National News

Support Petrit Mihaj — sacked for union activity

THE RMT transport union is fighting the French-based company Sodexo for the reinstatement of union activist Petrit Mihaj who has not been given his job back in spite of winning an Employment Tribunal ruling in August that he had been unfairly dismissed.

Sodexo is a multinational company that operates privatised prisons, NHS pathology services and school kitchens, and provides catering at US military bases in America and around the world. But it has a reputation for operating racist employment policies wherever it goes which have sparked disputes around the globe. Mostly it settles these out of court.

At the Colchester offices of the Department of Defence one black employee complained she was told that certain rooms and corridors in the personnel department were out of bounds because they were for “whites only”. This she says was dismissed by executives as “banter”.

In other instances, it was claimed that black staff felt they were being tarred as “lazy”. The company is also accused, by at least one employee, of “creating and inciting a hostile climate of distrust against difference”.

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Watchdogs warn of nuclear ‘ticking time bomb’

THE PRIVATE firm that runs Trident nuclear facilities for Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been heavily criticised by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency (EA) for inadequate management of hazardous waste.

The consortium in question, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), produces nuclear weapons for the MoD and has bases at Aldermaston in Berkshire.

Following its failure to ensure key staff positions were filled in order to monitor vital waste disposal practices, the AWE was sent an official warning by the Environment Agency, the Guardian revealed on Friday.

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Let up on exam pressure

A GROUP of more than 400 parents, teachers and children’s writers last week sent a letter to the [Independent] expressing concern over increasing pressure exerted on schoolchildren to perform in exams.

The signatories — who include the author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, as well as child development expert Sue Palmer and parenting writer Sue Cowley — say they are “increasingly concerned at the pressure that is being placed on our children”, especially by the testing regime.

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Ex-police officer on Azelle Rodney murder charge

ANTHONY Long, a former Metropolitan Police firearms officer, is due to appear in court next June on a charge of murdering black youth Azelle Rodney in April 2005.

Long, whose address was given as the Police Federation Headquarters in Leatherhead, Surrey, did not attend the hearing before Mr Justice Sweeney.

He is accused of killing Rodney, who was shot by police in Edgware, north London in April 2005. Rodney, 24, died after officers stopped the car he was travelling in with two other men, fearing that they were armed and on their way to rob Colombian drug dealers.

He was hit six times, once each in the arm and back, and fatally four times in the head. The Crown Prosecution Service announced it planned to charge the officer in July, after reviewing new evidence following the outcome of a public inquiry into Mr Rodney’s death.

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RMT confirms 48-hours Tube strike

TUBE UNION RMT today confirmed 48 hours of strike action on London Underground later this month in the continuing fight against the Mayor’s onslaught on jobs, working conditions, safety and the threat to services including the wholesale closure of ticket offices.

The vast majority of RMT tube members have been instructed not to book on for any shifts between 21.00 hrs on 14th October through to 20.59 hrs on the 16th October. Fleet members have been instructed not to book on for any shifts between 18.29 hrs on the 14th October through to 18.28 hrs on the 16th October.

The latest phase of action in RMT’s “Every Job Matters” campaign follows a mass meeting of reps that took place late last week to take a report-back from the on-going talks with London Underground.

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RMT blasts First Great Western franchise stitch-up

RAIL UNION RMT today slammed reports that First Great Western are about to receive yet another five-year, uncontested extension to their current franchise as a “stitch-up which shows that the chaos of rail franchising is continuing to deliver massive rewards for failure to train companies whose only role in life is to rob every penny piece that they can from Britain’s privatised rail network.”

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Begg ‘tried to negotiate for Alan Henning’

MOAZZAM Begg, who was held without charge or trial for many years at the notorious United States concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, last week told the press that he had tried to negotiate the release of Alan Henning from the ISIS terror group.

But Begg was re-arrested on charges of travelling to Syria to support terrorism and released last week but prevented from pursuing his efforts for the release of Henning, who was murdered by his captors last week.

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Scottish News After the Referendum

From our Scottish Political Correspondent

“AFTER the Referendum: What Now for the Labour Movement?” was the title of the Scottish Morning Star Campaign’s Autumn Conference held at the Glasgow headquarters of the Sottish Trades Union Congress last Sunday.

Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for the Lothians opened the conference by denouncing the silence of the nationalist left, both within the SNP and in organisations such as the Scottish Socialist Party for their uncritical acceptance of SNP government policies on matters such as the formation of an armed national police force and cuts to the Further Education budget.

He said left campaigners for a Yes vote now need to pressurise the SNP government to implement redistributive policies that are already within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

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Children to march on Parliament

A TEAM of young people from some of the most deprived parts of England’s North-East region have created a manifesto to end child poverty.

Children from some of the most deprived parts of the North will storm the corridors of power in a bid to end child poverty.

A 38-strong national cohort of children, which is more than half made up of children from this region, has drawn up a manifesto to launch in Parliament on 15th October.

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Tories in £1.5 billion NHS sell-off scandal

A NEW investigation by the giant union Unite has found that since 2012 a scandalous £1.5 billion has left the NHS and gone into the pockets of just 15 private companies linked to 24 Tory MPs and Lords who voted for the Health and Social Care Act.

Many of these MPs and Lords have benefited from the combination of their links to private healthcare and the sell-off of the NHS.

The 24 Tory MPs and Lords, include: The Prime Minister David Cameron, Andrew Lansley, Jo, Johnson, William Hague and Nadhim Zahawi, Nick Herbert, David Ruffley, Chris Skidmore, Mark Simmonds, Nicholas Soames, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Kwasi Kwarteng, Lord Blackwell, Baron Higgins of Worthing, Baroness Cumberledge, Baroness Wheatcroft, Baroness Bottomley, Lord Freeman, Lord Popat, Lord Patten, Lord Glendonbrook, Lord Hunt and Baroness James of Holland Park.

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Cor Cochion takes on Barclays

by Ray Davies COR COCHION (Cardiff Reds Choir) and CND Cymru joined the Global Day of Action against Drones last Saturday. We were determined to expose the criminality of banks like Barclays, who rake in profits from financing the machinery of death.

We formed a musical picket line outside Barclays Bank in Cardiff and leafleted customers. We told them that Barclays has the blood on their hands of thousands of innocent civilians.

Barclays invests more in the global arms trade than any other British bank. They are the only bank with major dealings with Israel. The fact that Israel is breaking international law on a massive scale cuts no ice with Barclays. During the Anti-Apartheid campaign in South Africa 30 years ago, the bank was singled out as one of the main investors in Apartheid.

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Communists remember Cable Street

Anby New Worker correspondent

LONDON communists joined comrades from Greece and Italy at the Cable Street mural on Saturday to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the battle that stopped the fascists in their tracks in 1936.

Hundreds of thousands of anti-fascists took to the streets of London’s East End on Sunday October 4th 1936 to stop Sir Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts marching through a predominantly Jewish part of East London.

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Korean communists’ day of glory

by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS of Korea met last Sunday to celebrate the formation of the Workers Party of Korea at a social meeting at the John Buckle Centre in south London.

The WPK was founded on 10th October 1945 by great leader Kim Il Sung. Since its birth the WPK has led the Korean revolution and socialist construction, performing tremendous feats. Under the guidance of the respected leader Kim Jong Un, the WPK is now leading the drive to build a thriving and impregnable socialist country.

At the meeting the panel, which included New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks, Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), general secretary Michael Chant, Yu Kwang Song from the DPR Korea embassy in London and John Rainsborough from the Korean Friendship Association, all spoke about the role of the WPK in the world communist movement and the significance of the Juché Idea in the modern world.

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Odessa massacre will not be forgotten

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and progressives in London came to Marx House in Clerkenwell for an exhibition to mark six months since the massacre by fire of anti-fascists and trade unionists who were sheltering in the Trade Union House from violent pro-Kiev Nazi thugs in May this year.

The Nazis secured the doors and then pelted the building with Molotov cocktails. At least 48 young people died in the fire that engulfed the building. Police stood by and did nothing.

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International News

For a strong European communist movement!

by New Worker correspondent

EUROPEAN communists met in Belgium last week to co-ordinate their campaigns against Nato and the European Union in the struggle for peace and socialism across the continent. Nineteen parties including the New Communist Party of Britain took part in the meeting of the Communist and Workers Parties of Europe Initiative at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Giorgos Marinos, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), made the introductory speech to the plenum of the European Communist Initiative, opening a debate that concluded with the formation of an action plan for the strengthening of the people’s struggle against the EU and Nato and countering the bourgeois offensive against the working class throughout Europe.

