Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 48 Number 21, July 14, 2018 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

134th Durham Miners Gala:

Build the Independent Politics of the Working Class!

Statement of the Northern Region of RCPB(ML)

On the occasion of this 134th Durham Miners Gala, the Northern Region of RCPB(ML) sends its greetings to the many thousands attending today, July 14. In particular we send our special greetings to the Durham Miners Association (DMA) who continue to organise for the great success of this event, to uphold the dignity of labour despite the closure of all mines in Durham some 25 years ago.

In his message in the Gala programme, Durham Miners Secretary Alan Cummings sets the perspective of the DMA for this year's Gala when he writes: "We need unity because the economic crisis is creating real suffering forcing us to fight on two fronts: Politically to break from the past. To reverse the flow of wealth to the privileged rich and to create a society where the strong look after the weak and everyone receives the full fruits of their labour. At the same time, within our communities, to protect the sick and disabled against the cruel consequences of the Tories' austerity programme and give them practical assistance. ...So at this Gala, this great expression of community and collective action, let us unite and renew our determination to fight for a truly socialist society."

It is precisely this experience of the working class movement and all the movements of the people to fight for the claim of the full fruits of their labour, their jobs, communities, health and other public services that has built a new resistance over recent years. This is a growing resistance against the savage onslaught of the government's neo-liberal direction to wreck civil society, destroy all public authority except the police powers of the state, and impose the dictate of big business and paying the rich. This anti-social offensive which the ruling elite is intensifying is imposing job losses, job insecurity, poverty and homelessness on vast numbers of the population. At this time, the fight for an anti-war government in Britain is also being taken up for solution by the anti-war movement and democratic and peace-loving people across Britain. There is widespread opposition to the pro-war governments of Theresa May and Trump and their warmongering activities right across the world as well as to the devastation and misery they are causing and the great danger of catastrophes that they are planning.

The Big Meeting

Our experience shows that in order to build a movement that can fight for the interests of the working class and people, the movement has to settle scores with the old politics. A new political movement for the empowerment of the working class and people is needed. Politically to break from the past!

The old politics is still promoted to attempt to block the people's initiative and keep them in check. So for example, in the movement to safeguard the future of the NHS, dividing people on party lines, or within parties themselves, harms the interests of the whole movement to unite around fighting for the new direction for society where health care is a right for all.

Being political means to fight for these politics and these new arrangements, politics which unites people around the aims of the movement regardless of other considerations. The necessity is for a political leadership that brings people together around the modern political programme of the working class for the new, that unites everyone to work out their aims and actions so that they can sort out the problems of society. A new politics that strives to block the power of the ruling elite to deprive the people of their power to resolve the problems in society in their favour. A great expression of community and collective action!

When it is said that we need politics of the many not the few, this is an expression of the fact that the interests and concerns of working people, the many, must give rise to new arrangements which replace the worn-out arrangements of the past which serve private interests and pay the rich, the few. These arrangements are archaic, and frankly would be farcical if they were not such an enemy to the people's concerns. The politics which are required are nothing but the independent politics of the working class!

The Durham Miners Gala is a wonderful celebration and rallying of the working class. The Gala parade carries before it banners inscribed with the words and deeds of generations of miners and the working class to defend their rights, to uphold proletarian internationalism and for the emancipation of labour and to build socialism. In this year of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, who affirmed that the old relations in society must be replaced by the new relations of socialised humanity, that to change the world, political power is required, let us all pledge to take those words and deeds forward. Let us fight for the new society, for an anti-war government in Britain and an economy which stops paying the rich, that serves the well-being of society and for the recognition of the rights of all.

Build the Independent Politics of the Working Class!
Settle Scores with the Old Politics! Work for the People's Empowerment!


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