Britain: 1,791 votes for revolutionary communism – and this is only the beginning!

Six weeks ago, the newly-founded Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), on the back of the wave of support for Fiona Lali’s public decimation of Suella Braverman, took the bold decision to run her as a candidate in the general election in the East London constituency of Stratford & Bow.

In the end, we gained 1,791 votes for a real communist programme and candidate and raised the profile of the RCP to new heights in London and across the country.

These votes in east London reflected a complete rejection of capitalism and mealy-mouthed reformist tinkering. These were votes for bold, uncompromising revolutionary change!

Bold campaign

There has been nothing quite like this campaign in living memory.

You would have to go back to the Neath by-election campaign of the old Revolutionary Communist Party in 1945, where Jock Haston polled 1,781 votes, to see such a result for a bold revolutionary programme.

Or even back to 1929, when the Communist Party leader Harry Pollitt contested the seat of Seaham Harbour against the Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, gaining 1,451 votes. This was back when the Communist Party, though degenerated, still had the trappings of a revolutionary party.

Today, in the course of our campaign, the members of the RCP were put on a war footing, Hundreds were mobilised, including from different parts of the country, in order to seize this historic opportunity.

In the best traditions of the past, our campaign organised rallies, marches, and open-air street meetings, where we put forward our unabashedly communist programme, reaching hundreds of households, local shops, and workplaces across the constituency.

This sterling work over nearly six weeks culminated in an amazing final rally on Saturday 29 June. This kicked off with militant speeches from Fiona and other comrades in Stratford Park, who exposed the lying capitalist politicians and the whole blood-soaked British establishment.

This then led to a march of between 250 and 300 to Stratford station, accompanied by a tide of red flags and revolutionary chants. From here, we spread out across the constituency to canvas support.

The pavements were awash with a sea of RCP flags and Palestine flags. Slogans like ‘healthcare not warfare!’ and ‘Keir Starmer: blood on your hands!’ echoed down the high street.

Such was the enthusiasm during the campaign that more than 500 volunteered to help spread the word. Around 100,000 leaflets were distributed – some translated into four languages – and some 2,000 posters were put up across the constituency. More than £10,000 was collected for the election campaign, mostly from small donations.

The campaign generated interest across the media in dozens of interviews, including with Pink Floyd legend and lifelong campaigner, Roger Waters. Fiona’s social media posts have reached 6.5 million people.

As a result, Fiona’s name recognition, together with the party’s name, has been phenomenal. Out on the street, and on demonstrations, people are constantly approaching and welcoming Fiona at every turn.

RCP on the map

The party did an excellent job of spreading the ideas of revolutionary communism to wide layers of the population, in the constituency and far beyond. Our reach was far greater than anything achieved before.

Our ideas of genuine communism certainly hit home to layers who had never come across such ideas, including many young people, many of whom were too young to vote. As a result of this work, hundreds have written in to join the party.

In the end, we are delighted by the 1,791 workers who consciously voted for a revolutionary communist programme and candidate. This represented 4.1% of the total vote. This shows the potential everywhere.

Unlike others, we did not water down our ideas or identity to gain votes. In this way we put down a solid marker for the future. We put the RCP on the map.

This vote was a colossal achievement, given the large number of independent pro-Palestine candidates who were standing in this constituency. A number of these candidates had links to the local mosques, businesses, and community elders.

There was also a candidate from the Green Party, which has councillors in the area, which acted to syphon votes from the left.

With the other parties standing – ten in all – this turned out to be one of the most contested constituencies in the country.

Smears and slander

We also faced a vicious smear campaign from the Workers Party candidate, its acolytes, and even George Galloway himself, which had a certain impact.

Incapable of answering us politically, they spread malicious lies and conspiracy theories, accusing us of being “state agents” and Zionist spies!

These attacks became so unhinged that, under pressure, their candidate was forced to take down a video and backtrack on some of their outlandish allegations.

This smear campaign simply shows the lengths these people are prepared to go in an attempt to discredit a genuine revolutionary opponent.

Using these methods of lies, insinuation and slander, they will be incapable of building a genuine party, let alone a ‘workers’ party.