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Firmly safeguarding the rule of law in Hong Kong

People’s Daily (Beijing)

DEMOCRACY and the rule of law are interdependent, and a democracy without the rule of law will only bring havoc, says a commentary in Saturday’s [People’s Daily].

In recent days protests have been staged in Hong Kong in the name of seeking “real universal suffrage,” causing traffic jams, fewer tourists, the stock market plunging and the suspension of schools and stores.

“All these chaotic scenes have caused worries and irritation among Hong Kong citizens,” says the commentary on the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China. According to the article, the so-called “Occupy Central” protests are aiming to realise political intentions that violate Hong Kong’s Basic Law through unlawful means, and however the organisers and instigators labelled such acts as “peaceful” or “nonviolent,” they cannot change the illegal nature of the protests.

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Venezuelan Socialist Party Legislator Assassinated

Venezuela Solidarity

ROBERT Serra (27), a legislator of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and the National Assembly’s (AN) youngest parliamentarian, was found dead in his Caracas home yesterday.

Authorities have confirmed that Serra and his partner Maria Herrera had been murdered in their residence. According to daily newspaper Ultimas Noticias, unofficial reports say that Serra’s body showed signs of torture before he was killed.

The minister of interior affairs, Miguel Rodriguez Torres, informed state television VTV last night that an investigation had been launched into the murders.

“They were horribly assassinated in their house...a motive still hasn’t been determined, what we can assure is that there is a specialised team at the site to investigate who is responsible for this act,” he stated, while asking PSUV members to “remain calm”.

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Ukraine: neo-nazis leave behind mass graves

by Greg Butterfield

FOUR mass graves have been discovered around Nyzhnia Krynka village, near the town of Makeeva in the Donetsk People’s Republic. The latest one came to light on September.

The graves were uncovered by the Donetsk people’s militias based on tips from local residents. Nyzhnia Krynka was recently liberated from the Azov Battalion of the National Guard, a unit serving the Ukrainian junta of neo-liberal politicians, oligarchs and neo-Nazis.

“Another grave was discovered,” Donetsk First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin said. “How many victims and how they died will be established during the exhumation.”

Earlier the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe, co-sponsor with Russia of a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and the independent Donbass republics, confirmed the existence of three mass graves, including two in an abandoned mine and one in the village.

International experts from France and Russia are examining these sites, first uncovered on 23rd September two days after Kiev’s forces withdrew.

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Features

Afghanistan and endless war

by Rob Gowland

IN APRIL 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), the previously underground Marxist-Leninist organisation in the country, led a popular uprising against the semi-feudal monarchy and the corrupt pseudo-democratic bourgeois regime that supported it. Known as the Saur Revolution, this event saw thousands of political prisoners freed from the previous regime’s jails. Even Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, welcomed the overthrow of the Daoud Khan regime.

Outside Kabul, however, the feudal beys and their hangers on saw the new regime as a direct threat to their privileges and especially to their domination of the land. US and British intelligence services were quick to seek them out. (British Intelligence had a long history of involvement in Afghanistan, dating back to the 1930s and the involvement of Lawrence of Arabia — under his pseudonym “Aircraftsman Brown”).

The anti-democratic regime in Pakistan supported the counter- revolutionary elements in Afghanistan with the help of the USA and Saudi Arabia. Between them, the US and Saudi Arabia provided the counter-revolutionary forces (the so-called mujahideen) with an estimated US$6 billion to US$40 billion worth of cash and weapons, which included over 2,000 Stinger surface-toair missiles.

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Unemployment: Mirror of a failed system

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

ANY SOCIAL system that does not provide for the needs of its citizens is flawed. Any social system that endemically fails to cater for the needs of its citizens, which creates rates of youth employment reaching 40 per cent, which fails to reintegrate unemployed workers is not only flawed, but can only be described as a failure.

Welcome to the corporatist system, which derides the socialist model as being obsolete and unworkable. If unworkable is providing education, healthcare and housing for free, providing free or heavily subsidised public utilities and guaranteed employment, meaning an unemployment rate of zero, then how do we describe a system that has turned education and healthcare into a business, to the point where an astonishing number of people cannot afford regular dental treatment, to the point where growing numbers of young people come out of schools semi-literate?

What do we call a system which refuses to give 100 per cent mortgages to first-time home buyers, making it virtually impossible for them to get on the housing ladder, what do we call a system in which job security is a thing of the past?

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