Read about what life in the USSR was really like

soviet union in spaceOur comrade Irina Malenko has now made volume 1 of her book about life in the Soviet Union available online for download. Red Youth recommends all our comrades and readers to study the book and learn more about what life was really like in the USSR. Many of our comrades are working hard with other organisations like the Stalin Society to speak the truth about what Soviet life was like and to remember and understand the great sacrifices and achievements Soviet people made and won in the 20th century. So, necxt time the teacher suggests reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm to understand what socialism or the USSR was all about – tell them to read Irina Malenko’s book – a first hand account from someone who isn’t in the pay of mi5 like good old George!

Writing about her book Irina says,

“I tried to portray the daily life in the USSR in the 1970s-1980s as it was, with all its strengths, but also weaknesses and mistakes we’ve made.

It deals with “perestroika” and “post-perestroika” issues too, as well as portraying life of a post-Soviet migrant worker in Europe.

My book is a challenge to all the wide-spread lies about “oppressive” or “dull” nature of our socialist society.

This is only part 1 of the trilogy (I have translations of other 2 parts as well), and now I also hope to write a new book – continuation of this one.

Its (slightly sarcastic) title will be “Soviética Extremista” :-) Because in the West, if you tell the truth about socialism, they immediately brand you as “an extremist”!”

And don’t forget to watch comrade Julia’s presentation on her life in the USSR!

 

“Confused” about Ukraine? Only if you’re a trot or hopeless liberal…

Confused
Trot attempt at irony?

There were as many articles about Tony Blair on the main Stop the War website as there were about Ukraine when redyouth.org sat down to take a look today. It seems as though Stop the War puts off today’s jobs for tomorrow and substitutes yesterdays jobs for today!

When you’re incapable of giving a lead in the fight against imperialism you’ll fail to stop any war, though hopefully stop the war supporters do actually read their own website, and perhaps are capable of some self-criticism. If they are then there’s some good news, for a rhetorical article has been reproduced from RT.com entitled “Confused about whats happening in Ukraine? You’re not alone” which may go some way to pointing out the failures of STW to lead any meaningful struggle against the imperialist adventures of recent past. The tragedy is that perhaps the message is lost on STW’s leaders… Devoid perhaps of humour or sense of irony the editor of the webpage has reproduced this piece which whilst giving very few answers certainly points out many failures of the anti-war movement in recent years.

One section states:

“Syria too is rather baffling. We were and are told that radical Islamic terror groups pose the greatest threat to our peace, security and our ‘way of life’ in the West. That Al-Qaeda and other such groups need to be destroyed: that we needed to have a relentless ‘War on Terror’ against them. Yet in Syria, our leaders have been siding with such radical groups in their war against a secular government which respects the rights of religious minorities, including Christians.

When the bombs of Al-Qaeda or their affiliates go off in Syria and innocent people are killed there is no condemnation from our leaders: their only condemnation has been of the secular Syrian government which is fighting radical Islamists and which our leaders and elite media commentators are desperate to have toppled. I’m confused. Can anyone help me?”

Lets hope a few STW bright sparks can provide the author with some answers. Far from organising and mobilising public opposition to the war against Syria (or Libya), the Stop the War Coalition maintained a deadly and deafening silence for most of the conflict, and when it did speak it was to castigate President Assad or the Russians or worse still to stifle the voices of Syrian patriots, including peace-loving Nuns!… suprise, suprise its all happening again with regards to Ukraine!

The close connection of StW’s present leadership to Labour – an imperialist party which has consistently put the interests of British corporations far higher than those of workers at home or abroad, and certainly far higher than quibbles over death counts and international law – means that StW is paralysed to do anything beyond what is permitted by the Labour party’s capitalist masters. 

As a result of this subservience, the tiny clique of ‘left’-Labourites and their Counterfire/CPB flunkeys who have usurped the leadership of StW have effectively neutralised Britain’s ‘anti-war movement’, demoralising and demobilising thousands of sincere activists, and by the looks of it confusing a few to boot!

By repeating imperialist lies about the countries that are being targeted for attack, and channelling the energy of those that remain into non-threatening activities such as lobbying MPs and circulating petitions. Our ‘anti-war’ leaders are doing the vital job of making sure there is no meaningful, organised domestic opposition to imperialist war – they have tied our movement to the war chariot of imperialism. 

If YOU want answers, only Marxism Leninism can shine a light on the truth that cretins want kept in the dark. Check out these links:

Crimea goes home

Ukraine: fascist coup

Workers Party of Belgium interview

The devastating effects of the restoration of capitalism in the Ukraine 

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.

