The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 26th January 2018

National News

Women rally in London against sex abuse

THOUSANDS of women rallied in Whitehall, London last Sunday in spite of freezing weather, rain and sleet to be part of a worldwide event for gender equality and against sexual abuse.

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Sellafield firefighters strike

FIREFIGHTERS at the Sellafield nuclear power plant, who are members of the GMB union, took strike action last Monday, 22nd January in a long-running dispute over pay.

The job done by firefighters at Sellafield has been re-evaluated by three separate individual professionals, all recommending an increase, but Sellafield management have repeatedly ignored the work they commissioned.

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Grenfell survivors fight to keep volunteer therapists

SURVIVORS of the Grenfell Tower fire last June have told the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) of their dismay and distress at the council’s plans to cut the services of volunteer complementary therapists who have been helping them to cope with the trauma of the fire, in which at least 71 residents died.

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Sex attack victims enduring degrading strip-searches

INMATES at Peterborough women’s prison face too many embarrassing and degrading strip searches according to a report from HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP). This is particularly stressful for a high proportion of inmates who have been victims of rape and molestation.

Peterborough is the only prison in Britain that houses both men and women prisoners. The report has described the use of force in the women’s section as “too high” and “unsafe.”

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Homeless man dies after council take his sleeping bag

A HOMELESS man, known only as Kev, was found dead in a car park in Bournemouth, Dorset, after a freezing night and after council officials has confiscated his sleeping bag.

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Tories forced into U-turn on PIP

MORE THAN 150,000 people with mental health problems are set to get higher disability benefits after a massive U-turn by the Tory government.

After a long battle by charities, campaigners and Labour, the Tories have been forced to reverse one of their cuts in benefits for disabled people. The decision will increase the cost to the Treasury by £3.7 billion.

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Budget Blues

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

IN THEIR Budget proposals submitted to the Scottish Parliament shortly before Christmas the SNP Government announced the end of the long-standing one per cent public sector pay cap. They promised that public sector staff earning less than £30,000 would get a three per cent rise.

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SNP (in)action

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Despite a vigorous local campaign, the children’s ward at Paisley’s Royal Alexandria Hospital (RAH) is to be closed and any young patients requiring overnight stays will receive treatment at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, six miles away.

Carolann Davidson of the local campaigning group Kids Need Our Ward denounced the SNP Health Secretary when she said: “Shona Robison claimed to listen to local families. She did speak to them, but clearly didn’t listen. I think kids will die as a result of this decision.”

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SNP in Action (1)

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Meanwhile another SNP MP is making sure the party makes its voice heard in London. Edinburgh North and Leith MP Deidre Brock sternly denounced the Tory Government’s Scotland Office in Whitehall for holding “lavish” events parties and increasing its hospitality budget.

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SNP in Action (II)

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

If the SNP cannot be bothered with the interests of their constituents they still find time to fight amongst themselves, as events in North Lanarkshire demonstrate. The ‘Monklands McMafia’, an internal faction supported by the area’s councillors, MSPs and many long-standing members, is back in the news.

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The Pigeon Tunnel


The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carré. 342pp. ISBN 978-0-241-97689-0 First published by Viking 2016; Published by Penguin 2017 at £8.99

by Daphne Liddle

THIS BOOK marks John le Carré’s, the well-known writer of spy thrillers, first venture into non-fiction. It is not so much an autobiography as a rich collection of autobiographical anecdotes and is mostly about the people he has met and spoken in his career as a writer researching characters for his books, and later the film directors and stars who brought his creations to the cinema and television series. His real name is David Cornwell.

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McMafia (2018), BBC1 and BBC iPlayer. Director: James Watkins. Starring: James Norton, David Strathairn, Juliet Rylance.

by Brent Cutler

AN eight-part BBC Television drama appears to have captivated viewers and satisfied critics for the last few weeks. It seems to be part of a new tradition in BBC dramas in recent years that at least attempt to show some insight into how the world is run.

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International News

Pence’s trip fails to revive peace prospects


US Vice President Mike Pence’s five-day visit to the Middle East ended Tuesday without results, dogged by President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that triggered widespread protests.

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Cuban Embassy in Venezuela targeted by terrorists

“THEY were going to put a bomb in the Cuban Embassy,” stated Diosdado Cabello, first vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), referring to plans by a terrorist cell that was neutralised this week in the Bolivarian nation.

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More countries want Russian missiles


RUSSIA is engaged in negotiations on the deliveries of S-400 air defence missile systems with a number of Middle Eastern and South-East Asian countries that are willing to purchase the systems, following Turkey’s example, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

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Our social and economic system under the microscope

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

ANOTHER human tragedy, this time in California, brings the media circus into town, where in this case the authorities have been quick to shelter the identities of the 13 children held in deplorable conditions by two people who were not fit to be parents. An exception to the rule, certainly but also food for thought.

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The Hammer & the Hoe: The Alabama Communist Party 1928—1951

by Devin Cole

IN 1990, Dr Robin DG Kelley published the phenomenal book Hammer and Hoe: The Alabama Communist Party 1928—1951, documenting the 23-year history of the Alabama Communist Party (ACP), a chapter of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

Formed and moulded by Black sharecroppers and labourers such as Black revolutionary Hosea Hudson, the ACP went above and beyond fighting for the rights of labourers and workers, both Black and white, to the rights to housing, food and equal pay.

The eventual dissolution of the ACP was brought on by the Red Scare, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and reactionary politicians in Alabama. But it is important to understand that it took the collective effort of the local and state white supremacist government to bring down the organised party of mainly Black labourers and workers, and that it took over two decades to do. This alone proves the resilience of these revolutionary Southerners.

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