Category: Communist Party Britain
Lies and deception reign in the White House
| January 30, 2018 | 7:23 pm | Analysis, Communist Party Britain, Donald Trump | No comments

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ALBERT SCHARENBERG examines the Trump spectacle and the end of truth in the US

A US journalist recently commented in The New York Times that Donald Trump’s presidency marks the coming of age of The Society of the Spectacle — a society in which truth is essentially reduced to a mere hypothesis and consistently subordinated to orchestration.

Indeed, lies and deception reign in the White House. During his first year in office alone, The Washington Post counted more than 2,000 cases in which Trump lied or made misleading statements —equating to roughly five times per day.

The 45th US President, sworn into office just a year ago, may be a notorious denier of truth and understand next to nothing about politics but as a reality TV star and celebrity, however, he definitely commands the media.

Under his presidency, politics has been replaced by a frantic scramble for media coverage. This Twitter-President has made it his habit to hurl out daily insults against his domestic and foreign adversaries. Here, even scandals serve a purpose by drawing in the public as a consumer (ie audience), thus including them as part of the spectacle.

With scandals following the president’s every move, there is little time to analyse one incident before the next one makes the headlines.

The events occurring over the last couple of weeks impressively highlight this fact.

The US president decried African nations as “shitholes” and called for more Norwegian immigrants. His Republican henchmen immediately jumped to his aid, simply disavowing his remarks.

Then, as The Wall Street Journal reported, a Trump lawyer allegedly paid an adult-film star hush money shortly before the 2016 election to keep quiet about her sexual affair with Trump.

Notwithstanding the resistance of even Republican governors, Trump intends to open the nation’s coastlines to offshore drilling—with the exception of the Mar-a-Lago-state of Florida.

Steve Bannon, formerly one of Trump’s closest allies, has been driven from his position, and the noose around Trump’s neck in the Russia affair is getting tighter every day. To make things worse, Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury reveals the grotesque and dilettantish nature of the new administration’s operations.

Few if any presidents have polarised the United States as much as Donald Trump has. The right-wing populist president’s ceaseless attacks on not only his political adversaries, but also the very democratic institutions of the nation — the rule of law, independent media, science — are shaking the country to its core.

While the liberal public does not tire of being incessantly appalled by the president’s erratic behavior, incompetence and permanent string of lies, this administration has pushed its agenda forward in certain policy areas.

Undoubtedly, numerous White House projects have fallen victim to the narcissistic president’s chaos and incompetence; the repeated attempts to reverse the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are the most infamous example.

Following a long warm-up phase, however, this right-wing government — stacked with representatives of big oil, Wall Street, and the military, and with its majorities in both houses of Congress — has nonetheless managed to implement cornerstones of its programme.

The administration’s greatest success came only a few weeks ago. In adopting the tax reform, the Trump administration has fulfilled the most important demand of Trump’s sponsors, namely to further cater to the rich and to corporations through massive tax reductions.

Interestingly, the Republicans—who had previously insisted on a balanced budget as the holy grail of budget policy under former president Barrack Obama — were not averse to financing the reform with debt, similar to their mode of operation regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Over the coming decade, this reform will lead to an increase of the public deficit of up to $1.5 trillion, unless further cuts are made in other areas. Republicans in Congress are therefore already discussing the alleged necessity of further cutbacks on (already meagre) social welfare payments.

But also below the legislative level, the Trump administration has used its executive powers to change the country’s course in important policy areas.

Headed by a Verizon lobbyist, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to repeal net neutrality regulations last December, a decision which is set to have far-reaching consequences. Moreover, by appointing the dyed-in-the-wool conservative Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice, Trump has consolidated the Court’s conservative right-wing majority.

Some changes have also taken place below the public radar. In August 2017, for instance, the Department of Labour eliminated all data on workplace fatalities and stipulated that companies with more than 10 employees no longer need to maintain records of occupational accidents and illnesses.

Regarding climate change, the course has changed as well. Against this backdrop, and by no means accidentally, Noam Chomsky dubbed the Republicans the “most dangerous organisation in human history.”

After announcing his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Trump proceeded to channel his full support into the oil industry, the economic base of many of his most important supporters.

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has largely replaced the scientists working for the Agency with energy sector lobbyists, lifted environmental regulations on water and air pollution, and removed all references to climate change from the government website.

Trump’s first year in office has conclusively disproved the notion that he is a non-ideological deal-maker and prime business partner. In reality, the exact opposite is the case. Thanks to Trump, the open racism that was quieted by the civil rights movement has found its way back into public discourse.

Indeed, Trump’s biography is pervaded by a continuity of racist thought and action. Incidents include his rallying against the (innocent) Central Park Five in the 1980s, his support of the racist Birther movement against Obama, his repeated slander of Mexicans and Muslims, the defamation of the protests by African-American athletes and, most recently, his description of African countries as “shitholes.”

For many observers, the moment of truth came with Trump’s remarks concerning the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

Armed with torches, white supremacists and neonazis marched through the town chanting: “Jews will not replace us!” One marcher even raced his car into a group of counter-demonstrators, killing anti-fascist activist Heather Heyer.

Instead of decidedly denouncing the fascist mob, Trump stated that there were “some very fine people on both sides” — a statement that even made many Republicans feel uneasy. His media patron Rupert Murdoch, of all people, was publicly looking for the emergency brake.

