|Volume 54 Number 2, February 10, 2024
In January, the Party held a social evening at the John Buckle Centre in London. John Buckle led RCPB(ML) from its founding in 1979 until his untimely death in 1983 at the young age of 34. The social evening was an opportunity for RCPB(ML) to affirm its line of march for 2024, and to share the friendship and comradeship of the Party's friends, supporters and circles. It included a toast given by General Secretary Michael Chant, looking forward to what 2024 has in store for the people's forces as they strive to bring about the deep-going transformations of society which are being demanded by history. In the toast, Michael Chant said:
One can consider 2024 as the year of John Buckle and the Party. John would have been 75, though it is hard to imagine. He was so youthful and such a vibrant character. But he devoted his whole existence to the revolution and working for a new society, a socialist society. So that is how we dedicate our work in this year 2024. John's birthday is in July, so we will see in due course how to mark the occasion.
Clearly the world is in turmoil. The people are in motion against the aggression and destructive activities and warmongering of the imperialist powers, and those that deny humanity counts. Clearly the people are in motion and the ruling elites are in crisis. Nevertheless, there is a role for the Party, and it is an indispensable role. given the intensification of crisis, aggression, militarism, and on the other hand the movements of the people demanding to speak in their own name and combat aggression.
One has to mention the mass actions on Palestine, which are showing that the world's people actually stand with Palestine and the Palestinian peoples, and this is against and in stark contrast to the stand and activities of the US-led imperialism, and the Israeli war of destruction and genocide, causing total devastation. One might say that this encapsulates the historic combat which is going on in the world at this time. At the same time, our line of march to a new socialist society also encapsulates the struggle, and this struggle is that of between the New and the Old, the New against the Old, the necessity for people's empowerment, and the necessity to leave the Old behind. As we say, our guide is that we have fidelity to the ensemble of human relations, and to what is being revealed by these indispensable relations, most importantly the need for political power. And that can be seen in the fact that the world's people are demonstrating every single day against Israeli genocide , for a ceasefire. And yet the imperialists and their allies are continuing their destruction.
It is important that as a Party we work with a plan: put simply, our plan for 2024 is to advance the work of the Party. This is in the context of the role of the Party in making conscious the line of march, that there is a future we can be optimistic about and presupposes that we are not just marking time, but making advances on the Party's fronts of work. This means building on our intervention in the political life of the country, as well as, as far as the Party goes, to further professionalise the fronts of work that the Party takes up, further strengthening its revolutionary practice while strengthening the Party according to its norms, its democratic centralism, the forms of the Party which safeguard and encapsulate its content. The Party has its programme which deals with the problems of society and how to join the streams of all the fronts of work into a torrent to lead society out of the crisis, which is how we ended up our general line, published in 1994, that these torrents should be united into one kind of mighty flow that will sweep reaction, the ruling elites away. Our practical programme is summed up in Stop Paying the Rich, Increase Investments in Social Programmes. This still guides our day-to-day struggles, our fighting call, our draft programme for the class.
Within this, I want to draw attention to a couple of things. One is the crucial role of modern definitions in our work. And what this means in a nutshell is the necessity to settle scores with the old conscience of society. And there is the issue of the mechanisms for discussion amongst the people. And these mechanisms are necessary so that particularly the working class can share their experiences and work out their own positions. So these are topics for discussion within the Party for implementation in its work.
On the theoretical front, the Party will continue building on its analysis which was put forward particularly since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and particularly during the coronation, last year 2023, opposing the thesis of handing over our name to representatives, the necessity for this Covenant Thesis to be superseded by mechanisms for empowerment, where people can speak in their own name, and have decision-making power themselves.
The context for our work of course is in Britain particularly the defiance of the mass of the workers, their stand that Enough is Enough, and implicit in this is that the people must lay their claims on society. For instance, this can be made conscious in various activities, strikes and so on. So we bring out the problems that can be solved by the working people, the necessity for a change in direction of the economy, the necessity to safeguard the future of the health service, and similarly with education and other social programmes. We highlight also the struggles to defend the rights of the people, what can be called the battle for democracy, for the rights of all, including migrants, against all the legislation against the people's rights. Of course, in the news recently is the outlandish Rwanda Act. There is also the Public Order Act, and there is this motion against the legislation against the right to strike, in the sense that the government has put forward this Minim um Service Level Act in various public services and the workers' movement is determined to nullify this legislation. And also a front of work that the Party is taking up and is developing, and has been taking up and is making advances is that against war and aggression which the ruling elites are undertaking in essence to destroy the immense productive forces of today. Our overall battle is onward towards an Anti-War Government, which is a government which is clearly anti-war but has a modern democratic personality, in opposition to rule by police powers and the executive, and this can be called the battle of democracy, that is against the old forms and content and for the new.
So it looks like this is very exciting in 2024 because it will be very likely an election year. And this gives us the opportunity to intervene in elaborating these positions, and calling for and fighting for the people's empowerment in the context of this election.
I want to mention our journalism which is crucial for all this work. In 2024 we will bear in mind also the slogan that we have had from 1997, which is to improve the content and extend the readership of our journalism, of our Workers' Weekly. The practical implications of this are to increase the subscription to the email editions, and make sure that Workers' Weekly lives up to its name, in other words, that it is weekly, and our views are the views of the working class! And on all these fronts to further professionalise and hitting at where to intervene in the movements of the working class and people. These are two guidelines for the journalism work.
The Party aims also in 2024 to pay further attention to student work, particularly around the need for democratic renewal and that the youth take this up as their mission.
Furthermore, there is our proletarian internationalism, our friendship and standing as one with the struggles of the people throughout the world to bring about or to consolidate their revolutions.
As we said in paying tribute to John Buckle in this year, RCPB(ML) calls on everyone to channel the human power which is without limitations so as to bring the reactionary forces of the ruling circles under control!
This is a really important guideline, and this in fact can be seen to be the kernel of the struggles of the people in 2024, to express and have confidence in this human power, whatever the ruling elites who reduce the people to things to serve their factional and vested interests will try and throw at the people's forces. And we hope to bring out this essence in our work.
The fact is that profound transformations are being demanded by history to overcome the block to the progress of society. The Party has always accepted to take on this challenge from its earliest days, and particularly since the 3rd Congress of the Party in 1999. The strengthening of the Party is and always has been the key step. It is crucial at this historical juncture.
2024 will see the Party working to advance its work on all fronts to bring these transformations about, and inspired by the example of John Buckle, who dedicated his whole existence to this work, to break through what is obstructing these mighty movements of the people with their torrents from becoming the ocean, from constituting a revolutionary transformation of society, from being the future. As we say, every step is a victory!
So, to conclude, best wishes and success to everyone in 2024, as everyone stands in their place in advancing this work!
Long Live RCPB(ML)! Success in 2024!