National News

Secret police targeted RMT leader

THE METROPOLITAN Police’s secret “Special Demonstration Squad” placed an undercover agent in the RMT transport union’s Blacklist Support Group.

New photographic evidence has emerged that the police agent was present at the industrial dispute following the sacking of the prominent union militant Steve Hedley (now elected as Senior Assistant General Secretary of the RMT union) at the Kings Cross terminal of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL).

The presence of the police spy, Carlo Neri, from the Met’s disgraced Special Demonstration Squad was captured on camera by the freelance photographer and leading NUJ activist Andrew Wiard. The photographs show the police spy standing behind an RMT banner with the slogan “Reinstate Steve Hedley” while handing out leaflets to construction workers who had walked out in support of the victimised union activist.

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Tory health minister blocks cheap drugs for NHS

ALISTAIR Burt MP, a Tory health minister, last week spoke in the House of Commons for nearly half an hour in a filibuster to prevent debate and a vote on the Off-Patent Drugs Bill, which would have given the NHS access to drugs whose patents have expired.

The Government does not support the proposed law so it only has a limited amount of time to be debated in Parliament or has to be shelved.

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Sports Direct founder admits pay and conditions “errors”

MIKE Ashley, the founder of the retail company Sports Direct, last Tuesday admitted serious breaches of the Minimum Wage Act and other unacceptable terms and conditions imposed on workers at the company’s giant warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, when interrogated by a House of Commons committee.

His draconian working conditions hit the headlines last year when the local ambulance service complained that they had to attend instances of serious staff illness and collapse frequently — 76 times in two years.

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Labour considers universal basic income

LABOUR’S Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is considering backing the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) — a radical transformation of the welfare state that would ditch means-tested benefits in favour of a flat-rate payment.

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Scottish Polical News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

SNP in Words and Votes

TWO RECENT votes in the Scottish Parliament have clearly demonstrated the reality of just what a gulf there is between the rhetoric of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and what they actually do in practice.

The first vote was on fracking.

According to its website: “The SNP is taking a cautious, considered and evidenced-based approach to fracking. In January 2015 the SNP Scottish Government placed a moratorium on granting consents for unconventional oil and gas extraction. This will allow health and environmental impact tests to be carried out as well as a full public consultation to allow every interested organisation and any member of the public to input their views. The Scottish Government has been clear that no fracking can or will take place in Scotland while the moratorium remains in place.”


In translation this means that the SNP are very enthusiastic about fracking, but they obviously can’t say so to avoid letting their members and supporters what they plan. Only after the election did they go about finding some tame corporate scientists to conclude that fracking is safe.

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Greek communist condemns the EU

by Theo Russell

A PACKED meeting of members, friends and supporters of the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) last Friday in central London heard Giorgos Marinos, Member of the Political Bureau of the KKE, deliver a profound analysis of the crisis in Greece and the European Union, and the European Union (EU) referendum in Britain.

Marinos said that new laws put forward by the social-democratic SYRIZA-ANEL government in Greece to implement the 3rd EU memorandum “have extremely painful outcomes for the working class and popular families”.

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The London Recruits at Marx House

by Neil Harris

LAST Saturday comrades and friends returned to the historic Marx Memorial Library in London to raise funds for a special film about a very special group of people.

I suppose one of the great struggles of my life was the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa — preserving minority white rule by using great violence over the majority of people in the country.

In 1962 the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC), including Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned at the Rivonia trial for life. The underground was effectively broken up and many ANC activists were forced into exile.

Oliver Tambo, Joe Slovo and Yousef Dadoo tasked Ronnie Kasrils to organise underground operations from London to restart the struggle back in South Africa.

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International News

Growing racial disparity shatters American Dream


MORE THAN five decades ago Martin Luther King made a powerful and famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, painting his dream of racial equality and justice for the nation.

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a

The “Dream” speech inspired the whole nation and helped to galvanise the Civil Rights Movement.

More than five decades later however, US society is still seriously plagued by racial disparity and discrimination, which persists in almost every social aspect, including employment, housing, education and particularly justice.

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Russia and China to free world from dollar bondage

RUSSIA has outmanoeuvred the Saudis in the fight for the Chinese oil market despite the Western states’ unity in sanctions opposition against Russia. China increased oil imports from Russia by 52 per cent in April, whereas imports from Saudi Arabia dropped 22 per cent.

Record-high import volumes from Russia are most probably grounded on payments in Chinese yuan, which Russia agreed on. This should be the main achievement of the Russia—China economic partnership. Tectonic shifts in the global economy will allow the countries to reject dollars.

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Time to free Raqqa: ISIS Capital will soon be freed


THE SYRIAN Arab Army (SAA), assisted by Russian warplanes and its local allies, will free the city of Raqqa, which ISIS turned into the capital of its terror caliphate, political analyst Catherine Shakdam told Radio Sputnik, pointing to the liberation of Palmyra as the moment when the tide of war changed in Damascus’ favour.

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Muhammad Ali — Friend of the Arabs

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

BLACK American boxing legend Muhammad Ali died last week in a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was being treated for respiratory complications. Ali’s condition was aggravated by Parkinson’s disease, which was first diagnosed in 1984, and he died on Friday 3rd June. He was 74-years-old.

He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kentucky on 17th January 1942. White supremacy was rife in Kentucky in those days. Like the rest of the South, Kentucky upheld segregation and “Jim Crow” laws designed to keep all Blacks in bondage. As a boy he tried to ignore Kentucky’s institutionalised racism. When he got older he became an outspoken champion of the civil rights and anti-war movements.

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A cruelly rigged system

by Rob Gowland

IT’S AN axiom amongst bosses that any negative features likely to adversely affect profits — an increase in costs or a drop in sales, whatever — must be foisted on to the backs of the employees, so that the boss’s income is not reduced. It doesn’t matter that the problem will have been the result of the dog-eat-dog nature of capitalism itself; the workers make handy scapegoats and unless they have a strong union are powerless to stop employers robbing them blind.

It’s the workers’ labour that creates corporate wealth; but if an enterprise suffers the embarrassment of going belly up money owed to employees — unpaid wages, pension contributions, etc — will be at the bottom of the list to be paid. Priority will always be given to money owed to other companies — and to the bosses themselves.

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From the classroom to the track

by Yenia Silva Correa

An interview with Cuban athlete Juan Morales Hechavarría about his days as a teacher. Puerto Rico 1966 multi-medal winner; National and World Youth In-door Games competitor throughout the 1960s; Central American and Caribbean, Pan American and Olympic Games 110 metres hurdles and 4 x 100m relay medal winner from 1966—1977; Multi-national record holder. Although it might seem like the only thing to discuss with Juan Morales Hechavarría would be his outstanding sporting career during the early years of the Revolution, today this legend of Cuban sports talks about his participation in the National Literacy Campaign 55 years ago and how it impacted his subsequent development as an athlete.

Why did you decided to join the literacy campaign?

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International Children’s Day: The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

WE SAY that our children are our future but it is also true that the legacy we leave is their future. On the 1st June, International Children’s Day, let us examine state of affairs we bequeath to our successors in the year 2016 and hope that the writings of this day can help to galvanise people into making the world a better place by this time next year.

There are 2.2 billion children in the world today — a world in which NATO member states alone spend one point two trillion dollars, that is 1,200,000,000,000 USD per year, each and every year, on their military budgets. Surely, in a world where there is enough money to produce missiles to kill people, and submarines to sink ships and destroy the habitat of our whales and dolphins, there is enough money to make sure that every child is born with the same birthrights.

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