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 Reason for quoting this

EC Officers
Political Committee
Campaigns and events
International work
Industrial work
Morning Star
Youth and students
Electoral work
Party centre, staffing and propaganda
Membership & recruitment
Party organisation and structures
Communist Review
Political education and cadre development
Economic Committee
Party History Group
Reason for quoting this

Communist Party of Britain Statement of Accounts to the Electoral Commission and
Executive Committee Report of Work to the 49th Congress

Income accounts



membership dues and quota 49,692 45,505
donations and legacies 17,096 356
election appeal [1] 11,871 0
national appeal 11,207 15,156
PPPS debt 2,500 2,500
Literature and merchandise sales 2,378 1,029
Communist review sales 1,624 873
Communist University fees [2] 2,016 0
Congress fees [3] 64 1,005
Transfer from reserve account 0 9,000
  98,448 75,424
Expenditure accounts



Advertising [4] 6,595 1,755
Advisory committees 243 210
Affiliations [] 250 331
Bank charges [6] 1,061 502
Campaigns and events [7] 220 2,124
Communist University 2,225 0
Electoral Commission registration 25 0
Elections [8] 9,801 0
Executive and officers travel 5,682 6,489
Industrial work 1,414 1,818
International work 2,442 1,225
Merchandise 1,111 0
Office administration 11,690 8,110
Office rent 10,923 4,969
Printing and propaganda [9] 7,328 6,557
Publications and subscription 250 100
Staff salaries, NI and taxes 34,906 37,871
Volunteers expenses 138 64
  96,274 72,150
Surplus 2,174 3,274
  98,448 75,424
[1] No election appeal held in 2004
[2] No Communist University held in 2004
[3] No Party congress held in 2005; income for that year relates to late payments from ??? congress
[4] Advertising expenditure for 2005 includes substantial sums owing from 2004.
[5] Excluding registration with the Electoral Commission (shown separately)
[6] Charges relate mostly to handling fees for direct debit membership system
[7] Excluding election campaigns
[8] No elections contested in 2004
[9] Including printing costs of Communist Review shown separately in previous accounts
 Balance Sheet



Fixed assets    
Equipment and furniture (1) 1,170 1,300
Investments 0 0
Current assets    
Debtors (2)  42,500 45,000
Lit and Merchandise 1,500 2,000
creditors falling due within one year 5,800 11,600
Capital assets    
reserves [a "reserve a/c" is mentioned - EO] 0 0
total members' funds (gross) 45,146 40,530
Capital liabilities: creditors due within a year 0 0
Total members' funds 45,146 40,530


 Communist Party of Britain Executive Committee Officers
General Secretary  Robert Griffiths (lecturer)
Chair Anita Halpin (NUJ, TUC, SERTUC)
Industrial organiser Kevin Halpin [?]
International secretary John Foster (University & Coll.Union)
Communist Review editor Mary Davis
M-Leninism education organiser Martin Levy (University & Coll.Union)
Womens' organiser Emily Mann
Treasurer Andy Chaffer
Morning Star organiser David Granville
Youth & Students liaison officer Simon Renton
Membership secretary Robert Griffiths
Election nominating officer Richard Maubin
Conveners of advisories and sub-committees:
Industrial sub-committee Kevin Halpin
Cultural committee Nick Wright
Anti-racism / fascism advisory Steve Silver
Pensions advisory Ann Green
Science, technology and environment Martin Levy
International advisory John Foster
Conveners of inaugural meeting:
Housing advisory Ray Walker
Lesbian and gay advisory Andy Chaffer
Economic committee Robert Griffiths

Nick Write subsequently took on responsibilities for production of Communist News and EC press statements and Gerwain Little became convener of the peace advisory. Martin Graham [also on the committee of Unite-T&G branch 1/1148 -EO] acted as secretary to the economic committee.

The responsibilities of treasurer were taken-on by the general secretary in 2005.

No meetings took place for the cultural committee, anti-racism anti-fascism advisory, the lesbian and gay advisory or the science, technology and environment advisory.


The July 2004 EC elected a 10-person political committee consisting of Mary Davis, John Foster, Robert Griffiths, John Haylett, Anita Halpin, Kevin Halpin, Martin Levy, Emily Mann Steve Silver and Graham Stevenson.[2] Steve Silver stood down in February 2006 for domestic and work reasons and in March 2006 EC elected Steve Johnson in his place.


The political situation in Britain since the Communist Party's 48th congress in May 2004 has been dominated by struggles and debates around the policies, character and leadership of the New Labour government. Although some of key domestic and foreign policies had little support New Labour succeeded in winning the General Election of May 2005, primarily because the Tories lacked credibility as a governing alternative. Since then, the emergence of a new Tory leadership - together with the disarray in LibDem ranks and New Labour's refusal to change course - have raised the spectre of a Labour defeat at the next general election.

In this developing context the Executive Committee elected at the 48th party congress has sought to implement the strategic line and initiatives decided by the delegates. At the July 2004 EC, an action plan was adopted with committed the Party at every level to campaign for the Left-Wing Programme outline at the congress

    • including through the strengthening of links with the Labour Representation Committee; to prepare for the forthcoming General Election;
    • to help build a broad left-based movement against the proposed EU Constitution;
    • to extend support for the Charter for Women,
    • to step-up our work in the trade union movement against the anti-union laws and for the Charter of Workers Rights [sic]
    • to maintain our complete opposition to the imperialist interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere
    • and to increase our solidarity work with Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Latin America Generally
    • to campaign on a range of domestic issues including Trident housing and pensions
    • putting the Morning Star at the centre of much of our activity
    • and building the Party by combining our campaigning activity with more political education new members schools better support for the Communist Review, a Party recruitment drive at trade union conferences, and planned efforts to extend our membership in Britain's black and ethnic minority communities.

The Action Plan was sent to Party branches, districts, nations [sic] and advisories so that it could be applied in their specific conditions.

The Left-Wing Programme was launched in time for the spring 2005 round of trade union conferences [sic], with an updated and revised broad sheet issued at the end of the year. Most major trade union conferences have been leafletted accordingly and the LWP [?] has been projected in the Morning Star and in Party and Morning Star public meetings.

We have developed closer links with the Labour Representation Committee through bilateral meetings, attendance at LRC events, invitations to address the 2005

[page break: I think this page follows from the last]

Communist University and the 2006 Industrial Cadre School and through the distribution of LRC materials.

