National News

Overcrowding threat to London Underground

LONDON Underground’s Tube network could be “put out of action in 15 years” from population growth leading to dangerous levels of overcrowding, according to a warning delivered last week by Miles Ashley, London Underground’s director for construction.

Ashley said that passengers at up to 50 stations in Zone 1 would face conditions akin to four people crammed into a telephone box. He said the cause of the problem is the capital’s soaring population, which has already been blamed for frequent closures of some stations because of overcrowding.

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Unions call for pay rise for youth workers

UNIONS representing youth and community workers across England and Wales have called for an end to the fall in youth worker pay, after years of real terms pay cuts sees wages shrink by 17 per cent in six years.

Unite, UNISON, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), and University College Union (UCU) which represent staff on the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for youth and community workers, last month lodged their joint annual pay claim calling for a £1,000 pay rise on all pay grades and allowances from September 2016 in a bid to reverse the decline.

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Buy-to-let landlords incorporate to avoid tax

PRIVATE sector landlords who buy housing properties in order to let them are setting up limited liability companies in order to reduce tax liability, after Chancellor George Osborne cut the tax allowances to these landlords.

Private sector letting is an extremely lucrative market, with the landlords getting ever rising rents from desperate tenants whilst the value of their capital property continues to rise in value as long as the current housing bubble lasts. Their wealth rises with virtually no effort expended on their part.

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Palestine Solidarity calls for boycott of Hewlett Packard

THE PALESTINE Solidarity Campaign (PSC) staged a National Day of Action on Saturday 4th June at more than 20 locations around Britain.

The PSC activists were protesting at the involvement of technology giant Hewlett Packard (HP) in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and its military infrastructure as part of our National Day of Action on Hewlett Packard.

PSC branches organised pickets outside major stockists of HP products and spoke to members of the public about the corporation’s complicity in Israel’s systematic abuses of Palestinian human rights, asking them to sign the pledge to boycott HP.

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Paddy Hill demands the truth

PADDY Hill, a member of the Birmingham Six who were wrongly convicted of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1975 and served 16 years in prison before their names were cleared, demanded the truth as the inquest into the 21 deaths caused by the bombing was re-opened earlier this month.

Birmingham’s senior coroner, Louise Hunt, announced that she would be reopening the inquest into the bombings. Paddy Hill was in Birmingham to hear to the decision, having travelled down from his home outside Glasgow to hear the outcome in person.

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Home Office silent over sexual violence at Yarl’s Wood

THE HOME Office reportedly refused to disclose data on sexual violence towards detainees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre — because the information could “damage the commercial interests” of the companies that run the facility.

According to the Independent, the Home Office has refused to comply with a request submitted in March for information about the number of detainees who have been sexually assaulted or raped at the notorious detention centre.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Referendum News

SCOTTISH Left Leave was set up to put the left case for leaving the European Union (EU). It has a strong position about not sharing platforms with right-wing advocates of leaving. Amongst its many meetings was one in Glasgow where former Scottish National Party (SNP) deputy leader Jim Sillars strongly denounced his party for supporting a Remain vote. He was particularly puzzled as to why the SNP which deplores the fact that whilst England numerically dominates Scotland with the United Kingdom, it is so keen for it to be a much smaller fish in a much bigger pond.

Although Remain campaigners such as the Trades Union Congress (TUC) often cite the EU as a defender of human and workplace rights, Sillars reminded the audience that Britain gained paid holidays as far back as 1938 (under the Tory premiership of Neville Chamberlain) and pointed out the damage the EU’s European Court of Justice’s judgements in the Laval and Viking were to workers’ rights. Only two years ago the EU opposed the concept of the living wage as being incompatible with its legally entrenched capitalism.

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Educational Institute of Scotland Conference

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Apart from the Referendum campaign the class struggle continues on the trade union front.

Last week many of Scotland’s school teacher’s hung up their tawses [a whip used for corporal punishment] to head off to Dundee for the annual conference of Scotland’s biggest teaching union, the (EIS).

Delegates voted for a possible boycott of the SNP Government’s plans to introduce national testing if the yet to be announced tests are deemed unacceptable by teachers. The union’s Education Convener, Susan Quinn, told the AGM that the union would “make an absolute stand against any suggestion of testing that puts whole cohorts of children through them [national tests] at the same time.”

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Railway workers opposed to Driver Only Trains

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Scotland’s railway workers have taken on Scotrail in their struggle against the extension of Driver Only Trains (DOO) to five more lines in central Scotland. They have overwhelmingly voted on a large turnout for strike action on the issue. Six 24-hour strikes are planned from the 21st June. Drivers union ASLEF previously threatened a strike on the issue, forcing Scotrail to abandon such plans, but they have returned.

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London call for Lexit vote

by Theo Russell

SEVERAL hundred people gathered on Monday at a Left Leave Campaign rally at London’s Camden Centre to hear supporters of worker’s rights from across Europe call for a “Lexit” vote next Thursday.

Mick Lynch, RMT assistant general secretary, declared: “The EU is unreformable, change can only come through campaigns and struggle. Another Britain is possible, another Europe is possible, but another EU isn’t. Vote for Lexit!”

Polly Jones, of Global Justice Now, warned: “Staying in the EU means joining TTIP. Even members of the European Parliament had to join protests just to be allowed to see the draft TTIP proposals.”

