Communist Party of Great Britain
Source: Speeches & Documents of the Sixth (Manchester) Conference of the Communist Party of Great Britain, May 17-19, 1924
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
The Labour Party began as a common association of working class bodies. Besides the great Trade Unions it included political organisations such as the I.L.P., Fabian Society and such like organisations. Its composition made it essentially a party of the working masses, and, notwithstanding the middle class ideology of its leadership and the treachery of its policy, large sections of the workers still look upon the Labour Party as the mass Parliamentary Party of the working class organised as a complementary movement to the Trade Unions and having for its ultimate object the ending of the exploitation of the workers.
The Communist Party records the fact that only under the leadership of the Communist International implying a complete change in methods of class struggle, can the working class free itself from the economic slavery and political yoke of capitalism. The Parliamentary policy of the present, leaders of the Labour Party is a policy of strengthening the structure of capitalist society and not fighting the capitalist system.
The Communist Party has to note that this leadership is provided and inspired by the I.L.P., hence the policy of the “Collaboration of the Classes,” the fetishism of parliamentarism and the propaganda of the idea of a peaceful social transformation from control by the industrial and financial bandits (who are at present exploiting the toiling millions) to Socialism and freedom from capitalist rule. This policy designed by this leadership given by the I.L.P., if pursued, will vitiate the fighting spirit of the workers and leave them a prey to the systematic and predatory attacks of the capitalists.
Facing this danger, the Communist Party considers it its duty to enter into the ranks of the Labour Party in order to strengthen the militant and fighting elements of the Labour Movement, and to unmask the treacherous elements in the Labour Party and free the workers from their influence. The Communist Party does not aim at a united front with MacDonald, Snowden, Thomas, etc., but at the organisation of the mass front of the workers. It enters Parliament not in order to delude the workers that they can achieve their emancipation by its means, but to use Parliament as a tribune whence to issue rallying calls and watchwords to the masses.
The Congress, therefore, reaffirms the decision of the Communist Party to apply for affiliation to the Labour Party. The Communist Party will at all times energetically oppose the policy of the Liberal-Labour elements, i.e., the treacherous middle class leadership, and the collaboration-of-the-classes policy of the I.L.P., and strive to give the working class a fighting policy based upon the class struggle. If the middle class leaders of the Labour Party continue to keep the Communists out of the ranks of the Labour Party and to transform it into a sham Labour Party and a close corporation of their own, they thereby will only hasten the disillusionment of the workers and their own downfall.