WORKERS' WEEKLY Supplement to May Day Issue , 1999

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Historic 3rd Congress of RCPB(ML) Successfully Held


Historic 3rd Congress of RCPB(ML) Successfully Held

Communiqué Issued by the National Office of RCPB(ML), April 11, 1999

The Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) success- fully held its 3rd Congress, the Party’s highest decision-making body, in London, beginning its proceedings on March 19 and concluding on March 21, 1999.

Political Report on the Work of the Central Committee of RCPBML

RCPB(ML) came to its 3rd Congress as the culmination of the period of its work which began on January 2, 1994. The Party and its cadres also came to the Congress with the experience and deliberations of the two National Consultative Conferences of 1998 behind them. The agenda of the Congress centred around the problems the Party had taken up for solution, the work which it had identified as crucial, in extricating society from its crisis.

The Congress took place at a crucial time for the working class and people. In the situation where the capitalist crisis is extremely acute, Tony Blair has been brought to power as the champion of the bourgeoisie to actually carry Thatcherism forward. The Congress put forward that in this situation, the Party must articulate the vision of the new society and the way forward into the 21st century which the objective conditions are pointing towards, to give confidence to the workers’ movement, and imbue it with the revolutionary theory based on settling scores with the old philosophic conscience and as part of the summing up of the workers’ and communist movement world-wide in the 20th century. The Congress pointed out that such a revolutionary theory will give an invincible quality to the proletarian movement for emancipation. It pointed out that the Party must work out the modern arrangements that require to be made to advance the communist and workers’ movement in the conditions of retreat of revolution as well as the coming revolutionary storms. The Congress pointed out that the Party must formulate the immediate as well as the strategic political tasks that the working class needs to elaborate to lead all of society out of the crisis, and that it must set the tasks which the Party must now undertake and the aims it sets for itself in advancing on its line of march. These were the themes of the Congress. They were summed up in the slogans of the Congress: Forward into the 21st Century! For a Socialist Britain!

The banner of the 3rd Congress with these slogans and the logo of the Congress, inscribed with the Party’s red star and hammer and sickle, was hung prominently at the front of the Congress hall. It is reproduced on the back page of Workers’ Weekly.

At 2.55 pm on Friday, March 19, a representative of the Central Committee, to prolonged applause, declared the 3rd Congress of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) open.

He then welcomed the delegates and observers and announced the presence of the fraternal delegates and observers participating in the Congress proceedings. Following this, the Congress elected a seven-person Presidium. The Congress Rules and Agenda were then discussed and adopted. As never before, those that have participated in the work of the Party were those that participated in formulating the Agenda and the 52 pages of material on which the Congress deliberations were based.

The Political Report to the 3rd Congress on the Work of the Central Committee of RCPB(ML) was then given. At the commencement of the report, the representative of the Central Committee called on those present to remember all those comrades who have fallen since the last Congress of RCPB(ML) in 1987, particularly our beloved Comrade Hardial Bains. The Congress observed a minute of silence in their memory. The Political Report declared that with this 3rd Congress, RCPB(ML) proclaims that it is standing firmly on its own feet. This can only be done if at the same time any theory of exceptionalism is rejected. The Party does not hold that there is a peculiarly British road to socialism, nor that the issue is to build socialism with peculiarly British characteristics. Standing on our own feet means that we are capable of dealing with the world as it is and not as a category of ideas. In this context, the Report summarised the line of march of RCPB(ML) since January 1994. It summed up the objective situation in the light of the anti-social offensive which is being carried out in Britain by the Labour government, and condemned Tony Blair’s “Third Way” which seeks to conciliate the class struggle. And it assessed the importance of the fighting programme for the working class: Stop Paying the Rich – Increase Investments in Social Programmes!

In setting the seal on the entire work of this period, the Report explained, the holding of the 3rd Congress is something which is quite momentous. It pointed out that since the 2nd Congress of the Party in 1987, the world has gone through a historic turning point. The main and crucial aspect of the Party’s and the Central Committee’s role during this period, it declared, is that the Party of John Buckle, Cornelius Cardew and the many other comrades who worked to the utmost to build the Party and to give it life not only survived, but is here today holding its 3rd Congress. This declaration was fervently applauded by the delegates. The Report affirmed that the Party was never reconciled to a situation where it had difficulty finding its bearings or a situation which could be described as “groping in the dark”. It was this factor of not being reconciled to the situation, a determination that the Party should live, and a realisation that only the work of the Party itself could ultimately transform the situation that were the basis for the Party to once again make its own history.

