significance of the man, his work, and his achievements in the building of socialism if it is to have any relevance to the working class today.

The building of the Bolshevik party and the victory of the great October socialist revolution in 1917; the successes in the building of the world’s first-ever socialist society; the dramatic rise in the standard of living for millions of Soviet citizens, who had in just a few short years left feudal and primitive social conditions behind for good; the victory of the USSR over fascism; the firm leadership given by JV Stalin during these and other challenging and cataclysmic struggles … all this barely scratches the surface of the significance of Stalin and the Soviet experience for us today.

Here is a man who in death, as in life, inspires the most furious and passionate hatred of the bourgeoisie and its troto-revisionist hangers on. And the inspiration for this hatred rests not with the man, his personality or habits, but with his politics and with the achievements associated with those politics – namely, the defence of the principles of scientific socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Under the leadership of JV Stalin, the whole world watched with awe as the peoples of the Soviet Union set new heights for heroism and progress, abolished the exploitation of man by man, destroyed the feudal and capitalist relics of Russian tsardom, united the formerly colonial subjects of the Russian empire into a mighty force for socialism, liberation and progress which touched every corner of the globe and made the single greatest contribution to the ending of colonial subjugation for millions of starving, wretched and oppressed people.

Quite shamefully, Richard Bagley, rather than admit to and celebrate the above, seeks to belittle the role and contemporary relevance of the builder of socialism and inspirer of the defeat of fascism, asserting that he is merely a “single, divisive individual” who “died sixty years ago”. A more clumsy, ignorant and painfully dismissive statement we could not expect to be confronted with in another 60 years!

Even the most crass of bourgeois historians could not be found guilty of such outstanding stupidity. Comrade Bagley, a titan of the international working-class movement, brushes aside the earth-shattering contribution of Josef Stalin in such a matter-of-fact way it almost leaves one breathless.

But whilst such craven capitulation to the troto-revisionist fraternity is really quite tragic, it is to be expected. For, perhaps unbeknown to our friends at Second Wave Publications, comrade Bagley is not the only titan running the show; he is but a mouthpiece for his bosses back at Ruskin House – Griffiths, Haylett and the whole bunch of similarly dismissive Khrushchevite mummies who occupy the leadership of the Communist Party of Britain.

This sour and ageing gentry long ago abandoned all fidelity to Marxism Leninism, taking themselves over to the side of social democracy with a zeal and enthusiasm, the magnitude of which can only be matched by their combined egos. Such anti-communist comments as those made by Mr Bagley furnish further proof, if any were needed, that the party of Harry Pollitt and Willie Gallacher is certainly not the party of Bagley, Haylett, Griffiths and co.

Harry Pollitt leader of the CPGB
Harry Pollitt leader of the CPGB

How can such men claim any allegiance to communism? Or, rather, how arethey able to convince the rest of their party that they stand in the tradition of the old CPGB? Are the members so insipid? Are they so in awe of their full-time officials? The statement by the illustrious editor of their paper could not be further from these words of Harry Pollitt: ”Stalin – the man who really believed in the working class and evoked from it all that creative genius and energy which has astounded the world for over 30 years and will do more so in the future.

How poor Comrade Pollitt would hate to hear that the inheritors of the Daily Worker/Morning Star, rather than being inspired to further creative genius by the life work of Comrade Stalin, instead choose to skulk away, brushing him aside and doing their best to pretend that Stalin and Soviet socialism never existed!

It is not Stalin who has no relevance to the working class in its fight against austerity but Bagley and company. It is not Stalin who is divisive but Bagley and all the rest of the revisionists and Trotskyites who work so hard to keep every class-conscious worker tied to the imperialist Labour party and divided from their comrades-in-arms in the oppressed countries.

Bagley has absolutely nothing to teach us about the struggle against austerity and war. Rather, it is Stalin whose words ring out today, as clear, true and full of hope and promise as ever:

JV StalinEither place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon – this is the alternative imperialism puts before the vast masses of the proletariat. Imperialism brings the working class to revolution.

————————————————————————————————————————

The offending advert
The offending advert

—- Forwarded Message —–
From: N Hill
To: Richard Bagley
Sent: Tuesday, 10 December 2013, 23:41
Subject: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Dear Editor,

You have censored an advertisement commemorating the birthday of Josef Stalin on the grounds that publication of the proposed half-page advertisement would ‘bring the paper into disrepute’.

