Birmingham Council cuts

Birmingham Council in economic crisis 

Birmingham City Council is in a deep economic crisis and is seeking to heap this onto the backs of workers whilst cutting services provided for public health, including those which keep our streets clean and free of disease.

Birmingham City Council was once the single biggest local authority in Europe, but a workforce of 20,000 has been slashed in half and the plans which are being implemented by Labour Councillors seek to reduce this number to 7,000 by 2018. They blame it on the Tories but they ALL play the same game, its called capitalism, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

And the Birmingham anti-cuts movement does very little about it. Headed by Labourites and Trots they’re too busy infiltrating Momentum or sitting on various committees of one form or another. They particularly love talking to one another at the Trades Council. And the Communist Party of Britain doesn’t have time to organise public opinion or workers against the cuts, they have a grand election campaign to run for Mayor of the West Midlands. Despite its small size, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) in Birmingham is the only political organisation which can be seen three or four times a week in various parts of the town undertaking political work amongst the working class. If you want to get involved email birmingham@cpgb-ml.org

Bin men under attack – again

Refuse workers are vital to society; they do a job most people don’t want to do. Just because they work with rubbish they shouldn’t be treated like rubbish. In meetings held in March with Council refuse workers it was announced that Bin men are expected to take a £3,000 per annum pay cut and work an increase from four to five working days a week. Crews on wagons are to be reduced, as is the ratio of leading hands which risks putting the public at risk from fatal collisions on busy streets. This news has not gone down well with all the yards in Birmingham, and the more class conscious workers will be calling on workers to strike at the mass meeting in April.

Bin men and others who turn out on strike will need to come out determined to win. The bin men must be urged to find creative ways to ensure lorries do not leave depots, that tyres are bereft of air, that wagons have ignitions but no keys, that entrances and exits are barricades and scabs run a gauntlet from the Agency office to the depot. The public can help! Any wagon that makes it out must be prevented from completing its work and pressure must be piled upon the Council from the rate payers, who can take their rubbish and heap it upon the steps of the Council House for Labour Party leader Clancy and his gang to clean up, better still take the rubbish to the neighbourhood offices of the local Labour Party.

The movement against cuts

Too many people in this country are waiting for all the cuts to magically come to an end and a return to things as they were but capitalism is in systemic crisis no recovery is possible.

Whether it’s in relation to the privatisation of the NHS, an end to foreign wars of aggression or the seven year long freeze on public sector pay it’s time for British workers to draw a few simple conclusions from all too apparent observations:

Labour or Tory – it’s the same old story

Capitalism means crisis, racism and war

Its class against class – fight for socialism!

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Glasgow and Birmingham meetings remember socialist victory over fascism

As part of the ongoing work this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory over fascism, the CPGB-ML and Red Youth organised two well attended party functions in Glasgow and Birmingham at which Party Chairman Harpal Brar gave his presentation on the subject. Both functions were chaired by young cadres of the Party.

Glasgow Communist Party
Drew introduces Harpal in Glasgow
Birmingham CPGB-ML
Austin speaks for Red Youth in Birmingham

Much is written and spoken about WW1 and WW2 – yet it is truly staggering how few people, and particularly how few British workers, really understand the causes and significance of this struggle, in which 60 million workers gave their lives.

The imperialists (Britain, France, USA, Germany, Japan…) fought, and many millions died to preserve and enforce the wage and colonial slavery of the capitalist class. They fought for slaves and booty and nothing more.

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Stop playing games with our NHS

The following letter was sent by a Proletarian reader to the British Medical Association journal BMA News.Save our NHS
“Readers of BMA News over the last couple of weeks cannot fail to have noticed the BMA’s conspicuous ‘No More Games’ campaign, designed – we are told – to appeal to the UK government to stop “playing games” with the NHS.

With all due respect to the leadership of our trade union, what UK governments – regardless of party political stripe – have done and continue to do to the NHS since 1979 is not a ‘game’, it is a pre-planned step-by-step programme to re-privatise healthcare in this country.

The first step in 1983 was to take NHS executive power away from doctors and place it instead in the hands of new business managers.

Step 2 in 1990 was to replace the old funding system of simple block budget allocation, with an artificial ‘internal market’ whereby ‘providers’ would henceforth compete for funding from ‘commissioners’.

Step 3, from 1997, was the expansion of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), whereby NHS Trusts were encouraged to ‘solve’ their funding problems by – in effect – paying for new (and often unnecessary) infrastructure projects on a credit card.

Step 4 was the introduction of ‘Foundation Hospitals’ – in effect embryonic private hospitals – from 2002: since then the government has decreed that all NHS Trusts must ultimately become Foundation Trusts, or else be subsumed into existing Foundation Trusts.

The final step was the Health and Social Care Act 2011, which in fact formally abolished the NHS as a universal free healthcare system: ‘NHS’ is now little more than the name for a pot of taxpayer money that will increasingly be directed to the government’s friends on the boards of private healthcare providers.

And so you see, the government is not ‘playing games’ here, far from it. It is no more likely to be dissuaded from privatising the NHS by appeal to reason or kindness than it was to be dissuaded from invading Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Libya. Or Yugoslavia. Or Ukraine …

Perhaps if anyone needs to be told to stop ‘playing games’ here it’s the BMA?”

Cadre development programme for 2015 begins!

Red Youth comrades can apply each year to enter onto a cadre development programme in Marxism-Leninism. This year Red Youth has just over twenty young comrades on the programme run by the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist). Comrade Aberrabii a student in the West Midlands has completed his first module which requires a written assignment, assessment and public presentation. He gave his presentation to a meeting in Birmingham this month which was well received. Red Youth will publish a select number throughout the course of the year and encourages comrades to work their way through our online education programme. We’re happy to publish his speech here.

comrade Aberrabii speaks to the meeting in Birmingham
Comrade Aberrabii speaks to the meeting in Birmingham

What is imperialism? That is the first question that should be asked when debating or having a discussion about imperialism. If we look at the dictionary definition then imperialism is essentially the policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonialism, use of military force, or other means.

So then, what is a definition of imperialism meaningful to Marxist Leninists? It is the highest stage of capitalism as Lenin said in his Imperialism: The highest stage of Capitalism, its most advanced and parasitic stage. It is not a policy of this or that government but rather something inevitable and imperialism has to come to life in order for capitalism to be fully developed, in other words imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism

There are various contradictions within the imperialist system that will contribute to its destruction. These contradictions are why imperialist nations are in terminal decline. Lenin clearly outlined three primary contradictions that contribute to this decline, as well as eventual collapse of capitalism and imperialism.

Continue reading “Cadre development programme for 2015 begins!”