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Year 2001 No. 118, July 9, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

Join the Work to Build the Workers’ Opposition!

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Join the Work to Build the Workers’ Opposition!

London Political Forum:
Meeting against the Anti-Social Offensive in Education

Workers and Politics:
The Work to Build the London Political Forum
Rally in Support of Sacked Dynamex Friction Workers

Rewarding and Uplifting - Cornelius Cardew Recital

Letter to Kim Jong Il, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, from the CC of RCPB(ML), on the 7th Anniversary of the Passing of President Kim Il Sung

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Join the Work to Build the Workers’ Opposition!

As already announced, the Central Committee of RCPB(ML) is to organise a National Consultative Forum. The date of this NCF, the second which the Party has organised in the recent period, is Sunday, September 16. Its aim is to present to the Party membership and its circles the summing up of the significance of the election and the Party’s participation in it, paying special attention to what it means to build the Workers’ Opposition. The 2nd NCF will involve the Party membership and its circles in deliberating on the coming work of the Party on this basis. Everyone concerned with joining the work to build the Workers’ Opposition is invited to attend.

For further details and to apply for credentials to attend the 2nd National Consultative Forum, contact the National Office of RCPB(ML) at 170 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2LA, telephone 020 7627 0599, e-mail: office@rcpbml.org.uk

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London Political Forum:

Meeting against the Anti-Social Offensive in Education

As part of its work to continue to organise for the alternative to the party-dominated system of government, and to build the Workers’ Opposition to the "Third Way", the London Region of RCPB(ML) is continuing to hold its monthly series of meetings of the London Political Forum. The Forum aims to raise the level of political discussion and strengthen the coherence of the forces determined to stop the "Third Way" programme of New Labour being carried through.

The meeting for July, entitled "Excellence and Diversity" is another name for Elitism and Inequality, is being held on Wednesday, July 25, 7.30 pm sharp, at Marx House, Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU. The nearest tube is Farringdon.

In a flyer for the meeting, London Region RCPB(ML) points out that instead of being provided as a right, at the highest level and free to all, education is being geared to the needs of the economy, to making business successful in the global market and providing a means of profit through privatisation. There is chronic underfunding in all sectors of the education system, and rather than the "excellence and diversity" proclaimed by the government, there is growing elitism and inequality. This next meeting of the London Political Forum will focus on the offensive against education and discuss how the problems in the education system can be solved. Speakers for the meeting are to be announced.

All comers are welcome to attend and are invited to participate in the political discussion.

Article Index

———Workers and Politics ———

The Work to Build the London Political Forum

The Communiqué of the 7th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party has set out important guidelines for summing up the work of the recent period which involved the Party and all its activists participating in a planned way in the election campaign and in the political life of the country.

This work of the Party was undertaken with the perspective of planting the alternative in Britain to the domination of the political system by the big parties and to creating the conditions for worker politicians to emerge from the ranks of the workers themselves. This work was also carried out with the perspective of building the workers’ opposition to the whole "Third Way" programme of the Labour Party and the agenda of making the monopolies successful in the global market.

The London Region of the Party, in line with the overall orientation of the Party decided by the 6th National Consultative Conference, established the weekly meetings of the London Political Forum. The Forum aimed to raise the level of political discussion in London, strengthen the coherence of the forces in the capital opposed to the "Third Way", and discuss the alternative to the party-dominated system of government. The Party in the London Region has already summed up this work as a positive development. However, as the Communiqué points out, the question is now how to build on this work in the region, how to build the workers opposition in the situation where the people have demonstrated their disaffection with representative democracy and the alternative must take root, but also at a time when the Labour government has stepped up its attacks and on the people.

The Communiqué stresses that one of the key considerations in developing this work is by developing the links and ties that have been fostered in the election period, strengthening the Party’s work to participate in the overall political life of the country and finding the means to develop the conception of worker politicians and enable such worker politicians to come forward.

