‘The coronavirus exposes the fundamentally anti-social nature of capitalism with its corporate greed and market anarchy’, Steve Johnson told the Communist Party’s political committee online on Wednesday evening April 22). ‘Yet, at this very time, the pro-capitalist forces in the Labour Party are triumphant behind new leader Keir Starmer, determined to push the party back to the mushy middle-ground and marginalise the left’, he warned. Mr Johnson said the recent internal report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party recounted a ‘horror story’ of abuse, sabotage and betrayal of the party and its former leader Jeremy Corbyn and his team’. ‘Staff misconduct would normally be a purely internal matter’, Mr Johnson remarked, ‘but this was on a scale which – together with Starmer’s disastrous anti-Brexit policy – fatally undermined Labour’s General Election chances last December, robbing the people of Britain of a government whose values and priorities would have been fundamentally different in the current COVID-19 crisis’.
While reaffirming solidarity with the left in the Labour Party, Mr Johnson said the period during and since the 2015 EU referendum and the defeat of the left resurgence under Jeremy Corbyn had highlighted a vital lesson for the labour movement. ‘Without a much stronger, more influential Communist Party, with its revolutionary strategy for socialism based on the organised working class leading mass campaigning for a left-wing programme, there will be no breakthrough to socialism’.
The Political Committee received reports on an upsurge in applications to join the CP, including 50 in the past three weeks, with the first print-run of an updated edition of its programme Britain’s Road to Socialism selling out online in less than 48 hours. Britain’s Communists also approved statements on trans people’s rights and the incarceration of dissident journalist Julian Assange. It was also agreed to recommend the creation of three new central posts to deal with a substantial increase in the party’s communications, recruitment and Marxist-Leninist education work.