According to his biographer David Cay Johnston, Trump would love to be a dictator. After all, as one is inclined to add, President Trump would like to govern the nation like his corporation — in absolutist style, without opposition. His domestic and foreign policy, however, bears both the proof and burden of this fact.

At the international level, Trump has publicly insulted and degraded Washington’s allies, among them Australia, France and Germany. At the same time, he openly embraces authoritarian leaders, from Riyadh to Moscow to Manila. He finds his friends and peers in the likes of European right-wing nationalists such as Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen, or Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Trump’s ignorance of the workings of international politics makes him a seemingly unwitting target for continuous hoodwinking by his “bromances”— and threatens to isolate the United States internationally.

Disparaging countries as “shitholes,” foolhardily siding with one party in highly complex conflicts (as with the Jerusalem issue), or insulting nuclear-armed dictators such as Kim Jong Un is not a way to make friends.

By now, foreign leaders have long understood that in order to get what they want, they only need to flatter Trump and receive him in pompous style. After all, Trump’s wishes can easily be gleaned from the president’s Tweets.

Trump’s total incapability is particularly highlighted by his foreign policy actions. After all, Trump’s political decisions are, besides his narcissism, motivated by only one major aim: pleasing his supporters back home.

This holds true for his withdrawal from the climate agreement, the decision concerning Jerusalem, as well as his political sabre-rattling toward Iran.

Ultimately, this also applies to his “shithole” comment and his instrumental criticism of German refugee policy. Neither does he understand the effects his words have in other countries, nor does it interest him in the slightest.

Trump has never attempted to be the president of all US citizens. He always was, and continues to be, exclusively the president of his Republican base. In this group, his popularity remains high; around 80 percent of Republicans agree with his administration. These four-fifths of Republicans, however, translate only into a 35 per cent approval rate in overall society — too little to consolidate Trump’s rule.

Resistance against Trump is therefore as old as his presidency. The Women’s March, held on the day after his inauguration, constituted the largest demonstration the country has ever seen.

At the ballot box, Republicans have recently suffered a series of painful defeats. Much will undoubtedly depend on the results of the mid-term congressional elections in November.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the real problem is not Trump but his supporters — the Republican constituency and their mind-set.

Even if Trump were to be removed from office or simply not re-elected, his followers — along with their deep-seated hatred of Latinos and Black people, of those who think differently, of science — will not simply vanish.

In fact, such a development would conceivably lead to an even more emphatic insistence on the fulfilment of the right-wing populist promises. This bodes a lot of trouble and adversity for the post-Trump era.

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McDonald’s workers on historic strike in Britain – Solidarity with their just struggle

Monday, September 11, 2017

McDonald’s workers on historic strike in Britain – Solidarity with their just struggle
Their solidarity towards the strike of the workers at McDonald’s fast food chain in Britain expressed labor-trade unions in Greece and Turkey. 
The Trade union of workers in Catering, Hotels, Tourism of Athens issued a statement expressing its solidarity to their colleagues working to McDonald’s in the UK, who went on strike earlier this week, struggling for better salaries and abolition of the “zero hour contracts”. 
More specifically, the union states:
“Every country has two faces. One face represents wealth and luxury, where a minority is exploiting the work of others. On the other hand, there is the face of the majority of the workers struggling to live with poverty wages. Even we, who daily serve food to thousands of people, we do not manage to serve food to our families.
The workers in catering, tourism and hotels of Athens, support your fair demands for better wages, working hours and union recognition.
The flight of every worker for life, working conditions and working rights, is a fight that concerns us all.”
In Istanbul, members of the Communist Party of Turkey raided McDonald’s restaurants in the city addressing the workers and customers, ‘Did you hear? McDonald’s workers are on strike!
The leaflets announced that McDonald’s has over 1 million employees throughout the world and 85 thousand of them who work in Britain are on strike. It vocalized the demands of the workers for higher hourly pay, union rights and an end to slavish treatment of bosses.
Over 200 thousand fast food workers in Turkey work in precarious, unsecure conditions, long hours standing and with low wages. Average hourly pay starts from 7 liras [about 2 dolars] and daily overtime reaches 9 hours, without week-end holiday.
The leaflet told that  McDonald’s workers under these conditions are expected to seem jocund and keep hardworking. They are monitored by cameras and a momentary rest is an excuse to get fired. Meanwhile the bosses record a turnover of 6 billlion dolars. ‘A “smiling service” in front of the kitchen and a cruel exploitation behind…
CP of Turkey stated that fast food culture speeds up the reaping of bosses and for workers the only way out is to get organized. “In Britain, Germany, Turkey and elsewhere in the world’said the leaflet, ‘either in McDonald’s or in others, the same exploitation, the same class of bosses. The only way out is to get organized and to act collectively.”
Regarding the historic strike of workers at McDonald’s, we read in the article published at the New Worker (No 1934, 8 September 2017), official newspaper of the New Communist Party of Britain:
WORKERS at two branches of the McDonald’s fast food chain began strike action early on Monday – the first strike at McDonald’s in Britain since the chain first opened in Brit- ain in 1974. The workers are members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). They are demanding £10-per-hour minimum pay, union recogni- tion, an end to zero-hours con- tracts and an end to the bullying culture rife behind the scenes at McDonald’s.
Staff at the two branches, in Crayford, Kent and in Cam- bridge, were balloted for strike action and last month voted by 95.7 per cent in favour of the strike. Picket lines outside both branches found support from the general public and other trade unionists and progressives. Later on Monday they travelled to Westminster for a rally.
The workers are angry at the way managers use the zero-hours contracts to bully workers by cutting their hours so they can never be sure what their wages will be. This has led workers to lose their homes through not being able to pay rent. One young woman on the picket line described the bul- lying culture to reporters: “My mum passed away in January and the manager just thought I went on holiday. The way I was treated was really bad. I went into hospital because of the stress of it.”
ess of it.” Twenty-seven-year-old Lew- is Baker, who helped to organise the Crayford strike, said: “There is proper bullying going on here. The conditions have become really bad. There’s discrimination. Hours are cut if you’re not a manager’s favourite. “The fight for £10 an hour is great and it would help us all, but it won’t make working here any better.
“We’ve had bosses tell us this strike is a joke. But it’s not a joke,” he said gesturing to the crowd of supporters. “For everyone to come here and show them we have support is just incredible.”
In a statement before the strike, Ian Hodson, president of the BFAWU, said: “For far too long, workers in fast food restau- rants such as McDonald’s have had to deal with unexplainably poor working conditions, dras- tic cuts to employee hours, and even bullying in the workplace – viewed by many as a punishment for joining a union.
“Trade unions, such as mine – Baker’s, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) – have worked to support these brave workers in standing up and fighting back against McDonalds – a company which has let these workers down one too many times. “Yet, despite all the attempts to change McDonald’s approach and help them become a fairer employer, nothing has been done on their side. Nothing has changed. Empty promises have been made. Yet nothing has been delivered.”
On Monday he said: “This is the second-largest restaurant company in the world that makes $22 billion (£17 billion) reve- nues a year, and yet its workers are living in poverty. They have been the pioneers of zero-hours contracts.” This is the first strike at Mc- Donald’s in Britain but it is part of an international movement, the Fast Food Global workers’ movement. In the United States, McDonald’s has come under pressure as part of the ‘Fight for $15’ campaign.
Communist Party: “People’s Brexit: Youth Deserve a Decent start in Life”

