THE NEW WORKER

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 20th October 2017


National News

Defend Moshe Machover!

Moshe Machover is a former Israeli communist who helped set up an Israeli left-social democratic party called Matzpen in 1962. Prof Machover, who is a writer and academic, moved to Britain in 1968 and became a British citizen. In Britain he worked with a number of other Israelis on a number of anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian projects, and joined the Labour Party.

Machover was expelled from the Labour Party last week on the trumped-up charges of “anti-Semitism” that have been used by the Blairite bureaucracy to purge prominent supporters of the Palestinian rights including Ken Livingstone, Gerry Downing, Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker. Both the Jewish Socialists’ Group and the new Jewish Voice for Labour campaign are supporting him, along with the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) and a growing number of Labour Party branches.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Exeter hospital porters ready for walk-out

UNISON hospital porters in Exeter are gearing up for strike action this weekend over management attempts to move them on to 12-hour shifts. The porters at the Royal Devon and Exeter foundation trust are amongst some of the lowest-paid staff in the NHS but 96 per cent of them voted for industrial action, with a 24-hour strike due to start at 6am on Friday 20 October and an 8-hour follow-up strike from 10pm on Sunday 22 October.

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Rough sleeping amongst elderly people soars

THE NUMBER of elderly people sleeping rough has risen by 100 per cent in the past seven years, according to new official statistics.

A new report reveals that people over the age of 60 are now twice as likely to become homeless, with the figure rising from 1,210 in 2009 to 2,420 last year. Meanwhile, overall homelessness has risen by 42 per cent during the same period. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, warns that based on existing trends, the scale of elderly homelessness is set to double by 2025, soaring from 41,790 to 59,260, according to government statistics.

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Tube cleaners demand more pay

RMT Tube cleaners demonstrated outside City Hall in London last week to protest against poor pay and conditions as a result of outsourcing.

London Underground has recently consolidated its major cleaning contracts into a single contract, sold to the lowest bidder, American firm ABM. As with previous cleaning contracts, the main contractor, ABM, will outsource a significant proportion of the work to labour supply agencies such as AGS People, who pressure cleaners into registering as ‘self-employed’ or ‘limited liability companies’ of one person, in order to avoid upholding their statutory rights. Cleaners have no company sick pay and, unlike other Tube staff, do not have travel passes to allow them to use for free the system they help run.

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Labour Pains

by our Scottish political correspondence

THERE is a Scottish Labour legend that tells of a group of elderly women who were delighted to hear that they would be picked up by a fleet of cars to take them to their evening bingo session at the local Labour Club. On arrival they were surprised to find that their innocent amusements were interrupted by having to vote a certain recommended way in a prospective parliamentary candidate selection meeting.

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Expenses (Part 94)

by our Scottish political correspondence

A fortnight ago we reported on the large number of claims for short taxi journeys made by lazy MSPs. Another example of this has come to light. Maureen Watt, the Minister for Public Health whose main qualification for office is that she is the daughter of a late nationalist MP, submitted a claim for a £4.68 taxi journey of less than a mile from the Scottish Parliament building along a single street. The purpose of the journey? To give a talk about at the Meadowfield Sports Centre for people with learning disabilities — about “the benefits of physical activity”. It has been cruelly suggested that Ms Watt would be the ideal poster girl for those needing more exercise.

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SNP Agonises

by our Scottish political correspondence

The Scottish Parliament is having one of its many recesses. Former SNP Deputy Leader Jim Sillars has plainly stated that Nicola Sturgeon should resign as SNP leader in favour of someone with greater “intellectual capability”. But he also helpfully highlighted a certain difficulty with his laudable suggestion. “But there’s no one there at the moment. So we’ve got Nicola and I hope Nicola improves.”

In particular, he accused her of losing “Westminster seats because the day after the EU referendum she went helter-skelter for a second referendum which everybody knew we would lose and most people don’t want.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Robbing Peter

by our Scottish political correspondence

Janitors at Glasgow schools recently won a major regrading after a lengthy 20 month dispute in August. In the last municipal elections the SNP castigated the Labour authority for their handling of the dispute. When they formed a minority administration, settling the dispute between the workers and their arms-length employer, Cordia, was a priority for them.Having done so with much self-congratulation, the question of finding the cash to pay not only the increased salaries but also the new posts agreed has now come to the fore. The extra costs have made providing essential coverage for out-of-hours activities more expensive.

