Lead story

Cameron sends troops to Ukraine

by our European Affairs correspondent

Anglo-American imperialism stepped up its open support for the Kiev junta this week following the announcement that 75 British military personnel will be sent to Ukraine to provide “advice and training” to beef up the puppet government army. The Americans are sending a battalion to train the Ukrainian army but neither Washington nor London is talking yet about direct involvement against the anti-fascist Novorossiyan militias in the east of the country.

The British move, which was predictably welcomed by Labour, specifically rules out combat troops but a number of MPs warned about the dangers of mission creep. Sir Edward Leigh, a maverick Tory MP who is calling for a rapprochement with Russia, warned: “The trouble with sending advisers, as the Americans found in Vietnam, and many other nations have found since, [is that] mission creep results in eventually combat troops being sent.”

Meanwhile puppet Ukrainian President Peter Poroshenko has been to Abu Dhabi for the IDEX-2015 Arms Expo and has returned from the international defence exhibition with what he claims is a bagload of weapons deals with the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates do make small arms and they have a stake in the Serbian defence industry. But they are major importers of weapons from the United States and other western countries and they would willingly act as a conduit for the imperialists if it served the interests of their venal royal family. Whether the Ukrainians can pay for them is another matter given that the Kiev regime is virtually bankrupt.

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UAF conference Standing up to fascism and racism

by New Worker correspondent

HUNDREDS of anti-fascist and anti-racist activists packed the TUC’s main conference room at its headquarters in London last Saturday for the annual conference of Unite Against Fascism.

Attendance was so high that all these sessions were packed and about 30 people left over who could not squeeze into any of them.

The first plenary session, focussing on uniting against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and fascism in Europe, required three extra rows of seating put out and still people were standing.

Speakers included Christine Buchholz, Owen Jones, writer Victoria Brittain, Ken Livingstone and CWU general secretary Billy Hayes.

Marwan Muhammed, speaking for Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), called for anti-fascism to be focussed more on the needs of its victims. He warned that many victims do not report attacks because they have no confidence that anything will happen and that little or no effort will be made to bring the attackers to justice.

He warned that the effect of racism on its victims is to totally destroy their self-image as human beings.

After lunch there were four more big discussion groups: Black lives matter; Keep racism out of the general election; Stand up to Ukip and Je ne suis pas Charlie — incitement of hatred and Islamophobia is not freedom of speech.

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Capitalist ethics

TWO FORMER foreign ministers have been disgraced for offering to take cash for favours. Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw were filmed by undercover reporters from the Telegraph and Channel Four offering to use their contacts and experience to benefit a fake Chinese company in exchange for thousands of pounds.

Rifkind, who argued for British intervention against Syria and chaired the intelligence and security committee in Parliament, claimed he had “useful access” to every British ambassador in the world. Straw, the minister in Blair’s war Cabinet that helped US imperialism invade Iraq, boasted he had worked to help change EU rules on behalf of a firm which pays him £60,000 a year.

The two grandees involved in the latest cash for access scandal have now finally departed from the political stage. Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been disowned by the Tory Party and he will leave Parliament at the next election. Jack Straw, who was retiring anyway, has been suspended from the Labour Party.

Both men claim they had broken no parliamentary rules and were doing nothing wrong. Technically this may well be true. What they were asking for is nothing compared to the tax evasion of the rich which goes on unhindered on an industrial scale.

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