National News

Benefit cap will put another 40,000 children in poverty

THE GOVERNMENT’S decision to lower the welfare benefit cap — a limit on the total amount of benefits a family can receive, including housing benefit — from £26,000 to £23,000 will plunge another 40,000 children into serious poverty, according to an internal Government memo leaked to the Guardian newspaper last week.

This 40,000 will be in addition to the 50,000 already plunged into poverty by the previous cap level. The main impact will be on families who have at least one working parent but on low wages.

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Government targets ‘ripoff’ NHS temp agencies

THE GOVERNMENT last week announced measures to clamp down on “rip-off” staffing agencies used by the NHS to plug gaps in nursing and doctor rotas.

It will set a maximum hourly rate for temps and cap the amount trusts that are struggling financially can spend.

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Steel workers vote for strike

STEEL workers employed by the giant Tata company last week voted for the first national steel strike in 30 years by nine to one in a dispute over pensions.

The Community union, the biggest in Tata, announced its result of a ballot on industrial action on Friday. The dispute is over proposed changes to pensions which could see employees retiring at 65 instead of 60.

GMB and Ucatt members also voted to strike. Unite members are still voting. Unite is balloting until next Friday.

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Blacklisted workers demand inquiry into police collusion

TRADE union activists who have been blacklisted by major construction companies are calling for a public inquiry in the process of being set up to probe the collusion between company directors and covert police officers.

The workers are stepping up their campaign to reveal the extent of secret police surveillance operations against them.

Covert police officers are alleged to have passed information they gathered on the trade unionists to multi-national firms who maintained a secret and unlawful blacklist.

The blacklisted workers want the allegations examined by the public inquiry that has been established into the police’s use of undercover officers to infiltrate hundreds of political groups.

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Fascist terrorist jailed

DARREN Fletcher, a Wolverhampton neo-Nazi who threatened to blow up his local newspaper the Express and Star was sentenced to prison at Wolverhampton Crown Court for eight months for posting threats on Facebook.

In doing so he breached the terms of Criminal Anti- Social Behaviour Order imposed on him along with a 12-month prison term in January last year for trying to stir-up racial hatred, a judge heard.

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Big corporate tax cuts

THE GOVERNMENT is planning to adjust the Tax Acts of 1988 and 2009 for the benefit of multinational corporations.

Currently tax law ensures that companies based here, with branches in other countries, don’t get taxed twice on the same money. They have to pay only the difference between our rate and that of the other country.

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Scottish News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

AFTER THE general election, parliamentary politics at Westminster resumes. The allegedly radical nationalists turned up on the green benches sporting white roses. This is a symbol of the reactionary Jacobites who in the 18th eighteenth century were defeated in their attempts from restoring a French-backed Catholic absolutist monarchy on Great Britain.

One wonders if the SNP are pig ignorant about the fact that the Scots played a vital important role in defeating these reactionary aristocrats or if they are simply revealing their true colours.

The extra powers proposed in the Queen’s Speech as promised in the Smith Commission have naturally been denounced by the SNP as insufficient.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney lamented that the British government would retain a veto on a number of welfare and employment issues.

But the SNP are also in a panic about the fact that some of their longstanding demands could actually be conceded. They are absolutely terrified about getting their long-sought Full Fiscal Autonomy, which would make Holyrood fully responsible for raising all its revenue.

As this would either mean large tax increases or massive cuts the nationalists must be hoping that David Cameron does not heed the advice of certain English Tories and give them enough rope.

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The Voice winner barred from his own party

JERMAIN JACKMAN, who won BBC One’s singing competition The Voice, was barred from his own after-show party by a club doorman.

Jackman came forward after hearing of black students being barred from a club in Leicester due to their race; he was one of many who contacted the BBC to say similar things had happened to them.

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GMB calls on MPs to give up outside paid jobs

THE GMB general union has demanded that MPs give up outside paid jobs as the Independent Standards Authority has proposed a 10 per cent pay rise for MPs.

GMB commented on the proposed £7,000 pay rise for MPs, after the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority which sets their salaries, restated its intention to increase their pay by 10 per cent to £74,000.

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Novorossiya Socialism is the main goal in our struggle

by Theo Russell

SUPPORTERS of Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU) met at the Marx Memorial Library in central London last week to hear a report from members of an international delegation to the Donbas, organised by the Italian punk/skinhead group Banda Bassotti.

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Posadas book launch

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends returned to the Marx Memorial Library last weekend to discuss the problems of revolutionary struggle in the Third World in a seminar called by the Posadist movement as part of the launch of a book by Juan Posadas, the Argentinian Trotskyist union leader who later developed the distinct Marxist theories that now bear his name.

Marie Lynam opened on the current relevance of Revolutionary State and Transition to Socialism, an analysis of the post-1945 anti-imperialist struggle that broke the chains of the old colonialist empires, first published in 1969, to the advances in Venezuela and other Latin American countries and the struggle against imperialism in Novorossiya.

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International News

Palestinian workers face abuse in Israel

Communist Party of Israel

HIGH unemployment in the West Bank has forced tens of thousands of Palestinians to seek jobs in Israel, where they face abuse, inadequate pay, and poor working conditions, Palestinian officials say. “In 2014, we documented hundreds of Israeli violations against Palestinian workers in Israel,” Shaher Saad, head of the Palestinian Workers’ Union (PWU), said.