The Report declared that as a historic stage in its forward march, with this Congress the Party is rising to meet the challenge of opening the path to take society into the 21st century on a new basis. It affirmed that in preparing for the coming revolutionary storms, the Party must build itself in the heart of the working class so that the class is organised and made conscious that it must take control of what belongs to it and empower the broad masses of the people. The Party and the working class should elaborate and fight right now for their vision of a socialist society, of a socialist Britain, a modern society in modern colours, proletarian colours, the Report concluded. It was met with a vigorous standing ovation, and it ended the proceedings of the first day of the Congress.

Conclusion of Presentation of Political Report

The Political Report set the tone for the deliberations of the Congress which took place on the second day, March 20. The agenda items dealt with the key theoretical, ideological, political, organisational and practical issues facing the Party and the class – problems which demand solution. In pointing towards the future, the orientation of the discussions centred on building the communist party on the new historical basis as the most crucial factor in bringing about the transformation of society to socialism through revolution. The discussions were successfully completed.

The morning of the third day, March 21, was allocated to a closed session in which the new Central Committee was elected. At the commencement of the afternoon session, it was announced that a new seven-member Central Committee of the Party, its leading body between Congresses, had been elected. Three-quarters of its new candidate members are women. It was announced that the Central Committee had held its First Plenum and had re-elected Chris Coleman as National Spokesperson for RCPB(ML).

The Congress received messages of greetings from a number of fraternal organisations abroad as well as from British organisations and individuals. As well as these, the Congress was addressed by the leaders of the delegations attending the Congress from the Communist Organisation of Britain, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Indian Workers Association (G.B.), New Communist Party of Britain, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), Communist Ghadar Party of India, and by Sandra Smith, National Leader and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist).

The Third Congress of RCPB(ML) to enthusiastic applause adopted Resolutions on the Party’s programme and political tasks for the coming period. These are published separately.

3rd Congress concludes with singing of The Internationale

In his concluding remarks, a representative of the new Central Committee said, “It was in July last year that we resolved to hold this 3rd Congress at the time of the 20th anniversary of our Party. There was much work to be done from that time but it has been accomplished and we are here and the 3rd Congress has been held. It is also five years since the launch of our draft document There Is a Way Out of the Crisis which has now been formally adopted by the Congress. This alone constitutes a great victory for the Congress. But as the resolutions have pointed out, as the political report has pointed out, there are great vistas opened up for the working class and people but there are great responsibilities on the Party also to fulfil its duty in organising the working class and people to bring about this socialist revolution in Britain, to bring about a transformation of Britain into a modern country with modern sovereign states and moving forward into the 21st Century on a new basis, a socialist basis. We pledge to fulfil these responsibilities on the path this 3rd Congress has charted.”

The Congress concluded with the singing of the first verse of The Internationale and the shouting of the slogans: Hail the Victory of the Third Congress! Forward into the 21st Century! For a Socialist Britain! Long Live the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)! Workers of All Countries, Unite! With pride in its accomplishments, the 3rd Congress of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) ended its historic proceedings at 4.35 pm on Sunday, March 21, 1999.

Scene from the cultural event celebrating the 3rd Congress

A closing cultural event celebrating the victorious 3rd Congress was held that same evening. It was a festive event of music, song and poetry marked by great enthusiasm. Its centrepiece was a powerful video celebrating the Congress, which interspersed footage of the Congress itself with a mosaic of the Party’s rich fighting history.

* * *

For further information on the 3rd Congress and on the Party, contact the National Office of RCPB(ML) on 0171-627 0599.

or e-mail:

Article Index


March 21, 1999

  1. This Congress resolves to adopt the Political Report on the Work of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

    Congress resolves that the new Central Committee be entrusted with the publication of the Report to reflect the contributions made to it by the deliberations of the Congress.

