The following greeting was delivered by Comrade George Korkovelos on behalf of our party at the recent congress of the Communist Party (Italy) in Rome. Read the address in Italian. The CP(I) is a member of the World Anti-imperialist Platform.
Comrades, I bring fraternal greetings from the Communists of Britain.
In our country today, the British establishment is hopeful that its long work to overturn the Brexit referendum is finally bearing fruit.
After years of chaos in the major imperialist parties, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have both been routed and the ruling class has both Tory and Labour back under the leadership of solid establishment figures. Now prime minister Rishi Sunak has agreed a deal with the European Union on the status of northern Ireland that opens the door towards the gradual reintegration of Britain into the European economic area. This could well be followed by a formal application for the UK to rejoin the bloc in a few years’ time.
The king, who is supposed to be ‘above politics’, was so delighted that he had tea with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen after the deal was signed.
Millions of working-class people voted for Brexit, taking the opportunity to revolt against a ruling class that treats workers with open contempt. But the ruling class refused to accept a result that was so fundamentally against its interests and immediately set about working to undermine or reverse the decision, making full use of their control of the state bureaucracy, most of the media and of academia.
Our rulers may think that reversing Brexit will solve their problems, but they are mistaken. The fabled genie is out of the battle, and it will not be put back in. The contradictions that generated the Brexit vote have not gone away, and its reversal will only add to the growing anger of the working class.
Before long, the British financiers may find that their problems over Brexit pale into insignificance compared with the ferocity of class struggles to come.
Today, we are witnessing a strike wave unprecedented in forty years. More than 2.4 million working days were lost to strikes last year as desperate workers fought back against the intolerable pressure of rampant inflation on their living conditions.
The strike wave is not over yet, but there is a growing awareness that union leaders are looking for a way out – not concerned with achieving victory, but only with putting forward just enough of a deal to be able to tell their members that the sell-out of their interests is ‘the best that can be achieved’.
The real desire and urgent need of workers to fight until victory is being systematically sold down the river by the very people who are paid to lead that struggle – ‘leaders’ who persist in pushing ‘compromises’ that leave their poorest members taking drastic real-terms pay cuts year on year. This is class treachery pure and simple.
Britain’s professional union officials have no interest in seriously bargaining to raise the price of labour-power, but are concerned only to keep their jobs and to persuade their members to vote Labour at the next election. Even though Labour, like the Tories, serves only one master and follows only one agenda: Save British imperialism, no matter what.
Facing a spiralling global economic crisis and the rampant war drive of our rulers, there has never been a more urgent time to organise our forces for revolutionary change.
As the shift to a multipolar world gains ever more momentum, there is no crime the imperialists will not commit in their desperation to prevent its arrival, which threatens to bring to an end the era of their dominion over the world and its people.
The threat of depleted uranium munitions being sent to Ukraine by the British government is a vicious escalation against the people of the region and the world. What will happen to Ukraine’s people if their food, water and animals are poisoned with these nuclear weapons (assuming the region’s breadbasket will still produce crops)? What will happen to the world’s people if poisoned food is exported from this region?
All this is mere collateral damage as far as the emperors of finance capital are concerned – a “price worth paying” in the pursuit of their profits and domination.
It is not Russia or China, but the US-led western imperialist bloc that has orchestrated wars all across the developing world, murdering and displacing millions and causing millions more to go hungry.
Comrades, we have a great battle before us, but we live at a time not only of crisis but of opportunity. As the crisis deepens and the war drive escalates, our rulers’ are daily providing proof of their unfitness to remain, of their inability even to sustain the slaves in their slavery.
Let us work together to use the coming period to coordinate our efforts against our common enemy. To work together for the defeat of the neo-Nazi Nato warmongering alliance, the dissolution of the EU imperialist bloc, and the destruction of US-led imperialism.
And let us work together to bring the understanding to both our peoples that only through socialism can we find lasting peace and a decent and dignified future for ourselves and our children.