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Volume 46 Number 12, April 30, 2016 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

May First, Day of International Working Class Unity and Struggle

All Out for A Change in Direction for Society!

Call of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), May 1, 2016

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index : ShareThis

May First, Day of International Working Class Unity and Struggle
All Out for A Change in Direction for Society!

Continued Opposition to the Government's Anti-Social Devolution Act

Photos of the latest actions of the Junior Doctors

Decision on the Opening of the Seventh Congress of the WPK Issued

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May First, Day of International Working Class Unity and Struggle

All Out for A Change in Direction for Society!

Call of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), May 1, 2016

On this important occasion of May First, on behalf of the working class throughout Britain, RCPB(ML) sends its revolutionary greetings to the working class, insurgent peoples and oppressed people of all lands who are fighting for their rights, who are fighting against austerity and the anti-social offensive of the ruling elites and those who hold state power on behalf of monopoly capital, and who are fighting to defend their sovereignty and to chart their own destiny without outside interference.

Our Party also takes this opportunity to salute the working class and people throughout Britain, in England, Scotland and Wales, who are taking up the struggle for the pro-social alternative, for a human-centred society, for the rights of the people and for a change in direction for the economy and society, which is so urgently needed.

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While May Day last year came at the time of the general election, this year it also comes in the context of an important political battle: over Britain's membership of the European Union. This May Day comes as the working people are getting behind the call to take a stand against the European Union of the Monopolies. A vote to withdraw from this monopoly bloc is a vote for the alternative. It is a vote to take a decisive step to withdraw from an economic and political bloc in which power is concentrated in the hands of the monopolies, which pursues a died-in-the-wool neo-liberal agenda, and which contends for domination on the global stage. In doing so, RCPB(ML) calls on the working class to vigorously uphold the principle of proletarian internationalism, to affirm its stand as an international class, and to reject with contempt the poisonous chauvinism which is being whipped up in the Referendum campaign, and not to line up behind the dog-fights of the monopolies, behind the exhortation to make this or that section of international monopoly capital competitive in the global market. It is essential that the working class affirms its own agenda in this context to constitute itself as the nation, and ensure sovereignty and power passes into the hands of the people themselves. A sovereign economy is what is required, and trade under the control of public authorities for mutual benefit and not for empire-building. The future lies in fighting in defence of the rights of all.

We applaud and congratulate all sections of the working people throughout society who have been waging spirited and unrelenting struggles under the conditions of the retreat of revolution to turn things around and demand and work for a change in the direction of the economy, public services and society. In this respect, the struggle to safeguard the future of the health service as a public and accountable service dedicated to providing health care throughout society as of right is particularly acute. Also of urgency is the struggle of the working class to reverse the destruction of the manufacturing base, and to save the steel industry which is a vital component of a sovereign
economy. All of this, including the defence of the rights of the organised workers, the defence of wages, social programmes and pensions, raises the paramount issue of rendering the struggles of the workers' movement to be at their most effective. It is not just a question of stepping up the resistance. It is an issue of rejecting every capital-centred agenda that seeks to gain influence in the workers' movement and confronting the state power of the monopolies through an agenda that recognises the historic mission of the working class to transform society and to save the day against all attempts to block society's path to progress.

Our Party, RCPB(ML), considers that what is crucial in charting the way forward, is the concentration of the workers on developing their own agenda for change, their own independent programme to Stop Paying the Rich and Increase Investments in Social Programmes, and to fight for the development of the Proletarian Front, the solidarity and unity of all working people, with the aim of completing the transformation of society to one with modern relations of production. The working class must rally all sections of society around its independent programme. It must take the lead in this transformation of society, affirming the dignity of labour itself, and putting an end to all warmongering.

The Proletarian Front must put on its agenda the fight for democratic renewal, the importance of establishing social forms which ensure the unity of working people, and not promote the divisions which the present owners of social wealth attempt to sow in the workers' movement. Above all, the Proletarian Front must conceptualise and fight for the replacement of the anachronistic institutions and arrangements of the capitalist state by modern ones which are consistent with the requirements of the times.

On the occasion of May First 2016, our Party's call is that the working class must rely on its independent thinking and programme, through acts of conscious participation glimpse and struggle for the new in its acts of resistance and the defence of rights. Our stand, which we call on all to affirm, is that there must be One Class, One Programme. In this context, RCPB(ML) also issues a call for the unity of the communists to hammer out this programme and weld the class into that force which can overcome the subjective conditions which monopoly capital seeks to impose on the communist and workers' movement.

