National News

Mass protests hit Starbucks

THE UK UNCUT campaign, supported by unions GMB and PCS among others last weekend targeted outlets of the coffee shop chain Starbucks over its failure to pay proper taxes and its recent outrageous cuts to its workers’ terms and conditions of employment.

The chain is among several giant multinational companies that have used loopholes in the law to avoid paying any corporation tax in Britain for several years.

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Campaign against slave labour

THE BOYCOTT Workfare campaign is launching a new level of campaigning as dozens of high street retail chains and charities are taking on hundreds more unemployed and disabled workers for no wages to help them with the Christmas rush.

These unpaid workers are being forced to take on this work or face losing their benefits but the chances of them getting any kind of regular, paid work as a result are minimal.

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Coalition to cut care homes

THE GOVERNMENT is planning a “dramatic reduction” in the number of people with learning disabilities kept in residential care homes in England.

It is the Con-Dem Coalition’s response to the abuse scandal at Winterbourne View hospital near Bristol which was exposed earlier this year in a BBC Panorama programme.

Care Minister Norman Lamb said that more appropriate care could be found for people “closer to home”. Currently the NHS funds hospital care for 3,400 people with learning disabilities.

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Lowering standards on childcare

THE GOVERNMENT is planning to get more women into work by lowering the cost of childcare by allowing childminders to take on more children while changing the standards of qualification necessary to be a child minder. Some childcare services will become tax deductible for the working parent.

The plans are set to be announced in January by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

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Ambulance crews fight privatisation

ANGRY Manchester ambulance crews were joined by their union general secretary, Dave Prentis and Andy Burnham, the Shadow Health Minister on Monday in a protest and lobby of Parliament against the privatisation of non emergency services.

Around 100 ambulance staff and supporters from Manchester were protesting about the transfer of the non emergency patient transport service (PTS) from the NHS to private company Arriva.

The in-house NHS bid topped Arriva on quality, but was out-bid on price, which the union fears will lead to a poor quality service for vulnerable patients and act as a blueprint for cuts elsewhere.

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Bromley bin workers to strike

THE GIANT union Unite last week announced that bin workers in Bromley will stage a series of strikes in the run up to Christmas and over the New Year.

The union’s repeated calls to bosses at Veolia Environmental Services to reinstate four unjustly sacked workers for alleged gross misconduct have fallen on deaf ears, leaving Unite with no option but to issue strike dates.

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Remembering Kim Jong Il

by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS of Korea met in London last weekend to pay tribute to the memory of dear leader Kim Jong Il, the leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea who died on 17th December 2011.

Though a solemn occasion it was also a celebration of the achievements of Kim Jong Il and the people of Democratic Korea under his leadership. And this was vividly shown in the north Korean film screened at the meeting at the Marchmont Centre in Bloomsbury on Saturday.

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International News

Greek bailout means more suffering

by G Dunkel

DESPITE the European approval of a loan to Greece as November ended, based on a Greek national austerity budget, more suffering for Greece’s workers and poor is assured, as is a mobilisation to fight these austerity policies.

Allegedly, austerity will cut the Greek debt to 124 per cent of gross domestic product by 2020, when its economy is supposed to finally begin to grow. In the short term, however, economists expect the Greek debt, currently 175 per cent of GDP, to grow to 200 per cent by 2014.

The Greek economy has contracted by 25 per cent in the past five years, impacted by the 2007-2008 capitalist economic recession and subsequent austerity plans, and the new austerity measures are expected to cause a contraction of five per cent more.

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China’s road enlightens the world

People’s Daily (Beijing)

THE EIGHTEENTH National Congress of the Communist Party of China helped the world better understand why China firmly takes the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Facts prove that socialism with Chinese characteristics is a road to success because it has retained the fundamental principles of scientific socialism, added new distinct characteristics of the times to it, and provided both theoretical and practical answers to such fundamental questions as what kind of socialism a populous and weak country like China should build and how it should develop socialism.

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Plot to kill Adams exposed

by John Hedges

THE 1987 murder plot by unionist death squads to assassinate Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams will feature in the report to be published next Wednesday on the shooting dead of Belfast civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane at home, in front of his family, in February 1989.

Collusion between British state forces — responsible to the British Government — and the death squads has always been strongly claimed.

Gerry Adams — now a TD in the Irish parliament, the Dáil — has called on the Irish Government to “insist, as the family does, that the British keep to their commitment and hold a public inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane”.

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Katyn: the factory of lies

by Luiz Carcerelli

A WAVE of libel and slander against Soviet power was meticulously fabricated by revisionists for decades.

The "truths" made against the first socialist state in history were initiated by Khrushchev and passed from hand to- hand by the clique that seized the Kremlin until Gorbachev finally led to the dissolution of Russian socialism — and formalised its transition to capitalism.

The defamatory work, however, was not yet completed. Boris Yeltsin, who took over management of the post-socialist Russian state, allegedly spent lots of money on the production of forged documents that have joined the "files of the communist period," which were the icing on the cake of lies cooked by the revisionists.

The forgeries covered the Katyn massacre, letters of Stalin and Beria, among others. In fact, all that could attack the Soviet state and the direction of Josef Stalin.

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World mourns death of iconic Brazilian architect

Xinhua news agency WORLD leaders, architects and the media have mourned the passing of iconic Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who died late on Wednesday 5th December aged 104.

United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki Moon offered his condolences to Brazil and the family of Niemeyer, saying: "I recall my sense of wonder when visiting some of his modernist master works in Brasilia.

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A Paper Trail to Treason

Part two of two

by Neil Harris

THE FIRST part of this article dealt with aspects of the cold war and its murderous history, however a surprising amount of that information is still relevant today, even though the end of the Cold War brought many changes: bases merged or closed, government agencies privatised and public land sold off for private profit.

The New Worker took a look at some of the many State Department cables released by Wikileaks, on the subject of allowances and cost of living updates. These provide an up-to date guide to those posts that are still current today. An example is a general cable from Washington to Embassies, dated 26th February 2010, which confirms that postings in Britain are still active at some of the main functioning USAF bases; Mildenhall, Lakenheath and Croughton. Fairford is still listed while Cheltenham is there for GCHQ. Wiltshire, Portsmouth and Plymouth are still of interest, which is probably for the BAe Systems sites. Oxfordshire isn’t.

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