The Labour party in the trade unions: a wolf in sheeps clothing

When the bin men went up against the council this year, it was in defence of terms and conditions. The workers had to fight a Labour council, every bit as bad as any Tory council. Unions try to prevent strikes against Labour councils, they prefer to make deals with Labour councils because unions are full of Labour party members. They all share comfy jobs and don’t want to derail the gravy train. Unite were desperate for a deal right from the moment Howard Beckett arrived, Unite had no faith in victory unless it was declared in Court, Unite have given away the best part of 50 rest days a year, not only rest days for Grade 3’s but also Grade 4’s & 2’s. They said no other deal was possible. But is that true? Strike action cost the council over £6million – it nearly sank them! Unite threw their friends in the Labour council a life line by calling off the strike action TWICE and giving away the rest days of all grades.

Without knowing it, all summer the bin men were exposing the anti-working class nature of the Labour party. Without knowing it, all summer the bin men were shaming & exposing all the Labour party members, trade unionists and sham socialists who kept saying Corbyn would give his support. Without knowing it, all summer the bin strike proved that there were not “two Labour party’s” (Labour was united in its hostility to the strike), it proved that the cuts were not being implemented by a “few bad apples”. The strike proved everyone was out to stab the bin men in the back, everyone except the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) which isn’t scared to expose Labour or any enemy of the workers.

This year’s bin strike was heroic, and it should have ended in total and utter defeat for the council … and the Labour party careerists. However, there are reasons why so many workers have ended up worse off…

  • Unite the Union is a major backer of the Labour party, it gave more than £2 million of its members money to Labour last May/June alone. Many of Unite’s leading members are members of the Labour party. Howard Beckett spoke at the Labour party Conference in 2017. These facts are known to all bin men.
  • Many workers are now saying that they have been betrayed by union reps and stewards over the deal struck. But local reps don’t really make the decisions; they do what they are told by the Unite the Union leadership, they are not to blame. They have been influenced by Labour party trade union officials.
  • The Unite leadership is made up of Labour party members. The Labour party serves capitalism, it doesn’t serve the workers. It is no surprise that they bargained away up to 50 odd rest days a year, not only for the Grade 3’s, but for all grades. They bargained these away because the Labour Council was desperate for a deal, as were the Labour members running the dispute from Unite. Birmingham Worker highlighted this all along; we also pointed out the likely betrayal by Clancy and the anti-working class attitudes of Lisa Trickett and the Moseley & Kings Heath Labour party.
  • Bin men did the right thing when they supported the Communist Party and picketed Lisa Trickett’s surgery. We exposed Trickett. Bin men cannot be neutral, they have to take sides and they must fight to expose the Labour party as traitors and expose those who work for the Labour party in their own union. It was a mistake to listen to Labour party members of Unite who told bin men to stop putting pressure on Trickett by supporting our picket. It was a mistake because all these Labour party members were working together to get a good deal for themselves and not necessarily for ALL the bin men. Our aims are best served by building an organisation to challenge the Labour party sell outs inside and outside the trade unions.

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Message to Birmingham’s bin workers

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and the Birmingham Worker salute our bin workers who have this weekend brought to an end the current industrial action against a mean and petty employer.

The 2017 bin strike has been a refreshing and inspiring interruption in the day to day industrial life of this city. The strike action brought Birmingham City Council to its knees. It demonstrated to the working class of Birmingham the power which we have as a class when we withdraw our labour and refuse to be subjected to unjust cuts and attacks on pay and conditions. The strike significantly demonstrated to the entire city, and indeed the entire labour movement, the anti-worker nature of the Labour-led Council.

The weeks of solid strike action, waged against a Labour council supported by hired wretches, was worth ten thousand proclamations of opposition to cuts issued by moribund Trotskyist groups. This strike action was a direct blow to the Labour policy of cuts. The action has exposed the Trickett’s, Clancy’s and Ward’s of this town. The workers of this town have learnt an invaluable lesson in class politics, and no matter how desperate the attempts will be to implore workers to vote for Labour next year in local elections, we are sure that the class conscious workers will not hand these traitors a single vote.

