The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 9th December 2016

National News

Concentrix and HMRC slammed over tax credits scandal

THE PARLIAMENTARY Work and Pensions Select Committee last week was extremely critical of both HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and its hired agent, the company Concentrix, for stopping tens of thousands of tax credit claims on the basis of totally wrong information. This left vulnerable low-earners critically short of money to pay rent and buy food.

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DWP still blindly stopping benefits

THE CIVIL service union PCS last week accused the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) of continuing to stop people’s benefits without understanding the effects.

PCS says it is shocking that the DWP continues to stop people’s social security payments without understanding the full impact of the policy, as highlighted in a new National Audit Office (NAO) report.

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Housing crisis creates in-work poverty

POVERTY amongst people who are working has risen despite a recovery in the British economy, according to a study published on Wednesday by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

One in every eight workers in Britain (3.8 million people) is now living in poverty. A total of 7.4 million people, including 2.6 million children, are in poverty despite being in a working family. This means that a record high of 55 per cent of people in poverty are in working households.

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Longer waits for hospital beds

NHS FIGURES published last week show that nearly half-a-million patients waited in accidents and emergency (A&E) units for more than four hours for a hospital bed. More than 1,400 of them faced delays of more than 12 hours. And that is after they had waited to be seen and assessed by a doctor and diagnosed as needing to be admitted to a ward.

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Weymouth bus dispute settled

THE FIVE-month old pay dispute involving bus drivers in Weymouth and Bridport in Dorset has been settled. The deal was thrashed out in talks between senior management from First Group, the parent company of First Hampshire & Dorset Ltd, as well as local managers, and Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton and shop stewards from the bus drivers.

Morton said: “This has been a long-running dispute; however we have finally hammered out a peace plan that was accepted by our members.

“I would like to salute the solidarity that our members have shown since the first strikes in June and without that solidarity we would not have been able to achieve the current deal.

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Brexit Part 94

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

BRITAIN’S departure from the European Union (EU) has greatly occupied the Scottish National Party (SNP) despite the fact that foreign affairs are the preserve of Westminster.

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National Survey

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The nationalists launched a “National Survey” that hoped to persuade former “No” voters to defect to the SNP. This has not been a success. Whilst they claim to have reached their target of two million people, this is far from the truth. None of this correspondent’s acquaintances were approached and other more sophisticated surveys suggest that less than 10 per cent of the target was reached. The bulk of SNP members lacked the energy to vote in their own deputy leadership contest, so they are unlikely to spend any time on more demanding political tasks. Some of the more enthusiastic but dim-witted nationalists openly boast of answering the survey several times, so if the results are ever published they will not be worth the paper they are printed on.

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Decade of Failure

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Meanwhile, the SNP’s ventures in matters that do not come under its jurisdiction and its achievements using powers it does have have come under scrutiny. The latest set of Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results are a splendid testimony to the efficiency of the SNP’s near decade-long rule.

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Farewell to Fidel at Congress House

by New Worker correspondent

CONGRESS House was packed on Monday evening for the memorial service called by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) to pay their last respects to the memory of Fidel Castro. It was standing room only for some of the thousand or so who came to the TUC’s headquarters in London to hear tributes from diplomats, writers and artists to the outstanding Cuban revolutionary leader who passed away on 25th November.

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Greek communists debate Brexit

by New Worker correspondents

GREEK communists living in London packed the hall of the Marx Memorial Library last Friday evening to hear Sotiris Zarianopoulos — one of the two Greek Communist Party (KKE) MEPs — speak on Brexit, the European Union (EU) and the tasks facing communists in Europe.

He said that western capitalism at its present stage needed to be destructive in order to create new markets and to expand. Since the 2008 banking crisis it has been busy imposing austerity that is destroying jobs, wages, and social and welfare support structures. But there is a real danger it will resort to the ultimate destructive force — war.

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International News

Italy’s referendum failure — what next?

THE FAILURE of Italy’s referendum on constitutional changes means that the country is likely to stick to its old proportional election system, under which the ruling coalition would again consist of the Democratic Party (PD) and Forza Italia, Senator Alessandro Maran from PD said on Tuesday.

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London needs to tread cautiously in South China Sea

by Zhang Tao

PERHAPS in an attempt to impress his Japanese colleague, British ambassador to the United States (US) Kim Darroch told a Washington think tank last week that British fighter planes visiting Japan will fly over the South China Sea.

Such remarks create the impression that London may soon deviate from a largely aloof attitude over the South China Sea issue and start playing a meddling role there like the US and Japan.

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Austria neo-Nazi concedes defeat

by Pavel Jacomino

Quelling fears of an expansion of Europe’s far-right revival, Austria’s ultra-conservative presidential candidate Norbert Hofer’s campaign conceded defeat after polls closed in Sunday’s election, as independent candidate and former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen locked into a lead in preliminary results.

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Dakota pipeline project halted


THE US Army Corps of Engineers has halted an underwater pipeline project in North Dakota that environmentalists warn may damage local water qualities.

The decision was made after a longstanding protest prevented the Dakota Access Pipeline, set to channel oil through Lake Oahe, from construction.

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Russia and Iran team up to help the people of Aleppo


RUSSIA and Iran are teaming up to carry out a joint humanitarian operation in Aleppo aimed at helping Syrian civilians who escaped from the clutches of terrorists, says Hossein Sheikholeslam, the advisor to the Iranian Foreign Minister. Still, a lot remains to be done to rescue residents being held hostage by Islamists.

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Zhukov’s daughter: ‘My father deserved all the honours’

Pravda.Ru The 1st December marked the 120th anniversary since the birth of Marshal of Victory, Georgy Zhukov. He was a commander of his time and his people: tough, strong-willed and uncompromising. What kind of a person was Georgy Zhukov in his family? How do his family remember him? His daughter, Era Zhukova, recalls the memory of the great military leader.

We know Georgy Zhukov as the Marshal of Victory. How do you remember him? What kind of a person was he in your family?

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Is International Palestine Solidarity just a symbolic gesture?


AS THE world commemorated the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People last week Palestinians themselves continue to live under one of the most brutal occupations in history.

Israel continues to humiliate the Palestinian people, deny them basic human and civil rights whilst at the same time receiving legitimacy from most world powers who hold the last say over international resolutions that at times condemn Israel and its abuses.

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In the spirit of Crazy Horse Metacom Geronimo

by Moonanum James

Moonanum James, of the United American Indians of New England, gave this talk at the National Day of Mourning commemoration in Plymouth, Massachusetts on 24th November.

ONCE AGAIN on the fourth Thursday in November, United American Indians of New England and those who support us have gathered on this hill to observe National Day of Mourning. Today marks the 47th time we have come here to mourn our ancestors and speak the truth about our history.

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