Robert Griffiths is general secretary of the CP.  This extended feature  is based on his  report to last weekend’s meeting of the CP executive committee. In it Robert asserts that it is lack of political direction, which proved to be the undoing of Labour. And politcs remains the way in which workers can dig their way out of the mess they are now in.

The re-election of a Tory government means that the ruling class offensive will now be stepped up on every front, to concentrate yet more wealth and power in the hands of monopoly capital centred in the City of London.
The Tories will continue attacking the welfare benefits of the working poor, the unemployed, the sick and the disabled. Public services will be further slashed or privatised as many more “free schools” destroy whole swathes of local authority and comprehensive education across England.
Local government funding will be sliced to the bone, except where councils take the George Osborne shilling and hand over their collective decision-making powers to an all-powerful mayor whose election can be more easily influenced by the right-wing gutter press.
An all-round attack on democratic rights is intended to make “Britain plc” a wholly owned and controlled subsidiary of City of London banks, hedge funds and private equity capitalists.
While the Communist Party sees nothing progressive in religious fundamentalism of any kind, we don’t trust the Tories not to turn sweeping new “anti-subversion” and “anti-terrorism” powers against those who, like us, fight for the overthrow of capitalism by the mass of the people.
The British state has all the powers necessary to deal with those who pursue their religious or political objectives through the mass murder of innocent civilians.
Indeed, all too often it is the people who need protection against the arbitrary and oppressive use of state power.
That’s why the Human Rights Act should be defended against Tory plans to replace it with a Bill of Rights which will contain anti-progressive provisions reflecting the political balance of forces in Tory Britain today, rather than when the Council of Europe drew up its framework, the European Convention on Human Rights following the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Another anti-democratic policy of this Tory government will be to restrict employment rights still further, making it easier for employers to sack workers and to break strikes with agency labour. Additional anti-trade union laws will impose extra shackles on the right to strike, introducing thresholds that could make industrial action supported by a clear majority of workers in, say, a 70 per cent turnout, illegal.
Eleven members of the new Cabinet failed to win the support of at least 40 per cent of the electorate, including Business Secretary Sajid Javid, who proclaimed his anti-worker agenda on the very morning that Prime Minister Cameron claimed that the Conservatives were “the real party of working people.”
That, of course, was a bit rich coming from the leader of the party of the bankers, spivs, speculators, tax dodgers, landowners and landlords.
Which raises the question: how could such a party win a general election, especially after five years of anti-working class austerity and privatisation?
In England and in Britain as a whole, Labour’s share of the vote increased by twice as much as the Tory share. Yes, Labour’s share of the poll actually went up from 2010.
But Cameron & Co gained enough seats to form an overall majority because, first, Labour mostly did best in English and Welsh seats that it already controlled; second, Ukip and Green Party advances occurred in key marginal seats that Labour needed to win — but where working-class electors have turned away from a Labour Party that does not clearly represent their fundamental interests; third, the Tories enjoyed most of the swing in English seats previously held by the Lib Dems; and fourth, the SNP trounced Labour in Scotland.
No system of proportional representation would have prevented the return of a right-wing government on May 7, much though the Communist Party would like to see a Single Transferable Vote in multi-member constituencies, which combines fair representation with local accountability (especially if electors have the right to recall their MP).
A more significant factor in Labour’s defeat was that 43 per cent of adults in Britain chose either not to vote or not to register at all — most of them working class, young, unemployed, immigrants and/or in rented accommodation.
Certainly, there is no evidence that Labour’s policies to tax the rich and the banks, freeze energy prices, lift the minimum wage and abolish zero-hours contracts repulsed large numbers of electors. Although anti-immigration sentiment was a factor in Labour losing votes to Ukip and the Tories, this was less important to voters than health, the economy and education.
On health and education, Labour’s attack was blunted by the fact that previous Labour governments had championed marketisation, foundation hospitals, PFI and city academies.
On the economy, Labour’s failure over years to campaign against the banks, tax havens, “quantitative easing” and austerity in favour of public services, selective public ownership and a rebalanced modern economy allowed the Tories and mass media to pin the unwarranted label of business-hating incompetence on Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.
In Scotland, the decision by the majority of Labour parliamentarians and party members to elect Trident-lovin’, cuts-lovin’, devo-hatin’ Jim Murphy as their leader proved a gift to the SNP. Subsequently, the prospect of a minority Labour government depending on nationalist MPs was used to stampede English voters into Tory arms.
Labour’s only hope of a revival in Scotland — as in England and Wales — is a decisive turn to popular left and progressive policies on major economic, social, environmental and international questions.
This must include coming out clearly in favour of a federal Britain, based on equal status between its constituent nations; powerful, directly elected regional assemblies in England where demand exists; and policies to redistribute wealth from the monopoly capitalist class to all the regions and nations of Britain.
The Communist Party rejects the notion that five years of rhetorical opposition to Tory policies, combined with a superficial makeover in presentation or a turn to the right, will deliver a Labour victory in 2020.
It will not — especially after the Tories preside over a change in electoral boundaries that could cost Labour at least 20 seats.
Instead of such parliamentary fatalism the objective should be to drive this government out of office and so spare millions of people a full five years of misery.
This is not an impossible prospect. Britain’s economic recovery is fragile, based on debt and inflated values, dogged by low investment, low productivity and high imports.
Tory divisions over the EU will come to the fore as a referendum approaches. However, Labour will only be able to take full advantage of these divisions if it has switched to supporting popular sovereignty and so doesn’t side with the Tory government, the City and big business in backing Britain’s membership of the anti-democratic, monopoly capitalist and militarist EU.
In the meantime, the general election has clarified the strategic perspectives and tasks facing the labour and progressive movements across Britain.
First and foremost, working-class organisation needs to be rebuilt in workplaces and local communities and among the unemployed and housing tenants.
Workers and the trades unions must be won to a united campaign against anti-trade union laws, being prepared when necessary to take unofficial action in order to expose and frustrate ruling class and Tory strategy.
The People’s Assembly should be developed at every level and in every part of Britain as a broad-based militant mass movement against austerity and privatisation, for the left and progressive alternative set out in the People’s Manifesto, with the trade union movement playing a central and leading role in its organisation and activities.
Based on its extensive trade union support, the National Assembly of Women should be built at local, regional and national levels to draw many more women into the fight against welfare cuts, privatisation and nuclear weapons, and in support of decent benefits, public services, the NHS and peace.
CND should be reinvigorated as a vital part of the campaign to halt the renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons system. A relaunched British Peace Assembly will help infuse the peace movement with an essential anti-imperialist outlook.
Socialists, Communists and trade unionists and their organisations must urgently begin constructing a coalition to project the democratic, working class and internationalist case against the EU, and for British withdrawal, in preparation for the referendum.
As never before, the labour movement must fight to reclaim the Labour Party so that its policies represent the interests of the working class and people generally. Failing progress by next year’s Labour conference, unions should consider how to re-establish a genuine mass party of labour.
The formation of a distinct trade union party, affiliated to Labour at least initially, could help achieve either of these aims.
Last but not least, we need more support for the Morning Star in the trade unions, on the left and in the People’s Assembly, helping the paper in its heroic efforts to inform, inspire and mobilise people for the battles ahead.