Comrades, the war between labour and capital is a guerrilla war, one skirmish is followed by another. The struggle continues.

Red salute to the bin workers!

Binmen Strike; Perry Barr Depot, 1st Sept 2017;

Binmen Strike; Perry Barr Depot, 1st Sept 2017;


“new” bin deal – what they give with one hand they will take with the other

The Labour party today brought it’s “new” proposals to the city cabinet for resolution of the Birmingham bin strike. The “new” report was kept secret and not even the councillors favourite journalists were allowed sight until this morning when Kathryn Stanczyszyn of the BBC began to tweet photographs of text that appeared to propose many of the basic features of the original deal conducted by Clancy and which the cabinet subsequently reneged upon.

But what they give with one hand they take with the other.

What has been released today is not the whole story. What we learn today is that the Council will change the name of the Grade 3 job. That sounds like a victory for bin men. But to make it a victory for Labour Councillors they have added in a whole new job role. It will not merely be a rebranding – it will involve a longer week for no more pay
as there are attempts to claw back the rest day (compressed working week) and put everyone into a five day week.


The BBC journalist noted the reference to the words “retain a GR3 role” and the bizarre explanations emanating from the mouth of Lisa Trickett (Labour Cabinet member for bins):


Trickett may hope the general public is as gullible as her local CLP (who just reselected her for 2018) but it was not lost on anybody that having wasted more than £6.6 million in taxpayers money the “new” proposals could hardly claim to have been “cost neutral”! The most vital thing to take from Cllr Trickett’s remarks is that this isn’t the keeping of the Grade 3 role – it is a new role. It is walking up the road with a ludicrous tablet in your hand, ticking boxes and making notes whilst trying to collect bins and not get run over.

The next step is for the bin men to discuss the proposals at tomorrow’s mass meeting. No doubt there will be questions over the following:

What happens to suspended trade union rep brother Rickett’s?

Brother Ricketts, trade union rep from Tyseley was suspended on spurious grounds at the start of the dispute, clearly in an attempt by bullying managers at that depot to undemrine the strike. Unite announced early on that his reinstatement was a red line. As it happened, Tyseley rose to the challenge of losing an experienced comrade and those who took over from brother Rickett’s represented the workers admirably. All bin men will want to know when he will be reinstated.

New WRCO job – how many extra days, how many extra hours?

The ludicrously titled Waste Reduction and Collection Officer, i.e., a bin man, is the attempt to mask over the failure of the Council to beat the bin men into submission, whilst trying to find another way of cobbling together the savings they insist they must make. No mention was made today in public of how much more work will be put onto the job, nor how many more days they will be expected to work, for the same pay. The compressed week is a target, and bin men will have even more work heaped upon them.

It is clear that having failed to take from the bin men their grade 3 wages the Council intends to take extra labour for free. Having undertook militant strike action that proved in practice the bin men can beat these Labour wretches, why should any worker accept that to retain their current pay they must accept a increase in their working day, epecially when they already undertake an incredibly taxing job?

Victory to the Birmingham bin men.



Dialectical & Historical Materialism – The philosophy of Marx

We reproduce below this post from Red Youth, made a few years ago but whichy still contains an excellent sumary of the question:

Red Youth

You may have heard people say that “Marx’s ideas are beautiful in theory, but they don’t work in practice“? It is almost universally the case that poeple who express this opinion have not read Marx – and have little or no understanding of his real philosophy.

At our recent study school, held on November 8 2015, the day after we celebrated the 98th anniversary of the October Revolution, Ranjeet Brar, member of the CPGB-ML gave the above presentation that we now present in video form. We hope it will go some way towards redressing the balance. An outline of the substance of the presentation can be found in the text below.

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Today marks 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution

Birmingham CPGB-ML today adds its voice to the millions of others who mark 100 years since the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. Below we reproduce the speech by Joti Brar, editor of Proletarian who spoke at Saturday’s well attended meeting in London.

October MELS set

“Why do we celebrate October?

Why does this centenary matter so much to us?

Quite simply, it is because if humanity has any future at all, it is undoubtedly a communist future.

