The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 15th September 2017

National News

Trade union rights guard against hidden slavery

THE PUBLIC-sector union UNISON last week signed the Anti-Slavery Charter.

The Union’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, explained: “This isn’t something I thought my union would have to do in this day and age, given that slavery was officially abolished by our country in 1834. Yet slavery not only persists, it’s on the rise.

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Unions angry at pay smoke and mirrors

PRIME Minister Theresa May last week announced a slight thaw in the public sector pay cap that comes just as the TUC is in conference, and is likely to cause division and disappointment for millions.

The pay of prison officers and police is to rise by 1.7 per cent for prison officers and two per cent for police officers. In both cases the rise is still well below the current 2.9 inflation rate, so is still effectively a pay cut. And for the police half of their rise will be a permanent rise in their basic pay for future negotiations; the other half is just a one-off ‘bonus’.

It is, nevertheless, designed to leave other public-sector workers, including nurses and firefighters, whose pay review bodies

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Perth and Bristol anti-fascists outnumber Islamophobes

AROUND 600 anti-fascists in the Scottish town of Perth turned out last Sunday to oppose a planned demonstration by the Islamophobic Scottish Defence League (SDL) — a Scottish version of the English Defence League — to protest at proposals to create a local mosque.

On the same day in Bristol another 200 anti-fascists were gathering to oppose a demonstration organised by Islamophobes under the guise of an LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) against Sharia law.

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London fire chief calls for sprinklers in tower blocks

DANY COTTON, the Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, last week called for sprinklers to be fitted in all high-rise council tower blocks and said that the Grenfell Tower blaze in June, which cost at least 88 lives, must be a “turning point”.

A recent BBC Breakfast investigation that focused on half of Britain’s council and housing association-owned tower blocks found just two per cent have full sprinkler systems. Of those, 68 per cent have just one staircase through which to evacuate.

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New Zionist move against Corbyn supporters

RIGHT-WING members of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) have tabled an amendment to rules for Labour’s annual conference next week that would introduce life bans for those, like Corbyn, who criticise Israeli government policies.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE RACE to lead Scottish Labour hots up as both candidates move to bag votes from members of the public who will be eligible if they pay a one-off fee of £12. Scottish Labour has ruled that anyone in Scotland can join the party in the next month if they want a vote in the contest between Richard Leonard, who is backed by the left-leaning Campaign for Socialism, whilst Anas Sarwar is being supported by the old Blairite Labour establishment.

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Equal Opportunities Triumph

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Meanwhile we can rejoice that Scotland’s reputation for diversity and inclusivity has been enhanced by the fact that the newest Member of the European Parliament has doubled the female contingent and seen the promotion of an Asian person. Nothing so vulgar as an election was responsible for her elevation. Instead it was because of an internal Tory Party row over who should become Scotland’s Tory MEP at the pretend Brussels parliament.

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Nats decline

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

In two senses the sun no longer shines on the Scottish National Party. Two recent council by-election results saw Labour victories. In Glasgow’s Cardonald ward Labour retained its seat in the by-election caused by the death of a long serving councillor, with 48.6 per cent of the first preference votes. The SNP got 36.7 per cent, a fall of 7.5 per cent.

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No to War in Korea!

by Theo Russell

ABOUT 90 people attended a meeting at Friends House in central London last Tuesday called by the Stop the War Coalition, with writer and film-maker Tariq Ali, CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Stop the War convenor Lindsey German, and Owen Miller, a Lecturer in Korean Studies at the School of African and Oriental Studies, on the panel.

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Audley End: A palace in all but name

by Carole Barclay

AUDLEY END in northern Essex is what people used to call a ‘stately home’ back in the 1930s when most of them were still owned by the landed gentry. Later it was taken over by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to train Polish commandos preparing to join the resistance movement against the Nazi occupation during the Second World War. It remained in private hands until 1948, when was sold to the public. Today the house is one of the jewels in the crown of English Heritage, the charity that now runs many of our historic buildings and monuments.

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Weaving a Dream from China


CHINESE ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming on Monday spoke highly of a fashion show inspired by traditional embroidery in southwest China’s mountainous ethnic region, calling for deepened China—UK cultural cooperation.

Liu was attending the Weaving A Dream Fashion Show hosted by the Chinese embassy in London, where ethnic seamstresses were invited to join the models on the stage.

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International News

Coastal flooding in Havana

by Ed Newman

ALTHOUGH Hurricane Irma has left Cuba and has made landfall on the US state of Florida, storm surges and high waves Saturday night into Sunday morning have caused coastal flooding in Havana, to an extent never before seen in some areas.

Irma’s effects are still being felt on the island, with flooding, storm surges and 5—8 metre high waves affecting Havana since Saturday afternoon, just as forecasters had predicted. It may be Monday until the waters recede entirely.

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Catalonia confirms date for independence referendum

by Pavel Jacomino

THE regional government in Spain’s prosperous Catalonia region has officially confirmed 1st October as the date for a referendum for independence in open defiance of Madrid. Catalan legislators voted for a disputed bill on the referendum and its date late on Wednesday. Regional President Carles Puigdemont then signed a decree confirming the date of the plebiscite.

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BLAST: The definition of US foreign policy

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

BLAST — Bullying, Lies, Arms, Subversion, Terrorism — the ABC of Washington’s foreign policy whose modus operandi is arrogance, belligerence and chauvinism. We can apply the BLAST analysis to each and every one of Washington’s interactions with sovereign states in the last 50 years, an ingrained policy mix of incompetence and sheer evil.

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Journey to the land of Mt Paektu

by Dermot Hudson

A KOREAN Friendship Association (KFA) delegation consisting of Dermot Hudson, Alex Meads and Jose Blazquez visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) last month to take part in the 5th International Festival in Praise of the Great Persons born of Mt Paektu. It was my 14th visit to the DPRK, the third for Alex and the first time ever for Jose.

Our delegation landed in Pyongyang on 11th August. We were greeted at the airport by comrade Ham Sung Jin, who is secretary general of the Korean Committee for Friendship with the British People.

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