I am interested to know how you arrived at this conclusion: was it based purely upon intuition or was it based upon factual evidence arising from some previous event? If the latter, please provide details.

Please provide me with some reason/s for your decision to censor the advertisement despite a fee and date of insertion having already been agreed with your advertising department some weeks before you made your decision (and then immediately departing for your holiday – leaving no time for an appeal to be made for you to reconsider).

You will be aware that a commemorative birthday advertisement was published in December last year without any problem so has there been a change of policy that has been kept secret from shareholders of the PPPS and the leadership of the Communist Party of Britain?

Norman Hill – in personal capacity

Secretary Morecambe Bay and Lancaster CPB,

Treasurer Northern District Committee CPB,

PPPS shareholder,

Communist Party member and Morning Star reader, supporter and promoter for 34 years.

From: N Hill
To: Richard Bagley
Sent: Friday, 13 December 2013, 9:39
Subject: Fw: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Dear Editor,

This is a second request for reasons leading you to conclude the advertisement would ‘bring the paper into disrepute’ and to subsequently censor it.

A response will be appreciated.

Norman Hill

From: Richard Bagley
To: N Hill
Sent: Friday, 13 December 2013, 13:09
Subject: Re: Fw: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Comrade,

Apologies for the delay in replying to your email of December 10th but we are currently short-staffed at the paper.

I recognise your long-standing support for the paper so I welcome your request for more information on this issue.

As a long-term supporter you will be aware that each year PPPS members endorse the editorial link between the Morning Star and the Communist Party of Britain’s programme Britain’s Road to Socialism.

My role as editor, alongside many other responsibilities, is to ensure that the content of the paper reflects and assists the development of the strategy highlighted in that document, with the aim in the first instance of forging a popular democratic anti-monopoly alliance.

That is the central political role of the Morning Star as a daily newspaper with the historic and current goal of wide circulation.

Content destined for the paper’s pages cannot be allowed to fundamentally undermine this strategic objective.

The advert that you refer to does not pass this test.

I hope that this clarifies the issue.

In solidarity,

Richard Bagley
Morning Star Editor

From: N Hill
To: Richard Bagley
Dear Editor,

I thank you for your reply and I am sorry to learn that the paper is short-staffed – I hope this is but a temporary situation.

I have always been aware of the editorial link between the paper and CBP’s programme, the BRS, and I fully acknowledge the paper’s invaluable work in helping to build a broad democratic alliance against multi-national monopoly capitalism – this is why I have purchased a daily copy since 1978, became a shareholder of the PPPS and why I have sought at every opportunity to sell and to promote the Morning Star despite periods of financial hardship and, sometimes, open hostility from not only the main class enemy but from members of the labour movement, too. So I am dissatisfied with your reply.

Please explain how publication of the proposed birthday commemoration advertisement would, in your opinion and based upon what evidence, ‘fundamentally undermine the paper’s strategic objective of reflecting and assisting the development of the strategy highlighted in the BRS and the paper’s aim of forging a popular democratic anti-monopoly alliance’ and how, precisely, it ‘does not pass this test’.

I am also curious to know why, when a date for insertion and fee had been agreed with your advertising department in early October, you only decided to ban its publication in early December (before immediately departing on holiday).

In comradeship,

Norman Hill

From: Richard Bagley
To: N Hill
Date: 13 December 2013 16:47:45 GMT
Subject: Re: Fw: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Comrade,

I find it incredible that you are unable to see how the advert submitted would conflict with the paper’s primary goal of forging a popular anti-monopoly alliance. I have said all I am going to say on the matter.

With regards your second point, the advert was rejected when it was brought to my attention. It would appear highly unusual for a fee to be agreed three months early – and indeed, as I understand it, there was an attempt to secure space for the advert at a 30 per cent discount. I can see no reason why the paper would agree to offer such a large discount.

I can only assume that the individual approaching our advertising department was misled, or they have misled you.

In solidarity,

From: N Hill

To: R Bagley

Editor,

Two tragic bereavements in as many months have left me with little stomach for a war of words with you so I simply ask (for the third time), can you please explain why you were of the opinion that publication of the proposed half page advertisement commemorating the birthday of Josef Stalin would have ‘brought the paper into disrepute’ and subsequently prevented it from being printed? On what evidence did you base your opinion? And why was a commemorative advertisement accepted last year without any problem? If you were so concerned about upsetting the perceived fragile sensibilities of a section of the readership why could you not have printed a disclaimer to cover your own back?

