National News

1,500,000 public sector workers prepare to strike

CON-DEM Coalition ministers have been summoned to a crisis meeting before one of Britain’s biggest ever strikes next month. Around 1.5 million refuse collectors, social workers, town planners, librarians, care home staff and other local government employees are expected to walk out of work for 24 hours on 10th July.

They are angry at a pay offer that will result in workers on a salary of £14,000 and above being given only a one per cent increase, while those at lower grades will be paid little more than the minimum wage. The industrial action is likely to be supported by up to 500,000 teachers and civil servants.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The role of Kim Jong Il in building Juché theory

by New Worker correspondent

THE JUCHé Idea Study group of England last Saturday gathered in north London to mark the 50th anniversary of the great leader comrade Kim Jong Il starting work at the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. This was a great landmark in the Korean revolution.

The meeting was addressed by Comrade Thae Yongho from the embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who gave an account of the vital role of Kim Jong Il in developing Songun politics and the Juché idea starting at a time when Khrushchov had not long made his 20th CPSU attack on Stalin and communists throughout the world were in turmoil.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Private debt collectors put the screws on tax credit claimants

HUNDREDS of thousands of people who have been overpaid tax credits due to mistakes made by HM Revenue and Customs are being pressured to repay the money by aggressive private sector debt collectors.

A joint investigation by the Independent and the campaign group False Economy has uncovered the Coalition’s increasingly forceful methods of pursuing more than 4.7 million cases of overpaid tax credits, which amount to debts of £1.6 billion.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Campaigning against attacks on disabled people

PAUL NOWAK, the TUC assistant general secretary, last week addressed the TUC’s annual disabled workers’ conference in London and called for unions and disability organisations to come together to campaign against Government attacks on state welfare.

Speaking at the event in Congress House he said: “The past four years have been tough for disabled people in Britain. Cuts have devastated the NHS, social care and mental health services.

“Welfare reforms have shattered incomes and lifelines, and shameless propaganda about scroungers and spongers has fuelled prejudice, discrimination and hate.

“Sadly this torrent of rightwing vitriol has begun to strike a chord with the British public. As polling shows, attitudes towards the welfare state have really hardened. “But behind the cuts and the benefit changes are real people.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Mark Harding not guilty

MARK Harding, the London Underground RMT branch official facing charges of threatening behaviour on a picket line, was found not guilty on Monday at Hammersmith Magistrates Court. The charges were brought under section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 as amended by Schedules seven and 17 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 during the last phase of tube strike action.

The charge arose after Harding spoke briefly to a worker asking him not to cross the picket line. The exchange between them was friendly but a junior manager who witnessed it lodged a complaint of threatening behaviour.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Promises, promises

by our Scottish Political Correspondent

AS THE last issue of the New Worker was going to press what the Financial Times called the Edinburgh Festival of Bad Statistics took place.

This completes the rival launches of the Edinburgh and Westminster governments’ projections for an independent Scotland. As is the custom on such occasions the Scottish National Party painted a wonderful picture of a future Scotland where everyone would be £1,000 a year better off than if they voted No in the coming referendum on Scottish independence.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Solidarity with anti-fascist resistance in Ukraine

by New Worker correspondent

MORE THAN 150 people packed a lecture room in central London last Monday for the launch of a broad based campaign, Solidarity with Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine.

The speakers were Richard Brenner from the campaign, Lindsey German from Counterfire, Boris Kagarlitsky from the Institute for Globalization Studies and Social Movements (IGSO), in Moscow who joined via Skype as he had been unable to get a visa, Andrew Murray from the Communist Party of Britain, Alan Woods from Socialist Appeal and the International Marxist Tendency and Sergei Kirichuk from the socialist movement Borotba (Struggle) in Ukraine who also spoke over a Skype call.

Richard Brenner opened with the announcement of the most recent air strike by the Kiev junta on Lugansk, resulting in heavy casualties, including many civilians. Air strikes like this have been made on an orphanage and a children’s hospital among other targets.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Communists stand by Ukraine

by New Worker correspondent NEW WORKER supporters heard the views of two leading communists on the Ukrainian crisis at a meeting in central London last week.

