WORKERS' WEEKLY Vol. 28, No. 33, Special Issue December 12-19, 1998

Newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA. Phone 0171 627 0599,

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Advancing Towards the Third Congress

The Proceedings of the Second National Consultative Conference of 1998



Sandra Smith, First Secretary, Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India

Rod Eley, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)

Hugh Stephens, Communist Organisation of Britain

Written Message from Keith Bennett

Letter to Editor Congratulations on the Success of the National Consultative Conference 10 December 1998

Vote in Favour of Rover Deal: The Issue Remains for Workers to Develop their Independent Politics

Oppose the Building of the EU as a Military Power!

POST OFFICE REVIEW: Restructuring to Pay the Rich

The KPA Will Answer the Challenge of US Aggressors with an Annihilating Blow

Letter from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea


Advancing Towards the Third Congress

RCPB(ML) successfully held its Second National Consultative Conference of 1998 in London on the weekend of November 28-29. It was held in a spirit of great enthusiasm and vigorous participation by the activists, friends and invited guests of the Party. It fulfilled its aim of being a stepping-stone to the Party's Third Congress to be held by the time of the 20th anniversary of the Party in March 1999.

Chris Coleman opening the National Consultative Conference

The proceedings of the National Consultative Conference constituted a marked advance in the work leading to the Third Congress which was initiated at the Party's First National Consultative Conference of 1998, held in July, but not a qualitative change in this work. The November Conference gave an impetus to the work, suggested new tasks in this work, but the overall thrust of the work initiated in July remains the same. Its focus, however, has been sharpened through the work done for the Conference and through the deliberations and resolutions of the Conference. The victory of the November Consultative Conference was felt in that the advance in the four months since July was so marked, and the positions elaborated and the discussions on them were so authoritative.

The November Conference increased the confidence of all the participants in pressing on along the line of march which has been set. It gave pride of place both to the youth and to women, as well as emphasising the leading role of the working class. The Conference emphasised the importance and integral role of Workers' Weekly in the entire work of the Party and that the advance of the Party depends on and in turn is mirrored by the advance of the Party press. It underlined the role of the Party's newspaper as the organiser, without which the life of the Party is inconceivable.

The Consultative Conference resolved that the Party apply the same consistent and step-wise method as it has followed in the 1998 Conferences and in the work in preparing for them to the coming work in preparation for the Third Congress and in the Congress itself.

The whole of the proceedings of the National Consultative Conference were dedicated to the memory of John Buckle, General Secretary of RCPB(ML) from its re-founding in 1979 to his untimely and premature death in 1983. It was the 15th anniversary of his death on November 27. The Conference was pledged to carry forward his work with honour.

The deliberations of the Consultative Conference marked a decisive stage in the consideration of the themes and agenda of the Third Congress, which aims to put the Party in a strong position to enter the 21st century and open historic vistas to the building of a new socialist society in Britain as the new millennium is ushered in.

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The Proceedings of the Second National Consultative Conference of 1998

OPENING THE CONFERENCE, Chris Coleman, on behalf of the Central Committee of RCPB(ML), warmly welcomed all the participants.

Singing of the Internationale at the end of the National Consultative Conference

He stated that it was his honour to dedicate the conference to the memory of John Buckle, General Secretary of the Party at the time of his tragic death, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Comrade John's passing. He informed the Conference that on the morning of the anniversary, November 27, a delegation of the Party visited his grave and laid plants and flowers. Comrade John, he said, remains an inspiration to us, and to dedicate the conference to his memory and march on with our work is the best possible tribute we could pay to him. He introduced communist author John Maharg to read the poem he composed at the time of John Buckle's death, which was followed by a minute's silence.

Chris Coleman then reviewed the national situation as it has developed since the July Conference. He pointed out that if one year of Tony Blair in power had shown beyond all doubt that the purpose of bringing New Labour to office was to intensify the offensive against the people, then today, one and a half years after the electoral coup, the track record of Tony Blair confirms even more the determination of this government to carry on exactly the same path of intensifying the attacks on the people, even in the face of world recession and even the possibility of the most devastating depression that the world has ever seen, as well as in circumstances of growing awareness of what the government is up to and growing opposition to his policies. He underlined that in this situation the working class must develop its own independent politics, its own vision, with a vanguard Party which can provide consciousness and organisation to carry through its independent programme. In this context, the aim of the Consultative Conference, he said, is for the Central Committee to consult with all the comrades, with the friends of the Party, with people who are active in various struggles, on certain key issues which the Party has to work on in preparation for the Third Congress in carrying forward its line of march, and involve everyone in participating in the discussions on this crucial preparatory work.

After the adoption of the rules of procedure and the agenda, and the election of the presidium for the Conference, the main proceedings on the first day were given over to deliberations on the editorial policy of Workers' Weekly, strengthening the newspaper organisationally and building its distribution among the working class and people. In his presentation, a representative of the Central Committee pointed out that the July Conference had underlined to the utmost the significance of the cutting edge work of the Party to Improve the Content, Extend the Readership of the newspaper. Furthermore, the resolutions of that Conference spelt out the necessity of focusing on this key task in preparation for the Third Congress. His presentation introduced the discussion by bringing the editorial policy into sharper focus, as well as touching on issues relating to the paper's organisational strengthening. In the course of the presentation, the speaker dealt at length with the considerations in setting the overall policy, the newspaper's coverage, its focus and orientation, the weapons in its work and who the paper is aimed at and its role in the struggle of the working class and people for their emancipation. The speaker outlined some of the considerations in the newspaper's various fronts of coverage, before addressing some questions of building the paper's apparatus and extending its readership. He emphasised the living link between strengthening the Party, particularly in terms of its level of consciousness and the political stands of the activists and organisations of the Party both in their own work and in the political life of the country, and strengthening the newspaper and its dissemination. Finally, he looked forward to the Third Congress and suggested what needed to be accomplished in improving its content, strengthening the Party press, and its role in the life of the Party by the Congress, to consolidate the gains made from which the next stage of the Party's work can be launched.

There were a number of militant and well-thought-out contributions to the discussions during the course of the day, dealing with such questions as the utilisation of the newspaper as an instrument in the class struggle, the paper's policy in reporting on the activities and thinking of the Party, the paper as embodying the line of the Party and the importance of studying and writing for the paper, the improvement in its coverage through being used as an organiser, and its policy on national and international questions.

One central discussion was devoted to the youth. In introducing the discussion, the chairperson pointed out that the Party gives pride of place to the youth. A feature of the Consultative Conference was the participation of a number of youth and students. Three of them spoke during the discussion, emphasising the importance of the youth becoming political and ending the marginalisation of the youth from the political life of the country and finding solutions to overcoming all the blocks to being involved in changing society for the better step by step. In contributing to the discussion, a number of delegates spoke of how heartening it was to see and hear the youth at the Conference and the importance of giving every support to assist the youth in organising themselves.