These are straightforward questions and ones which I believe deserve a straight forward response. For example, it is not necessary for me to know that the question causes you astonishment or to be presented with the ethos of the Morning Star – which I have known for half my lifetime – or to read the Work Description of the editor of the paper; I just want non-pompous answers to my questions so I may confidently return to subscribing to, funding, and promoting the Morning Star in the knowledge that it is not being steered in a history-denying bourgeois direction.

Norman Hill

From: Richard Bagley
To: N Hill
Date: 25 December 2013 13:58:23 GMT
Subject: RE: Stalin Birthday Ad – Morning Star

Dear Norman,

I am sorry to hear about your recent bereavements and I hope this reply will not distress you further.

I have however no intention of engaging with your detailed interrogation on this issue.

If you choose to define your support for the paper in relation to this advert’s acceptance or not then that is your choice.

It appears, Norman, that you have made up your mind that the paper is a ‘history-denying’ and ‘bourgeois’ publication based on the non-publication of one advert related to a single, divisive individual from Soviet history who died 60 years ago. (Emphasis added by Second Wave)

I have explained why this decision was taken in the light of the very real class challenges that we face in the present, and our party’s strategic policy which requires maximum unity in the face of the worst onslaught on working-class people in 80 years and with no end in sight.

Assessment of Stalin’s legacy and contribution to Soviet history belongs in Communist Review not the pages of the Morning Star, a non-theoretical journal which has enough of the current to focus on without engaging in diversionary and abstract debates on events 60 years ago because it is some people’s peculiar obsession or at the heart of a few individuals’ political compass. (Emphasis added by Second Wave)

I don’t see how anything other than the advert’s publication would put your mind at rest.

This will not happen.

Regards,
Richard Bagley
Morning Star Editor

The Morning Star and the "single, divisive individual"

stalin For some months now, Red Youth has been receiving requests to contribute financially towards an advert in the Morning Star, ostensibly to commemorate the birth of JV Stalin. This advert was being prepared by Second Wave Publications, a small left-wing publisher.

In the course of their efforts to publish this advert, comrades at Second Wave ran into a stumbling block in the shape of the editor of the Morning Star, Richard Bagley. We publish below the correspondence that has followed between a supporter of the advert – CPB Morecombe Bay & Lancaster branch secretary Norman Hill – and Mr Bagley, along with the original advert. Our readers may in this way judge the issue for themselves, while becoming better acquainted with the present editorial policy of the Morning Star.

It is our opinion that both the political outlook of the designers of the advert and the editorial policy of the Morning Star represent considerable obstacles to the struggle of the working class in its fight against capitalist crisis and for socialism.

On the one hand, Second Wave seeks to ‘celebrate’ Stalin in such a grossly abstract and amateurish manner that it would be better to spare him the shame, whilst the Morning Star would rather not discuss the matter at all, lest it expose their total capitulation to barely-concealed opportunism, economism and social democracy.

Any celebration of the life of Josef Stalin must be closely connected to, and make absolutely clear, the world-historic significance of the man, his work, and his achievements in the building of socialism if it is to have any relevance to the working class today.

The building of the Bolshevik party and the victory of the great October socialist revolution in 1917; the successes in the building of the world’s first-ever socialist society; the dramatic rise in the standard of living for millions of Soviet citizens, who had in just a few short years left feudal and primitive social conditions behind for good; the victory of the USSR over fascism; the firm leadership given by JV Stalin during these and other challenging and cataclysmic struggles … all this barely scratches the surface of the significance of Stalin and the Soviet experience for us today.

Here is a man who in death, as in life, inspires the most furious and passionate hatred of the bourgeoisie and its troto-revisionist hangers on. And the inspiration for this hatred rests not with the man, his personality or habits, but with his politics and with the achievements associated with those politics – namely, the defence of the principles of scientific socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Under the leadership of JV Stalin, the whole world watched with awe as the peoples of the Soviet Union set new heights for heroism and progress, abolished the exploitation of man by man, destroyed the feudal and capitalist relics of Russian tsardom, united the formerly colonial subjects of the Russian empire into a mighty force for socialism, liberation and progress which touched every corner of the globe and made the single greatest contribution to the ending of colonial subjugation for millions of starving, wretched and oppressed people.