London Calling: Britain’s Communist Parties react on the outcome of the General Elections

Saturday, June 10, 2017

London Calling: Britain’s Communist Parties react on the outcome of the General Elections

Note: In this blog we are highly critical about Jeremy Corbyn, who we regard as a political representative of social democracy. Mr. Corbyn and his politics have nothing to do with marxism-leninism; on the contrary, we view Corbyn’s leadership and the Labour Party in general as a bourgeois political power which, like the Tories, aims to manage the capitalist system. However, despite any disagreements and with full respect to their choice, we present the reactions of the British Communist Parties on the outcome of the recent elections. 

Communist Party General Secretary Robert Griffiths issued the following statement at 7.50 am, June 9th:

“Twelve million people have voted for a left-wing Labour manifesto and a majority of electors have rejected austerity policies. The Tories have no mandate for five months of public spending cuts, never mind another five years. In raising Labour’s share of the poll by 10 percentage points to almost match the Tories, enthusing huge numbers of young people, Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership have been vindicated. So, too, has the emphasis placed by the Communist Party on the role of mass struggle and class politics in raising people’s class consciousness, confidence and political understanding. This will help bring further advances for Labour in the new election that will be necessary in the very near future, once Theresa May resigns”.

*  *  *


The following article, under the title “Get Ready For The Next Election” appears in the front page of the New Worker.

By Daphne Liddle.

THE ELECTION results are in; we have a hung parliament and Theresa May’s big gamble has turned into a fiasco for the Tories. The Tories remain the largest party in Parliament but they no longer have an overall majority.

May has refused to resign but has cobbled together an instant coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and is going to attempt to govern on. But this government will be anything but ‘strong and stable’ — it will be very weak and its potential to do more damage through more cuts and privatisations is now severely curtailed. The DUP is very much opposed to the Tories’ austerity policies.

The right-wing press is savaging May’s reckless gamble with the electorate and her poor performance during the campaign. They have been particularly scathing about her cuts to police and security services during her term as Home Secretary, in the light of the recent terror attacks.

Senior Tories know their government is weak and vulnerable, and there will almost certainly have to be another election before the end of the year. And given her poor performance they will not want her leading them into that election campaign.

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have both said that Labour is prepared to form a minority government immediately without any formal coalition but just by presenting items from their manifesto and let the other parties support or not on a case by case basis — a principled position. And they are ready and willing to take up the Brexit negotiations.

Corbyn and McDonnell are prepared to talk to European leaders — an advance on the ‘poke-‘em-in-the-eye-and-run’ stance of the Tory negotiators. The Labour leaders may seem audacious right now because they have fewer seats than the Tories, but with the Tories at war with each other and the Brexit negotiations due to begin in just 10 days Labour’s offer may become a lifeline. Audacity is good.

Corbyn has called on May to resign now, he said: “The Prime Minister called this election because she wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. “I would have thought that’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country.”

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: “Obviously we’re disappointed if we’re not able to form a majority government.” But she added: “For us to have come from such a long way back, supposedly, to be in a position where we could form the next government is an extraordinary performance on behalf of the Labour Party and shows what we can do when we unite.”

