The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 19th January 2018

National News

FBU anger at 40% rise in London fire deaths

THE FIRE Brigades Union (FBU) last week reported that its London members are deeply upset and angry to learn that the number of people killed in fires has risen sharply in the capital, according to the latest figures released by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) this week.

In 2016, the latest year for which figures have been made available, there were 46 deaths in London caused by fire, up from 33 the previous year — a 40 per cent increase. The figures, published in the LFB’s Fire Facts briefing, do not include the 71 victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Paul Embery, FBU executive council member for London, said: “We are deeply concerned at the correlation between the rise in deaths following the deepest cuts to the brigade in its history, which were pushed through by the former mayor [Boris Johnson].

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MPs demand action on electrical white goods

THE PARLIAMENTARY Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee (BEIS) last week criticised the Government over its lack of action to reduce potential fire dangers from washing machines, tumble driers, fridge freezers and other household white goods in Britain.

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33,000 nurses quit NHS last year

MORE than 33,000 nurses left the NHS last year according to figures given to the BBC by NHS Digital. This represents an increase in those leaving of 20 per cent since 2012—13 and numbers leaving exceed new recruits joining.

The effect has left hospitals and community services struggling to cope and understaffed.

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Fascists fail to arrest London mayor

A GROUP of fascist thugs invaded a Fabian Society conference last week and tried to make a “citizen’s arrest” on London mayor Sadiq Khan, who was speaking there.

They came brandishing American flags, pro-Trump posters and pro-Brexit posters.

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Sun newspaper loses £24 million as advertisers quit

THE SUN newspaper last year made a £24 million loss according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Reasons for its poor performance include £51 million paid out in legal costs, damages related to phone hacking, and an increasingly hostile print advertising market.

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Brexit News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

“I DON’T think most folk in their daily lives give two hoots about whether Scotland is a member of the Union, the constitutional issues are not the biggest concern for an awful lot of people.” This would be an unremarkable, if debatable, statement if it came from the pen of any mainstream journalist. But it came from Kirsty Blackman MP, whom readers will likely be unaware is the deputy leader of the SNP contingent at Westminster.

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by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

A major pre-occupation of the SNP Government is of course the National Health Service. At the first session of First Minister’s Questions of 2018 a great deal of time was spent dealing with the NHS in both England and Wales.

The time has not yet arrived when the First Minister will boast about her Health Secretary bragging that Scotland has successfully avoided Ebola or leprosy outbreaks, but that day is not far off.

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Carillion — the blame-game begins

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent The collapse of Carillion has sparked off the usual Westminster blame-game, with the Tories trying to shrug it off as if it has nothing to do with them whilst Labour is promising to ditch PFI [private finance initiative] and return to public ownership when it gets back into office.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said that Carillion’s failure summed up “everything that is wrong with our economy.” But the nationalists are gleefully pointing out that one of Carillion’s minions is a prominent member of the Scottish Labour Party.

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

FILM REVIEW by Brent Cutler

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017). PG-13; 119 minutes. Director: Jake Kasdan, Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart.

ESSENTIALLY a US teen movie, set in what is commonly referred to as Middle America. The film explores issues of modern society such as over-dependence on mobile phones as well as the role of computer games. It also goes into the possibility of individuals changing personal characteristics and even taking on different personas.

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This year’s BAFTA shortlist announced

by Mu Xuequan

THE British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has unveiled its shortlist for this year’s film awards with, The Shape of Water dominating the nominations.

The Shape of Water, a fantasy film about a woman who falls in love with a monster from the sea, was nominated in the best film category, and its director Guillermo del Toro was nominated for both director and for original screenplay.

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International News

Protests greet Israeli leader in India

by Pavel Jacomino

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed in India on Sunday for a six-day visit, and was met with protests throughout the capital and other cities around the country. In the past, successive governments in New Delhi had been vocal about establishing closer ties with the Tel Aviv regime. During this week’s visit, cooperation in the fields of defence, security, trade and agriculture will be high on the agenda.

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Venezuelan terror gang smashed


VENEZUELA’S Interior Minister has confirmed that seven members of a terrorist cell were killed during an operation in the outskirts of Caracas on Monday. Two police officers were killed and six other terror cell members taken prisoner in the operation. “We also offer our solidarity to the families of those [police officers] killed in the operation, and we will continue to guarantee peace,” the minister added.

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Russian Communists pick farmer

A FARMER will be competing against incumbent President Vladimir Putin in the March presidential elections on the platform of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). The choice of a farmer may be a wise strategic move because strong party support remains in the nation’s rural communities

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IN MEMORIAM: Viktor Anpilov (1945—2018)

Comrades of the United Communist Party (OKP)

THE long-time Chairman of the Working Russia movement, Victor Ivanovich Anpilov, has passed away. And together with him, a whole epoch in the political life of our country [Russia] and the whole of the USSR has passed.

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The Middle East and North Africa

US aggression: the common denominator

by Elson Concepción Pérez

THE geographical region known as the Middle East, where 60 per cent of the world’s oil reserves are concentrated, has been changing following the geopolitical dominance of the USA in the area.

Today, it is not uncommon to hear about conflict in the Middle East, especially when it comes to the war in Syria or Iraq, or when coverage includes North Africa or Asia.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Koreans seek détente despite US threats

by Deirdre Griswold

A TURN has taken place in the crisis building over the Korean peninsula as the US threatened war over the creation of a nuclear deterrent by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

In his New Year’s message, DPRK leader Kim Jong Un announced the completion of its nuclear defence and a “reliable war deterrent, which no force and nothing can reverse.

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Who benefited from the collapse of the Soviet Union?

by Alexander Artamonov

OVER 26 years have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. As many of those who were born in the USSR look back at their Soviet past, they often wonder whether it would have been best for all the Soviet people to stay together. First deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for Affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, director of the Institute of CIS countries, Konstantin Zatulin, shares his views about the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Do you think that Russia lost politically but won economically from the collapse of the Soviet Union?

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Ahed Tamimi stands up to Israel while the rest of the world bows

by Miko Peled

ONE CAN barely go for half a day on social media without seeing new iconic images of Ahed Tamimi. Everyone who ever posed with her for a photo is posting and some very creative art is being made of her almost by the minute.

But the truth is that we all failed her. Even those of us who regularly visit the village of Nabi Saleh and march with the people of the village to protest the Israeli oppression, although we cough and gag from the tear gas and we stink from the skunk water, and though some of us are arrested from time to time — we have all failed her.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]