Our General Election campaign is outlined in the appropriate section below. The general political stance taken by the Executive Committee at its May 2005 meeting was as follows

    • Nothing would be gained by a Tory victory and a Labour defeat at the forthcoming general election, We are against any revival of the Tories, and do not want to see the conditions created where New Labour - or Social Democrats - in opposition could make a bogus shift to the left or shallow appeals to party unity in a time of crisis. A Labour victory will keep New Labour in our sights and provide fresh opportunities to unite the left and the labour movement around a left-wing programme [?-Ed] opposed to New Labour#s pro-big business, pro-imperialist policies.
    • We cannot call for support for Labour candidates who are or were members of the Cabinet most closely associated with the decision to steal money from trades union members and allow them to get the sack [this paragraph altered - EO] notably Anton Johnson pretended trades union rep, Dr Martin Graham, alleged branch treasurer, and others
      In those constituencies, we urge a vote for candidates who anti-war, anti-privatisation, in favour of public ownership and the repeal of the anti-trades union laws [sic]
    • Where Communist Party candidates are standing we urge all Communists, socialists and progressives to help produce the biggest possible election campaign an vote for a real national and international left wing programme. [except for rights of trades union members to see their accounts and have proper elections]
    • In the election campaingm the Communist Party and trade union and progressive organisations at the local level should canvass Labour candidates on key issues including those identified in the 48th and special 47th Congress resolutions.
    • We also urge Communists socialists and peace campaigners to work to ensure in particular those Labour MPs who voted against the war in Iraq.
    • In other seats, we call for a Labour vote but where Party organisations believe they should not support a pro-war, pro-New Labour candidate they can make their case for supporting an alternative to the EC or PC as provided for in our special 47th congress resolutions and the points made in our policy statement.
    • Where fascist candidates are standing all Party organisations and members in and around those constituencies are urged to take an active part in anti-fascist, anti-racist campaigning.

Our party's work on the EU Constitution, the Charter for Woman, trade union rights [sic], international solidarity [?], peace, the Morning Star and building the Party are outlined below in the appropriate sections of this report

A Party Month of Action on Peace was organised on February 2006, with a Party broad sheet produced with the assistance of the revived Peace Advisory [sic] and widespread use of the CNS anti-Trident petition. Leading comrades in CNS and the Stop the War coalition addressed the EC in November 2005.

On the day after the London bomb atrocities of July 7, 2005 [I remember: I was off sick due to the stress of a disciplinary charge that the other side later said "doesn't make sense" after 18 months of failure to make reasonable adjustments to bad concentration after a physical illness. I still lost my tribunal case because there seemed to be none of my £15-a-month-money available to the solicitor, who didn't even bother to read any evidence or keep up to date with the law, the communist rep was not to be seen and the official was "too busy". Communist entryists are goody-goody conformists when it comes to complaining about bad union services, and anyway the solicitor has "local government experience in Croyden", so maybe there is some other reason why he works for the branch. Meanwhile there is a pattern of employer's solicitors exploiting tribunals bias towards feckless unions - not their members - by summoning union reps and officials to appear as witnesses against the person who has been sacked. Back to the usual stuff, whatever they are on about now...] the Party issued a statement condemning both individual and state terrorism and reiterating its call for an immediate end to the imperialist occupation of Iraq and for a sovereignn Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel.

In order to mobilise the Party for the major anti-war demonstrations and for our work in the European Social Forum in London in October 2004, organising bulletins were produced by Nick Wright for website and e-mail distribution with a limited number of hard copies printed in addition.

Following the only meeting of a housing advisory, 13,000 copies of a leaflet were produced for a month of action in February 2005 when the Party also distributed Defend Council Housing materials.

Despite specific items on PC and EC agendas, we did not succeed in convening an anti-racism anti-fascism advisory in the 2004/5 EC session although the Party maintained its affiliations to the National Assembly Against Racism and Unite Against Fascism. Communists also play an active role at every level of Searchlight and its related organisations.

The EC also failed in its objective of organising a lesbian and gay advisory meeting, although the Party had an organised presence at a number of popular and trade union gay pride events.

The annual Marx Commemoration at Highgate is now firmly established as a major annual event for our party, domiciled parties and socialist embassies in Britain. Large turnouts heard Hans Modrow and Andrew Murray deliver the memorial addresses in March 2005 and March 2006 respectively. The outgoing EC recommends that a post-address reception be organised for next year now that a suitable venue has been found.


[Unity For Peace and Socialism (UFPS) called for respect for China's sovereignty and borders today following attacks by supporters of Tibetan separatists on the Olympic torch relay. The UFPS alliance is running a slate of 13 candidates in the May 1 Greater London Assembly (GLA) London-wide list election. UFPS condemns the recent pogrom by followers of the Dalai Lama on innocent civilians in Tibet, which resulted in the deaths of ten people and the destruction of many workers' and shopkeepers' livelihoods.] [This extract was chosen by them in their May 2008 Manifesto, followed by "read more".]

Our Party has taken steps to increase its involvement in the peace movement since the last congress. These have included a Party month of action against imperialist war and Trident in February 2006, a peace broad sheet (for distribution during the month of action and beyond), a pamphlet currently in preparation and steps taken by the peace advisory to better coordinate its work with branches.

The Party continued to mobilise in support of political initiatives taken by the Stop the War Coalition. These included national demonstrations in October 2004, March 2005, September 2005 and March 2006 - when thousands of Party leaflets were distributed [unconnected with Unite-T&G Branch 1/1148's £600+ sponsoring of leaflets for South East Regional TUC] and Morning Stars sold - as well as a number of other pickets, demonstrations and events. The Coalition organised a large international peace conference in London in December 2005, events to mark the death of the 100th British Soldier in Iraq, naming of the dead ceremonies and a number of rallies in the wake of the July 7 bombings in London. [this was a period when my union branch, committed by Communist Party of Great Britain activists, was refusing to back my case against an ex-employer and allowing time limits to be passed]

Andrew Murray has continued to serve as chair of the StWC [as well as being paid press secretary to Unite's Transport and General Workers Union] and has reported to the EC and the Peace Advisory. Unfortunately, official Party representation on the StWC steering committee has not been maintained consistently, a weakness which the incoming EC will need to remedy.

Communists play an important role in local Stop the War Coalitions in a number of localities, although this remains patchy and uneven, indicating that EC decisions regarding the priority to be given to the anti-war movement have not been consistently implemented.

The Party has also continued to support the work of CND and Scottish CND, actively taking up the campaign against any replacement for Trident. Many branches are involved in the work of their local peace groups and Party activists play an important role in the work of CND, including building support for it within trades unions.

Since the month of action more Party branches have invited speakers from SND/StWC to address branch meetings but this is something which still needs to be developed.

While many Party members and branches play an active role in their local peace movement, this work is still not as effectively linked to the work of leading Party activists nationally as it could be. Again, this is a key issue for the new EC to address.


The Party's international advisory has met every two months and reports were submitted for approval to each EC. The average attendance was six.

