National News

Cameron accused over betrayal of Kids Company

THE CHARITY Kids Company last week closed after the Government withdrew a £3 million grant awarded just the week before to tide Kids Company over a restructuring programme that the Government had insisted on.

They also insisted on the resignation of Camila Batmanghelidjh, the founder and leader of what was a growing movement addressing the increasing numbers of children and young people falling into destitution, often with serious behaviour problems resulting from traumatic childhood experiences.

The Government pulled the plug because, they say, the organisation had started to use the grant to pay staff wages, which was contrary to the purpose of the grant.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Strike at Devonport Dockyard

MEMBERS of the GMB general union employed at Babcock International in Devonport Dockyard staged another oneday strike on Friday 7th August as part of their ongoing pay dispute. This followed a breakdown in talks.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Anger as Government rushes fracking plans

GREEN campaigners last week expressed anger at plans by ministers to relax planning laws for fracking. The move comes after Lancashire County Council rejected an application by energy firm Cuadrilla to drill wells on the Fylde coast.

The company now faces a lengthy battle to appeal against the council ruling. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said the Government will issue new guidance to councils telling them to speed up hearings for hydraulic fracturing or fracking which sees water pumped into rocks at high pressure to release shale gas.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

UK Border Agency packs charter flights

OFFICIALS from the UK Border Agency are hiring charter flights to particular destinations and then packing them with deportees from the relevant countries — regardless of whether they still have an ongoing asylum appeal, according to documents leaked to the Guardian last week.

Activists said the practice of targeting specific nationalities has led the government to remove people who still have active legal claims.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

PCS concerned over future of 200 HMRC staff

THE CIVIL service union PCS has voiced concerns over the fate of 200 HMRC staff as talks on their future got under way last week.

The union was in talks with HMRC to look at every possible means to avoid redundancies following the announcement two weeks ago that the department wants to axe 200 staff.

A PCS spokesperson said: “We’re very concerned that HMRC hasn’t met its obligations under the civil service-wide agreement on the timescale and process for consultation that was set up to try to avoid redundancies.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Noisy protest on Shell’s doorstep

GREENPEACE campaigners are planning to stage a noisy and musical protest at Shell’s London headquarters in protest at the oil giant’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

A Greenpeace press release said: “Shell are in the Arctic as we speak. They’re waiting eagerly for the greenlight; then they’ll start drilling deep into the sea floor, risking huge oil spills. That’s why we’re going face to face with the bosses who’ve the power to call it all off — at Shell’s London HQ right now.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Unions condemn attack on check-off subs

UNIONS last week attacked Government proposals to end public sector unions collecting union dues directly from the salaries of union members.

PCS has labelled the plans “vindictive and unnecessary”. The extension of the attack to other unions comes after the withdrawal of the system, known as check-off, was piloted in the last 18 months in Government departments where PCS has bargaining rights.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Scottish Political News

by our Scottish Political Correspondent

THE SCOTTISH National Party’s Trade Union Group (TUG) has recently been gloating that since the Referendum it has grown from 800 to 16,000 members.

But it appears, even to the group’s secretary, that many of its members are utterly devoid of the basic principles of trade unionism.

The group’s website shows little interest in actual trade unionism. It opens with a photograph of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and includes a call to join the SNP.

At time of typing it has a single piece about the RMT’s ballot of ferry workers. The resulting strike took place in late June. Its sole objective seems to be to encourage union members to opt out of contributing to their unions’ political funds.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Celebrating the liberation of Korea

by New Worker correspondent

THE 70th anniversary of the liberation of Korea was celebrated in style last Saturday at London’s historic Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green. Friends and comrades gathered to hear all the members of the Friends of Korea committee highlight the defeat of the Japanese Empire by the guerrilla army commanded by great leader Kim Il Sung and call on the United States to sign a peace treaty with Democratic Korea and end the conflict on the Korean peninsula once and for all.

This was followed by a report on the current situation from Ambassador Hyon Hak Bong from the London embassy of the DPR Korea and general discussion. The event ended with a Korean musical interval and the informal discussion over drinks that always follows amongst friends of the Korean revolution.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Corbyn, a fighting force for change?

by Salem Nusseibeh IN RECENT months Jeremy Corbyn has been capturing a lot of media attention (and rightfully so). The ruling class in Britain and the West in general are shocked that Corbyn’s actually left wing message (this is opposed to “New Labour’s” centre-right policies) resonates with so many, especially the young. And how can it not; for too long we have played a game of “choose the same party with a different colour” in this dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, it’s time that people realised real change needs to start .

Corbyn is odd in that he represents a kind of throwback to 70s Labour, but there is a catch here for the Marxist Leninist movement in this country. It is obvious that Corbyn, no matter how left wing his views may be compared to Labour’s current policies, is not and by no means ever was communist.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Transforming Europe’s oldest Chinatown

by Song Miou A £200 MILLION project to transform Liverpool’s famous Chinatown was unveiled last month by the city’s deputy Mayor Ann O’Byrne. It represents the biggest single investment for a generation in what is Europe’s oldest Chinatown.

