now, scapegoat - by Pete Treglown (click image for larger version)
now, scapegoat - by Pete Treglown (click image for larger version)

The picture 'now, scapegoat' has as its main part a photograph of a Lake District scene, taken from a 1950's book of black and white photographs cut up with that of a Reaper drone. This idea is to bring the reality of hi-tech warfare and its associations into the idealised English landscape so as to question the imperialist and nationalist dogma of the War on Terror.

The other elements are from paintings by William Blake 'The Blasphemer'; RB Kitaj 'Lake Erie Shore' ; and William Holman Hunt 'The Scapegoat'. There is an accidental connection between the Blake and Hunt images as they both illustrate parts of the book of Leviticus. In any case I like the stone throwing at the goat whilst being watched by an intense nurse.

The NOW statements are there to tell us that this is about the immediate present and that any action to alter the situation must be enacted immediately. Apportioning blame and creating an enemy (the other) is part of the imperialist and nationalist strategies of neo-liberal capitalist countries and has been exacerbated in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris.

Most unpredictably I attained my sense of unreality at an early age. This has made the game a little dull. Like guessing the end of a thriller in the first five minutes. By game I refer to life, the smokescreen we are expected to believe in and live through. My current incarnation is just plain stupid. God's either taking the piss or seriously insulting me.
 
Dorset Branch member and artist Bobbie-Jo Treglown is serialising her upcoming book "Always Take Your Prozac With Sinle Malt and Other Short Life Stories" over the next nine months. You can read the first instalment on her blog.

W.E eat, you die
you drown. W.E. frown
W.E. fence, you jump
W.E chain, you train
you need. W.E blame
Wealthy Elite, shame!
not in MY name

In the latest British Social Attitudes Survey 31% of people in the South West described themselves as "racially prejudiced". At the same time 154,000 hate crimes were documented across the UK related to race and 70,000 hate crimes related to religion - An overview of hate crime in England and Wales.

In response to this a grassroots campaign is organising a march against raicism for the South West on the 7th of February in Exeter. See their site for more information https://exetermarchagainstracism.wordpress.com

 

 

"Britain’s communists condemn without reservation the barbarous murders in Paris of journalists and other civilians by jihadist terrorists", Communist Party of Britain general secretary Robert Griffiths declared at the weekend. "Hard-win democratic and human rights must always be defended against reactionary elements and states that seek to undermine and destroy them", he told the party’s two-day executive committee meeting at its headquarters in Ruskin House, Croydon.

Mr Griffiths also reaffirmed the Communist Party’s long-standing commitment to secularism, multiculturalism and working class unity against all forms of racism – including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia – and religious fundamentalism. But he slammed the hypocrisy and double standards of politicians and commentators who deplored the shooting of Charlie Hebdo journalists last Thursday, yet who had justified the US and NATO bombing of Serbian and Al-Jazeera television stations during the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, killing many more broadcasters and civilian workers.

Communist Party General Secretary Robert Griffiths looks towards a year of struggle for social justice, peace and socialism.

Britain is a society disfigured by poverty, food banks, mass unemployment, enormous social injustice and chronic corruption. Our top priority must be to help sweep away the unelected Tory-LibDem regime at the General Election on May 7. The only realistic alternative is a Labour government.

But we also realise that Labour’s manifesto will not provide the radical alternative needed to challenge state-monopoly capitalism in Britain. That’s why we must redouble our efforts to strengthen the trade unions and trades councils and build the People’s Assembly and the National Assembly of Women as broad popular movements against austerity, privatisation and inequality.

Have the Tories in flooded Somerset re-discovered the importance of well-funded public services?

The coalition government under-funds the Environment Agency (and all public services) and then Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger complains that the Agency has failed to dredge and maintain the rivers on the Somerset Levels. The Tories who run Somerset County Council want the armed forces and other parts of the public sector to bail them out – literally.

According to their Thatcherite ideology, they should leave the problem of flooding to be solved by market forces and the private sector. Isn’t there some inconsistency here? Do they want a “smaller state” or not?

Sent to the Somerset County Gazette, from Ken Keable, Secretary, Somerset branch, Communist Party of Britain. 27/01/2014

An information bulletin on developments within the European Union for the labour and trade union movement, this publication looks at EU unemployment, attacks on public services, the US/EU free trade deal, privatisation and has a round up of the crisis across the Eurozone.

 

Communist Party vice chair Liz Payne accused the the Liberal Democrats of "sinking in a swamp of opportunism" at the party's political committee on Wednesday (22nd of January).

