Red Alert can now be read online:
Summer 2002 (Volume 6, Issue 2) - Including: Build the collective leadership of the Communist Party in Wales/46th Congress Appeal/Communist Social & Educational Summer Camp/Communist Debate in the Capitalist Press
Winter 2002 (Volume 6, Issue 1) - Including: Welsh Communists Rising to the challenge/Dim Euro/Teach Yourself Marxism-Leninism/Anti War campaign/Celebrating 60 years in the Communist Party/News in Brief
Red November Dinner 2001 - pictures & brief report
December 2000 (Special Edition) - Welsh Congress Report
Spring 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 1) - Including: Communists welcome Wales TASC launch/Peace Advisor report/Bob Jones - A Farewell/Wales Pensioners report/Communist Student Campaign/Welsh Committee News in Brief
Communists in the Capitalist Press
What you can do
Don't leave all the press work up to your branch secretary, every branch member should consider writing letters to the press to get our policies across locally; use the Morning Star or Communist Party leaflets as a basis for a letter, or you could just copy one of the published letters on this site and post it to your local paper.
Don't leave it till tomorrow, do it now!
Special Edition December2000
WALES CPB CYMRU
WELSH CONGRESS 2000
(25 - 26 NOVEMBER 2000)
This resolution is a strategy document identifying a number of project areas to be worked on, it contains concrete proposals and goals which can be implemented, measured, monitored and assessed as to the extent of their success or failure.
This resolution will concentrate on how:
This resolution is a call to all party members to take an active interest in their organisation and ensure that it transforms itself and realises its potential to be a party organised for socialist revolution.
The Welsh Committee will encourage an organising culture in the Party in Wales (members should not ask what is the party doing for their particular cause but ask what can I do in the party to advance that cause).
This will be achieved by:
The WC will also map where our members are and consider setting up smaller more localised branches where there are the conditions and potential to develop and maintain the party’s work. This may mean splitting existing branches or setting up new branches by transferring members from a larger branch. The WC will endorse joint working of branches within a locality on a monthly basis. To maximise our campaigning capabilities, in addition to branches maintaining their own work. It will be a priority to develop the work of the Young Communist League, with the aim of relaunching a YCL organisation in Wales. Branches will need to encourage younger members to join the YCL and help them build it. National leaflets and campaign material will be utilised in our work with youth and students.
The WC will initiate a survey of the Welsh membership to identify the strengths and weaknesses of comrades; this will, in some instances, be followed up with individual discussions to explore how best to utilise the skills that members possess and direct them into the most appropriate direction e.g. work in trade unions, work in community campaigns, work in solidarity groups, pensioners movement, or internal party work.
Over the last year efforts have been made by the WC to increase the profile of Marxist-Leninist education in Wales with mixed results. The WC will continue to strive to ensure that members increase their knowledge and understanding of the Marxist Leninist principles which should guide all our actions.
The WC will develop a recruitment strategy which can be operated in all our branches. The answer to why people do not join the Communist Party could be as simple as ‘I was never asked’; systematic approaches need to be made to friends and allies on the left to raise the question of party membership. Applications to join the CP need to followed up with visits to, and discussions with, the enquirer. A Welsh recruitment leaflet will be produced which can be used in targeted recruitment drives e.g. amongst students, trade unionist, ..etc.
Finance is a political question - campaigning, standing in elections, internal communication & transport cost, administration, running a shop and premises all cost money; on top of this we have our commitments to contributing to the financing of the Britain wide Party. In order to meet all these obligations, and develop all of the initiatives outlined in this resolution, the Welsh Committee needs to significantly increase its income. In recognition of this the WC will:
The WC will endeavour to develop and improve the communication within the Party organisation, as well as increasing its public profile in Wales.
The WC will achieve this by:
As in the rest of Britain the Morning Star is the Communist Party’s, and the wider progressive movement’s, most valuable tool and as such the WC will need to prioritise the work needed to improve its coverage of Welsh issues; increase its accessibility and most important drastically increase its readership.
All branches will need to:
Morning Star readers and supporters groups are an important tool in developing broad based political initiatives especially within the organised labour and trade union movement; each branch area should ideally have a functioning and independent group.
The Morning Star R & S groups can be the link between the organised trade union movement and the local Communities.
The Welsh Committee should renew its efforts to establish an all-Wales Morning Star Campaign Committee, in liaison with supporters of the paper in the wider Labour and progressive movements. Such a committee could draw up plans to, (1) promote the Morning Star more effectively, particularly in the Labour, peace, pensioners and student’s movements; (2) strengthen the mutually supportive links between these movements and the paper; (3) project the paper as a forum for discussion through convening Morning Star meetings, seminars and Conferences on issues facing these movements in Wales.