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Winds of Change in Scotland

Reviewed by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Roch Winds: A Treacherous Guide to the State of Scotland Cailean Gallagher, Rory Scothorne and Amy Westwell Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2016. pp177. ISBN 978-1-910745-58-8 £8.99 (plus £1.00 inland postage if ordering direct from the publisher)

THE AUTHORS of this short volume are three young (aged 23—25) graduates from the better universities who were active on the Yes side in the 2014 referendum in both the official Scottish National Party (SNP)-controlled Yes Campaign and the now defunct “National Collective”, which included large numbers of Scotland’s luvvies.

At the same time they ran a blog critical of how many on the Scottish Left accepted unquestioningly that a Yes vote would, if not herald an immediate socialist dawn, bring about a more prosperous and equal Scotland. They have now changed their tune and are now much more sharply critical of the SNP, calling themselves revolutionary communists.

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International News

Brazilian Coup president’s first scandalous month

by Pavel Jacomino

BRAZILIAN interim President Michel Temer said “a war” has marked his term, as Sunday marks his first month in power. Local newspapers said that things have not gone as Temer expected in the past 30 days. He has lost three ministers from his all-white-male cabinet, who were forced to resign after being accused of trying to obstruct a corruption probe involving the state-controlled oil company Petrobras.

The interim president is under scrutiny over testimony linking him to the scandal and a high court justice ruled last week that Congress should consider impeachment proceedings against him.

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German media controlled by imperialist intelligence


ACCORDING to Freie Welt, many articles written by German media are “copied” from international news agencies, which publish propaganda materials in the interests of the US, the European Union (EU) and NATO.

This is the conclusion of experts from the Research Group on Propaganda in Swiss Media. They also argue that Western intelligence services cooperate with the largest news agencies and, if necessary, “provide” them with the “right information”.

According to the experts, Western intelligence agencies purposefully manipulate the global media to promote misinformation about certain politically relevant events.

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Why Russian football fans became focus of Western media


IN RECENT years sport has become politicised so, unsurprisingly, Euro 2016 has suddenly turned into a political battlefield with Russia as the major “culprit”.

Following violent clashes between English and Russian football fans in Marseille, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has fined the Russian football federation €150,000. Furthermore, Russia has been given “suspended disqualification” from Euro 2016.

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Orlando massacre

Blame the system not the Muslims

by LT Pham

AS LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer] communities mourn — and vow to fight — in the wake of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the mainstream media has attempted to ratchet up anti-Muslim sentiment in response.

In the early morning hours of 12th June a shooter opened gunfire during the Latin Night at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, resulting in the deaths of 50 people and nearly as many injured. This tragedy comes at a time when anti-LGBTQ terror has been heightened by the passage of anti-trans legislation in North Carolina and across the South [of the USA].

While initially ignoring that the attack targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, the big business media has begun crafting a narrative that fortifies the US’s imperialist wars — at home and abroad — targeting people in the Middle East, Muslims and followers of Islam. The greatest proponents of terrorism however, are the US capitalist government and the Pentagon, which attempt to dislodge progressive revolutions in Venezuela and Bolivia whilst threatening socialist Cuba; kill thousands of civilians in countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; and have invaded, occupied and killed countless millions from Mexico to the Philippines.

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Hysterical rubbish from puppet leader

by Kim Rye Yong

IN A speech to a memorial day event on 6th June, (south Korean puppet leader) Park Geun Hye slandered the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK’s) nuclear deterrent, calling it a “grave provocation that threatens peace in North-east Asia and the world” and an “obstacle to détente and reunification”, and argued for continued sanctions and pressure against it by “promoting cooperation with the international community”. And she went to such lengths as to say she would lead the DPRK to “self-ruin” by maintaining a “combined defence posture” with the US. This is truly hysterical rubbish.

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White Canada forever?

The racist history of Canadian immigration policy

by Brendan Campisi

IN TODAY’S debates over the admission of Syrian refugees to Canada, many defenders of admission, including the Trudeau Liberals, have drawn on the image of Canada as a friendly, welcoming country with a history of accepting refugees and immigrants. Although this flattering cliché is believed by many Canadians, a look at the history of this country’s immigration policy shows that it is far from the truth.

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In the steps of the Long March: keeping the revolutionary spirit

by Xu Ming

CLIMBING snow-capped mountains and trudging through marshlands, conditions that the Red Army used to experience in the Long March, which only reappear in films and TV series, are becoming reality for many Chinese as they choose to pick up the Red Army’s spirit by tasting the hardship.

Ji Jing, a girl who’s about to graduate from college, has just come back from an exhausting 100 km hike in remote Northwest China in which she and her colleagues tried to recreate one of the most famous chapters in the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s revolutionary history.

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“Clinton makes History”: CPUSA’s opportunist transformation

In Defence of Communism (Greece)

THE transformation of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) into an opportunist political organisation has been a long process. Since 1988 the CPUSA has endorsed the candidates of the bourgeois Democratic Party: Dukakis (1988), Clinton (1992, 1996), Gore (2000), Kerry (2004) and Obama (2008, 2012). In an article published yesterday on the People’s World website the presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton is presented as “a major milestone in the fight for women’s rights”. Once again the CPUSA endorses a political representative of the US monopoly capital and a war criminal. What a shame really for a party with such a long, significant history and close ties with the US labour movement.

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