  2. This Congress resolves to ratify the draft document There Is a Way Out of the Crisis and adopt it as the general line of the Party.

    Congress recognises that There Is a Way Out of the Crisis represents the general line of the Party forged in the conditions of the retreat of revolution to chart the way out of the crisis to a new socialist society. Congress recognises that this general line has successfully guided the Party to drafting its independent programme for the working class and implementing its programme to Improve the Content, Extend the Readership of its newspaper Workers' Weekly.

  3. This Congress resolves to adopt RCPB(ML)'s Draft Programme for the Working Class.

    Since publication in January 1995, this Draft Programme has provided an independent programme which gives the perspective with which all the struggles of the class should be fought. The experience of the mass movement and the deliberations of Congress testify to the necessity for such a programme and the stands the programme takes. Congress reaffirms that the starting point of this programme is that the working class calls for the recognition of the inviolable rights of all human beings.

  4. This Congress resolves to adopt the fighting call: Stop Paying the Rich - Increase Investments in Social Programmes!

    Congress recognises that this call sums up the independent pro-social programme with which the working class politically unites the people to overcome the crisis. The main elements of this programme are:

    · In the economic sphere, a moratorium on servicing and repaying the national debt to the financiers; an end to the militarisation of the economy; increasing investments in education, health care and other social programmes.

    · In the political sphere, people's empowerment through the democratic renewal of the political process and institutions, with a modern constitution drafted with full participation of the people which vests sovereignty in the people; modern sovereign states of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and a free and equal union between them if they so desire.

    · Internationally, the dismantling of the EU and of NATO, and all such economic/political and military alliances based on big power domination; an end to Britain's colonial and neo-colonial relations and its intervention in the internal affairs of other countries; democratisation of international affairs; the recognition of the right of all peoples of the world to live according to the social system of their choice.

    · Support for all people fighting for the same abroad.

  5. This Congress resolves that the Party must continue to build and strengthen Workers' Weekly on the basis of its programme to Improve the Content, Extend the Readership of the newspaper. It reaffirms that the Party newspaper is the scaffolding which ensures that the Party is built.

    Congress recognises that any deviation from this task would be a conciliation with the liquidationist pressure. It is a task which continues to be in force in the circumstances of building the Party in the the working class and preparing for the coming revolutionary storms, and Congress recognises that not to work out how to give content to advancing along this line of march in this period would be for the Party to abandon its communist quality.

  6. This Congress resolves that RCPB(ML) must step up the work to build the Party on the new historical basis. It resolves to further strengthen the Party on the basis of the principles of democratic centralism.

    Congress recognises that in carrying out this work, the basis of unity of Marxist-Leninists as adherents of some general principles of communism, or some general line, is not enough. It is the order of the day that the Party develop contemporary Marxist-Leninist thought as the summation, taken in general form, of the experience of the application of Marxism-Leninism to the conditions of socialist revolution and socialist construction and to the struggle against modern revisionism and capitalist restoration; as the summation of the application of Marxism-Leninism to the struggle of the peoples against fascism, militarism and imperialism, as well as to the struggle to end medievalism; as Marxism-Leninism as enriched and developed by the practice of revolution; as an affirmation of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism and their higher development. It is the order of the day that the Party settle scores with the old philosophic conscience and develop its work on the basis of modern definitions so as to build the Party as the main subjective force in bringing about the revolutionary transformation of society to socialism.

  7. This Congress, recognising that the youth are coming forward and deciding to join modern communism, resolves to organise the youth for modern communism.

    Congress recognises that in this society youth are marginalised, suppressed and denied a role in the affairs and organisation of society of which they are a crucial part, in fact, the future. By their nature youth are questioning, forward looking and ready to challenge old ideas. They are ready to transform words into deeds and take action. The necessity now is for the youth to take measures to become an organised force, to motivate their peers through discussion, by showing that there is an alternative way forward, capitalism is not the only way; and to present alternatives to the set of values, beliefs and information imposed by the interests of big business powers. Understanding requires an act of conscious participation, an act of finding out! The importance of taking action (with analysis) and the power of questioning is central to the youth and their coming to the forefront of the struggle for the future of humanity and a society that can realise the full potential of people.

