First Published: The Worker, March 1970.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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ALMOST two years ago, on February 24, 1968, the Secretariat of our Party issued a statement condemning the Labour Government’s amendment to the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act – to restrict Kenyan Asians, holding British passports, from entering Britain. The Labour Government’s racialist policy of excluding British citizens simply on the grounds of race was then incorporated in the 1968 Commonwealth Immigrants Act. Our Party’s Programme, adopted at the first Congress in April 1968, in the section attacking racialism in Britain, included total opposition to the Government’s racialist immigration policy. (Section 49) Since then the ruling class has stepped up its use of racialism through official policy including intimidation of black people through the police and judiciary, and propaganda through the press, radio and television. Every alledged infringement of the immigration laws is so played up as to make the supposed “illegal immigrant” whether from India, Jamaica or Kenya a dire threat to the rights and liberty of British people.
In our 1968 Statement we had called the Labour Government “indistinguisable from the fascists of the Tory Party when it comes to racialist legislation.” Today, the deliberate use of the poisonous tool of racialism which has been an important weapon in the armoury of all imperialist powers – Britain, USA, Germany, Russia etc. – ever since the growth of capitalism, is assuming dangerous proportions. As British capitalism sees the writing on the wall both in its overseas empire and within the ranks of the working class of Britain, as it contemplates the growth of fierce resistance to imperialism in country after country of Asia, Africa and Latin America and the beginnings of a Marxist revolutionary movement among the working class of Europe, it is determined to use every weapon to smash the spectre of revolution and delay its own overthrow.
Therefore, the present intensification of racialism in Britain by the spokesmen of British monopoly capitalism (be they the Labour Government or Conservative opposition) must be taken seriously. This is so even when the immediate victims happen to be a handful of Kenyan Asians like Miss Ranjan Vaid who was shunted from country to country although she is a legal British citizen holding a British passport. The same exclusion on racialist grounds of East African Asians, now stranded in France and Switzerland, although all of them are British passport holders and not stateless persons, must be condemned as a deliberate attempt by the British ruling class to propagate racialism in Britain today. Each and every exclusion of British citizens from Britain on the basis of ethnic origin, dubbing black people guilty so that it is they who have to prove their innocence rather than making the state prove their guilt are deliberate violations of fundamental principles of British bourgeois democracy. We who are Marxists do not wish to preserve bourgeois democracy but neither will we allow the growth of fascism for the sake of intensifying capitalist exploitation of all sections of the working class. The exclusion of black people through the racialist immigration laws of Britain is part and parcel of the growth of the new form of bourgeois state in Britain – the corporate state – in which the working class will be further oppressed and forbidden its fundamental rights e.g. the right to strike. Wherever capitalism has resorted to fascism it has had to intensify racialism. The British ruling class is no exception.
The CPBM-L condemns all forms of racialist oppression in Britain whether practised by Wolverhampton City Council or the Labour Government, employers or landlords. It recognises that the doctrines of racialist supremacy, which have been an inherent part of British colonialism, for centuries, will require a long struggle for their overthrow. It knows that such a struggle-can only be led by the working class with Marxist-Leninist leadership. It calls upon all members, sympathisers and allies: take the initiative in combatting every form of racialist deed and propaganda; strengthen the Black Peoples Alliance by working with it; oppose all divisive, disruptive and diversionary tactics by the ruling class anxious to weaken working class solidarity; combat the revisionist-reformist approach which would like to restrict the struggle to conciliation and legal change. Racialism is part of imperialism. It can only be smashed by the revolutionary struggle of the working class of Britain – white and black – guided by Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tsetung thought. Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!