Comrades attend Wigan diggers festival

Birmingham Worker

Wigan Diggers Festival Sept 9th 2017 outside the library in Wigan

The Day

Birmingham CPGB-ML sent a few comrades along to meet up with other party members at the Wigan Diggers festival this Saturday, remembering another aspect of the people’s British history. It was an enjoyable day with plenty of discussion with local workers, the majority of whom were disgraced to hear how Birmingham’s Labour Council was attacking the bin men. Many told us that the local Wigan Labour Council was the same. Sadly, for a progressive festival, we came across Labour Party/Corbyn supporters who backed the Birmingham cuts and supported Jeremy Corbyn for not saying anything about the bin men strike. One Labour member from Manchester said Birmingham’s bin men were only “out for themselves” and that we were “selfish” for criticising Labour cuts. Her reasoning was that those who are victim to Labour cuts should “put up and shut up” so that Jeremy can…

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General Election 2017 – what does it mean?

It was widely believed at the beginning of the election that the Tories would win a landslide, as Labour trailed 22 points behind in polls, and 80% of Labour MPs opposed Corbyn’s leadership, openly declaring him to be unelectable, along with their colleagues in the Tory party and the bourgeois media.
Even during the election campaign the majority of Labour candidates refused to acknowledge or support Corbyn, and many openly opposed his manifesto.

But Corbyn surprised his critics, fighting a dynamic and engaging campaign, winning the support of youth in particular with more new voters enrolling than in the Brexit referendum.

Despite this Labour lost the election but increased its number of seats. The Tories failed to win an absolute majority and were forced to conclude a grubby pact with the DUP, who even they find socially reactionary, though politically they are cast from the same mould.

Corbyn has secured his leadership of the Labour party for now. Despite all the talk of Corbyn being a rabid left-winger he has fought on a moderate social-democratic platform akin to many across Europe, and he certainly has not threatened the economic workings of the crisis-ridden capitalist system, which is the root cause of the austerity agenda he claims to fight.

Meanwhile Momentum continues to attract all the fake socialists who continue to believe in pie-in-the-sky solutions to capitalism. The truth is, without overthrowing capitalism there are nothing but hard times ahead for the British working class and workers of all countries.

The communists support every struggle of the working class to fight for improvements in their conditions, but this support seeks at the same time to convince workers of the need for proletarian revolution, not to lull them into the false but reassuring belief that their needs can be met within capitalism. No amount of tweaking at the edges of economic or foreign policy is going to make this parasitic and dying system serve the interests of the working class or cure the chaos in which we now find ourselves.

The programme of the Labour party is, at best, a prayer that the ills of capitalism can be solved within the capitalist system. Our position is that, with the best will in the world, they can’t. Workers’ salvation lies not with Saint Jeremy or Stern Theresa, but with the workers themselves. 

Unpalatable as this truth may be, ultimately we will not be able to vote our way out of the crisis. Either the crisis will lead the working class deeper into poverty and war, or workers will organise themselves to defeat the crisis by overthrowing capitalism and building a socialist society that is capable of meeting their needs.

Bin men in Birmingham on strike

Red Youth activists joined bin men on picket lines across Birmingham today as Unite members walked out over pay and Labour Council cuts to services. Perry Barr tip, Lifford Lane, Tyseley and Digbeth were all out on strike, with only a handful of scabs crossing pickets. We reproduce below links from local media and todays article from the Birmingham Worker.

Video: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-bin-lorries-queuing-depot-13262436

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-40456211

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Grenfell was mass-murder

The horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, which has killed so many working-class people, demonstrates the terrible reality of housing in Britain today.

In the richest borough, with house prices over 38 times more than the average annual salary, people ultimately died because flammable cladding cost the borough and construction companies a mere £5,000 less. The unnecessary cladding, which would have saved residents minor amounts on their fuel bills, had the effect of prettifying the tower for the surrounding neighbourhood of luxury properties, and raising the value of nearby council-owned land.

Kensington and Chelsea Council spent £8.6m on the ‘refurbishment’ of the tower, while ignoring, or rather hiring companies to ignore, the needs of residents. The Grenfell Action Group has comprehensively documented problems and complaints made to the council over the years, including power surges and faulty wiring.

Grenfell is part of the social cleansing of London, which has already seen thousands of families conned or evicted from their homes in London to make way for the property developers, who build investment opportunities for the super-wealthy. Around 1,400 homes in the borough remain empty year-round, at a combined value of £664m, with house prices in Kensington and Chelsea tripling in the past two decades.

No inquest or inquiry into Grenfell will provide justice for the dead, or security for the survivors. While some companies, CEOs, and public officials may receive fines and jail time, and some survivors have been housed in new luxury flats, the reality is that the working class in Britain will never have safe, affordable, and secure housing while the capitalist system remains.

“When one individual inflicts bodily injury upon another such that death results, we call the deed manslaughter; when the assailant knew in advance that the injury would be fatal, we call his deed murder. But when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot live – forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequence – knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual…

  • Condition of the Working Class in England, Engels, 1845