Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Movement

The “Absolute Decline” of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

The Worker

The previous section dealing with democratic centralism and the role of the Secretariat has shown how “The Worker” has been cut loose from the party’s control. Consequently the paper is now used to propagate the unMarxist and downright anti-working class claptrap that is invented by the idealist clique within the leadership.

The Worker berates the working class for its backwardness and cowardice, yet makes no attempt to analyse the material base for working class consciousness.

– It has propounded as Marxism-Leninism absurdities of political analysis: “The decision has been taken to destroy the working class, and with it Britain. It is a political decision that has nothing to do with any economic consideration.”

– It has made no comment on the dismissal of the revisionist Teng from the Chinese leadership – a silence that can only be interpreted as opposition to the present leadership in China.

– It has ignored the threat of an imperialist war and failed to expose modern revisionism. The refusal to deal with the consequences of the peaceful road in Chile is a notable example.

– Most shameful of all it has turned its back on the struggle against imperialism in Ireland.

The familiar excuse that the weaknesses of the paper are as a result of the failure of the branches to send any articles sound plausible but is simply untrue. Indeed articles from the provinces that go beyond mere news reporting have often been cut or changed to such an extent that they have been robbed of any political significance, or ignored, without a word of explanation. And yet party members are still required to “Read, defend and sell without argument or reservation” this broadsheet.

It is hardly surprising that in these circumstances sales of the paper are static or in decline (in spite of the contrary impression given by The Worker). At third Congress it was decided that Worker sales should be doubled in a year. At Fourth Congress it was admitted that this task had certainly not been fulfilled. In June 1975 it was decided that “The Worker” should go weekly, this decision is also unfulfilled. Meanwhile any attempt by branches to put forward constructive criticism has either been ignored, dismissed as empiricist, pragmatist, etc., or treated as an attack on the party.

To conclude “The Worker” has failed as the party has failed. Instead of relating all aspects of the class struggle to the need for revolution, the paper is a mishmash of trade union news, plus articles on the Socialist countries (these may disappear in the near future),often under an ultra left headline (e.g. Now to Revolution).

It is not an organizational weapon, indeed it is not even aimed at the class. Certainly it is not read by the class and perhaps most-significant: of all, it is often unread by the party membership.

The party’s attitude to propaganda is best summed up by the statement of the secretary of the Propaganda Committee at Fourth Congress:

Propaganda is not important.