The work of the EC was informed by six strategic priorities arising from the International Resolution passed at the 48th congress. These were to

    • Work in solidarity with those in struggle against imperialism: particularly Iraq, Palestine, Venezuela and Colombia
    • Enhance relations with Cuba, Vietnam, China and PDR Korea [sic]
    • Deepen our relations with the international Communist and workers movement and better project this internationalist perspective within Britain
    • Strengthen the international dimension of our campaigning against the EU by developing firmer relations with the major Communist and left parties in Europe
    • Campaign for the full and speedy implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland
    • Increase the level of joint activity with domiciled Communist Parties in Britain

Over the past two years our party has organised the following international events:

    European Social Forum, London, October 2004: a seminar attended by 16 sister parties was held immediately before the ESF to develop a Marxist analysis of the European Union A workshop was then held during the ESF on 'The Future of Socialism' jointly with the CP Greece, CP Portugal, CP Germany International Correspondence and the Morning Star.
    G8 Summit, Edinborough, July 2005: two events were organised and four parties represented: CP in Denmark Party of Italian Communists, CP Ireland CP Sweden
    London, December 2005: [this was when by union branch official failed to attend my dismissal meeting and the union gave no advice about how to cope with a "twin track procedure" for dismissal] Joint meeting with CP France hosted by Trades Unions against the EU Constitution and Campaign for a Social Europe in combating EU neo-liberalism.
    London and Edinburgh May 2006: joint meetings with Connolly Association and CP Ireland to commemorate the legacy of Joseph Connolly.

Our party sent representatives to the following congresses and conferences:

    Conference of Communist and Workers Parties, Athens, 2004 and 2005
    CP Greece Congress, February 2005 [this was when my union branch let a no-win no-fee lawyer loose on my complicated case and Mr Camfield, the acting regional general secretary, refused to provide a different solicitor]
    CP USA convention June 2005
    AKEL Cyprus congress, November 2005
    CP France congress, April 2006
    Avante Festivals 2004 and 2005
    l'Humanite Festival, September 2004
    Unserer Zeit and Neus Deutschland festivals, 2005

In April 2006, our party sent a delegation of four comrades (Robert Griffeths, Emily Mann, John Haylett and Kevin Halpin) to China a the invitation of the CPC international department. Their report will be issued shortly and it is anticipated that report-back meetings with members of the delegation will be held in different parts of Britain over the coming months.

Discussions in the international advisory and among comrades in the trade union movement [sic] have guided a number of campaigning initiatives. These include meetings and statements on the EU and the distribution of a large number of the TUAEUC pamphlet on the EU Constitution through Party Centre.

Liaison has been maintained with CP Ireland with resolutions taken forward though Needs of the Hour and regular briefings in the Morning Star on the Good Friday Agreement and associated developments.

Our Party worked with the CP Greece to develop opposition to the resolution on the Crimes of Communism tabled at the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly. This involved direct communication with Briish MPS who a re assembly members and with leaders of trades unions which sponsor some of them [sic], and the publication of a series of feature articles and reports in the Morning Star. [note: about the same time the Government passed a new Companies Act. Not a single T&G MP had anything to say about increased votes for workers in the default company set-up. ]

The international advisory also gave assistance as required in a number of areas with particular attention to Iraq, Palestinem Venezuela, Cuba and Colombia. The CP has maintained its affiliation to [note: affiliations only show as £250 in the accounts, including an electoral pact, so this affiliation may have been sponsored by a trades union - EO] - and participation in the leadership of - The Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, and has organised support for initiatives taken by the Venezuela Information Centre and Justice for Colombia.

In terms of meetings and briefings with embassies and overseas parties, discussions have taken place at the embassies of Vietnam (January 2005), the PDR Korea (February 2006) and, on numerous occasions, of China and Cuba.

Meetings took place with the general secretaries of the CP India Marxist (August 2005) and CP Sri Lanka (February 2006), and with the International Departments of the CP France (June 2005) and CP Japan (February 2006).

Briefings were supplied by comrades representing CP Sudan (September 2004), Tudeh Party of Iran (January 2005), Left Party / PDS Hans Modrow (March 2005), CP Bangledesh (July 2005) and CP Iraq (December 2005 and March 2006). Briefings were published in the Morning Star as supplied by the CP Ukraine (February 2005) and CP Russian Federation (December 2005).

Visitors to Party centre have included deputations from the CP Bangladesh the National Society for Party Construction Studies of the CP China and a CP Greece MEP.

The Coordinating Committee of Communist Parties of Britain has met regularly through 2005 and 2006 convened by the Tudeh Party of Iran and chaired by the CPB general secretary. In July 2005 it held a highly successful seminar on Marxism and Religious Fundamentalism addressed by Mary Davis and comrades from domiciled parties, followed by a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the defeat of fascism in September 2005 where speakers included Jean Turner, John Haylett and Steve Silver. In April 2006 a seminar was organised on Communism and Anti Communism in the 21st Century addressed by John Foster and the chair of the Communist Youth Union of the Czech Republic, which must have been fun.

Messages of solidarity have been sent to CP Australia, CP Austria, CP of Brazil CP Bohemia and Moravia, CP Chile CP in Denmark, CP Mexico CP Slovakia and CP South Africa among others.

The first issue of the Party's international bulletin was launched in the summer of 2005, with the second issue produced in April this year.


The last two years have seen the difficulties of weekend rail travel taking their toll on attendance at industrial advisories and aggregates.

Nevertheless, we succeeded with our allies in raising the policies in Needs of the Hour at most union conferences.

The TUC in the main has had progressive policies but the great weakness has been to convert these into united action at a time when there was little active or widespread union opposition to Government policies. But more recently, we have witnessed the fight against the attack on local government pensions schemes, with 1.2 million workers from 12 unions out on strike. [note: there is no campaign for pensions schemes to belong to the pensioners and contributors or for anything to be done with any pension fund's votes in public companies - only a campaign to ask for more money]. This shows what a difference that unity can make when it replaces unions competing against each other [sic]. One weakness in the settlement for civil servants is that the present entitlements will remain for the existing work force but future employees will not get the same conditions. This is not the best recruitment advert for future membership.

Some of the government's attacks are in areas which were supposed to be addressed by the Warwick Agreement. Any talk of negotiations for a Warwick 'mark two' - especially if they are to replace active opposition to reactionary New Labour policies - should be resisted.

In a number of unions there have been set-backs where progressive General Secretaries have been defeated in elections. The result has been that those unions have fallen out of prominence. But in others, there have been some victories for left and progressive candidates, notably in education.

The General Council of the TUC has moved to progressive positions, with the exception of the negative resolution on China passed at last year's congress. For the first time in many years, there are now two Communists on the TUC General Council, including the chair of our party [Anita Halpin - also vice president of SERTUC, which my union branch helps with £650 leaflet printing - EO].

