Demand a vote on any deal & target Labour party councillors

The coming days and weeks in the Birmingham bin strike will be crucial for the bin men. Tonight (Tuesday 19 September), the Party Committee of Birmingham CPGB-ML discussed the likely outcome of the High Court ruling in London and the success of both last Thursday’s Trickett picket and the Sunday rally.

High Court

Firstly we fully expect the High Court to cobble together a decision that will enable both Unite and the Council to claim some sort of victory. As with the fiasco of the ACAS deal, it is only right and proper that the workers vote on whether to accept such a deal and return to work. The decision cannot be made on their behalf by officials and stewards alone. Furthermore, any deal that delays the demands of the workers should be challenged until the Grade 3s are given a cast iron guarantee that their job is protected.

It is the job of social democracy to ensure that the anger of the mistreated working classes is dissipated. They do this by announcing public inquiries and commissions as in Grenfell and in the case of industrial disputes, they use ACAS and the Courts to get men back to work on promises alone. This has happened once before in this dispute. If the men are offered a promise, or if the men are offered a temporary concession or deal, perhaps even a pause in hostilities, they must push on for total victory. Don’t clean the streets up only to have to come out again! Each delay only gives the Council more time to prepare their attack and undermine the strike.

Labour

Secondly our Party believes a campaign targeting Labour councillors and members at Ward meetings and constituency party meetings will pressure the local Labour Party to think again and encourage the welcome process already begun of internal Labour party back-stabbing whereby Momentum and others are emboldened to attack and remove incumbent councillors. Dissention in the enemy’s ranks is to be welcomed. Our party notes with amusement the beginnings of the great purge in local CLP’s and offers the following advice to the butchers,

“Today you amputate one limb, tomorrow another, the day after tomorrow a third – what will we have left in the Party” (J V Stalin 1924).
Victory to the bin workers!

Photographers images from bin workers demo

Communist and photographer Stalingrad took these great photos at Sunday’s rally in support of Birmingham bin men, enjoy!

Picket Councillor Trickett

wp-image-1285495501Labour Cllr Trickett has a surgery every second Thursday of the month, where constituents have the chance to raise any problems. Unfortunately for these residents, Cllr Trickett hasn’t been at the Moseley Exchange since July.

A spirited group of local workers attended the surgery tonight to register their total dissatisfaction with the Labour attacks on Birmingham’s bin men. Cllr Trickett’s partner Brian was good enough to meet the workers to give his apologies that our local Councillor is never available to meet the electorate and related his personal anxiety that women workers at the Council stand to lose out if the bin men (and women) don’t take a heafty pay cut.

For our part, we pointed out the urgent need not to drive eveybody’s wages down, but to raise them up. And that a pay cut for bin men was an attack on women; on wives, daughters and mothers as much as on the men themselves. The excuse of equal pay claims appears to be the only one local Labour party members can cling onto now that the cats out the bag.

Well done to those that attended, see you next month!

ex-Labour councillor Brian meets traditional labour voters

more cuts, more rats. Its obvious.

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Claimants Union support

Five myths about Manzie and Labour

Myth 1 – Manzie uses magic powers to make all the poor Labour councillors do her bidding, including poor old John Clancy

Truth – Manzie was appointed by the Labour party. Clancy and the rest, including the Tories love her. Her views coincide with theirs. All their views are the same because they are all capitalists, none of them are socialists. In fact, Manzie was appointed precisely because she is such a wretched slave to the interests of capitalism.

Myth 2 – Manzie gets £180,000pa

Truth – she does, it was a salary agreed by her bosses in the Labour Party when they appointed her. They also take neat little sums as Councillors.

Myth 3 – Manzie is a Tory

Truth – who knows and who cares? Labour or Tory its the same old story. She was appointed by Labour with Tory support, her salary was agreed by the Labour Cabinet, and presumably her politics and reputation preceeded her, thats why they appointed her and not a bin man. So – they knew she was a disgrace and they appointed her for that very reason, they haven’t been tricked or bullied!