"They no longer defend civil liberties and they certainly don't stand up for the rights of women in public life," declared Ms Payne, who also chairs the South West District Committee. "But they are desperate to hang on the perks of office, even though they will soon outlive their usefulness to the Tories."

She was speaking as the scandal around LibDem peer Lord Rennard intensified. He has now been suspended from his party following allegations of sexual harassment and a botched internal inquiry.

There is no contradiction between building the mass movement and building the Party. The Party can only grow in size and influence where the mass movement is building in strength.

This pan for 2014 should be approached in conjunction with that from January 2013 2013-14 Campaign Plan which made clear, "This strategic document sets out our top ten priority areas of work over the coming 18 months to two years…"

We are now in January 2014 - nearly half way through that period. The priority areas in that document hold good… but this document suggests essential and practical steps that every Party organisation can and must take right now and throughout 2014.

Read the full plan online.

2014

What's my New Year's resolution? 
REVOLUTION!!! 
Why, what's yours? 
Let's legalise equality 
Dignify humanity 
Forget the pounds 
Fight lethargy! 
Re-energise society. 
Walk past the gym 
March side by side 
Try Marxicise 
Lose fat, gain pride! 
Brothers, Sisters know your worth 
All are equal on this earth 
2014 Bang the Gong! 
Show the world the 'Right' are wrong! 
Communism 
Marxicise! 
Hit the streets 
Awake, arise! 

By Bobbie-Jo Treglown, Dorset Branch

 

The South West TUC has published a new guide that outlines the facts around immigration and emigration in the South West region.

"The issues of immigration and population are hotly debated and affect how people are treated at work and in our communities," says Nigel Costley, South
West TUC Regional Secretary.

"Trade unions speak up for working people. That means protecting wages and conditions from being undercut. It also means supporting workers when they are being exploited by employers and gang masters. So we have a duty to arm trade union representatives with the facts on population and migration."

Revolutionary Communist at Work: Tom Sibley on Bert Ramelson
7pm Tony Benn House, Victoria St, Bristol. BS1 6AY

Bristol, Bath and Gloucester CPB invite you to a public meeting to hear from Tom Sibley, co-author of a recent biography of Bert Ramelson, and share the company and experience of some of those who have felt Bert's influence in their own political lives.

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

You can buy a copy of the book from the Morning Star Online.

Revolutionary Communist at Work: a political biography of Bert Ramelson

Roger Seifert and Tom Sibley

Bert Ramelson (1910-1994) was a remarkable man who lived through remarkable times. Born into a Jewish ghetto in pre-1917 Ukraine, he went on to become Britain's foremost communist during the turbulent years of industrial strife in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. He lived through the first years of the Bolshevik revolution and the ensuing Civil War - during which members of his family were murdered in the anti-Semitic pogroms of the period. After a short spell in Palestine working on a Kibbutz, he fought in the Spanish Civil War as a member of the Canadian contingent of the International Brigade, and then as a tank commander with the British Army in the Second World War. Having been taken prisoner at Tobruk, Ramelson went on to lead a mass breakout from an Italian Prisoner of War Camp.

We want Britain to be run by the British people. We want a socialist Britain - and we can't have that until we escape from the grasp of the Brussels bankers.

Taken from the Morning Star

What a bind David Cameron finds himself caught in. Trapped between his fat-cat friends who love the EU business-friendly policies and attacks on workers, and his party's racist right who hate the EU out of blind nationalism.

No wonder he's reduced to wriggling and squirming and dodging the issue with a promise of a referendum in five years time.

UNISON South West Retired Members Advisory Committee members today, Tuesday 15 January, condemned the latest Government's proposals for state pensions.

The committee, which comprises of retired UNISON members from every part of the region, expressed grave concern at the Government's most recent proposals on the state pension.

The Committee Chair, said:

"We want to join UNISON nationally and reiterate its warning that many workers will still face poverty in retirement, despite the government's claims that its proposed overhaul of the state pension system will improve pensions.

"The committee is urging UNISON to do everything possible to ensure that public awareness is raised of the potential threat to the living standards of retired people and to campaign in unison to ensure that members do not pay more for longer to get less.

"We have grave concerns about this proposal. This is a serious issue for all working members if future poverty in retired life is to be avoided."

The committee also urged all UNISON members to note that the proposed £144 a week state pension payment that is being suggested is well below the poverty line of £170 a week.

Dorchester, Saturday 9th February 10am-Noon

Dorchester, Weymouth, Portland and District Trades Union Council is organising a protest march in Dorchester in opposition to cuts to public services.