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said: “Any Green MPs elected tonight will do all they can to keep the Tories from Number 10, and back a Labour-led government on a case by case basis.”

Labour now is more united than it has been for a long time. Corbyn has proved he is very electable and far more in touch with the values of ordinary working class people in Britain than the careerist right-wing New Labourites who were so desperately trying to bring him down a year ago. Some of them are now acknowledging their mistakes. This does not mean that in a new general election campaign Corbyn would not come under renewed slander and misrepresentation.

It has been strange to see the usual TV pundits, including Alistair Campbell and Piers Morgan expressing, their astonishment — and, for the moment, respect — at Corbyn’s success. It just shows how out of touch they are with the public mood.They have been convinced the only issue at the general election has been Brexit. But for the majority of the working class, saving the NHS, low wages, ending austerity, the housing crisis, benefit sanctions — especially on the long-term sick and disabled — these are the issues that count and would be the same in or out of Europe.

These are the issues and concerns that unite workers, old and young, male and female, black and white, in our day-to-day struggle for survival. If Brexit had been a big issue for the voters then the Liberal Democrat vote would have been a lot bigger because that was the only party standing against Brexit.

Our class has won an advance — the Tories are in retreat but they are not yet defeated. But there is little doubt that the opportunity to complete that defeat will arise soon and we must be ready. But morale is high now so it will be easier.

*  *  *


[To be added soon] IN DEFENSE OF COMMUNISM ©.

Αναρτήθηκε από In Defense of Communism

British Elections: Dear comrades, be aware of social democracy bearing gifts

Sunday, June 4, 2017

British Elections: Dear comrades, be aware of social democracy bearing gifts


On Saturday 8th June, the working people of Britain will be called to choose between two versions of bourgeois management: The Conservative Party of Prime Minister Theresa May or the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn? Despite their existing individual differences regarding the mix of policies, both parties serve the capitalist system. They are both thoroughly bourgeois parties, fully committed to the goal of promoting the profits of the capitalists.
What is at stake for Britain’s bourgeois class on the June 8th elections is the following: The terms upon which Brexit will take place, so that the interests of the British monopolies will be served in the best possible way. In any case, either with the Conservatives or the Labour Party in the government, the country’s bourgeoisie will manage to safeguard her own interests.
The working class of Britain have tasted both the two bitter choices of the bourgeois political system. The communists of Britain- the real communists, not the various opportunist charlatans- have enough experience of the role that the Labour Party has played in the country’s political history. They certainly know how social democracy disguises herself behind radical rhetoric and empty promises in order to get the votes of the workers and the popular strata. The new leadership of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is no exception.

Mr. Corbyn, who poses as a “radical” and a “socialist”, is nothing but a political representative of social democracy. Like Tsipras in Greece, he uses radical left rhetoric (including socialist slogans) in order to foster illusions within the working class that another, supposedly “humane”, capitalism is possible. This is a very well known strategy of social democracy that always leads to the weakening of the class-based labor movement and the disillusionment of the working class.
Like SYRIZA in Greece, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party consists the left “reserve force” of capitalism. Despite their different backgrounds, SYRIZA and the Labour Party foster illusions among the people that there can be a better form of management of the exploitative capitalist system, despite the dominance of the monopolies. This is what social democracy does: exploits the pain and agony of the people by offering an illusionary “radicalism” within the “walls” of the system, inside the imperialist alliance of the European Union.
Britain’s working class can draw valuable lessons and conclusions from the case of SYRIZA in Greece. The experience of the 2 years of SYRIZA’s governance demonstrates that it did not want to nor was it able to prepare the people for a confrontation against the austerity memorandums and the monopolies precisely because it had no orientation for resistance and conflict. On the contrary, SYRIZA deceived the people that it could pave the way for pro-people changes inside the predatory alliance of the EU. The developments consist a very clear expression of the failure of the so-called “governmental left” and of the theory that the EU can change its monopolist and anti-people character.
The communists, the marxists-leninists in Britain must not entrap themselves in the thought that says “let’s support Corbyn in order to oust the Tories from the government”. The major problem is not the manager of the system, but the system itself. Neither May nor Corbyn- or any other bourgeois political leader- can offer actual solutions to the problems of the working class, because these problems are rooted in the capitalist way of production.
The only solution for the working people of Britain lies in the creation of a strong, class-based labor movement which will fight for the real alternative to capitalist barbarity- for the socialist perspective and people’s power. The communist parties which are committed to the principles of Marxism-Leninism have the duty to contribute to the creation of a revolutionary strategy, far from trotskyite and opportunist illusions.
With all due respect to our comrades in Britain who ceaselessly fight for a better future, we must say that: Be aware of social democracy bearing gifts. No “left government” will ever satisfy the actual contemporary needs of the working class.
The only change lies towards the creation of a social alliance in a direction that strengthens the antimonopoly-anticapitalist struggle for workers’ power, the construction of a society that does not have profit as its criterion but the satisfaction of the expanding social needs, the socialist society.
Final report on the 2017 West Midlands Mayoral Election campaign

Now it’s all over, what can be said?  Basically, we fought an intense and positive campaign, widely admired and respected across the parties, the media, and politically conscious parts of the electorate – and we gained a respectable result right across the West Midlands, after gaining a huge humber of sympathetic contacts. Arguably, the real work now begins! 


