Interview: What does our party stand for?

Responses to a Turkish journalist about Britain, Brexit, Boris, the workers’ movement and the wider world.

Proletarian writers

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CPGB-ML contingent on May Day 2018.

Proletarian writers

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This interview with the party by Turkish news agency Ileri Haber was recently printed in Turkish on the agency’s website.


1. What is the CPGB-ML? How do you view the politics of Great Britain? Are you Stalinists?

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) is a political party operating within the British state.

The party defends the achievements of the once mighty USSR and the accomplishments of the socialist countries. We defend the work and legacy of Josef Stalin, whom we consider a great Marxist-Leninist, and the finest student of VI Lenin.

2. Why and how did Boris Johnson get power? What did Brexit have to do with it?

Boris Johnson has assumed the leadership of the Conservative (Tory) party, and in assuming that position becomes our new prime minister. He was the most popular of the contenders for the leadership of the Tory party because he has long been associated with the campaign for the British state to exit the European Union.

Boris is viewed by many in our country as at best a bungling gaffe-prone buffoon and at worst a toxic figure and borderline racist. He has defended himself from such accusations as being ‘the grandson of a muslim migrant’, although he is also a descendant of German royalty, and it is from this tradition that he has previously spoken of Africans’ “watermelon smiles” and compared muslim women to “letterboxes” (the Niqab).

Those in our country baulking at the idea of such a man becoming PM are hypocrites. The British state is a racist, imperialist state, and all its leaders behave with inhuman cruelty towards oppressed peoples and our own working class.

The vast majority of people in Britain had absolutely no choice about who would be their next prime minister. Instead, in our much-celebrated (by our own bourgeoisie) democratic system, our prime minister was chosen by around 160,000 Conservative party members – that is to say, around 0.3 percent of the total population.

Yet we are told it is the socialist system of the dictatorship of the proletariat that is undemocratic. We are told it is Venezuela, the DPRK and Syria, with their vibrant mass political participation and popular leaderships, that are undemocratic.

Britain is a sham democracy, where the people have literally no choice in the most significant political matters affecting them.

The point was not missed by astute Russian president Vladimir Putin:

“They seem to poke a finger at us all the time over the democratic processes in Russia, the electoral law and so on and so forth,”

“But let’s look at the method of bringing actually the country’s top person, the top person of the executive branch to the supreme power in Great Britain.

“Is this done through general elections? No. This is done with the help of the party’s gathering.

“This is, of course, strange for me, honestly speaking. But such is the British system.” (Putin derides ‘strange’ Tory leadership race to choose new PM by Zamira Rahim, The Independent, 23 June 2019)

3. How do you view Johnson and Corbyn?

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are leaders of the two tried-and-tested political parties of the bourgeoisie.

The Conservative party was traditionally the party of our ruling class, and came to prominence in the century following the English civil war.

The British Labour party, originally founded to represent the interests of the labour aristocracy, to win some measure of political power within the existing capitalist state machinery, has held parliamentary ‘power’ on numerous occasions, and in every instance proven itself a capable ally of the British bourgeois class; attacking the conditions of workers here at home, and launching predatory wars of imperialist aggression abroad (in recent years alone in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia).

A full history of the Labour party can be read in our book Social Democracy – the Enemy Within.

4. Does the national issue still exist in Britain? And if yes, what is your party’s attitude towards it?

The north of Ireland remains occupied by Britain. Our party supports the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process undertaken by the leadership of the national-liberation movement in Ireland, Sinn Fein.

There are no other ‘oppressed nations’ in Britain. The Scottish and Welsh bourgeoisie participated willingly with the English in the bringing into existence of the British empire, and enjoyed the booty that was looted from the oppressed and colonised people.

Attempts to divide our working class along chauvinist grounds are harmful and not progressive. We advocate the building up of a mighty, united British working-class movement, led by a party of the proletarians of all Britain.

5. What, in your view, are the fundamental problems of the world left movement? Because all around the world, the radical right is getting power and the left is declining.

Ideological confusion in the ranks of the communist movement remains the fundamental problem of the ‘left’ internationally.

Concessions to bourgeois ideology have polluted the communist movement, and no serious advance will be made by any party that fails to grapple with the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The nature of the state, the national question, defence of materialist science and Marxist philosophy are all in need of serious attention and study by communist forces.

The grip of reformism in the imperialist countries and the bribing of large sections of the working class remains a barrier to building a revolutionary movement here.

Concessions to identity politics, bourgeois ‘public opinion’, bourgeois ‘morals’ and political correctness, have in recent years undermined promising work begun by some communists.

6. What do you think about the refugee crisis?

Our party operates in an imperialist country, responsible for the destruction of the homes and livelihoods of many millions of people, who subsequently are forced to leave their homelands to find those things that imperialism has destroyed.

Under capitalist conditions, the ability of capital to move freely around the world, from market to market, will inevitably mean that labour is forced to do the same, and the sad plight of refugees is to be witnessed as a consequence.

Only proletarian revolution can solve these problems.

7. Do you have a message for workers in Turkey?

Our party salutes the heroic Turkish people, who have time and again demonstrated their fidelity to republicanism, secularism, socialism and independence.

We follow closely developments in your country, which is an ancient land with influence far beyond its borders. Your labour movement, though politically divided, has many common features; not least the revolutionary spirit of the Turkish people, an indomitable fighting courage and ardent desire for liberty.

We sincerely hope, and genuinely believe that the Turkish people have a mighty and profound role to play in the international proletarian revolution, and wish the workers and progressive forces well in their struggles.