National News

Tory minister blocks cheap drugs for NHS

ALISATAIR Burt, a junior Tory health minister, last week deliberately blocked a new law that would provide the NHS with access to cheap and effective drugs by use of a filibuster — that is talking for great and unnecessary length on another matter so that there was no time for the cheap drugs law to be heard in the House of Commons.

The Off-Patent Drugs Bill would have given the NHS access to drugs reaching the expiry point of their patent, which restricts production by anyone except the company that first developed them. Burt denied accusations that the parliamentary manoeuvre was “disgraceful” after he spoke for nearly half-an-hour to prevent the Off-Patent Drugs Bill, a Bill that had cross-party support from backbenchers.

But because the proposed law is not supported by the Government it only has a limited amount of time to be debated in Parliament or has to be shelved.

Burt deliberately used up the Bill’s time by speaking at length for 27 minutes, despite heckles and jeering from Labour, SNP and Conservative benches.

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Confusion and dirty tricks at the Million Mask March

POLICE expected the young people to be lively and spent a lot of effort trying to kettle the protesters, but it was like trying to herd cats; the young anarchists defied being kettled.

Some of the protesters claim to have witnessed men they believe to be undercover police spies setting fire to a police car in a back street near Green Park to make it seem as though the protesters were more violent than they were. Certainly video footage of that burning car was played over and over again in news coverage of the event.

The witnesses base their conclusion that the men were undercover police on their slightly better dress and that the two of them did not seem to be associated with any other protesters.

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Sinn Fein MPs in London: “We need to keep to the agreement to ensure peace”

by Theo Russell

PAUL Maskey and Mickey Brady briefed Sinn Fein supporters in London last week on the current state of the peace process, and the battle against the austerity and welfare reforms regime the Tories are trying to impose on the people of the north of Ireland.

Paul Maskey said that Cameron’s policy of sustained austerity was “crippling the peace process that had pointed to a better life for the people”. Since 2010 the British Government has cut the annual grant to Northern Ireland by £15 billion, and there’s another £15 billion coming.

He said: “the North has higher rates of disability, mental health issues and poverty than any other part of Britain, and twice as many people on Disability Living Allowance.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

LAST Saturday around 300 marchers braved the wind and rain to take part in a march from the threatened plate-rolling steelworks at Dalzell to a rally at the site of the former Ravenscraig works.

Organised by the local Labour Party and trade unions, the march called on the Edinburgh and Westminster governments to save the 270 jobs at threat at both Dalzell and nearby Cambuslang when multinational Tata announced plans to “mothball” their steel plants in Lanarkshire and Teesside.

Motherwell a n d Wishaw MSP John Pentland, himself a former steelworker who had been made redundant, said the aim “should be saving the steel plants and all the jobs, not softening the blow.”

“We should not meekly accept the annihilation of the Scottish steel industry. We don’t want consolation measures such as retraining for other jobs that don’t exist.”

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Remembrance Sunday at the Soviet War Memorial

by New Worker correspondent

New Communist Party (NCP) leader Andy Brooks joined veterans, diplomats and local dignitaries at the Soviet War Memorial in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in Southwark on Sunday to honour the Soviet soldiers, sailors, air force and civilians who fell fighting the Nazis in the Second World War.

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Conwy for Palestine

by Ray Jones

OVER 60 people came together on Saturday 31st October at a meeting in Llandudno for a day to demand peace and justice for Palestine.

Speakers included Jane Harries, a human rights observer on the West Bank with The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine & Israel (EAPPI); Majdi Akeel, a Palestinian academic who spoke of his horrific experiences in Israeli prisons; and Anna Jane Evans, the North Wales co-ordinator for Christian Aid.

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Union leaders demand stronger action against Tory union curbs

by New Worker correspondent

AROUND 120 trade union activists gathered for a protest rally outside the House of Commons while the Tory anti-trade union Bill passed through its third reading.

Speakers at the rally included John McInally from the civil service union PCS, Ian Lawrence, general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, Ronnie Draper of the bakers’ union BFAWU, Stene Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis of the British Medical Association, John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

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International News

Erdogan regime wins election by waging war

by John Catalinotto

THE government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Progress Party (AKP) has re-won a majority in the Turkish parliament. Its election campaign included renewed war on the Kurdish people and violent attacks across the country on the headquarters of the leftist People’s Democratic Party (HDP), along with arrests and intimidation of many journalists and hundreds of political activists.

