A flag tainted with brown

Chris Strafford condemns the Morning Star-sponsored meeting of nationalists, anti-Semites, and homophobes

Over the weekend of November 26-27 capitalist ministers, nationalists, anti-Semites and homophobes will be speaking under the banner of ‘21st century Marxism’, an event hosted by the ‘official communists’ of the Morning Star’s Communist Party of Britain.

Those going can look forward to such inspirational speakers as Yuri Emelianov, representing the red-brown Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The CPRF, known in Russia as Putin’s loyal opposition, came out of the ruins of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Gennady Zyuganov, who, along with ‘national Bolshevik’ Aleksandr Dugin, reoriented the party on ultra-nationalist, chauvinistic lines. Its cadres joined with other ‘patriots’ in violently attacking the “unhealthy” Moscow Gay Pride in 2006.

As comrade Boris Kagarlitsky explains, “For socialism, the party leaders have substituted the slogan of ‘great-power patriotism’, and the press organs they control are full of racist and anti-Semitic attacks … the Communist Party of the Russian Federation not only gives fervent support to the genocide in Chechnya, but regularly helps the government to implement its economic policies … In essence, the actions of the leaders of Russia’s ‘official communist’ movement would be better suited to members of a fascist party” (www.marxists.de/russtoday/kagarlitsky/russleftoday.htm).

In the same year the CPRF got involved with the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, which amongst other things calls for the mass expulsion (pogroms) of migrants from Russia. In 1998 CPRF duma deputy Albert Makashov declared that the “yid” had seized Russia in order to “drink the blood of the indigenous peoples” and, along with 13 other ‘communist’ deputies, released a statement which said: “People are outraged by the anti-Russian invasion. They do not hide their bewilderment at seeing that organs of power, means of mass communication, are more and more in the hands of a non-indigenous nationality, individuals with dual citizenship, who enriched themselves unfairly at the expense of the people.”

The South African Communist Party is represented by its general secretary and higher education minister, Blade Nzimande. The SACP is an integral part of the African National Congress regime, which has instituted widespread attacks on workers, and privatised essential services. ‘Comrade’ Nzimande, who likes to flaunt his wealth, this week led the SACP contingent amongst ANC MPs in voting for the draconian Protection of State Information Bill, which threatens those who publish, pass on, relay or even hold information that the authorities regard as secret with lengthy prison sentences. Nzimande dismissed those who oppose the bill as “a minority who are cynical about us”. Apparently the bill’s opponents, including the Congress of South African Unions, are engaging in “titillating, white, suburban politics”.

The gathering will also see the Chinese state - represented by professor Cheng Enfu, director of the Marxism and Economics Institute at Shanghai University - lauded and excused by British Stalinists. Over recent years the CPB has attempted to get closer to China, no doubt hoping to plug the black hole that is the Morning Star. Earlier in the year general secretary Robert Griffiths led a delegation on an official visit and concluded that “the country’s example is one that needs to be studied in depth by the left. The Chinese communists remain as sharply realistic in applying Marxism in China as those who founded their party 90 years ago” (Morning Star September 20). This is the same party that crushes any opposition, like the striking workers in the Zengcheng district of Guangzhou who in June were brutally attacked by paramilitary police using armoured vehicles.

We should not be surprised at the company the CPB keeps. After all, it has been willing to ally with the xenophobic right in Britain. Only last month international secretary John Foster joined forces with representatives of the UK Independence Party and Conservative rightwingers at the ‘People’s Pledge congress’ to defend ‘British interests’ against Europe.