Marjorie Pollitt

Beware of the “Rights”

The Political Alliance and its Danger

Source: Worker’s Life, July 2, 1927
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/HTML: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2009). 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.

Recent events in working-class history have shown the utter futility of “neutrality”—the Co-operative Movement is essentially a weapon of the workers every bit as much as the Trade Union Movement and the Labour Party. In view of the fact that a majority of the members of the Co-operatives recognised this, it was a great pity that at Cheltenham steps were not taken to bring about an alliance with the Trade Union Congress along the lines advocated by the Communist Party and the Minority Movement before the General Strike.

But alongside of the gain of an alliance with the Labour Party is also a very real danger. We cannot close our eyes to the fact that the vast majority of the Co-operative Guilds are in the hands of the reactionaries—chairmen who “will not allow politics in the guildroom,” secretaries who withhold correspondence from the Communist Party and Left Wing bodies, Guilds and Political Councils which endeavour to close their doors to known militants.

Unless the workers are very wide-awake, these people who get inside the Co-operative Movement to sabotage it from within will take full advantage of the political alliance to use the same tactics inside the Labour Party.

The political alliance was made possible through the activity of the fighters in the Co-operative Movement. That militancy must not be allowed to die down now.

Every member of the Communist Party must be an active member of the Co-operative Guilds and Councils, bringing in new members, continually putting forward our policy, and ensuring that as a result of the Political Alliance the class-consciousness and militancy of the co-operatives is increased and not that the already too hesitant and timorous Labour Party is rendered more reactionary still.