Communists and supporters from across Britain met at the weekend to analyse, debate and plan how best to step up the struggle against the ConDem coalition government. Read on for a selection of reports of the conference carried in the Morning Star.

 
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Communists call for the spirit of '45
 
Communists called on the Labour Party on Saturday to recognise its own history and stand by social and economic policies that serve the majority of the population.
TUC gold badge recipient Mary Davis, a leading labour movement historian, recalled Labour's sweeping 1945 victory - and how it had only partly lived up to people's hopes.
"Then as now, social change and a fundamental redistribution of wealth were ideas whose time had come," she said.
"But despite some radical reforms, and in the name of a bogus 'national interest,' Labour's programme of nationalisation did not include land and all the joint stock banks, and so became the means for stabilising capitalism instead of dismantling it."
Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths contrasted the near full employment in Britain at a time when "capitalist nationalisation" policies were government policy.
"The capitalist welfare state has improved the lives of millions of workers and their families," he added.
But he warned: "Once they outlive their usefulness for state-monopoly capitalism of undermining mass protest and discouraging more far-reaching demands, and if the labour movement appears too weak to resist, the British ruling class will return those industries and services to the private sector for monopoly profit."
Mr Griffiths urged the labour movement to adopt more of the policies in the Communist Party's left-wing programme, including a wealth tax on the super-rich, a public-sector house-building drive, price controls and progressive public ownership of finance, energy and public transport which would "make deep inroads into the wealth and power of the monopoly capitalists."
But Kevin Halpin from the Communist Party's trade union co-ordinating committee highlighted the challenge facing unions wanting to influence Labour Party policy.
"On top of all the other restrictions placed on members and affiliates taking part in policy formation and debate in the Labour Party, some trade union structures are also being used to limit democratic participation," he argued.
"As a political levy payer who campaigned for a Labour victory at the last general election, I and many other Unite members could soon be excluded from the debate in my union about which policies we want to press for in the Labour Party."
Mr Halpin urged Unite not to go down the same road as Unison, where "internal bans and structures are limiting not only the right of members to participate in important aspects of the union's political activities but also the impact of Unison's left and progressive policies within the Labour Party."
Burgin puts Con-Dems in crosshairs
 
Coalition of Resistance secretary Andrew Burgin urged all sections of the left on Saturday to unite to face down the government unprecedented attacks on working people's way of life.
But he called on campaigners to focus on fighting the Con-Dem government and its policies rather than Labour councillors who believe they have to make some cuts for fear of commissioners being imposed who would cut even deeper.
"We are not in favour of any cuts - but the overwhelming priority now is to build a mass movement against them," Mr Burgin told the Communist Party of Britain's annual trade union and political cadre school.
And looking forward to the TUC national demonstration on March 26 - "a march of the whole working class" - he highlighted the scale of the challenge facing the government.
"The capitalist crisis is forcing the Con-Dem government to take on everything at the same time - something Thatcher never did," he said.
Mr Burgin welcomed the local campaigns springing up across the country to fight the cuts - and thanked the CPB for its "central role" in the broad-ranging Coalition of Resistance movement.
 
Wapping veteran warns of TU assault
 
Former print workers' union organiser Ann Field warned at the weekend that restrictions on labour rights are a key weapon in the coalition's assault on the welfare state.
Ms Field, who was a leading figure during the 1980s fight against media mogul Rupert Murdoch's anti-union stance, said: "The Murdoch template for destroying trade unionism, created during the Wapping dispute, is now being applied in Wisconsin and across the US - and is now coming home to Britain.
British workers face restrictions on strike action and fewer trade union rights than in 1906, she said.
She told workers to prepare for a massive battle, warning: "This government's intention, at the behest of big business, is to ban strikes in front-line and public-sector services."
And Institute of Employment Rights director Carolyn Jones linked the current drive to restrict trade unionism to the European Union green paper Modernising labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
She also highlighted the European Court of Justice's anti-union stance displayed in its verdicts backing bosses in the Viking, Laval, Ruffert and Luxemburg cases.
 
EU accused of driving sell-offs and cuts plans
 
 
RMT official Brian Denny laid bare the sweeping European Union privatisation and cuts agenda on Saturday during a heated session on Trade union internationalism against austerity measures.
Accusing the TUC of staying silent on the EU "mode four" policy to allow mass importation of cheap labour to undermine terms and conditions negotiated by local trade unions, he warned that "public services, minimum standards, legal protection and trade unionism could all be swept away in an orgy of speculation, profiteering and social dumping."
Mr Denny welcomed the Communist Party's policy for British withdrawal from the EU and said that it was also now RMT policy.
His warnings were echoed by International Transport Workers Federation vice-president Graham Stevenson who said that the European Commission is rumoured to be seeking enforced "liberalisation" of ports for the fourth time, having been categorically defeated previously by a campaign uniting dockers across Europe.
"Plans to open up port services to competition were designed to aid major transnational corporations in the consolidation of their monopolies," he explained.
"Such privatisation, now accompanied by cuts in the welfare state, deliberately lower the level of pay and conditions of Europe's workers.
He said united cross-border action by workers is crucial to fight back against global firms.