The whole question of the future of the TUC is now being debated. Proposals for a biennial conference have been defeated and we have had a partial victory on equalities conferences. But the movement needs to go further, especially along the lines agreed at our industrial cadre school.

Many of the policies we have developed arise from planned merger of the TGWU, GMB and Amicus. This will form a union of 2.5 million members, with Unison the second largest with over 1 million members. Obviously the implications of this for the TUC need consideration.

There are criticisms of Amicus but its continuing record of support for the Morning Star is an indication that it will, along with other unions continue to play a valuable and progressive role.

A big break with the AEU-EEPTU past has been the recognition given by the Amicus executive to every dispute, with no lost ballots and many joint actions from the BBC to local government. Criticisms are obvious but can often be difficult to make publicly because of 'oppositionist' tendencies which tend to attack the union leadership at every turn. We need to get to grips with this dilemma as a party.

Our current weaknesses in industrial organisation include the failure to convene local government advisory meetings and to establish a media advisory. At the same time, we have functioning advisories in transport the civil service and education; there have also been meetings of a rails advisory and a joint manufacturing and transport meeting to discuss the proposed triple union merger.

One of the highlights of our industrial work over the past two years was the industrial cadre school in February 2006, with 42 present, varied subjects and excellent speakers and debate. The outgoing EC is proposing that this become an annual event.


The Morning Star continues to be the main vehicle for projecting Marxist ideas and a class analysis of the main issues of concern and relevance to the working class in Britain.

It also remains the best vehicle for the promotion of genuinely broad left-wing alternative ideas and policies to the pro-imperialist, pro-neo-liberal policies of New Labour and for mobilising support for the ongoing struggle for peace and socialism.

As a result, building the paper's circulation and financial basem promoting and extending its influence throughout the labour movement and beyond, have remained priorities for the EC and our party since the 48th congress.

Support for the Morning Star from many Party members remains magnificent especially in those areas - Scotland, Ireland, and parts of north-east England and north Wales - where the paper frequently fails to arrive on the day of publication. However, while such problems continue to provide a major obstacle to the growth of sales in these areas, a number of ongoing circulation campaigns conducted by Morning Star staff have resulted in substantial boosts in the number of daily sales, especially in Yorkshire and in north-east and north-west England.

The Party EC has continued to work closely with the paper's circulation department to try and rectify circulation problems, to win new readers and to improve and consolidate support for the Morning Star organisers at national, district and branch levels.

A questionnaire compiled by the EC Morning Star committee in conjunction with the paper's circulation department has been circulated in Communist News - [note from party web site: "Key reports from Executive Committee meetings are disseminated via the bimonthly "Communist News". Branches, districts and nations are encouraged to send in reports of their activities for inclusion in this bulletin."] the objective being to gain a more detailed understanding of the level of active support for the Morning Star among Party members in terms of readership, share ownership and other means of financial assistance such as membership of the 501 club. Although the response to the questionnaire has been disappointing in terms of the number of forms returned, the information provided has proved useful to the circulation department in identifying areas where improvements in support could be made.

Communists continue to play a leading role - along with valuable allies - in selling the paper and raising money for it throughout the labour and progressive movements. Sales and collections continue at political events and trade union meetings at bla bla bla although more could always be done and there are some notable weaknesses where sales or collections have not occurred.

The Party played a major role in organising Morning Star 75th anniversary events in Gateshead, Glasgow, Camden, Leeds Sheffield, Liverpool, Tower Hamlets Salford, Cardiff and Kingston upon Thames. These helped make the 75th anniversary appeal a success, and Party organisations have been urged to hold at least one major fund-raising event for the paper each year.

Party members also play a key role in many Morning Star Readers and Supporters Groups, although those which function effectively are too few in number. The situation needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency by the incoming EC. As well as organising sales collections and political discussions, the groups now have an opportunity to play a direct role in the labour movement through affiliation to the Labour Representation Committee.

In Scotland and North East England, communists have played a key role in organising broad-based political conferences under the paper's banner on issues such as privatisation. Such successful initiatives show the Morning Star's potential for bringing the left together and uniting wide sections of it behind campaigns which correspond to the Party's call for a Left-Wing Programme. They should be taken up by other districts and nations where feasible.

The renewal and reorientation of readers and supporters' groups to work for political initiatives such as these, alongside the vital fund-raising role that they also carry-out, is essential if support for the paper and its values is to be extended and its political influence within the labour movement enhanced. However any reorientation need not and should not the at the expense of fund-raising upon which the Morning Star depends and - as regular shortfalls in the monthly fighting fund remind us - around which more consistent work is required from Communists.

The challenges which lie ahead for the Morning Star and its staunch supporters such as the communist party are enormous. Circulation difficulties changes in national distribution arrangements and the relocation of printing facilities [Newsfax Ltd has moved the press further out of London to make way for an Olympic stadium. The new press requires a different computer hook-up, which the paper's software can't do] underline the need to substantially increase the sales, funds and political influence of the paper.

Despite the party's limited resources, the Party membership must give further, urgent consideration to the question of how it carries out its duty to support the Morning Star. In particular the incoming EC must appoint one or more of its members to take on as their primary political responsibility the coordination of the Party's work in support of the paper in liaison with the appropriate staff at the Morning Star.

Such co-ordination and liaison can be carried forward in a number of ways. [cut? -Ed] For example, early in 2005 the EC initiated the first of two meetings so far between EC officers, Party members on the Peoples Press Printing Society management committee and Party Comrades working at the Morning Star. As a result, valuable discussions took place on issues concerning the future development of the Morning Star and how the Party can improve its work in support of the paper. This initiative [you haven't thought of one yet - Ed] needs to be built upon in the coming period.


Since the 48th Congress, women members of the Communist Party have been central to the significant success of the Charter for Women - produced and launched by the Communist Party of Britain three years ago - within the labour movement. At conferences, meetings and discussions, the charter has been debated adopted and promoted as a vital campaigning tool capable of uniting activists in their ongoing struggle for equality and justice in all aspects of their lives The Charter has been adopted by many trade unions, including Unison, Amicus, NUJ, AUT and NATFHE, as well as the National Assembly of Women and SERTUC [Chaired by Anita Halpin of Communnist Party of Britain] Womens Rights Committee. A charter steering committee has been established and the first national conference was held at the Black Country Living Museum in October 2005. As highlighted in the Communist Party's Left-Wing Programme the advances made in 2005 by the Charter for Women offer an inspirational example of what can be achieved when a broad non-sectarian initiative is taken-up.