We conducted a principled campaign, based on our ideas. We refused to be drawn into the gutter. Our main enemies were the defenders of capitalist slavery, the warmongers of Sunak’s Tories and Starmer’s Labour.

Revolutionaries, not politicians

It was a campaign like no other, built on the dedication and inspiration of hundreds of communists who want to change the world and have the ideas to do it.

As Fiona said, “we’re against austerity, but we’re also for something. We’re for an economy run on the basis of need not profit.”

It was a campaign built in and through the streets. Hence our slogan, “we’re revolutionaries, not politicians!”

The campaign has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Under the banner of revolutionary communism, we’ve managed to connect with thousands of people.

Consistently, comrades have reported the unbelievably positive and electric response to our fearless speeches and rallies, which have struck a chord amidst the prevailing passivity of the ‘left’.

Time after time, we would speak to someone who expressed a cynical attitude to politicians, and for that reason was sceptical of our campaign.

But our comrades were not afraid of discussing with anyone, and we knew that our ideas and our programme could answer working class people’s problems.

One member of the public said to our comrades, “not to be rude but politicians have never done anything for me. None of us are voting”.

But after a short explanation of our programme – and highlighting the fact that Fiona pledged to take a workers’ wage, and not the salary of an MP – he changed his mind: “I wasn’t going to vote but I’ll vote for Fiona. We need someone to stick up for us”.

‘Long live communism!’

We were amazed at the reach of the campaign. Whenever we went out campaigning, it was guaranteed that several times, people would embrace our comrades because they were such admirers of Fiona and her ideas.

One of our comrades who lives in the constituency received a message in his block of flats’ group chat, from someone he had never met, calling for everyone to vote for Fiona Lali.

“I went into a corner shop in Mile End to ask about putting up a poster in the window,” reported one comrade. “Before I could speak, the shopkeeper simply said ‘Lali?’. When I said yes, he pointed to the window and said ‘of course you can put it up’.”

“I spoke with a person while door-knocking who works at a McDonald’s,” reported another RCP member. “She said everyone there has been discussing Fiona and her programme, and their manager is also encouraging people to vote for Fiona.”

On the last day of campaigning, we organised multiple marches in the different wards of Stratford & Bow.

How often do these residential, working class streets get groups of political activists energetically marching through them and engaging with the residents?

At one point on one of these marches, an entire family came out of their house, fists in the air, to greet us. The father shouted out ‘long live communism’!

This goes far beyond just Stratford & Bow: internationally Fiona’s bold stand has resonated with scores of young revolutionaries, who are beginning to see us as a point of reference.

Now the real work begins

As a result of this work and dedication, we’ve already recruited dozens to the party, and are busy creating new party branches across London – not just within the constituency, but also in places like Walthamstow and North Greenwich.

We’ve massively extended the prestige and reach of the RCP, and gathered a network of supporters and sympathisers to help us grow.

But this is just a glimpse of things to come. The newly-elected Starmer government – which has climbed into power with the lowest vote share for a parliamentary majority in British history – will be despised.

The anger and disillusionment will only intensify as workers and youth are treated to more austerity, attacks, and imperialist war.

More than ever, they will be looking for an escape route. But there is no way out under capitalism.

In these conditions, imagine what ten thousand organised communists could do.

The history of the RCP has only just begun. This campaign – which has been even more successful than the campaign run by the original RCP in the 1945 Neath by-election – has been an invaluable preparation for the storms that are being prepared by British capitalism.

The RCP has already won from this campaign. We have recruited dozens of new comrades, and have massively increased the profile of our party.

Our aim was to test the ground and put down a marker for the future; to build a movement of revolutionaries to take on capitalism and the ruling class in general.

We must, and we will, become a real point of reference because huge class battles impend. There is no shortage of anger. What is needed is a powerful revolutionary organisation that can organise this anger.

We’ve made a splash. Now the real work begins. We have to build the party, and establish branches in every workplace, university, school, and neighbourhood – steeled and ready for the storms that impend.

We invite you to join us in this task!

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