The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 29th September 2017

National News

The creeping privatisation of public space

PUBLIC spaces within our towns and cities are being transferred into private property through public—private deals between local authorities and developers at an alarming rate and yet few residents are aware, according to a report in the Guardian last Tuesday.

The report says that many of the largest towns and cities are refusing to disclose information about how much of their open, seemingly public spaces are in fact private property and subject to restrictions and regulations such as bans on protests and photography.

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Islamophobic attack on doctor outside mosque

DR NASSER Kurdy, a consultant surgeon who volunteered his help after the terror attack in Manchester last May, was stabbed on his way to his local mosque in Altrincham, Greater Manchester by thugs shouting anti-Muslim slogans.

He managed to make his way into the mosque where the emergency services were called and he was taken to hospital.

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Disgraced PIP assessor still working

ALAN BARHAM, a former paramedic who was employed by Capita on behalf of the Department for work and Pensions (DWP) to assess disabled claimants for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs), was sacked last year for publicly making offensive remarks about claimants.

But he has avoided being struck off, despite a tribunal concluding that he made offensive remarks about benefit claimants.

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Charity drops links with Football Lads Alliance

THE CHARITY known as Walking with the Wounded last week withdrew from working with the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) over concerns about racism.

The charity, which raises money for veter

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Advice to capitalists to prepare for a Corbyn government

PORTLAND Communications, a political consultancy and public relations company, has advised businesses in Britain to start preparing for a Corbyn-led Labour government if they have not already done so.

A YouGov poll commissioned by Portland reveals that 75 per cent of business leaders think that a Corbyn government could arrive within five years, with more than a third of these believing it likely.

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Labour’s Battle

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

IT WILL not be until 18th November when we finally see the puffs of white smoke that will herald the new Leader of the Scottish Labour Party — but already the battle is under way.

At a hustings meeting in Glasgow between the two candidates the Chair announced that there should be no questions “about a candidate’s marital status, domestic circumstances, nor pertaining to the candidates’ financial arrangements”. This was designed to protect Anas Sarwar from being questioned by members about his business affairs, which in any case have already been well and truly aired. These involve the affairs at United Wholesale (Scotland) (UWS), a major company founded by his father and now run by his brother.

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Damned Lies and Statistics

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The clever number crunchers of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) have denounced the SNP government’s regular practice of giving ministers up to five days access to official statistics before they are published. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has recently abolished this practice for Westminster ministers but the SNP are deeply attached to it. These five days allow even the dimmest SNP minister to get his minions to come up with lame excuses for shortcomings revealed in the figures. They can also use the delay to release them so that they are issue them when peoples’ attention is distracted. The RSS says that “such privileged access undermines public trust in official statistics as, for example, it creates opportunities for figures to be ‘spun’ to the media or ‘buried’ beneath other announcements,” adding that abolishing the five day blackout “would be warmly welcomed by all those committed to statistical integrity.”

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Stuart Monro — film-maker and communist

by New Worker correspondent NCP LEADER Andy Brooks and other comrades, including Theo Russell and Dermot Hudson, paid their last respects to Stuart Monro, a leading member of the RCPB(ML), at his funeral in East London last week. The packed hour-long ceremony was attended by more than 200 people, many of whom had to stand. As well as friends and family, they included life-long comrades from the RCPB(ML) and people who had worked with Stuart on the many projects and campaigns in which he had been involved in over the years.

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St Peter’s on the Wall

by Carole Barclay

THIS CHAPEL, built on the ruins of an old Roman fort in the 600s, is a place for contemplation. Though only a mile away from civilisation, this spot on the Essex coast takes you back to a bygone age when Essex was still a kingdom in its own right and Christianity was battling against the pagan beliefs of the old gods of the Anglo-Saxons.

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International News

DPR Korea says US has declared war

“THE WHOLE world should clearly remember it was the United States who first declared war on our country,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York on Monday.

The foreign minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said that US President Donald Trump had declared war on his country, adding that Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

German anti-fascists take to the streets

by Ed Newman

THOUSANDS of Germans have flooded the streets to protest against major electoral gains made by the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD).

The AfD has become the first radical nationalist party to enter [the German] parliament since the Second World War. In central Berlin, hundreds of anti-fascist protesters surrounded the club where the AfD were celebrating their win, shouting “All of Berlin hates the AfD” and “Nazis raus (Nazis out).” Police blocked the club’s entrance and made a handful of arrests over “small incidents,” according to authorities.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

MYANMAR, Rakhine State, Rohingya, massacres. These are the key words being used in the story of the oppressed Rohingya people in Myanmar’s northern state of Rakhine, being attacked by the authorities and forced to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Yet Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, speaks of “a huge iceberg of misinformation”. Where lies the truth?

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Israeli aggression against Syria - Desperate efforts!

Syria Times

FROM the very beginning of the crisis Israel gave unlimited support to the terrorist groups operating in Syria. Israel provided terrorist groups with modern weapons, facilitating their movement and planning of their attacks against the Syrian people and the infrastructure of the country. Moreover Israel regularly launches attacks against Syrian army positions to raise the morale of the terrorists, especially following the defeats inflicted upon them by the heroes of the Syrian Arab Army.

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China: the world’s fastest bullet train


CHINA increased the maximum speed of bullet trains on the Beijing—Shanghai high-speed railway to 350 kph last week, making it once again the world’s fastest train service some six years after it was reduced to 300 kph.

The route will be operated by China’s Fuxing, or Rejuvenation, bullet trains. The speed increase will cut the journey between Beijing and Shanghai to four hours and 28 minutes.

A Fuxing train departed Beijing at 9am on Thursday 21st September, beginning the formal 350 kph service.

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Scottish Devolution:how has Holyrood fared?


TWENTY YEARS since Scotland voted to get its own parliament and devolved powers from London, many Scots don’t believe that devolution has done that much for Scotland, says Dr Craig McAngus of the University of Aberdeen.

Twenty years ago on 11th September 1997, 75 per cent percent of Scottish voters voted in favour of devolution in a referendum delivered by Tony Blair’s Labour government.

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Alexei Tolstoy

by Rob Gowland

NO, I HAVEN’T made a mistake and misspelled the name of the author of War And Peace. Appropriately, in this centenary year for the October Revolution, I have been re-reading Alexei Tolstoy’s great trilogy about that turbulent time, Ordeal (whose Russian title actually translates as Road to Calvar).

A great nephew of the author of War And Peace, Alexei was also related through his mother to the writer Ivan Turgenev. Not surprising, perhaps, given his antecedents, that when he finally began writing — at his mother’s prompting in his teens — the words flowed readily.

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Mikhail Kalashnikov: the genius whose designed the deadliest rifle in history


MIKHAIL Kalashnikov, the monument to whom was unveiled in Moscow on 19th September on the Day of the Armourer, was born in the village of Kurya in the Altai region to a large peasant family. He became a world-famous armourer by creating the unrivalled, world-famous system of automatic small arms. For the rest of his life, Kalashnikov could feel the burden of responsibility for his invention.