Quite shamefully, Richard Bagley, rather than admit to and celebrate the above, seeks to belittle the role and contemporary relevance of the builder of socialism and inspirer of the defeat of fascism, asserting that he is merely a “single, divisive individual” who “died sixty years ago”. A more clumsy, ignorant and painfully dismissive statement we could not expect to be confronted with in another 60 years!

Even the most crass of bourgeois historians could not be found guilty of such outstanding stupidity. Comrade Bagley, a titan of the international working-class movement, brushes aside the earth-shattering contribution of Josef Stalin in such a matter-of-fact way it almost leaves one breathless.

But whilst such craven capitulation to the troto-revisionist fraternity is really quite tragic, it is to be expected. For, perhaps unbeknown to our friends at Second Wave Publications, comrade Bagley is not the only titan running the show; he is but a mouthpiece for his bosses back at Ruskin House – Griffiths, Haylett and the whole bunch of similarly dismissive Khrushchevite mummies who occupy the leadership of the Communist Party of Britain.

This sour and ageing gentry long ago abandoned all fidelity to Marxism Leninism, taking themselves over to the side of social democracy with a zeal and enthusiasm, the magnitude of which can only be matched by their combined egos. Such anti-communist comments as those made by Mr Bagley furnish further proof, if any were needed, that the party of Harry Pollitt and Willie Gallacher is certainly not the party of Bagley, Haylett, Griffiths and co.

Harry Pollitt leader of the CPGB
Harry Pollitt leader of the CPGB

How can such men claim any allegiance to communism? Or, rather, how arethey able to convince the rest of their party that they stand in the tradition of the old CPGB? Are the members so insipid? Are they so in awe of their full-time officials? The statement by the illustrious editor of their paper could not be further from these words of Harry Pollitt: ”Stalin – the man who really believed in the working class and evoked from it all that creative genius and energy which has astounded the world for over 30 years and will do more so in the future.

How poor Comrade Pollitt would hate to hear that the inheritors of the Daily Worker/Morning Star, rather than being inspired to further creative genius by the life work of Comrade Stalin, instead choose to skulk away, brushing him aside and doing their best to pretend that Stalin and Soviet socialism never existed!

It is not Stalin who has no relevance to the working class in its fight against austerity but Bagley and company. It is not Stalin who is divisive but Bagley and all the rest of the revisionists and Trotskyites who work so hard to keep every class-conscious worker tied to the imperialist Labour party and divided from their comrades-in-arms in the oppressed countries.

Bagley has absolutely nothing to teach us about the struggle against austerity and war. Rather, it is Stalin whose words ring out today, as clear, true and full of hope and promise as ever:

JV StalinEither place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon – this is the alternative imperialism puts before the vast masses of the proletariat. Imperialism brings the working class to revolution.

————————————————————————————————————————

The offending advert
The offending advert

—- Forwarded Message —–
From: N Hill
To: Richard Bagley
Sent: Tuesday, 10 December 2013, 23:41
Subject: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Dear Editor,

You have censored an advertisement commemorating the birthday of Josef Stalin on the grounds that publication of the proposed half-page advertisement would ‘bring the paper into disrepute’.

I am interested to know how you arrived at this conclusion: was it based purely upon intuition or was it based upon factual evidence arising from some previous event? If the latter, please provide details.

Please provide me with some reason/s for your decision to censor the advertisement despite a fee and date of insertion having already been agreed with your advertising department some weeks before you made your decision (and then immediately departing for your holiday – leaving no time for an appeal to be made for you to reconsider).

You will be aware that a commemorative birthday advertisement was published in December last year without any problem so has there been a change of policy that has been kept secret from shareholders of the PPPS and the leadership of the Communist Party of Britain?

Norman Hill – in personal capacity

Secretary Morecambe Bay and Lancaster CPB,

Treasurer Northern District Committee CPB,

PPPS shareholder,

Communist Party member and Morning Star reader, supporter and promoter for 34 years.

From: N Hill
To: Richard Bagley
Sent: Friday, 13 December 2013, 9:39
Subject: Fw: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Dear Editor,

This is a second request for reasons leading you to conclude the advertisement would ‘bring the paper into disrepute’ and to subsequently censor it.

A response will be appreciated.