Myth 4 – “if it sounds like a Tory, talks like a Tory and is a Labour party member, it’s a Tory” video here

Truth – nope, it’s a Labour party member. Let’s stop making excuses for Labour class traitors by calling them Tories. They’re Labour, the same party which didn’t overturn any anti-union legislation between 1997-2010, gased 4 million Korean workers whilst it bribed British workers with the NHS in 1948 (which it then began privatising in 1998!), betrayed the Miners Strike in 1984 and abandoned the fig leaf of Clause 4 & common ownership in 1995. The list could go on….

Myth 5 – the Labour party is a socialist organisation

Truth – The Labour party doesn’t set itself the goal of socialism. The Labour party aims to manage capitalism, to put a nice face on it. When workers make a fuss, all the top brass start going on about socialism again. The mention of socialism in Clause 4 of the Labour party constitution was put in by Tony Blair in the 90’s. Tony had total power to do what the hell he wanted for ten years, we didn’t advance one inch towards socialism, but Tony did manage to murder a few million and make himself a few more million from all the slaughter.

We need to strive for socialism, and for that, we need a Communist Party. The CPGB-ML is that party.

 

The reason John McDonnell has finally spoken in support of the Birmingham bin strike is because he has been forced to support the bin men.

The Birmingham Mail yesterday quoted McDonnell as saying:

“I do not see your strike as strike against Labour. I see your strike as a strike against austerity. Simple as that.

“Our advice to Labour councillors wherever, when they go into dispute, is to get round the table.

“And insist on the fact that it isn’t chief executives or officers of the council that determine the future of a council’s policies, but the councillors themselves.

“So we want negotiations to resolve this dispute immediately.

“Solidarity!”

Our view

We agree that this strike has been a strike against austerity, but it’s LABOUR PARTY austerity. Whilst the Tories may be in government, it is the Labour party locally who have chosen to attack the bin men, as well as implement cuts which have reduced a city council workforce of 20,000 to half that number.

The reason John McDonnell has finally spoken in support of the Birmingham bin strike is because he has been forced to support the bin men. If he was an ardent supporter would it have taken nine weeks?

It is clear that this new and very welcome support is due to the heroic industrial action undertaken since June. The local Labour Council have failed to impose the cuts which they believed in their arrogance would go through with very little disruption, the Labour chief of the Council has fallen on his sword and McDonnell is being forced to the microphone. The fact that the pressure has mounted to this level is proof, were any needed, that the bin men are winning.

Which firms are supplying labour to the Council to break the strike?

The following firms (listed below) this weekend attempted to supply twenty wagons to Birmingham city council to assist in strike breaking. Of the twenty, at least two are known to have been idle all weekend from damage sustained and it is suspected that only two thirds worked the weekend (at best). Each wagon can manage 11 tonne at most a day.

Desperate unemployed men are being drafted in through agencies in order to break the strike, and the Council is encouraging unsafe working practices. It is known that the Council is spending in the region of £300,000 per week in an attempt to break Birmingham’s bin men.

The following firms are providing labour during this dispute:

“Cartwrights” of Telford https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03782883/officers

“Love Waste” https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07550339

“Waste.com” believed to be this Birmingham firm: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07089684

If any worker has any further information on these firms or any correction to the above, we will be happy to share it. Message birmingham@cpgb-ml.org

Comrades attend Wigan diggers festival

Wigan Diggers Festival Sept 9th 2017

outside the library in Wigan

The Day

Birmingham CPGB-ML sent a few comrades along to meet up with other party members at the Wigan Diggers festival this Saturday, remembering another aspect of the people’s British history. It was an enjoyable day with plenty of discussion with local workers, the majority of whom were disgraced to hear how Birmingham’s Labour Council was attacking the bin men. Many told us that the local Wigan Labour Council was the same. Sadly, for a progressive festival, we came across Labour Party/Corbyn supporters who backed the Birmingham cuts and supported Jeremy Corbyn for not saying anything about the bin men strike. One Labour member from Manchester said Birmingham’s bin men were only “out for themselves” and that we were “selfish” for criticising Labour cuts. Her reasoning was that those who are victim to Labour cuts should “put up and shut up” so that Jeremy can come to power and wave his magic wand to sort everything out. If we complain we are to be blamed for letting the Tories in!

