|Year 2009 No. 71, November 2, 2009||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBBOOKS||SUBSCRIBE|
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Party activists and democratic people are responding to the necessity to step up the work to discuss the programme for political renewal and for an anti-war government by organising or participating in political forums. This crucial work, part of the work whereby people are empowered to give voice to their concerns and to discuss the way forward, is a vital step in developing a programme to block the retrogression being imposed by the ruling elite in the service of monopoly capital and to open up society’s path to progress.
The Party is working to spearhead the work to give consciousness and organisation to the working class and people, so that their concerns are turned into a material force to resolve the serious problems facing the society and chart a way out of the crisis, of which war and economic meltdown are brutal manifestations. In so doing, RCPB(ML) is acutely aware of the necessity to raise the level of political culture as a priority, and empower the people to arm themselves with a perspective and programme to tackle the twin evils of pro-war government and so-called “representative democracy”.
The forums in which Party activists are participating, and which they encourage fostering throughout society, are giving the working class and people the opportunity to discuss where to begin and how to occupy the space for change. The calls for the election of an anti-war government and for the democratic renewal of the political systems and institutions are taking root amongst the people by these and other means.
Below WDIE is posting reports of two forums which are geared to providing serious discussion amongst the people with a view to contributing to turning things around.
With the aim of raising the level of discourse on the alternative to the party-dominated system of government that keeps people from political power, RCPB(ML) is organising a new series of political forums in Oxford on the necessity for democratic renewal. The series was initiated on October 22 with a discussion on: "The expenses scandal: Privilege and the prestige of politics".
As the publicity for the first forum explained, the recent scandal over MPs’ fraudulent expenses claims has thrown the archaic nature of parliamentary democracy into sharp relief and has contributed to the crisis of a system where MPs in general are being seen to have failed to represent the electorate. At the same time, the media whipped up a kind of feeding frenzy in order to denigrate politics as a whole and raise the spectre of "extremist parties", to consolidate the parties in power.
The lively forum discussed how to change the situation in a way that favours the people. The position presented for discussion was that the system of representative democracy as it exists is the essence of fraud and corruption and that the system which brings establishment parties to power has had its day and must go.
The next meeting, entitled "The need for an anti-war government", will take place on November 13, to be followed a week later by a discussion on "The archaic nature of Westminster democracy". Future forums will cover: the role of political parties; rights and a modern constitution, and democratic renewal of the political process. Invited speakers will share their experiences and all are welcome to participate in the discussion. Contact the National Office of RCPB(ML) for further details.
On October 20, South Tyneside Stop the War Coalition held a Forum in South Tyneside entitled: “Bring the Troops Home! Block the Plans for Another Pro-War Government!” The Forum was held in the run-up to the national demonstration to demand that the troops get out of Afghanistan, recognising the importance to participate in a conscious manner and discuss the issues arising from the eight-year-old invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. But equally, it was also an opportunity to continue the discussion on making plans to block another pro-war government from coming to power, and to put an end to the catalogue of aggressive wars launched by the British ruling circles in alliance with the US. Whilst this was still very much work in progress, the programme for an anti-war government is an immediate demand with the likely General Election coming next year.
The Forum highlighted how life itself is demanding a solution and an alternative. People are being killed and maimed in Afghanistan – both the hundreds of thousands of Afghans and the hundreds of British and other soldiers killed in this brutal occupation. People are drawing their own conclusions despite the disinformation and propaganda for the war by government and media alike. It is a fact that in a local area of South Tyneside – Hebburn – the local newspaper had commented that it could not find anyone to interview who was in favour of the war in Afghanistan! All of the propaganda and lies that the war is to protect the British people from terrorism, or to give democracy and provide security in the Afghan election, are becoming more and more exposed. Poor communities in Britain, where recruitment of soldiers is high because in many cases the youth see no alternative future, are being asked to give their sons and daughters to impose by military means the same kind of “democracy” in Afghanistan that had disempowered them and left them without jobs in Britain and is refusing to recognise their right to a livelihood and a viable future.
The Forum addressed these questions and especially the question of the anti-war programme to disentangle the British state from NATO and other pro-war alliances, to disempower the generals and war industry lobby and bring the troops home from foreign soil everywhere. There was the question of supporting all those candidates in the General Election that take a stand against the war, and even more crucially the vital importance of the anti-war movement giving rise to its own anti-war candidates that uphold the anti-war agenda and the demand for an anti-war government at a political level right at the centre of British politics.
The South Tyneside Stop the War Coalition Discussion Forum is one of many forums and discussions being held throughout the country to contribute to the internal consolidation of this organised and powerful anti-war movement which was reflected in the strength of the 10,000-strong demonstration that took place on October 24 in London.
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