The Charter and work on womens' rights more generally, was emphasised as a key part of the Communist Party campaigning work at the more recent new and prospective members school. However while the Charter has formed the basis of meetings at different levels within the Communist Party, and of public Morning Star meetings organised by Party members the overall scale of Party activity around the Charter has been comparatively small. This is partly a reflection of limited cadre resources but it has not been helped by weak communication and organisation among women members of the Party. This problem was raised and discussed in detail at a special session around the Charter at the Communist University of Britain in October 2005. Since then, Party members have initiated a London District Communist Party of Britain womens' advisory, a model which womens' organiser Emily Mannis encouraging in other districts and nations - and a national day school is planned for July 1 2006. The purpose of this school is not only to analyse and debate the current situation for women but also to encourage womens' participation in the broader movement and to consider how the Party might approach the urgent task of building its membership among women.

In November 2005, the womens' organiser attended the Congress of AKEL - the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus [also Communist Party of Britain's old landlord in Camden Road] - where contact was made with women representatives from a wide range of Communist and other progressive parties as well as the Womens' International Democratic Federation [of...? -Ed]. In April 2006, the womens organiser was among the Party's delegation to China, a trip that opened up a number of channels for dialogue and the exchange of information between women communists and trade unionists in Britain and China.

The work required by the Party on womens' rights is being taken seriously at national level - for example, the issue was covered in the 2005 election manifesto, the Left Wing Programme contains the demand for compulsory pay audits to enforce equal pay for women, the PECD Subcommittee is ensuring the inclusion of appropriate literature in its planned education programme - but there is still much to be done to ensure that these demands are a fundamental part of work by all members rather than being segregated on the sidelines. The failure of this yeas long awaited report by the Women and Work Commission and the government's pursuance of a single equalities commission are but two grave reminders of the immense political and ideological battle still to be won.


Since the 48th congress the Party has increased its cooperation with the YCL [Wikipdia] in youth and student work. The main focus of this work has been

    • to support the growth and development of the YCL (both in terms of membership and organisation
    • to support the work of the YCL in the student movement under the name of Communist Students [?]

The YCL executive committee has been invited to send a representative to all EC meetings and regular contact has been maintained between the YCL and Communist Party of Britain general secretaries [who work in the same office, except when the YCL person is being press secretary to Unite T&G branch 1/1148 - EO] Specific initiatives have included the provision of a YCL office at Party centre with a regular YCL volunteer schedule, speakers provided for YCL meetings and congress printing and distribution of Challenge, administration support for the YCL database and financial support for YCL recruitment adverts placed in The Morning Star.

All Party applications by young people are now followed up by the YCL as well as the Party and many more Party branches are encouraging their young members to join the YCL. However, this is something which still needs work especially in areas where there is not a functioning YCL branch.

Communist Students has been launched in the student movement with the participation of the Communist Party of Britain, YCL, KNE (Greek Communist Youth) and AKEL. Several campus branches are being formed and a draft national programme has been agreed by the organisations involved, The Party and YCL have carried out work at NUS conference in 2005 and 2006 with the distribution of a Student Unity publication at both conferences. The Morning Star was also sold and this was supported in 2006 by the distribution of 200 free copies on the first day of conference, Next year this work needs to be supported by a stall and fringe meetings to raise the profile of the Morning Star and Communist Students still further.

Party / YCL members attended the Youth TUC 2005 (something which was unfortunately not possible in 2006) and this work needs to be renewed with a higher profile in 2007.

The increased cooperation between the Party and YCL has already paid dividends in terms of increased involvement and organisation of young people and students. Future plans to develop this cooperation should be considered seriously by the incoming EC.


Regular meetings of the pensions advisory have taken place with discussions of the highest quality. Although more time has been spent on issues relating to the state retirement pension, occupational pension schemes have achieved a high profile throughout the movement due to changes being imposed by employers and government.

Members of the pensions advisory met with the Party's economic committee to discuss both aspects of the pensions question in preparation for the Party's pamphlet published early in 2006.

Eleanor McKensie and John Foster addressed the Communist Party of Britain fringe meeting at the Pensioners Parliament in 2005, linking the EU to pensions. Attendance was over 35 and many colleagues said this was the best meeting they attended and proved it by returning to this year's fringe meeting, There Robert Griffiths and Geoff Bottoms spoke to an audience of more the 50, dealing in particular with the Turner Report. Most of those present were not Communists which shows that when people get the chance they want to learn more about our Party's policies, Numerous copies of the Party's new pensions pamphlet were sold at the meeting as well as excellent Morning Star sales on each day of the conference itself. Last years collection at the Pensioners Parliament raised over £70 for Communist Party of Britain, and this year the collection of £100 went to the Star.

Comrade Philip Kennedy died only a few days after completing the discussion paper which he intended to present at the national industrial advisory, His death was a great loss to the Communist Party of Britain and the pensioners advisory. A few weeks later Lionel Miller, secretary to the pensions advisory suffered a massive stroke and is still in rehabilitation. Lionel had produced a paper on the case for the national insurance pension,

The pensions advisory did not welcome the Turner Report (chaired by Lord Turner, former chair of the CBI). We concluded that there is nothing in the report for today's pensioners and nothing substantial should be expected from the White Paper in June.

Communists mobilised for the TUC Pensioners Rally in 2005 and hope the trade unions grow ever closer to the pensioners' movement, This is where we believe our industrial comrades could have an impact within the trade union movement,

However there is a glaring gap and that is making the link between the appropriate EU directives and what is happening to all kinds of pension schemes across Europe including the cuts in value and availability of the state pension. We believe the Communist Party of Britain could bridge that gap. The pensions advisory therefore urges:

    • the incoming EC to consider the idea of a European conference of Communist pensioners from those countries where EU policies apply
    • all districts and nations to send a representative to the advisory
    • Communist Party of Britain pensioners to send letters and reports of their local actions to the Morning Star and other media
    • Party members to make copies of the new pensions pamphlet available at their local pensioner group meetings


Since the 49th congress there have been elections for English metropolitan boroughs, Welsh districts, the London Mayer and Assembly and the European Parliament, in June 2004; the General Election in May 2005, and the English boroughs in May 2006.

In the first group ('Super Tuesday', June 10th 2004), the Party avoided the European Parliament and concentrated on local candidates in London (one), Merseyside (two), Tyne and Wear (one), and Wales (six).

Communist Party of Britain vote % of total % of labour
Ian Beavis, NE London GLA  1,378 1% 5.1%
John Byrne (Linacre, Sefton) 120 52.-6.6 7.3-9.1
John Cormack (Riverside, Liverpool) 86 3.3 5.7
Martin Levy (Walker, Newcastle)  49 1.8-1.9 3
Roy Evans (Veynor, Merthyr Tydfil) 128 1.5-7.9 20.9
Glyn Davies (Shotton, Flintshire) 99 21.6 n/a
Rhian Cartwright (Splott, Cardiff) 56 1.5 5
Fran Rawlings (Adamstown, Cardiff) 49 2.8 15.4
Rick Newman (Taff's Well, RCT) 33 3.3 7.8
Nigel Maskell (Mountain Ash E, RCT) 17 1.9 4.9

Martin Levy was subsequently appointed national election agent while Richard Mabin remained the Party's nominating officer.

