The left and labour movement in Britain are urgently in need of a return to 'class politics', according to Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths.
He told the party's political committee on Wednesday evening that subjective and impressionistic views were in danger of misleading socialists and trade unionists to the benefit of big business and the far right. In particular, he cited the warm response given in some quarters to a recent address delivered by Bank of England governor Mark Carney and the support of trade unions and Labour MPs to Britain's continued membership of the Single European Market.
'Mr Carney represents the interests of finance monopoly capital centred on the City of London, not those of workers whose real pay is lower that a decade ago', Mr Griffiths pointed out. 'He fully supports monetarist policies, including austerity cuts and bailouts for the bankers and speculators - but now he's worried that working class victims of capitalist globalisation and neoliberalism are turning against so-called free markets'.
Mr Griffiths pointed to the Long Term Asset Return Study published recently by the Deutsche Bank, which shows how workers in the advanced capitalist economies have been the biggest losers in the globalised labour market. The report also calls for greater political and economic intergration in the EU. 'Everywhere, the ruling capitalist class is gearing up for a new, prolonged struggle to intensify the exploitation of flexible workers and defeat trade unions in order to seize the productivity gains', the CP leader argued.
Britain's communists called for a working class response including a coordinated wages offensive in both the private and public sectors.
'In particular, the labour movement should reject membership of - although not access to - the Single European Market which outlaws many of the policies necessary to plan the economy, regulate the labour market, rescue strategic industries and extend public ownership', Mr Griffiths insisted. And he warned that by not taking class-based positions against pro-EU monopoly capital, questions of immigration and the
EU would be used by the far right to weaken and split working class unity.