The Revolutionaries

Part 2 in the series: "The Other Candidates Are…"
Chris Coleman, RCPB(ML), talking to Matthew Parris
BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour
January 4, 2004

Matthew Parris also talked to Rob Griffiths (CPB) and Dave Nellist (former Lab MP)

It is a defining moment in history. It is a very dangerous situation. We have a government which is using war to resolve international conflicts. It is abandoning all international law. It is destroying the public services, putting public assets into the private hands, attacking the rights of the people – all in all going back to medievalism.

Chris Coleman, National Spokesperson, Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist): One way in which we differ from other parties is that we do not strive for power, and we actually do not think any political party should strive for power. It is the party system which actually blocks the mass of the people from taking part in the decision making.

Matthew Parris:
Q: If I came into your bookshop, John Buckle Books in the Wandsworth Road, and you said to me join the Revolutionary Communist Party, and I said to you, I am already a communist and I belong to the Communist Party of Great Britain, what could you tell me to persuade me to join your party, how different is it?

Chris Coleman:
A: Well, the first thing is that I would not ask you to join the Party. We are not in the business of poaching members from other communist parties. In fact, particularly since the fall of the Soviet Union, we have co-operated with all the communist parties. So we would be more interested in explaining to you our policies and perhaps persuade you to take up those policies in your own party.

Matthew Parris: The Revolutionary Communists are reluctant to say exactly how many members they have. But they carry on with all the trappings of an elaborate organisation. There is a Central Committee, a Presidium, Party Congresses, Party cadres. They pass elaborate resolutions and publish pamphlets with titles like Draft Programme for the Working Class, and of course the Party newspaper, Workers’ Weekly. Some parts of the programme are not, on the face of it, huge vote-getters.

Q: I see part of your programme is a movement for the peaceful unification of Korea. Do you support North Korea?

Chris Coleman:
A: Very much. I have been there three times. There are the most dreadful lies told about North Korea. I think the North Korean people have a great history – against the Japanese, fighting for their independence. And if you went there I think you would be surprised at the level of the standard of living, despite all the difficulties – of natural disasters, blockade, American threats.

Matthew Parris:
Q: Would you like to see the United Kingdom living under a government like that of North Korea?

Chris Coleman:
A: If – and I am sure the time will come – we develop socialism here, the people here will decide what type of socialism it is.

Matthew Parris: Are you sure the time will come?
Chris Coleman: I am sure, yes.
Matthew Parris: In your own lifetime?
Chris Coleman: Who knows?
Matthew Parris: How old are you now?
Chris Coleman: I am 64.
Matthew Parris: So you think it could come within the next 20 or 30 years?
Chris Coleman: I do not think it is really useful to make predictions.