National News

Left Labour prepares to fight more cuts

by New Worker correspondent

ONLY 15 per cent of the proposed cuts from the Con- Dem Coalitions have been implemented so far and the labour movement must prepare its strategy to raise the fight against the rest being implemented.

This was the main theme behind debate at the annual conference of the Labour Representation Committee, which filled London’s Conway Hall last Saturday.

John McDonnell MP and chair of the LRC opened the meeting by moving the national committee statement and paid tribute to the campaigning work against the cuts by a number of organisations that the LRC has supported.

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EDL outnumbered 10 to one in Norwich

AROUND 1,500 people in Norwich took to the streets last Saturday to demonstrate that the Islamophobic English Defence League is not welcome in the city.

And many of the EDL seem to have got the message in advance because only around 150 of them turned up for a planned rally.

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Virgin Media move to de-recognise unions

VIRGIN Media last week told the Communication Workers’ Union that the company intends to de-recognise its trade unions — by far the biggest of which is CWU.

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No going home

CRISIS, the charity for single homeless people, last week launched a “No going Home” campaign to protest at Government plans to remove housing benefit from the under-25s.

Crisis says move to save £1.8 billion in benefit costs risks condemning thousands of vulnerable young people to homelessness.

Currently 385,000 people under 25 claim housing benefit across Britain. Many of these people work, or are looking for work, others are sick or disabled. More than half are parents bringing up children.

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NHS Direct cuts ‘disastrous’

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last week said that it was truly shocked by the scale of job losses and call centre closures announced by NHS Direct, warning that it is a disastrous move for patients and staff.

NHS Direct announced that 24 out of 30 call centres will close, and 50 per cent of its nursing staff and other health workers will lose their jobs.

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Manipulation of gas prices

THE FINANCIAL Services Authority (FSA) and Ofgem (the energy watchdog) are investigating allegations of wholesale manipulation of gas prices in Britain.

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Companies grilled over tax

SEVERAL giant companies, including Starbucks, Google and Amazon last week faced questioning by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on tax avoidance.

This follows a very public campaign by UK Uncut to expose the tiny amount of tax these companies pay in Britain while making huge profits.

It is done through accounting techniques that show the companies’ operations in Britain have to pay vast sums to their international operations on various pretexts so it appears they have made very little profit here.

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Stop job cuts NUJ tells BBC

THE NATIONAL Union of Journalists called on the BBC to halt journalism job cuts as management crisis continues.

The NUJ is demanding a moratorium on journalism job cuts at the BBC. General secretary Michelle Stanistreet declared that the current management crisis should be a wake-up call to the BBC.

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Remembrance Sunday marks Soviet dead

by New Worker correspondent

AROUND 100 veterans, local dignitaries, embassy attachés, trade unionists and members of progressive parties and organisations assembled last Sunday in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum to remember and lay wreaths in memory of the 27 million Soviet citizens who died in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany.

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International News

Starve Gaza says Israeli minister

by Mark Moloney

FAMILIES IN GAZA should have their water, food, electricity and fuel cut off as a collective punishment for resisting an Israeli Army invasion last weekend, an Israeli Government minister says.

Israeli Minister for Transport Yisrael Katz also called for the assassination of the leadership of the ruling Hamas party in Gaza. The violence began last Friday when Israeli tanks, armoured bulldozers and helicopter gunships crossed the border near Khan Younis to destroy a tunnel used for smuggling much-needed supplies to the territory under a crippling Israeli blockade.

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Why are British sailors not allowed to accept Ushakov Medals?

by Daria Manina and Vitaly Radnayev

BRITISH war veterans should receive Russian state awards. This was the conclusion made by 32 British MPs who supported Russia’s initiative to recognise the merits of participants in the Arctic convoys during the Second World War and award them with the Medals of Ushakov.

But the British veterans may not be allowed to receive the Russian decorations.

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UN Condemns US blockade on Cuba again

Prensa Latina

FOR THE 21st consecutive year the United Nations General Assembly has reaffirmed its demand for the lifting of the 50-year long US economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba.

The resolution was passed by the top UN body by 188 votes in favour and three against — the United States, Israel and the Pacific island state of Palau — and two abstentions (Marshall Islands and Micronesia).

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CIA chief resigns

Radio Havana Cuba

THE DIRECTOR of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, General David Petraeus has resigned from his post, admitting he had an extra-marital affair.

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Putin congratulates George Blake

THE NINETIETH birthday of the spy who betrayed his country was a real treat for Russia, The New York Times said. Former British intelligence officer George Blake received the highest honours. Vladimir Putin personally congratulated him, a documentary, The Two Lives of George Blake, will be made in his honour, and Russian newspapers published a rare interview with Blake.

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A time to chart China's future

Xinhua news agency

AFTER lengthy preparations and heated discussions among the authorities and public over what China should be like in the future, the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened its 18th National Congress last week.

More than 2,200 delegates representing about 82 million Party members took about one week to show how they are going to reshape China in the coming five years and beyond, by setting forth the development blueprint for the Party and the country and choosing the next generation of leadership.

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Time, place and circumstance

by Rob Gowland

CAPITALIST propagandists used to try to make an issue of the fact that the founders of Marxism thought that the most likely places for a successful socialist revolution would be the countries of central or western Europe; that is the countries with a developed working class. This was a logical assumption to make when they had no actual experience of Red Revolution to guide them.

The Bolsheviks mobilised the other revolutionary parties to seize the instruments of state power and the reins of government.

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Obama wins, struggle begins

Workers World (US)

THE ELECTIONS are over, and a few things stand out clearly. The strategy of the right wing to not-so-subtly race-bait Obama, deride “big government,” and appeal to reactionary fears on abortion and gay marriage was not decisive. Nor was the Supreme Court ruling that allowed “super PACs” dominated by super billionaires to donate large sums of money to the campaign — mostly to Romney. Obama won, but with a narrower margin of the popular vote than in 2008.

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Remembrance Day

by Donal M Kennedy

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE not to be aware of the graves from the First World War on a visit to northern France, nor visiting them, not to pity the unfortunate young men buried there and salute their courage. But it is quite possible to feel neither sympathy nor empathy for the regimes that they served.

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