National News

Tories quake as masses march in Manchester

MORE THAN 60,000 protesters from all over Britain descended on Manchester last Sunday to protest outside the Conservative annual conference against Tory austerity policies.

The rally, organised by the TUC, included all the major unions and many of the smaller ones, along with campaign groups against war, against fracking, steel workers from the mothballed SSI plant in Redcar, protesters against the invidious TTIP trade agreement, those against the Bedroom Tax and against cuts in general — in wages, in benefits and in the social wage.

Amongst those represented was a large contingent, many in wheelchairs, from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) — an organisation celebrating its fifth birthday.

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Ambulances called to workers at zero-hours warehouse 76 times

AMBULANCES and paramedic cars have been called out 76 times in two years to the headquarters and distribution centre of retailers Sports Direct at Shirebrook in Derbyshire, where workers are on zero-hours contracts and are reported to be afraid to take a day off when they are ill.

In 36 cases the ambulance services were called to attend “life-threatening illnesses”, including chest pains, breathing problems, convulsions and strokes. A further seven calls for ambulances were made but cancelled.

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Virgin care centre receptionist leaves woman to die in agony

MADHUMITA Mandal, aged 30, died in agony from multiple organ failure after an unqualified receptionist at the Virgin Care centre at Croydon University Hospital thought the woman was “not that sick”. Mrs Mandal was in fact suffering from a ruptured ovarian cyst and died four days later.

The tragedy has exposed the issue of private healthcare providers in the NHS using non-clinical staff to triage patients — and their refusal to learn from such tragedy when it risks eating into profit margins.

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PCS agreement in National Gallery strike

MEMBERS of the civil service union PCS employed at the National Gallery last Friday voted unanimously to return to work after reaching an agreement in the long-running fight against job cuts and the victimisation of PCS rep Candy Udwin. The strikers had taken 110 days on strike since February.

They opposed the privatisation of the gallery’s visitor services staff and regret they have been unable to prevent it going ahead.

But they are pleased to have reached an agreement with the gallery and contractor Securitas that would mean protection of terms and conditions and a return to work for senior rep Candy Udwin.

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Arctic Convoy veterans visit Sevastopol

THREE British veterans of the Second World War Arctic convoys arrived in the key Crimean port city of Sevastopol on Tuesday despite an earlier warning from the Foreign Office, which refuses to recognise the Crimean people’s decision to return their country to being part of Russia.

During the trip, which is part of their week-long visit to the Black Sea Peninsula, the veterans are visiting the memorial places of the Crimean War (1853-1856) and the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) and are meeting with the city governor Sergey Menaylo.

The travellers will also visit the capital Simferopol, Livadia Palace — location of the 1945 Yalta conference — and meet Russian veterans and sailors.

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Tories to axe half of NHS beds?

DAVID Prior, a senior Tory who chairs the Care Quality Commission, last week privately suggested that 50 per cent of NHS beds could be axed. Lord Prior, who is also now NHS Productivity Minister, emailed a consultancy firm after it paid for him to tour private health facilities in the US.

His remark fuels fears the Tories are intent on privatisation. More than 13,000 beds have already gone since David Cameron became Prime Minister — and the latest revelation will confirm that the Tories are intent on privatising the health service.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political correspondent

“REDEVELOPING Class Politics” was the title of the Scottish Morning Star Campaign Committee’s Autumn Conference held at the STUC in Glasgow on Sunday.

Much of the discussion focussed on the Trade Union Bill presently going through Parliament. Caroline Jones of the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) described it as: “Thatcher’s unfinished business,” which went further in attacking the trade unions than she herself felt safe to do.

She refuted backroom TUC complaints that the IER’s slogan “Kill the Bill” was unsuitable and stressed that it has to be opposed outright rather than seeking minor modifications as the Bill goes through the Commons and Lords.

The Bill is particularly dangerous because the numerous petty restrictions will prevent trade unions taking action and reduce them to collective begging. It was observed from the floor that the only positive feature of Bill is that it does not prescribe transportation to Australia for joining a union. There is also a real danger that Tory benefit cuts will result in people being forced to become blacklegs as the Bill will permit the use of agency staff to break a strike.

