:: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 ::

Mao's the time

Reg Birch biography

Leftist trainspotters will be flooding to Edinburgh for the Scottish launch of Will Podmore's biography of Reg Birch.

Who he?

"Engineer, trade unionist, communist, steeped in the industrial battleground of Park Royal, the largest concentration of engineering workers in the country - for a century Reg Birch led the struggles of the industrial working class and founded Britain's first genuine communist party.

This is a story to provoke reflection about the tactics and strategy of struggle, about working class morality, about the place of communism in a modern Britain and about the very future of our nation.

"..we do not believe in the British road to socialism or a peaceful transition. We are working for revolution and we do not believe in changing things through the ballot box or in the parliamentary way." Reg Birch"

The "first genuine communist party" was the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), who were a maoist split from the CPGB. These days they seem more interested in pursuing a campaign against the EU which, to my eyes at least, appears rather 'little Englander'.

The event, organised by Word Power (Edinburgh's excellent lefty bookshop) is on at 2pm, Saturday 8th May, The Counting House (Opposite Word Power Books), West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh.

Maoism never really took off in Britain, largely I think, because of the relative weakness of the official stalinist party the CPGB. Apart from the CPB (ML), there is also the RCPB (ML), yes same name with 'revolutionary' stuck on the front, who are very close to the New Communist Party (NCP). I think there may also be some small groups of followers of the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) and a handful of ageing Hoxhaists.

rcpbml poster The RCPB (ML) do a neat line in posters.

I would definitely go, but unfortunately will be away on this date. Shame.

:: Alister | 4:33 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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