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Reshuffled following Syrian—Russian blows to terrorist organisations

by Basma Qaddour

THE military operations centre in Ankara, known as the “MOM”, has once again come to prominence following the Syrian army’s advance against the terrorists in the Alleppo countryside.

The MOM is run by intelligence officers from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Britain and the US, and it is located in the Turkish city of Reyhanli on the Syria-—Turkey border. It is a joint operations centre for terrorist groups affiliated to the so-called “Syrian coalition”, under the supervision of Turkey.

The MOM’s main task is to bring fighters into Syria and provide them with financial and military support, and to resolve differences amongst terrorist groups in Syria. Over 10.000 Chechen, Uzbekistani and Caucasian fighters were conveyed into Ritian city in the northern countryside of Aleppo under the supervision of the ‘MOM’ at the beginning of this year.

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Russians defend dopefree athletes’ right to compete


“CLEAN” sportsmen should not be barred from international competitions, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said in response to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommendation to exclude Moscow from the 2016 Olympics.

On Wednesday the ROC urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to respect the right of drug-free athletes to take part in international competitions.

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November 1917: The eternal values of the Revolution

by Timothy Bancroft- Hinchey

THE SEVENTH of November 1917, the Great Socialist Revolution in Russia: mediaeval and feudal values were swept aside and people’s power was internationalised, creating public services of excellence, making available public resources as universal property, implementing regimes of social mobility and externalising the Revolution to the four corners of the Earth.

The 7th of November in the Gregorian calendar marks the date of the 25th October Revolution in the Russian Orthodox Julian calendar. The Great October Socialist Revolution brought mediaeval societies into the front line of development within one generation, which created a worldwide revolution enshrining workers’ rights, women’s rights and human rights into constitutional law around the world.

The eternal values of the Revolution

The Russian Revolution was an exercise in power to the people, implementing democracy, freeing serfs, creating the proletariat, freeing women and giving them the vote, taking children out of the mines and creating trade unions that defended workers’ rights against the hegemonic tendencies of societies controlled by capitalists.

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Prisons, propaganda and fascism

by Rob Gowland

I WAS once told, in that authoritative, take-no-prisoners tone adopted by people who don’t know what they are talking about, that there were “50 million people in concentration camps in the USSR”. That absurd claim was, and still is, generally believed among people who are quick to assure you that, unlike a lot of other people, they have not been “taken in” by Communist propaganda.

But that they have most definitely been taken in by anti-Communist propaganda is indisputable, however strenuously they deny it. The Cold War of course never ended and its recent resurgence has been supported by a huge investment of imperialist funding and the application of a host of bright young graduates to the task of waging it.

Pumped up with patriotic fervour for the fight against “Godless Communism”, that terrible threat to “American freedom”, astonishing numbers of them are recruited straight from US colleges to work enthusiastically at using and enhancing every propaganda tool that imperialism has come up with in the almost 100 years since the October Revolution of 1917. That event sent shock-waves through capitalism everywhere: the writing wasn’t just on the wall — it was actually coming to life and being put into effect, for all the world to see.

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For Algeria any assistance it may need

by Gabriel Molina

IN THE early hours of 22nd October1963 the Aracelio Iglesias merchant ship arrived in Oran, Algeria’s second city, in the northwest of the country, where a column disembarked. Then it was transported by rail in 42 open cars and 12 carriages some 80 km to the fort built by the French Foreign Legion in Bedeau, near the town of Ras el Ma.

Upon entering the city there was some tension as a row of French military vehicles appeared. There were no incidents, the French stopped and let the Cubans pass. The Évian Accords, which preceded Algeria’s liberation from France on 18th March 1962, provided for this French presence, which ceased upon expiry of the agreed period. Algeria’s independence was proclaimed on 5th July and Ahmed Ben Bella was elected President, with Colonel Houari Boumédiène as his vice president, in the first elections held in the country on 19th August 1962.

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