In the campaign preceding the UK general elections, the YCL advocated a vote for the British Labour Party under the leftwing leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. This was the only logical conclusion, it being the only immediate option for an end to austerity for the British people, and instant gains for the Working Class.
In the election, the Labour Party went against predictions and broke the Conservative Party’s majority rule, greatly weakening the right wing’s position in parliament. What the country witnessed was a large increase in votes for a manifesto that promised progressive policies like an increase in the minimum wage, free education, nationalisation and protection of state welfare. In addition, the Labour Party programme has helped to glue the British people back together along class lines, disregarding nationalism and Remain and Leave divides over the EU, in favour of a ‘jobs first’ Brexit and policies to benefit all that would have been impossible to deliver within the EU’s straightjacket.
Despite support for the Labour Party being the only viable option, the YCL has reservations and criticisms of the Labour Party, as we have always done. Not least its adherence to Social Democracy which is perceived by many in Britain to be ‘Socialism’. Whilst we also believe Corbyn and others within the leadership and Left of the Labour Party to be genuine anti imperialists and Socialists, we think they will struggle to carry genuine antiimperialist and Socialist policies to the whole Party, let alone into government. The Labour Party has always been an imperialist party ruling on behalf of the Capitalist Class, and will continue to be so whilst powerful sections within the party adhere to imperialist values and the back and forth of Capitalist parliamentary ‘democracy’. It seems unlikely at this stage that a Labour Party government would ever be able to steer Britain away from NATO for example, and if the Labour Party achieves government, their progressive elements will have the full weight of the Capitalist Class thrown at them.
What is required is that the YCL, as part of the workingclass and progressive movements in Britain, continue to grow and be able to present the youth of Britain with crystal clear Marxist analysis and fervent action. We must cut through the illusions of Social Democracy with precision, and present the reasons why it is necessary to go further than mere reformation of the Capitalist system. We must end it. The British people must accept nothing less than the end of Capitalism.
While we encourage and support the broad mass movement that has grown up around Jeremy Corbyn, this movement must understand and promote the idea that a welfare state alone is not Socialism. Social Democratic reforms offer some respite from the worst of Capitalism, but they can easily be reversed, as they have been in the past, by the Capitalist class if that class is not removed. Social Democratic reforms also serves as a compromise with Capitalism, enabling it to survive by offering the working class concessions enough so as not to destroy it completely. The Labour Party may profess ‘Socialism’ but it will not be Socialism until Imperialism is ended and the Capitalist class removed.
A Labour government is best, when it opens up possibilities for our class as a whole, not just implementing better management of capitalism. For this to be the case they need to strengthen the mass movements of the working class, not only to secure their own base, but to allow workers to win struggles and articulate their demands beyond an election manifesto. As Communists we believe in the empowerment of the working class through organisation, in communities and workplaces, to change the balance of class forces in favour of the working class majority in all aspects of life. So the working class to have not only its own voice, but its own power structures to not only win the battle of ideas but have the structures to actually build the socialist society it needs, both in immediate solidarity, but also the defeat the power capitalist class.
We must of course work with and support the Labour Party where necessary, especially its left wing section and its new and enthusiastic young base of support, but we will criticise and highlight its flaws where it falls short of a realistic vision for a Socialist Britain. We must remain vigilant to the opposition and disruption that will come from the ruling class to any left leaning government, let alone a more radical socialist one, for as long as the capitalist class remain in power they will not settle for any threat to their prosperity and power, regardless of the cost to ordinary working class people. Our allies there can count on us for any assistance – for example, building 21st Century radical trade unionism, community and other extraparliamentary bodies and strengthening the movement, or specific campaigns such as cementing the idea of a People’s Brexit, reuniting all people against the EU for Socialist policies in our shared class interest. But above all, we must work to grow our own organisation, the YCL, for the period of struggle ahead so that we may be better able to contribute our unique Marxist Leninist perspective to the
movement, ensuring its health and success.
