Red Alert  - Rhybudd Coch Issue 10 [February 2011] the E-bulletin of the Welsh Communist Party is now available. If you live or work in Wales and want to subscribe go here.

WELSH INDUSTRIAL AGGREGATE
THE SPECTRE OF COMMUNISM IS HAUNTING WALES
TWEET TWEET
REBEL WITH GOOD CAUSE
Slavoj Žižek – THE MARXIST/COMMUNIST THINKER FROM SLOVENIA
CO-ORDINATION, MOBILISATION – TO GET CONDEMS OUT!
PATAGONIA A DIFFERENT TAKE
NEW MEMBERSHIP RATES
MARCH FOR THE ALTERNATIVE 
NORTH WALES EVENTS
DIARY OF MEETINGS AND EVENTS
SUPPORT OUR ELECTORAL STRATEGY
 
1. WELSH INDUSTRIAL AGGREGATE
 
The Welsh Communist Party Industrial Aggregate will take place this Saturday 5 February at the Cayo Arms in Cathedral Road Cardiff, 11 - 2pm. 
 
Agenda 
Campaigning against Public Sector Cuts
 
1. Round Robin Updates from unions/ trades councils etc
2. Emerging campaign groupings - what should the Communist response be?
3. Union-led campaigns
4. Forthcoming events
     Unison event 19 February Pontypridd
     WTUC event 5 March Cardiff
     TUC UK-wide demo 26 March London
5. AOB
 
There is parking at the back of the pub.
 
Anyone who has not received an invite but would like to attend should e-mail their request to  HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 
2. THE SPECTRE OF COMMUNISM IS HAUNTING WALES
 
Welsh secretary, Rick Newnham has penned an exclusive article for the influential  HYPERLINK "http://www.WalesHome.org" www.WalesHome.org website on the Communist Party’s electoral strategy for the May Assembly elections.  Red Alert gets a preview of the as yet unpublished article.  
 
The spectre of communism is haunting Wales. It is not yet a big spectre, but it is very much alive and visible.
 
The Welsh Communist Party has again decided to contest every region in the National Assembly of Wales elections, as it did in 2007, to ensure that the usual fare of "cabbages and kings" dished up by the main parties and the media would not go unchallenged.
 
Our view is that unless the Communist Party and its policies are highly visible, left and progressive views and policies will be buried beneath a tip of empty promises and platitudes.
 
We are opening up the debate during the deepest crisis of capitalism for 80 years.
 
For example, while others have criticised the banks, they have failed to criticise the capitalism system that encourages this unfettered speculation for super-profits.  Where other parties have tried to obscure the issue of wealth redistribution, we tackle it head on.
 
Why do 10 per cent of the population own 71 per cent of the wealth, while the poorer half own just 1 per cent?  Why do we pay our pensioners the least in Europe?  Why are our children the least well cared-for of all the major capitalist countries?
 
The Communist Party has pointed out that, while the provinces of Spain have the power to levy a wealth tax and even a parish council in Britain can levy a penny on the council tax, the Welsh Assembly has no revenue-raising powers at all.
 
It has to go cap in hand to the central government in London for even a small share of the tax income raised in Wales and has to administer, without question, the ‘slash and burn’ budget cuts instigated by this reactionary Con-Dem government.
 
The issue of public services is at the top of the agenda. The public sector employs about 32 per cent of workers in Wales, compared with 26 per cent across Britain.
 
Even the CBI Wales is beginning to recognise that if the public sector is significantly cut back, then the private sector, rather than being able to take up the slack, will instead contract.
 
Wales is facing economic devastation if these Government cuts are implemented over the next four years, leading to levels of mass unemployment not seen since the 1930s.  As then, it will take at least a generation for Wales to recover.
 
The people of Wales cannot wait for the next Westminster general election.
 
Only the Communist Party is advocating a mass extra-parliamentary campaign led by the labour movement, and which includes a general strike across the public sector, to bring down a Con-Dem government that has declared war on working people and their families.
 
Plaid Cymru and Labour - with a distinct case of amnesia - rightly condemn these cuts. All four main parties, however, support the EU big-business agenda that drives these austerity programmes, and which threatens to wipe out our public services and the welfare state.
 
None of the four main parties refer to the GATS agreement, which commits Britain to the privatisation agenda.  And none are able to commit themselves to substantial new investment in all our public services, because they are unwilling to tackle the issue of wealth redistribution.
 
We believe that the rich and big business must be taxed to a far greater degree than the current low levels. Most of the super-rich pay no income tax, stashing their ill-gotten gains away in tax havens under British jurisdiction. British corporation tax on big business profits is among the lowest in the developed world.
 
