Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is an attempt to render all economies legally subject to the big business drive for maximum profit and to establish a structure for world trade that will penalise developing countries.

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the EU was launched by President Obama in February 2013. Preliminary work had been undertaken by the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council which had been formed in 2007 by multi-national companies based in both the EU and the US. The negotiations are taking place in a series of closed-door meetings which began in 2013 and are likely to continue into 2015. They involve direct consultation with big business lobbies. The general objective is to eliminate any remaining forms of state interventions in the market and to enable companies to take legal action, in a supranational court, if they are prevented from entering services such as education and health which are supplied publicly.

Read the full briefing document:

Files:
TTIP briefing

November 2014

The country currently stands at the centre of a geo-political battle by the United States and the European Union to isolate and militarily surround Russia and China and minimise the wider influence of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Customs Union of Russian, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

In this battle the United States and Germany have adopted somewhat different tactics and have somewhat divergent interests but were both deeply implicated in the February 2014 coup against the elected government and in the subsequent establishment of a regime in which openly fascist forces have a significant place. These notes seek to explain the background.

Read the full briefing document:

Ukraine Briefing
 

Over 1000 people marched through Exeter on Saturday the 16th of November to stand against the EDL.

Organised by Exeter Together the march and rally was supported by local trade unions, anti-cuts groups, left-wing activists and overwhelmingly by the public.

Spokeswoman Hannah Packham said: "Exeter has united in saying that we love the rich diversity of the city, which helps to make it the great place it is. Our message is clear: the EDL with their racist, divisive politics are not welcome in Exeter."

Even the EDL themselves, in comments on their Facebook page admitted their showing of around 200 was a "poor turnout".

More pictures of the day can be seen here.

"Leveson has produced a safe pro-establishment report", writes Robert Griffiths CP General Secretary, who outlines Communist Party proposals that would really regulate capital in the newspaper and communications industry.

It is no surprise that a panel stuffed with establishment figures misses the main point: Britain has a monopoly press owned by transnational corporations, tax dodging millionaires and pornographers.

Britain's 22 daily and Sunday national papers are owned by just nine companies. Five of these companies control more than 90 per cent of the market, owing their monopoly position largely to their massive advertising revenues and marketing budgets.

Some of the biggest press monopolies also own substantial sections of the broadcasting and social and internet media.

Liz Payne, National Women's Organiser and South West District Chair of the Communist Party is in Lebanon this weekend to attend the 14th international meeting of communist and workers' parties. Read Liz's speech here.

IMCWP Lebanon, November 2012: Communist Party of Britain

Dear Comrades - Let me begin by conveying the greetings of the Communist Party of Britain to the 14th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties and our sincere thanks to the Lebanese Communist Party for facilitating and hosting our deliberations here in Beirut. The Communist Party of Britain is sure that the discussions at this meeting will provide new insights and inspiration to strengthen our solidarity and our struggle against imperialist aggression and for a democratic, just and socialist future.

This weekend delegates from party organisations across Britain met in London for the 52nd Congress of the Communist Party. Below is the opening address by party General Secretary Robert Griffiths.

Comrades, honoured guests, delegates to this 52nd congress of the Communist Party of Britain.

The current military conflict in Gaza, grossly unequal as it is, must not be allowed to conceal the fundamental cause of the conflict in this region, namely the continuing denial of the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people.

In 1948, Israel seized two-thirds of the territory allocated to the Palestinians by the United Nations partition plan, including a substantial strip of land to the north of Gaza where most of the rockets have fallen in recent days. Israel now occupies about 90 per cent of the land set aside for the Palestinian people including, of course, the West Bank.

For as long as this oppression – the greatest unresolved injustice of the 20th century – persists, there will be resistance. The only basis for a just and lasting peace remains the establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel in accordance with the pre-1967 borders, with Palestine's capital in East Jerusalem and international guarantees of peace and security.

Is the term "class struggle" out of date?
Does socialism fully liberate women?
What is surplus value?