At just short of 6,000 first preference votes, or 1.2% of valid votes cast, the Communist take across the 28 constituencies in seven boroughs in the West Midlands Mayoral contest was three to four times the rate recorded by our Party’s contests in the 2015 general election and almost five times the total national take then of 1,229.  As so many of you have told us, in these circumstances, it was a REAL achievement and inspiring stuff. Many thanks to our superb candidate, Graham Stevenson, for spearheading the whole thing. 


We managed to raise our initial funding target, £10,000, which went on the deposit for standing our candidate (£5,000) and the election booklet (£5,000), which reached 2 million households – the largest distribution of Communist material anywhere, ever. But there is an additional £2,000 cost for leaflets and Morning Star adverts, which was incurred in the final part of the campaign, which we are still trying to clear.


We were overwhelmed by the response to our campaign, and money still continues to come in.  So please don’t stop – we are almost there! We have up to 35 days after the declaration of the result before we declare our Mayoral election expenses. So we can continue to accept Graham4Mayor donations for another couple of weeks, if you’d like to be part of that historic event. Beyond that, we will need to refill the coffers to continue electoral work when we widely contest borough elections next year – work around which will start almost immediately after the General Election (after some of us take a well-earned break!).  


We promised voters we would challenge council leaders who uncritically implement cuts, or who especially collaborate with the elected Tory Mayor, who will be held to account over the three years of his term in office. To that end, we have set up a 2018 Midlands Elections Fund. So, all late cheques will always find a home!


Thank you to all those who have already helped and those who will now help us to achieve what we were told was the impossible.  Thank you, to all those who campaigned, pounded the streets, knocked on doors, leafleted, worked on social media, attended meetings, collected signatures, signed the nomination form and kept us all going with support, tea and encouragement. Thank you also for the incredibly generous donations:


  • Over £1,700 from 10 individuals in Birmingham, Worcestershire, Herefordshire
  • £2,000 from 12 people in Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, and Oxfordshire & Berkshire. 
  • £500 from a very generous comrade in Nottinghamshire
  • Nearly £500 from around half a dozen people in Coventry and Warwickshire 
  • £485 from London – although you were small in number, your donations warmed our hearts
  • £350 – many very welcome contributions from Northern England
  • Over £250 from Shropshire, workers’ cash that was all hard fought for
  • £230 from generous donors from all over the South-West
  • £155 from the wonderful people of Dudley, Wolves and Sandwell who dug deep into the sofa
  • £200 a very welcome solidarity donation from the CPB in Scotland
  • Generous support from the Association of Indian Communists of £200 and the IWA of £100.
  • £125 raised from Yorkshire Communist Party branches, enthused at our campaign.
  • £100 contributed by a very generous former Party memebr in Norwich.


Also, not to be forgotten are the numerous donations (sometimes twice!) from all over, including Staffordshire, Runcorn, Wales, and from Southern England.  Keep sending cheques, with your address, Payable to Midlands CP, to Graham4Mayor, 22 Brecon Road, B20 3RN. Queries: email  


For other details of how to pay:




The following endeavours to capture the breadth of the campaign, and the many hours and days spent by comrades on street activity, stalls, leafleting and campaigning. We were joined by comrades and supporters from all over the wider Greater Midlands, with an especial mention to Shrewsbury comrades, who `twinned’ with Wolverhampton, and also Oxford comrades, who did the same with Coventry. Every weekend of the campaign (and a fair number of weekdays and evenings) was designated a specific area to work in, testing the temperature sub-regionally for receptive voters.

Alongside this, our candidate followed an extensive (some may say punishing) schedule of hustings, public meetings, interviews and appearances.


4 Midlands CPB District Committee and Aggregate meeting of Midlands comrades    Decision to stand candidate in WMCA Mayoral Election endorsed
7 Campaign Strategy agreed and 9-person Graham4Mayor team put in place    Comrades stand by to be separated from loved-ones for the duration!


LISTEN   Graham does an initial 10 minute interview, calling on Muslim youth to organise in a      union. 


Agent and Candidate spend all week obtaining 7 sets of electronic electoral registers with 1.95 million voters, to check nominations and support.     Administrative nightmare overcome as we scour the data for contacts and leads






Graham had interviews all day for Global Radio, Britain’s largest commercial radio company.  He had separate interviews for multiple stations, which included:  Capital Coventry; Classic FM; LBC; Radio X; Heart; Smooth.  Some of these were broadcast nationwide, others just locally.


 BBC Radio 4 News   Comments by the canddiate on Today programme and PM




West Bromwich Central Library  



 G.S. refused a place on the platform, only allowed to speak from floor. Journalist mediator attempted to limit to only one contribution as not a “proper” candidate but the meeting rebelled and forced him to allow speak on every point, (but still only from floor).




The main Black Country newspaper & online news source feature a report on the pensioners Hustings  


14 BBC Radio WM


Adrian Goldberg   Half hour interview –  Breakfast show




Midlands Today Interview




Daily Politics Show Interview


Birmingham Mail & Post-Trinity Mirror Group   Photos & written interview available for use for regional titles




 BBC Sunday Politics Show Interview


29 Citizens UK West Midlands Mayoral Assembly University of Birmingham


G.S was not invited as candidate and, with Unison involved, his personal audience ticket for the event was cancelled!


