The Communist Party has launched its manifesto for the general election, where it is fielding only nine candidates in a political field full of splinter left wing, ‘anti austerity’ groups.
Criticising the Labour Party for ‘being dominated by its right wing parliamentary leadership’, its headline is ‘Tax the Rich! Take The Power With Public Ownership!’ In the 22 page document, filled with cartoons about unemployed being turned into chain gangs by job centres, it calls for the traditional ultra socialist policies including ‘tax the rich’, ‘close down British-run tax havens’ and build a million homes for public sector workers.
The manifesto itself doesn’t feature on the website, where the only publications are pamphlets to purchase for around £5. Instead, it’s been uploaded to a website which requires would be readers to sign up, making claims about ‘civil liberties being circumscribed by ill-defined anti-terror legislation’ into which they include the ‘surveillance of electronic media usage’.
But it also has some striking similarities to the 2015 Labour and Green Party manifestos such as cutting energy prices (which would inevitably force up the price) and investing in jobs, ‘green’ technology and public services. And, like the SNP and Greens, it wants to scrap the Trident nuclear deterrent and impose a federal Britain with proper Scottish and Welsh parliaments.
Acknowledging that they cannot form a government – or even a cabinet with only nine candidates – the party is pushing for a Labour victory on May 7th. But it insists that Labour’s ‘austerity-lite’ which includes running a government deficit for the whole of the next parliament, will need to be given the additional socialist top up by Communist MPs.
Underlining their ideology is a belief that Britain’s economic crisis was a ‘capitalist crisis’ and that austerity is working as intended, with the rich getting richer as workers and their families get poorer. Austerity, they claim, is a “huge deception exercise, designed to boost the fortunes of the super rich and the big banks, transnational corporations and private equity companies in the City of London – Britain’s monopoly capitalist ruling class.”
Like it’s ancestral home, the USSR, the party is vehemently anti NATO, an organisation set up in the cold war to counter the threats of communism and Stalin’s Warsaw Pact. But whereas Stalin formed the alliance with the satellite states in what could only be designed as empire building, today’s British Communist Party says ‘The coalition’s aggressive support for big business has been matched by similar aggressiveness in foreign and so-called ‘defence’ policy. Both the coalition and previous Labour governments ‘acted as a junior partner to United States imperialism’ in order to ‘advance the international interest of British-based transnational corporations’.
‘The NATO military alliance, of which Britain is a leading member is’, they say ‘the greatest threat to world peace today’ which together with the EU exist to hem in countries such as Russia and China.
This unusual warmth for a country which was the home of communism and is now run by an imperialist dictator seems to be the main difference between the party, which appears stuck in 1970s Cold War and economic policies, and the Labour party run by Ed Miliband.