International secretary John Foster told the Communist Party’s political committee on Wednesday that Nelson Mandela ‘lived as a freedom fighter and died a freedom fighter, knowing that the fight had to continue’.
He recalled Mandela’s words to gaoled Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti that ‘our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians’.
This was the spirit in which to welcome the decision of the the UN General Assembly to declare 2014 the year of solidarity with the Palestinian people, Mr Foster declared.
‘We must make Palestinian statehood a reality, together with peace in Syria and respect for human rights in Iran and across the Middle East’, he added.
Turning to home affairs, Britain’s communists condemned Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement as a ‘combination of cynical election giveaways and total failure to tackle the magnitude of Britain’s economic crisis’.
The Communist Party political committee noted that Britain’s economy remains smaller than it was in 2008, output per head is less than in 2005, real wages are below those in 2003 and business investment remains at its lowest since World War Two, as exports fall.
John Foster said that Osborne’s £100 billion cap on welfare benefit expenditure, extra cuts of £30 billion and his pledge to reduce government spending to 1948 levels are ‘a warning to us all’.
He insisted that the Autumn Statement highlights the need for the Labour Party to offer the kind of clear alternative put forward by the People’s Assembly and the People’s Charter, including public ownership and investment in the energy and transport sectors.
‘Labour’s failure lends plausibility to the call for Scottish independence – even though the SNP government’s White Paper proposes the continuation of rule by the EU, NATO, the City of London and the monarchy’, the former Scottish CP chair commented.
The Communist Party reaffirmed its support for a federal, republican Britain in which national parliaments and a united labour movement fight to make deep inroads into the power of wealth of big business and the super rich.