The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 13th January 2017

National News

Armed MoD police in Scotland are to patrol civilian areas

ARMED Ministry of Defence (MoD) police based at the Faslane nuclear submarine base and at Coulport are to extend their regular beat outside MoD property and into nearby civilian areas, according to a report last week in the Sunday Herald.

The plan has raised concerns over “increased militarisation” of policing and of possible undermining of Scotland’s control over its own policing — the MoD police are not accountable to the Scottish government but instead answer to the MoD in London.

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Unions defend Post Office pensions

THE COMMUNICATION Workers Union (CWU) and the giant union Unite have both issued warnings to Royal Mail that they will take action if changes to staff pensions are made without the agreement of the unions.

The CWU said “Take executive action on our pensions and we’ll ballot” for a national strike if management try to make changes to the pensions.

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Fascists freeze in Maidstone

A GROUP of around 20 hard-line neo-Nazis from the South East Alliance (SEA) turned out to protest about the redevelopment of a small mosque in Maidstone, Kent, last Saturday to find the pavement outside the mosque blocked by a group of more than 40 anti-fascists.

The counter-protest was organised by Kent Anti-Racism and its action forced the fascists to huddle in the rain under a large hoarding on the opposite side of a dual carriageway.

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Landlord bars ‘battered wives’

FERGUS Wilson, along with his wife Judith, is amongst Britain’s largest buy-to-let landlords. Last week they issued a ban on letting properties to women fleeing domestic violence, single parents, low-income workers, people on zero-hours contracts and plumbers.

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Social Work Bill threatens kid’s rights

CHANGES to the way social care for families is delivered, laid out in the Social Work Bill now going through Parliament, could leave children vulnerable because they would make child protection orders effectively unenforceable, according to a warning from the Magistrate’s Association (MA).

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Al Jazeera reveals Israeli plans

AN UNDERCOVER investigation by the Qatari-based news agency Al Jazeera exposed attempts by a diplomat at the Israeli embassy in London to “take down” — to defame and undermine — various MPs and other political activists, especially those who support Palestinian human rights.

The disclosures are in a film made by Al Jazeera, which claims to show how the Israeli Government has “infiltrated” the Conservative and Labour parties.

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The Neverendum

by our Scottish political correspondent

IN 1922 Winston Churchill drily remarked: “The whole map of Europe has been changed, but as the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again.” In 2017 the equivalent of dreary steeples is the Scottish National Party’s (SNP’s) continued obsession with another referendum because they did not like the results of the 2014 vote.

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Local Elections

by our Scottish political correspondent

ONE SET of elections is certain to take place this year. These are for control of Scotland’s councils. Labour will have a fight on its hands to retain control of many councils against both the SNP and the resurgent Tory Party, who are now the official opposition at Holyrood and have enjoyed a number of gains in recent council by-elections. Last time round, in 2012, Labour held off against a strong nationalist challenge across Scotland. It held on to Glasgow despite an earlier internal split.

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Legal News

by our Scottish political correspondent

ONE SECTION of the Scottish economy is presently enjoying a small boom thanks to the sterling efforts of the SNP — this is the legal profession. The activities of its parliamentarians (particularly close allies of Nicola Sturgeon) are keeping them in claret and wigs.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, is facing bankruptcy action from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over debts of £31,000 in unpaid PAYE at her former law firm, which the HMRC is seeking to liquidate.

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Picketing the lie-machine in Bristol

by New Worker correspondent

PICKETERS were again outside BBC Bristol in December for their monthly protest against the lies and distortions on the Syrian conflict and the crisis in Ukraine that are the regular fare of BBC news these days.

The pickets began soon after the democratically elected Ukrainian government was overthrown in a fascist-led coup of February 2014. Bristol Ukraine Anti Fascist Solidarity was formed in June 2014 to support the struggle in Ukraine against fascism and against the US-backed Kiev junta. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the Ukraine issue in Bristol, to support the national campaign, and to build real solidarity with those in Ukraine who are currently facing daily attacks by the army, the National Guard and other fascist militias.

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Building solidarity with Korea

by New Worker correspondent

KOREAN Friendship Association (KFA) activists met in south London last weekend to plan future work and celebrate the birthday of Democratic Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The meeting was chaired by Dermot Hudson, who said Kim Jong Un had pushed forward the Songun and Juche revolutionary cause following in the footsteps of the great leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Though western media had focused on Kim Jong Un’s remarks about Democratic Korea’s ballistic missile deterrent it had totally ignored the rest of his New Year address. In that call, Kim Jong Un put forward the great slogan “Let us accelerate the victorious advance of socialism with the great spirit of self-reliance and self-development as the dynamic force!”