On Saturday the 1st of December communists in Devon are hosting a Marxist education event in Exeter. The "day school" will be a place for discussion and debate, concentrating on classic Marxist ideas and their relevance today.

The event is open to all party members and any interested members of the public. There will be small group sessions and larger open debates. Communist Party General Secretary Robert Griffiths and District Secretary Ken Keable will also be on hand.

Starting at 10:00 and finishing at 16:00 there will be a break for lunch and drinks in the bar afterwards.

If you intend to come or would like further details, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Communist Party opposes the current elections for police and crime commissioners. These positions downgrade the role of democratically elected councillors, concentrating power in the hands of one person. Like the election of mayors, these "commissioners" will facilitate privatisation and are likely, on US experience, to lead to cronyism and corruption.

These elected positions were also introduced by the unelected coalition government without any consultation with the general public and without any mandate derived from either the Conservative or Lib-Dem election manifestos.

The conditions for standing in these elections also make participation virtually impossible for ordinary working class people. The deposit that must be paid, and is lost if a candidate obtains less than 5% of the vote, is £5000. These elections will be dominated by the usual political parties and candidates with personal wealth.

The fourth of the South West dates of the nationwide Communist Party speaking tour was held in Bristol on the 28th of November.

Party Chairman Bill Greenshields and former Labour MP David Drew spoke to an appreciative audience on "Why Britain needs Socialism".

The two speakers were followed by a lively question and answer session covering topics as diverse as the economy, pensions, unions, european matters, womens' issues, involvement of students, imperialist wars and the Morning Star.

"In taking strike action, marching and rallying next Wednesday, millions of workers and their supporters will reaffirm a deep commitment to maintaining democratic rights in Britain", Liz Payne declared at a meeting of the Communist Party's political committee on Wednesday.

She attacked government, business and police representatives whose response to protesting workers and students has been "paramilitary policing, kettling and threats of a new round of anti-trade union laws".

The CPB women's organiser and South West District Chair called for a massive turnout on picket lines, marches and demonstrations across Britain on the November 30 TUC day of action.

UPDATE: We are very excited to report that the appeal reached its target of £75,000 in just eight days!

Morning Star Appeal

Readers and supporters of the Star launched a massive internet campaign today in response to an urgent appeal for £75,000 by Christmas. An overwhelming £15,541 was received in the first day, but there is still a long way to go.

Assistant editor Richard Bagley said: "The response has been absolutely staggering in such a short space of time.

"Everyone here has been buoyed by the tremendous support that has been shown for the only left daily in the country."

But he warned: "We've got a long way to go yet."

He urged readers and supporters to keep up the momentum in every possible arena to raise funds.

A people's alliance led by the labour movement needs to be built against this government and the bankers who dictate its policies. Links need to be forged and strengthened between trades unions, Trades Councils, anti-cuts campaigns, local community groups, students and pensioners. This would help pave the way for mass activity in the new year, including generalised strike action. It is the embryonic type of alliance outlined in the new edition of Britain's Road to Socialism.

The Communist Party believes it important for success on the day, and in the movement which needs to grow after it, to emphasise the following points:

  • The strike in defence of public sector pensions is also defending the quality of public sector jobs and the services they produce.
  • Defending decent pensions in the public sector is part of the struggle to defend and improve state and private sector pensions as well.
  • Defeating plans to extend people's working lives will provide employment opportunities for other workers, especially the million young unemployed.
  • Cutting the amount of retired workers' pensions reduces spending power in the economy at a time when we need to maintain and increase economic demand in order to avoid a second recession.

Events planned by local unions and Trade Councils are to take place across the South West. Below is a list of what has been announced so far. 

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The event was organised by Somerset CPB branch on behalf of the District Committee. Jean Turner, of the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies, gave an illustrated talk on the revolution and its origins, describing it as an inevitable outcome of Russian history.

Jean Turner giving a talk

Liz Payne, Chair of the Somerset branch and CPB National Women's Organiser, spoke on some of the problems of Soviet development and the downfall of socialism in the USSR, saying that the revolution had left a "permanent, fantastic legacy". The debate continued long after the buffet meal.

A section of the audience