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!

F.I.S.T. delegation tears up stars and stripes in show of opposition to US imperialism

Eventful day for Red Youth in Quito

Red Youth and FIST with the remnants of the flag after the days events
Red Youth and FIST with the remnants of the flag after the days events

Red Youth was proud to meet up with our comrades from the US organisation Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) during and after the opening ceremony in Quito. To huge applause from the crowd (and to the absolute horror of the US Trotskyite class traitors in Pathfinder) our comrades in FIST ceremoniously tore up the stars and stripes.

Speaking to Red Youth the FIST delegates explained that it was an act of solidarity with all those around the world standing up to US imperialism, including the workers and oppressed back home in the United States. Just like the butchers apron, the stars and stripes of the USA is a hated symbol of colonialism, flying in many occupied cities and countries around the world. After a long day at the festival our delegations spent the evening relaxing together and discussing contemporary political issues over a glass of pop.

Syrian delegation
Syrian delegation

The delegates from the Syrian Baath Party also received enthusiastic cheers as their delegation arrived carrying with them large Syrian national flags and portraits of President Assad. Other highlights for our delegation on this opening day included listening to and getting a wave from Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Here’s a new video and a few more photo’s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbgJ57lgVUI

Red Youth with Syrians delegation
Red Youth with Syrians delegation
Delegations from across the America's including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia are in attendence
Delegations from across the America’s including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia are in attendance
Comrades from the RKU
Comrades from the RKU
Delegates from the Workers Party of Korea
Delegates from the Workers Party of Korea
Communist Party of Cuba arrive
Communist Party of Cuba arrive

CPGB-ML attend Brazilian Communist Party Congress

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) was honoured to attend the 13th Congress of the Partido Comunista do Brasil. The visit follows on from the good relations that have been established between the CPGB-ML and PCdoB since the time of the 12th party congress in 2009 when Harpal Brar attended on behalf of the central committee. Our party had many productive discussions on this latest visit, with the cadres of the PCdoB as well as other marxist leninists from around the world, we were able to share experiences in the fight against revisionism and imperialism and discuss the way forward to socialism. The PCdoB continues to show great maturity and wisdom in difficult circumstances as it charts its course towards socialism in alliance with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s Workers Party (PT).

Red Youth, for its part is looking forward to strengthening these good relations in Ecuador when we plan to meet with with youth of the PCdoB. Comrades who wish to know more about our delegation to the PCdoB Congress should look out for a fuller report in the party press.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff addresses the Congress
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff addresses the Congress

Blacklisting – lend your support to the campaign

Red Youth stands in solidarity with blacklisted workers and encourages all members and supporters to lend the anti-blacklisting campaigns our support! The Blacklist Support Group held a nationwide day of action this week which received tremendous support and communists took part in these actions. Now we must hope the campaign can press forward and expose the role of the Labour Party and Union top brass who are believed to have collaborated with employers and the police against workers. The Blacklist Support Group can be contacted via facebook herehttps://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG

Campaigners in Birmingham
Campaigners in Birmingham

Three years on from the half-hearted raid on Ian Kerr’s ‘Consulting Association’ blacklisting scam and his conviction on data protection offences, the scandal is refusing to go away. (See Proletarian, December 2012)

Instead, thanks to the efforts of the Blacklist Support Group and workers fighting for redress both in the High Court and in the European Court of Human Justice, more and more is coming to light about the blanket surveillance of workers, in the construction industry and elsewhere.

It turns out that the CA blacklist was used for high-end government projects including the Olympics, the MoD, Portcullis House and the Jubilee Line, and speculation is mounting that blacklists were used in recruiting for Crossrail.

Whilst the range of building companies involved in snooping extends to just about every major operator, pride of place in this rogue’s gallery has gone to McAlpine, run by family scion Callum. He acted as chairman of the CA between 1993 and 1996, and all CA meetings took place at his office.

Under scrutiny by the Scottish Affairs Committee, McAlpine Jr pleaded ignorance or a poor memory, but confessed to heavy use of the blacklist throughout 2008, ‘excusing’ himself on the plea that he was chasing ‘illegal’ immigrants, not union militants!

Just how much there was to cover up became clear given the circumstances surrounding the company’s action in paying off Kerr’s £5,000 fine, his legal expenses and the redundancy pay-outs to CA’s staff.

Whilst Callum McAlpine got out the violin, claiming that the pay-off was a “humanitarian and reasonable action”, everything was done at the time to conceal the cosy McAlpine connection. McAlpine’s head of human resources David Cochrane, himself acting as the last chairman of the CA, warned Kerr to hide the hush money in his daughter’s bank account.