After its July 2004 meeting the EC agreed an action plan which projected up to ten candidates for the General Election, The November 2004 meeting revised this down to an aim of 6-8 (with Party Centre paying deposits), but also pledging support for a progressive anti-war candidate in Sedgefield against Tony Blair. Ultimately six Party candidates were chosen and endorsed but not all in time for the candidates and agents school in January 2005. Nonetheless the school was a very useful event, with 9 comrades present representing all districts and nations were contests were planned.

The EC agreed at a very early stage that the main objective of our election work should be to project the need for a mass struggle around a set of alternative policies as embodied in the Left Wing Programme. The Election Manifesto was written with that perspective. The votes obtained, though small, were not a case for despondency:

Communist Party of Britain vote % of total % of labour
Ian Beavis (Leabridge, Hackney) 77 3 7.3-9.6
Phil Brand (Tooting, Wandsworth) 136 3.2 8.5
Monty Goldman (Hackney, Mayor) 896 2 4.3
Monty Goldman (Springfield, Hackney) 113 7 21.5
Peter Latham (Broad Green, Croydon) 177 5.25 10.75
Martin Levy (Walker, Newcastle) 36 1.3 2

One problem we clearly face is finding candidates - either because comrades are not willing or because they feel it would compromise their employment situation or labour movement standing. This is one of the consequences of the small size of the Party but it is an issue that does need to be addressed.


After receiving notice to quit our Camden Road headquarters because of redevelopment Party centre moved to Ruskin House Croydon in October 2004. An official opening event was duely held on the Saturday evening of the [sic] January 2005 EC, at which International Brigade Volunteer Bob Doyle was guest of honour. Although the rent is bigger we have more office and storage space and unprecedented access to committee room and conference facilities. In March 2006, the EC decided we should expand to take over the whole of the top floor in line with our original aspiration.

The change of premises also necessitated the arrangement of new printing facilities, Thus the November 2004 EC approved a leasing agreement for a digital printing machine. This has revolutionised our capacity to produce leaflets broad sheets, booklets, pamphlets, posters and stickers including in full colour. Materials printed in-house (excluding Unity! bulletins for trade union conferences Communist News and election literature) include:

    Broad sheets:
    Britain Needs a Left-Wing Programme (two editions)
    Stop War Stop the Occupations
    Marxism and the Imperialist War
    Wages Price and Profit Karl Marx
    Halting the decline of Britain's Manufacturing Industry Jerry Jones
    Manifesto of the Communist Party Marx and Engels
    The Case for Communism John Foster
    The Future of Pensions Jerry Jones
    Education for the People Education Advisory
    Everyone should have a decent home
    The Charter for Women
    Work Till You Drop (pensions)
    Will the G8 Debt write-off help Africa?
    No more lies Blair - No more imperialist war.
    Making the world safe for Monopoly profit (Iraq)
    A Budget for War

The production of these and other materials has added considerably to the workload of the national administrative secretary at Party centre. In October 2004, Seffen Lippert took over from Andrew Wigglesworth, and was in turn replaced by Ben Stevenson [also press secretary of Unite T&G Branch 1/1148 for a year] in September 2005. Thanks are due to these comrades for their work and commitment over and beyond the call of duty. The development of our party's central website, in which Andy Vine and Nick Wright have also played invaluable roles, has helped ensure a substantial increase in sales of Partying literature and merchandise, including sales of Communist Review, for which office volunteers Martin Graham [also treasurer of Unite T&G Branch 1/1148 and which is a major donor to Communisty Party of Britain-related causes] and Barry Snatchfold must also share the credit.

[Rival Communist Party of Great Britain is less often accused of entryism and has less money. They trade from a PO box and write in the latest appeal:
"As reported in this paper, we have experienced more and more aggravations with our old sheet-fed Komori print machine (made in Japan in the 1970s, we bought it second-hand in the early 1990s). Breakdowns have become frequent. Overall print quality, never particularly good, has sharply deteriorated. Getting enough copies together - of sufficient quality - to send out to subscribers, libraries, bookshops and for sales at demonstrations, meetings, etc has become increasingly problematic too. On a few occasions we have actually run short." Another Communist Party, which got the Cynthia Street office but not the name, became a property company and capaign group called "New Democracy", merged with the similar Charter 88 and is now a campaign group against bad political systems run by corporate interests. It is called Unlock Democracy and tries to make its accounts a model of transparency. One of its main campaigns is against corporate party funding and to suggest alternatives.

Although Communist News is scheduled for publication shortly after each EC meeting at least two issues failed to appear due to editing and production problems. Some other issues were distributed only by e-mail because of pressure of work or resources shortages at Party centre. [gaps and cliches in this document suggest that nobody could find anything extra to say in one more edition-EO] Nevertheless the majority of issues were sent by post to all Party members. The incoming EC will need to review this situation in order to ensure a more consistent approach to production and distribution taking account of the need to publish the journal regularly and to circulate it within the means bla bla.


Party membership in terms of cards issued (the only basis on which we have the figure to make historical comparisons) has been as follows:

2006--907 (May)

In terms of current membership, the only comparative figures we have for recent years are:

2006---39 (May)

One day schools for new and prospective members were held in December 2004, April 2005, and February 2006, and have proved invaluable as a source of new recruits and a means of providing new members with information about the Party, its policies and activities.

An effective new leaflet - Why You Should be A Communist - was produced for distribution at the 2004 TUC but the contact details in it quickly became out of date as a result of the new Party headquarters.

A new edition of the very successful pamphlet What we stand for is currently being drafted for publication later this year.


Recognising weaknesses in the organisation and structures of the Party, the 48th congress called for the establishment of a Commission on Party Organisation. Its membership was agreed at the March 2005 EC and its report is being presented to the 49th congress

We have 63 branches [but 39 members? - EO] in 2006, compared with 71 branches in 2004 and 75 in 2000. The merging and closing of some branches gives a more realistic picture of the state of the Party, because about 46 of today's branches are active - a higher proportion (75%) than in the past. A new edition of the Party's branch handbook is currently in preparation to be published later this year,

But the crisis of organisation at District level has continued and even intensified. The Northern, London and Yorkshire DCs continue to function and district congresses were held there in 2005. Scotland and Wales also held national congresses in 2005 and there, too their national committees meet regularly. But the West Midlands and North West DCs have ceased to function despite having held congresses in 2005, while the East Midlands did not hold a congress to elect a DC. More positively district aggregates were held in the East Midlands and Cornwall & the West of England last year followed by an Eastern Aggregate in 2006. Efforts to initiate Southern and South Midlands aggregates have not yet been successful.


