National News

Save our NHS hospitals

by New Worker correspondent

THOUSANDS of people in Sussex and London took to the streets in three separate protests at drastic plans to cut local hospital services, which are already well overloaded and failing cope after previous cuts.

In north-west London, between one and two thousand people took part in a double march, beginning from Southall Park and Acton Park to converge at Ealing Common, against plans to cut four of the nine Accident and Emergency (A&E) units in the area.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Gove shakes up exam system

EDUCATION Secretary Michael Gove last week announced a radical change to England’s school exam system.

The current General Certificate of General Education (GCSE) is to be replaced by an exam in core subjects, called the English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc).

This will be tested by a set of exams — no modules or other coursework will be taken into account. For those who fail there will be fewer opportunities for a re-sit.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Boris boasts he’ll crush strikers

LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson last week challenged Prime Minister David Cameron to introduce new anti-union laws to outlaw strikes after the TUC conference voted to consider the feasibility of a general strike against Cameron’s austerity policy.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The lies on the wall

by Theo Russell

The lies on the wall

THIS GIANT poster on the Piccadilly Line platform at Earls Court underground station claims that the magnificent achievements of Paralympic athletes from around the world were only possible with the backing of 26 giant corporations.

Ironically Atos, the global IT and health company, which is reviewing disability living allowance entitlements, is the most prominent.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Cable loosens working rights

THE GENERAL union GMB last week warned that weakening employment laws will not create more jobs. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, announced measures to reduce access to tribunals and cuts to the compensation for workers who are found to have been mistreated.

Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: “This is unlikely to create jobs as the overwhelming majority of employers do not think about the rights of employees when making decisions about employing more staff.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Hillsborough families demand new inquest

FAMILIES of the 96 Liverpool football fans who died in the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in 1989 are seeking new inquests after an independent inquiry found that it might have been possible to save 41 of the victims.

The report also found a massive police cover-up of serious mistakes made in crowd management and a concerted effort to shift the blame on to those who died.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Where is Labour going?

by New Worker correspondent

WHERE is Labour going? That was the question three labour activists tackled at a meeting in Harlow last week. Rod Truan, a Harlow Labour Councillor and Cabinet member, John Pickard, former editor of Militant and Socialist Appeal activist and Theo Russell from the New Communist Party opened the discussion at a meeting organised by the Harlow Trades Union Council last Wednesday.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The World after 9/11

by New Worker correspondent

THE ELEVENTH anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was marked by a wave of anti-American anger throughout the Muslim world following reports of the production of a film in California that portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a drunken pervert.

The world we live in has certainly changed since 2001 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether we can all work together to make it a better place for future generations was the topic for a discussion organised by the Third World Solidarity movement in Portcullis House, the modern Parliamentary annex, in London last week.

It was chaired by Mushtaq Lasharie, a retired Labour activist, and the panel included the Pakistan High Commissioner, the Afghan ambassador, a Tory and a Labour MP, the writer Mark Seddon and Prof Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian ambassador to London.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Fighting fascism on all fronts

by New Worker correspondent

IT WAS a busy time for TUC delegates at annual conference in Brighton last week. Charting the way forward on pay and building a united union fight-back against austerity were the major themes of main conference while fringe events reflected the entire spectrum of campaigning in the labour movement today. And one of those was sponsored by the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight.

An impressive list of speakers included Leonard Zeskind, the award-winning American author and director of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights who is also the leading US expert on the far right. He spoke on the policies and tactics of the Tea Party movement in America and how to counteract it.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Revolutionary Democracy

Revolutionary Democracy Vol XVII No 2, September 2011.

£4 inc postage from NCP Lit PO Box 73 London SW11 2PQ.

Reviewed by Ray Jones

IT HAS BEEN a long break but Revolutionary Democracy is back with its usual broad range of articles from India and around the world.

Near the beginning there is an in-depth study of the Maruti Suzuki strike from the Workers' Unity trade union, which sees it as opening up the possibility of a working class offensive against the anti-working class regime of capital.

Peoples' China gets several mentions, including a document of a reception of a delegation from the Chinese Communist Party in Moscow in 1949 and details of China's foreign investment from the Information Office of the State Council of China.

Articles on Denmark's election results and the Breivik massacre in Norway give an insight into the politics of northern Europe.

The issue ends with culture in the form of poetry by the Cesar Vallejo from Peru.

International News

Massive anti US protests continue

by Ed Newman

THOUSANDS of demonstrators took to the streets of the Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday, torching cars and shouting; "Death to America" in the latest demonstrations that have swept across the Muslim world. Global protests continued over the weekend in more than 20 countries, as protests grow over an amateur, US-made anti-Islam film that mocks the Prophet Mohammed.