The WC will remind comrades of their duty as per party rule (15b), to read the Morning Star and to help in every way the circulation of the paper.
Morning Star Film Society (MSFS) - the setting up of a progressive film society could provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere where left wing & progressive films could be shown to an audience of allies, friends and members. The MSFS could show a film once every two months alternating between willing comrades’ houses and the Cardiff Centre for Trade Union Studies (CCTUS).
The Communist Party in Wales is not a mass party and so can not expect to be involved in campaigning around all the issues affecting the peoples of Wales.
The WC will therefore prioritise the following areas of work:
The Communist Party understands the limitations to developing initiatives in isolation and therefore encourages members to engage in these struggles within existing campaigning organisations or through setting up new broad based campaigns. It is through the Communist Party’s work in the wider movements that people will be won over to our policies and principles and recruits made.
The Communist Party in Wales will develop its strategies for particular campaigns in the light of events, and local conditions, but will be guided as always by our Party’s programme the ‘British Road to Socialism’ and its, soon to be produced, new programme for Wales. In all of its campaigns the Communist Party will endeavour to build and extend our links with other progressive individuals and groups in Wales; with the aim of building left unity through action. In order to maximise our impact in the campaigns we run, the Party will need to use various tactics - handing out leaflets will not be enough.
Tactics such as:
Any of the above tactics could be use in any combination during one of the Communist party’s weeks of action.
The Communist Party can be proud of its record of keeping open the only socialist book shop in Wales, but its potential has not yet been touched on.
The WC will ensure that the recently set up sub committee will work consistently to:
Pensioners need money owed to them as soon as it can be won. With pensions having been made into one of the main political issues in what is now a pre-General Election period the Party must enter the fray effectively and soon. Branches should assist members to make their own contributions - each in his or her own best way - to the efforts being made by the Wales pensioners organisation’s campaign.
Party pensioners participation is needed. But so are the efforts of trade unionists both to help the fight of present pensioners for their just rights and to make more possible a reasonable pension prospect for themselves.
The Cabinet has had to make small concessions to try to stave off election humiliation. It has made shrewd estimates of how to buy enough votes to secure re-election. They may have made a sad miscalculation.
For the party it is centrally important that the Labour Government is re-elected for if it is not then every other campaign will become harder as a result. So the Cabinet must be made to concede more.
Labour MPs must be brought under the heavy pressure of the logic of the pensioners’ case so as to win further concessions before it is too late. The link between pensions and mean earnings is still the central demand but there are four or five other aims alongside this demand.
The Welsh congress calls on the incoming Welsh committee to take steps to try and ensure that Party advisories function effectively and consistently at national level.
Wales is still the ‘Land of low Pay’ with lower average wages than any other region or nation of Britain. The Communist Party reiterates its demand for the National Minimum wage for all workers irrespective of age to be raised immediately to £5 an hour, in line with half male medium earnings. We urge the Wales TUC to bring trades unions in Wales together to lead a campaign for this policy.
This congress notes that past reliance on bribing Transnational Corporations to come to Wales and provide employment, is now costing thousands of jobs at Panasonic and other companies.
Hundreds of millions of pounds of public money have been diverted into this potentially drastic policy, which should have been invested in indigenous enterprises in the municipal, public and co-operative sectors.
The Communist Party calls for an alternative economic strategy to be drawn up for Wales under the auspices of the National Assembly, mobilising our country’s resources to build stable, technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable economy, with the well paid jobs for all.
The current senior management of the Welsh Development Agency should be replaced by an executive which is committed to such a strategy in place of an over-reliance on big business from overseas.
The Communist Party in Wales condemns the formation of the Lib-Lab pact in the National Assembly, hatched in secret and imposed upon the Welsh people without prior knowledge or consent.
We urge Labour Party members and affiliated trade unions to fight against this pact, which is a betrayal of Labour Party and Labour movement principles, as well as a betrayal of democracy.
The pact raises the need to mount the widest possible campaign against Coalition Labour at the next National Assembly elections, based on Labour movement principles. Therefore the Communist Party will seek to maximise the number of Party candidates and those of the non-sectarian left and progressive allies, and instruct the Welsh Committee to plan the Party’s work accordingly.
The Welsh Committee should also organise and lead a discussion throughout the Party in Wales, on voting strategy at the next National Assembly elections, recognising the need to strengthen the influence of the left and the trades unions within the Labour Party.
The Communist Party believes that every individual has a right to, education, good health and decent housing. Housing should not be seen as a commodity from which to make a profit.