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A year of hope and struggle

by New Worker correspondent

Communists welcomed the New Year at the London centre of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (ML) in south London last weekend. NCP leader Andy Brooks and other London comrades met friends old and new at the John Buckle Centre, including diplomats from the Cuban embassy and many active in solidarity work, the cultural front and anti-fascist struggle.

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The Last Royal Rebel

Reviewed by Ray Jones

The Last Royal Rebel, the life and death of James, Duke of Monmouth; by Anna Keay (2016); Published by Bloomsbury, London (2016); ISBN: 9781408846087l; RRP £21.99

THIS BOOK covers an interesting period of British history, and Anna Keay does it in a very readable way and from a serious academic background.

James, Duke of Monmouth, was the illegitimate son of Charles Stuart who became Charles II when the monarchy was restored in 1660.When Charles died suddenly in 1685 Monmouth, who was in exile on the continent, returned to Britain and attempted to depose his Catholic uncle James II. It can hardly be called an invasion with one ship and a handful of men.

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International News

Assad: Army will liberate every inch of his country

by Pavel Jacomino

SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad says that the armed forces will fight until the liberation of “every inch” of his country from militant and extremist groups. He made the remarks in a statement given to French media this week: “Of course it’s our mission, according to the constitution and according to the laws, that we have to liberate every inch of the Syrian land,.

Assad had been asked whether the country had any plans to liberate Raqqa from the ISIS Takfiri terror group, which has named the northern city as its so-called headquarters in Syria.

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Brothers-in-arms: Vietnam ramps up defence with Russian help


VIETNAM now ranks 17th in the complete Global Firepower (GFP) list and second in South-east Asia after Indonesia, thanks much to modern arms supplies from Russia.

The GFP list puts the military powers of the world into full perspective depending on their defence outlays, air and naval might, and number and quality of Air Force bases and seaports.

Commenting on the information contained in the GFP 2016 report, AEC News Today wrote that with its history of victorious wars fought against France, the US and China, Vietnam possesses a military force to reckon with.

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Iran’s former president Rafsanjani dies


IRAN’S influential cleric politician Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of heart disease on Sunday.

Rafsanjani, 82, was hospitalised on Sunday due to a heart attack but the medication attempts were not successful.

In his message on Sunday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed grief over the sudden demise of an old friend, fellow and ally during the 1979 Islamic revolution and close colleague during the post-Islamic revolution period.

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Oliver Stone: We are going to miss Fidel

by Michel Hernández

AWARD-WINNING film-maker Oliver Stone, who presented his most recent film, Snowden, at the 38th Havana International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in December, expressed his admiration for revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who passed away in November 2016.

Speaking in Havana, the award-winning US film director recalled his admiration for the leader of the Cuban Revolution, whom he described as: “a brilliant person who predicted everything that has happened in the world since 2001.”

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Italy’s referendum: A clear NO to Renzi’s arrogance and the Troika’s greed

by Alain Fissore and Stefano Rosatelli

ON SUNDAY the 4th December 2016 Italians were asked to express their opinion on a controversial referendum to change or preserve the Republic’s Constitution. On the one hand the “yes” vote was in favour of constitutional changes, on the other hand the “no” vote meant the Constitution would be preserved.

Italy’s Constitution is the outcome of a series of political agreements reached after the Second World War, amongst all the anti-fascist parties of that period, in order to give the Italian Republic (Monarchy or Republic referendum on the 2nd June 1946) a framework of rules aiming to create a parliamentary democracy within a bourgeois political system.

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The USSR: Five amazing top secret projects that were shelved

by Andrei Terentyev

THE SOVIET Union, in its time, was doing its best to achieve as much technological progress as possible. The ultimate goal was to make science fiction reality. Telepathy, amphibious boats capable of “navigating” under the ground, space planes — all these projects used to be developed in the USSR.

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Irish victims of police spy scandal demand inclusion

by a An Phoblacht Special Correspondent

THREE VICTIMS of a controversial spy operation in Ireland by elite undercover police from New Scotland Yard and London’s Metropolitan Police have filed legal action to demand their inclusion in the ongoing British Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI).

The spy unit has sparked controversy across Europe, but the Irish Tánaiste [deputy premier] and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has been accused of failing to support victims.

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