Under Boris Johnson, the Tories are in a stronger position than ever to enforce the kind of anti-working class policies they have been pursuing since 2010', Liz Payne told the Communist Party's political committee on Wednesday evening (January 15).

She warned that austerity cuts would continue in the health, fire and other public services and in welfare benefits through the application of Universal Credit. Election pledges to invest in the NHS, education, policing and infrastructure would not be funded by taxes on the wealthy and big business - but by a heavier tax burden on working people, Ms Payne predicted.
'Voters who believed Johnson's populist promises will be bitterly disappointed', she reckoned, pointing to the government's refusal so far to honour the 'Dubs' pledge to accept unaccompanied refugee children as 'the first betrayal'.

'The new Tory majority in the House of Commons also threatens a renewed offensive against workers' rights', the Communist Party chair added, referring to plans signalled in the Queen's Speech to undermine industrial action in so-called 'essential' services.

She forecast that the definition of 'essential' will be widened to embrace many more occupations as new anti-union laws further strengthen the hands of employers and the state in industrial relations.

On the international front, Britain's Communists reiterated their opposition to the 'special relationship' between the British and US ruling classes which involves widespread American use of British military, intelligence and surveillance facilities.

Branding the US as the world's 'number one terrorist rogue state', which has bombed and invaded dozens of sovereign countries since 1945, the CP political committee said that the sooner Britain opts out of the US-NATO military alliance the safer will be its own and other peoples.

Ms Payne, who represents the British Peace Assembly on the World Peace Council, condemned the US assassination of Iran's supreme military commander Qassem Soleimani as a 'murderous provocation' which violated Iraq's sovereignty.

'US military forces have no progressive role to play in the struggle in Iraq and Iran for democratic rights and social justice and they should withdraw from the region as demanded by the peoples and parliaments of those and other countries', she insisted.

billyAfter the political committee meeting, CP general secretary Robert Griffiths attended a nearby celebration at the Marx Memorial Library of the life of Billy Strachan.

Mr Strachan came to Britain from Jamaica in 1940 at the age of 18, flew 33 RAF bombing missions against Nazi Germany, rose to the rank of flight lieutenant and fought fascism and the racist 'colour bar' as a CP member, lawyer and founder of the Caribbean Labour Congress until his death in 1998.

Mr Griffiths made a presentation to members of the Strachan family to mark the Communist Party of Britain's centenary this year.