Support the Party

On May 1, we will launch a new Communist Party supporters' card. This new card has no time limit on it - it will not have to be renewed annually. We encourage existing supporters and sympathisers of the Party to use the form below to reserve their card. A comrade will then contact you to discuss your work with the organisation and how you can become a full member as soon as possible. The workers' movement urgently needs more CPGB comrades active in its ranks. While the revolutionary left in Britain has taken important steps forward with the Socialist Alliance, it remains mired in sectarianism. We are sometimes stupidly told that sectarianism means "not working with others" - clearly inadequate as a definition. A sectarian organisation puts its interests as an ideologically cohered group ahead of the interests of the movement as a whole. Today, the most glaring need of the workers' movement is that as quickly as possible the Marxist left in this country should move towards principled unity in a single party, organised around a revolutionary programme with a regime of genuine democratic centralism. The Communist Party has been the most consistent champion of this historical necessity, the most consistent fighter against the sectarianism that continues to hold us back. If we had already overcome this serious weakness: * We would have a weekly SA newspaper, fighting to build the alliance through a campaigning intervention into social struggles and giving space to different trends to express their particular viewpoints, to dispute and clarify openly. * Our comrades would be organising together in the trade unions, fighting to democratise the union funds and challenge the misleadership of bureaucracies. * The SA/Welsh Socialist Alliance would be organising consistently in working class communities, fighting to have an answer to all the questions that face our class. At the moment, the charge that many voters throw against Labour - 'We only see you bastards at election time' - could equally be applied to our alliance. This is shameful. Joining the Communist Party as a supporter or a full member strengthens the fight for a principled Socialist Alliance party. Those independents that read our paper regularly and sympathise (critically) with us should take this simple fact on board. We are against the 'cult of the independent' that has been assiduously promoted in the SA, primarily by an SWP desperate to downplay the centrality of the other principle organisation. The more serious of these comrades recognise that there is nothing per se healthy about being an 'independent' - independent of what, exactly? Our card comes in a new format and so does the category of 'supporter' itself. The template we have used for this level of Party involvement has been stuck in the early 1990s, the period when it was first launched. At that time, this organisation underwent a dramatic period of expansion in direct parallel with the upsurge around the miners' struggle against pit closures. The CPGB put out an (admittedly amateurish) newspaper three, four, sometimes five times a week as we fought to orientate the movement towards what was needed to win - a general strike with or without the TUC. Our influence expanded quite rapidly. Up and down the country, groups of miners and their supporters emerged who were sympathetic to our message and keen to distribute the paper. Becoming a Party supporter in this situation almost invariably implied a very active relationship with the Party and the wider movement. Mass demonstrations - overwhelmingly working class in composition - came one after another up and down the country. Today when we look back at our paper and the work of the organisation in that period, there are many things we are sharply critical of. However, it was certainly far easier to integrate new comrades around the Party into structures where they could learn politics, undertake serious work and become a genuine partisan of the Party. Obviously, we face a rather different situation today. Comrades who apply to be Party supporters today are encouraged to become active in their local Socialist Alliance, the Welsh Socialist Alliance or the Scottish Socialist Party. The SSP is one thing, but in the rest of the country this orientation is problematic. The problem is the stop-start nature of the SA/WSA project under the misleadership of the Socialist Workers Party and the extreme weakness of the alliance in Wales. We remain a small group - albeit an influential one - with an fragile national infrastructure. Thus, it has been hard to build anything other than a rather passive relationship with many Party supporters, comrades who are often 'stranded' in areas without Party organisation or consistent SA/WSA work for them to throw themselves into. Faced with this, it is important that we push the level of commitment necessary to be a Party supporter up a few notches. Party supporters are being asked to: * Commit themselves to attend important Party events. * Make regular financial contributions, not simply one-off donations. * Take part in structured education, on-line where necessary. * Participate in SA/WSA/SSP work where they can, selling the paper and fighting for our perspective for a united, all-UK party. We will carry updates of the supporters' campaign in the paper and call on all comrades sympathetic to our message to make a commitment. Mark Fischer * Sign up as a Communist Party supporter