UNITE: Communist Policy Statement
Date:1965
Organisation:Communist Party of Northern Ireland
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

4th March 2013

This is another document from the Communist Party of Northern Ireland  [obvious caveats apply in relation to Wiki], extant from 1941 to 1970 at which point it merged with the Irish Workers Party to establish the Communist Party of Ireland.

This short document seeks to outline the policies of the CPNI in 1965 in a number of areas, both economic, social and political. This was on foot of ‘reports and discussion at the 12th Congress of the Communist Party, held in Belfast on January 30th and 31st 1965.’ It notes that ‘It will be the Programme which Communist candidates will advocate in the elections to be held for the new Stormont Parliament’.

It notes in the Introduction that:

The immediate political task of the Communist Party, Northern Ireland, is to strengthen the unity of the working class in the fight against the reactionary policies of the Unionist Party; to build an anti-Unionist front ; and to replace the present Stormont Government by a progressive Government based on labour and all the forces in opposition to the Unionist Party. Despite the fact that the Stormont Parliament is subject to the Westminster Parliament it has wide powers in regard to domestic affairs. Led by progressive forces this Parliament would be capable of overdoing the political, economic and social problems of the area.

It notes that ‘recently a big change has come over the political scene in Ireland, with a meeting of Premier’s O’Neill and Lemass, so much so that it has been said ‘things will need be the same again’. This historic coming together of the two Premiers makes it imperative for the working class, on both sides of the border, to see that any changes made will be in the interests of the people of Ireland as a whole and not for the benefit of the capitalist class.

And it continues:

While recognising the importance of the meeting of the two Premiers, bringing with it the possibility of greater co-operation on the Irish economy, the people of Ireland cannot afford to leave the solution of their problems to the leaders of the capitalist class.

And it discusses ‘unity’, albeit in a coded manner which can be interpreted as meaning either local unity in the North or broader unity.

The working class through the varied labour organisations must strengthen unity. Already one of the leaders of a splinter labour organisation, Frank Hanna M.P., has publicly spoken of the need to heal the division that separates his organisation from the Northern Ireland Party.

Although the issue when addressed in more concrete terms is not put in the context of all-island working class unity.

…build an anti-Unionist front and so establish a progressive Government that will work in friendly cooperation with their fellow Irish men in the Republic and lay a firm basis for lasting friendship between the peoples of Ireland and Britain.

Elsewhere it outlines ‘A Basis for Unity of Anti-Unionist Forces’ and a Democratic Programme for Unity.

Interestingly it quotes from its General Election manifesto the following, arguing that ‘only by following a programme based on these points could the gains of the Tory defeat be conclusive’:

Pursue a policy of peaceful co-existence between states with different social systems. Abolish nuclear weapons. Oppose the multilateral nuclear force. Withdraw from NATO. Support the Colonial peoples’ struggle for independence. Demand the Chinese Peoples Republic be given its rightful seat at the United Nations. End colonial wars. Oppose the U.S. Bans on East-West trade.

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