30 Combined Authority Returning Officer confirmed candidature for the West Midlands Mayor successful.   All 100 signed nominations from seven boroughs were declared valid


4 WEST MIDS DEBATES Hustings (Urban Communications)






Birmingham Hippodrome




COMMUNIST CANDIDATE not invited, CPB protest and leafleting outside
6 WEST MIDS RAIL FUTURE (Rail bosses’ organisation) and FRIENDS OF THE EARTH Hustings


Birmingham Council House


 COMMUNIST CANDIDATE not invited, but “could sit in audience” – refused and leafleted outside
“Where’s Graham?”




Twitter campaign of ridicule, “Where’s Graham?” begun, pinpointing the banning organisations, which now began to fade.


7 WILDLIFE TRUST (and other environmental groups) Hustings


Birmingham City University


All candidates invited.  COMMUNIST CANDIDATE spoke


8 UAF DEMO against EDL


Victoria Square, Birmingham


All candidates invited, only COMMUNIST CANDIDATE attended and spoke




WATCH 30 min interview with Graham. He has the highest number of people viewing of all the candidates, the next highest being Labour.
Free Radio (ITN national franchise) 




12 BBC Coventry & Warwickshire radio




Half hour interview with Trish Adudu Breakfast Show
WEST MIDS TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE Hustings Birmingham City University All candidates including Graham invited. 
WIKIPEDIA   Agreed to add our candidate to the WM Mayoral page.
13 ITV Central News




News report
13 PRESS RELEASE   95 outlets supplied with comment on new education paper calling for radical rethink to local education systems




Ian Marrey breakfast slot


One hour with leader of Tory council and local Tory MP (Labour and the Church of England refused to appear), followed by one hour one to one wide-ranging interview with Graham


Half hour radio (with video) interview with New Union (multimedia youth project):   youth media training initiative linked to local youth parliament.




BBC Coventry & Warks Radio


LISTEN Evening political debate all 6 candidate 1hr with audience participation (Ends 18.5.170


BBC WM radio


Danny Kelly – the hot seat interview


Listener participation, which was supportive!




  BBC Midlands




Televised debate – broadcast at 10.45pm.  (Available until 20th May)




BBC Radio 4


PM programme




“I Am Birmingham”




30 minute interview




MOSELEY FORUM, allied to other South Side Neighbourhood Forums, Hustings


Kings Heath New Baptist Church


250 attended – all candidates including Graham invited.


Made In Birmingham (cable channel)






Warwick University student radio


LISTEN 30-minute recording






All candidates including Graham invited. 7pm – 6 way debate hosted by Paul Franks






WATCH Birmingham Rep – all candidates invited; part of Graham’s introduction speech available on social media; enthusiastic audience reception.
28 PRESS RELEASE   97 media outlets emailed with statement on the Bus Services Act, which received Royal Assent, after the ‘English votes for English laws’ procedure was applied.


Sky News interview




WALSALL SHREE RAM MANDIR Hindu Temple Hustings   All candidates including Graham invited.




WOLVERHAMPTON TUC MAY DAY event   Graham was guest speaker

Also spoke on The Daily Politics Show


BBC Radio 4


LISTEN Today programme; 4-way debate -minor parties (ends 31.5.17); go to 2 hours 45 minutes.








video on social media


BBC2 NEWSNIGHT   Interview recorded
New Style Radio


  Half hour interview with Rev Desmond Jaddoo




Sky News


  Interview broadcast




  Interview broadcast



Around 250 emails were received during the campaign, covering a range of issues. Some of these were part of a campaign, while others were specific queries from voters, who had our mail address from the posted brochure.  Every single one of these queries were answered in full by the campaign team, and recorded as key information on some of the issues which concern the local electorate. The candidate [ersonally rangor emailed some voters with complicated queries. Many told us how impressed they were that, unlike other parties, we took the time to respond.





Once the formal deadline opened, the campaign was fully occupied during March tackling the big task of obtaining 100 nominations.


1. Making contact with all the election offices in the seven boroughs to gain access to the electoral rolls. This was completed by the close of business on 17th March. We were hindered by the fact that the Party’s National Elections Officer details had not been changed with the Electoral Commission. Even when we thought it had been dealt with, some election offices were still difficult to communicate with, but we thank Martin Levy, who was a great help.


2. From Wednesday 15th March, we began getting signatures on the actual nomination paper, contacting key comrades in each borough to assist us in the collection of these. We needed a minimum of ten nominations in each of the 7 boroughs but a total of 100 valid names, effectively by March 30th. Many car miles were clocked up as teams criss-crossed the West Midlands. One thousand contacts and friends, not members of the Party, were emailed by the campaign, whilst almost 50 long-standing former members of the Party and current veteran members received a personalised appeal from the candidate by post.


We mapped all comrades and contacts we could think of. We were constrained by not being able to call on Labour Party members, as they were at risk of being expelled by their CLP if seen to endorse our candidate. Even in Dudley, where we only had one current party member, by finding non-Labour sympathisers and former members of the old CPGB, we got the full ten nominations needed. In Coventry, Wolverhampton, Sandwell our contacts were extensive and supportive. In Birmingham, many contacts had joined the Labour Party in the last leadership election and we were clearly short in Walsall and Solihull. In these two boroughs, comrades took to knocking on doors to seek the assistance of members of the public. With two days to go, our local contacts in the Birmingham Asian community came up trumps by winning the last nominations needed to clinch the full one hundred.