Defeat the Austerity Agenda!
For a New Direction for the Economy and Society!
Defend the Rights of All!
Advance Along the Line of March to a New Society!
Organise for the Working Class to Fulfil its Historic Mission and Vest Sovereignty in the People!
Hail May Day!
For a New Society Fit for the 21st Century!

Article Index


Continued Opposition to the Government's Anti-Social Devolution Act

Photo: Steve Boneham

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act received the Royal Assent on January 28. The Act promises election of mayors for "Combined Authorities", as well as the devolution of certain functions of governance to these and "Economic Prosperity Boards (EPBs)" throughout England. Since the Act was passed, its imposition has not been the plain sailing that the government intended. So far, out of the 10 devolution deals agreed and 34 applications pending, only one large authority, Manchester, has so far reached the stage that from April 1 it has started to manage its £6 billion health and social care budget as part of an extension of devolved powers under the Act. But even in Manchester, concerns about the risks to the funding of public services, including social and health care in the city, are still being expressed by those involved. In the rest of England, many borough councils are still refusing to confirm even the signed devolution deals or are delaying their implementation.

So for example in March in the North East, Gateshead Council repudiated the devolution agreement and its elected mayor that it had previously signed. Following this, the six remaining local authorities which are part of the North East Combined Authority (NECA) have delayed their decision. In a ballot conducted online by the North East Chronicle Live in March, a majority voted against the devolution deal as it stands, which led the paper to report that "the case against a regional authority and mayor looked stronger than ever, as Gateshead said it would not be signing up to the deal".

In the south of England, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight partnership voted against an elected mayor. The government's continued attempt to impose a "metro mayor" culminated in the Conservative Hampshire County Council leader advising the government that they were not prepared at this stage to progress a proposed "Solent Devolution" deal, or confirm the County Council's membership "in the timescales set by government".

On March 18, West Cornwall Health Watch included in their AGM a public debate on devolution as part of Cornwall Councils Consultative Programme on approving the devolution agreement. Cornwall is one of a number of areas that is including a devolved NHS budget for social and health care. However, council speakers as well as the audience raised many concerns as to how this devolution could work in setting up a Health and Social Care service when there would be neither full professional guidance, nor guarantees from the government to fund the right of all to health care.

This is a familiar picture across the country, but the context of this opposition is that government-driven "devolution" is both the continued attempt to deny the right to full sovereignty for Scotland, Wales and Ireland and at the same time further entrench the whole anti-social neo-liberal direction in the cities and regions across the whole of Britain. This is being done under the guise of claiming to "devolve" Westminster powers to "elected Mayors" and asserting the creation of northern and southern "powerhouses".

In his budget speech in March, Chancellor George Osborne tried to revive flagging support for the government's devolution in the face of this opposition, which is being expressed even within his own party, by claiming that "the government is delivering the most radical devolution of power in modern British history". He went on to try and claim that "the devolution revolution is taking hold". In doing so he spelt out the real aim of this "devolution revolution" as he pointed out that when he became Chancellor "80% of local government funding came in largely ring-fenced grants from central government". This he claimed was just the "illusion of local democracy" and he boasted that "by the end of this Parliament, 100% of local government resources will come from local government - raised locally, spent locally, invested locally".

In other words, he openly outlined a direction for the Devolution Act that continues the massive cuts in government funding to local authorities, which has savaged the budgets of public services over many years and is the continued aim which he is championing.

The fact that previously most local authority funding came from central government grants with only about a quarter raised locally through council tax on local residential and business properties needs to be put in its real context. It is not an "illusion of local democracy" as claimed by George Osborne. Quite the opposite. The "ring fenced grants" are a claim on central public authority, i.e. the government, to meet the needs of every community from the claim of central government to social wealth in the form of taxes. Taxes are taken from people in every community, council borough and workplace via income tax, corporation tax, purchase tax (VAT) and national insurance. This is distributed to local borough councils through what is describes as "ring fenced grants". In distributing this central funding, George Osborne presents this funding to local authorities as if it is a "cost and burden" to the national treasury and the people of the country. This is all part of the government's fraudulent pretext in doing away with "big government" and the "nanny state" and other such pronouncements which are aimed at trying to increase the claim of pay-the-rich schemes from the overall taxation, whilst removing the claim of local authorities for public services and thereby excluding the welfare of the people.

