National News

Thousands march through Liverpool for Corbyn

THOUSANDS of people rallied in Liverpool city centre last Saturday to defend Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from the orchestrated attacks by 172 right-wing Labour back-bench MPs in an effort to force him to resign.

Hordes of people met outside Radio Merseyside with banners and flags in support of the under-fire Labour leader.

Speakers took to the stage to voice their support for Jeremy Corbyn and decried people who said that the leader was losing support among the electorate.

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Ministers set to impose contract after junior doctors reject deal

MINISTERS at the Department of Health are preparing to impose the controversial new contract on junior doctors’ working hours, pay and conditions, after the doctors voted by 58 per cent to 42 per cent to reject a deal that had been negotiated between the Government and the British Medical Association (BMA).

The BMA leaders had recommended that members should accept the deal, which was negotiated following six separate strikes against the proposals that would require doctors to work longer hours at weekends but without any funding to cover the extra costs.

Doctors denounced the deal as “Unfair and unsafe”.

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Hinkley Point litmus test

CONFIRMING the financial go-ahead of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station will be the first big litmus test that much-needed British infrastructure projects will proceed, following the Brexit vote, according to four major unions.

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Blind leadership

JUSTIN TOMLINSON, who is Minister for the disabled, last week admitted to a parliamentary committee that he knows nothing about the “biopsychosocial model” (BPS), which is at the heart of how disability benefits are administered.

Ministers have repeatedly spoken of how the BPS model is central to their disability benefit reform programme and successive governments have relied on it to justify slashing disability benefits for more than a decade.

The BPS model of health is based in part on social cognitive theory. It is a complex theory but the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) tends to interpret it as illness — and especially mental illness — as being caused, at least in part, by people’s way of life, attitude and culture, and the cure as being seeking and finding employment.

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Labour ‘not overrun by anti-Semitism’

THE LABOUR Party is not overrun by anti-Semitism or other forms of racism but there is an “occasionally toxic atmosphere”, according to the results of an inquiry conducted by civil liberties expert Shami Chakrabarti.

But she did say there was “too much clear evidence... of ignorant attitudes”. She made 20 recommendations but she said she does not approve of lifetime bans for party membership.

The inquiry followed the suspension of MP Naz Shah and ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone amidst anti-Semitism claims. At the launch of the inquiry report Jeremy Corbyn said that there was no acceptable form of racism. He said: “To assume that a Jewish friend or fellow member is wealthy, some kind of financial or media conspiracy, or takes a particular position on politics in general or on Israel and on Palestine in particular, is just wrong.

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Greenwich battle of the books

LIBRARY workers in Greenwich began a 48-hour strike last Wednesday in protest at plans to cut the borough’s mobile library service.

The union Unite called the strike as Greenwich councillors ploughed ahead with plans to close the mobile service that delivers 33,000 books a year to children, an increase from the 22,000 books lent last year.

The union said that what is at stake is children’s literacy, the gateway to future employment, which is being jeopardised for a comparatively small annual saving of £126,000; although the council has £320 million stashed away in reserves.

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Southern Rail responds to strike by cutting 350 trains a day

SOUTHERN Rail is to axe 350 services per day under an amended timetable drawn up in response to disruption from strike action against plans to do away with guards on trains.

The RMT union said it was given the figure at a meeting with parent firm Govia Thameslink (GTR) — GTR said its amended timetable would be a temporary measure until staffing returned to normal.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political correspondent

The Glorious Twelfth

ON SATURDAY thousands of working class people take to the streets of Glasgow to celebrate an important historic victory by progressive forces over reactionary absolutist feudal forces.

Assembling at George Square they take part in a traditional colourful march to hold a large rally on Glasgow Green.

Undeterred by the continual drizzle they proudly march, accompanied by traditional bands carrying colourful banners that show their allegiance to all the working class strongholds of Glasgow such as Govan in the south, Maryhill in the north, Shettleston in the east and Partick in the west. Not a single banner comes from the posh parts such as Kelvinside or Cathcart. Many banners are emblazoned with the defiant slogan “No Surrender”, a few uphold the cause of temperance and one has a portrait of the great bourgeois revolutionary Oliver Cromwell who established Britain’s first republic.

In a sight to warm the hearts of feminists there are many separate women’s groups on the march. Infirmities and old-age do not deter those on motorised chairs, and the presence of many young children demonstrates that the tradition will be maintained for decades to come.

Unfortunately this mass turn-out of the working class is not a cause for celebration. For this is the annual County Grand Orange Order march that in the north of Ireland is a byword for sectarianism and bigotry.

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For those who died in Spain

by New Worker correspondent

AROUND 100 people gathered on the South Bank in London last Saturday to remember the volunteers who fought and died in the struggle against fascism in Spain. The 80th anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war on 18th July 1936 was commemorated at the annual ceremony at the International Brigade memorial in Jubilee Gardens on Saturday 2nd July.

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A great Korean revolutionary recalled

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends met at the John Buckle Centre in south London on Saturday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the passing of the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung on 8th July 1994.

