District Newsletter March 2017

Here are some extracts from our March 2017 District Newsletter distributed to members.

Report from the Party’s 54th Congress. It is important for all comrades to get the pamphlet “Block the Ruling Class Offensive and Win a Left-led Government”. This is the text of the main resolution passed at our 54th Congress and it is available at £2.00 from the Party’s website on http://www.communist-party.org.uk/shop/pamphlets/2319-block.html. Unlike in previous years, this resolution covers both national and international affairs and provides a handy and authoritative guide to Party policy. Another very useful Party pamphlet, recently out, is “All Power to the Working Class – the role of the Communist Party” by Rob Griffiths, also available from the Party website.

Representatives of the CP of Ukraine attended and addressed the Congress and a programme of meetings and visits was arranged for them while they were in Britain. The general secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland also spoke to Congress and there was a video message from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and another from the Communist Party of Venezuela.

At the Congress, two of our District comrades, Owain Holland and Liz Payne, were elected to the Party’s Executive Committee. At the first meeting of the EC in January 2017, Liz was re-elected Chair of the Party and member of the Political Committee. She continues to serve on the Party’s International Commission. She was also elected onto the Organisation Committee, which she chairs, and (for the time being) will continue as Women’s Organiser.

Morning Star readers and supporters. About 90 people came to the Hen and Chicken, Bristol, on 24 February to see Dare Devil Rides to Jarama, an excellent play about the anti-fascist war in Spain. This was organised by the Bristol, Bath & Gloucester Morning Star Readers’ and Supporters’ Group.

At the SW Region TUC Annual Conference, on 18 March at Croyde Bay, all delegates (about 80) received a free copy of the Morning Star, as usual. Unite SW paid for the Friday edition and Unison SW paid for the Saturday edition. Comrade Gerry Sables ran a stall and raised £75.30 for the Morning Star’s Fighting Fund.

Cornwall. The District Committee has asked our Cornwall Branch to consider holding (with District support) a day school on Cornwall, its labour movement and how the struggle for a just and equal future for its people might be built.

Another London Recruit. Comrade Bevis Miller of our Bristol, Bath and Gloucester branch has “come out” as one of the ANC’s London Recruits and has written a report on it, which has been published on the website www.londonrecruits.org.uk . This reveals that Bevis was in Johannesburg on 13 August 1970 at the same time as our District Secretary Ken Keable was in Durban, doing exactly the same things (planting non-lethal leaflet bombs and setting up a street broadcast from the ANC). The film is making good progress and 13 trade unions have contributed funds to the project and their general secretaries, along with Frances O’Grady, have recorded video clips endorsing the film and the funding appeal. The film should be released at the turn of the year.

Comrade Liz Payne spoke on behalf of the Party on 19 March at the annual commemoration of the death of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery. Liz also gave the British Peace Assembly’s J D Bernal Memorial Lecture at the Marx Memorial Library, London, on 24 March. The speech made at Highgate has been posted on our District website, linked here.

Launch of the Communist Manifesto in Cornish. Here is the text of a report submitted by Comrade Liz Payne to the District Committee.

Deryvadow Party an Gemynwer– A Report for the Cornwall and South West District Committee (19 February 2017)

On Saturday 29 October 2016, the Communist Party launched in Truro the first ever Cornish translation of the Communist Manifesto. This had recently been completed by Heather Penruth who had worked on the text for three years. The well-attended meeting was organised by the Cornwall Branch of the CPB and chaired by comrade Owain Holland, the general secretary of the Young Communist League and Cornwall branch member, who addressed those present in both Cornish and English. The meeting congratulated comrade Heather for her vision and commitment in tackling this enormous task. The national Chair of the Communist Party, Liz Payne, who spoke at the meeting, said that adding one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts to the body of literature available in Cornish was a very significant step and was symbolic of the struggle of the people of Cornwall for their rights and culture and against capitalist exploitation and poverty.

At the launch event, Heather Penruth thanked Ray Chubb, secretary of Agan Tavas (the Campaign for the Cornish Language), also present with other members of the Campaign, for his assistance with checking and proofing the translation. After a discussion on the causes of the key issues facing the people of Cornwall and how the Left might together address them, Mr Chubb read a section from the Manifesto in Cornish.

The Communist Party has subsequently donated a copy of Deryvadow Party an Gemynwer to every public library in Cornwall. These were sent out by Party Centre in early November with a covering letter from the chair of the Party as follows:

Dear Librarian,

The Communist Party would like to donate to your library the enclosed copy of the first ever Cornish translation of the Communist Manifesto (Deryvadow Party an Gemynwer), the 1848 work by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. The translation was recently completed by Heather Penruth and checked by Ray Chubb, secretary of Agan Tavas (the Campaign for the Cornish Language). It was launched at a well-attended event in Truro on Saturday 29 October 2016. The addition of one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts to the body of literature available in Cornish is a very significant step indeed and the Cornwall and South-West England District of the Communist Party has therefore decided to send a copy of Deryvadow Party an Gemynwer to every public library in Cornwall, as well as to Cornwall College and the University of Falmouth.

Much interest is already being shown in the publication, not only from Cornwall and across Britain but from Brittany and Galicia and we hope that Deryvadow Party an Gemynwer will also be of interest to your readers.

Yours sincerely

Liz Payne.

The Cornish Studies Library (Cornwall Centre, Redruth) wrote a letter of thanks for the donation in which it stated:

We are always grateful for submissions such as this as in many cases the volume is one that we may have missed otherwise. We will add it to stock here (we are a reference library) and I will notify my colleague who purchases lending copies for the county’s branch libraries that your booklet is available – he may decide to contact you to purchase further copies.”

Much interest has already been shown in the publication, with enquiries coming in from Cornwall, Brittany and Galicia. There is much potential for further work based on this initiative, especially through upcoming events in Cornwall.

Public meeting. Somerset Branch is holding a public meeting on Monday 10 April on “The EU: winning a progressive settlement, strengthening workers’ rights”. The speaker is Rob Griffiths. Venue: Friends’ Meeting House, 13 Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4EP. Time: 7pm-8.45pm. Please come if you can.

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