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Diwali in London

Xinhua

DANCE performers and thousands of revellers celebrated the Diwali Festival of Lights in Trafalgar Square on Sunday. They were joined by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who lit a ceremonial candle during the opening of the festival that heralds new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The five-day celebration is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in India and many other countries around the world. Sadiq Khan, a prominent London Labour politician, described the atmosphere in the Square as ‘fantastic” and said it was “great to see Londoners from all walks of life celebrating together.”

International News

America’s disgraceful behaviour

Sputnik

THE US government is going to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the end of 2018, citing a need for reform and an anti-Israel bias in the organisation. The decision reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

The Trump administration’s announcement came after a long record of official US suspicion and hostility towards UNESCO that had led to a backlog in dues coming to over half a billion dollars this decade, said John Quigley, Ohio State University Professor Emeritus of International Law.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Russian-Cuban friendship stronger than ever

by Pavel Jacomino

RELATIONS between Moscow and Havana have withstood the tests of time thanks to the efforts of Cuba’s former president and leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and have reached the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week.

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The future belongs to youth! 19th World Festival of Youth and Students begins

by Lissy Rodríguez Guerrero

A TRIBUTE to sacrifice and courage was the best way to inaugurate the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students — because the only way to build a better world, to serve the most needy, is for all men and women of goodwill to come together, and this is the focus of many youth today.

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Eminem blasts Trump at BET awards

by Jordan Florit

IT IS NOT the first time Eminem has used his platform to criticise US presidents. On 10th October, Eminem used his slot at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Hip Hop Awards to comprehensively attack and denounce US President Donald Trump. The Detroit rapper opened his four-and-a-half minute freestyle asking, “That’s an awfully hot coffee pot; should I drop it on Donald Trump?” before going on to castigate him for being “racist,” a “kamikaze,” and for being “bored” during recent events in Puerto Rico and Las Vegas.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Harvey Weinstein: a Hollywood culture of excess and abuse

by John Wight

THE ONLY surprise concerning the exposure of Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein as a serial abuser of women is that anybody could possibly be surprised. We are, after all, talking about a town, industry and culture that not only produces monsters, it goes out of its way to cultivate and worship them.

Sympathy for Mr Weinstein is notably in exceedingly short supply amongst family members, former friends, associates and fellow studio execs in Hollywood — not to mention high profile political figures within the US liberal political community whose ‘loyalty’ and friendship he’d cultivated over the years with the judicious use of campaign donations. All of them have scrambled for cover, treating a man whom they once revered as a veritable sun king as something akin to radioactive waste overnight.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Features

Hurricanes, hoaxes and nuclear holocaust

by Rob Gowland

AT FIRST sight, it seems curious that right-wingers can be so adamant that global warming is some sort of Commie plot. Until you realise that denying climate change — and especially denying that it has anything to do with the burning of fossil fuels — benefits some of the most reactionary sectors of capital: those businesses that make their money from the extraction and use of oil and coal.

William Rivers Pitt, commenting on the recent devastating hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria said in the American online magazine Truthout: “Four massive storms in a row, each rewriting meteorological history with their sheer size and strength... This is what climate change looks like: More water in the atmosphere makes for larger, stronger storms...

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How the CIA killed Western politicians during Cold War

Sputnik

GERMAN investigative journalist Patrik Baab and former Pentagon adviser Robert Harkavy have released a bombshell book, revealing the links between the murders of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, West German politician Uwe Barschel and former CIA director William Colby. This is what their ground-breaking research has uncovered.

Baab and Harkavy’s book, In the Spider Web of the Secret Services: Why Were Olaf Palme, Uwe Barsche and William Colby Murdered?, takes aim at the CIA’s suspected involvement in the officials’ deaths. Based on secret documents from seven different intelligence agencies, conversations with former agents, toxicology reports and consultations with experts, the book seeks answers to long-standing questions about who was responsible for what have become among the most high profile political death and suspected suicide cases of the 20th century.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Cuba: more lies from Washington

by Chris Fry

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ordered the removal of two-thirds of the Cuban Embassy staff in Washington, DC, on 3rd October. Fifteen Cuban staff members were given seven days to leave the country.

This comes after the State Department in September ordered 60 per cent of its embassy staff in Havana to return to the USA. At the same time, it issued a “travel advisory” stating that American tourists should not visit Cuba for “safety reasons.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]