Year 2000 No. 3, January 12, 2000

Government’s Anti-Social Legislative Programme

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Government’s Anti-Social Legislative Programme

New Year Message from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

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Government’s Anti-Social Legislative Programme

On the one hand, we have Tony Blair’s New Year Message. In it he speaks of a challenging new future, a Britain where no-one is left behind, no-one is excluded, where everyone has opportunity and everyone a contribution to make, a Britain whose worth is measured by the achievements of its citizens, by the sort of people we want to become, the sort of society we choose to create. On the other hand, we have the armoury of the government’s legislative programme, almost overwhelming in the sheer scale of the measures designed to cut back on social programmes and to criminalise the masses of the people in society who are either the victims of the anti-social offensive or who would take political action against it.

The contrast between a vague and incoherent vision of a future of Third Way "progress" and the objectivity of a very sharply defined neo-liberal programme could not be greater. Nor could the arrogance of a Blairite legislative programme which feels it need neither take account of popular opinion nor address itself to the workers themselves be greater. In other words, Tony Blair feels impregnable because he has the absolutist power of a parliament at his disposal, and a government elected to power with the manipulation of the broad sections of the workers and other sections of the people who appear to have no other parliamentary champion.

But the fact is that at the beginning of the 21st century, the workers are gathering their strength, and must become conscious of the need to end their marginalisation and champion the claims of all sections of the people on society. Tony Blair is in practice only championing the claims of the rich. While underlying Blair’s vision of "progress" is his actual programme of preparing for a "hard century" ahead, especially for the workers, the youth, and the vulnerable, the cutting edge of the government’s legislation are the "law and order" Bills. It is essential the working class and people get prepared to go on the offensive against such laws, and particularly against the political system, with no constitution defining the powers of government or enshrining the rights and duties of citizens, which enables the government to pass such legislation without challenge.

The challenge has got to come through the working class leading the people in an independent pro-social programme, as well as demanding a modern constitution. At the same time, the Labour government is itself preparing for such challenges with such measures as its Terrorism Bill which received its second reading last month and is directed against so-called "domestic terrorism". It is restricting the right of trial by jury in its Criminal Justice Bill, over which Jack Straw has seen fit to brand opposition as that of "woolly-minded" liberals.

The clear vision of a new society in which it is the rights of all which are recognised by virtue simply of their humanity is one which the working class alone can put forward and which it must begin right now to organise to bring about.

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New Year Message from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), and the newspapers Joson Inmingun and Chongnyon Jonwi carried a joint editorial on January 1, 2000, entitled, "Glorify this year greeting the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Party as a year of proud victory by bringing about a great upsurge in socialist construction!"

The editorial describes last year, 1999, as an historic year of a great turning-point in the building of a powerful nation, a fruitful year in which the dynamic second Chollima advance was made, and a proud year in which a shining victory was won in the political and military confrontation with the imperialists.

Saying that last year big achievements were made under the energetic guidance of Comrade Kim Jong Il, General Secretary of the WPK, in the building of a powerful nation, the editorial notes that the solid unity between the leader and the people which had been strengthened amidst arduous struggle fully demonstrated its tremendous strength.

It describes the new year, 2000 (Juche 89), as a year of general advance to effect a significant stride forward in the building of a powerful nation under the leadership of the WPK.

The 55th anniversary of the founding of the WPK is a grand festival of the victors of socialism who have successful made the "Arduous March", the editorial says, calling for giving full play to the spirit of socialist Korea this year, which marks the 55th anniversary of the WPK’s founding.

It stresses: "Glorify this year greeting the 55th anniversary of the WPK’s foundation as a year of proud victory by bringing about a great upsurge in socialist construction!" This is a militant slogan that the WPK and the people should put forward this year.

The editorial continues: We should step up the general march this year, firmly maintaining the line of giving great importance to ideology, national defence and science and technology. Ideology, national defence and science and technology are the three major pillars for the building of a powerful nation. Steadfast ideology, a powerful army and upgraded science and technology represent a powerful socialist nation of Juche.

The line of attaching great importance to ideology should be firmly maintained. To attach great importance to ideology is the life and soul of the WPK and the mainstay of Korean-style socialism.

The idea of attaching great importance to national defence should be thoroughly applied.

To attach great importance to strengthening national defence is a strategic line that should always be held fast to so long as imperialism remains and revolution goes on. It is an especially important state affair to which top priority should be given by all units in the prevailing situation. It is because this is the most correct way of defending the destiny of socialism in the world today.

The idea of attaching great importance to science should be held fast to.

It is the fixed stand of the WPK to build socialism with reliance upon science. We should, the editorial says, put the Juche-based science and technology on the world level in the shortest possible time and settle urgent scientific and technological problems in the building of a powerful nation.

Big efforts should be directed to socialist construction this year, the editorial says, and goes on: We should work harder under the slogan, "Let Us All Become Heroes in a Drive to Glorify the 55th Anniversary of the WPK’s Foundation!".

The editorial sets forth the tasks to develop power, coal and metal industries, railway transport, light industry and agriculture and set up major construction projects.

It is imperative to strengthen the Party, preserve the Juche character and national character in the revolution and construction, and do oneself justice in the work for the successful fulfilment of the militant tasks this year, the editorial notes.

The great unity of the entire nation is the prerequisite for the reunification of the country, the editorial says, and continues: The master key to opening an epochal phase of national reunification is to firmly defend the three principles of national reunification, the ten-point programme of great unity of the whole nation and the proposal for founding the Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo, and the struggle to carry them into practice.

We will in the future, too, fulfil our honourable international obligation in the human cause of independence and the cause of socialism under the uplifted revolutionary banner of independence against imperialism, the editorial concludes.

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