    Congress thus reaffirms the importance of the youth and students participating in political affairs and taking up modern communism.

  8. This Congress condemns the reactionary anti-social offensive carried out by Tony Blair and the Labour government in the name of the "Third Way".

    Congress recognises that between the old and the new, between the demand for a new society and the insistence of the rich that the old should be preserved and that there is no next stage of development, there can be no "Third Way". It therefore resolves to deepen the exposure of the "Third Way" as a dangerous illusion which has the purpose of attempting to conciliate the class struggle of the working class under the conditions of the intensification of the anti-social offensive against the people and the drive of the monopolies for dominance in the global market.

  9. This Congress resolves to give every assistance to the movement against the anti-social offensive and for the victory of a pro-social programme by continuing to provide that movement with a programme to advance its aims and with a vision of the new society that can be created.

    Congress accordingly adopts the following resolution on safeguarding the future of the health service:

    The health service is increasingly being geared to pay the rich in the form of PFI, etc.

    Health workers are constantly being attacked both in conditions of work and in the blame culture being foisted on them - that they are the ones to blame when health care is not provided.

    In the face of struggling to give their best to care for the patients they are becoming increasingly demoralised and hopeless because they are constantly being told that the only way forward is the "Third Way" and the only thing they can do is to be in on the decisions as to where to institute the rationalisations and cuts.

    Despite this, in the face of the increasing anti-social offensive in health care, many health workers have united with members of their communities to defend the NHS against the cuts. Health workers feel increasingly marginalised when their voices and those of the people in the communities are ignored on such a vital question as provision of health care.

    We resolve to take the line into the everyday work and struggles of the health workers. The hopes and aspirations for a society in which health care for each member of society is recognised as a right and guaranteed can only be achieved through putting forward a pro-social programme to articulate and defend the rights of the working class and people. We resolve to bring this to the fore of the movement to safeguard the future of the health service.

    To safeguard the future of the health service and show that the only sure guarantee of this is summed up in Stop Paying the Rich - Increase Investments in Social Programmes! we resolve to develop a programme which articulates this in relation to the specifics of the health service.

  10. This Congress upholds that the rights of all must be defended.

    Congress recognises that the Party must fight as one with the women, national minorities, disabled people and all society's collectives. It takes a stand against racism, against ghettoisation, and against the marginalisation of minorities and all collectives. It doing so it also takes a stand against all arrangements in society which stop national minorities and other sections of the people from fully participating in the affairs of the polity and working to open the door to progress, and which make them vulnerable to the hegemony of the bourgeoisie over the political affairs of society. Congress recognises that in this regard the Party works to establish the new arrangements characteristic of the new society.

    Congress upholds that all national minorities should be recognised as equal in respect of their right to espouse and develop their languages and cultures.

  11. This Congress condemns the national chauvinist war propaganda of the rich. Congress hails the people's opposition to the continued aggression against Iraq and for the lifting of the genocidal sanctions regime imposed by the British and US governments. It resolves to develop further the coverage of this and other struggles against militarism, aggression and intervention in the context of Improving the Content, Extending the Readership of Workers' Weekly.

  12. This Congress resolves to stand shoulder to shoulder with the fraternal Marxist-Leninist Parties and the workers and peoples of all continents, in the struggle against the onslaught of capital and imperialism, for national liberation, the empowerment of the people and for revolution and socialism.

  13. This Congress resolutely condemns all imperialist aggression and interference. It opposes the 19th century liberal conceptions and values represented by the Charter of Paris of 1990, to which Britain is a signatory, which the international financial oligarchy is seeking to impose on the entire world in the form of the demand that every country must have a free market economy, a multiparty system and "human rights" based on private property.

    Congress militantly greets the people of all lands fighting for their national and social liberation. It greets those peoples who are continuing their struggle for the independence of their countries and following their own paths of development, including the peoples of the Republic of Cuba and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea who are opposing the US imperialist blockades and continuing the struggle to maintain the socialist systems of their choice.

    Congress resolves that RCPB(ML) will redouble its efforts to make its contribution to the struggle of humanity for a new world and fulfil its proletarian internationalist duty also by organising for socialist revolution in Britain.

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