In the London Region work has begun, through the London Political Forum and through other means, to deepen the discussion on such issues as safeguarding the future of the NHS, opposing the anti-social offensive against education, on the struggles of the youth and national minority communities and on other issues. It has encouraged those with practical experience of these struggles, including those who participated in the election as candidates of the alternative, to share their experiences and elaborate their views, so that all those who participate in the Forum can find their way towards a converging point. In the course of this work, through the London Political Forum, the Party in the London Region has begun to take steps to build the unity, on the new historical basis, of all those forces opposed to the "Third Way" programme.

The task now is to consolidate the advances, to make sure that all the activists in the region recognise the significance of this work, which constitutes an important part of the work of building the workers’ opposition, and can develop it in a stepwise manner. What is of importance is that all the activists participate in elaborating the plans for the further development of the work in the region, take responsibility for implementing the decisions in practice and steadily build the London Political Forum.

London Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press

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Rally in Support of Sacked Dynamex Friction Workers

Over a thousand people marched through the streets of Caernarfon on Saturday in support of the sacked Dynamex Friction workers.

A brass band led the marchers through the town, organised by the TGWU as a mark of solidarity with the struggle of the 87 workers sacked after they had been on strike for eight weeks. The workers were dismissed by Friction Dynamics’ American boss, Craig Smith, as they persisted in their struggle over pay and working conditions. The workers had been locked out of the plant, and they became the first workers to be fired after the statutory eight weeks specified by the new Employment Relations Act 1999.

Workers’ representatives at Caernarfon have pointed out that this shows that the Act offers no protection to workers.

The organiser of the march, Tom Jones of the T&G union, said that the whole matter is in the hands of lawyers and that legal action again could be taken against Craig Smith.

Representing the spirit of the sacked workers, Gerald Parry, one of their number, said that a stand had to be made against a company owner who was treating the workers in the manner of bosses of the Victorian era.

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Rewarding and Uplifting

Cornelius Cardew Recital

John Tilbury

Wednesday, July 4

Those that made the journey to Yeovil – whether from London, Cardiff, Bristol, Portsmouth, Cornwall, and no doubt other starting points – to join fellow music-lovers of the Somerset town at the Octagon Theatre were well rewarded for their efforts. John Tilbury gave an uplifting recital of piano music composed by Cornelius Cardew and three of his pupils or younger associates.

John Tilbury is an ardent champion of Cardew’s music, and Tilbury’s commitment and refinement were evident in the choice of programme and its execution. The works performed extended from the early Material of 1964 to the outstandingly beautiful Boolavogue of 1981, the year Cornelius was so tragically killed at the age of 45. The third movement of this last piece was performed in John Tilbury’s own arrangement for solo piano of the piano duo original, and was exceptionally successful in capturing the spirit and drive of the more complex two-piano version, also putting the work within the range of the solo performer. Cardew himself was never averse to such arrangements.

In short introductions to each group of pieces, John Tilbury put the music in context, bringing out the political commitment of the composer in the last ten years of his abruptly shortened life. These introductions brought home in just a few words that Cornelius Cardew composed his music as a political activist and as a contribution to the movement of the working class and people for emancipation. From the Bethanian Song, a piano reworking of a song written by Cardew for a campaign to keep open a hospital in Germany where he was then resident, through Croppy Boy and Father Murphy, utilising Irish patriotic songs in music which embodies the Irish people’s struggle for national self-determination, to Boolavogue, which also expresses the internationalism and militant struggles of the British workers, the first half of the concert explored the moving expression of the composer’s progressive and communist stand. It was clear that Cornelius Cardew had opened a door which it is up to musicians of today to pass through. Tilbury’s playing is also a persuasive advocate of the musicianship behind the earlier avant-garde pieces.

The second part of the concert was devoted to the music of Howard Skempton, Michael Parsons and Dave Smith. These works too embodied a progressive spirit and undoubted musicianship. The last piece in the programme, Cornelius by Dave Smith, skilfully combines such song compositions of Cardew as We Sing for the Future and The Party’s First Congress in a deeply felt and stirring tribute.

