Congratulations Comrades!

ww500.gifWhile we are in Friday mood and having already celebrated the Liberal Democrats achievements in local elections, I feel this anniversary cannot pass without a small raising of the virtual champagne glass.

Yes the Weekly Worker, the paper the far-left loves to hate, the source of the best gossip, sectarian news and speculation has reached its 500th edition.

You have to hand it to the comrades. It is truly remarkable that a group of thirty odd Trots have managed to continue producing a publication with a bright red hammer and sickle on its masthead declaring it the organ of the Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

How have they managed this? We can only presume through selfless Stakhanovite labours, because as their guru ‘Jack Conrad’ explains: In spite of silly or malicious rumours to the contrary, the CPGB is not on the receiving end of a flow of cash from special branch or a mysterious millionaire donor.

That’s cleared that up then.

Some may suspect the paper thrives because it of the tittle-tattle and infantile disputes that members of ultra-left sects lap up. But Jack rejects this view and understands it for what it is:

Naturally the success of the Weekly Worker – and we are far from complacent – provokes fits of jealousy. Perhaps the most stupid, but most revealing, accusation is that our paper is nothing but the “gossip sheet” of the left.

That might be accurate, say, if we specialised in reporting who is sleeping with whom, or who is wearing what. But we hardly do that. Instead of sleeping partners and fashion sense, the Weekly Worker concerns itself with vital issues such as the European Social Forum, the SWP’s ‘peace and justice’ turn, the SA’s crisis and questions like Marxist theory, Scottish self-determination, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, etc. To describe such content as “gossip” is frankly a surreal departure from the truth.

And frankly it is hard to argue with Comrade Conrad. After all who else is dealing with vital issues such as the crisis in the SA or the SWP’s ‘peace and justice turn’?

But wouldn’t a publication dealing with the sleeping partners and fashion sense of the far left be a brilliant idea?

Workers Power Central Committee member Tanya Shortcut was spotted at the George Orwell last week in the company of former Spartacist League activist Bob Bland. Tanya was wearing an off the shoulder Oxfam number while Bob dazzled fellow Trots with his retro Support the Shipbuilders tee-shirt. Friends say the couple are smitten but there still remain some differences on the class nature of the IRA……

Anyway I digress. The point is the left would be far worse off without the Weekly Worker and while it is Comrade Conrad who is widely considered the main man behind the publications, I think an occassion like this merits some recognition for the remarkable national organiser of the ‘CPGB (PCC)’, Mark ‘Fischer’.

Back in 1991 when most of those daft enough to still members of the old Communist Party, shrugged their shoulders and wandered off into a decade of political inactivity (like joining the Labour Party), Mark, his girlfriend Tina and a few mates took up the challenge of reforging the CPGB (PCC) as the vanguard Marxist-Leninist party it once aspired to be.

Some cynics suggested they were wasting their time but now, 12 years, 500 editions on, the CPGB (PCC) have successfully established themselves as a dissident opposition voice within the minority opposition to the SWP inside the Socialist Alliance.

Beat that.