At the commencement of the second day of the National Consultative Conference, a spokesperson of the Party was honoured to read out a message received from the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) in the name of the First Secretary of its Central Committee, Sandra Smith. The main item on the agenda on this second day was interventions and discussion on some key theoretical and political issues to be addressed in preparation for the Third Congress of RCPB(ML). Interventions were given by comrades from the Preparatory Committee for the Conference interspersed with vigorous and serious discussion from all the delegates.

In number one position was the question of women being at the forefront of the movement for emancipation. In her presentation, the comrade put the conditions of women in Britain and the necessity for them to affirm themselves in the context of the struggle for a new society, a struggle in which necessarily women are at the forefront.

In a presentation on the working class constituting itself as the nation and vesting sovereignty in the people, the speaker elaborated the important and profound question of the framework in which the struggles of the working class and people for socialism take place. In this context he underlined that the programme of the working class has of necessity to be developed within the framework of a project of nation building.

The third presentation was on the need for the working class to break with the reactionary outlook of the bourgeoisie's foreign policy. The speaker pointed out that the government's foreign policy is based on outdated, reactionary conceptions, on 19th century imperialist values and the "glories" of the British empire, as well as on the values of the Paris Charter and of Eurocentrism. He explained that Britain's pretext for intervening globally is presented as defending and promoting "human rights" and "civilised" British ideals, and in this respect attempts to imbue the working class and people with these same values. The speaker emphasised the importance of creating the necessary conditions for breaking with the outlook of Eurocentrism and English chauvinism, which would be a major contribution the working class could make as a contingent of the international proletariat.

The next presentation was on the necessity for a modern constitution. In the course of her presentation, the speaker explained that such a constitution must be based on modern definitions, embodying a fundamental law and principles which have their source in the struggles of the people themselves and enshrining their sovereignty.

The fifth presentation addressed the question of the elaboration of the programme Stop Paying the Rich! and how contemporary society is geared to paying the rich. The speaker enumerated some of the ways that society is increasingly run to pay the rich. He examined at greater length some four key areas regarding the way the economy is organised: interest payments on the national debt; reducing investments on social spending as a proportion of GDP; mechanisms such as the PFI that are being used to privatise public services and put all the public assets of the nation at the disposal of the financial oligarchy; and, the increasing globalisation of the economy. In looking at this last area, the speaker examined the increasing dependence of the economy on inward and outward investment and competing in the global market, nostrums which are promoted by the British bourgeoisie as the basis for a prosperous economy, but which give the rich the highest returns at the expense of the nation. What the working class and people have to elaborate and fight for, he said, is an alternative programme for society.

The question of the theory and practice of a modern communist party was raised in the final presentation. The speaker explained that this was an issue which in practice there had been struggle on within the Party especially since January 1994, and one which was a necessary question for the comrades to address in the period coming up to Congress. He pointed out that it is no longer enough for communists to simply agree with the general line or general principles of the Party. The two Consultative Conferences are examples of the way comrades are involved in carrying out discussion on the line and on the programme of the Party on a continuous basis. He pointed out that Comrade Hardial Bains had said, "It is the order of the day that the communists elevate themselves to the position of politicians, respected by the working class and the broad masses of the people." And, he said, that is an essential part of the thinking behind the discussion the Conference has held on the editorial policy ofWorkers' Weekly.

Throughout the day, important issues were raised by the delegates in the course of the discussion. Important principles were clarified, for example, on the questions of nation-building and on sovereignty, and the necessity of challenging the bourgeoisie, for example on the front of democratic renewal. One participant pointed out that the aspiration of the working class is to solve problems, but it is constantly stopped from doing so by the financial oligarchy. This shows, she went on to say, the necessity for the Party and its newspaper to give leadership. A number of contributions were made on the important issue of national minorities, of opposing the racism and chauvinism which come from the British state, and on the question of minority rights and the question of identity, as well as on the issue of collective rights and the necessity for society to harmonise the rights of the individual with the rights of the collective and each of them with the general interests of society. These contributions greatly enriched the deliberations and assisted in pointing the way as to how to develop the work in preparing for the Third Congress.

The final session of the National Consultative Conference was divided into two parts. At the opening of the session, messages from fraternal parties and friends were presented to the Conference. Rod Eley from the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) spoke. A message was read out from the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. Following this Hugh Stephens of the Communist Organisation of Britain came to the microphone, after which a message of greetings to the Conference was read out from friend of the Party, Keith Bennett. Other messages had been received, as Chris Coleman had mentioned in his welcoming remarks, from the comrades of the Indian Workers' Association (G.B.) who sent their very best wishes for the success of the conference, as well as from a comrade from the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. The New Communist Party of Britain also sent a message wishing the Conference success.

The main item on the agenda of this first part of the session was on "Considerations in Setting the Themes and Agenda of the Congress". A representative of the Central Committee sketched some of the considerations in this respect, explaining that it could be said that here the Party is on uncharted ground, in that deciding on the themes and agenda of the Congress is something which will be quite momentous. He explained that the discussions and the deliberations which have been held at this Consultative Conference with this aim in mind will be extremely valuable to the Central Committee and any ancillary Committee that it may set up preparatory to the Congress in setting the themes and agenda of the Congress. But that what has very deliberately put here on the agenda is what are the considerations in setting the themes and agenda. He then went on to examine this question with respect to the Party's line of march, the Party's programme for the working class, and the Party's general line. The discussions of the Consultative Conference on strengthening and consolidating the newspaper and on some of the key problems the Party is addressing in its forward march give indications, he said, to how a Congress can point the way forward into the new millennium for the Party and the class. The perspective of the Congress, he said, is that it is an important event which is of concern for the whole polity, for everyone in motion in society, not simply to the communists. In that sense, it will be very historic, in that it will deliberate on the tasks that will take the Party and class into the new millennium, forward into the 21st century and open the door to progress and to socialism. In opening the discussion which followed, Chris Coleman, spokesperson for RCPB(ML), pointed out that although the Party's work is modest and its numbers small, the advances it is making are very cherished and have momentous consequences in this most bourgeoisified of all bourgeois nations. We have been putting into position various things since 1994 which the class needs – the general line of the Party, the draft programme of the working class, the tasks of the Party which focus around improving the content and extending the readership of the paper – so that when the time comes it can take advantage of a change in the objective situation in its interests and the interests of society. If we can make a break with the chauvinism with which the working class has been saddled by its imperialist bourgeoisie, if we can break with the refusal to face up to the question of the English nation, if we can break with the narrowness and complacency, the narrow trade unionism, that the bourgeoisie would like to impose on the communist and workers' movement, he declared, what a contribution that would be. What vistas it would open up for the working class taking up its independent programme and beginning to end its marginalisation, and coming into the centre of political life and opening up the path to a new society, a socialist society. This is no small thing that we are accomplishing here, he said. To hold our Congress and put these things in place will open a whole new world.