The last 20 minutes or so of the evening were given over to audience discussion and questions of John Tilbury. What shone through was that the music of Cornelius Cardew had won everyone over with its beauty, optimism and political commitment. Within this, contributions were made which highlighted Cornelius’ consistent determination for his deeds to match his words, which was one of his defining characteristics throughout his life. It was also pointed out that he lived his last years both as a political person, a communist, and as a musician, a composer. Other contributions drew attention to how, once an artist makes a progressive political commitment, their works are on the whole shunned by the establishment. This fate Cornelius Cardew shares with other socialist artists, writers and composers. It was therefore to the great credit of the organisers of the concert – Yeovil Area Advocates (YAA) – that they presented the audience an all-too-rare chance to appreciate the music of Cornelius and his friends and pupils.

This spirit was summed up in the final contribution to the discussion, which urged John Tilbury to let the audience hear more of this beautiful music. The pianist obliged with the work dedicated by Howard Skempton to Cardew’s memory, Well, Well, Cornelius, which provided the most fitting end to the concert.

The friendly and uplifting atmosphere of the recital had been enhanced by a photographic portrait of Cornelius Cardew to the right of the platform, set off by pots of red flowers, and by the bright banner above the stage which read: Thank you, Cornelius, for all your work in support of the working and oppressed people!

Old and new friends had greeted each other before the concert, and a bookstall had been provided which included, amongst other items, CDs and cassettes of Cornelius’ music. All left with the inspiration to take forward this moment and build on it.

Yeovil Area Advocates organised the concert on the 7th Anniversary of the start of their formal advocacy work in the area, especially for the mentally distressed. The concert was videoed, and copies will be available from: YAA, Penn House, Penn Hill, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1SF (price £12.00 inc p&p). Cornelius Cardew Piano Music (CD £10, Cas £6 + p&p £1.50) is available from 029 20342329. A website for further information is http://www.musicnow.co.uk/cardew

On Saturday, December 29, 2001, Musicnow is organising a Cornelius Cardew Day of music at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London.

Article Index

Letter to Kim Jong Il, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, from the CC of RCPB(ML), on the 7th Anniversary of the Passing of President Kim Il Sung

July 8, 2001 (Juche 90)

Dear Comrade Kim Jong Il,

On the occasion of the 7th anniversary of the passing of President Kim Il Sung, we should like to send to you personally, to the Central Committee and the entire Party, and to the Korean people, our deepest respects for his memory and our profound good wishes in the continuing implementation of his immortal idea.

Although it is seven years since his passing, he is still alive in the hearts of not only the Korean people but also the progressive people of the whole world. It was President Kim Il Sung who, still in his teenage years and in the bitter days of exile, formulated the principles and political line which would lead to the liberation of the country from the cruel Japanese colonialism, defend the independence and sovereignty of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea against the savage US-led imperialist onslaught of 1950-53 and subsequent unceasing imperialist pressures, build socialism and lay down the guidelines for the sacred goal of the reunification of the homeland. Every success of the heroic Korean people was and continues to be due to his Juche idea and his historic exploits. He will always be hailed at home and abroad as the great leader and the "sun of the nation".

Now, having made last year a historic advance towards reunification following the guidelines of the great leader and under your wise leadership, not only progress towards reunification but the very security of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea faces a new challenge with the renewed bellicose and reactionary stand of the Bush administration, shamefully backed by our own government. We have no doubt however that, as ever loyal to the ideology, the line and the policies of President Kim Il Sung and under your leadership, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the entire Korean people will weather this storm as they have all the great storms of the past.

Once again, our deepest respects to the memory of President Kim Il Sung, our sincere sentiments of solidarity in our common cause, and our profound good wishes for your own good health and success in your great tasks.

With warmest regards,

Chris Coleman

National Spokesperson Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

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