National News

Biggest Durham Miners’ Gala for years

by New Worker correspondent

AROUND 100,000 people turned out to fill the city streets and the Racecourse field for the 130th annual Durham Miners’ Gala this year — estimated to be the biggest crowd since the 1984-5 miners’ strike.

The main speaker, veteran Labour MP for Derbyshire and miners’ champion Dennis Skinner proved a big draw.

The Trimdon Colliery band and banner were again the first to arrive at the Racecourse this year at around 8.45am. After that a succession of more than 50 miners’ lodge banners — most accompanied by brass bands and some by pipe bands — plus other banners from other unions, progressive organisations and local schools made their way from the Market Place, across the Elvet Bridge to the field throughout the morning. JP Sousa’s Liberty Bell (the Monty Python theme tune) seemed to be the favourite tune this year.

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Growing outrage at the Israeli onslaught on Gaza

by New Worker correspondent

HUNDREDS of thousands of people all around Britain, and all around the world have been taking to the streets to express anger and outrage at the new Israeli bombing and threatened invasion of Gaza.

In London the protests started two weeks ago driven by anger and dismay at the cold-blooded kidnapping and burning to death of Palestinian teenager Mohammad Abu Khdeir.

On Saturday 5th July around 1,500 people gathered opposite the Israeli embassy in London from many different organisations, including Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and many individuals.

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Cameron to spend £1.1 billion on new weapons

DAVID Cameron last week announced new “defence” spending plans of £1.1 billion to be invested in drones, special forces and intelligence gathering in support of the so-called “war on terror”.

He outlined investments of £800 million for a new surveillance package and £300 million for a new ice patrol ship and radar.The Government said it was plugging the “black hole” it inherited from Labour, who accused ministers of reversing “mistakes” it made in the 2010 Strategic Defence Review.

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Workfare victims win restoration of benefits

PEOPLE who refused to work for free under the government’s compulsory workfare schemes could get a total £130 million benefits pay-out after the High Court ruled that retrospective laws breach human rights.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has argued against paying the benefits withheld under the back-to-work scheme.

The back-to-work scheme — which in reality creates more unemployment by giving employers free labour so they can make their paid workers redundant — withdrew benefits from people if they did not take up placements in shops and offices to “improve their employability”.

When the scheme was first defeated in court the Government changed the law and tried to apply the changes retrospectively.

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Unions win fight to save land registry

MICHAEL Fallon, last week when he was still Minister for Energy, confirmed that the Government will not be selling off the Land Registry.

He revealed that nine in 10 respondents to the Energy Department’s consultation said they did not agree a sell-off would make the agency more efficient and they wouldn’t be comfortable with non-civil servants doing the work.

The Department also conceded: “Overall, across virtually all respondents, it was suggested that a case for change had not been made.”

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the civil service union PCS, said: “This is hugely significant for our members and the industry professionals who ran a fantastic campaign and successfully exposed the emptiness of the government’s case.

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Scottish News

from our Scottish Political Correspondent

During the New Worker’s summer break the referendum campaign trundled on with no great fireworks or killer blows administered by either side.

The commemorations of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn at the end of June were not a great success. Ticket prices for the event were drastically reduced at the last minute when it became apparent that £101 family tickets were unsurprisingly not selling like hot cakes.

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CND angry at use of symbol

CAMPAIGN for Nuclear Disarmament leader Kate Hudson last week condemned the use of the CND symbol in an advertisement for Lynx deodorant.

She said: “Have you seen the Lynx adverts recently, using the CND symbol? It’s refreshing to see a global corporation like Unilever taking an interest in peace issues: and the huge funding for their Lynx Peace marketing campaign (£9 million in the UK alone) is such that many millions of people will be exposed to the CND symbol and its peaceful meaning.

“However, we draw the line when a corporation cynically uses not only our symbol, but CND’s name and history: for profit.

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Eternal memory of Kim Il Sung

by New Worker correspondent

KIM IL SUNG passed away on 8th July 1994 and the 20th anniversary of his death was marked by commemorations across the Korean peninsula and amongst the Korean overseas community all over the world.

In Democratic Korea mass national commemorations in the capital, Pyongyang, were matched by similar events throughout the DPR Korea. In the occupied south patriotic and communist organisations held secret commemorations in defiance of the draconian laws of the puppet regime. And throughout the world communists gathered to remember the outstanding Korean communist revolutionary and thinker. London was no exception and the commemorations started at the AGM of the UK Korean Friendship Association on Saturday 28th June. This was followed by a meeting of remembrance to mark the anniversary of the passing of President Kim Il Sung on 5th July at the John Buckle Centre in south London organised by the Friends of Korea committee. London DPRK ambassador Hyon Hak Bong paid tribute to great leader Kim Il Sung, whose life dedicated to the struggle of the Korean people spanned the 20th century. This was followed by tributes from NCP leader Andy Brooks, RCPB (ML) general secretary Michael Chant, John Macleod of the SLP and John Rainsborough from the Korea Friendship Association.

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International Brigaders honoured

by New Worker correspondent

MORE than 100 people gathered in Jubilee Gardens on the south bank of the Thames on Saturday 5th July to remember and honour the men and women of the International Brigade — anti-fascists from all over the world who left their homes to come and fight against the fascist General Franco’s war against the elected Republican government of Spain in 1936.