In supporting this orientation, one of the participants in the discussion said that the contributions made during the Conference indicate that the reason people are participating is their concern for human beings. We are not speaking simply for communists alone, she said. We articulate the concerns of humankind and this is what makes me feel proud to be here today.

After a short break, the Conference reconvened to consider the resolutions which had been drafted. Three resolutions had been presented in writing to the Presidium, dealing respectively with the advance the Party is making towards the Third Congress, with consolidating and strengtheningWorkers' Weekly, and with paying attention to the question of culture in social form within the Party. These resolutions were passed unanimously.

In conclusion, the chairperson thanked everyone for coming and participating so wholeheartedly in this second National Consultative Conference of 1998. The Conference has marked a big advance and has fulfilled its objectives very well, he said. It has been a stepping stone to the Third Congress which we will work hard to make a landmark in the Party's history and the history of the working class and people of this country.

The proceedings ended with the rousing singing of the Internationale, and vigorous shouting of the slogans:

Forward to the 3rd Congress!

Long Live the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)!

Glory to Marxism-Leninism!

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On the Advance of RCPB(ML) Towards its Third Congress

This November National Consultative Conference recognises the advances made involving the whole Party since the July National Consultative Conference in the work of preparing for the coming Third Congress of RCPB(ML). It recommends to the Central Committee that this advance be strengthened, and that the same method be followed in a consistent, stepwise and conscious manner in bringing the preparatory work for the coming Congress to fruition and in the conduct of the Congress itself as befits a modern communist party.

On the Consolidation and Strengthening of Workers' Weekly

This conference resolves to do its utmost by the time of the Congress to have a fully rounded, fully focused regular Party newspaper, partisan to the working class, with a strengthened editorial board, backed by a journalistic staff and fully functioning apparatus, which is at the focus of all the work politically, and which all comrades read, write for, discuss and disseminate on a regular basis, as a matter of course and as a matter of discipline. This conference recognises that this is the surest base from which the next stage of the Party's work and line of march can be launched.

On Paying Attention to the Question of Culture in Social Form within the Party

This National Consultative Conference recognises the importance of the question of culture in social form within and around the Party. In particular, it recognises the necessity for the activists to rely on the Party in opposing the liquidationist pressure of liberalism not to be revolutionary, to develop a high level of political culture which fights vigorously to turn words into deeds and success into victory. It recognises that for activists and sympathisers to rely on the Party and come under its leadership is the surest way to come to terms with the difficult and complex contradictions in society and the bourgeois pressure which seeks to tempt people away and divert them from fighting for their best interests and seeks to politically de-activate them.

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Workers' Weekly is reprinting below the messages of greetings to the Second National Consultative Conference of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

Sandra Smith, First Secretary, Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

Dear Comrades,

Permit me, on behalf of the Central Committee of CPC(M-L) and the entire Party, to express our warmest revolutionary greetings on the occasion of your second National Consultative Conference held this year, and our conviction that your conference is sure to mark another advance for your work. Our conviction is based on the knowledge that it is work which is transforming. Your National Consultative Conference is organised in the militant style of working together to address the problems which present themselves in the course of the work you have taken up to implement your policy and plan for this period. It is our experience that this is the guarantee of achieving results in the work.

On this occasion, we also join you in paying tribute to the memory of Comrade John Buckle, whose untimely loss continues to be a source of great sorrow and regret to us all. The work we carried out in common with Comrade John contributed tremendously to cementing the fighting unity between our two parties. Comrade John provided invaluable support to the modern conception of fraternal unity defended by Comrade Bains. Fraternal relations are based on the principles of proletarian internationalism. This requires that each Party must stand on its own two feet and consider itself its own model and, on the basis of this, it recognises the concerns of the international communist and workers' movement as a whole and works together with other parties to provide them with a solution. This is the basis of the profound relations between our two parties which we treasure like the apple of our eye. These relations strengthen our work. The whole is indeed greater than the sum total of its parts.

You are holding your Conference on the anniversary of the death of Comrade John, in his honour. We hold the image of his militant smile and determination before our eyes. His was the ability to unite all the fighting forces in action on the high road of civilisation, the road of the Party to open society's path to progress. Permit us to congratulate the RCPB(M-L) and all its members and supporters for persisting on this path, as the way to sort out the difficulties which this dying society presents.

On this occasion, we once again express our appreciation for the fighting unity between our two parties, for the work which you are carrying out in your own conditions and which we are carrying out together, to solve the problems of humankind as it prepares to enter the new millennium.

It gives us great joy that in setting the agenda for your Third Congress, greatest attention is being paid to the consolidation of your party press. Comrade Bains stressed time and time again that without developing a militant party press, it is not possible to raise the level of consciousness and organisation of the working class, because to read, write, study and disseminate the Party press is to organise the working class, is to develop its independent role and on this basis transform the society. As the organ of the Party, the party newspaper is an organiser, an instrument of imbuing the movement of the workers, youth and students, women and all oppressed masses with the theory, outlook and line of march it requires in order to achieve victory. It is our experience that the work to develop the party press determines the kind of party we have. There are not a few who succumb to the liquidationist pressure which presents all kinds of problems as matters of lack of efficiency, or forces, or ability, or "political correctness", or finances and so on. But Comrade Bains pointed out that what is crucial is to base the work on the fighting collectives of the workers, women, youth and students and oppressed masses. It is they who solve the problems, while the Party makes them conscious. Comrade Bains could not conceive of solving problems without involving the masses in posing the problems and providing them with solutions. Organising to achieve the desired results is the life-giving force. He taught us to look at problems with affection, as an opportunity to activate the human factor/social consciousness, and provide them with a solution.

Comrade Bains pointed out: "What is not often understood is that what is indispensable for progress is not Marxism-Leninism as a category of ideas divorced from life, but Marxist-Leninist Thought brought forth from the objective and subjective conditions. What is needed for a movement for emancipation and for social progress are theoretical and ideological considerations and organising based on the study of actual life."

This is the work you have militantly taken up and it is a joy to share with you the experiences you have gained in solving the problems which this crucial front of work presents. This also assists us a great deal by providing us with insights which assist us in our own work.

We eagerly await the results of your deliberations and wish you great success.

