Bob Crow calls for new working class party

Speaking last Saturday at a conference organised by the Morning Star on the theme “For a People’s Britain – not a Bankers’ Britain” RMT leader Bob Crow called for a new working class party and chided the organisers for refusing to move in that direction. You complain about what is going on he said “but when it comes to an election you all go and vote Labour”. The event had originally called around the issue of working class representation but this issue seemed to have vanished from the agenda.

About 250 people, predominantly members and supporters of the Communist Party of Britain, heard Crow point out that George Galloway’s triumph two days previously in Bradford once again put the question of the political representation of working people back on the agenda. They had just heard Labour MP Michael Meacher say that the result showed Labour to be rudderless, ambivalent on the cuts and with no commanding message.

While there was much to agree on in the description of the ruling class offensive some of the speakers were soft on the sell-out of the pensions dispute with no reference to the role of Unison’s Dave Prentis’ betrayal or the TUC. In fact one speaker even suggested that there was a risk of people burning out due to industrial action.

It was left to Bob Crow, however, as the last speaker of the day, to point out that Bradford West was a much wider phenomenon and that it was based heavily on young people. Such young people needed to be given a serious alternative now, whilst they were engaging with politics, since they will not wait around forever. This view did not command a lot of support among those present. Yet as Crow pointed out with anything else if it does not work you get a new one. The voters of Bradford West have done just that with the party they used to vote for.


  1. Last years student demonstrations revealed the labour and union machines to be encumbered by bureaucracy and legislation. While the students were activating new communications via the internet, unions were voting whether to support them or not, with the result that when they finally agreed it had already happened! The students desperately needed the woman and man power that the unions provide yet all they witnessed were factionalist groups trying to win their allegiance. We do desperately need a ‘working and non-working’ peoples party. Perhaps we should be asking young people what they think and how they wish to be represented rather than telling them what they should do.

  2. The comunist party of Britain and The Labour Left continue to bleat on and on about supporting the New Labour party. Milibrand and Ed Balls are not ever going to shift to the Left, they are simply trying to reposition and re-present the Labour party.

    The failure of The Left, the TUC and Milibrand’s Labour party to present any kind of coherent case nevermind help bring about mass protests against Lansley’s Healht and social care bill illustrates perfectly where we are at this moment in time.

    The Left is fragmented and divided almost beyond repair,much of it wrapped up in its historic sectarian stupidity and fanciful thinking rather than listening and responding to the situation at hand.

    There was an historic opportunity which we blew, to mobilise mass support in defence of a publicly owned NHS in opposition to the CONDEMS drive to further privatise the NHS.

    Milibrand’s Blue Labour party and the TUC were found hopelessly compromised by their unhealthy relationship and New Labour’s past 13 YEARS IN POWER and it’s present weak position colluding in cuts, austerity, neo liberalism in supporting and advancing the marketisation of the NHS when in government.

  3. What on earth is the point of Bob Crow ‘calling for [yet another] working class party’, 48 hours after Galloway and Respect had a stunning victory in Bradford?
    Crow could quite easily give a portion of RMT’s political fund to Respect.
    If he stood for election on the Respect ticket he could (‘would’ now) be in with a real chance of getting into Parliament.
    I was at the ‘Morning Star’ conference. Bob Crow gave a fine vigorous, fighting and forceful final speech.
    What is his problem with a Party that still exists despite Islamophobic provocations, the down-sizing of its operations, and its marginalisation by the media and the political establishment?
    The media only mentioned George Galloway in sneering asides when reporting the Bradford, West election.
    Then he won a ‘famous victory’.
    Respect, in west Bradford, east London, and elsewhere takes itself seriously as a political force. It now has proved beyond any doubt that it is a political force of some substance.
    It’s about time the ‘British Left’ rallied behind it.
    Or does the ‘British Left’ just enjoy being on the margins?

  4. Bob Crow’s call for a new workers party is the right one, but I am worried that TUSC vote in the GLA and local elections is going to be poor. It may not offer the spring board that is desperately needed to give the fight back back bone. It could be Respect see some impressive votes, even winning seats. If the TUSC vote is as poor as I fear it is going to make the task of building a workers party with any implantation very difficult.

  5. I support Bob Crows call in general- as Galloways victory clearly signals that the CPGB and New Labours Left will be used by the right wing Parliamentary Party Leadership as a useful barrier to block/stop/abort the emergence of a really sincere meaningful representative of the Working Class in Britain-they still want that title as so many of their seats depend on Working Class votes which they then sell out in Gov’t and do all the rotten deals that amounts to welfare Capitalism- and Austerity and wage Cuts for the Poor an Impoverished Pensioners. London GLA Elections would have been an opportunity to put up Candidates but its really too late to get that off the ground in a month.

  6. In so far as it matters the CPGB hasn’t existed for over 10 years. The organisation in Scotland hived-off in expectation of devolution and possibly eventual independence. The Morning Star is produced (in effect) by a CPB (Communist Party of Britain i. e. England and Wales), there is a holding company the PPPS. The Labour Party is dead as an organisation of / for working class people.

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