The County Council will be announcing its budget on Valentine's day. Lee Rhodes, Secretary of the Trades Council said: "The Trades Council would like to pick up on the timing and take the opportunity to ask politicians to show their love for public services and not to massacre them.... You get the idea I am sure!"

If you feel that you could provide practical support, such as stewards for the march, or if you would like any further information, please contact Lee on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Today, 10th of January, Honda has announced the cull of 800 jobs at its plant in Swindon. Company bosses released a statement describing the need to "realign Honda's business structure" - with little regard for the livelihoods of the workforce.

This follows reports last July of a four-fold increase in Honda's earnings and profits of £1.1 billion in the second quarter of last year and record annual sales for 2012, including 1% growth in Europe.

Communist Party District Secretary Ken Keable commented, "once again we see a global corporation able to move capital  at a whim with little regard for the communities they leave behind. This is another example of why Britain needs a radical alternative economic and social policy that would put Britain back on its feet.

"This would be funded by a fundamental shift of wealth and resources from the private ownership of the super-rich to investment in infrastructure, production and services on behalf of the people."

Statement issued by the Communist Party political committee - January 26, 2012

The Communist Party rejects the analysis peddled by the banks, hedge funds and Con-Dem government that past levels of public expenditure were the main cause of the economic and financial crisis.

We reject, too, the remedy dictated by City of London financial institutions and the EU Commission and European Central Bank, notably that massive public spending cuts and a savage attack on the wages and pensions of public sector workers are necessary in order to reduce the public sector financial deficit.

The policy of the Labour Party leadership to align itself with this analysis and these remedies is a betrayal of the millions of workers and their families who should be able to look to Labour for support and solidarity. In particular, recent statements by Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Liam Byrne in support of deep cuts in public sector wages and pension entitlements, and in welfare benefits, represent a shameful capitulation to the banks, the Con-Dem regime and the right-wing mass media.

The election manifesto for the 2010 general election.

 

The South West of England and Cornwall District Chair formed part of the British delegation to the 13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties. 

Solidnet logo

The 13th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties was held in Athens on 9-11 December 2011 with theme:

“SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE!

The international situation and the experience of the communists 20 years after the counterrevolution in the USSR. The tasks for the development of the class struggle in conditions of capitalist crisis, imperialist wars, of the current popular struggles and uprisings, for working class-popular rights, the strengthening of proletarian internationalism and the anti-imperialist front, for the overthrow of capitalism and the construction of socialism”.

Liberation logoInternational solidarity is always needed. Liberation is an organisation which embraces many causes and has been responsible for founding many successful solidarity organisations.

North Devon Liberation is holding an international event on Saturday 14 January at 2.00pm at the Guild Hall, High Street, Barnstaple. This will be followed by a shared meal at the Castle Centre, Castle Street, Barnstaple.

The guest speaker will be Cahit Baylav of Liberation. He is from Turkey and will be briging his violin. Exeter CND has expressed a wish to attend as has Palestine Solidarity Campaign and North Devon Liberation member Dave Clinch, who will talk about the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Also present will be a member of the Tudeh Party of Iran Navid Shomali and Cahit Baylav a former political refugee from Turkey who is on Liberation's National Council.

Music will be provided by a band including musicians from Bolivia, Colombia, Britain and Chile and by both Cahit Baylav and Dave Clinch.

Come to the event, enjoy it and be inspired by it. Enjoy the meal and let's make 2012 a year when North Devon reaches out to the world.

Yours

José Mateo, Chair

Gerrard Sables, Secretary

The following event has been organised by Plymouth Trades Council and Plymouth Fightback Against the Cuts and is taken from a press release:

After the fantastic success of 14 unions in Plymouth to organise N30, the best day of Trades Union action in our city for decades, we are delighted to announce a Unite the Resistance Conference in Plymouth to build on that success.

Plymouth TUC logoWe aim to have a range of local, regional and national speakers, and to bring together trades union, community and student activists, to ensure that we don't lose the amazing unity that made N30 possible, and to make sure that we don't lose momentum in our fight to defend pensions and to resist the cuts.

The conference will take place between 10:30 and 16:00 on Saturday 14th January- venue to be confirmed.

We are encouraging union branches to pass motions formally supporting the conference (please email details of motions passed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Tickets for the conference will cost £5 waged or £2 unwaged. Union branches wanting to send delegations can send up to 5 delegates for £25 (solidarity price if you send less delegates).

For full details visit www.plymouth-tuc.org.uk

A special issue of the journal UNITY, which includes a joint statement of the Civil Service Advisory and the Industry, Services and Transport Advisory steering committee of the communist party is now available. It is being distributed throughout the civil service unions and amongst members of Unite involved in the pensions struggle.

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