The only other sad incident came from a lone ISIS supporter backed up by a couple of members of the Wigan Diggers Committee (although by no means all of them). This ISIS supporter attacked one of our stalls and attempted to steal a flag of the Syrian Arab Republic. This individual, who was clearly ill, encouraged a couple of Trotskyist members of the Wigan diggers committee to ask us to take down one of our two stalls. They initially claimed we were a health and safety risk, then when we refused to move they claimed we obstructed he pavement, running out of reasons they eventually admitted they didn’t want the Syria flag on display and complained that we carried our own hammer and sickle flags! Such are the voices of free speech, expression and democracy! Of course these bureaucrats think power grows from the wearing of a yellow hi-viz whilst Marxists understand it comes from physical force. Needless to say they eventually gave up as we numbered 30 and they about 3.

The Diggers

“The Earth was made a common treasury for all” was the slogan of the Diggers. It is vital to revive the knowledge of our rebellious history and traditions in order to inform and enthuse our current working class struggle. Throughout the ages oppressed peoples have fought valiantly against their oppressors, and in victory or defeat they have left us a legacy we must continue!

The Wigan festival celebrates Gerrard Winstanley, from Wigan, and the True Levellers (known as the Diggers), a radical Protestant movement that sought to utilise common land for the benefit of the poorest elements of society, who could not survive without subsistence farming, at a time when food prices were exceptionally high. They arose during the civil war in the 17th century and presented perhaps the most radical ideology of their time.

Winstanley and the Diggers based their ideology on certain passages in the bible, which is best summarised in one of their most memorable quotes: “the Earth was made a common treasury for all”. While it was not possible for them to have developed a socialist theory on the exploitation of the peasantry and labourers at the time, as neither the material conditions nor the schools of philosophy resulting from them existed at the time, it was a noble and notable proto-socialist movement based on a philosophy of primitive agrarian communism.

Ultimately, the Diggers drew the aggression of landowners and the government, with their communities and communal property coming under violent attack from landlords before being ordered off the land by the courts, with the threat of armed reprisal if they did not comply. While the rest of British society adapted to parliamentarianism and the development of the bourgeoisie, the True Leveller movement dissipated.

Here’s a few photographs from the day, more will be up on the Flickr page and people can contact the north west branch of the CPGB-ML on Twitter

Wigan Diggers Festival Sept 9th 2017

party book stall being set up after the rain

Wigan Diggers Festival Sept 9th 2017

comrades discuss the victories of the Syrian Arab Army over the Jihadist terorrists

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a random ISIS supporter attempts to attack our table but is sent on his merry way

 

Birmingham IWA(GB) raise money for strike fund

The Birmingham Branch of the Indian Workers Association (GB) accompanied CPGB-ML comrades to the Perry Barr picket lines on Thursday to show their support for striking bin men. The IWA comrades handed a cheque to Convenor Richard Beddows for the strike fund. The Birmingham IWA(GB) has a long and proud history in our town; from the days organising in the Birmingham foundries for Marxism-Leninism, it’s influence in the trade union movement & anti-fascist campaigning in Handsworth from the Shaheed Udham Singh Welfare Centre.

Birmingham IWA(GB) leader Avtar Jouhl is a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and will speak at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Great October Socialist Revolution which is taking place in London on November 4th – tickets available here.

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L to R: Sheera, Bhagwant (IWA), Sammi Ibrahem (CPGB-ML) & Richard Beddoows (Unite)

Binmen Strike; Perry Barr Depot, 7th Sept 2017;

Sheera delivers a solidarity message