Walesprogramme

Red Alert - Rhybudd Coch: Issue 5 of the E-bulletin of the Welsh Communist Party is now available. It is full of information, dates, activities and initiatives. Subscribe here. You can view the year calendar of activities of the Wales CP.

 

Issue 5, January 2010

 

  1. WELSH COMMUNIST PARTY SETS ITS PRIORITIES FOR THE YEAR
  2. WELSH COMMUNISTS’ ELECTORAL STRATEGY
  3. TRADE UNION AGGREGATE RE-ESTABLISHED
  4. PEOPLES CHARTER
  5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE STATEMENTS ON THE BOSCH FACTORY CLOSURE AND HAITI
  6. CUBA DIARIES
  7. CYMDAITHAS NICLAS
  8. ALDERMASTON BLOCKADE
  9. WEB ARCHIVING WALES
  10. REMEMBER SAM KNIGHT?

 

1. WELSH COMMUNIST PARTY SETS ITS PRIORITIES FOR THE YEAR

The new Executive Committee of the Welsh Communist Party, meeting in January, agreed its work plan for 2010 and designated and elected its officers and co-ordinators with the primary focus to develop and action this plan.

The plan for the year focuses on the following areas:

Developing communist Trade Union work; establishing a Welsh language literary and cultural society ‘Cymdaithas Niclas’; have a major presence at this year’s Eisteddfod; building the Peoples Charter campaign in Wales; put on a major post election Wales Morning Star conference; develop cadre political education through a new members school, summer school and the Communist University of Wales; build the Party and develop Party branches; and improve the financial position of the Party.

The Executive also determined its General Election electoral intervention, identifying Caerphilly and Alyn & Deeside as constituencies where the Welsh Communist Party would stand candidates in the General election

 

Welsh Communist Party Executive Committee positions 

Wales secretary – Rick Newnham

Chairperson – John Lent

Vice chairperson – Lorette Picand

Co-ordinators were also elected to cover the following areas:

Finance & Membership

Peoples Charter

Industrial

Peace

Election

Political Education

Morning Star & Party Literature

Cymdaithas Niclas & Eisteddfod

Anti Fascism

2. WELSH COMMUNIST ELECTORAL STRATEGY

The Welsh Communist Party's new executive committee has outlined its intention to contest seats in this year's general election to ensure that its 'real power for the people of Wales' policies have an influence on Welsh voters 

The decision of the Welsh executive dovetails in with the Communist Party of Britain's 'statement on elections' which lays out the Party's position on electoral coalitions.

CPB's Election Statement

The Executive Committee of the CP meeting this weekend has issued the following statement on elections. 

The Communist Party reiterates its view that a Labour victory would be preferable to a Tory victory. This means recommending a vote for Labour in the majority of constituencies, especially where the Labour candidate has a record of opposing imperialist war and privatisation, and supporting trade union and other democratic rights. We urge especially support and campaigning for those Labour prospective parliamentary candidates who have clearly identified themselves with progressive politics.

However, we welcome principled contests against those New Labour figures who have distinguished themselves as the worst advocates of privatization, war and neo-liberalism.

We confirm our willingness to explore the potential for achieving as much unity as possible on the left and in the labour movement in wider campaigning against neo-liberal policies.

Noting that the RMT executive has decided not to affiliate formally to any electoral coalition for the forthcoming general election, and that no other union has taken a formal position, the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Britain, in reviewing its own electoral strategy, has determined not to participate in a formal electoral coalition.

The Communist Party, and its allies in UK-domiciled Communist and Workers’ Parties, perhaps with other forces, will contest as many constituencies as feasible in the general election, in order to project a clear left-wing alternative.

The Communist Party will continue to pursue its agreed wider objectives in terms of electoral and campaigning work, which include negotiations to prevent left candidates standing against each other wherever possible, and support for candidates who have gained a personal and significant local potential electoral following.

Additionally, the Communist Party seeks to work with a wide range of left and labour movement forces, inside and outside the Labour Party, to promote mass activity in defence of working people and for wider support for policies towards a left-wing policy programme.

Welsh Communist Party position

In the light of the above statement the Welsh Communist Party has outlined its intention to contest the following seats:

Alyn & Deeside – candidate Trevor Jones

Caerphilly – candidate Rob Griffiths

The intention is to expose the reactionary and imperialist policies of the incumbent new Labour MPs.

In addition the Welsh Party will enter into discussions with other Left wing forces to ensure to 'prevent left candidates standing against each other wherever possible, and support for candidates who have gained a personal and significant local potential electoral following'

 

3. TRADE UNION AGGREGATE RE-ESTABLISHED

The impact of systemic economic crisis on the working people of Wales is being illustrated in an alarming haemorrhage in trade union membership and, with a potential Tory administration in Westminster, further swingeing attacks on organised labour can be expected.

In this knowledge, communists must be in the forefront of building resistance to those attacks within their own workplaces and unions.

The Welsh Party’s new industrial organiser has, therefore, set herself the task of developing the Party’s trade union cadres and increasing our organised intervention in the labour movement in Wales.