This uncritical stance towards big business is a characteristic of the four main parties. All four advocate financial support for businesses investing in Wales without any safeguards against them relocating later to other countries where wages are cheaper.
 
But that's precisely what fly-by-night firms are doing, particularly in the manufacturing sector, which has shrunk by 10 per cent in the last ten years.
 
 
This is exemplified by Bosch upping sticks from Pontyclun, dumping hundreds of workers on the scrap heap, only to re-materialise in England demanding multi-million pound tax payer contributions to relocate their factory there.
 
The casino-capitalist economy will not make long-term investments without a far greater level of enforced accountability.
 
Its desire for short-term profits ignores the needs of communities in economic, social and environmental terms.
 
Yet none of the four main parties have the political will to question the omnipotence of the so-called 'free market' (rigged by the giant monopolies) and its "right" to exploit working people.
 
The Communists, on the other hand, demand that the Welsh Assembly have the economic and legislative powers to take public transport and energy utilities into public ownership so that we can unify the transport network, develop clean coal and sustainable energy resources and safeguard our environment.
 
Our intention is to raise these issues on a mass scale through the use of election broadcasts, a media campaign and the circulation of thousands of leaflets and posters across Wales. We will combine this with public meetings and hustings events.
 
Some people will hear of our existence and become aware of our programme Real Power for the People of Wales for the first time. 
 
This approach will bring us into the public arena to a much greater degree than in previous campaigns.
 
We are not getting carried away by the recent YouGov opinion poll placing us neck and neck with the Lib Dems in the North Wales region (a December 2010 ITV/YouGov poll placed both the Communist Party and the Lib Dems on 3 per cent, and gave the Communist Party 3 per cent of the youth vote across Wales).
 
Our campaign will be our election victory, as Communist policies win a positive response from thousands of workers and their families who see that there is an alternative to capitalist crisis and destruction.
 
The Welsh Communist Party, as the prime electoral contender on the left with the mainstream parties, recognises its responsibility as the leading standard-bearer for peace, progress and socialism in this election. Therefore, we are opening places on our electoral lists to non-Communist, socialist and progressive candidates.
 
Anyone wishing to stand on the Communist Party’s election platform can e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Tweet @WelshCommunists to indicate their interest.
 
Rick Newnham
 
3. TWEET TWEET
 
You can keep up to date with the Welsh Communists on a daily basis by signing up to Twitter and following @WelshCommunists 
 
@WelshCommunists the Twitter account of the Welsh Communist Party has already attracted around 100 followers who receive daily up dates on news, meetings & activities and pointers to interesting feature articles.
 
Welsh communist Tweets will play and important part in co-coordinating our Assembly election campaign, so sign up today!
  
 
4. REBEL WITH GOOD CAUSE

Cymdaithas Niclas (The Niclaus Society) established by the Welsh Communist Party and Cymdaithas Yr I’aith Gymraig (The Welsh Language Society) recently put on the successful play Niclas y Glais in Gartholwg (Church Village) – Gwyn Griffiths reviewed the production in the Morning Star.
 
Crymych in the Preseli hills of north Pembrokeshire was made to raise rebels.
 
It's an area with a rich, Welsh-speaking working-class culture and it's hardly surprising that the Bro'r Preseli Theatre Company's 100-strong cast of all ages pay homage to the radical firebrand Niclas y Glais (TE Nicholas) in this theatrical labour of love.
 
Nicholas was born in 1879 and died 40 years ago but his life evidently remains an inspiration to many in the area.
 
Y Glais, where part of the play is set, is an industrial village in the Swansea Valley where Nicholas spent some years as a Congregational minister. Although his name will forever be linked with the place, he was born in rural north Pembrokeshire.
 
Some four decades before Nicholas's birth, a few miles down the road in Efailwen, the "Daughters of Rebecca" chopped down their first tollgate in 1838 in protest at the taxation crippling the rural poor.
 
Small farms and poor soil where people had to help each other with the harvest were not a bad place to breed socialists. The same is true of the Congregational chapels who were the most radical of the non-conformists.
 
Nicholas attended a Congregational academy in Ammanford where the compatibility of Marxism and Christianity was heatedly debated.
 
It seems entirely appropriate that when Nicholas died in 1971 there were obituaries for him in the Morning Star and Y Tyst, the weekly paper of the Welsh Congregationalists.
 
Drawing on such rich resources, this is in consequence a fine piece of organic theatre.
 