At this meeting, we are honouring the brave men and women workers, soldiers and peasants who fought in the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917.

We are honouring the members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), who organised the masses to make their struggle effective, and most of all, we honour the leadership of that party, led by the great Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, whose profound theoretical insights enabled the oppressed masses of the Russian empire to clearly understand their enemies.

It was Comrade Lenin who created the template for a revolutionary party, working out in the furnace of intense class struggle the essential elements of communist organisation that enabled workers to make their fight effective.

All parties that are serious about overthrowing capitalism and building socialism still follow Lenin’s organisational tenets today.

Lenin was a master of strategy and tactics. He solved many important questions, such as the peasant question and the national question, by clearly and precisely explaining their relationship to the socialist revolution.

He demonstrated the need for the proletariat to maximise its forces by galvanising as many allies for each phase of the struggle as possible, and showed how it was both possible and necessary to take on the various enemies of socialism one at a time rather than all together.

Unlike Trotsky and his modern-day followers, Lenin did not play at revolution; he was not at all interested in heroic failures.

Comrade Lenin understood that what was at stake was nothing less than the future of humanity, and he taught the working class how to think and act so it could win.

Correct theoretical understanding was what enabled the Bolsheviks to see their way clearly and navigate the turbulent waters of the class struggle.

It was the combination of correct theory with disciplined organisational practice that created an unstoppable force for change in the Russian empire a century ago.

This is the true legacy of Comrade Lenin, and it is one which continues to reverberate throughout the world.

Our party’s interest in October is not merely academic or historical; we are not professors, fans or armchair ‘experts’ on October, but modern-day revolutionaries.

Like the Bolsheviks, we aim to apply Marxist-Leninist science to present-day problems of organisation, strategy and tactics in order that we might help the British working class to gather the forces it needs to emancipate itself from capitalist slavery.

If we want to repeat the their achievements, we must work hard to learn everything we can from their experiences.

The October Revolution marked the beginning of the era in which imperialism will be replaced by socialism; it shaped our world and put the ruling class on notice that capitalism’s days are numbered.

Lenin summed up the first mighty step that Russian workers had taken on behalf of workers everywhere in 1918, when the revolution was barely half a year old:

“We are entitled to be proud and to consider ourselves fortunate that it has come to our lot to be the first to fell in one part of the globe that wild beast, capitalism, which has drenched the earth in blood, which has reduced humanity to starvation and demoralisation, and which will assuredly perish soon, no matter how monstrous and savage its frenzy in the face of death.”

The Russian workers did indeed have every right to be proud of their earth-shaking achievements.

Those pioneers, who had set themselves free from the shackles of capitalist exploitation and servitude, lit a flame that still burns, continuing to light the way for workers and oppressed peoples everywhere and proving that capitalism’s blood-stained history can finally be ended.

With the unstoppable combination of Bolshevik organisation and Marxist-Leninist theory, the workers and peasants of Russia and the Russian empire were able to unite to effective action that defeated first tsarism and feudalism, then Russian capitalist imperialism, and finally the combined forces of European imperialist intervention.

Their heroic feats did not stop there. Under the scientific leadership of the Bolsheviks, the masses in the new Soviet republic were mobilised not only to destroy the old, capitalist forces of production and state control, but also to build the world’s first socialist state and planned economy – geared to meeting the needs of the working masses.

The colossal achievements of the Soviet Union during the period of socialist construction will be well known to people in this hall.

Workers not only in the Soviet Union but all over the world have felt the ramifications of those achievements every day since October 1917.

The genie is well and truly out of the bottle.

Capitalism might linger on, but it is living on borrowed time.

After October 1917, the imperialists lost the moral high ground.

When Soviet policy proved in practice the falsehoods of colonial justifications for racism and national oppression (that colonised peoples were unfit to rule themselves) and for sexism (that women were physically and mentally incapable of doing ‘men’s work’), the popular sentiment turned against imperialism for good.

That modern-day imperialists are forced to pay lip-service to ‘equality’ and ‘human rights’; that their colonial wars have to be fought under such slogans as ‘anti-terrorism’ or ‘pro-democracy’ are a telling legacy of October.