To this end the industrial organiser will be

i. conducting an audit of trade union membership and activity among Comrades in Wales;

ii. produce an annual booklet of model resolutions from a Wales-specific perspective for distribution among trade unionists prior to Wales TUC Cymru Conference each year 

iii. convene a bi-annual industrial aggregate to take place in February and September to ensure the timely production of model resolutions and to co-ordinate responses to the Conference Agenda;

iv. examine how active communist trades unionists can best be supported in their work;

v. review its industrial work in Wales and report back to the next Welsh Congress

The first of these TU aggregate meeting will be held on Saturday 13th February to discuss the Party’s initial priorities including developing our work in trades councils and positively influencing the work of the Wales TUC.

Any comrade (or friend by invitation) who wishes to attend the TU aggregate meeting on the 13th should e-mail  for further details about venue and agenda.

A contingent of Welsh communist trade unionist will also be attending the CPB’s Trade Union & Political Cadres School in Whortley Hall in Sheffield over the first weekend of February.

4. PEOPLE'S CHARTER

In furtherance of the Welsh Communist Party’s policy as defined by this motion passed at last years Party Congress:

This congress calls on the Welsh Committee to initiate a co-ordinated campaign for the People’s Charter.

The campaign needs to involve the broadest possible alliance and be exposed to the greatest number of working class people manageable.

The campaign should be conducted through regional groups that include trades councils and trade unions but also seek to draw in unaffiliated sections of working class people through door to door petitioning.

The Party in Wales should raise the Charter or its constituent elements in all its work as a medium term, strategic requirement which will resonate well beyond the next election.

The Welsh Communist Party will be looking to work, with others in the progressive and labour movement in Wales, to develop a broad based Welsh steering group to co-ordinate the work of the Peoples Charter in Wales.

It is hoped that an early meeting of such a group would assist in ensuring that the policies of the Peoples Charter influence the political debate in wales in the run up to the general election.

5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE STATEMENTS ON THE BOSCH FACTORY CLOSURE AND HAITI

BOSCH

Welsh Communists today condemned the decision by Bosch to close their Miskin plant in favour of moving production to where they can get cheaper labour.

The executive committee, meeting in Pontypridd, urged unions and community groups to demand that the government starts making multinational companies accountable for their actions.

‘This closure is due to the greed of big business shareholders and has nothing to do with the recession. It shows how pathetic current government economic strategy is when big business can ride roughshod over its victims without recompense.

We are already paying for government irresponsibility in allowing the bankers a free reign’ declared Welsh Secretary Rick Newnham.

Haiti

The Welsh Communist Party expresses its solidarity with the Haitian people following the devastating earthquake that has wrecked havoc on an already impoverished nation.

The Welsh Communist Party recognises that the Haitian people need massive amounts of disaster relief in the short term, and supports the work of the Disaster Emergency Committee here in Britain, but in the long term the Haitian people need the USA and its international agencies to stop imposing policies that make them more vulnerable to natural disasters.

Trade and aid policies that force rural Haitians into cities where there is no safe housing for them and political policies that undermine or overthrow democratically elected governments that do try to provide safe housing and services in rural areas.

It is important to note that, while US politicians were making speeches about sending an aircraft carrier and thousands of marines to Haiti; a neighbouring developing country, Cuba, had its medical personnel already on the ground in Haiti converting their own accommodation facilities into two makeshift hospitals to take care of the sick and wounded. Cuba also wasted no time in sending further medical teams and supplies to its neighbour.

Haiti certainly needs overseas aid, but, above all, it needs its independence its own freely chosen political leader and an end to US-sponsored military coups.

6. CUBA DIARIES

In 2008, UNISON sponsored six young members to visit Cuba as part of the Cuba Solidarity Campaigns Young Trade Unionists May Day Brigade.  With little knowledge about its economic or political situation, this film follows these young British workers as they discover Cuba. The cars are old, the buildings are crumbling, and due to a U.S trade embargo the country remains isolated from the world.

But 50 years on, most Cuban people still support the Revolution 

Cymru Cuba will be showing this film, Cuba Diaries, followed by a short talk on trade unions and Cuba by Steve Belcher, UNISON's International Officer in Wales.

This will be held at the UNISON Offices (bottom of St Mary Street, a short walk from Central Station, Cardiff) on the Wednesday 10th February, starting at 7pm. Entry will be free.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=263133853650&ref=ts

7. CYMDAITHAS NICLAS

The Welsh Communist Party decided at its 2009 Congress to co-ordinate Welsh-speaking comrades to establish an organisation to promote discussion of the arts and culture, especially literature, through the medium of the Welsh language.

The organisation is to be called 'Cymdeithas Niclas' in honour of Wales' leading communist poet and its aim is to provide a Marxist, internationalist and anti-imperialist influence in the Welsh language community.

Gareth Miles, leading Welsh language play write and author, will be calling the inaugural planning meeting in February with the aim of a formal public launch of the society on the Eisteddfod Maes in August.

8. ALDERMASTON BLOCKADE

This is a "last call" for anyone interested in taking part in the Aldermaston blockade on Monday 15th February to please get in touch with to arrange shared transport and overnight accomodation (travelling on Sunday 14th and staying locally overnight).