Communist Review despite difficulties continues to be published three times a year.
Two of the major problems relating to production and distribution appear to have been resolved.
The Journal was completely re-designed after the last congress by Mickhail Boncza who continues to produce the art work for the front cover. We are very greatful for his help. The layout and supervision of production has been expertly and efficiently undertaken by Birgitha Bates. Again our thanks are due to her unfailing good work and patience.

Distribution difficulties will always be a problem unless and until comrades take a more active role in selling the journal, persuading local bookshops and libraries to take copies or at the very least subscribing to it themselves. However, progress has been made in updating the subscription list and ensuring that subscribers recieve their copy. In addition copies have been sent to every Party branch and to our growing list of international contacts, as well as being supplied regularly to a number of radical and left-wing bookshops in London.

It should be noted that there is considerable interest in the journal in the international communist movement. This has been boosted by the fact that we endeavour to publish articles arising from International Communist seminars held in this country.

In terms of content our major weakness lies in the area of 'culture' and book review and we still experience difficulties in gaining adequate attendance at board meetings.


The 48th congress set the Party an ambitious programme of political education, including

  1. developing of a systematic programme of Marxist-Leninist education at basic intermediate and advanced levels
  2. developing the Communist University of Britain with contents reflecting the Party's programme strategy and recruitment policies
  3. regional / national Communist Universities
  4. mentoring for new recruits
  5. approaching the Morning Star for inclusion of a regular series of articles on Marxism
  6. working for enhanced political education by the trade union movement [who pay?- Ed]

Limited cadre resources and in particular the time taken up over General Election planning and campaigning in 2005 securely restricted what could be achieved.

At its September 2004 meeting the EC established a PECD subcommittee of Nick Wright, Simon Renton, Steve Silver, Anita Wright and Martin Levy, with other comrades including Young Communist League secretary G Little [we don't know his first name] to be invited for input on the Communist University of Britain. The committee met first in November 2004 and focused mainly on items 1, 2 and 4. Initial proposals ... were broadly endorsed by the EC. Thereafter in 2005 the main focus of Party educational work was on the Communist Party of Britain with extensive EC and PC [political committee?] discussions on speakers. The sub-committee met again in February 2006 and presented its proposals - particularly for the Communist University of Britain - to the March Executive Committee.

The 2004 Communist University of Britain held over the week-end October 28-30th at Ruskin House focused mainly on the Left Wing Programme, Speakers included

  • Randall Howard [said he was] Federal Secretary of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union,
  • Sitraram Yrchurim [said he was] International Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist),
  • Miguel Madeira, [who said he was] President of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY)
  • Eugene McCartan [who said he was] General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, and
  • Bruce Kent

Two hundred people attended over three days [many of them ringing the entry phone late at night to ask "where's the party?"], While this was a financial and political success helped in part by the coincidence with WFDY 60th anniversary celebrations [we were told] the Executive Committee recognised weaknesses in the inadequate advance planning that [other people] had done, poor party mobilisation in some districts, lack of speakers from the Trade Union movement, insufficient emphasis on the peace and anti-war movement and not enough women speakers or speakers reflecting black experience in Britain. [honestly - you just can't get the staff for free these days even if you take money out of union bank accounts, hire an office and sit in a monthly committee to judge them. And do you know: when we publish our opinions in newsletters, some people won't even pay us for them, let alone sell them - on to bookshops for us? These are people who call themselves our members. The committee acknowledges the enthusiasm for dance and other things that the World Federation of Democratic Youth showed, but found them un-focused in their political discussions and wrong on claiming to have paid "a tenner to join the Party": the colourful A5 membership cards they produced were not official membership cards sanctioned by the EC and we do not yet have receipt of those funds which will prove the university a success. Our membership records remain at 39 members. We urge comrades to be more vigilant and disciplined in future as it is obviously quite wrong to use the resources of one organisation for the purposes of another by the Imperialist tactic of divide-and-rule or Imperialist Entry-ism as our next Communist News will call it.]

A successful Communist University of Wales took place in November 2004. [we should remind comrades that the organiser's title is "general secretary", and the event called "Communist University of Wales". "MC of the Wales Party" as our correspondent described himself, is not a rank in the Communist Party of Britain]

In following -up the Communist University of Britain, the Executive Committee called for similar national or regional events in 2006 [in order to criticise them in newsletters later] to take forward the themes of the CUB. The London District designated its Spring 2006 educational series at the Marx Memorial Library as the Communist University of London, preliminary discussions have taken place about a Communist University of the North for later this yearm and the second Communist University of Wales is scheduled for the end of November 2006.

The November 2005 Executive Committee also decided that the CUB should be an annual event with this year's university scheduled for the weekend of November 3-5 2006.

In attempting to grapple with the problems of organising political education in a situation where many branches have low attendance at meetings [We know who you are. We are just waiting for you to own-up] and where there can be wide differences in educational level among those who do attend, the PECD sub-committee proposed that mentoring should apply to all comrades as far as possible. How this would operate in practice [to nutters] has not yet been worked-out, but the idea is that comrades assist each other by reading the same material and discussing it in a one-to-one situation. Comments and suggestions on this are invited via Communist News.

At its first meeting the PECD sub-committee drew up a framework for a structured education programme, proposing to produce materials into which selected extracts from Marxist-Leninist texts were integrated and discussed and with common themes permeating the different levels. Each level is intended to have both 'essential reading' and 'further reading'. The committee was particularly impressed by [something called a] CD-ROM received fro the Johannesburg Central Branch of the South Africa CP, At its second meeting however the committee concluded that three separate CD-ROMS were needed, corresponding to the different levels of the [Scientologists, and we asked volunteers to produce these CD-ROMS for us and the] programme. The second meeting also proposed a joint educational effort between the Party and the YCL, making use of the significant commentaries on Marxist topics being drawn up by the YCL.

As things currently stand it is proposed, subject to finance, to provide all new members with a 'welcome pack' consisting or the Introducing Marxism pamphlet, Britain's Road to Socialism, the Communist Manifesto, Wages, Price and Profit and a pamphlet setting out how the party functions. These are regarded as basic reading for all members [even those who join late at night]. The same materials should be put on a CD-ROM, together with Women and Class and 800 word introduction to Maxim and commentaries on topics for the intermediate level CD-ROM.

For the intermediate level, the PECD Subcommittee originally proposed six major topics; some, though not all of these, match the themes identified by the YCL, for which the commentaries and associated questions for discussion are being drawn-up. The plan however is to produce a CD-ROM including commentaries and key relevant pamphlets for the various themes and topics; key Communist Party Review articles grouped by themes; Morning ...