-Executive Committee of the YCLBritain
Communist Youth Organizations (CYOs) received the Joint Appeal for the Refugee Issue, initially an initiative by 6 CYOs, KNE – SDAJ – FGC – SKOJ – CJC – TKG. CYOs from every corner of the world, CYOs, from countries that face imperialist wars and their people face the consequences of capitalism that creates crisis, wars, and refugees, declare the following:
Solidarity to the refugees. Let´s strengthen our struggle against imperialist wars and capitalism, that gives rise to crises, wars, refugees
The Communist Youth Organizations express our solidarity to the victims of the imperialist wars, the more than 65 million of refugees all over the world, among which, more than 30 million are children.
We denounce the peoples´ murderers, NATO, European Union and all the forces that, in favor of their monopolies and for the control of energy reserves, the ways of transportation of energy and commodities and the control of the markets, carry out imperialist interventions and wars. The EU governments have big responsibilities because with their resolutions, they clearly violate the international law, and have trapped millions of refugees, mainly from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, in Turkey, Greece and other countries in which the refugees remain, against their will. They treat the refugees as a very cheap labour force within the framework of the general attack against the workers´rights, they permit or limit the refugee flows in accordance with the needs of the capitalist economy.
We struggle even more vigorously for the relief, the release and secure transportation of refugees to their destinations, for human conditions of temporary hosting. We isolate the fascist and racist forces in every country that point out the refugees (the victims) and acquit the capitalist system (the victimizer) by which they are brought up.
We reveal to the youth the causes that give rise to massive immigration and refugees. We are at the frontline of the expression of genuine popular solidarity, of the joint struggle of the peoples independently from national origin, race, language, religion.
We fight for workers´unity in our countries, to organize resistance and counterattack against the antipopular policy, for the rejection of any kind of division of the working class on the basis of national origin, language, race, religion. Unity among workers, local and immigrants, is the necessary precondition to stop the strategy of the capital that uses conflicts between them in order to increase the exploitation of all workers, to safeguard their capitalist profit.
Towards the 1st of May, 2017, we discuss massively with the youth in our countries about the imperialist war and confirm the actual character of the slogan of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, “Proletarians of all countries, unite!”
We shout: Solidarity to the refugees. Our enemy is capitalism that gives rise to crises, wars, refugees! We struggle for its overthrow! For the workers to be able to live in peace and be masters of their place, eradicating the causes that today force them to massive immigration.
We honor the 100 anniversary of the Great Socialist October Revolution, we project its messages and strengthen the struggle for the only real alternative in capitalist barbarity, socialism.
YCL General Secretary spoke in Toulouse recently to the Mouvement Jeunes Communistes de France (MJCF) in June at a debate entitled ‘Europe: What Solidarity? Speech to the Youth‘. Representatives from the Unión de Juventudes Comunistas de España (UJCE) were also present to represent their views on the European Union. Here is a transcript of the speech delivered on behalf of the YCL:
The position of the YCL has always been against the European Union. Not just Britain’s membership but the organisation’s existence altogether. The EU is a bulwark of neoliberal capitalism which enacts imperialism on a global scale as well as working against the proletariat within the EU itself. In this speech I shall outline why we are, and have always been against the EU and its previous incarnations.
The recent terror attacks in London and Manchester have highlighted not only the complete failure of the government to safeguard its citizens from terrorism but the fact that policies of the Conservative government actually contribute towards terrorism. The YCL recognises the need to halt the British governments imperialist meddling in the Middle East, the need to stop selling arms to governments like that of Saudi Arabia and the need to properly fund the emergency services and the NHS.
The YCL stands by the victims in utmost solidarity. No matter the nationality. No civilian should be targeted in such ways. The YCL condemns the barbarism of the attackers. The YCL must also draw attention to the bourgeois press and the capitalist media who stir up a hysteria over events in Britain yet ignore events perpetrated by the same groups in the Middle East. The YCL stands with victims of terrorism from Britain to Syria and wherever else it occurs.
The YCL calls for a working class response against terrorism and urges the peoples of Britain to halt their government’s imperialist agenda.