At the meeting of the Executive Committee of the YCL on 20 February 2016, our chair Owain was chosen to take on the role of General Secretary (a role that officially represents the YCL) after Zoe, our long-standing comrade, decided to step down. Below is a statement by Owain concerning his election as our new general secretary:

I take up the mantle of General Secretary of the YCL with a certain amount of regret that my predecessor Zoe has made the decision to step down. I’m sure you’ll all join me in thanking her for the work she has done at the helm of our organisation.

If you’ve been reading your Morning Star, as any good cadre should, then you will no-doubt have read some of the good work she is doing as a Star reporter, so where we have lost a General Secretary we have gained a journalist to tell our side of the story – not something there is many of these days.

I have been elected by the YCL’s Executive Committee to serve until our next congress in December (date for the diary, guys) where our outgoing EC will review the work done since they were elected and where you’ll get the chance to elect the next EC.

Until congress there is much to be done. Foremost in most people’s minds will be the pending EU referendum. It is vital that we make our position on the EU heard: the EU is a neoliberal organisation built for the sole purpose of servicing monopoly capital. Its anti-democratic structures exist precisely because these big multinational corporations, such as those currently dictating what they want to the EU autocrats, do not want democracy to present a barrier to their profits. This is why the EU is unreformable.

The only option must be an exit. Throughout the campaign you will no doubt hear others on the left saying things along the lines of “we can’t leave the EU whilst the Tories are in charge because they’ll strip away all our rights at work”.

As if the EU gave us these rights in the first place! Any labour laws that exist to protect us in work are the result of a long process of trade unionism and generations of working class people who took the fight to their employers and the government. Obviously the Tories are going to use any chance they get to strip our rights away to cut operating costs for those who bankroll them, but what have they done to stop the Trade Union Act? Where has the EU been when our steel needed saving?

I don’t think we can sensibly predict the outcome of the EU referendum, but regardless of the ultimate outcome we will still be living in the capitalist system. That is why it is so vital that we grow the Communist movement in Britain. A strong Communist movement has always in the past been linked to a strong and militant working class and this must remain our most important aim on the road to Socialism.

Our continued international and solidarity work is also important. At the WFDY General Assembly in November last year, I was able to hear from comrades from across the globe about the struggles being faced by anti-imperialist youth. In particular I heard from a very brave comrade from the Lenin’s Communist Society of Youth of Ukraine who detailed his experience of fascist brutality in Ukraine – an issue we have been actively campaigning against. Fascism is rising across Europe and we must act to counter it.

So you can see there is much to do, and there has never been a better time to join and get actively involved in the YCL. For peace, jobs and socialism!

Some of the elected delegates to the 47th Congress

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