The Devolution Act is part and parcel of the government's abrogating its responsibility to provide and maintain modern public services for all the people who live and work in every part of the country through re-distribution of the social wealth of society that it has claimed. This is to be replaced by an "elected Mayor" wilth some paltry grant (£30 million a year in the case of the North East Mayor) that have "extra powers to add a premium to rates" to pay for "new infrastructure projects" and also the "borrowing of funds", but only provided the Mayor has "business support". In other words, having cut 80% of the claims of local authorities from central government "grants" the people are to face increased taxes with the real illusion of democracy being an "elected Mayor" who is in partnership with big business and the ruling elite in each area.

The plan of the government to impose its Cities and Local Government Devolution Act with its elected Mayor has nothing to do with empowering the people of the regions and respecting their decisions to run their own affairs but has the aim at entrenching further the destruction of public authority and further take forward the anti-social direction for society and for the economy in the interests of the monopolies. It underlines also that what is needed is a modern system of the raising and the expenditure of public funds, a system that does not put the burden on working people as individuals.

The alternative to the government's fraudulent and hypocritical "devolution" is the fight for democratic renewal, to replace all these anachronistic institutions and arrangements of the state with modern ones that recognise the sovereignty of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, uphold public authority, defend the rights of all and empower the people to make the decisions in society.

Article Index

The Battle for the Future Direction of the NHS

No to the Imposition of a Contract on the Junior Doctors!
Health Care Is a Right! For an NHS Based on Fulfilling this Right!

Junior Doctors carried out full walkouts on 26 and 27 April in England in their fight to oppose the govenment's plan to impose a new contract on them. See Workers' Weekly Number 10 April 16th for the latest article.


Above & Left: Thousands demonstrate through
London in support of the Junior Doctors on April 26
Right: Great Ormond Street Hospital

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Right: Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the Junior Doctors Rally in London, April 26

Left: Junior Doctors rally Sheffield    Right : Salford Royal Hospital

Left: Bristol Royal Infirmary    Right: Carlisle

Left: Cambridge    Right: North Tees University Hospital

Left: Ealing Hospital    Right: Bethlem Hosptial

Left: Hull    Right: Homerton Hospital

Left: Basildon    Right: Cambridge University Hospital

Left: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary    Right: Isle of Wight

Left: London March, April 26    Right: Lancashire Hospitals

Left: Kings College Hosptial    Right: Tunbridge Wells

Left & Right: Lewisham Hospital

Left: Truro, Cornwall    Right: Warwick Hosptial

Left: York    Right: Whipps Cross Hospital

Left: Nottingham    Right: Radiographers

Left: Sunderland Royal   Right: Poole

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Left: St Thomas Hospital, Westminster   Right: North Tyneside General Hosptial

Left: Royal Free Hospital   Right: Nottingham

Article Index

Workers' Party of Korea

Decision on the Opening of the Seventh Congress of the WPK Issued

Pyongyang, April 27 (KCNA)

Monument to the Founding of the Workers' Party of Korea

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Tuesday made public the following decision on opening the Seventh Congress of the WPK:  

The provincial conferences of the Workers' Party of Korea took place successfully at an emotion-charged time when the might of the great Paektusan nation, led by First Secretary of the WPK Kim Jong Un, is displayed on the highest level and all the service persons and people of the country are stepping up the 70-day campaign of loyalty at the final stage. 

The conferences proudly reviewed the victorious course the provincial committees of the WPK had covered under the wise guidance of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il after its Sixth Congress and elected new leadership bodies of the provincial party committees. 

The conferences elected as a delegate to the Seventh Congress of the WPK respected Comrade Kim Jong Un who has strengthened the WPK into the great Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist party and enhanced its leading ability in every way, fully displaying the dignity and might of Juche Korea. 

They elected and nominated as delegates and observers to the WPK Seventh Congress those officials and other party members, who have fully displayed their intense loyalty and patriotic devotion to the development of the Party and the building of a thriving nation, and strikingly demonstrated the unshakable faith and iron will of all party members and people to accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche started on Mt. Paektu, following Kim Jong Un under the unfurled flags bearing the immortal smiling images of the great leaders. 

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK decides to open the Seventh Congress of the WPK in Pyongyang on May 6, 2016.

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