New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks and Michael Chant, the general secretary of the RCPB (ML) opened the discussion at Euston’s Cock Tavern, a regular haunt for New Worker forums over the past few years, which was chaired by Theo Russell from the NCP London District.

Michael spoke about the right of the peoples of Ukraine to self-determination and role of imperialism in the crisis and Andy talked about the solid support of the communist movements in Ukraine and Russia for the anti-fascist struggle against the imperialists and their local puppets.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Spanish protesters demand the end of the monarchy

by Juan Leandro

THOUSANDS of people came out across Spain on Monday evening to demand the abolition of the monarchy and a republican system of government. Protesters also called for a referendum so that the people can decide what form of state leadership they want.

The demonstrations followed King Juan Carlos’ decision to abdicate the Spanish throne in favour of his son Felipe. The social networks managed to rally thousands of people in many of Spain’s main cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and Alicante.

The capital registered the largest rally by far, with some 20,000 people filling Sol Square with around 5,000 marchers out in Barcelona.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Palestinian Unity Government sworn in

by Lena Valverde Jordi

AFTER seven years of a bitter and at times lethal rivalry between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, a historic Palestinian unity government has been sworn in, ending years of division.

The ministers and prime minister of the new Palestinian Unity Government were sworn in Monday, in front of Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Monday’s signing ceremony, which will likely complicate relations with the Palestinian Authority’s international aid donors in Europe and the US and increase tensions with Israel, was broadcast live in both Gaza and the West Bank.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International Children’s Day: we should hang our heads in shame

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE FIRST of June, International Children’s Day, another day for reflection on the condition of the child, our children, our future, another benchmark to measure how far we have come since the same day was commemorated last year, another chance to examine the state of our planet and what legacy our generations leave for those to come. We bequeath a monster.

We bequeath a monster. We have turned the most beautiful habitaculum that Mother Nature presented us with, with a loving smile, into a living nightmare. We have insulted the most basic laws of Nature, massacring herds of animals with machine guns, hunting species to the point of extinction and beyond, just for “fun”, we have desecrated swathes of land and sea with pollution, toxic chemicals, plastic and oil slicks being the punctuation which marks our disgusting presence.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

China outraged by cult violence

by Lyu Qiuping and Gao Jie

THE CHINESE public are outraged at the slaughter of an innocent woman, beaten to death by six suspected cult members last week.

Five of the six suspects were arrested on Monday for intentional homicide. The other, a minor under 14 years old, will be charged at juvenile criminal court, according to the Zhaoyuan City government, Shandong province.

The victim, Wu, mother of a seven-year-old boy, was beaten to death around 9 pm on 28th May at a McDonald’s outlet in the city, apparently after she refused to give her telephone number to a group allegedly trying to recruit new members to their cult. Witnesses said the suspects had called Wu “devil” and “evil spirit” and said they would destroy her while they beat her.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Marking a people’s victory

by Rob Gowland

MAY THIS year was the 60th anniversary of the defeat of the French colonial empire at Dien Bien Phu. The anniversary was celebrated with a long holiday in Vietnam but passed without notice from the Australian media. This is oddly perverse, because the Australian capitalist press is always keen to tell us how Australian military forces “defeated” a North Vietnamese army at the Battle of Long Tan, despite the fact that that particular battle was neither decisive nor even indicative, since the Vietnamese went on to very decisively win the war.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The West’s obsession with a Greater Ukraine

by Adrian Chan-Wyles

THE UNITED States of America and her bourgeois allies have been involved in an attack on modern Russia over the last six months that has mimicked Nazi Germany’s military aggression against the Soviet Union in 1941. Both capitalist countries — the USA and Hitler’s Germany — attacked Russia through the Ukraine in an attempt to gain control of its natural resources, and reduce or completely nullify Russian political influence outside of its geographical area.

Neither attack has been successful due to the character and strength of the Ukrainians and the Russians and the implicit character weaknesses of the greedy bourgeois. But it is remarkable how history repeats itself — “first as tragedy, second as farce” — as Marx correctly stated.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]