ROM including commentaries and key relevant pamphlets for the varying themes or topics; key Communist Review articles, grouped by themes [such as "why don't out volunteers obey us when we have taken money out of union bank accounts for the working class as a whole?"]; Morning Star reviews of significant published books; possibly, speakers notes from the CUB, and commentaries sign posting the way to the advanced level.

The third CD-ROM [as we are told it is called] will be based on the SACP production, including many classic Marxist-Leninist texts and more modern materials for a broad based political education. [we believe: it is not whether you can do your job but whether you can justify it]

The proposal of a series of articles on Marxism is currently being raised with the Morning Star. [their words were "listen: we are all out of a job if we don't sell papers. We'll consider articles on Marxism when we have time and call you back. Call us any time if you have an advertiser." so I suppose they will call me back] The feasibility of an archive of Communist Review articles on the party's web site is also "being investigated" [as their web designer told me].

Other educational work which has taken place since the last Congress includes: three central schools for new an prospective members; the General Election candidates and agents school in January 2005; and the industrial carde school for labour movement activists in February 2006. At an EC school in July 2005, Brian Denny spoke of Labour and Monopoly Capital in the EU and Martin Levy on Marxism and Popular Sovereignty [but I was more awed by the lights because they had loads of different colours and I thought that all the people of the world, if they could see lights like that, wouldn't need to struggle]


The economic committee was re-established in the Spring of 2005 as an EC advisory committee and by May 2006 had met six times and engaged in extensive e-mail exchanges, It has been chaired by Robert Griffeths and the secretary is Martin Graham [the man who is treasurer of Unite T&G Branch 1/1148 but doesn't believe a branch should provide a lawyer for a member, or, as he puts it "A trade union is not about legal insurance but solidarity" which is a very convenient belief because otherwise he might have guilty conscience about donating so much branch money to causes unknown outside of the Communist Party of Britain]

At its initial meeting the committee was re-established in the Spring of 2005 as an EC advisory committee and, by May 2006, had met six times and engaged in extensive email exchanges, It has been chaired by Robert Griffeths and the secretary is Martin Graham

At its initial meeting the committee agreed to give priority to economic research which would help promote the Party's Left Wing Programme. The following areas were agreed as priorities:

  • the state of Britain's manufacturing industry
  • pensions institutional investment and the role of the City of London
  • labour markets - the impact of deregulation and international movement of labour
  • capital controls

Responding to these prioritities, the committee republished Marx's Wages Price and Profit with a new forward by the Party General Secretary and published two discussion pamphlets by Gary Jones on Halting the Decline of Britain's Manufacturing Industry and The Future of Pensions.

The Executive Committee also undertook to monitor a wide range of journals with Marxist economic content and to ensure that the Party became aware of recent developments in continuing debate on value theory. Meetings are generally held at Party centre and comrades interested in attending and participating in the committee's work should contact Martin Graham via Party Centre [unless they are members of Unite T&G Branch 1/1148 where some money came from and there are some many complaints about the lawyer in which case please just melt away]


Following the re-establishment of a Communist Party History Group at last year's Communist University of Britain, Graham Stevenson and Mary Davis have taken the lead in a number of initiatives. [The number is Two] A regular series of articles on Party and labour movement history has begun in the Communist Review and the fist issue of an e-mail and website bulletin Our History was produced in May 2006. Further proposals will be submitted to the incoming EC, and comrades who wish to participate in the group should contact Graham Stevenson via Party Centre [or any of the organisations where he is doing his entryism and removing money paid for other causes].

Executive Committee May 2006


Discovering that my union was much worse than useless to members who had got the sack (and useless before: that's why I got the sack) I tried to find out more about it, how the union funds its lawyers and officials, and what I've been paying a hefty subscription for for more than a decade.

The answer is that the money goes in things like this page - endless donations to small parties and one big one in particular that are easier to suspect than to find acknowledged in accounts. Certainly the union branch accounts show donations to "Ruskin House" and about a dozen political causes which do not themselves have public accounts, so there's no way to check if they give commission. Two of them - Cuba Solidarity and Marx Memorial Library - are likely to be sympathetic to the Communist Party of Britain or open to entryism by its activists.

Part of the answer is that the branch - a committee with a big budget, no paid staff and little connection to union reps or any one employer - is full of political hobbyists. It doesn't matter whether they are the Labour Party hobbyists who control most parts of the union and basically steal my money, or the more exotic nostalgia people who like keeping the Communist Party of Britain gong, the obscure cab-trade only party which seems to control the cab trade branch, or web site called which asks for donations made out to "Friends of Tony Woodly". Even the National Executive Committee of the union, and the one it merged with, are selected in practive by internal political parties with a party whip, a party line, expulsions of whistleblowers and overwhelming help in becoming elected as a candidate. The Amicus party is called Gazette and the Transport and General ones have all been called Broad Left. The union rule book is democatic but the way courts interpret it is not and allows these bunches of hobbyists and fundraisters to take money out of the union bank account leaving only 66p per member per year for employment lawyers.

Some of my branch hobbyists quote their employer on the branch web site as "CPB" or "South East Regional TUC" and their names crop-up again on the report of a very small but well-funded party, based in an Georgian house where my union branch happens to "donate" money to their landlord. The party is also able to afford a state of the art leased printing machine. Like a private equity company, this organisation is surprisingly rich for a law-abiding group 37 paid-up members. I haven't checked-out their politics which don't look very interesting. After all, politics is doing things and not talking about them, and I don't want to know the opinions of people who raid a union bank account. I'm more interested in how they pay for their printing machine, how their favourite newspaper meets its massive losses and why their members join my union branch committee where they are so little interested in getting branch accounts to members, holding online ballots, trying to get employers to work better, or getting decent union lawyers. Likewise the regional branch secretary who doesn't even respond personally to complaints and fobs them off by pretending there are secret procedures of some illegal kind is a Labour Party hobbyist of a mainstream fashionable kind. His party central office also has a large turnover and plenty of paid staff, when my union branch had one regional offical allocated to them among others - a man who doesn't attend dismissal meetings or recognition agreement meetings and says he's too busy to read member's legal cases.

When donation scandles are reported in the media, it's assumed that commercial doners are getting something for themselves while union doners are getting something for their members. I think unions donate money to the labour party to preserve the status quo: to conceal the cruel feckless undemocratic mess they've got themselves into - a mess which would be illegal if they had proper contracts with their members and impossible if they had proper votes.

If a proper legal insurance scheme is ever set-up, this please tell this email address: Aardvark Mailing List does not show subscribers' addresses to list owners. Members can withdraw from the list easily

. foundation66 (formerly Rugby House ARP) advertising for employment lawyers & solicitors