Norman Hill

From: Richard Bagley
To: N Hill
Sent: Friday, 13 December 2013, 13:09
Subject: Re: Fw: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Comrade,

Apologies for the delay in replying to your email of December 10th but we are currently short-staffed at the paper.

I recognise your long-standing support for the paper so I welcome your request for more information on this issue.

As a long-term supporter you will be aware that each year PPPS members endorse the editorial link between the Morning Star and the Communist Party of Britain’s programme Britain’s Road to Socialism.

My role as editor, alongside many other responsibilities, is to ensure that the content of the paper reflects and assists the development of the strategy highlighted in that document, with the aim in the first instance of forging a popular democratic anti-monopoly alliance.

That is the central political role of the Morning Star as a daily newspaper with the historic and current goal of wide circulation.

Content destined for the paper’s pages cannot be allowed to fundamentally undermine this strategic objective.

The advert that you refer to does not pass this test.

I hope that this clarifies the issue.

In solidarity,

Richard Bagley
Morning Star Editor

From: N Hill
To: Richard Bagley
Dear Editor,

I thank you for your reply and I am sorry to learn that the paper is short-staffed – I hope this is but a temporary situation.

I have always been aware of the editorial link between the paper and CBP’s programme, the BRS, and I fully acknowledge the paper’s invaluable work in helping to build a broad democratic alliance against multi-national monopoly capitalism – this is why I have purchased a daily copy since 1978, became a shareholder of the PPPS and why I have sought at every opportunity to sell and to promote the Morning Star despite periods of financial hardship and, sometimes, open hostility from not only the main class enemy but from members of the labour movement, too. So I am dissatisfied with your reply.

Please explain how publication of the proposed birthday commemoration advertisement would, in your opinion and based upon what evidence, ‘fundamentally undermine the paper’s strategic objective of reflecting and assisting the development of the strategy highlighted in the BRS and the paper’s aim of forging a popular democratic anti-monopoly alliance’ and how, precisely, it ‘does not pass this test’.

I am also curious to know why, when a date for insertion and fee had been agreed with your advertising department in early October, you only decided to ban its publication in early December (before immediately departing on holiday).

In comradeship,

Norman Hill

From: Richard Bagley
To: N Hill
Date: 13 December 2013 16:47:45 GMT
Subject: Re: Fw: Stalin Commemorative Birthday Advertisement

Comrade,

I find it incredible that you are unable to see how the advert submitted would conflict with the paper’s primary goal of forging a popular anti-monopoly alliance. I have said all I am going to say on the matter.

With regards your second point, the advert was rejected when it was brought to my attention. It would appear highly unusual for a fee to be agreed three months early – and indeed, as I understand it, there was an attempt to secure space for the advert at a 30 per cent discount. I can see no reason why the paper would agree to offer such a large discount.

I can only assume that the individual approaching our advertising department was misled, or they have misled you.

In solidarity,

From: N Hill

To: R Bagley

Editor,

Two tragic bereavements in as many months have left me with little stomach for a war of words with you so I simply ask (for the third time), can you please explain why you were of the opinion that publication of the proposed half page advertisement commemorating the birthday of Josef Stalin would have ‘brought the paper into disrepute’ and subsequently prevented it from being printed? On what evidence did you base your opinion? And why was a commemorative advertisement accepted last year without any problem? If you were so concerned about upsetting the perceived fragile sensibilities of a section of the readership why could you not have printed a disclaimer to cover your own back?

These are straightforward questions and ones which I believe deserve a straight forward response. For example, it is not necessary for me to know that the question causes you astonishment or to be presented with the ethos of the Morning Star – which I have known for half my lifetime – or to read the Work Description of the editor of the paper; I just want non-pompous answers to my questions so I may confidently return to subscribing to, funding, and promoting the Morning Star in the knowledge that it is not being steered in a history-denying bourgeois direction.

Norman Hill

From: Richard Bagley
To: N Hill
Date: 25 December 2013 13:58:23 GMT
Subject: RE: Stalin Birthday Ad – Morning Star

Dear Norman,

I am sorry to hear about your recent bereavements and I hope this reply will not distress you further.

I have however no intention of engaging with your detailed interrogation on this issue.

If you choose to define your support for the paper in relation to this advert’s acceptance or not then that is your choice.

