National News

Glasgow turns to credit unions

ONE IN FOUR residents of Glasgow now has an account with a credit union as the City council is promoting them as a source of low-interest loans for people on low incomes and trying to drive out the extortionate pay-day-loan companies.

The council has banned all access to Wonga and its lookalikes in libraries and colleges. The city’s trading standards officers tour shopping parades to check on offers for loans agreements and APRs (annual percentage rates of interest) that breach the Consumer Credit Act.

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Energy bills to rise again

THE BIG Six giant energy companies are preparing to impose new steep rises in costs to customers in Britain as winter approaches. British Gas is reported to be planning an eight per cent rise in the price of both gas and electricity that will add £100 to a typical annual dual fuel bill.

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Deal with Golden Dawn say anti-fascists

by New Worker correspondent

NEARLY 300 anti-fascist protesters assembled last Saturday outside the Greek Embassy in Holland Park, London to demand that the Greek government take measures to deal with the increasingly violent neo-Nazi party known as the Golden Dawn.

This follows the murder last week of Pavlos Fyssas, a young anti-fascist Greek musician,and a few days before that a violent attack on members of the KKE Greek Communist Party.

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Bedroom tax Catch-22

VICTIMS of the bedroom tax living in Glasgow are trapped in a Catch-22 situation: they have fallen into arrears because they cannot pay their new higher rent and need to move to smaller accommodation, but housing chiefs will not let them move anywhere until they have cleared their rent arrears.

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Protesters block main road at Balcombe

ANTI-FRACKING protesters last Monday closed a busy main road as exploratory oil drillers began to pull out of the site at Balcombe.

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EDL attack police in Sheffield

MEMBERS of the Islamophobic English Defence League were arrested at a rally they had organised in Sheffield last weekend after they charged police lines and hurled missiles.

Hundreds of local anti-fascists also turned out for a counter demonstration and policing was heavy.

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Victory for Hovis strikers

MEMBERS of the bakery union BFAWU employed by Hovis at its Wigan bread factory last week won a victory in their strike against the use of zero-hours contracts.

More than 400 bakery workers have voted overwhelmingly to end two weeks of strike action in a protracted dispute over zero hours contracts at the Wigan bakery.

Under a settlement that was put to the workforce on Saturday 21st September, agency employees who work 39 hours per week for 12 consecutive weeks will be moved to parity pay.

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Liverpool school kitchen workers on strike

WORKERS employed in school kitchens in Liverpool walked out on strike last Monday in a dispute over contract workers being paid less than workers employed directly by the council. And they warned there are more strikes “on the menu”.

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GMB’s underground army

THE GMB general union operates an “underground army” of members inside the giant on-line trading company Amazon, according to Maria Ludkin, a GMB national officer.

She was speaking last week at the Labour Party conference in Brighton and said: “To be a trade unionist at Amazon is to be part of an underground movement. I can’t even stand here today and let you know which parts of the country our members work in, because to do so would be to put their jobs in jeopardy.”

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No to false self-employment

THE CONSTRUCTION union Ucatt last week welcomed Labour’s announcement that the next Labour Government will crackdown on false self-employment in the construction industry.

Rachel Reeves the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury has announced that the next Labour Government will act on the issue. Labour will take the deeming proposals which were being considered by the last Labour Government as their starting point.

False self-employment occurs when workers are registered self-employed but have all the characteristics of an employee.

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Ucatt pays to keep Carillion out

THE CONSTRUCTION union Ucatt has said it will pay up £11,000 to compensate for Carillion’s refund after it was barred from exhibiting at this year’s Labour Party conference over blacklisting.

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Communists in Africa

Pan-Africanism and Communism, by Hakim Adi, is published by Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ, and is available in the UK for £28.99.

Reviewed by Theo Russell

An important new book, Pan-Africanism and Communism, was launched last week in North London at an event in Harrow Civic Centre attended by 120 people including several academics.

The Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Nana Asante, who helped to proofread the text, presided over the event.

The author, Hakim Adi, said it was the result of ten years’ research in London, Paris and Moscow, and was “an attempt to portray a period forgotten by many and also the subject of distortion and controversy.”

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Bloody Nasty People!

Reviewed by Alan Stewart

Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right by Daniel Trilling, Verso London 2013, 240pp, Pbk £9.99.

Nick Griffin was born in Barnet in 1959 to far right parents who had themselves met when they both turned up to heckle a Communist Party meeting. The family moved to Suffolk and it was there in 1974 that his father took him to a National Front meeting.