The system required everything to be on one set of forms, which made things a little awkward!  The main political parties and various groups on the Left were clearly astonished that such a feat was achieved by us. But official endorsement that we were to be on the ballot changed everything. 


MEDIA SCOOP – Communists exist!   


Despite an attempt by the right-wing media to freeze us out of the public eye, we have been overwhelmed by the attention we have received during the campaign.  After contacting national and local media organisations, it was community and specialist radio that responded at first in a fair and impartial manner, even before we were on the ballot paper. Then mainstream regional radio, starting in Coventry, began running pieces with Graham, prompting regional radio and then regional television to treat us equally. In the last week, National TV began filming our candidate and broadcasting interviews. 


Our short version manifesto of two A5 pages went out to just short of 2 million individual voters by post.  You can read it here:


Election booklet


A larger pamphlet-style manifesto came out in mid-April and is available here:




Much local material has appeared. Birmingham Post and Mail, have done several features that have been available to be franchised to all Trinity Mirror titles:

Communist West Midlands Mayor candidate Graham Stevenson: All you need to know

Communists join the West Midlands Mayor race

Communist Party’s West Midlands Mayor policies

Can you name these West Midlands mayor candidates?

The BBC has run multiple pieces both written, radio and television on Graham, just a few of which can still be seen or heard: 

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire: Why you should love our city

BBC News: Metro Mayor – what is it all about?

Six candidates to bid to be West Midlands metro mayor

Election 2017: English mayoral candidates

West Midlands: Three things you wanted to know

Knife-edge battle for West Midlands metro mayor?

A mayor for the Midlands: Updates from TV debate

A media database of around one hundred contact names was researched by the team and used to issue regular press releases on key issues: for example, when it was confirmed that we were on the ballot paper, issuing our manifesto, comment on a new production line in Coventry for electric taxis, the Tory Bus Services Act, etc.  It is impossible to collect individual instances of the use of the releases, given their extensive reach, but the candidate was inundated with calls for further detail and recordings as a result.





The social media work, carried out by a co-ordinated team, proved to be critical and was a key factor in prompting the mainstream media break through.



@ Communist Party of Britain: Midlands Communists page increased followers by over 25% during the campaign, and increased post engagement significantly. There were several contributions from comrades of design graphics for the campaign and the direct links with Communist Party of Britain Page were very successful

@ Andy Chaffer page first set up for the 2015 General Election enabled a continued Party presence online, connected with elections, circulating and sharing campaign messages

@ Graham Stevenson – a much increased traffic to timeline can be noted and this was an important reference point to the candidate in the media



@MidlandsCPB – new account set up at start of campaign – started #graham4mayor trending, 142 followers. Direct dialogue with media, lobby groups, individuals, including use of Direct Messaging

@GrahamStevenso1 –direct contact point for candidate and campaign

@WheresGraham – light-hearted campaign to highlight attempts to ban CPB from corporate-led Hustings and media.


The MIDLANDS CPTV channel on YouTube is also working well, with five high quality interviews and promotions already uploaded and others we ran out of time to complete. This exercise in producing our own videos has stimulated interest in developing more regularity to the channel in the future, perhaps with a focus on podcasts disseminated via social media.


The page on the Party’s national website was key in attracting views to the site, and directly receiving donations to the campaign through a range of methods:





Before the general election was announced, we were predicted to get over 5% of the vote of first preferences in this Supplementary Voting system by a Trinity Mirror poll. This would have allowed us to retain our deposit, a feat not accomplished since 1950. Disappointingly, this wasn’t to be.


Of course, the general election being called part way through the campaign shouldn’t have affected anything, but there is no doubt that it played into current mainstream media narratives about June 8th.  Voting patterns across the two votes permitted by the supplementary vote system were inconsistent.   Some voters used the ability to first preference us and then gave their second preference vote to Labour, as we had suggested, but many more others showed they simply did not understand the voting system.


At the Birmingham count (separate ones were held for the other six boroughs) we observed a high rate of second preferences for us, indeed there were individuals who proudly told us they had given their 2nd vote to us, but second preferences were not counted for eliminated candidates. The elimination round was generally not understood by an electorate so used to first past the post. Obvious confusion existed, with many voters from a range of other parties offering us their second preference, and indeed being encouraged to do so by ill-informed advice from their party machines.


Looking at votes as they were being counted, it was also evident that, in inner city wards, the Labour machine had set the panic button alight (“Vote Labour and ONLY Labour”, they were told) and that voters were scared of an even tighter grip by the Tories. (Things like first AND second preference votes for Labour seen here!) It was especially evident that Labour had focused heavily on the wards in the constituency we had stood Andy Chaffer in during the 2015 general election. Despite having attained 0.4%, the highest CPB vote then, we gained only around a quarter of the votes that we won in other quite comparable inner city wards.    


Yet, not only did we record votes of around 2% in inner city wards with mixed ethnic profiles, our vote surpisingly also went up significantly in outer Birmingham wards, where the CP 30 or 40 years ago had a base in prosperous working class wards (when the class was doing well!).