It appears, Norman, that you have made up your mind that the paper is a ‘history-denying’ and ‘bourgeois’ publication based on the non-publication of one advert related to a single, divisive individual from Soviet history who died 60 years ago. (Emphasis added by Second Wave)

I have explained why this decision was taken in the light of the very real class challenges that we face in the present, and our party’s strategic policy which requires maximum unity in the face of the worst onslaught on working-class people in 80 years and with no end in sight.

Assessment of Stalin’s legacy and contribution to Soviet history belongs in Communist Review not the pages of the Morning Star, a non-theoretical journal which has enough of the current to focus on without engaging in diversionary and abstract debates on events 60 years ago because it is some people’s peculiar obsession or at the heart of a few individuals’ political compass. (Emphasis added by Second Wave)

I don’t see how anything other than the advert’s publication would put your mind at rest.

This will not happen.

Regards,
Richard Bagley
Morning Star Editor

Syrian delegation speaks to British Delegate at 18th WFYS in Quito, Ecuador

The head of the Syrian delegation Dr Saleh Al Rashed (President of the Syrian Revolutionary Youth Union) speaks at the world festival of youth and students to the British delegation.

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Despite the brutal and bloody campaign which has been unleashed against the Syrian people by imperialism the Syrians understand and continue to draw the distinction between the mass of ordinary British workers and the thoroughly corrupt and wicked parasite class that rules on behalf of finance capital.

Since the very first days of this conflict the CPGB-ML were the only organisation in Britain to stand squarely behind the Ba’ath Party, the National Patriotic Front and the Syrian Communist Party (Bagdash), as well as all the other progressive and anti-imperialist organisations united in Syria against the imperialist inspired war of intervention.

As Dr Al Rashed confirms, the Syrian people, much to the dismay of the revisionist and Trotskyite pigs who tie our anti-war movement to imperialism, have only strengthened their resolve and friendship during these hard years of life-and-death struggle, despite all personal hardship and loss. As Mao Zedong said long ago, “the imperialists pick up a rock only to drop it upon their own feet”!

The imperialists  they have funded and equipped cannibals, maniacs and fundamentalists who’s sole mission inside Syria has been carnage, mayhem and destruction. Yet despite all their crimes, including the stomach-churning and cynical ‘propaganda stunt’ of gassing kidnapped children in attempt to stir up direct US military intervention, have only succeeded in bringing the Syrian people together in resistnace, forging an un-breakable bond between the radical and patriotic forces inside Syria.

British delegation promotes strong anti-imperialist line on "Europe Day" at Quito festival

Comrades from Red Youth and RCG, who make up the socialist contingent on the British delegation to Quito, distribute tonnes of literature and speak to hundreds of revolutionaries from across the world.

British communists in Quito
British communists in Quito

Hundreds of progressive youth came to speak with the British delegation all through “Europe day” at this years WFDY Festival. Comrades from the RCG distributed copies of their newspaper Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism and conducted interviews with foreign delegations, and also kindly assisted Red Youth with translation from Spanish.

Delegate Tatjana from the Socialist Party of Latvia
Delegate Tatjana from the Socialist Party of Latvia

Many copies of Lalkar and Proletarian were sold and given away to comrades new and old. Friends from the Syrian Baath Party were delighted to catch up with CPGB-ML central committee members Ranjeet Brar and Paul Cannon and to meet Dan and Angela for the first time. Our support for the brave resistance of the Syrian people to the bloody war waged by imperialism has strengthened our friendship with both the Baath Party and the Syrian Communist Party (Bagdash) who also met privately with our delegation.

As the degenerates and warmongers, trotskyites and revisionists, conspire to keep brave peace-loving people like Mother Agnes from the anti-war platform, it is increasingly clear that only the Marxist-Leninists can provide clear anti-war political leadership. Only communists clearly come out in defence of the weak against the attacks of the strong; the trotskyists always end up assisting their imperialist puppet masters, and the spineless revisionists long ago abandoned the struggle in favour of the easy life.

Even the Ecuadorean police seem to be on our side!
Even the Ecuadorean police seem to be on our side!

The most cursory glance at the contemporary international situation shows that imperialism’s inherent tendency to wage wars of aggression has not in any way disappeared. If anything it has become enhanced, notably after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialist countries of central and eastern Europe, since when we have seen numerous wars of colonial reconquest, such as those against Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and, most recently, Libya and Syria.