The National Front had been led since 1972 by a long time neo-Nazi John Tyndall. It was on the rise, peaking with the 1977 Greater London Council elections. But then morale was hit when the NF came off worst in clashes with the Anti- Nazi League at Lewisham and elsewhere.

Plus Thatcher had stolen their thunder with talk of “white Britons being swamped by an alien culture.”

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International News

Triumphant Merkel may have to form ‘grand coalition’

by Guo Xinyu and Tang Zhiqiang

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel’s victory in Sunday’s federal elections is set to make her the longest-serving female head of government in Europe but she may have to form a “grand coalition” with her rivals in a third term.

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Mystery of ‘White Widow’ in Kenya terror

Voice of Russia

KENYAN security forces have regained control of a shopping mall in Nairobi that was stormed by Somali Al Qaeda terrorists last weekend.

Now more evidence is emerging about a British “white widow” killed during the final assault against the terror gang as the body of a white female terrorist has been found at the scene of the four-day horror that shocked the world.

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Iran could act as mediator in Syria

Voice of Russia

PROFESSOR Mohammad Hassan Khani of the Department of International Relations at Imam Sadiq University in Tehran, speculates on how Iran might benefit from participating in the United Nations General Assembly and what its role might be in solving the conflict in Syria.

Prof Khani began by talking about why new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is so eager to make friends with western countries. In his opinion, Rouhani aspires to enhance Iran’s image in the eyes of the western media.

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Bo Xilai gets life for graft

Xinhua news agency

BO XILAIi, a former member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has been sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. He was deprived of political rights for life, and his personal assets were also confiscated.

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Features

A message from General Giap

by Lady Borton

IMAGINE my surprise. I was in the US National Archives, examining a file about the “Deer Team”, which the OSS (predecessor to the CIA) dropped by parachute into Viet Bac in northern Vietnam at the end of the Second World War.

Here’s my rule for archives: Look at everything. You never know what you’ll find that you didn’t know you were looking for.

There, loose between two typed pages, was a yellowed business card, with “VO NGUYEN GIAP” in bold, his role in italics, and “Home Minister” hand-written below. Vo Nguyen Giap’s signature is on the back of the card along with an official stamp in the required red. The card had been attached to an English version of the Loi keu goi quoc dan (Appeal to Citizens) by Ho Chi Minh, with the handwritten notation: “5 Sept. 45 via Mons. (Monsieur) Buu”.

Surely this was precious. I noticed the name “Mr Buu” and thought: This must be Ta Quang Buu, one of the most brilliant Vietnamese mathematicians and physicists of the 20th century. He graduated from the Sorbonne and spent time at Oxford before returning to Viet Nam. Most interesting to me, though, was the irony: Less than a decade after Vo Nguyen Giap sent President Ho’s “Appeal” and his business card to the American mission, Ta Quang Buu, as deputy minister of defence, was signatory to the 1954 Geneva Agreements for “the Commander-in-Chief of the People’s Army of Vietnam”, who was of course, Vo Nguyen Giap. Yet how could I be sure that the “Mr Buu” on the business card was Ta Quang Buu?

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Korea, Rodman style

by Deidre Griswold

DENNIS Rodman’s skill as a basketball All-Star is matched by his penchant for making “outrageous” statements that hit home — to use a metaphor from another sport. In other words, he often says what others may be thinking but dare not utter out loud.

He has certainly touched a prickly nerve of the US imperialist foreign policy establishment by going to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, not once, but twice now. And he has plans to return with a team of All- Star and Hall of Fame players from the US to put on an exhibition game with the north Koreans.

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Washington Navy Yard — inequality on trial

by Adrian Chan-Wyles Buddhist — Marxism Alliance (UK)

IN A COUNTRY that owns guns as a legal and cultural right, it is no surprise that those diagnosed as suffering from mental illness, will, on occasion, use these weapons to express outwardly the psychological confusion and anguish felt inwardly. Ironically the United States of America is built upon the efforts of the founding fathers, who initiated an armed rebellion against British rule in the colony.

These former British citizens used terrorist tactics to usurp the legitimate bourgeois rule of the British Crown, and in so doing sought to justify their armed uprising by permanently entitling all citizens of the USA to “bear arms”, a law in direct contradiction to British law.

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British artists join winners of global arts award

by Bi Mingxin

TWO LEADING British art figures have been awarded an international arts prize for their contribution to culture. Sculptor Antony Gormley and architect David Chipperfield have won the Praemium Imperiale awarded by the Japan Art Association, and will each collect a £100,000 prize at a ceremony in Tokyo this October.

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