There's an effective mix of choral speaking and straight drama, with plenty of telling archive images projected against a backdrop.
 
Gareth Ioan's script, which draws upon Nicholas's own poetry, lets the man speak to the audience and the local actors, dancers, and singers participating.
 
Nicholas, for whom society was of paramount importance, wrote simply and directly to the working class.
 
His pacifism, which landed him in Swansea prison during the second world war, is the thread linking the play together.
 
In his cramped prison cell he recalls the important events of his life - not least his friendship with Keir Hardie, one of the founding members of the Labour Party.
 
He had been Hardie's election agent and preached the sermon from Luke "I came to cast fire upon the earth" at his funeral.
 
Nicholas stood for Parliament as a Labour and Pacifist candidate in Aberdare in the 1918 election and lost to an Independent Labour Party candidate who had mutated into one of the most jingoistic of pro-war politicians.
 
But the sterility of the Labour Party and the unfolding of the Bolshevik revolution impelled Nicholas to the Communist Party where he remained for the rest of his long life.
 
He turned to writing sonnets while in prison because the only paper on which he could write was toilet paper and a sonnet - whose dignified simplicity suited his direct message - fitted neatly on to a single sheet.
 
During the Second World War MI5 would spy on his sermons although he had by then left the ministry and become a dentist and a highlight of the play is a splendid scene of Nicholas in his surgery.
While preparing to extract a tooth he gets into an argument about the Spanish civil war and attempts to sell a copy of his latest book of poetry.
 
War and industrial scenes make imaginative use of dance and the choir give first-rate renditions of old Welsh hymns and Nicholas's Welsh translation of the Red Flag.
 
Stand-out performances come from Eifion Daniels and Geraint Harries as the old and middle-aged Nicholas, Kevin Davies as the narrator and Geraint Jones as Captain Lloyd Williams, the vicious Chief Constable of Cardiganshire.
 
It's an evening to treasure.
 
And its good to hear that other theatres in south Wales have invited the company to present the play. Not an easy task - the logistics of an amateur production involving a cast of 100, with ages varying from 14 to 82, are daunting.
 
But let's hope Bro'r Preseli can rise to that challenge, if only intermittently.
 
5. Slavoj Žižek – THE MARXIST/COMMUNIST TINKER FROM SLOVENIA
 
The next meeting of the Pontypridd branch of the Communist Party (7.30 pm Thursday 10th February in Clwb y Bont) will be dedicated to a discussion on the writings of Slavoj Žižek - the Marxist / Communist thinker from Slovenia.   
 
In preparation for the fascinating evening the following material is available:
 
A short clip of Žižek discussing his view of Communism: 
 HYPERLINK "http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2010/jul/06/slavoj-zizek-living-in-the-end-times" http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2010/jul/06/slavoj-zizek-living-in-the-end-times  
A short animation to Žižek's views on charity within the Capitalist system, something that he discusses in his book First as Tragedy then as Farce:   HYPERLINK "
;
;
 
Also uploaded, at the sites below, the introduction from Žižek's First as Tragedy then as Farce where he discusses why, for him, Communism is relevant today and an essay by Judith Balso called The Communist Hypothesis: a Possible Hypothesis for Philosophy, an Impossible Name for Politics? She disagrees with Žižek that Communism is the answer.
 
The meeting will explore what everybody thinks of Žižek's idea of Communism and what everyone thinks of Judith Balso's arguments against it! 
 
There is quite a bit of reading but it is worth it!
 
Žižek - Introduction:  HYPERLINK "http://www.box.net/shared/omhjqnaacy" \t "_blank" http://www.box.net/shared/omhjqnaacy
 
Balso - The Communist Hypothesis:  HYPERLINK "http://www.box.net/shared/s3g9dv0m3o" \t "_blank" http://www.box.net/shared/s3g9dv0m3o
 
6. CO-ORDINATION, MOBILISATION – TO GET CONDEMS OUT!
 
Trade Union and Political Cadre School 26/27 February
Venue: CP Office, Ruskin House, Croydon CR0 1BD

MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS REGISTER TO RESERVE  HYPERLINK "http://communist-party.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=14d8d9ee95c684a771ae4576f&id=706e7a5bbd&e=897d7592d3" \t "_blank" YOUR PLACE HERE
Sessions include:
The Labour Movement, the welfare state and state power
Trade union internationalism, the EU and opposing austerity
Building the movement and the struggle against cuts and unemployment
Trade unions and solidarity with Palestine
Beyond economism and social democracy
A strategy for jobs and the unemployed movement
The needs of the hour and plans for future action
Speakers include:
Robert Griffiths | Bill Greenshields | Graham Stevenson | Ann Field | Mary Davis | Anita Halpin | Brian Denny | Liz Payne | John Foster | Gawain Little | Andy Bain | Tommy Morrison |  Kevin Donnelly | Charlotte Armstrong | Phil Katz | John Haylett | Christian Ohsan | Carolyn Jones | Martin Levy | Louise Nousratpour | Moz Greenshields

Well known speakers from the labour movement and the anti-cuts movement will attend. Your active participation is welcome with ample time given to discussion.
 