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Salute the Workers’ Party of Korea!

by New Worker Correspondent

KOREAN solidarity activists celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea last Saturday at a meeting organised by Juche Idea Study Group and the Korean Friendship Association (KFA). New Communist Party comrades, including general secretary Andy Brooks and Central Committee member Daphne Liddle, joined supporters of the Korean revolution in marking this important date in the Korean calendar at a hall in central London last weekend.

Keynote speakers Dermot Hudson, Shaun Pickford and Thae Yong Ho from the London embassy of the DPR Korea, outlined the fighting history of the Korean communist movement supported by others including NCP leader Andy Brooks, Alex Meads and David Munoz on different aspects of the Korean revolution.

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Cable Street remembered

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON comrades joined communists from Greece and Italy at the Cable Street mural on Sunday to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the East End 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 4th October 1936 to stop Sir Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts marching through a predominantly Jewish part of East London.

On the day some 3,000 Blackshirts and thousands of police were met by a hostile crowd who had erected barricades to stop the fascists marching. After hours of clashes with the police and many arrests the police told Mosley the march would have to be abandoned.

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International News

Gerry Adams in Havana

by Mark Moloney IRELAND’s Hunger Strikers were remembered in a ceremony in Havana last week at which Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams praised the leadership shown by the Cuban and US governments in moving towards an end to decades of hostility between the two countries.

Adams, who had officially unveiled the memorial back in 2001 to mark the 20th anniversary of 1981 Hunger Strike, said the determination shown by the Irish hunger strikers had become a metaphor for Ireland’s long struggle for freedom and independence.

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Air France top managers ‘almost lynched’


VIOLENCE erupted at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport as protesters stormed a meeting on planned job cuts at Air France. Several people were injured and the company’s executives were forced to flee, some of them with their clothing torn off.

Things got heated on Monday at the French capital’s most important airport. After the company’s works council was told that 300 pilots, 900 flight attendants and 1,700 ground staff may be laid off, protesters stormed the meeting. Chief of human resources Xavier Broseta and head of long-haul flights Pierre Plissonnier were attacked by angry workers shouting “Naked! Naked!”

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Russia bombs terrorists US bombs hospitals

by Timothy Bancroft- Hinchey

IT GOES against every fibre of human decency to use a tragedy involving the murder of civilians by a terrorist in an aircraft to score political points. This is about murder, not politics. One day after warning Russia for its airstrikes in Syria, what happens? The USA precision-bombs a MSF hospital in Kunduz. Whoosh-BANG! God Bless America!

The bombing went on for half-an-hour after the alert was given that there was a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in the area where the US air force was operating, in bombing raids to remove the Taliban from Kunduz. Nine of the medical staff were murdered outright and scores of patients were injured.

It is difficult to imagine how this atrocity happened. But then again after the callous disregard for civilian human life demonstrated by the United States since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, after the napalming of civilians in Vietnam, after the fifty- plus overthrows of democratically elected governments around the globe, after the myriad of invasions of countries, after Afghanistan, after Iraq, Libya, and Syria, maybe it is time for the USA to rethink policy. It could be argued that those pursuing the current approach, which gets Americans hated around the world, are not patriots but traitors.

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How and why Russia is fighting ISIS in Syria

by Andrew Korybko

RUSSIA’S anti-terrorist intervention in Syria is just as much about snuffing out domestic security threats as it is about international ones.

Russia’s lawmakers just approved the use of the country’s armed forces abroad, in what makes for a jaw-dropping game-changer in the War on Terror. Up until this point, the US took for granted the assembling of international coalitions, be they against “terrorism” or whatever else, feeling conceited enough that its unipolar hegemony would guarantee that it dictates, not directs, what comes next after it’s already made up its mind.

But the world has lately changed rapidly and the multipolar trend has proven itself to be unstoppable, with the case in point being how Russia has now usurped the US as the world’s most important multilateral rallying force. Unlike the US Russia is showing that it is entirely possible to gather an international alliance that both abides by international law and is genuinely dedicated to pursuing its stated objectives.

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The Munich Agreement: West’s political conspiracy against Stalin?

by Ekaterina Blinova

BY SIGNING the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler on 30th September 1938, major European powers Britain and France signalled to Nazi Germany: “Move East, and we won’t harm you!” says Professor Grover Carr Furr of Montclair State University.

The Munich Agreement inked in the early hours of 30th September 1938 by Britain, France, Italy and Nazi Germany (excluding the USSR and Czechoslovakia) opened the doors to Hitler’s aggression and marked the actual beginning of the Second World War.

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