With sincere revolutionary greetings and congratulations on the successes you have achieved in your work, I remain, your Comrade,

Sandra Smith

First Secretary Central Committee

Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

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Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India

November 28, 1998

The secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India sends warm revolutionary greetings to the participants of the 2nd Consultative Conference of the RCPB(M-L), which is an important stepping stone in the run-up to your 3rd Congress.

For the past 10 years and more, the whole world has been subject to an all-out retrogression and anti-social offensive in which the financial oligarchies have carried out every conceivable attack against the peoples and their well-being. In the face of this, the work of your party in summing up the positive and negative experiences of the communist and workers' movements inside Britain and internationally and developing modern definitions as part of preparing the subjective conditions to deal with the upcoming revolutionary upsurges has been exemplary and a source of strength for our party and for the world communist movement.

Comrades, the second congress of our party, which was held recently in October, adopted the general line for this period and the program mefor renewal of India. The significance of the latter is that this is the first time that such a programme has actually emerged on Indian soil. India is a country where you will find many communist parties. However, this has resulted in a situation where communism in India has been rendered as a policy objective in the most narrow way. It has led to illusion-mongering about the capitalist system and about bourgeois democracy. It has resulted in conciliation with social-democracy, and in India's version of the "third way".

Comrades, the work of our party in this period has been to bring modern definitions to bear in every sphere, in summing up the experience of the struggles of the Indian communists and people and elaborating the general line for the period, in developing the programme of renewal for the working class and people, and in taking up the task of restoring the unity of the Indian Communist Movement as the precondition to victory of revolution. This work is already beginning to bear fruit in breaking the sense of pessimism and defeatism that has been inculcated among the working class and people, that there is "no alternative".

In the programme of renewal, there is firstly the issue of political renewal. Political renewal means dealing with the question of sovereignty, and how, under modern conditions, this can be vested in the hands of the people. It means very profoundly renewing the forms of political power and political institutions that exist at the top and the bottom of society such that the masses of people have a political role that can never be turned in to a law and order issue as is the case at present. This is something which emerges directly from the history of Indian political thought, and which was negated by colonialism and by Euro-centrist political theories and institutions. Under modern conditions, this also means that the relationship between the organs of people's power at the very base of society and at the top need to be created anew, such that people wield supreme political power, and higher organs derive their power through modern mechanisms.

In economic terms, renewal means that the working class of India must be in a position to end the robbery of India's resources by the foreign and domestic monopolies which has been recently strengthened in the name of liberalisation and privatisation. It means that the working class will deploy this surplus for the upliftment of society - to end poverty, to invest in social programmes, to provide the peasantry and the tribal peoples with the resources that they need.

In terms of international relations, it means recognising the rights of all the nations of South Asia, such that they can create modern arrangements between them to have peace in the region and keep the outside powers at bay. It means building a new Union of India that will have the strength and resources to keep all the imperialist predators out of its soil. It means that there will be an end to the colonial policy of divide-and-rule, an end to the use of standing armies and paramilitary forces to impose the "rule of law", an end to pursuit of imperialist sphere of influence by India in the "New World Order" of the imperialist powers.

This programme, which is being elaborated by our party emerges from the deepest strivings of the Indian people, and stands to break the shackles of Euro-centrist institutions and theories which have enslaved South Asia and which have kept its people politically marginalised and economically destitute. At a time when the bourgeois status quo is losing legitimacy and coherency literally with each passing day, such a programme is emerging as an alternative for the whole of society and is providing a vision for the future of India.

Comrades of the RCPB(M-L), it is now more than a year since our dear Comrade Hardial Bains passed away, and our parties have had to share in the deep sense of grief and loss. The life and work of Hardial Bains have been a seminal influence in the work of our parties. It was obvious to us even in the midst of our grief following his death that the only tribute we could pay to this great communist personality of the second half of the 20th century was to "march on" - to intensify our work and bring it to fruition by hoisting the Red Flag over the Red Fort in Delhi.

Comrades, on the occasion of the second consultative conference of your party, and in the historic work that you are undertaking, it gives us great pleasure and happiness to see that the RCPB(M-L) has taken up the challenge of "marching on" with honour. We consider your successes as our successes as well and wish you the very best in your work.

Long live the fraternal unity between the RCPB(M-L) and the CGPI!

Inquilab Zindabad!

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Rod Eley, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)

Comrades and friends,

I would like to thank RCPB(ML) for the opportunity of being present at your second National Conference of 1998. These are very important proceedings in preparation for your 3rd Congress. This weekend is particularly significant in that you have dedicated it to the memory of Comrade John Buckle. Comrade John is also extremely important in the life and history of CPI(ML). One still vividly remembers those days back in the late '70s and early '80s where we had all sorts of problems at the time in developing the work, and Comrade John was a great encouragement and his advice and assistance, along with that of the comrades of RCPB(ML), was very important.

We are living through a time in which the contradictions of capitalism are eating away at the foundations of society. All sorts of shifts are taking place – political shifts at the level of the configuration of party politics, but also on a wider scale such as represented by the development of the movement in Ireland, and in Britain – the national movements where people are demanding their sovereignty and democratic rights. What seemed only a few years ago unthinkable is happening, where the foundations of that hoary old state, the United Kingdom, are starting to break apart. One of the things that you have taken up at this time is this discussion about the role of Tony Blair and the Blairite Labour Party which has been brought forward by the bourgeoisie as a force to get a handle on this process of change that is taking place. They might not like this change but the change is taking place and they want to master it and channel it in the directions that suit them and which enable them to continue their system and increase their profit making. You have had Blair's Labour government continue on the road, in the case of Ireland, which the Major government embarked on with its Downing Street Declaration, but which ground to a halt in the contradictions of the Conservative government. They have carried this through with the Good Friday Agreement and the collaboration with Clinton. Some elements in society are getting excited that actually this is all progress and new opportunities are being seen. For instance, you have a lot of talk in Scotland and between Scotland and Ireland that they can learn a lot from each other, from the "Celtic tiger".

It is important to grasp that in this situation of change there is a space opening up in many respects for progressive and democratic movements, but one must always remember that in amongst all these forces are the forces of the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie who are seen trying to create new markets and links. It is very good to be amongst the comrades of RCPB(ML) who are looking at this situation of change but from first principles. In other words, there may be changes going on here, but unless the proletariat looks at them from the point of view of what is the next step in society, all that will go on will be within the confines of how this capitalism can be developed in some way.

