Voting. Was Air your views... godena's support for election

CAGJimKane at CAGJimKane at
Sun Aug 11 13:20:28 MDT 1996

Comrade Richard Bos has answered my question about the NCP's abstention
campaign - andhas confirmed his sanity. He thinks that I was implying that he
was claiming it was successful: I wasn't, though the way he wrote his post
left in unclear, hence my question.

Comrade Richard says he won't get into slagging off the Communist Action
Group. If he has criticisms of our activities and positions, then I would
welcome them - I have personally invited him to make them recently, in fact.
There is a lot of difference between criticisms, even if sharply worded, and
"slagging off". I guess by implication that comrade Richard feels that I was
slagging off his organisation. That was not my intention. But I was certainly
being critical.

Comrade Richard rebuts my comment regarding the NCP as "backing Blair", and
reckons that I could not possibly have read any of his postings on the
matter. True, the NCP would rather have a Labour Party under the leadership
of Tony Benn than the present one led by Tony Blair, and it is very critical
in its paper of Blairite policies. I did not mean that they were backing
Blair in the direct sense of supporting his policies as opposed to those of
the Labour left. My point was simply the rather obvious one: the NCP will be
campaigning come election time for the election of Tony Blair as Prime
Minister. Calling for a vote for Labour can mean nothing else when Blair is
its leader. If comrade Richard has a better term than "backing Blair" for
this, then I'll use it, though the best I can think of is "backing Blair
critically", which unfortunately is no more than putting a gloss on the same

I would like to comment on one other throw away remark from comrade Richard.
He says that the communist movement in Britain is split between the NCP and
the CPB, and expresses his regret on the matter. I am afraid there is rather
more to it than that. There are other Communist organisations in the field,
too, Richard, as you well know. For example, the Communist Party of Britain
(Marxist-Leninist), formerly led by Reg Birch. The CPB(M-L) is considerably
bigger than the NCP, for example, though just as wedded to voting for Labour
come what may. And what about the organisations such as the Association of
Indian Communists, led by Harpal Brar. Until recently, the NCP was very keen
to share platforms with comrade Brar. What is the point in pretending they
don't exist? Or the old pro-Albanian party, the Revolutionary Communist Party
(Marxist-Leninist)? Presumably for comrade Richard these comrades do not
exist, either. Or the Communist Organisation of Britain, with which the NCP
has had much contact, and who helped greatly in arranging the rapprochement
between the NCP and the Korean Workers Party a few years back. They don't
exist either? Or the Communist Party of Scotland, which has the distinction
of having at least one elected councillor? Another figment of my imagination,
no doubt.

No, comrade Richard, as you well know, there is more to the Communist
movement in Britain than just the NCP and the CPB. And there is realignment
taking place. The Association of Indian Communists and the Association of
Communist Workers issued a  call for unity based on basic principles last
year, which I will post to the list later when I have the time to type it up.
These basic principles were clearly too much for either the CPB or the NCP to
sign up to. I would appreciate it if comrade Richard would spell out what
exactly it is in them that he and his party disagree with.

For Communism

Jim Kane
BM Box 4473
London WC1N 3XX

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