7. PATAGONIA A DIFFERENT TAKE
 
FILM FESTIVAL (10am – 9pm Sat 26 February)
CeLLb, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL413AD
 
TRELEW (2004 - 97 min)
Documentary about a group of political prisoners who escape from the Rawson high security prison in Patagonia.
 
LA PATAGONIA REBELDE
(1974 – 109 min) True story about the anarcho-syndicalist uprising in 1920, told in the form of a spaghetti western! 
One of the best films to come out of Argentina.
 
HISTORIAS MÍNIMAS
(2002 – 97 min) Classic Road Movie - three people, one dog and a trip across Patagonia.
 
NINE QUEENS(2004 – 114 min)
Nothing to do with Patagonia, but a chance to see one of the films that launched the Argentinian New Wave. Winner of countless awards worldwide
 
New cafe in y Cell, food and drink available all day.
 
Timetable: 10.30 Trelew; 12.00 Lunch; 1.00 La Patagonia Rebelde; 3.00 Cuppa; 3.30 Historias
Minimas; 5.10 Dinner; 6.30 Nine Queens; 8.30 Finish.
 
Four films £5 all day, New Cafe in y Cell, food & drinks available throughout the day. 
 
Come along and support another Latin American event.
 
More details from  HYPERLINK "http://www.cellb.org" www.cellb.org
 
8. NEW MEMBERSHIP RATES
 
Following the decisions taken at the 51st Party Congress in relation to changes to the existing dues system, the Executive Committee has now approved the new dues rates for members for 2011. As you may already be aware, this new system is based on eight bands determined by each member’s self-assessed annual income before tax.
 
While some members on the lowest incomes will pay less under the new system, the new rates will represent an increase for others. However the Party will forego the annual National Appeal which has been used to fund the Party’s routine expenditure. We are therefore not asking for more money from our members as a whole, just implementing a fairer system based on ability to pay and one that will enable the Party to more readily meet its ongoing obligations and commitments. These are the new dues rates that will apply to all members from January 1st 2011.
 
Annual income before tax
Dues rate per month
Indicate your dues rate (ü)
Less than £5,000
£0.50
 
£5,000- £9,999
£2.00
 
£10,000 - £14,999
£7.00
 
£15,000 - £19,999
£10.00
 
£20,000 - £24,999
£13.00
 
£25,000 - £34,999
£17.00
 
£35,000 - £49,999
£24.00
 
£50,000 and above
£34.00
 
 
The ‘Quota’ system has also been scrapped. Instead, if you are able to commit to paying more than your monthly Dues Rate, this will now be treated as an Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) and applied exclusively to Party Development work, including supporting local Party branches. Please bear in mind, that we will not be asking you to contribute to National Appeals to cover routine expenditure and to thereafter factor this into your decision on AVCs.
 
For more information contact your branch secretary or e-mail  HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 
9. MARCH FOR THE ALTERNATIVE 
 
The trade union movement in Wales is mobilising thousands of their members to, what is expected to be, a million strong TUC demonstration against the cuts.
 
Recent reports show that UNISON Wales has already booked almost 50 coaches with more expected and the PCS union has 10 already in place.
 
All comrades are urged to work within their trade unions and community groups to build the biggest possible response to this reactionary ConDem government.
 
In the build up to March 26 demonstrations are already planned for Pontypridd (19.2.11) and Cardiff (5.3.11) with possible demonstrations in Newport, Swansea and Wrexham.
 