The Communist Party deplores the lack of any coherent housing policy in Wales. Over the past two decades, in particular, the emphasis has been on the encouragement of home ownership, to the exclusion of all else. Socially rented housing is increasingly seen as the last resort, this has marginalised people who are unable to work, or on a low income and with insecure jobs who cannot afford to buy, this combined with draconian benefit policies has led to unprecedented levels of homelessness, a dearth of socially rented accommodation, waiting lists of up to 8 years and rising house prices in some areas of Wales.
The Communist Party will campaign for good quality, affordable socially rented housing for those who cannot afford or do not wish to buy.
The Labour Party’s future
This Government seems to have no political direction and is losing the support of the people who elected it.
The Communist party believes the way forward for the Labour party does not lie in a move to the political right, unlike the other Political parties, the Communist Party does not want to see the Labour Party destroy itself, we want to see the New Labour right wing agenda defeated within the Labour Party. The Labour Party should ditch Blair’s New Labour illusions and move on to embrace the socialist values which are still widely held by the people of this country.
The Labour Party’s future lies in adopting a radical alternative programme, this alternative programme which could be easily adopted by the Labour Party would include:
1. A package of aid and intervention in the motor, textile, steel and shipbuilding industries to maintain jobs, such measures could include ordering the Bank of England to cut interest rates and temporary restrictions on imports or the flow of capital.
2. Take Railtrack back into public ownership to plan the expansion of the railways and an integrated transport policy effectively.
3. Raise the top rate of Income Tax and put a windfall tax on bank profits - to finance a public sector house building programme.
4. Restore the link between pensions and earnings.
5. A substantial raise in the national minimum wage to £5.00/hour
6. Scrap the £1050 tuition fee for students, a barrier to higher education for the less well-off and a source of anxiety to all but the richest of parents, and reintroduce maintainance grants.
We also ask that they work with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to effectively tackle slave labour in such places as India, Nepal and Pakistan, where children are used as slaves.
Campaign against the Single Currency
This congress welcomes the initiative of Wales Cymru UNISON in convening the recent ‘Co-ordinating committee for a campaign against the single currency in Wales’ meeting in Cardiff; and pledges to encourage the maximum support for the planned public launches of: ‘
The Communist Party recognises these initiatives as a significant step forward in wrestling the anti EMU campaign away from the ‘Little Englander’ conservative tendency and in giving a progressive lead, in Wales, against the monopoly capitalists domination of Europe.
This Congress urges branches to assist in building these campaigns in their areas and instructs trade union members to build for the support of these campaigns at the Wales TUC.
Education & Students
In the light of the recent developments in the National Assembly concerning an Education funding review, a charter has been developed by a number of people in the NUS at Bangor. This document, whilst not produced by the CPB, represents the most progressive moves within the student movement. For this reason Congress agrees to:
The Glanrafon Charter - a fair deal in education for Wales
1. A “Cubie style” enquiry be set up to analyse student funding and to make recommendations to the National Assembly.
2. The National Assembly should be given control over education in Wales.
3. The total abolition of tuition fees for UK residents studying in the UK.
4. The restoration of a living grant to H.E. students, to be means tested on the basis of the student’s income not parental income.
5. The introduction of a maintenance grant for F.E. students to be means tested on the basis of student income not parental income.
6. The right to Students Union representation for all students both H.E. and F.E.
7. The restoration of full benefit rights to all students.
8. Safe affordable child care facilities available to all students.
9. Safe affordable accommodation made available to all H.E. students.
10. An end to discrimination of age rates in the minimum wage.
11. Equal rights for those wishing to study through the medium of Welsh.
12. Greater provision of Welsh medium study in all subject areas, academic and vocational.
13. Equal representation of both the Welsh and English languages in all official documents and notices in the Universities and Colleges of Wales.
14. The right to Student Union representation at all disciplinary hearings in the Universities and Colleges of Wales.
15. The right to decide to hear disciplinary and official proceedings in either Welsh or English in the Universities and Colleges of Wales.
MAKE UP OF DELEGATES
14 full delegates, 4 consultative and 2 visitors
Male: 10 Female: 8
Average age: 43
Under 29: 3
30 - 39: 7
40 - 49: 2
50 - 59: 2
Over 60: 4
Peoples Press Printing Society membership: 10
LENGTH OF MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY
Less than 5 years: 4
5 - 10 years: 7
11 - 20 years: 4
21 - 50 years: 2
Over 50 years: 1
TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP
TGWU: 2 UNISON: 6 NUS: 3 NUT: 2 WGGB: 1 NASUWT: 1 NATFHE: 3