The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), active in the 1980s, has been described as the SWP with hair gel. Many members had a penchant for dressing all in black, and that was during the time when black was black, prior to the time when brown was the new black. A pair of black Dr. Marten shoes was de rigeur for the fashion conscious members of either sex. Many members were also actually quite good looking, or at least good looking compared to members of other revolutionary socialist groups, which, in itself, does not say much. It is widely suspected that their best recruitment method was horizontal.
Even by the lunacy standards of other revolutionary communists, some of the policies of the RCP were so perverse that some suspected that the whole party was set up by MI5 as a joke.
When not in party meetings, vandalising the external walls of buildings by using them for fly posting posters advertising party events, or selling the party newspaper, the next step (capital letters are so bourgeois), on the streets of working class areas such as Neal Street, Covent Garden and High Street Kensington, party members, who all used pseudonyms, could often be found diligently reading a copy of the Financial Times while sitting in a cafe drinking a double espresso. Given the amount of hours they were required to put in for the party, the caffeine in the double espressos possibly assisted. I am not entirely sure why they were so focussed on reading the FT, but I assume it was to do with trying to pick the day that capitalism was finally going to collapse.
Capitalism never did collapse under their watch, but members did have the possibility of going on to work as a columnist for The Times or having cosy chats with those such as Michael Portillo and Melanie Phillips on BBC radio.
Below I enclose an extract from pages 31-36 of their 1983 programme. Readers will note that it calls for a violent civil war in Britain and unconditional support for those fighting the British in Northern Ireland:
PREPARING FOR POWER
THE PROGRAMME OF THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST PARTY
Junius Publications, (2nd edition) 1983.
Fighting the war drive
A world war is no longer a remote possibility…. All the imperialist powers are busy building lethal weapons; all are preparing for a showdown….
Disarm the ruling class
The threat of world war shows what convulsions capitalism is in. Only a return to barbarism can save the capitalist system; only if that system is swept away can humanity save itself from barbarism. The war drive provides one of the most impelling motives for building a communist society, and fast.
The war drive is not a problem for the future: it already exists in the present. Active workers must denounce those who ignore the reality of bloodshed today for the possibility of Armageddon tomorrow. A movement that cannot oppose the wars fought now will never be able to stop the wars of the future….
War can only be averted if imperialism is disarmed by the working class….
[T]he old revolutionary slogan ‘the enemy is at home’ retains all its validity. One day the working class will sabotage munitions factories, wreck naval dockyards, make runways unusable, jam intelligence signals and pour concrete down missile silos. Any tactic that brings that day closer marks a victory for peace. To turn imperialist war into civil war is our highest goal….
Peace on our terms
…. Pacifism is attractive on the surface but both unrealistic and reactionary beneath. It is unrealistic becomes it assumes that peace can come about in a system that needs war to carry on. It is reactionary because it rejects all wars and all violence.
From the point of view of the working class all wars are not the same. While we oppose international warfare, we support wars of oppressed nations against imperialism in the same way we support civil war against our own oppressors. Renouncing violence means knuckling under: while we are far from indifferent to aspirations for peace, we point out that must be fought for, that it can be only be secured by disarming the bosses and their state.
Fight for Irish freedom
….The prime focus of the anti-imperialist activity in Britain must be solidarity with the national liberation struggle in Ireland…. The struggle for Irish freedom is a major threat to the British ruling class. That is why the British state puts immense resources into containing it, both in the Six Counties and in Britain….
Workers must reject any and all British solutions for Ireland. They must support the right for the Irish people to decide their future and they must demand the immediate withdrawal of British troops. We cannot be idle speculators in this war, but must work for our enemy’s final and irreversible defeat.
- Because militarism is inseparable from capitalism, peace can only be realised through the overthrow of the present system
- The enemy is at home – turn imperialist war into civil war!
- Unconditional support for all anti-imperialist movements!
- No to anti-Soviet hysteria!
- Forward to the defeat of British imperialism in Ireland!