The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 26th May 2017

National News

Record poverty for workers in Britain

SIXTY per cent of people in poverty live in a household where at least one person is earning a wage, according to research by academics from Cardiff University, and the families worst hit are those who live in private rented accommodation.

A perfect storm of low wages, cuts to housing benefit and rising rents have caused a tidal wave of hardship and shown that work does not pay, despite the claims of Tory politicians that work is the best route out of poverty.

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Picturehouse workers’ strike brings bosses to the table

BOSSES at Cineworld last week agreed to meet with BECTU [Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union] leaders to discuss wages and conditions at their Picturehouse chain of cinemas after workers there took strike action last week in a long-running dispute over the living wage.

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PCS renews campaign to end pay cap

THE CIVIL service union PCS last Tuesday voted overwhelmingly at its annual conference in Brighton to back a motion proposed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to step up its campaign against the Government’s one per cent pay rise cap on public sector workers.

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CND welcomes draft UN nuclear ban treaty

THE CAMPAIGN for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) last Monday issued a statement saying that it welcomed the first draft of a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons that was published that day.

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Tories want to redefine refugees

THE CONSERVATIVE party is planning to change the definition of refugees and reduce asylum claims, according to its election manifesto, in order to reduce our country’s obligations to refugees under international human rights law.

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Right to request fixed hours useless

THE GIANT union Unite, last week dismissed the “right to request fixed hours” as useless in the fight against zero-hours contracts and insecure work.

The right to request fixed hours was proposed in the Taylor Review, issued by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) last week as its response to demands for an end to zero-hours contracts.

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Inquiry into Essex mental health deaths

TWENTY deaths over 17 years at an NHS-run mental health unit are under investigation by police after fresh investigations into the death of Matthew Leahy, who was found hanged at the Linden Centre in 2012.

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Claimant endures heart attack afraid to lose benefits

SALENA Hannah, a part-time worker dependent on a benefits supplement, suffered a heart attack during a Jobcentre in-work progression interview but was afraid to go and seek medical help because she was afraid of having her benefits stopped.

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Teaching Victory

by our Scottish Political correspondent SCOTLAND’S largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), boasted of a “significant victory” in a dispute over the pay and conditions of college lecturers when they called off two days of strike action planned for this week.

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Salt Scandal

by our Scottish Political correspondent

UNTIL very recently well-heeled gourmets could go down to their local Sainsbury’s and purchase a small 150g packet of Hebridean Sea Salt for £2.10. This contained “pure original crunchy flakes that melt in the mouth are harvested from crystal clear seawater of stunning Loch Erisort, out in the wilds of the Isle of Lewis”. It now transpires that customers in Sainsbury’s could have looked lower down the shelves and purchased a 1.5kg bag of table salt for 80 pence to acquire the same product.

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Council Elections (Part II)

by our Scottish Political correspondent

THE LOCAL elections are still a live issue despite the votes being counted. Because no party won complete control of a single council local deals are being struck. Normally this would be of interest to the locals but a General Election is in progress.

The SNP particularly deplore any other parties forming local alliances with the baby eating Tories, who were of course the de facto coalition parties of the SNP between 2007—2011 and until a few weeks ago there were two such local council coalitions.

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by our Scottish Political correspondent

FOODBANKS were once excellent propaganda fort he SNP. Once upon a time no foodbank went unvisited by SNP candidates looking for a photo opportunity, so that they could pose with the volunteers and talk about how much they care about the poor and how appalling it was that people had to depend on them in Tory Britain. They generally did not like to come in to actual contact with the less photogenic users.

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KFA members report back from DPRK visit

by New Worker correspondent

THREE members of the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) — Dermot Hudson, Shaun Pickford and David Munoz, last Saturday gave a very interesting report back from their recent visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at a well-attended meeting in north London.

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History of the peace movement in Britain

Exhibition Review: People power: Fighting For Peace

THE IMPERIAL War Museum in south London is currently staging an exhibition on the history of the peace movement in Britain, running from March until 28th August (£10 entry to the exhibition; £7 concessions).

One of the main purposes of the museum from its foundations has been never to allow the horrors of war to be forgotten, so promoting peace has always been part of its agenda. The exhibition on the history of the peace movement, starting from opposition to the First World War and the rise of conscientious objection, has therefore been long overdue.

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International News

Maduro warns of ‘Nazi-fascist’ current in ranks of opposition

by Julio Borges

AS VIOLENT right-wing attacks ramp up after more than 50 days of ongoing protests, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro warned of a Nazi-fascist current within the opposition, which Maduro’s administration claims is aided and abetted by the United States in the name of toppling the Leftist government.

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New DPRK—Russia sea route throws Washington’s ambitions into doubt

by Vitaliy Ankov

MOSCOW has kicked off its first north Korea—Russian ferry service following Washington’s expansion of its sanctions against Pyongyang.

On 18th May the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) vessel Man Gyong Bong arrived at the free port of Vladivostok.

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Venezuela arrests financier of violent opposition protests


VIOLENT opposition protests in Venezuela have taken the lives of almost 60 people since they started more than 51 days ago. The spokesperson of far-right party Voluntad Popular was arrested on Monday on allegations of organising and funding violent groups in the capital, reported Venezuela’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami.

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A painful anniversary

by Zoltan Zigedy

JUST OVER 10 years ago I wrote an article entitled Tabloid Political Economy: The Coming Depression. It was my first and only attempt at economic prognostication, always a challenging and risky venture.

The ‘Tabloid’ in the article’s title was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the headline in the April, 2007 issue of a now defunct supermarket tabloid, Weekly World News (WWN). Featured between Virgin Mary Slaps Boy and Jews Invented Pizzoh was the shrill admonition: Surviving the Next Great Depression! It’s Coming This Summer!

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Manning, Assange and Snowden

by John Stanton

MANNING’S leaked information made WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange a household name. It also mad them permanent enemies of the US State. In 2010 Assange released a video that he called Collateral Murder. The video shows an air-strike in which Iraqi journalists are killed. Other releases based on Manning’s leak were known as the Afghan Diary and Iraq War Logs. The Diplomatic Cables exposed some of the silly machinations of the US State Department and the over-classification of documents.

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Behind the firing of Comey: A struggle within the US ruling class

by Fred Goldstein

THE FIRING of FBI head James Comey by President Donald Trump is a struggle within the United States ruling class. It is taking place at the highest levels of the capitalist state. There are no progressive sides in this struggle.

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