We need involvement from people who:

  • are prepared to take part in the blockade at the risk of being arrested if the police decide to arrest people;
  • are prepared to take part in the blockade whilst hoping to escape arrest if the police give notice of plans to arrest people; and
  • are prepared to support and observe the blockade without themselves taking part and risking arrest.

The briefing at www.tridentploughshares.org/article1577 contains some useful information.

If you want further information, please get in touch either by email or phone (01792 830330).

 

9. WEB ARCHIVING WALES

The National Library of Wales contacted the Welsh Communist Party with the following request:

Dear Sir/Madam,

The National Library of Wales is a founding member of the UK Web Archiving Consortium consisting of the British Library, JISC, the National Archives, the National Library of Scotland, the National

Library of Wales and the Wellcome Library. The Consortium is undertaking a two-year pilot project to determine the long-term feasibility of archiving selected web sites.

The National Library of Wales would like to invite you to participate in this pilot project by archiving your web site. We have identified this web site as an important part of Wales’ documentary heritage and would like it to remain available to researchers in the future. If the pilot is successful the archived copy of your web site will subsequently form part of our permanent collections.

There are some benefits to you in having your site archived by the Consortium; We will not only take the necessary preservation action to keep your publication accessible as hardware and software changes over time but will also catalogue your publication through the websites of both the National Library of Wales (www.nlw.org.uk) and the UK Web Archiving Consortium (www.webarchive.org.uk), thereby increasing awareness of your publication among researchers.

Permission to archive pertains only to the site or sites specified in this letter and not to any other sites you may own, host, or administer.  From the web site it appears that you are the copyright owner. If you are not the copyright owner, or share the copyright with others, please pass this request on to them.

If you are happy for your site to be included in this Web archive please complete the attached copyright licence form and return it to the address below. For more information about Copyright, the UK Web Archiving Consortium and how your archived web site will be made available please see the attached list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Alternatively, if you require any additional information, please do not

hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks,

 

Mark Evans

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Assistant Librarian

Collection Services

National Library Of Wales

Needless to say The Welsh Communist Party was pleased to agree to this request and ensure that our communist heritage will be available for the Welsh public.

10. REMEMBER SAM KNIGHT?

The Welsh Communist Party received the following enquiry:

Hello,

I am working on some genealogical research and wondered if you might have any information about one of the founding members of the Communist Party in Wales, Sam Knight. He was my great-grandmother's brother. As a Marxist theorician, I'm assuming he must have written on the topic, although I have not yet been able to find anything.

The attached clip is part of a larger 4 page article that appeared in the South Wales Evening Post on December 1, 1982, regarding his WWI diary. However it mentions his role in the founding of the Party.

Any information you might have about him or his work would be greatly appreciated, or if you have any suggestions as to where else I might look, I would welcome that information as well.

Thank you!

Sam's great-grand niece, Katherine

If you have any information on Sam please e-mail it through. The current Swansea branch secretary recalls Sam being mentioned in dispatches but has no specific recollection and no examples of published materials.  Any information will be forwarded onto his great grand niece.

 

11. DIARY OF MEETINGS AND EVENTS

February

5th – 7th in Whortley Hall, Sheffield

Trade Union & Political Cadre School – transport going from Wales

Wednesday 10th at 7 pm in UNISON House, Custom House Street, Cardiff

CUBA DIARIES

Saturday 13th at 12 pm in Cardiff

Welsh Communists’ Trade Union aggregate meeting – for further details about venue and agenda e-mail 

Monday 15th Aldermaston

CND Blockade

March

Saturday 27th at 10 am in UNISON House, Cardiff

Searchlight Cymru AGM and training day

April 

Sunday 11th at 12 pm in Clwb y Bont

Welsh Communist Party’s Executive Committee meeting

Saturday 17th at 10.30 am in Cayo Arms, Cathedral Road, Cardiff

Welsh Communist Party’s New & Prospective members day school

May

Saturday 1st at 6 pm in Twyn Hall, Caerphilly

May Day rally

26th – 27th May in Llandudno

Wales TUC conference

June

Sunday 6th at 1.30 pm in Cayo Arms, Cathedral Road, Cardiff

PPPS AGM

Saturday 19th June

Morning Star conference

July

Sunday 4th 11 am at Cardiff Castle gates

Morning Star Sponsored Walk

31st July to 7th August

Morning Star stall on the Eisteddfod Maes

August

Saturday 14th from 2 pm in Efail Isaf

Welsh Communist Party Fund raising BBQ

20th – 22nd August in Aberystwyth

Welsh Communist Party’s Summer School

 

September

 

Sunday 26th at 12 pm in Clwb y Bont, Pontypridd

Welsh Communist Party’s Executive Committee meeting

 

October

 

30th – 31st

51st Congress Communist Party of Britain

 

November

 

Friday 26th at 7.30 pm – venue tbc

Gwyn Alf Williams’ Memorial Lecture

 

27th – 28th in YMCA, Pontypridd

Communist University of Wales