National News

New evidence that ‘benefit scrounger’ rhetoric sparks hate crime

THERE is new evidence that Government and media rhetoric against “benefit scroungers” is spurring a rising tide of hate crime against people with disabilities, according to a pioneering survey by a campaigning journalist, Katharine Quarmby, which has been reported by the Disability News Service.

More one in six of those disabled people who described in detail in the survey how they had been verbally or physically assaulted (11 of 61) said their attackers had called them “scroungers”, told them to get off benefits, or accused them of being too lazy to work.

When asked about the motivation for the attacks, one disabled person said: “Most of the abuse is from strangers, who now think that everyone who is disabled is lying about being ill. Because this Government is spreading so many lies, regarding us.”

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Remembering Laurence Housman: founder of Housmans Bookshop and Peace News

by Theo Russell

PEACE activists and supporters of Housmans Bookshop gathered at the shop in London’s Kings Cross last Wednesday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of pacifist, socialist, campaigner for women’s suffrage, writer, playwright, and art nouveau illustrator, Laurence Housman, who described himself as “a committed socialist and pacifist”.

Housman was born into a brilliant family — the poet A E Housman, author of A Shropshire Lad, was one of his brothers — and until his death in 1959 he was a household name in Britain and famous for his BBC radio broadcasts in the 1940s.

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Barristers to strike over legal aid cuts

BARRISTERS in England are set to join solicitors in taking strike action in protest at cuts to the legal aid system.

Criminal barristers will begin refusing to take on Crown Court cases, in solidarity with criminal defence solicitors, who now face cuts of 8.75 per cent to their fees.

Solicitors have already been striking since 1st July when the cuts came in — initially refusing all new work in both magistrates and Crown Courts, and have staged a series of protests outside courts nationwide.

They claim the cuts, which make it harder for small, high street law firms to survive, will make it more difficult to access justice, creating a two-tier system that favours the better off.

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Call for inquiry into Islamophobic paramilitary site

A GROUP of six Labour MPs has called for an investigation into an extreme right-wing website “described as a training manual for anti-Muslim paramilitaries” while fears that a planned exhibition of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in London is designed to incite Islamist violence.

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Tories allow use of banned pesticides

THE GOVERNMENT last week gave permission for farmers to use pesticides that are banned throughout the European Union because they are linked to serious harm to bee populations.

The economic damage from loss of food production if bee numbers are significantly reduced would be enormous.

Opponents called the decision “scandalous” and criticised the Government’s secrecy, which has included gagging its own expert advisers.

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London rents unaffordable

PRIVATE sector rents in every London postcode are now “unaffordable” for low paid workers, including those on the Living Wage scale, according to a new survey.

Figures published last week show that workers paid £9.15 an hour, the “living wage” rate, have to spend more than half their income on rent.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political correspondent

“I WARN you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old” Neil Kinnock’s warning about the danger of a Tory victory on the eve of the 1992 General Election can apply just as much to Scotland under the SNP government.

At Westminster the SNP ended the parliamentary session with the stunt of occupying the Labour benches. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon continue their long running battle for control of SNP policy.

Meantime everything the SNP actually control in Scotland goes down the pan. The Royal College of General Practitioners has highlighted yet another failing of the National Health Service in Scotland.

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Kurdish anger at Turkey and ISIS

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON’S Kurdish community has been taking to the streets with a string of protest rallies beginning last Tuesday in protest against the ISIS suicide bombing at Suruc that killed 32 young Kurds on their way to bolster the defences of Kobani in the Kurdish region of northern Syria.

They are also protesting at the response by the Turkish government, which is now bombing both ISIS and Kurdish anti-ISIS resistance strongholds and equating the Kurdish resistance as being equally terrorist with ISIS.

In reality the Turkish government has long been aiding and abetting ISIS in order to try to undermine the Syrian government of Bashir Assad, allowing the extreme right-wing Islamist terrorists free passage through Turkish borders and secretly arming them.

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Celebrating Korea’s victory over imperialism

by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS and comrades marked the 62nd anniversary of the Korean people’s victory in the Fatherland Liberation War in London last month. The meeting, called by the Korean Friendship Association and the Juché Idea Study Group heard an opening from Dermot Hudson of the KFA and a report-back of a recent trip to the DPR Korea by Shaun Pickford.

Dermot Hudson said: “The Fatherland Liberation War referred to as the Korean War in the imperialist countries was provoked by the US imperialists on 25th June 1950 and lasted three years. It was a most intense war, one of the fiercest wars of the 20th century. Indeed it was a third world war in miniature in which the two systems in the world, capitalism and socialism fought each other.