Moreover, faced with what is emerging as the gravest economic crisis in the history of capitalism, the pace and intensity of imperialism’s inexorable drive to war is increasing yet further. The imperialist powers are presently at war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. They are also waging unofficial and proxy wars in Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. They are abetting and bankrolling the Israeli zionists’ war against the Palestinian people.

Marxism Leninism is not a dogma but a guide to action. Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, the great revolutionary teachers, laid out with complete clarity the attitude of the revolutionary proletariat to the struggle against imperialism and towards the national movements of the oppressed. With imperialism convulsed with crisis and hurtling towards new and ever more dangerous wars of aggression, the work of reuniting and reinvigorating the entire international communist movement on this principled and revolutionary basis is one which will brook no further delay.

It is in this spirit that many many comrades and friends purchased copies of not only our newspapers, but also our books, notably Harpal Brar and Ella Rule’s latest book  Imperialism and the worst-ever crisis of overproduction.  Red Youth’s slogan “Each one, teach one!” has never been more relevant. 

Long live proletarian internationalism!

Comrade Paulus Mbangu from SWAPO buys HB's latest book on imperialism
Comrade Paulus Mbangu from SWAPO buys HB’s latest book on imperialism
Puerto Rican communists from the Federacion Universitaria Pro Independencia take copies for their library
Puerto Rican communists from the Federacion Universitaria Pro Independencia take copies for their library
Delegates from across Latin America socialising with comrades from around the world
Delegates from across Latin America socialising with comrades from around the world
Italian Marxist Leninists poster
Italian Marxist Leninist poster: NATO Hands off Syria! No to Imperialism!

Liverpool communists discuss Imperialism and War

Members and supporters of the Communist Party gathered in Liverpool to hear a talk given by CPGB-ML Chairman Harpal Brar on the topic of Imperialism and War. Comrades from the Socialist Labour Party also joined the discussions afterwards which followed Harpal’s talk and which carried on for an hour. 

Liverpool Communist Party

Liverpool communists

All the comrades agreed that there was an urgent need for the working class to develop its own leadership of the struggles against war and austerity rather than rely on the Labour Party bigwigs and their stooges who occupy the higher echelons of the trade union movement. Comrades reaffirmed the urgent need for rank and file trade unionists to fight for the working class within the unions in the face of the mismanagement of our struggles by social democrats and class traitors. The need to build up the Communist Party and revolutionary class leadership was discussed and all the comrades felt that the meeting had made a good contribution towards this work in Liverpool.

A real step forward has been made in Liverpool with new comrades recruited to the CPGB-ML and closer friendships formed with supporters as a result of open, frank discussion and debate. Other branches of the Communist Party will be holding similar public meetings in the new year.

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Also this week Red Youth comrades, organised in the Nottingham Trent Uni Marxist and Proletariat Society, held a debate on the topic of Trotskyism or Leninism, between the CPGB-ML and anarcho-trotskyite AWL.

If any other society or group would like to arrange debates or public meetings on either of the above subjects, or other topics, you are welcome to contact info@redyouth.org to make arrangements.

Yorkshire comrades and Red Youth learn about the Bolshevik Revolution

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A small group of members and supporters gathered with Red Youth to learn about the Great October Socialist Revolution in Doncaster on Saturday. A party organisation was established in Doncaster earlier this year and is now meeting regularly. Weekly sales of marxist leninist literature take place in Doncaster town centre, weekly study classes are underway and comrades have organised political education classes in conjunction with the Stalin Society, thus beginning the process of building up a communist organisation in the town!

The next meeting of the Doncaster group is this coming Saturday, if you’d like to attend the talk which will focus on the role of the black civil rights movement it’s on at Doncaster Central Lending Library 2.00pm. Contact readinggrouptom@hotmail.co.uk for more information or to get involved.

Film show this Sunday in London: The Road to Life

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‘The Road to Life’
1931 Soviet feature film, directed by Nikolai Ekk, with English subtitles.
Sunday, 17 November, 2 – 5 pm
Marchmont Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB

Followed by discussion

A vivid and humorous portrayal of one aspect of what the building of socialism meant to the peoples of the USSR.
Based on the book of the same title, written by the Soviet educationist Anton Makarenko, the film gives a fictional account of Makarenko working with the children under his care, who had been orphaned by the Russian Civil War and the resulting famine. It shows the transformation of the street children from their involvement with petty crime to their achievements in socialist construction.