The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

The Communist party

Category: Politics

The Communist party was the first political party based on socialism directly voicing the real interests of the working class and the true interests of the vast majority of the nation.

The Communist Party of Great Britian was founded on July 31 — August 1, 1920 on the basis of amalgamated socialist organizations (the left wing of the British Socialist party and of other socialist organizations). The party was formed in the years of upsurge of the working-class movement, dissemination of Marxist ideas and under the direct influence of the Great October Socialist revolution in Russia. In 1920 it joined the Comintern. The Communist party played a decisive role in the ‘Hands off Russia’ movement which developed in Britain in defence of the October revolution and the first socialist state.

The defence of the working people’s interests has always been in the focus of attention of British communists. The record of struggle of the British Communist party against the employers, the Conservatives, fascism, colonial oppression and war is a proud page of British labour history.

The Communist party was in the forefront of struggle of the working class in the twenties against the capitalists and in the General Strike of 1926. It played the leading part in the organization and struggle of the unemployed in the .thirties during the Great Depression of 1929—33. The Communist party organized vigorous protest condemning the government’s policy of collusion with the fascist aggressors, it was the inspiring force of a broad antifascist movement (the British batallion of the International Brigade in Spain fought against the fascists).

Throughout its whole existence the Communist party has campaigned for the unity of the British workers and the colonial peoples in the struggle against imperialism.

During the Second World War the Communist party fought for the unity of the British people in the struggle to defeat fascism. Much was done for the earliest opening of the second front. The selfless struggle of the British communists against fascism won them many friends among the working people and enhanced the role of the Communist party.

Following the Second World War, the Communist party offered a three-year plan of the development of the British economy aimed against the dominance of monopolies and suggesting nationalization and technical modernization of the leading branches of the economy. The Communists warned against the Government’s foreign policies of the cold war, against subservience to the USA, restrictions on East-West trade, the arms race, etc.

The activities of the British Communist party are based on the programme ‘Britain’s Road to Socialism’ adopted at the 35th Congress of the party in November 1977. The draft programme was first published in 1951. It makes provision for building socialism by means of using the traditional institutions of parliamentary democracy by winning majority in Parliament with a broad democratic alliance under the leadership of the working class.

Today the British communists are in the forefront of struggle of the working class against the onslaught of the government and the monopolies. British communists are peace champions, they are ardent advocates of friendship with the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. The British communists are actively protesting against the policy of the arms race, they support the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) treaty signed by the Soviet Union and the USA in December 1987 and demand that the government should scrap its programme of rearming the nuclear-powered submarines with the Trident system, which will cost the British people more than 10 billion pounds, as well as other costly plans of modernization of British nuclear forces.

The BCP is based on the principles of democratic centralism. The local party organizations form the basis of the party. The supreme organ of the party is the congress convened once in two years. The congress elects the executive committee, which in its turn elects the Political Committee (The Politburo) and the general secretary. The 41st Congress of the BCP held in December 1989 emphasized the necessity of unity of all the left forces in the country.

The main publications of the BCP are Marxism Today and News and Views. The Morning Star is the daily newspaper of the British communists and of all those progressive people who support the struggle of the communists for peace and socialism in Britain.

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