The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 2nd February 2018

National News

Carillion robbed pension fund

THE GIANT company Carillion diverted almost £1 billion away from the company’s pension schemes to shore up shareholder dividends and directors’ bonuses when warning signs emerged that it was getting into unmanageable debt.

The parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee is now questioning why the pension investments were mismanaged and why their accounting firm agreed to this.

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Plan to privatise Haringey housing overthrown

THE LABOUR Party Blairites entrenched in many local authorities and carrying out social cleansing by demolishing council estates and replacing them with privately owned luxury developments suffered a serious setback last week when Clare Kober, leader of Haringey council, was forced to resign.

This followed a defeat for her plans to sell off council estates, the civic centre and libraries in a massive £2 billion deal with the private company Lendlease. It would have been the biggest deal of its kind ever undertaken by a local authority in Britain and it was economically risky.

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Government forced to review PIP decisions

THE DEPARTMENT of Work and Pensions has been forced to embark on a review of around 1.6 million Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims made over the last four years after a High Court ruling last year.

The process could result in an estimated 220,000 claimants receiving backdated higher awards.

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Union fights DHL pay cuts

GMB, the union for couriers, is organising delivery drivers for DHL/UK Mail after the company in the last week have forced drivers to take another pay cut of £2,000.

The DHL owned firm, which delivers for brands such as M&S, House of Fraser, 02, eBay and Argos, has told drivers based at 55 sites around the country to sign a contract, under duress, detailing the £2,000 pay cut — or their services will no longer be required.

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Teachers to fight for higher pay

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE ROYAL College of Paediatrics and Child Health says that in the last year Scotland is making “greater strides” in improving child health than Westminster. A new report, State of Child Health: one year on, found that Westminster was lagging behind the Scottish Government on the issue. The report highlights the introduction of new statutory child poverty targets, the new 10-year Mental Health Strategy, the Scottish government’s commitment to more health visitors and support for breastfeeding.

This is good news for the Scottish nationalists, whose feel-good humour was strengthened by the recent announcement that the Scottish government was also ending the one per cent public sector pay cap. But nationalist glee was somewhat dampened at the news that one group of public sector workers has taken them at their word and might be taking industrial action to obtain a substantial rise in their pay.

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More Edukashun Newz

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Apart from the pay question the SNP are having trouble with their Education Reform (Scotland) Bill, which the SNP boast will cure all that ails education in Scotland, in particular the “attainment gap” between rich and poor pupils. International surveys and even the SNP government’s own figures show that attainment in Scottish schools has declined under SNP rule.

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Sabbath Wars

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

A war over the Americanisation of Scottish society has broken out. The battleground is An Lanntir (The Lantern), the arts centre in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis that has kicked up a storm by showing the latest Star Wars film (reviewed in the New Worker [NW:1950, 12 January 217] last Sunday, or rather the Sabbath as it is more correctly known in many parts of the Western Isles.

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Defend Polish communists!

by New Worker correspondent

THE POLISH embassy in London was picketed last week by demonstrators protesting against the reactionary Polish regime’s persecution of socialists and communists and the mass desecration of monuments erected in memory of Polish International Brigaders, communist partisans and the Red Army that liberated Poland in 1945.

New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks and Gerry Downing from the Socialist Fight movement led the protest, that was also supported by the British Posadist movement, opposite the Polish embassy in London’s West End. Gerry Downing and Dermot Hudson from the NCP took the mike to denounce the “decommunisation” law that bans all communist symbols from public display and the crackdown on communist and socialist activists in Poland in a lively two-hour protest that attracted considerable attention from passers-by.

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Hard Sun!

TV reviewed by Brent Cutler

THIS SCI-FI thriller is now into its fourth episode out of six and is shown on BBC1 on Saturday evenings. Episode One sets the scene for the overall plot very well. Essentially a secret file is uncovered which foretells some kind of Extinction Level Event; but the drama leaves what it actually is to the viewers’ imagination. The state attempts a major cover-up which almost resulted in a murder. The dossier is then released to the media but the state simply claims the story to be nonsense, the work of conspiracy theorists and nutters. For a while calm prevails.

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Holocaust Day: The lessons of the past

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON communists joined war veterans, diplomats and anti-fascists at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in London last week. On 27th January 1945 the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, the largest death camp in the Third Reich, and every year the millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust a remembered at the Imperial War Museum and the nearby Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.

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International News

Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight

by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

AMIDST the political chaos in the USA and the escalating threat of nuclear war between the US and north Korea, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has advanced the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight.

The clock is a symbolic timekeeper that tracks the likelihood of nuclear war and other existential threats. It now stands closer to midnight than at any time since 1953. The scientists directly cited President Trump’s nuclear policies as one of the reasons for advancing the clock.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

IKEA boss with a Nazi past


WHILST IKEA outlets across the globe mourned the demise of its founder with a moment of silence and a Swedish municipality even voiced plans to name a street after the late Invgar Kamprad, many Swedes responded with indignation over his Nazi past, which was a touchy subject when he was still alive.

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Aden falls to south Yemeni forces


MORE THAN 20 people have already been killed in heavy clashes between the pro-government forces and supporters of the Southern Transitional Council in Yemen’s port city of Aden.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, officials said that Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar is about to flee the country as Southern Transitional Council (STC) militiamen entered the presidential palace in Aden.

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Time for a New Olympic Order

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

The Canadian Richard McClaren has buried the Olympic name and ideal under a ton of political filth, the effect being a biased and meaningless Olympic Games.

And so another Russian Olympic Champion has been banned from the forthcoming PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in south Korea. He is the Korean-born, naturalised Russian speed skater Viktor Ahn.

He is clean. He has not been accused of doping. Why then has the McClaren investigation named him and as a result he was banned? The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is simply because he is Russian. Welcome to international law, 2018.

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Brexit with offers opportunity for stronger China—Britain ties

by Jin Jing and Zhang Dailei

BREXIT could create an opportunity for stronger China—Britain ties and potentially a new partnership, says Kerry Brown, a professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s upcoming official visit to China, the first since she took office in 2016, is set to chart a new course for bilateral relations, said Brown.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Lech Walesa wakes up in a ‘fascist’ Poland

In Defence of Communism

ALMOST three decades after the victory of counter-revolution in Poland, Lech Walesa realises some of the monstrous results of capitalism’s restoration. The co-founder and first head of the renowned anti-communist ‘Solidarity’ trade union, stated in his Twitter post on 23rd January that fascist organisations really exist in Poland.

“We have fascism in Poland. Those are not just some incidents, as Jarosław Kaczyński the Chairman of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, Mateusz Morawiecki (Polish PM), and PiS are trying to portray them. Instead of decisively tackling this problem, they just talk about it,” wrote Walesa.

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Russia cracks down on Stalin’s death and Paddington Bear!


RUSSIA’S Ministry for Culture has withdrawn the distribution licence from the British satirical comedy The Death of Stalin. The film was to be released in Russia on 25th January but this is not going to happen now because the film has been banned in the country.

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The Battle of Lawrence, 1912: Textile workers’ victory contains lessons for today

by Chris Mahin

We want bread — and roses!”

“Bayonets cannot weave cloth!”

“Better to starve fighting than to starve working!”

MORE THAN a century ago, thousands of men, women and children shouted those slogans — in many different languages — in the bitter cold of a Massachusetts winter.

On 12th January 1912, thousands of workers walked out of the textile mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts and began a strike that lasted until 24th March 1912. At its height, the strike involved 23,000 workers.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]