Project Director Antonio Garcia said the New Chinatown Project will turn the district into an international standard destination.

The “New Chinatown” scheme will see around 800 housing units including apartments and town houses built along Chinatown’s main through road, the Great George Street. Close by will be around 19,000 square metres of commercial space.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Tel Aviv anger against racism and homophobia


HUNDREDS took to the streets, filling one of Tel Aviv’s main boulevards, on Saturday night, 8th August, to protest against the recent fatal stabbing at the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade as well as the deadly arson attack in the occupied West Bank village in Duma.

The protestors gathered on Rothschild Boulevard facing the headquarters of the ruling Likud bloc, carrying signs reading: “Homophobia and racism breed the same violence.” They also chanted slogans against Likud and the Jewish Home party, often labelled as the party of the settlers.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Humanity rejects crime of first atomic bomb attack by United States

by Ivan Martínez

LAST THURSDAY, precisely at eight fifteen in the morning, an adolescent girl and a school boy from Japan rang the bell at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, to recall the exact moment when, 70 years ago, a US atomic bomb wiped out that city and in a matter of seconds killed 80,000 people, although the final number of victims rose to 200,000 due to burns, wounds and the lethal effect of nuclear radiation.

Three days after the Hiroshima nuclear massacre, the mass murder was repeated at the port of Nagasaki, which turned both bombings into the largest genocide in history, committed within a 72-hour time lapse.

There are many so called “justifications” that US politicians, scholars and military investigators have put forward over the past seven decades in an attempt to rationalise why such barbarous attacks were necessary.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Ukraine: Borotba cadre in 8th month of captivity

Union Borotba (Struggle)

OUR COMRADE, communist Andrei Sokolov, is already in his 8th month as a political prisoner of the Ukrainian junta.

His trial continues. He is accused of “forming a terrorist organisation” (article 258-3 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, 8 to 15).

Court sessions are held with numerous violations. In the first two sessions he was not even brought to the court. The trial took place by video conference from jail. Today his case was transferred to the court in Berdyansk, Zaporozhye region, under Judge O G Pakhomenko. The city is on the Azov Sea, 60 km from Mariupol, where Andrei has been imprisoned. This phase will last about two weeks. The prisoner was not driven directly, but via Zaporozhye, in 35OC heat even though he could be tried much closer!

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Classics from Britain to Vietnam


VIETNAMESE-British pianist Nguyen Bich Tra, interviewed here this week, has worked for the last seven years on a major recording project of the 19th century composer Joachim Raff’s piano compositions. The project included six solo discs and two orchestra collaborations. Her recordings were chosen as the Album of the Week by [The Independent] in March 2010 and April 2012. She returned to Vietnam to participate in the Saigon Chamber Music festival held in Ho Chi Minh City from 1st to 9th August.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Cecil the Lion: a drop in the ocean of global extinction

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

FOR THOSE of us outraged by the callous act of murder carried out by an American dentist who tortured, tracked, killed, skinned and decapitated Cecil the Lion, a deplorable act of environmental terrorism, we have some bad news from the UNO: there are many Walter Palmers lining up to pay to hunt our wildlife to extinction.

The United Nations General Assembly expressed its concern last month about the growing threat that the illegal trade in wildlife is presenting, as species after species is being hunted to extinction. The recent case of the American dentist from Minnesota who travelled to Zimbabwe, fired an arrow into a lion, tracked it for 40 hours, then shot it, had it skinned and decapitated so he could hang its head on a wall as a trophy shocked the international community. But there are many Walter Palmers — the waiting list to sign up to this type of ecological necro-terrorist activity is growing.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Portuguese election campaign about to begin

by Adrien Welsh

“ELES COMEM tudo e não deixam nada/ They eat everything and leave nothing” says the song by Zeca Afonso. The singer-songwriter also wrote Grândola Vila Morena, which became an anthem during the Portuguese April Revolution. These words are probably the best description of the situation the people of Portugal are currently living in. The title of this song is Os Vampiros (The Vampires), referring at the time it was written to the capitalists who kept Portugal under the rule of a fascist dictatorship until 1974.

Although the country was able to overthrow the Estado Novo regime and adopt one of the most progressive constitutions in Europe (thanks largely to the Communists), Portugal, along with Greece, is one of the European countries most affected by austerity programmes imposed by the Troika. The European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are the new vampires who “eat everything but don’t leave anything” for the people.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Mozambique salutes life-saving Chinese doctors

by Li Xiaopeng, Yu Shuaishuai and Leovigildo Pedro

MOZAMBIQUE’S health authority has hailed the African country’s medical cooperation with China as “one of the best.”

For the past 40 years after Mozambique’s independence from Portugal in 1975, China has dispatched over 300 medical workers to assist the southern African country’s health service as part of the two countries’ medical cooperation.

Interviewed in the capital, Maputo, Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Health Mouzinho Saide said Chinese doctors’ reputation in Mozambique is “remarkable” when it comes to saving lives.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]