The brigaders who came from Britain had to defy their own government to take part in the struggle in Spain. The Communist Party of Great Britain organised secret passage through France and across the Pyrenees for the volunteers.

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NCP still going strong!

by New Worker correspondent

We had summer heat and the World Cup third place play off but that didn’t deter comrades and friends from joining New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks and Party Chair Alex Kempshall in celebrating the 37th anniversary of the foundation of the NCP last Saturday at the Party Centre in London.

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International News

BRICS summit opens in Brazil

by Lena Valverde Jordi

A THREE-DAY summit of the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — opened on Tuesday in the north-eastern Brazilian city of Fortaleza.

During the meeting the five emerging-market states are expected to sign and agreement on a development bank and emergency reserve fund, which they call their alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, that will help finance their own infrastructure projects and maintain reserves for any future financial crises.

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Germany expels US intelligence chief

GERMAN politicians have called on the United States to stop all spying activities against Germany and to work together to revive bilateral ties on the basis of honesty. This latest German plea follows last week’s expulsion of the US intelligence chief in Berlin.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that the United States should disclose all its espionage activities in Germany and stop all related practices immediately.

“The Americans must now actively help clarify the allegations,” Maas said. “This includes a clear statement on any other cases of espionage which we may not know about yet. Above all, we need a binding assurance from Washington that these activities will be stopped once and for all,” he added.

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Cuba Goes Brazilian

by Lemay Padrón

THE STREETS were deserted for hours and the blazing sun was not solely to blame. Both in Havana as in the rest of the country millions of Cubans were obsessed with the World Cup in Brazil.

Baseball is Cuba’s national pastime, but every four years, baseball fever recedes as fans are gripped by soccer fever, even though a home team has not taken part in a World Cup in decades.

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Chinese football in ancient times


MOST Chinese are familiar with football from ancient Chinese dynasties through the [Water Margin], one of the Four Classic novels, in which a high-ranking official named Gao Qiu demonstrated his ancient football techniques.

While China was missing from the 32 teams in the current FIFA World Cup in Brazil, there was hope that a reincarnated Gao would emerge to rescue the hopeless Chinese football team.

Football must be in China’s blood. Though England is home to modern football, China is the birth place of the game, as confirmed by FIFA President Sepp Blatter in early 2014.

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Dissecting Ukraine’s ‘democracy’: Poroshenko and the neo-Nazis

by Victor Shapinov

Victor Shapinov of the Ukrainian Marxist organization Union Borotba (Struggle) here analyzes the forces at work behind the announcement by President Petro Poroshenko officially ending the Kiev junta’s ceasefire with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics of the Donbas region.

June 30 — Yesterday’s bloodthirsty rally on the Maidan, where thousands of people demanded the resumption of hostilities in the Donbas, shows the sad realities of the political system established after the victory of Euromaidan. In this system, a radical nationalist minority can effectively impose its political will on the majority.

It is obvious that voters in central and western Ukraine cast their ballots for Petro Poroshenko as a moderate leader of the Maidan, hoping for a political settlement and peace. By contrast, support for nationalist politicians who advocate extreme methods — Oleg Lyashko, Oleg Tyagnybok, Dmitry Yarosh — was not great.

While he is apparently trying to be moderate — and certainly he does not want to go down in history as Peter the Bloody — Poroshenko is held hostage by an extremist minority, well-organised and well-funded. He cannot conduct actual negotiations, as even a fake truce immediately causes an uproar from the nationalist crowd and open accusations of betrayal.

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Royal parasites

by Rob Gowland

A FRIEND loaned us an interesting book the other day. I say “book”, but in fact it was in three volumes in a special case. Printed on glossy art paper, they weighed what felt like a ton. And the subject of this tome? It was the 1997 catalogue from Sotheby’s for the sale of the possessions of the then recently deceased Duchess of Windsor.

The catalogue, in two large volumes and a separate index, originally cost $90 if bought at the gallery, plus substantial postage if bought by someone outside the US.

The Duke of Windsor was the former British monarch Edward VIII. Prior to becoming King, as the Prince of Wales, he had enjoyed the life of the idle rich (the very idle and very rich). Soaking up the Mediterranean sun on a luxury yacht, visiting the casino, going to Scotland to shoot, all the usual pursuits of the wealthy class in Britain.

After his accession, his life continued in the same vein. (This was the period of the Great Depression for most people, but not for the likes of Edward and his friends.)

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Ukraine: murderous regime plans false flag event

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

“PRESIDENT” Poroshenko of Ukraine, instead of acting like a president of all Ukrainians, dubs the Eastern Ukrainian rebels “parasites” and “filth” while the Ukrainian armed forces devastate towns with terrorist attacks from the air, and office workers are torched by Fascist thugs sent from Kiev. Ukraine today is a real-life “Hostel”.

The Hostel films are perhaps the most revolting, disturbing and warped form of “entertainment” a disturbed mind could even think up, let alone put together. Innocent tourists are lured to a medieval- style castle turned into a hostel and are butchered by bidders who paid to enact their perversions on them after viewing their profiles on the Internet. Sick? Today, a real-life Hostel is unfolding in Ukraine.

Setting the historical context, a Fascist Junta seized power in Kiev in February, ousted the elected President, Yanukovich, after making an agreement with him to hold elections next December, and while including terrorist and Fascist elements within their ranks, started issuing anti-Russian decrees amid cries of “Death to Russians and Jews” on the streets of Kiev.

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