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Volume 50 Number 1, January 4, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Advancing into 2020!

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index : ShareThis

Advancing into 2020!

US Air Strike on Iraq:
Condemn US Acts of War and Lawless Killings Step up the Demand for British Forces To Be Brought Home Immediately

Cobham Takeover:
Takeover of Cobham Multinational Reveals Narrow Private Interests Striving to Dominate World Today


Advancing into 2020!

As we enter the New Year, RCPB(ML) pays tribute to its activists and circles and all their efforts to advance the work of the Party in 2019. Despite the Conservative victory in the General Election, the resolve of the working class and people is not to be reduced to spectators to the programme and agenda of the ruling elite. On the contrary, their spirit is to build the resistance movement to the anti-social offensive and refuse to be reconciled to relinquishing control of their lives to any other force.

In 2020, there is much work to do to continue to challenge the status quo, and for the working class and people to set their sights on a way out of the all-round crisis which favours them. In this respect, the working class of Britain has a vital role to play as a contingent of the working class internationally fighting against the wars of aggression of the imperialist powers, fighting to establish an anti-war government, and establishing a new framework of action and thinking. In this work, there are many challenges, but this is vital work and the Party is determined to fulfil its responsibilities to the maximum, and calls on everyone to join in redoubling their efforts in 2020 to make headway.


Party contingent Passing the County at the Durham Miners' Gala 2019

In the general election, the ruling class achieved the majority it set out to obtain. But this is a Pyrrhic victory for Boris Johnson and his cohorts. Not only will it not provide the country with social stability, but it will not sort out any problem for the competing factions of the ruling elite. The result has further reflected the crisis of the Parliamentary system, and how the cartel party system is at loggerheads with the empowerment of the people. The task of the people in 2020 continues to be to work to breach this impasse and build the momentum for change and empowerment.

Just on Brexit, whether or not Britain actually leaves the European Union or Boris Johnson falls at the next hurdle, the fact is that the economy is caught in the grip of the raging competition between one faction and another of the narrow private interests which are striving to dominate the world today. If the choice is between allying with the United States or the European Union, neither will provide a guarantee of the defence of rights and peace and social justice. On the contrary, both stand for imperialist globalisation and violation of sovereignty of nations and peoples. The people themselves must speak in their own name.

Boris Johnson claims that his Conservative Party is a party of so-called "One Nation" politics, politics for both rich and poor, that will bring unity to Britain, despite the fact that his Tory Party has ejected those MPs that claimed to give that assertion some credibility. In reality, this kind of "One Nation" politics has the aim of being able to claim that the rulers have the consent of the governed to act with impunity. But these chickens are bound to come home to roost for Johnson. The working class and people will not accept them, and the people will demand that the government be held to account.

The anti-war movement is persisting in its work to demand and establish an anti-war government. This is an important focus of the work in 2020, particularly with a Prime Minister tied to the military establishment, and given the heinous crimes with which this decade is opening. The fight for peace and an anti-war government is inextricably connected with the fight to change the direction of the economy, for defence of the rights of all, and for the peoples of England, Scotland and Wales to have control over matters of vital concern to their lives.

RCPB(ML) also places on record its support for the fight of the Irish people for the reunification of Ireland. This is bound to win out, and is a step towards putting the Irish people themselves in control of the destiny of the island of Ireland.

The new decade brings with it the necessity for working people to take up their individual and collective social responsibility to oppose imperialism. This means in practice to speak out and act in one's own name individually and collectively on the issues and problems facing the people, economy and society, to oppose the ruling elite of the financial oligarchy and defend the people's interests; it means not allowing the rich oligarchs to set the agenda and falsely claim they represent the people in government; and it requires the people to advance the organised movement for democratic renewal and their empowerment.

In conclusion, in 2020 let us go all out, stepping up the tempo of our work and redoubling our efforts to achieve successes in fighting for the interests of the working class and people, for democratic renewal, and for an anti-war government.

Article Index



US Air Strike on Iraq

Condemn US Acts of War and Lawless Killings
Step up the Demand for British Forces To Be Brought Home Immediately

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), January 4, 2020


Demonstration in London on December 3 2019 No to Trump! No to NATO!

The Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the US imperialist regime's assassinations of Major General Qasem Soleimani of the Iranian armed forces, Abud Mahdi al-Muhandis, a leading member of the Iraqi armed forces, and eight other officials. The US military carried out its lawless killings with drone missile strikes at the Baghdad civilian airport on January 3.

The US imperialists with British imperialism as their major partner have been attempting to subjugate Iraq and Iran for decades. They have failed to do so in the face of the determined resistance of the Iraqi and Iranian peoples. What the Anglo-US ruling elites cannot control they seek to destroy. In doing so they act outside of any rules or norms which would stand in their way, and in complete violation of international law.


Stop the War Coalition mass protest outside Downing Street on Saturday 4 2020

The US military launched the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, following this with crippling sanctions and "no-fly zones", and then a full-scale "shock and awe" destructive invasion and occupation in 2003. The Iraqi people have heroically resisted and have not allowed the US imperialists to gain control of their country.