The Barack Obama administration ordered the evacuation of US government personnel from Tunisia and Sudan amid the ongoing unrest. The United States says its withdrawing diplomatic officials from Sudan and Tunisia as a precaution, not due to any actionable intelligence. The order in Sudan came after the Sudanese government rejected a US effort to deploy a Marine unit to protect the American embassy in Khartoum.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Quebec student struggle stops tuition rises

by G Dunkel

THE FIRST official decree from Pauline Marois, the new Quebec premier and leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ), at her victory party, rescinded the tuition increases the previous government had proposed and annulled the law forbidding demonstrations, especially near schools.

All the major student confederations that had led a series of student strikes, beginning in March, applauded Marois’ decision during their interview by Radio Canada. The most radical of the three, CLASSE, the Broad Coalition of Students and Unions, now intends to raise the demand for free public higher education.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Latvia honours Nazi butchers

Pravda.ru

THE AUTHORITIES of the Latvian town of Bauska, located to the south of Riga, have unveiled a monument to three battalions of the Latvian legion of Waffen SS. The inscription on the monument says that the monument is dedicated to “Bauska's Defenders Against the Second Soviet Occupation”. It also says that "Latvia is for Latvians”.

This is the first monument to the SS in the Baltic states. The Nazis used the SS battalions to exterminate hundreds of civilians in the Pskov region of Russia, in the Brest region of Belarus, as well as near Dnepropetrovsk.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

‘Do not attempt to seize half an inch of Chinese territory’

People’s Daily (Beijing)

RECENTLY, in spite of strong opposition and serious protests from the Chinese side, the Japanese government has gone ahead and “nationalised” the Diaoyu Islands. This has aroused anger among the Chinese people. It is not only a futile and dangerous farce but an open challenge to China’s territorial sovereignty and national dignity.

The Diaoyu Islands and the associated islets have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The Japanese government's so-called “islands-buying” manoeuvre is ridiculous, illegal and invalid and it cannot change the fact that China claims territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islets.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Features

Socialist Korea looks ahead

by Deirdre Griswold

THE DEMOCRATIC People’s Republic of Korea celebrated the 64th anniversary of the state’s founding on 9th September with mass displays of gymnastics and flash cards at a Pyongyang stadium, in which 100,000 people participated.

As acrobats and gymnasts by the thousands coordinated complex routines on the field, tens of thousands of students in the stands flipped poster-size cards to create colourful scenes in sync with the action. The training and intense discipline that make these spectacular displays possible is unparalleled in the world, and symbolises the determination of the Korean people to work together in unison to build their nation and their socialist society.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Get ready for a rough ride

by Rob Gowland

THE CLASSIC description of capitalism in action usually involves an individual (or corporate) employer, who pays his employees less than the value of the things they produce (or the services they provide). The employer pockets the difference, which is called profit. This difference between the value of what workers produce and what they are paid for producing it (a difference that is never in the workers’ favour) means that the workers can never afford to buy everything they produce, leading ultimately to crises of overproduction, layoffs and economic depression.

That is grossly oversimplified, but the essentials are there. To raise the capital needed to finance production, companies sold (and sell) shares in their business to investors. In return for the use of their capital, shareholders receive a share of the profits every year (sometimes more often).

Once upon a time, facilitating the buying and selling of shares in profitable companies was the main business of the stock market. Shareholders made their money from the dividends paid by the companies in which they held shares. Investors sought companies that were deemed likely to make a profit on their year’s business.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

DPR Korea: free medical care for all

by Song Yong Sok

IN DEMOCRATIC KOREA today all the people are fully benefiting from the universal free medical care service under the Socialist Constitution and the Public Health Law.

The universal free medical care system began a long time ago. During the ferocious Korean War (June 1950 — July 1953), President Kim Il Sung adopted a Cabinet resolution to introduce a free medical care system at the state expense for the purpose of thoroughly protecting the life and health of the people, and took measures to put the resolution into reality.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Vietnam: images of children in wartime

VNS

VISITORS to the Tre Em Thoi Chien (Children at War) exhibition can see powerful images of Vietnamese children smiling despite the suffering caused by the war around them.

The exhibition, which opened last week in Hanoi, depicts the life of children during the Vietnam War through 70 photos taken by journalists from Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Thieu Nien Tien Phong (Young Pioneers) newspaper and Japan-based Nihon Denpa News.

“This is an opportunity for us, who were born during the war, to look back at the north of Vietnam 40 years ago and see how children lived and studied during the cruel war,” said Nguyen Duc Loi, general director of the VNA.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]