In Coventry, we were at 1.5% across the whole city (no ward counting there). But there were a lot of spoilt votes and abstentions in a conurbation hostile to the very idea of a Mayor, resulting in an overall turnout of 26.8%.  


It’s clear that fear of the Tories on one side, and a high turnout in Tory areas such as Solihull, Dudley and Walsall (where we did badly) on the other, were key factors inhibiting the Communist vote, albeit it being very much stronger than in recent times and more like what we were getting in the late 1970s. The Green candidate also lost his deposit (despite having a big local base in Solihull, where we are very weak). Most UKIP voters decamped to Tory, massively diminishing their share-take. (UKIP’s only real base is Dudley.)




The actual votes won were never really the key point. Our intervention genuinely informed the drift of public debate and we reached out to many thousands of people we had never before connected with. We also turned the mood more left. Issues such as public ownership of bus services would not otherwise have been aired – and, to some extent, all candidates were genuinely following our agenda by the end, instad of ignoring us as they should have been (!) from their point of view. Our social media presence was formidable and the level and quality of positive local mainstream media coverage astonishing. Despite some of the public debates and hustings refusing to engage with our candidate, we even got national coverage in the final days of the campaign.  


The next step is to translate this campaign into some substance, in association with the many contacts, friends, and potential allies we have acquired. We will be reviewing the whole campaign and starting to plan for the 2018 local elections in the light of that, as soon as we have exhausted ourselves in getting out there campaigning for Labour in the general election! 


Let no-one say that our intervention damaged Labour. Rather, our observation was that we saw more people engaged because they liked what we were saying. After the second round Andy Street (Con) secured 238,628 votes and Sion Simon (Lab) 234,862, a majority of only 3,766. 


We asked our voters (5,696) to second preference Sion Simon. Our figures suggest 85% followed that advice, which trnaslates as a theoretical figure of 4,842. Without our support, Mr Simon would have lost by even more – almost 9,000 votes. If Labour had been less focused on what we were doing, less marked by old-fashioned `fix-it politics, they could have won. All they had to do was say, however you vote in the firtst round, make sure you vote for Sion Simon as the only chance to beat the Tories in the second. They couldn’t even bring themselves to do that. 


Our analysis of this detailed poll shows that our vote is highest amongst 30 to 45 year olds to the level of some five or six times the rate recorded for over 60-year olds!  Clearly, this is a challenge to our branches in the seven boroughs, and interactions with younger voters clearly show we need to find new ways of connecting and organising, which to some extent we pioneered first in 2015 and now even more vigourously in 2017.


We have publicly promised that Communist candidates will stand in local election next year across the Midlands.  In the meantime, we intend to hold the Mayor and his council leaders to account and target those who implement cuts using what funds remain and those which can be garnered next year to aid many more contests than we have previously done. In this, the second stage of our local Renewal Campaign we were able to arrange the purchase of a high-quality car-roof mounted loud-speaking system. A very generous donor offered to provide for this if it is used in election and public campaigns and is available on loan to other Party groups.


In the meantime, in accordance with the national CPB statement on the general election, we have been offering our services to Labour in the 28 constituencies in the West Midlands.


Any councillor who speaks for the people and is honest probably has nothing to fear. But Communists will continue to speak up and act fearlessly as we did during this campaign, one of our best for decades. In the years to come local campaigning activity will hopefully be as creative and powerful as some of our interventions in the past three months in the West Midlands.


Thanks to all those who helped and donated. Most of all, thanks to all who voted for us. 


The Graham4Mayor Team

PS: Donations still gratefully received!





Ruskin House
23 Coombe Rd

Communist Party Hammer & Dove

Communist Party of Britain Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR0 1BD
0208 686 1659

Communist Party champions Corbyn’s Labour, says it won’t stand election candidates

Communist Party champions Corbyn’s Labour, says it won’t stand election candidates
The Communist Party of Britain (CP) has confirmed it will not stand its own candidates in the general election, telling its supporters to get behind Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign.

The Marxist-Leninist group also called on “all leftwingers” to vote for Labour on June 8.

“In every general election since the formation of the CP in 1920, we have stood our own candidates, not least in 2015 when we fielded nine,” said the party’s general secretary, Robert Griffiths, in an open letter published in the Morning Star.

“Now, on this occasion, we will not contest any seats, although this does not signal any withdrawal from the electoral arena in the future.”

Speaking to RT, Griffiths highlighted that these were “extra-ordinary conditions.”

“The Labour Party has its most left-wing leadership in modern history and is under attack from all sides for putting forward policies that are in the interest of working class people,” he added.

While the far-left group is backing a potential Labour government, Griffiths and his fellow members were not so keen on the much-discussed ‘progressive alliance’ between Corbyn and the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Greens.

“This is why a clear and unambiguous call for a Labour vote everywhere is so essential, rather than muddying the water with frivolous chatter about a ‘progressive alliance’ with the pro-EU, free-market fundamentalists of the Green, Liberal Democrats, SNP and Plaid Cymru parties,” Griffiths told RT.

The conservative press took interest in the story, including former UK Independence Party (UKIP) sponsor Arron Banks’ website, Westmonster. The journalists at the “anti-Establishment news” outlet might have to brush up on their politics knowledge, however, after branding CP members “hard-left trots.” The Communist Party of Britain is a Marxist-Leninist organization, its politics lying closer to those of Joseph Stalin than Leon Trotsky.