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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: André Chassaigne (PCF) : « Il faut arrêter la spirale d’effacement du PCF »

by Interview with André Chassaigne

André Chassaigne: "We must stop the Spiral of Effacement of the PCF

Translated Sunday 21 October 2018, by Henry Crapo, Hervé Fuyet

André Chassaigne: "We must stop the spiral of effacement of the PCF ".

The text to which he is one of the main signatories, the "Manifesto", came out on top in the Communists’ consultation last weekend, ahead of the text defended by Pierre Laurent and the outgoing leadership. The PCF deputy from Puy-de-Dôme and president of the GDR group André Chassaigne was the guest of the Regards/Midinale.

The following quotes are verbatim excerpts taken from the video of that interview at Regards/Midinale.

On the vote of communist militants:

"The aim was to vote for the text that will be the common basis for the congress. »

"It should not be said that this is an overturning of forces within the PCF, even if the vote is unprecedented. »

"The text [the Manifesto] has shown a direction that consists in displaying a very strong will to do everything possible to stop this spiral of the effacement of the PCF, a party which has almost disappeared from the political landscape today. »

"We need to have a look, to analyse the strategies we have implemented, not only since 2012, but well before that, in a period when the PCF has too often been the caboose on the train of political organisations."

"We have missed some opportunities afforded by the very rapid changes that the digital revolution has brought about.»

On the division of the communists

"As part of the democratic process of the congress, we must discuss the common text, based on our text. It must be amended, all the while remaining the basis, in order to bring together as many communists as possible. »

"What I hope is that at the congress, the text that will be submitted will be a text that will be supported by 80% of the communists. »

On outgoing party management, and Pierre Laurent

"The PCF is not a party like any other where we are in confrontations of personalities, egos, elephants who would lead great battles.»

"It is not a question of individual people; it is a question of political direction, which we have to agree upon. »

"I think Pierre Laurent is at the centre of the game. It is up to him to express himself on the basis of the result of the vote on the common basis. It is also up to him to set in motion a new national leadership that will take into account the Communists’ vote.»

"I think we need a new national secretary who carries a new message, and with new faces. This is extremely important if we are to find our place in the political landscape again. »

On the future National Secretary of the PCF

"We’re not at the stage of candidate selection right now. »

"On the basis of a national leadership, it will be necessary to agree on who will be the first signatory to the text to be submitted to the Congress, who, by our statutes, will be the national secretary. »

"I don’t put forward a name because I don’t have a name in mind right now, I may have ideas of course, but no one is predestined for that post. »

"We need a collective thought process.which must be carried out quietly. »

On the PCF’s "identity withdrawal"

"I do not share this fear of a party withdrawal into identity politics. »

"Among the signatories of this text, there are people in the field who are far from being identity groups, but are unifiers.»

"If to use the word communism is to be play identity politics, then I want to share that identity. »

"We want to work on the broadest possible group, but what we are saying is, that to construct a successful base, we need a PCF that can have an impact on that base, and that it addresses real questions about our society. »

"We must take action with the people in the territories.»

"We have to be able to work more broadly with others, but it is not through an alliance of party apparatchics; it is through field work, through mobilization.»

On the European elections

"Ian Brossat launched a call for unity with Olivier Besancenot, Benoit Hamon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, because we have the conception of a broad assembly of forces, and a will to discuss with others.»

"Ian Brossat also says ’nothing can be done without action on the ground (...). We need a list that is very open to citizens." This is the approach he has used in other organizations.»

On the mobilization of October 9

"There is no small mobilization. »

"We have an incomplete but existing union front."

"[Philippe] Martinez’s expression is right: the needed mobilisation is a mobilization of solidarity, to ensure that we do not get caught up in this government policy, which would like to pit one group against another. »

"Mobilizing means showing that current public policy must be tackled head-on. We must not let ourselves be taken apart piece by piece. »

"This lie, which consists in saying that by reducing social security contributions, or even eliminating them, we give employees purchasing power. »

"The real wage, the gross wage, and today’s wage, which is the net wage, should not be confused. »

"Explanations must be raised to an ideological level. »

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