As Kerr told the Scottish Affairs Committee in November, shortly before his death: “I had put myself at the front and took the flak … so that they wouldn’t be drawn into all of this. They would remain hidden.”

Now that Labour is out of the driving seat, there is much sound and fury to be heard at Westminster, with indignant opposition benches deploring the refusal of the ConDem government to take the blacklisting scandal seriously. It will be recalled however that Labour had ample opportunity in 2009, when the scandal broke, to deal with the issue.

Indeed Mandelson put an amendment to the Employment Relations Act through in 2010, supposedly fixing things. Yet it rapidly became clear that nothing had really changed.

As the law stands, blacklisting as such is still not unlawful.

To get redress, it is necessary for the blacklisted worker not only to prove that he has been blacklisted but that his inclusion on that blacklist is the sole reason he is turned down for a job – a well-nigh impossible task, especially given the legal resources commanded by the companies.

And in any case, how can you seek redress if you don’t know you are on a blacklist in the first place? As of autumn 2012, only 194 of the 3,213 workers known by the Information Commissioner’s Office to have been blacklisted were aware of the fact. Nor is this surprising, since you can only find out if you are on a blacklist by phoning up the ICO and asking them.

Some might not unreasonably fear that asking the question is itself asking for trouble.

Labour in government had the chance to ban blacklists in 2009. It failed to do so for the same reason no Labour government in history has ever done: because Labour is just as much a servant of the bourgeoisie as are the Tories against whom it rails.

Surveillance of workers did not begin with Kerr’s racket. The Consulting Association began its career in 1993 by paying £10,000 for a database of blacklisted names. The source of that database was the Economic League, of which Kerr was himself an employee.
The League was founded in 1919 to root out communist and left-wing organisations and individuals. Working closely with the British Empire Union fascists, it played a key role in attacking the general strike in 1926. Its founder had led the Naval Intelligence Division of the Admiralty through the first world war, and the chairman of the BBC sat on its council.

Through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the League ran a comprehensive blacklisting service. Despite being regularly exposed in the press of the time, it seemed to enjoy a charmed existence, until the heat from a parliamentary inquiry in 1990 finally obliged the company to formally dissolve itself – only for its work to be taken up again by Sir Robert McAlpine and the Consulting Association.

The bourgeoisie can have every confidence that Kerr’s work will now be taken up again by other hands working to an identical agenda – until such time as the workers’ movement frees itself from the suffocating Labour embrace and takes meaningful action to stop it.

Just how corrupting an effect social democracy has upon the trade-union movement is clear from the evidence now emerging of collusion between some unions and the Consulting Association.

According to Construction News, “Evidence has emerged that suggests union representatives may have ‘liaised’ with contractors to blacklist workers from construction jobs. But an investigation by Construction News has uncovered documents that suggest union officials may also have provided information to the blacklist.

“One of the files from the blacklist, seen by CN, describes a worker, Michael Anderson, as ‘not recommended’ by Amicus … Mr Anderson’s redacted file says: ‘1997-1999. Worked at JLE [Jubilee Line Extension] during electricians’ dispute but not involved in any actions. 2005 Oct 26: Information received … that the above is ‘not recommended’ by Amicus’. It adds: ‘Above information came from [redacted] of Amicus.’”

Mr Anderson’s summing up is damning: “I am an ordinary spark. I have spent long periods in unemployment. It is not just financial. It is everything.”

This echoes the testimony of another blacklisted electrician, Steve Acheson, the leader of the EPIU’s Manchester branch. Confronted with evidence related to union involvement in the collection of blacklist data, he told Construction News: “I have been a union member my whole life. It is a very hard decision whether to sue. But I have worked just two years in the last 12. Knowing that part of the reason is because of union involvement is very difficult to take.”

The January 2013 edition of Site Worker had this to say: “When it came to light, after the Information Commissioner’s Office exposed the Consulting Association’s (CA) construction blacklist in 2009, that some Unite and Ucatt officials had allegedly been supplying information about rank-and-file union members directly to the CA, a new trade-union low had been reached …

“Unite and Ucatt are disgustingly and disgracefully trying to cover up the conduct of these officials and to sweep this under the carpet. It has been reported that, in 2006, the then general secretary of Unite, Derek Simpson may well have known about the CA and its activities yet did not act.”

Cleaning up the unions must begin by breaking the link with Labour.

Yorkshire comrades and Red Youth learn about the Bolshevik Revolution

DSC06705

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.