National News

Police privatisation put on hold

THE WEST Midlands police authority has delayed a crucial vote on whether to proceed with the privatisation of police services after strong opposition from local people and police service employees.

The giant union Unite, which represents some of these employees, has campaigned against the privatisation.

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‘Work for nothing’ to be extended

WORK and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith last week announced that he was significantly extending the scheme under which the unemployed are obliged to work for no wages or face the loss of their benefits, within the next two weeks.

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Teaching unions’ historic agreement

BRITAIN’S two largest teaching unions, the NUT and the Nasuwt last week launched an historic joint agreement committing the unions to work together to protect teachers and defend education.

Representing over 85 per cent of the teaching profession in England and Wales, the two unions are launching an unprecedented joint campaign to end the continuing assault on the teaching profession.

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No buyer for Coryton

THE GMB general union last week declared that the failure to find a buyer for the Coryton oil refinery in Essex was a “devastating blow for jobs”.

The company was put into administration earlier this year but no buyer has been found for the only independent refinery in this country.

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EDL thugs target Brighton again

SPLINTER groups from the Islamophobic English Defence League are planning to return to Brighton after their “March for England” in April was humiliated by thousands of ordinary Brighton people who came out on to the streets to oppose the fascist march and succeeded in blocking it a couple of times.

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Construction bosses treat workers with contempt

COINSTRUCTION unions last week have accused employers of treating workers with contempt after the employers proposed to freeze pay for workers.

The charge follows the initial meeting of the 2012 Construction Industry Joint Council pay talks on Wednesday 23rd May when the employers declined to make a pay offer.

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International News

UN: the sick man of the world

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

IT IS DIFFICULT to know at times whether the United Nations is one organisation or two — one doing an excellent job in defending human rights and culture (UN Women, UNHCR, UNESCO, among others) — and the other rubber-stamping imperialist escapades for the FUKUS lobby (France, UK, US) or pandering to the whims of Washington’s lobbies.

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France: Hollande’s debut bold or dull?

by Ounissi Sonia in Paris

WHEN FRANCOIS Hollande came to the Elysée Palace, he told the French people he would honour his campaign promises to defend France’s interests and uphold the European policy to promote growth and create jobs.

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Chavez proposes social programme inclusion

by Xelcis Presno

VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez has proposed that the National Assembly make an amendment or a constitutional reform to include social programmes of the State in the Constitution.

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Nato moves to surround China

by Rob Gowland

AT AN international conference of Communist and Workers’ parties some years ago, I was taken to task by two young guys from one of the countries on the fringe of Europe. They vehemently objected to my depiction of imperialism, especially US imperialism, as trying to encircle China.

“That’s the same nonsense the USSR was always saying”, they complained. “America would rather trade with China than fight with her!”

That flabbergasted me for the moment. This was long after Gorbachov had supervised the overthrow of socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe, to universal acclaim from imperialist quarters, and yet here was pure Gorbachovism being spouted by a Party claiming to be “Marxist” (but not, significantly, “Marxist-Leninist”).

The notion that imperialism “would rather trade with a country than fight with it” ignores the basic realities of capitalist economics. Trade may give a capitalist power a share of the cake, true. But when was capitalism (let alone capitalism in its imperialist stage) ever content to settle for part of the cake, when what it always covets is the whole cake?

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Egypt: the ‘Arab Winter’

Radio Havana Cuba

EGYPT is back to the polls again, this time not to elect a parliament, but a president to replace Hosni Mubarak who was deposed 15 months ago.

More than 50 million people are eligible to vote, and it will most likely go to a second stage, since none of the 12 candidates is a clear favourite to reach 50 per cent plus one required to win in the first round.

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Winning young people for socialism

by Eric Trevett

IN A FEW weeks time thousands of young people will be leaving school and college to face the vagaries of capitalism in a stage of severe crisis. With unemployment rising rapidly and with people aged 16 to 24 constituting the most numerous group of those seeking work, their prospects as new entries to the labour force are not good.

Whilst we extend our sympathies to these young victims of capitalism we must also help them to help themselves and others in the struggle for peace and full employment and to defeat the Government’s austerity measures.

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Libya today: corruption, torture, chaos

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Editor, Pan-African News Wire

THE REGIME that Nato and the Pentagon brought to Libya denies human rights, breeds corruption and is leading the country toward increasing chaos day by day.

Some 200 disgruntled soldiers who were part of the army that the Pentagon and Nato backed in the military mission against the Libyan government during 2011 tried to assassinate interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib on 8th May. These rebel soldiers were reportedly angry over the cancellation of monthly payments to ground troops who were militia members in the campaign that overthrew and assassinated Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

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