National News

44 per cent of ‘new jobs’ are self-employed

SELF-EMPLOYMENT accounts for 44 per cent of the net rise in employment since mid- 2010, with pensioners, part-time workers and “odd-jobbers” the fastest growing groups of Britain’s new self-employed workforce, according to a new report from the TUC last Monday.

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Searchlight conference marks 50 years of fighting fascism

by New Worker correspondent

SEARCHLIGHT anti-fascist magazine marked its 50th anniversary with a two-day conference last week hosted by Northampton University and attended by a wide range of anti-fascist activists, intellectuals, journalists, teachers, lawyers, photographers and retired “moles”.

Northampton University is now the home of Searchlight’s archives, covering the history of fascist and racist activity in Britain and most of the rest of the world and the anti-fascist and anti-racist movement that arose to oppose the violent and extremist right-wing.

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Fracking firm to drill on site of explosives factory

DART ENERGY, a leading fracking firm, plans to drill for shale gas on the former site of a huge explosive factory in Nottinghamshire. The local MP, John Mann (Labour) described the decision as “beyond comprehension”.

Opponents say there is a risk of unexploded bombs and that safety tests have not yet been completed. The revelations add to concerns about the regulation of “unconventional” gas exploration in Britain, which has seen deformed wells go unreported, planning rules breached and trespassing.

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The SNP at Aberdeen

by our Scottish Political Correspondent

The Scottish National Party’s Spring Conference held at Aberdeen last weekend must have been something of a relief to its leader Alex Salmond. The previous week he lost a long and costly legal battle to stop the Tory Daily Telegraph discovering the extent of his taxpayer funded junketing in a high class Chicago hotel during the Ryder Cup in 2012. The taxpayer had a bill of £3,000 for his four night stay which was but a drop in the ocean of the £468,580 for his trip to the golf tournament.

Last week he was on yet another junket to New York to show his face at the absurd annual “Tartan Week” when his extravagance was exposed. The Salmond regards any querying of his extravagancies as “ridiculous fripperies”, but he has form in massaging expenses and making costly legal attempts to hide the facts from the voters.

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Lords reject new power

THE HOUSE of Lords last week threw out a late amendment in the Immigration Bill now before Parliament that would have given the Home Secretary the right to deprive people of the British citizenship — rendering them stateless.

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Tackling the toxic debate around immigration

MORE THAN 2 0 0 black trade union activists gathered at the TUC’s headquarters in Bloomsbury for the annual TUC Black Workers Conference this weekend from 11th to 14th April to debate and agree resolutions on tackling the multi layered attacks on black workers, service users and communities because of racism and injustice.

Keynote speakers at the conference included the general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, Neville Lawrence, father of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence and Carole Duggan, aunt of Mark Duggan who was shot dead by police sparking the uprisings in Tottenham which then spread to other areas.

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Asda women demand equal pay

A GROUP of 400 women supermarket workers are bringing a test case against their employer, Asda, demanding parity of pay levels with their male colleagues working in the supermarket chain’s distribution centres.

If they succeed there will be implications for thousands of workers, not just in Asda but in other supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and John Lewis.

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Stand by Syria!

by New Worker correspondent

NEW WORKER supporters heard detailed reports on the crisis in the Middle East at a meeting in central London last week. Prof Kamal Majid, the vice-president of the Stop the War Coalition and New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks both talked about the recent successes of the Syrian armed forces against the Nato-rebels, victories that may have decisively shifted the balance against US-led imperialism and their Arab lackeys who have been trying to overthrow the Assad government for the past three years.

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Bruce Kent brings fight against Trident to Lewisham

by New Worker correspondent

VETERAN peace campaigner Bruce Kent last Thursday addressed a well-attended meeting of Lewisham and Greenwich CND jointly with Forest Hill and Sydenham CND in Lewisham Town Hall.

It was part of a series of meetings all around the country organised by CND to campaign against the renewal of the Trident nuclear submarine nuclear weapons system — a demanding task for an 84-year-old.

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International News

Disillusioned Cypriots may boycott EU poll

by Xuxin

MANY people in recession- hit Cyprus are deeply disillusioned with European institutions and their political leadership and will turn their backs on a European vote in May, a public opinion poll beamed on state television last week said.

