Daphne Liddle

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Daphne Liddle is a leader of the New Communist Party of Britain.

Farewell to Ann Rogers

New Communist Party of Britain leaders joined other communists, trade unionists and peace activists to pay their last respects to Ann Rogers at her funeral in Ruislip last week. NCP leader Andy Brooks, together with Party Chair Alex Kempshall, and Daphne Liddle, Pat Abrahams and Peter Hendy from the Central Committee, paid tribute to the memory of a leading member of the NCP who was National Organiser and Editor of The New Worker during the turbulent times of the 1980s and 1990s when the very existence of the Party was at stake.

Throughout her life Ann worked tirelessly for peace and socialism in the union movement, CND and the NCP, and this was reflected in the solemn gathering at the Breakspear Crematorium in Middlesex last week. Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist) comrades Michael Chant and Chris Coleman were there, along with members of the Rogers family and many others who worked alongside Ann in local and national campaigns for peace and socialism.

The ceremony was opened by Kate Hobson from the Humanist Association, who focused on Ann’s life and her contribution to society that spanned the decades. Kate introduced Pat Abrahams and Daphne Liddle, who both spoke about Ann’s life as a communist and her ground-breaking work as Editor of The New Worker. Beryl Pankhurst, a personal friend and fellow Woodcraft Folk member followed on with memories of Ann’s life.[1]

Searchlight conference

November 2013 anti-fascist and anti-racist activists and academics gathered at the Bishopsgate Institute in London’s East End to debate the rising threat of extreme right-wing ideas throughout Europe and the western world and how to confront it.

The conference was called by the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, which it marking its 50th year. Searchlight editor Gerry Gable told the New Worker that “many people when looking at the far right do not see beyond the British National Party and the English Defence League”.

Last Saturday’s conference began with a debate on the role of the trade unions in resisting fascism and racism that was chaired by Megan Dobney, regional secretary of the South East Region TUC.

Speakers at this session included Kay Carberry, who is assistant general secretary of the TUC, Mohammed Taj, a Bradford bus driver and a member of Unite who is the TUC’s first Asian President, Jo Rust from King’s Lynn trades council and Cathy Pound who is Searchlight’s trade union liaison officer.

The second session dealt with the “No Platform” policy chaired by Aaron Kiely, the National Union of Students Black Students’ officer and included speakers Dr Matthew Feldman who c-directs the Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post Fascist Studies at Teesside University,Kyaz Mughal, founder and co-director of Faith Matters, veteran Searchlight activist Paul Crofts and journalist Tim Lezzard.

Session three was entitled: “Education in the front-line of the defence of young people” chaired by Dr Paul Jackson of the University of Northampton. Speakers included teacher David Rosenberg, Paul Mackney, former general secretary of the lecturers’ union Natfhe until it merged with AUT to become UCU, Kevin Courtney, the deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, and Dagenham teacher Dominic Byrne who a long history of campaigning against racism.

The fourth and final session, on building a stronger, non-sectarian front of mutual support, was chaired by Gerry Gable. Speakers included Bob Archer, president of Redbridge NUT, Ulrike Schmidt, a musician, instrument-maker, teacher and Activist for Amnesty specialising in campaigning against the persecution suffered by the Roma community in Europe, Daphne Liddle from the New Communist Party of Britain, Steve Hart of the trade union think-tank CLASS and chair of Unite Against Fascism, Jo Cardwell, a leader of the very successful We Are Waltham Forest, which formed to keep the EDL out of the borough but now also campaigns against cuts and Maria Nikolakaki, Associate Professor of Education at the University of the Peloponnese in Greece and an active anti-fascist.[2]

North Korea London reception

September 2013 Communists and Korean solidarity activists joined diplomats, journalists and business-people at a lunch-time reception at the DPRK embassy that was opened by DPRK ambassador Hyong Hak Bong last week.

The leaders of the New Communist Party of Britain and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist), Andy Brooks and Michael Chant, were there along with veteran London communist Monty Goldman from the Communist Party of Britain , who was jailed for two months for protesting against the Korean War, as well as Daphne Liddle, the joint editor of The New Worker, and Dermot Hudson from the Korean Friendship Association.[3]

Marx Memorial

March 2010, a New Communist Party of Britain delegation joined other communists and progressives in saluting the memory of Karl Marx at the annual ceremony in Highgate Cemetery in north London. Marx died in his study at half-past two on the afternoon of Wednesday 14th March 1883. To commemorate his passing the Marx Memorial Library has for many decades held an annual graveside oration at his burial place in Highgate Cemetery at the exact moment of his death.

NCP leaders Andy Brooks and Alex Kempshall, along with Robert Laurie, Daphne Liddle and Theo Russell from the Central Committee and New Worker supporter Owen Liddle, represented the New Communist Party of Britain and the turnout included Library committee members and delegations from the London embassies of socialist countries, including Cuba, People’s China, Vietnam and the DPR Korea, many of whom laid flowers at the grave.

This year the address was given by Alex Gordon, President of the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) who said: “We are meeting today as monopoly capital and the forces of so-called ‘globalisation’ face yet another deep crisis. Conversely, this has awakened new interest in the ideas of Karl Marx, which have proved much more resilient than the forces of imperialist globalisation have claimed hitherto”.[4]

July 2005 meeting

“Don't try to tell us that the United States war in Iraq played no part in the London bombings,” said Labour MP John McDonnell, chair of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) in his opening comments at its annual general meeting and conference in London last Saturday.

The conference, of left Labour Party members, MPs and trade unionists who want to restore the Labour Party to its original socialist roots, began with a minute’s silence in memory of those killed by bombs in London, Baghdad and Fallujah.

The New Communist Party of Britain is affiliated to the LRC as an associate organisation and four NCP delegates – Mike Fletcher, Ken Ruddock, Daphne Liddle and Andy Brooks – attended.

The morning session, chaired by LRC vice chair Maria Exall, of the conference dealt with domestic policy as laid out in a policy document with additional motions on defending the Royal Mail from privatisation, fighting civil service job cuts, rail safety and an emergency resolution on the London bombings.

Debate was launched by platform speakers Michael Meacher, National Union of Journalists general secretary Jeremy Dear and Fire Brigades Union general secretary [[Matt Wrack.

Michael Meacher spoke on the need for socialist ideology and stressed that a labour government should not be the servant of big business.

Matt Wrack spoke of the need to find a way for those who have left or disaffiliated from the Labour Party to be able to work together with comrades inside the party for common goals.

This session ended with speeches from Katy Clark MP, Paul Mackney of the lecturers’ union Natfhe and PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

The afternoon session covered foreign policy and the structural organisation of the LRC. The session was kicked off by Bob Wareing MP and veteran left Labour politician Tony Benn.

New Communist Party of Britain delegates made two interventions – on the need for solidarity and respect for the sovereignty of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in face of US aggression and on the need to work in trades councils.

Jeremy Corbyn MP made the final speech and the conference ended with the singing of The Red Flag. Throughout the conference all those attending were addressed as “comrade” and a genuinely comradely atmosphere prevailed.[5]

North Korea delegation

A New Communist Party of Britain Study Tour of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, took place July 2001. The delegation was headed by National Chair Alex Kempshall and included Central Committee members Ray Jones and Daphne Liddle, and included Yvonne Wilkin.[6]