The guest of honour at the seminar, called by the Friends of Korea committee, was Hyon Hak Bong the ambassador at the embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in London and other speakers included Michael Chant from the RCPB (ML), Dermot Hudson from the Korean Friendship Association and New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks.

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Marxism’s Indian perspective

reviewed by Robert Laurie

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY: Vol. XXII, No. 1 April, 2016. £5.00 + £1.00 p & p from NCP Lit: PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ

THE APRIL edition of Revolutionary Democracy has just arrived from New Delhi. As always its 224 pages contain a wide range of interesting, if at times controversial, matter.

As is to be expected there is a great deal on contemporary Indian politics and society including an interesting article on the widespread continuing discrimination in education against members of the Dalit caste, who were called by the British. This is followed by pieces on the serious economic problems facing India and others on the he use of the Army and colonial-era laws to suppress dissent. On a more encouraging note there is an account of cement workers in the state of Chhattisgarh gaining a substantial wage rise and improved conditions, but only after a twenty-five year struggle.

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International News

Gove’s ‘moral stain’ description of Irish Peace Process disturbing

by John Hedges

SINN FÉIN MEP Matt Carthy has slammed what he termed the “warped fantasies” of Michael Gove, one of the leading candidates for leader of the British Conservative Party and Prime Minister. Gove defended on Sunday his previous statements that the Good Friday Agreement was a “capitulation”, and that the SAS and other British Army undercover units should have been allowed to continue with their controversial shoot-to-kill campaigns in the North of Ireland.

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Strengthening socialist state enterprises in Cuba

by Orestes Eugellés Mena

ONE OF the immediate objectives of the Cuban trade union movement is the strengthening of efforts in support of socialist state enterprises, constituting the main form of management within the Cuban economy.

This was expressed by the Party Political Bureau member and Secretary General of the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC), Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, speaking in Havana with trade unionists from different branches on the process of updating the island’s economic and social model.

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Germany’s Left Party Calls for new pact with Russia

Sputnik

RUSSIA should be integrated into a new collective peace and security system that will add significantly to a more stable Europe, Sarah Wagenknecht, member of Germany’s Left Party (Die Linke), told Sputnik.

Wagenknecht called for her country to withdraw from NATO and create a new collective security system of which Russia should be a member.

The interview came ahead of the NATO summit that kicks off in Warsaw on 8th July.

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China: top Communist gets life for graft

People’s Daily (Beijing)

FORMER Director of General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Following the court’s ruling, the People’s Daily published a timely commentary titled Corruption must be firmly punished in accordance with the law. The article highlighted that Ling’s case — from initial investigation to prosecution, from prosecution to court trial — has proceeded strictly in accordance with the law.

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Chinese Communist Party lauded for its strength and achievements

Xinhua INTERNATIONAL observers marvelled at the sustained vigour and vitality of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the glorious achievements it has made in China’s development as the party celebrated its 95th birthday last week.

Since the party was founded in 1921 it has been keeping up with the times, steering China in the right direction, and has thoroughly changed Chinese society.

It is enjoyable to see that the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government have made such tremendous achievements in various aspects, said Italian Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso:

“I was quite impressed by what I saw when I visited China as senate speaker last October. Things there were completely different from 15 years before, when I had visited the country as a tourist.”

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Young Cubans to “box on the bridge”

by Cheryl LaBash

AN INTERNATIONAL spotlight will shine on youth sports on 30th July, when young Cuban boxers meet their Pennsylvania counterparts for an exhibition match on Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente Bridge. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has called “Boxing on the Bridge” one of 2016’s “can’t miss sporting events.”

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Features

Cuba: Participatory Democracy in a One-Party System

by Nino Pagliccia

CANADIAN author Arnold August wrote a thorough comparative investigation of the practice of democracy in the US, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador in his book Cuba And Its Neighbours — Democracy in Motion.

The main message he gives is that people’s participation in politics and society is an essential element of democracy but it is not part of the US-centric understanding of democracy. August writes: “Democracy as practised in the US is largely non-participatory, static and fixed in time. Cuba, by contrast, is a laboratory where the process of democratisation is continually in motion, an ongoing experiment to create new ways for people to participate.”

During the initial years after 1959, plebiscites would take place in Cuba based on mass gatherings across the country displaying popular will on decisions being made by the revolutionary government. After the consolidation and transformation of the new society more formal consultation with the people has been a tradition (or rather, a political right) throughout the long history of the Revolution.

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From Iraq to UK Referendum Tony Blair’s Toxic Legacy

by Felicity Arbuthnot

ANTHONY Charles Lynton Blair currently back in Britain, cast a dark shadow over those campaigning to stay in the European Union (EU) in the 23rd June referendum. Inflicting himself on the Britain Stronger in Europe group, he spoke at every opportunity — reminding even the most passionate Europhile of the last time he assured: “I know I’m right” — Iraq.

If the “Remainers” had had an ounce of sense Blair should have been ditched in a nano-second. He is not “Toxic Tony” for nothing.

However, since the long awaited Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq invasion is to be published just 13 days after the referendum (6th July) it is worth revisiting more of the mistruths of which he is capable.

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