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Iran to sue US over UN row

by Chengyang

IRAN will sue the United States over its decision to deny an entry visa to Tehran’s newly-proposed ambassador to the United Nations, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday. “The official mechanisms for following up the case have been activated, and are underway,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham declared.

Washington’s decision not to issue a visa for Hamid Aboutalebi is a breach of international treaties, and runs contrary to the agreement between the UN and the US government, Afkham said.

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Israel rejects American pressure over Ukraine

Voice of Russia

THE UNITED States Administration, visibly irritated with Israel’s “neutrality” towards the political crisis in Ukraine, has been putting pressure on Tel-Aviv, a major Israeli newspaper reports.

“White House and US State Department officials express deep disappointment with the lack of support from Israel for the American position on the Ukraine crisis and with the fact that the Israeli government puts its relations with the United States and with Russia on the same plane,” Haaretz [The Land] writes.

Washington is also displeased that Israel holds its relations with the United States and Russia to be equally important, the Israeli daily says.

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Argentina denounces British naval manoeuvres

by Juan Leandro

ARGENTINA has denounced as provocative Britain’s planned military exercises in the disputed Malvinas/ Falkland Islands.

“This action falls within a pattern already denounced by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on 2nd April, consisting of provocations and hostile acts towards Argentina from an extra- continental nuclear power,” a spokesperson for the Argentinean embassy in London said on Saturday.

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A hard-liner to lead French government

by Eduardo Febbro

AFTER a backlash against the Socialists in the recent municipal elections, French President Hollande has chosen a turn to the right, which has led to a rift amongst his allies within the ruling coalition.

French voter s moved to the right and Socialist President François Hollande has chosen to follow suit, given the severe reverse his party suffered in the March municipal elections. The day after the unprecedented defeat, in which the Socialist Party (PS) lost more than 155 municipalities with populations over 9,000. The entire cabinet led by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault resigned.

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The people continue to fight coup regime’s attack in Ukraine

by Greg Butterfield

DESPERATE to stamp out a popular uprising in south-eastern Ukraine, the fascist junta in Kiev — which came to power through a violent coup against elected President Viktor Yanukovych — is moving to crush the newly declared People’s Republic of Donetsk and rebellions in other cities. But anti-fascists throughout the region continue to resist in the face of increasing repression by the US-backed regime.

Arsen Avakov, the junta’s interior minister arrived in the southeast of the country on 9th April and delivered a 48-hour ultimatum to protesters occupying government buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk to surrender or face military attack. The deadline expired on 11th April.

Avakov, a leader of the far-right Fatherland Party, was tasked with bringing the various neo-Nazi groups under the regime’s discipline. To this end, he created a “National Guard” composed of members of the Right Sector, the Euromaidan Self Defence Forces and other racist gangs from western Ukraine.

The Communist Party of Ukraine’s headquarters in Kiev was set on fire on 9th April, just hours after a court ordered the Interior Ministry to remove fascists who’ve occupied it since the coup. Euromaidan Self Defence goons, now employed by the Interior Ministry, were photographed tearing up red flags outside the building shortly before it was torched.

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Gorbachov to be tried for the collapse of USSR

by Dimitri Sudakov

RUSSIAN MPs want to put Mikhail Gorbachov in the dock for bringing down the Soviet Union. The move to try Gorbachev for the breakup of the USSR came from several deputies of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, representing the governing party as well as the opposition Communists and Liberal Democrats. But Gorbachov, the last president of the USSR, says that the proposition to bring him to trial for the collapse of the Soviet Union was “utter nonsense”.

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Rednecks and cultural heritage

by Rob Gowland

ATTACKS by the Australian government on working people and their rights are becoming more aggressive and more crude with each passing month. And not just on working people. The Abbott government set up a display with which to crow about their “success” at stopping legitimate refugees from reaching Australia.

Never mind that we have an international legal obligation to help refugees and that refugees arriving here are not “illegal immigrants” or “queue jumpers”. They are simply refugees. Victims of war, famine or disaster. Usually war and the economic dislocation that goes with it.

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