The Communist Platform is the programme of a faction of the same name in the newly established `political’ `party’ Left Unity. Left Unity is supposedly going to challenge Labour for leadership of the working class sometime soon. Nobody knows when though they do have a policy conference on March 29.
The platform consists personnel-wise of the CPGB (Weekly Worker) and A. N. Other. Politically it is an eclectic mash-up of minimal reformist demands and maximalist propaganda which it juxtaposes to the unprincipled `broad’ party approach of the right wing. The broad party approach being to call yourself a radical, put forward a programme of reformist clap trap that any old left bureaucrat, careerist or professional demagogue or reformist could agree with an call the result a united front. It is a trick already accomplished by the People’s Assembly of John Rees and Lindsey German who actually have a popular left reformist already on board who has already launched a nine-point manifesto. From a revolutionary perspective it is the grossest right centrist opportunism.
But back to the Communist Platform so-called. Of course the answer to my headline question is a resounding no. An eclectic mash up of minimalist reformist demands, they actually call for all power the European Parliament, and maximalist propaganda is no challenge to the opportunism of the right centrists. In fact it is merely a more sectarian echo of the same method. The right wing will be able to live with the opposition of the Communist Platform without losing too much sleep.
In fact no challenge to Left Unity’s right wing is possible. The whole project is an unprincipled lash-up of professional centrist groupings that have been around for years with no connection to broader forces or the working class. And it never will have because to win the broad masses requires a principled programme. A broad programme can unite only opportunists. Left Unity is doomed to failure if it hasn’t already failed. Well, we hope it is because if it ever did by some miracle find itself accidentally at the head of a radicalising mass workers’ movement it would lead it into the abyss.
No, a serious challenge to New Labour or even the bunch of rights centrists that control Left Unity will require a revolutionary programme for the transition to working class power and socialism. Such a programme must be capable of inspiring and mobilising the working class both in elections and in the day to day class struggle. It must address the most immediate demands of the class and its objective interests as dictated by the situation. It must in each of its demands pose the question of power and be a bridge for the labour movement from capitalism to the socialist revolution.
It must win increasing numbers to its banner in the way that a limp reformist effort or a sectarian bald propaganda statement or diatribe cannot so that unlike all sectarian efforts it is not doomed for ever to gain one or two percent in elections but can build momentum. It must however eschew the opportunist demagoguery that sometimes gets such sects a bit more.