The proceedings of these conferences and towards the Congress are going to be of great historic importance. Although at this time, because of the nature of the period that we are living through where there is an ebb in revolution, the forces may be relatively small, the important thing is that the progressive forces of the working class should actually sit down and think how it is that this new society is going to come out of these changes that are taking place. There are many other forces of good will who can come into play in terms of the development of the society, but there are really very few political forums like this where people are actually looking in terms of a new society. Many people, often with good motives, casually say in conversation, "Well, of course, socialism is over. There is no longer any discussion about that. Maybe you can improve this society, but there is no question of a different society." So I would like to applaud the work that you have undertaken in these conferences. You can see in the presentations which the comrades are giving quite serious advances which are taking place in the work, and I think this augurs extremely well for the work of the Party.

It is a great inspiration to us in Ireland to look at these same problems because obviously our parties should work closely together in these new conditions. These are conditions where, I have to say, Tony Blair comes and speaks to a joint meeting of the Houses of Parliament in Dublin and is now speaking the Irish language I believe! These are conditions where reciprocally then all the scribblers of the bourgeoisie are starting to raise the question of how about Ireland rejoining the British Commonwealth! In these conditions, therefore, it is quite important that the proletariat finds out where it is standing so as to bring forth the progressive things in this period of change so that we do not suddenly find ourselves back in 1800, with some new Act of Union!

We are very encouraged that RCPB(ML) has organised these National Consultative Conferences. The steps that you are taking will be seen to be of great importance in the long term. We wish you every success in the continued preparations for the Party's 3rd Congress. Thank you.

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Hugh Stephens, Communist Organisation of Britain


I would like to thank you, particularly the youth who were so inspiring to all of us yesterday, for the privilege of participating with you all in this conference.

Our organisation has been in existence for some 26 years and we have had links with comrades from your Party and its predecessor organisations for 28 years. I believe in the last few years we have at last got a firm and definite programme of trying to understand each other better. Comrade Chris Coleman and other representatives of your Party have put the project of trying to understand each other very much to the fore, on the basis of the principle, which I think is an excellent one, put forward by Comrade Hardial Bains that understanding requires a conscious act of finding out. Members of your Party have participated in many of the activities initiated by members of our organisation – demonstrations, seminars, international solidarity and peace events and so on. I believe that in our respective ways we are making communist initiatives. The amount of work that your Party has put in to understand us gives us a sense of responsibility to respond, and it is in that spirit that I have attended three of your consultative conferences in which I have participated and contributed on behalf of the committee of COB.

We have the greatest admiration for your Party which has worked towards forging its own path on the basis of modern definitions, of building the unity of the Marxist-Leninists on a new historical basis. We think that this is a very courageous task, a very independent, very creative path that you have adopted. I feel that we have got things right in terms of setting up a process for how we understand each other and I don't feel that we should see each other as doing things separately. History works through twists and turns, and if we are both engaged in communist projects I think history and hard work will bring us closer together, if we continue to work in this systematic way, in which frankly we have learnt a lot from you. Because your Party is very systematic about analysing ideas, going in a steady and clear and thoughtful manner, so we hope that with this spirit we can use our own minds, use our own experience to organise ourselves to raise the banner of communism in this country.

Best wishes for your 3rd Congress.

Thank you very much.

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Written Message from Keith Bennett

Thank you very much for your warm invitation to attend the conference but I regret to tell you that I am not able to come because I am very pre-occupied with an imminent trip abroad. However, I would like through the Central Committee to extend my best wishes and solidarity greetings to all participants and guests and to wish you every success in your work and deliberations. I am convinced that the Conference will mark an important occasion in building and strengthening the Party as an integral and inseparable part of the communist, progressive, democratic and people's movements on both the national and international scale. In particular, the conference will surely constitute a milestone in preparing for your 3rd Congress and improving the content and extending the readership of your central organ Workers' Weekly.

Our beloved friend and comrade Hardial Bains left us with a final exhortation to march on, and the 2nd 1998 National Consultative Conference serves as a concrete manifestation of the fact that all comrades and friends of RCPB(ML) are remaining true to Comrade Bains behest. In continuing to march ahead along its chosen path the RCPB(ML) provides a model of constructive co-operation, an exemplary non-sectarianism in all fields, as I and others have been pleased to observe, specifically and in particular in the work of the Korea Friendship and Solidarity Campaign which completes its first year of successful work this month.

As a friend and comrade-in-arms of RCPB(ML) since its inception, I once again wish you every success on the road to the 3rd Congress which will take place by the time your Party is joined by all progressives in celebrating its 20th founding anniversary.

With warmest comradely regards.

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Congratulations on the Success of the National Consultative Conference 10 December 1998

Dear Editor,

We write to congratulate RCPB(ML) on the holding of its second National Consultative Conference of 1998. The conference, building on the modus operandi demonstrated in the first National Consultative Conference, where all were given an opportunity to air their views in a comradely and supportive environment, was again an important forum for discussion of the movement against the anti-social offensive.

The themes of the two-day event were not only of assistance to the Party activists and supporters who attended but also to those interested in the national and international political situation. The discussions held at the first National Consultative Conference in July especially on the thematic programme to Improve the Content, Extend the Readership of Workers' Weekly provided useful ideas for our own journalistic work. The continuation of this discussion at the second National Consultative Conference, which focused specifically on the paper's editorial policy, again enhanced the modern outlook necessary for the production of a political paper.

The other themes considered by the Consultative Conference were just as important. Ensuring women are in the forefront of struggle; the working class constituting itself as the nation; discussions on the need for a modern constitution; the articulation of the Party's call to Stop Paying the Rich, Increase Investments in Social Programmes and the debate on the Party's work and the need for a mass communist party all analysed issues important both to the Party and to the elaboration of a pro-social political programme

We think that the Conference resolution to advance towards the Third Congress of RCPB(ML) was an important decision which should place the Party in a good position to present its analysis of the current period. The second National Consultative Conference was an important stepping stone towards the Third Congress. The Conference and the Congress are important factors in the struggle to proactively confront the anti-social offensive.

The members of the African And Caribbean Progressive Study Group extend their best wishes to the Party and look forward to making their contribution to the preparations for the Third Congress.

Sincerely (signed) for ACPSG

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Vote in Favour of Rover Deal:

The Issue Remains for Workers to Develop their Independent Politics

THE VOTE OF THE Rover car workers on the deal between national union leaders and the Rover management was announced on December 11. The vote was 17,784 to 7,045 to accept the agreement.

Although the deal will mean that 2,500 workers will lose their jobs, the workforce had been presented with only two alternatives: back the deal or the Longbridge plant closes. If you choose the latter, they were told, not only the 14,000 jobs at Longbridge will go but up to 50,000 jobs in and around the West Midlands. Say yes, and you get the Mini and over £2 billion investment (subject to the BMW monopoly receiving government grant aid). You will also get "radical" new working practices and greater "flexibility" so that instead of being paid overtime, you will work extra hours during busy periods to be "banked" and the time taken off during "slack" production times. This is in the interests of "competitiveness".