“We are following up on dozens of cases in Israeli courts of abuse by Israeli employers, related to work-related injuries, compensation, and endof- service benefits,” he added. On Thursday 28th May, the International Labour Organisat ion (ILO) released its annual report on the situation of workers from the occupied Palestinian territories. The report found that up to a third of the estimated 107,000 Palestinians working within the Israeli economy “work in unregulated conditions which can be precarious and exploitative”.

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War leaves silent scars

by Osama Radi and Emad Drimly

THE MOTHER of Rahaf Habib, a four-year-old girl from Gaza, shed tears of joy when she heard her daughter uttering the word “Mama” for the first time after long time of speech difficulties.

Over the past couple of months, Um Rahaf has been taking her daughter almost every day to the “Atfaluna” (our children) Society to treat her speech problems.

Rahaf’s parents were very much worried for her because she still could not speak a word on reaching four years old. However, when they took Rahaf for medical check-ups, the doctor did not find any physical problem. It was a psychological, doctors say. Nahed Yaghi, an expert at Atfaluna, said Rahaf is one of hundreds of cases in Gaza who are still unable to communicate normally.

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Who is Simon Trinidad?

by Ivan Martínez

RICARDO Palmera, also known as Simon Trinidad, has spent 11 years in complete isolation in a US “supermax” prison — a violation of the United Nations Convention against torture.

Your opinion of Trinidad, one of the leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC), will be different depending on where you’re from, your background and your politics.

For some he’s a guerrilla hero, who has been at the forefront of brokering peace and scaling back Colombia’s five-decade internal conflict. For others he is an enemy of the state: a dangerous drug trafficker, worthy of a high security cell.

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Understanding the corruption scandal in FIFA

by Antonio Carlos Lacerda

FIFA, the supreme body of world football, is the subject of various investigations, one from the United States and one from Switzerland. Nine leaders of FIFA were arrested in Switzerland this week after being charged with suspicion of corruption involving an amount of up to $150 million.

Hours later, Swiss authorities announced that they would do their own research on the process of choosing of host countries for World Cups: 2018 (Qatar) and 2022 (Russia). The Swiss police entered the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, and seized electronic evidence.

Why is this important?

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Texas Rising: an unhistorical TV series hides slave-owning autocracy

by Gene Clancy

ON 25TH MAY a highly promoted TV mini-series with many big-name stars premiered on the cable network History Channel, which is co-owned by two giant corporations, Hearst and Disney.

According to the title of the already published companion book by Stephen L Moore, Texas Rising is “the epic true story of the Lone Star Republic and the rise of the Texas Rangers”.

The five-part TV series purports, through a series of stories, or vignettes about some of the main characters in the seditious revolt, to cover the Anglo Texas war against Mexico, from the fall of the Alamo to the battle of San Jacinto, which led to the establishment of the brief Republic of Texas before it was annexed by the United States.

According to a New York Times review, the so-called adventure drama is filled with stereotypical characters in which “the good guys” — the Anglo Texans — are good, and “the bad guys” — Native peoples and Mexicans, including the Mexican president and General Antonio López de Santa Anna — are “repellent caricature (s)” who exist to be hated. A trailer shows Mexican soldiers massacring and abusing civilians and focuses on the killing and kidnapping of Black people.

This version of the story is not just a different narrative or some sort of “dramatic licence”; it is an outright lie, and a racist falsification of the historical facts.

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A fake Caliphate perfect US strategic asset

by Pepe Escobar

THE “CIVILISED” West dispenses massive crocodile tears as Ancient Silk Road pearl of the desert Palmyra falls to ISIS. Yet neither US President Barack Obama nor any of the 22 heavily weaponised nations/ vassals, theoretically part of his coalition of the willing, sent at least a single Hellfire missile-equipped drone against the black-clad fake Caliphate goons.

A case can still be made that the “civilised” West would rather deal with a medieval, intolerant Wahhabi-drenched Caliphate than with a secular Arab “dictator” who refuses to prostrate himself in the altar of western neoliberalism.

In par a l l e l the case has already been made that those who arm the beheaders and throat-slitters of Al-Nusra, also known as al-Qaeda in Syria, or ISIS are essentially Saudis — the largest importers of weapons on the planet — who buy mostly from the US but also from France and the UK.

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The hypocrisy of capitalism

by Rob Gowland

CAPITALISM and hypocrisy are almost synonymous, they so often go together. Whether it’s the farcically spurious “choices” offered by bourgeois democracy being lauded as the ultimate expression of genuine democracy, or politicians representing corporate interests cutting the already meagre benefits for the poor while simultaneously cutting corporate tax rates even as they proclaim that “the economy can’t afford” to go on paying pensions, hypocrisy is inherent within the system.

As the leading capitalist power, the USA practices hypocrisy on a global scale. So do all the imperialist governments, of course, but Washington’s hypocrisy is so blatant it approaches the sublime. Apparently blinded by their own arrogance — and the undoubted potency of their weapons arsenal — US leaders seem oblivious to the glaring contradictions between their words and their deeds. They routinely pose as the champions of freedom, and yet they train some of the most repressive and barbaric “security” forces on the planet. They talk a great deal about defending peace, but they pursue a doctrine of “continuous war” and wage wars virtually without ceasing.

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