National News

Workers protest at Lindsey

HUNDREDS of construction workers gathered at dawn at the Lindsey oil refinery on Monday morning as part of a series of demonstrations at major construction sites throughout Britain in protest at rogue employers who are threatening 30 per cent pay cuts and are tearing up long held national agreements.

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Police demands put journalists in danger

THE NATIONAL Union of Journalists has condemned the courts for forcing media organisations to supply riot footage and photographs to the police and has expressed disappointment that leading broadcasters and at least one national newspaper have done so.

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RCN says extend hospital visiting times

THE ROYAL College of Nursing last week made a controversial call for hospital visiting times to be extended so that patients’ relatives can become more involved in their care.

The RCN said it did not want relatives performing the tasks that nurses are employed to do but many fear that is exactly what would happen.

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Police abandon race stats on stop and search

POLICE forces in England and Wales are set to stop monitoring the ethnicity of people they stop and question or search following a Government change in regulations that came into force last March.

This is bad news for black and ethnic minority youths, who already face a much higher likelihood of being stopped and questioned simply because of police prejudice against their skin colour.

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Sun involved in phone hacking?

LABOUR MP Tom Watson last week claimed that the phone hacking scandal went “far beyond the News of the World” and that the Sun also has questions to answer on the issue. Watson, who is a member of the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee, which has been investigating phone hacking, made the claim during an emergency motion debate on the phone-hacking scandal at the Labour Party conference.

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TUC backs Palestinian statehood

The TUC is supporting the Palestinian bid to be recognised as a member state of the United Nations at the end of this week. Pressure is urgently needed on the British government to vote in favour.

Palestinian leaders are calling on the United Nations to recognise an independent Palestinian state at the upcoming UN general assembly meeting.

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Vigil for Yemen at Downing Street

MEMBERS of the Yemeni community in London held a silent protest opposite Downing Street last Saturday to demonstrate against the killing of peaceful protesters in Sanaa by troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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The art of revolution

The Art of Revolution: John Callow, Grant Pooke and Jane Powell. Hbk, illus, 96 pp, Evans Mitchell Books, London 2011.

reviewed by Andy Brooks

THE USSR collapsed, or rather was destroyed by the counter-revolutionaries at the helm of the Soviet communist party in 1991. Along with it went the old Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and many other so-called communist parties that had clung to coat-tails of Gorbachovism.

The CPGB’s archives went to Manchester’s People’s History Museum. Other documents were piled up in the cellars of the Marx Memorial Library to languish in the dust until the work of cataloguing and preservation began in 2005.

It was then that an amazing discovery was made. Hundreds of posters from the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies were found amongst the bundles of old CPGB dossiers and pamphlets. A collection spanning the entire period of Soviet power from the October Revolution to Brezhnev’s days had come to light, including key campaigning posters from the early days of the German Democratic Republic and socialist Czechoslovakia.

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International News

French left victory boosts presidential chances

by our European Affairs correspondent

THE FRENCH left has taken control of the Senate for the first time since 1958. In Sunday’s vote the Socialists, together with its communist and green allies, won a total of 177 seats in the 348-member upper house of the French republic.

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People battle deadly repression in Bahrain

by Gene Clancy

AUAT al-Qurmezi, age 20, knows all too well what it’s like to live under a repressive monarchy backed by the United States. Because she publicly read a poem critical of the king, she was arrested, held in custody for six months without trial, tortured and threatened with sexual assault.

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Palestine bid dominates UN debate

by Alex Silva

THE ESTABLISHMENT of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations was the main theme of the General Assembly, where many world leaders have expressed their support of the request that was officially launched last week by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Features

Behind Obama’s ‘jobs bill’

by Deirdre Griswold

THE VAST majority of the people in the United States depend on wages to get by. Only seven per cent of those who work full-time are self-employed. Farmers, for example, who a century ago made up almost half the population, now account for less than one per cent. Vastly more people work for large corporations or retail chains than have their own businesses.

Fully 93 per cent of those who work every day rely on that pay cheque coming in. This figure shows the tremendous growth of the proletariat — people who have nothing to live on but their ability to work and thus to be exploited by a boss.

Without that pay, wage workers are in danger of losing everything: their homes, being able to feed their families, access to health care, retirement funds, higher education for themselves and their children, even their mobility — most workers need cars to get to work. All these things have to be paid for with wages. The vote that stopped fascism in Australia by Rob Gowland IT IS an axiom of modern life, under capitalism, that whenever reactionary political forces seek to take over the government of a country — whether by coup d’état or by running a rabble-rousing demagogue in an election — the first essential act of the new regime will be to neutralise (preferably by outlawing or, if feasible, simply killing) the communists.

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Vietnam through Burchett’s eyes

Photos of the Vietnamese people at war and in peace taken by Australian correspondent Wilfred Burchett are on display at an exhibition in Hanoi this month.

THE EXHIBITION of 100 photos, entitled Wilfred Burchett and Vietnam has opened at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi to mark the 100th anniversary of Burchett’s birth with a selection of his photos of the country in struggle.

Burchett, (1922-83), was one of the outstanding journalists of the 20th century. He reported and analysed the progress of the Second World War in China, India and the Asia-Pacific region.

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