No longer will workers accept the openly-expressed imperial ambitions of the nineteenth century.

No longer will oppressed peoples suffer their fate in silence, accepting the propaganda that their European overlords are somehow ordained by God to rule over them.

The imperialists may continue to fight wars for domination and plunder, but they have to hide their real motivations for doing so, and they are almost never successful in the end.

Where in the world, since October, is the people who will accept colonial rule? From Korea to Palestine, from Vietnam to Angola and Syria, the history of the last century is littered with evidence of the determined resistance of oppressed peoples to imperialism’s best-laid plans.

As fighters for socialism, the most important legacy that the October revolution has left for us is Leninism, which was profoundly defined by Josef Stalin as “Marxism of the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution.

“To be more exact, Leninism is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.”

It is no accident, of course, that I have chosen to quote Comrade Stalin.

stalin_1941 red army parade speech

J V Stalin

Our opponents’ favourite slur to hurl against us is the dreaded label, Stalinist, although in reality, there is no such thing as ‘Stalinism’. Stalin himself was a Marxist-Leninist, albeit an outstanding one.

Still, we wear this supposed insult as a badge of honour, for Josef Vissarionovich Stalin – known during his lifetime in Britain as Uncle Joe – was nothing more or less than Lenin’s most faithful pupil and truest successor.

Comrade Stalin was a master implementer of Marxist-Leninist science, an expert dialectician and tactician, an untiring fighter for the socialist cause, and, while he lived, a wise and beloved teacher and leader not only to the Soviet peoples but to all the workers and oppressed of the world.

As head of the Bolshevik party and leader of the USSR, Comrade Stalin presided over some of humanity’s greatest achievements to date.

Stalin_,moscow volga canal

building the Volga damn

And the Soviet peoples’ successes in industry, in agriculture, in science, in public service provision, in culture and in every other field, finally proved in practice the correctness of Marxism’s projections about what the working classes would be capable of once the capitalist ruling class and anarchic capitalist production had been removed from the scene.

While workers in the capitalist countries were enduring the misery of the terrible economic crisis of the 1920s and 30s, Soviet workers were enjoying the fruits that came to them as a result of the abolition of class exploitation and the construction of a planned socialist economy: the elimination of hunger, poverty and homelessness; the liberation of women; the end of national oppression and of wars for plunder.

Millions upon millions of previously downtrodden and destitute workers were actively engaged in the creation of a new socialist culture, as their creative power was unleashed and they found themselves the masters and makers of a new world.

When we put aside all the nonsensical prejudices with which we have been indoctrinated and evaluate sensibly the role played by Comrade Stalin’s leadership, and by the Bolshevik party during Stalin’s time at the helm, it becomes clear that his role was pivotal to the Soviet Union’s successes.

And when we understand all this, it becomes clear just why it is that workers all over the capitalist world are taught to revile the name of Josef Stalin; why so many historians, journalists and academics are paid such good wages for making up obscene and ridiculous lies about him and about the Soviet Union he led.

While Stalin lived, the world socialist movement had an undisputed leader, whom the mass of the oppressed could look to for guidance and assistance. Our movement was united and achieved victory after victory, putting the fear of god into capitalists and imperialists everywhere, and letting them know that their days were most definitely numbered.

The Soviet Union won the second world war, which had been forced upon it by the rapacious imperialists, and completely smashed the allegedly invincible Nazi war machine.

As the Red Army forced the fascists back towards Berlin, it freed country after country from occupation, and cleared the way for the forces of popular resistance to form socialist governments across liberated eastern Europe.

Despite suffering horrendous material losses during the war and sacrificing 27 million of their citizens in the fight against fascism – the flower of that first proud generation of Soviet men and women – the Soviet people rebuilt their devastated towns and cities at a pace that exceeded the earlier drives to industrialisation and collectivisation.

Both before and after the war, the USSR gave unstinting support to national-liberation movements in the superexploited colonial and semi-colonial countries.

While Stalin lived, and while the Soviet Union was guided by such a leader, and by a party founded on Marxist-Leninist science, there was nothing the workers of the USSR could not achieve and no force on earth that could defeat them.