PCS bus details below:
 
All transport must be booked via the PCS Wales office, 02920 66636 –  HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Aberystwyth – pick up and time TBC (pick up en route – Pont Abraham service  - time tbc)
 
Bangor - pick up at Parc Menai ( LL57 4FA) - Time- 0430am
 
Cardiff - pick up 1 bus at Cathays Park, Cardiff - Time - 0645am
 
Cardiff - pick up 2 buses at Transport house, Cathedral Road, CF11 9SD - Time - 0645am
 
Merthyr Tydfil - pick up at Rhydycar Leisure centre, CF48 1UT - Time - 0615am (pick up en route - Pontypridd, Halfords A470  - 0635am
 
Newport - pick up 1 bus at Tredegar Park, NP10 8XL- Time - 0705am – (pick up en route Magor services, time tbc)
 
Newport - pick up 2 bus at Newport Bus station, NP20 1DL - Time - 0705am
 
Swansea - pick up 1 bus at Tesco, Wellington Street, Swansea, SA1 3RA - Time - 0545am  (pick up en route - Port Talbot Station  0615am)
 
Swansea - pick up 2 bus at Liberty Stadium, SA1 2FA - Time - 0545am  (pick up en route - Sarn Services M4  -  0620am)
 
Wrexham - pick up 1 bus at Bus station, LL11 1LF (Fat cat bar) - Time - 0545 am
 
Travel on buses is open to family members and friends.  There is no cost to for travel.
  
10. NORTH WALES EVENTS
 
North Wales communists are working in association with the Morning Star supporters Group and the Deeside Trades Council to mobilise against the cuts; putting on the following events:
 
Wednesday 9 Feb, 10am Shotton Lane Club - anti cuts poster campaign

Wednesday Feb 16 , 7pm North Wales Against the Cuts meeting - lager club, Wrexham

Tues March 1st, Deeside TUC AGM, 6.30pm Connah's Quay Labour Club, followed by "St Davids day debate" 7.30 same venue  "more power for the Welsh assembly/oppose ConDem cuts/for the Peoples Charter" if you would like to speak in this debate, get in touch giving name & organisation,& subject matter to Trevor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
11. DIARY OF MEETINGS AND EVENTS
 
February
 
Saturday 3 February – Welsh Industrial Aggregate – Cayo Arms, Cardiff (11am – 2pm)
 
Wednesday 9 February, 10am Shotton Lane Club - anti cuts poster campaign
 
Thursday 10 February – Pontypridd branch meeting – Clwb y Bont, Pontypridd (7.30pm)
 
Wednesday February 16 , 7pm North Wales Against the Cuts meeting - lager club, Wrexham
 
Saturday, 19 February, Pontypridd Demo & Rally against the cuts
 
26 – 27 February - Communist Trade Union cadre school (Party HQ, London)
 
Saturday 26 February – Pontypridd branch activity ‘Yes’ campaign (11am outside NatWest bank)
 
Saturday 26 February FILM FESTIVAL CeLLb, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL413AD
 
March
 
Tues 1 March, Deeside TUC AGM, 6.30pm Connah's Quay Labour Club, followed by "St Davids day debate" 7.30 same venue  "more power for the Welsh assembly/oppose ConDem cuts/for the Peoples Charter"
 
Thursday 3 March, Assembly Powers referendum polling day
 
Saturday 5 March Wales TUC Cardiff demonstration against the cuts
 
Thursday 10 March – Pontypridd public meeting ‘Debate on AV’
 
Saturday 26 March – TUC anti cuts demo 
 
April
 
Saturday 9 April, Pontypridd branch activity, 11 am outside Natwest bank (election leafleting)
 
Thursday 14 April, Pontypridd ‘Assembly Elections’ public meeting (7.30 pm Clwb y Bont)
 
Saturday 30 April Pontypridd branch activity, 1 pm outside Natwest bank
 
May
 
Swansea May Day rally mobilisation  
 
Thursday 5 May – Assembly election polling day
 
Thursday 12 May – Pontypridd branch meeting
 
Saturday 21 May - New & prospective members’ school
 
Saturday 28 May – Wales Morning Star conference – UNITE regional offices, Cardiff
 
June
 
Thursday 9 June, Pontypridd Socialist Film Club (details tbc)
 
Sunday 5 June PPPS AGM (Cayo Arms, Cardiff)
 
July
 
Sunday 3rd July Cardiff Morning Star sponsored walk
 
August
 
Wrexham Eisteddfod
 
Fund raising BBQ details tbc
 
Llanelli up rising event – 20.8.11?
 
October
 
Peoples Charter Wales conference – details tbc
 
November
 
Thursday 3 November - Red November Dinner
 
Friday 25 November - Gwyn Alf Williams Memorial Lecture
 
Saturday 26 November - Welsh Communist Party congress
 
12. SUPPORT OUR ELECTORAL STRATEGY
 
The Welsh Communist Party will be launching a financial appeal to raise funds to contest the Assembly elections but in the meantime please consider supporting our electoral strategy by taking out a standing order to the Welsh Party.