The US and British imperialists have never accepted the 1979 overthrow of their puppet the Shah of Iran and the formation of the independent Islamic Republic of Iran. They have tried in vain to isolate, destabilise and cripple Iran through economic sanctions and military encirclement in order to bring about regime change. However, the Iranian people have resisted all attempts of the US to regain control over their country. The actions of the US imperialists are provocations with the aim of creating a pretext, however flimsy, to launch an all-out war on Iran to destroy it. It must not pass! No war on Iran! Denounce the use of force to settle conflicts! All US troops must return home! British forces must be withdrawn immediately!


Stop the War Coalition mass protest outside Downing Street on Saturday 4 2020

RCPB(ML) opposes the role played by Britain in the interference of the US and NATO in the region. Britain has participated in air strikes, invasions, and occupations in the region going back decades. Between August 2014 and January 2019 British fighters and bombers have participated in 33,921 US-led coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria. More than 1,300 UK personnel are deployed to the region in support of Operation Shader, including RAF aircrew and engineers, UK Special Forces and British troops "training" Iraqi forces.

The British people especially have a social responsibility to denounce Anglo-US imperialist lawlessness and constant wars and interference against the peoples of the world.

RCPB(ML) calls on the British working class and people to take concrete measures to end Britain's militarised economy in support of the US war economy and its military forces. Fight to establish an anti-war government. Withdraw Britain from NATO, and dismantle all aggressive military alliances with US imperialism and demand that the US removes all its military bases and personnel from Britain. Denounce this US imperialist aggression and all interference in the sovereign affairs of others.

Condemn US Imperialist Killings, Lawlessness, Interference and Wars!
Get Britain Out of NATO! Withdraw All Troops from Foreign Soil!
No to the Militarisation of the Economy! No US Bases in Britain!
Let's Go All Out to Establish an Anti-War Government!

Note

On January 3, Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab issued a cynical and self-serving statement that underscores the unprincipled, criminal and complicit nature of Britain's role in these assassinations and in the region in support of US imperialism.

The statement said: "We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani. Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests."

Article Index



Cobham Takeover

Takeover of Cobham Multinational Reveals
Narrow Private Interests Striving to Dominate World Today

In the wake of the general election, the government has approved a private takeover by US "equity companies" of the British "public company" Cobham PLC, a major supplier of military and commercial systems on land, sea, air and space. The company, which employs in excess of 10,000, is a multinational company based in Dorset. On its website, the company cites amongst its operations the "probe and drogue refuelling systems [that] are on every major tanker programme in progress today" and is the "market leader in military helicopter personal thermal management and restraint systems". Cobham also provides "operational readiness training for NATO air, land and maritime forces as well as sophisticated electronic assemblies for the the fighter planes EA-18G Growler, F-35, and UAVs (drones)".

In July, the Cobham Board had approved the takeover by a newly formed equity fund company AI Convoy Bidco Limited, which is an indirect subsidiary of funds managed by US Advent International and the Blackstone Group[1]. The government ordered a review by the Competitions Market Authority (CMA), which produced a report that has been heavily redacted[2]. The CMA in its report makes an assessment and gives advice to the Secretary of State "that does not contain advice or give recommendations on the public interest" of this takeover by Advent and Blackstone. The government then announced its approval of the takeover on Friday, December 20, 2019 once it had received "safeguards" on "security issues".

Quoted in a BBC news report on the takeover, Lady Nadine Cobham - part of the family which set up the British firm - called the decision "deeply disappointing" and criticised the timing of the decision. She said it was "cynically timed to avoid scrutiny on the weekend before Christmas", adding: "In one of its first major economic decisions, the government is not taking back control so much as handing it away." In a report in the Guardian, Boris Johnson defended the sale. He said: "I think it's very important that we should have an open and dynamic market economy. A lot of checks have been gone through to make sure that in that particular case all the security issues that might be raised can be satisfied and the UK will continue to be a very, very creative and dynamic contributor to that section of industry and all others."

However, the takeover of Cobham has nothing to do with the government's support for a "dynamic market economy" nor can it be posed as a question of "taking back control". Instead, once again, it reveals how the economy is caught in the grip of the raging competition between one faction and another of the narrow private interests that are striving to dominate the world today. This raging competition is even more pronounced in the industries based in war production that are so dominant in the British economy. These companies make obscene profits from government contracts and sales abroad, all in the service of paying the financial oligarchy and fuelling wars in their interests against the interests of the people at home and abroad. The issue of having a dynamic economy and taking control from these multinationals is the question that the working class and people must take up as a fight for a new direction for the economy which serves their interests, not competing interests of oligarchies.

Notes

[1] According to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) the US companies involved in the takeover of Cobham are AI Convoy Bidco Limited ("Bidco") an "indirect subsidiary of funds managed by Advent International Corporation funds managed by Advent International Corporation (Advent); ...and funds managed by GSO Capital Partners LP, Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Advisors LLC and other managers affiliated with The Blackstone Group Inc." AI Bidco is registered with Companies House and set up in July 2019 to facilitate the takeover with two Directors, one who has no other previous registered directorships with Companies House, and the other has resigned 35 directorships over the last decade.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/846837/cobham-advent-international-cma-report-redacted.pdf

[2] Ibid.

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