Background on the British Communists today

Sam Pawlett asked: Which group publishes the 'Morning Star'? The pro-Moscow Communist Party bookshop here carries it. Sounds kind of Maoist.

The Morning Star is the paper of the Communist Party of Britain. It split from the Communist Party of Great Britain some time ago, as the Eurocommunist CPGB leaders were going too far in adapting to social democracy for their liking.

The Star (formerly the Daily Worker) was the official party paper. It was, however, formally run by a cooperative society, the People's Press Printing Society, in order to draw in non-party sympathisers. However, by the 1980s, the editorial board of the Star and the PPPS were a lot less 'Euro' in outlook than the CPGB's executive committee, and it ended up with the Star more or less refusing to print material from the party EC, and the latter running its own weekly, Seven Days (now New Times). Eventually, the Star people formed a faction called the Communist Campaign Group, and broke away to form the CPB. The CPB leaders recently had a run-in with the Star staff, and there was a strike earlier this year by the paper's journalists.

About the same time that the Soviet Union collapsed, the CPGB became the Democratic Left.

There is now a group called the Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee), a small outfit that publishes the British left's weekly discussion and gossip sheet, the Weekly Worker. Its website is <http://www.duntone.demon.co.uk/CPGB/>.

Sorry if the details are a bit vague, I'm doing all this from memory, so I don't know the dates, etc.

Paul Flewers