Editor’s note: Our party was a motive force in launching the Workers Party of Britain in December 2019, and communists were at the heart of its most vibrant campaigns. However, developments since that time have led our comrades to consider that the WPB has failed in its stated aim of becoming a truly broad movement within which communists could work openly, transforming itself into a left-social-democratic vehicle for bourgeois parliamentarism and anticommunism. We have therefore withdrawn our members’ efforts from the Workers party project. Our stance towards the Labour party in particular and social democracy in general remains unchanged.
“This tax is specifically aimed at the very wealthy, who represent a tiny proportion of the population – anyone with a personal fortune of £10 million or more. That’s some 20,000 people in the UK … with about 4,500 of those having more than £80 million in personal wealth … Taking the very lowest thresholds, a five percent tax would generate well over £17 billion.”
Of course, as communists we know that £17bn is a drop in the financial ocean. We also know that a tax on the wealthy is insufficient to change the underlying contradiction of capitalist society – that the social wealth produced by workers’ labour is appropriated privately, enabling a small group of extremely wealthy individuals to amass their fortunes while the masses fall ever deeper into poverty.
But the corona tax campaign, in a very direct and clear way, demonstrates to workers the obscene levels of inequality that are an inherent part of our society, and for that it is to be commended.
Rather than taking this petition to parliament, the Workers Party is petitioning Labour leader Keir Starmer to adopt the tax as Labour party policy. His reluctance to consider a wealth tax at a time when millions of Britons face unemployment and millions more absolute destitution speaks volumes about the true nature of his party.
Thousands of well-meaning but politically duped workers, many of whom have stuck with Labour even after Starmer’s appointment, are reported to be signing the petition, which is highlighting the absolute unfitness of the Labour party to fight for even the most pressing and immediate demands of the working class, never mind its inability to play a part in the struggle for socialism.
It is to be hoped that through this type of work the Workers Party may have some success in exacerbating the fissures in the camp of social democracy and generating a mass awareness of and following for the socialist positions of the WPB. Every person who can be liberated from Labour’s suffocating embrace and brought towards a socialist party in which anti-imperialist and class politics replace the fake socialists’ left-liberal tailing of the capitalist class is to be celebrated.
Educating the utopian socialists who are coming towards the Workers Party – workers who are socialists by instinct alone – in the science of socialism is a project that communists must actively support.
In this regard, it is notable that sales of our newspapers, Proletarian and Lalkar, are at their highest levels in many years, with many new subscribers having been introduced to scientific socialism after the founding of the WPB last December.
Long-standing subscribers and readers should be in no doubt of the receptive and friendly atmosphere for communists and revolutionaries in this new field of political work, and we encourage everyone to pay close attention to the Workers Party of Britain, and to give every possible support to its campaigning and mobilising work.
The conditions have never been better for the building of a mass organisation of the working class – nor has the need ever been more urgent.