Workers have had no say in how the company operates nor how the economy of the country is run nor in how their rights should be recognised. They will not do so now. Nor do they have any control of what happens to the cars they make, nor determine how the government utilises the funds and wealth generated by their labour and whether the millionaires should get paid or investment in the future of society takes priority. They have no guarantee whatsoever that the plant will not close in the future or that their livelihood is safe. The government is even now announcing to the workers throughout the country that if you do not take out private pensions, then you will spend one third of your life in poverty. A gun has been held at the workers' heads and a vote has been taken whether the trigger should be pulled.

Yet this is being painted as delivering Rover workers from "fear for the future", as a "win for the company and a win for the workforce". Most telling of all, it is said to have proved that "partnership is now the central focus of British industrial relations". We have asked this question before – what more of their rights and interests are the workers supposed to abandon to keep this "partnership" going?

The issue remains that the workers must elaborate and fight for their own independent politics and programme, because it is these which point the way forward out of the crisis. The starting point of such politics is that human beings have rights which must be recognised and guaranteed by society, and that it is working people's claims and the general interests of society that must take precedence over the claims of the rich that they must make their maximum profits, come what may.

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Oppose the Building of the EU as a Military Power!

A FEATURE OF THE DEVELOPING GEO-POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE POST-COLD WAR PERIOD is of US imperialism trying to impose its unipolar dictate on the world, giving rise to growing contradictions with other world powers. The big powers of Europe are striving to strengthen EU as bloc, to build it as an economic, political and a military superpower. The grouping of the European powers has become more complex at the same time as US imperialism has suffered setbacks in imposing a unipolar world.

In this situation, Europe holds a strategic position. Control of Europe is a necessary prelude to conquering Asia and the Far East and then dominating the entire world. The European Union has become strengthened, with various powers, notably Germany, seeking to develop it as a military superpower, as well as an economic and political big power bloc. Meanwhile, the US has sought to confirm NATO as the military alliance through which the European powers act, so as to maintain control over the continent of Europe, and has accommodated to new realities by giving the European governments a greater role in NATO's command structure. Britain's role has been to hold back from building the European Union as a military power in its own right, and it has traditionally emphasised the role of NATO and promoted that the Western European Union (WEU) should not become simply and solely the military arm of the EU, but should have an independent role. The WEU consists of those countries who are both members of the EU and members of NATO, plus others who have associate or observer status. It is based on the Brussels Treaty of 1948 (modified in 1954), and was envisaged to be the European pillar of NATO. The Maastricht Treaty signed in 1991 ensured that the WEU acquired a dual role, with an emerging function as a military component of the European Union.

Serious contradictions exist in the ranks of the monopoly bourgeoisie in Britain as to whether to align with the US or to align with the EU. It was one of the chief factors in tearing apart the Conservative Party and remains so. The Labour Party has attempted to square this circle by putting forward its policy of strong with the US, strong in Europe, that is, to act as the Trojan Horse of the US (as well as other powers, such as Japan, in the economic sphere) within the EU. Shortly after coming to power, when the InterGovernmental Conference took place in Amsterdam in June last year, New Labour was one of the greatest supporters of the warmongering US-led NATO alliance and opposed the merging of the EU with the WEU favoured by France and Germany.

As these contradictions have unfolded and intensified as competition in the global marketplace is jacked up, and as the Labour government follows its dangerous and reactionary policy of "Making Britain Great Again" within these circumstances, in recent months the Labour government has taken several steps to attempt to strengthen the military capability of the EU and to make Britain a "leading player" in the reactionary policies of the Europe of the monopolies, while it is excluded from EMU and plays a waiting game on the single currency. While the strategic defence review of the government in July stressed Britain's ability to participate in multinational operations within the framework of NATO, the WEU, the United Nations or ad hoc coalitions, it also emphasised the development of a more effective European security and defence identity within NATO through an efficient WEU, and the British government seems to have become one of the more zealous advocates of an increased military role for the EU. Thus the Labour government appears to be moving away from the position of the US, which seeks to consolidate NATO as the military force of the European Union rather than see the WEU reconstituted as the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance or as the armed wing of the EU.

When George Robertson, the Defence Minister, addressed the Assembly of the WEU on December 1 in a debate on "The Organisation of Operational Links between NATO, WEU and the EU", he sought to emphasise that the shift in emphasis was not just a matter of "rhetoric", stressing that at the end of October, Tony Blair had sought to initiate "fresh thinking on European security and defence questions". He pointed out that the Amsterdam Treaty, which will enter into force next year, provides the means to strengthen the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The aim, George Robertson suggested, is to "ensure that Europe takes its proper place in the world".

It was in this whole context that Britain and France issued a joint declaration on December 4, agreeing to work together on a common EU defence policy and strengthen a common foreign policy for the EU. The joint declaration underlined that the British and French governments will work to create an EU framework for military initiatives, within NATO, but also outside NATO. As the Labour government moves away from its insistence that increasing militarisation must take place in the context of the US-led aggressive NATO alliance, so France is prepared to strike the Saint-Malo agreement. The declaration on this front is also aimed at strengthening the Britain-France axis against the power of Germany within the EU. It is clear that in this, the Labour government, acting for the British monopolies, seeks to put Britain in a key role in an area where the EU is still working to define a common policy, in line with its declared aim of assuming a leadership role in the Europe of the monopolies. It is with this objective that it is now putting forward that the WEU can be incorporated into a new EU military entity. This is summed up in the news reports explaining the government's thinking: "The idea is that Britain and France will give the lead in developing a European defence capability so that Europe will begin to look like a superpower."

In this context, building the European Union as a military superpower, with the key principle to "make sure there is a clearer European identity" within NATO, as Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary put it playing on the wording of Maastricht, as well as strengthening it as a political and economic bloc, heightens the contradictions between the European powers acting as a bloc in this way and US imperialism which seeks hegemony militarily through NATO. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright only a few days later warned, at the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers of December 8-9, which Robin Cook attended, that the European "security and defence identity" should not pre-empt NATO decision-making by "breaking the link" between this "identity" and NATO. A number of years ago, after the breakdown of the Eastern bloc and the Warsaw Pact, NATO began to turn its attention eastwards and expand so as to threaten and isolate Russia, and bolster the imperialist designs of the United States on Asia, with Berlin as a gateway. To this end, the US also reinforced its alliances in the Asia-Pacific region. It is now becoming more strident about a wider role for NATO, about responding to "crises outside its territory" such as "a ballistic missile attack from a rogue state with a weapon of mass destruction", and is to bring Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO next April. As such, an emerging European military power in its own right, being ready to take action where Europe's interests are threatened and not acting as the Americans wish, is a serious threat to these plans.