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Party Day in London

by New Worker correspondent

WE CELEBRATED the founding of the New Communist Party in the usual way at a reception at the Party Centre on 11th July. Friends and comrades, old and new, joined NCP leader Andy Brooks and Party Chair Alex Kempshall in celebrating the 38th anniversary of the NCP, which was established under the leadership of Sid French in July 1977.

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International News

Turkish jets bomb Kurds

by Ivan Martínez

PROTESTERS in Turkey have held fresh rallies in the two major cities of Istanbul and Ankara, venting their anger at the government for its bombing campaign against purported ISIS positions in Syria and those of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq.

The demonstrations were held in the two cities on Sunday, when many of the demonstrators accused Turkish authorities of collaborating with ISIS, a claim that Ankara denies.

Clashes erupted between demonstrators and police in Istanbul after the protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police forces, who responded by using water cannons and firing tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse the crowd.

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Potsdam Declaration is still valid today


SEVENTY years ago, when the United States, Great Britain and China released the Potsdam Declaration on 26 July 1945 ordering the unconditional surrender of Japan, the content of the document was not taken seriously enough in Japan. Nor is it today.

The document is largely unmentioned in Japan, where Shinzo Abe and die-hard rightists are colluding to rewrite their country’s pacifist Constitution and unfetter the country’s long-suppressed military potential.

This should not be the case because it holds the key to resolving many of the troubles haunting present-day East Asia.

The document is explicit about the nature of the Japan-launched war and demands the eradication of militarism, the trial of war criminals, and the establishment of a “peacefully inclined and responsible government” in Japan.

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Here we go again?


MONTHS after sightings of Russian submarines turned out to be false, Sweden seems to be at it again. On Monday, a Swedish team of underwater explorers claimed to have discovered the wreck of a mysterious mini-sub within Swedish waters. The culprit? It must be Russia.

Last October, authorities in Stockholm claimed to have shocking evidence of a covert Russian incursion. A grainy photo taken along the Swedish coast appeared to show two vessels on the horizon. With no other evidence to go on, the government decided the objects were Russian submarines. Unsurprisingly, these claims were disproved only months later.

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Unspoken story of Indian Holocaust


WHILE London has rushed to point the accusing finger at Serbs for the Srebrenica tragedy, the British have apparently forgotten their own shameful history of the genocide of the people of India, Rakesh Krishnan Simha told Sputnik.

While British policy makers are expressing their “righteous” anger over Russia’s decision to veto their resolution on the Srebrenica “genocide” of 1995 discussed by the UN Security Council earlier this month, London should obviously look in the mirror and recall its own colonial past, New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst Rakesh Krishnan Simha said.

There is no need to delve deep into history, the analyst noted, referring to the infamous Bengal Famine of 1943- 44 that can be classified as the greatest disaster in the subcontinent in the 20th century.

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Greece: victim of German imperialism — again

by Rob Gowland

AFTER five years of crippling austerity that has left Greece’s economy in ruins, and despite an overwhelming anti-austerity vote in a referendum in early July, the country’s supposedly “left-wing” government submitted to a raft of outrageous economic demands imposed on it by the European central banks and the governments of the European Union. The so-called reforms include requirements that the Greek parliament pass new severe austerity laws within days to raise taxes, privatise public assets and cut back on pensions.

The “deal” was welcomed by capitalist governments everywhere, ostensibly because it saved the Eurozone and prevented Greece from descending into chaos. In reality it demonstrated once again that under conditions of imperialism, banks not governments control national economies. It also did something else: it marked a new stage in German imperialism’s unceasing efforts to expand its power and influence.

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China: rising wages and worker militancy

by Deirdre Griswold

WORKERS’ wages in the United States have been stagnant since the 1970s in terms of purchasing power. It is common knowledge that it now takes several wage earners in most working-class families just to meet basic expenses. Meanwhile low-wage workers are on the move, fighting hard for a higher minimum wage and union representation.

Wages in many countries in Europe are also in the doldrums. And the worldwide capitalist economic crisis that started in 2008 has devastated the economies of countries caught in strangling imperialist debt, from Greece to much of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

But there is one bright spot for workers’ wages — although you would hardly know it if you rely on the commercial media for your information. It is China.

According to all accounts factory wages in China, which of course started at a much lower level than wages in advanced capitalist countries, have more than tripled in the last decade. Some say urban blue-collar wages have gone up five times in that period. This is not what is happening in other developing countries.

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