Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)

Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)
Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)
Leader Collective leadership (Central Committee)
Mark Fischer
(National Organiser)
Founded 1980[1]
Preceded by Communist Party of Great Britain
Headquarters London, United Kingdom[2]
Newspaper Weekly Worker
Ideology Communism,
Marxism,
Leninism,
Anti-Stalinist left
Political position Far-left
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament Group None
Official colours Red, White
Website
http://www.cpgb.org.uk/
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties
Elections

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee) is a political group which publishes the Weekly Worker newspaper. The party favours the creation of a unified "Communist Party of the European Union".[3] It is not to be confused with the now-defunct Communist Party of Great Britain or the Communist Party of Britain.

Contents

Formation

The origins of the CPGB (PCC) lie in the New Communist Party of Britain which split from the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1977. Under the influence of a faction of the Communist Party of Turkey, a handful led by NCP youth section leader John Chamberlain (who uses the pseudonym Jack Conrad) attempted to rejoin the then CPGB.

Few actually regained party cards but the grouping began to publish The Leninist, first as a journal, then as a more or less monthly paper. Initially The Leninist appeared to some to be a Stalinist publication in its politics, but over time it mutated into something very different. This may be due to their interaction with various Trotskyist groups including a series of exchanges with the Spartacist League.

Post CPGB Dissolution

After the break-up of the CPGB, the group declared their intention to reforge the party on what they declared to be "firm Leninist principles". They organised an "emergency conference", at which they claimed the CPGB name, but not its assets. They also changed the name of their paper, increasing its regularity to weekly.

By the early 1990s, the group was working closely with the tiny Revolutionary Democratic Group and the Open Polemic discussion magazine. They sought to deepen their links with a group of recent ex-members of the Socialist Workers Party who called themselves the International Socialist Group. The CPGB (PCC) described this process as communist rapprochement. The attempt failed as the ISG collapsed and Open Polemic briefly enrolled a few of its supporters in the CPGB (PCC), only for them to quit in a row over money.[citation needed]

Current activities

The group was for a short while embedded in the Socialist Labour Party, but left to join the Socialist Alliance, in which they came to work closely with the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, and proposed a merger of their papers, rejected by the AWL. The two have since politically drifted apart.

In 2004 the group affiliated to the Respect Coalition. A minority disagreed with the tactic of working within Respect and formed a faction called the Red Platform. The new faction called instead for the CPGB (PCC) to rejoin a Socialist Alliance reform current called the Socialist Alliance Democracy Platform. The Red Platform won their aim but the CPGB (PCC) majority continued to work within Respect. Members of the Red Platform subsequently left to create the Red Party in August 2004 over a disagreement about their views being published in the paper.

The group was active in the Campaign for a Marxist Party and is critical of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party and the Convention of the Left.[4] The CPGB (PCC) was heavily involved in founding the Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI) campaign; Mark Fischer, National Organiser of the CPGB (PCC), is HOPI secretary.[5] The CPGB (PCC) also enjoys close links with Communist Students.

The CPGB (PCC) endorsed the Labour Party in the June 2009 European Parliament elections and criticised the No to the EU – Yes to Democracy coalition as "left-wing nationalist."

Non-members such as former Soviet dissident Boris Kagarlitsky, Matzpen founder Moshé Machover and Professor Hillel Ticktin — editor of Critique and chairman of the Centre for the Study of Socialist Theory and Movements, University of Glasgow — have spoken at CPGB (PCC) events.[6]

Policies

The party has been involved in a rethinking of the class nature of the former USSR. Despite its origins in the NCP, The Leninist advanced sharp criticisms of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc countries, while strongly opposing movements it considered to be in support of capitalism[7]. Today, leading member Jack Conrad calls these societies "bureaucratic socialist"[8], in a view strongly influenced by Hillel Ticktin and the Critique journal[9], while Mike Macnair argues that the USSR was a peasant based society frozen in transition from feudalism to capitalism[10]. However, the CPGB (PCC) does not formally endorse any particular theoretical analysis of the USSR.

During the Kosovo War of the late 1990s, the party supported the ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and supports the complete secession of Kosovo from Serbia. The party refers to the Serbian province as "Kosova", the Albanian and Ottoman Turkish name for Kosovo.[11]

The party calls for the abolition of age of consent laws arguing for "the right of individuals to enter into the sexual relations they choose provided this does not conflict with the rights of others. Alternative legislation to protect children from sexual abuse."

Criticisms and Allegations

During the 1992 general election campaign, Ken Livingstone — later Mayor of London — claimed that the CPGB (PCC) were "MI5 agents".[12] Others have also claimed that the convicted KGB spy Michael Bettaney is still working for MI5 within the party, under the name 'Michael Malkin'.[13][14]

References

External links


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