Workers everywhere had a motherland and the world revolution had a base from which it could take confidence and support.

No wonder the bourgeoisie hated Stalin then, and no wonder they hate him still.

No wonder his legacy leaves them incandescent with rage.

No wonder they are so desperate to inculcate revulsion at the very sound of his name amongst workers.

J V Stalin represents everything our rulers fear most: the death of their power and privilege; the end of their dominion over the people and resources of this earth.

He represents the bright future of humanity – and the certainty that there is no place for rich exploiters in that future.

Josef Stalin, more than any other individual, was and remains the capitalist class’s harbinger of doom.

That is why true Marxists continue to laud the leadership of both Lenin and Stalin, as well as the party they led, and to hold up the phenomenal achievements of the Soviet people as the inspiration for our own struggle.

Together, they have given us something that can never be taken away: they have shown us the strength of workers’ power and given us incontrovertible proof of our ability to do without rulers.

They have given us incontrovertible proof that socialism truly is the next step on mankind’s long progress from primitive to higher communism.

The USSR was living proof that all the apparently insoluble problems of our world – poverty, hunger, homelessness, disease, racism, war, inequality, impending ecological catastrophe and more – can in fact be solved by means of the simple application of technology, resources, manpower and planning, if only we are prepared to do what is necessary to free our world from the control of commodity production and everything that goes with it: the insanity of capitalist market forces and the unquenchable thirst of the capitalist ruling class for ever-greater profit.

The experience of those pioneers of socialist revolution and construction, summed up for us in the works of Comrades Lenin and Stalin, and in a plethora of Soviet textbooks, novels and eye-witness accounts, is a precious legacy that our party works hard to preserve and to bring to the attention of class-conscious workers, sure in the knowledge that an understanding of what they are capable of is key to raising the confidence of the British proletariat after decades of the decline and demoralisation of the working-class movement.

Today in Britain, the deepest-ever crisis of overproduction is creating splits and schisms amongst our rulers, as they argue over the best way to keep their failing system alive.

Should they be following policies of market protectionism or of unfettered free trade? Should austerity be intensified or somewhat ameliorated? (All, of course, agree that austerity is needed if British capitalism is to be saved.)

Is there really a need for all these wars, or could the same regime-change objectives be met using other means? (Again, the objectives themselves are not really in dispute.)

The constant infighting and mud-slinging between the representatives of the various bourgeois factions as they jostle for control is resulting in a chain of extremely educative exposures about the workings of the state machine: the workings of the judiciary, for example, or the activities of the secret services, or just the fact that the real running of the bourgeois state is carried on by unelected elites behind doors that are firmly closed to the working class.

In their haste to throw mud at one another, the capitalists are being unusually careless in what they let slip to the rest of us, and many topics that are usually passed over in silence by the capitalist media are now being openly discussed.

In such an atmosphere, workers cannot but start to lose their respect for the hitherto sanctified organs of bourgeois power, and no amount of forced teaching of ‘British democratic values’ in our schools will be able to reverse this trend.

Practice is teaching us the truth of Lenin’s observation: “Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich – that is the democracy of capitalist society.”

The British working class today is demoralised and disunited. The communist forces in Britain are small and weak. That can and must be remedied.

In their own battle against apparently invincible capital, the weapon of choice of the Bolsheviks was Marxism Leninism – scientific socialism for this era of decaying imperialism and proletarian revolution.

Our job is to pick up this powerful weapon and learn to use it.

The work must be done to reinvigorate our movement and build a force that is capable of harnessing the collective power of the working class.

This work must be done by those who understand that it is needed, and the number of those who understand this must be constantly increased.

The socialist revolution is the first step workers must take if humanity is to have a chance of dedicating the necessary time and resources to solving such pressing problems as hunger, poverty, inequality and war, and of ameliorating the worst effects of climate change.

We communists understand that this is no game.

It is our firm intention to become a force fit for the crucial battles to come.

Comrades, let us work together, let us work like Bolsheviks, to bring proletarian dictatorship – the rule of the working class – to Britain.

Long live the October Revolution!                                     

The future belongs to communism!”

marxism break chains_bw

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