The aims of the Labour Government and the other representatives of the European monopolies spell disaster for the peoples of Europe. It is clear that the government's chief concern is to establish a European military force which can act in the reactionary interests of the monopolies. The peoples of Europe will have no control over such a force, which indeed could be used against their struggles. Indeed, the government shows no interest in discussing any institutional means by which a European force will become accountable even to the parliaments of member states.

The working class and all progressive people must take a stand in opposition to the militarism of the Labour government. They must oppose the military strengthening of the EU, NATO and the WEU, demanding that Britain withdraw from all such warmongering military, trade and political blocs and that they be dismantled. The Labour government's policy on this front will only add to the rivalry between the major power blocs and their attempts to redivide the world – in short it will lead the peoples of Europe and the world down the road to war. It is imperative that the working class should step up its opposition to all imperialism, and fight for and elaborate its own independent programme which will prepare the way for social revolution. This is the only sure way to prevent the disasters the imperialist powers and their military alliances are preparing for the peoples of the world.

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Restructuring to Pay the Rich

ON MONDAY, December 7, Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson issued a statement in the House of Commons on the future of the Post Office. The statement came at the end of the Labour government's review of the Post Office and embodied the main proposals which will be in its White Paper to be published in January 1999.

Reports in the monopoly media have hailed this announcement as a "new dawn" for the Post Office with "a new commercial structure", "but that has stopped short of delivering privatisation" although the government point out this definitely has not been ruled out at a later stage. Postal workers' union leaders have also supported the announcement claiming that the Labour government has found a "Third Way" between nationalisation and privatisation and that the proposals will end the talk of privatisation and keep the Post Office in the public sector. However, the real issue is not that the government intends to keep the Post Office in the public sector for the time being. The issue is that what is being put forward is a plan to completely open up the national postal service to global competition and restructure the Post Office itself into an independent public company so as to reap maximum profits for the financial oligarchy in this "globalisation of postal services".

According to the Financial Times the global market for letters and packages is "worth £20 billion a year" and this is forecast to increase "to reach £57 billion a year by 2010". Already seven European post offices and the US post office are operating in the UK and fighting for bulk mail contracts in the UK and abroad. Dutch Post paid £700m in 1996 for TNT, the Australian distribution and logistics group. Deutsche Post bought DHL for £400m earlier this year and last month it also purchased a 50% share in Securicor's parcels business. These companies want to expand into services currently provided by Royal Mail. So what the government is proposing is to end the Royal Mail monopoly over the remaining categories of mail by the introduction of "careful and phased liberalisation" and to allow the Post Office monopoly to expand its operations by investing in and capturing markets abroad, ending the present restrictions on its investment.

By putting forward these proposals at this time the government is ensuring that not only will the financial oligarchy benefit from the liberalisation of mail services in the UK but that increasingly the profits of the Post Office in competing in the global market will find their way directly into the hands of the financial oligarchy. One of the announcements made by Peter Mandelson was that the government would halve the revenue paid to the government by the Post Office from its profits from 80% to 40%. This the government said would enable the Post Office to "finance an increased level of investment in the maintenance of existing business". In other words, what was previously extracted in revenue to the state treasury from profits would go directly to pay debt interest on loans from the private sector instead. It is already being estimated that such a large revenue as the Post Office (£651 million pre-tax profit for 1997-8) could sustain a debt of £3 billion in investment.

Mandelson argued that the government's restructuring of the Post Office was the best way at this time. He said, "Quite apart from the dubious justification for privatisation of the Post Office at this stage of its development, it would have taken three or four years if we had embarked on such a course. In that time, the Post Office would have fallen further and further behind international competition, as it would not have been able to enjoy any of the commercial freedom it needs if it is to compete more effectively with the best in Europe and the world." In other words what has to be grasped in this situation is that to keep the Post Office in the public sector, albeit only for the time being, is the best way that the government can ensure that the Post Office and postal services are organised to maximise profits for the financial oligarchy.

Under the proposals the government will establish an "independent regulator" to "protect consumer interests including standards of service; to regulate prices; to ensure that the Post Office is able to meet its universal service obligation; and to ensure fair competition." Even such an edict that says that the Post Office will be "able to meet its universal service obligations" does not guarantee that there will be a postal service that meets the needs of the people as of right. For example, it does not stop extra charges being introduced in rural areas, but only that such things will be "regulated" and that government will "ensure fair competition" among the different monopoly groups.

What is also not stated by the government is how disastrous these proposals are for the livelihood of the postal workers. The Financial Times commented, "Post Office management itself is also being assessed. The Post Office remains a labour-intensive employer with a workforce of almost 200,000 that is yet to show enthusiasm for radical modernisation." In other words, this shows the intention of the government to try and break the resistance of postal workers to the already increased workloads and reduction in services such as the second post, and that this restructuring will lead to further job losses than have already occurred.

The postal workers and other working people must be vigilant against the cruel deceptions of a New Labour government and its "Third Way" that claims to be representing their interests by "keeping the Post Office in the public sector". In reality it is representing the interests of the financial oligarchy in handing over the entire national postal service to capitalist competition and ensuring that Post Office is further organised to pay the rich. In this situation the postal workers must continue to defend their interests and the general interests of society by demanding a stop to the Post Office being used as means to pay the rich. They must put forward their own alternative programme for a modern communications system run for the people and by the people. This is part of the alternative programme of the working class to put a stop to society being made to pay the rich and for the creation of a modern society whose basis is meeting the needs of the people.

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The KPA Will Answer the Challenge of US Aggressors with an Annihilating Blow

Statement of the Spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army

The spokesman for the general staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) on December 2 published a statement solemnly declaring its stand in connection with the fact that the US imperialists are driving the situation to the brink of war.

The statement says: The US imperialists have recently gone beyond the danger line in their arrogant aggressive attempts to stifle the DPRK with military strength. According to a report, US President Bill Clinton, during his visit to South Korea, unusually made a final check-up of the preparedness of the units of the US imperialist aggression forces and readiness of its flying corps for sortie and raised the DPRK's nuclear issue, blaring that the United States is "ready and able" to do any thing in defence of its citizens and an allied nation.

The South Korean puppet, who has prolonged his remaining days with flunkeyism and obedience, is trying to curry favour with his master, obtrusively crying that the north must accept demands for inspections of an underground facility. The Japanese reactionaries, who slandered the DPRK, branding its launch of an artificial satellite as the launch of a ballistic missile, have also raised their heads again.

Synchronising with this, the US conservative hard-liners blared that if inspections of the DPRK's underground facilities failed to be realised, they would break the DPRK-US agreed framework and take a "determined counteraction".

This is, in essence, like a declaration of war that they will not hesitate to wage a war against the DPRK.

