National News

Vote to keep the racists out

SEVERAL hundred Black and Asian trade unionists headed to Merseyside for the 2010 TUC Black Workers’ Conference last weekend and three days of serious debate on a key range of topical issues from the impact of future cuts in public spending to the dangers posed by the rise of extremist political parties.

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Total to sell Lindsey refinery?

THE GIANT union Unite last Friday vowed to do all in its power to prevent the proposed sale by the French-based oil company Total of the Lindsey oil refinery in North Lincolnshire from putting jobs and the site at risk.

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NHS: look out, yet more cuts about

THE NHS is facing big cuts in staffing levels — worse than the deficit crisis of five years ago that led to thousands of job cuts — after the election according to Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing.

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Blacklister of the Year awards

CAMPAIGNERS from the Blacklist Support Group surprised construction industry chiefs and their guests at the prestigious UK National Building Awards 2010 by reminding them of their distasteful habits.

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Police did kill Blair Peach!

ANTI-FASCIST protester Blair Peach died 31 years ago from a blow to the head and “a police officer is likely to have struck the fatal blow” according to a new police report published last Tuesday.

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Cleaners clean up! Unison equal pay victory

BIRMINGHAM Employment Tribunal last Tuesday backed the public sector union Unison’s claim that thousands of women working for Birmingham City Council are entitled to earn the same pay as men working as gardeners, refuse collectors and grave diggers.

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MI6 officer opposes torture — ‘It only encourages them’!

NIGEL INKSTER, former assistant chief of the security service MI6 until 2006 last week issued a strong attack on the use of torture and abuse of terror suspects — but mainly on the basis that it confers the status of political prisoner on the victims.

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Olympics workers stop work on Workers Memorial Day

WORKERS on London’s Olympics site stopped work to join a protest march and a commemorative event in Stratford to mark Workers Memorial Day (WMD) on Wednesday, 28th April.

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Unemployment then and now

YOU WOULD be twice as likely to be on the dole in the 1980s as today, according to a report from the TUC this week.

If unemployment had followed the same trend in the recent downturn as that in the 1980s recession, it would have kept rising until November 2014 and the dole queues would have been twice as long, according to the TUC analysis of the latest unemployment figures published last week.

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International News

US biggest single threat to China

People’s Daily (China)

THE UNITED United States is the greatest perceived threat to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a top military strategist said on Sunday, confirming remarks made last week to a group of visiting senior American officials.

Rear Admiral Yang Yi, the former head of strategic studies at the PLA’s National Defence University, made these comments while addressing delegates at the US-China Government Executive Global Leadership Course. Yang said that the US was the only country capable of threatening China’s national security interests in an all-round way, while answering a question on where the PLA perceived its greatest threat as coming from.

“This is a joke and not a joke,” he said.

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Not everyone from Switzerland loves the Dalai Lama

China-Tibet Information Centre

THE FIRST Tibetan refugees arrived in Switzerland 50 years ago. To commemorate the date, the Dalai Lama is visiting Switzerland where he is well-known. But the Swiss people living in China have a completely different view of the Dalai Lama.

Christoph Müller, who is from a Swiss German-speaking area, has lived in Beijing for seven years and runs a travel agency there. He has his own view on the Tibet issue.

“The so-called cultural extinction is completely nonsense,” said Müller. Although he’s been to Tibet only once, he is very familiar with the situation in Tibet. He stressed that with the support from the Chinese government, Tibetan traditions have been respected.

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Mass support for Spanish human rights judge

Radio Havana Cuba

RALLIES were held around the world over the weekend to support a leading human rights judge facing trial in Spain. Baltasar Garzon is accused of overreaching his authority in a probe of human rights abuses during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime.

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Brazil back in the pocket of Uncle Sam?

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

SO MUCH for Brazil’s independent stance! The Defence Cooperation Agreement forced upon Brasilia by Washington on 12th April spells out the assimilation of Brazil and ends once and for all any flirting with Russia over massive arms sales, despite the fact that Brazilian Air Force officers prefer Russian combat aircraft.

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Hamas steps up propaganda war

by David Harris in Jerusalem

A SUPERBLY futuristic animated cartoon broadcast by the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, last Sunday, is creating waves in Israel. It is thought to be the first of its kind from the military wing of Hamas that does not depend on the traditional images of brave Hamas warriors fighting against Israel.

The film’s message is that unless there is a real change in thinking on the part of the Israeli government, captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will be returned to his family in a coffin rather than standing on his own feet.

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British ban prompts fears of Irish mephedrone flood

An Phoblacht

RESPONDING to the ban on the sale of mephedrone which took effect in Britain and the north of Ireland on 7th April, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has called on the Gardaíand Customs to be on the lookout for shipments of the drugs being brought to Ireland for sale in shops here.

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Blair still ducking and diving

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

FORMER Prime Minister Tony Blair was forced to duck and dive at a conference in Malaysia last week to avoid demonstrators attempting to indict him for war crimes in Iraq.

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Revolutionary Democracy Vol XV April-September 2009

THE LATEST edition of Revolutionary Democracy has at last arrived from India and the double issue for 2009 continues its usual mix of articles, from the nitty-gritty of the struggle in India to the work of communists in Venezuela, France and Denmark. And, as usual, Stalin gets more than a mention.

A 20-page piece by Yuro Yemeliamov on Stalin’s death and the leadership struggle is followed by an even longer article on Stalin by Moni Guha, which is equally good. The debate on the British Road to Socialism (BRS), that began when Revolutionary Democracy published the Stalin/Pollitt correspondence two years ago, continues along with cultural articles and news from Stalinist currents within the world communist movement.

The latest edition covers a lot of ground, including poetry from Victor Jara, Louis Furnberg and Biquis Zafirul Hasan. It costs just £3.50 including postage and packing from: NCP Lit, PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ


Workers resist Eurobosses’ attacks

by G Dunkel

THE FRENCH economy is the second largest in Europe after Germany’s, and Greece’s economy has been on the verge of default for some months. Capitalists in both France and Greece are trying to solve their economic problems by laying off workers, cutting their salaries and retirement benefits, raising taxes and slashing social services.

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Cowboys and Indians — and genocide

by Rob Gowland

WHEN I was a child, one of our favourite pastimes was to play some exciting game like Cowboys and Indians or Cops and Robbers. It could as easily have been Pirates or Robin Hood. We didn’t mind, so long as it included plenty of mock battles, pursuits and ambushes and of course lots of pretend killing.

These urban skirmishes took place in and around neighbouring backyards, side passages and (in my case) also the disused parts of the yard of the panel-beating establishment next door and the even more disused backyard of the Gartrell-White bakery opposite.

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Ukraine: a farewell to ignorance

by Sergey Balmasov and Vadim Trukhachev

AN OUTSTANDING event took place in the relations between Russia and Ukraine. On 14th April Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov handed over a replica of the Banner of Victory to his Ukrainian counterpart Mikhail Yezhel. The replica of the banner will decorate festivities held in honour of the 65th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War. Afterwards, Ukraine will keep the banner at the National Historical Museum in Kiev.

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