What cannot be overlooked is the fact that publications of a third country have openly carried reports that the US military "has completed a new war plan for invasion of North Korea" and the gist of the "Operation Plan 5027", a plan for a second Korean war of aggression allegedly to "retaliate" against the DPRK for the US defeat in the past Korean War.

The "Operation Plan 5027" we have learned through these publications envisages waging the second Korean War against the DPRK in five stages.

The first stage is a "control stage". Under the pretext of controlling the actions of the DPRK, the United States is to amass its aggression forces in and around South Korea and impose full-scale sanctions upon the DPRK by blocking its sky, seas and border.

In this sense, it can be said that the operation of this stage is already being carried out in fact.

The second stage is the "stage of strikes for neutralisation" which aims to "neutralise" the DPRK by making long-term aerial strikes on the whole area of North Korea with large numbers of field artillery pieces, planes and cruise guided weapons.

To execute the operation of this stage, the US imperialists have stealthily deployed naval and air forces including flying corps around the DPRK in various forms and methods and mastered methods of strikes, staging military training and exercises under various names.

The third stage is the "stage of ground offensive operation". Envisaged in it are comprehensive ground offensive operations that combine large-scale operations for landing on the east and west coasts of the DPRK with aeroplane- and helicopter-borne paratroopers' operations and special commandos' operations. Through these operations, the United States plans to encircle Pyongyang, the heart of the Korean revolution, and "occupy" the DPRK as far as the River Chongchon.

The fourth stage is the "stage of expanding successes in war". It plans to "occupy" the whole area north of the River Chongchon in the DPRK.

The fifth stage is the "stage of concluding war" in which the US plans to "achieve unification through the liberal democratic system".

In order to put this operation plan into practice, the US imperialists will hurl over 545,000 US soldiers, 630,000-strong puppet army of South Korea and ultra-modern hardware and large-size striking means including five to seven aircraft carrier flotillas, stealth fighter bombers F-117 and F-111, nuclear-capable strategical bombers B-1, B-2 and B-52.

The plan contains three methods to unleash an all-out war – the first method being to mount a strike at the DPRK while imposing sanctions upon it over the nuclear issue and human rights problems, the second to make a "surgical operation-style" strike at the "suspected nuclear facilities" in the DPRK, and the third to make a pre-emptive strike at the DPRK under the pretext of an aggravated situation while continuing to render it strained.

Only recently, the US has dispatched to South Korea senior officials of the US Defence Department including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Commander of the US Pacific Forces, unit commanders of the three services, commanders of the 1st and 3rd Army Corps, the commander of the 7th Fleet, commanders of the 1st and 3rd Marine Expeditionary Corps and other commanders who are expected to be hurled into the Korean front, one after another to examine the feasibility of the Operation Plan on the spot. At the same time, it has stepped up preparations for war against the DPRK through Rsoi 98, Ulji Focus Lens 98, Foal Eagle 98 and other joint military exercises.

Nowadays, the US imperialists are loudly crying that "tensions have been heightened" owing to the DPRK's "underground nuclear facility" and its launch of an artificial satellite.

What they seek in this is to find a pretext to ignite the train of war according to "Operation Plan 5027".

Clear is why the United States has begun executing the "Operation Plan 5027", throwing away the mask of "appeasement" and "engagement" which it had once worn for some time.

Unable to destroy our socialist system with its isolation and suffocation strategy and "appeasement strategy" to induce us to "reform" and "open up", the United States has adopted the path of reckless adventure, losing reason.

From the outset, our revolutionary armed forces have expected little from the "appeasement policy" of the United States that seeks to demolish our socialist system. Particularly, they have followed with sharp vigilance the behaviour of the United States, the other warring party, which has turned away from the DPRK-proposed general-level officers' meeting.

The prevailing situation proves that the sharp vigilance and revolutionary position of our revolutionary armed forces are absolutely reasonable.

To answer fire with fire is a character of our revolutionary army and its unique mode of counteraction.

Although the US imperialists intend to dispirit somebody by setting afloat their reckless Operation Plan, it is a foolish dream.

We have our own operation plan. "Surgical operation"-style attack and "pre-emptive strike" are by no means an exclusive option of the United States. The mode of strike is not a monopoly of the US, either.

It must be clearly understood that there is no limit to the strike of our People's Army and that on this planet there is no room for escaping the strike.

It must also be realised that the target of our strike in the war is not only the US imperialist aggression forces who are the chief executors the "Operation Plan 5027" but also the south Korean puppets who are willing to serve as their bullet-shield and Japan and all others that offer bases or act as servants behind the scenes.

We neither want nor avoid a war. If a war is imposed, we will not fail to respond.

Now that the US imperialists, having thrown off the mask of "dialogue" and "negotiation", are bringing the situation to the brink of war, we solemnly declare with the dignity of Juche Korea that our revolutionary armed forces will never pardon the challenge of the US imperialist aggression forces but answer it with an annihilating blow.

The aggressors will never escape the fate of forlorn wandering spirits.

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Letter from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea

December 7, 1998

(Juche 87)

Central Committee

Workers' Party of Korea


Dear Comrades,

We should like to express to you, to your whole Party, to the Korean People's Army and to the entire Korean people our firm solidarity with you at this time of threats of war against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by US imperialism.

US imperialist chieftain Clinton, in his recent remarks made in south Korea concerning the preparedness of US and puppet forces for aggression, and using the bogus pretext of the fabricated "nuclear issue", made clear that the US is readying itself for a military strike against the DPRK. This is not only a serious infringement of the sovereignty of the DPRK, but a grave threat to the peace and stability of the entire region. Clinton's remarks, as do those of other US officials concerning the continued presence of US troops even after the "crisis" may be defused, show that US imperialism has no intention of giving up its warlike aims of dominating the entire region. Its threats against the DPRK are intended to serve as a warning to any country which stands up against its hegemonistic ambitions.

We join with all progressive and peace-loving people in condemning these criminal threats of US imperialism and supporting the firm stand taken by the DPRK in defence of its sovereignty. It is just that the DPRK declares that it will answer any infringement on its sovereignty and the security of the Republic with resolute and merciless self-defensive measures.

Of particular concern to us is that the new British government has acted as the most loyal and unquestioning junior partner to the US in its military threats against the DPRK as against other countries. We join with all progressive forces in Britain in demanding that the Blair government come out from behind the coat-tails of US imperialism, change its stand towards the DPRK, and work for the withdrawal of US forces from the Korean peninsula and the ending of tension, opening the way for the peaceful reunification of Korea and its heroic people.

We remain, as always, shoulder to shoulder with you in your just struggle.

Yours fraternally,

Chris Coleman on behalf of Central Committee

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