The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 16th February 2018

National News

Big brother collecting fingerprints

THE CIVIL liberties watchdog Liberty last week condemned plans by the Home Office to expand a scheme of on-the-spot fingerprint scanning.

The Home Office announced that West Yorkshire Police will roll out the scheme without any public or parliamentary debate. Liberty’s head of Legal Casework Emma Norton explained why our rights could be at risk from the scheme: “The police have a very difficult job — protecting the public, fighting crime. It’s a job that hasn’t got any easier in recent years.

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Police face huge bill after private forensic company fails

THIRTY police forces around the country have been forced into a multi-million pound bailout of a private forensics company, Key Forensic Services (KFS), after its collapse threatened to bring turmoil to the criminal justice system.

The company folded last Friday whilst it was carrying out work in 2,000 cases, including a number of serious offences such as murder and rape.

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Labour launches new policy on animal welfare

THE LABOUR Party on Wednesday announced a new raft of policies on animal welfare that would look at introducing a ban on the live export of animals for slaughter, consult landlords on giving tenants the right to keep a pet, strengthen the ban on hunting with dogs, enshrine the principal of animal sentience in law, end the badger cull, implement a review of animal testing and expand affordable vet care for people on low incomes.

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British state pensions the lowest in the developed world

PENSIONERS in Britain face poverty and hardship in retirement with the lowest rate of pensions in the developed world, according to an assessment made by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Campaign on safety for McDonalds staff

THE BAKERS Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) last week launched a petition as part of a campaign to force management at restaurants that are part of the giant McDonalds chain to take staff safety more seriously — and in particular to protect staff from abusive customers.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE SCOTTISH National Party (SNP) are fond of posing as an anti-militarist party. They are against nuclear weapons but that must not be taken too far. They still want non-nuclear submarines to be based at the Faslane naval base, even demanding that NATO’s Atlantic Command is based in Scotland. Its devotion to the European Union implies signing up plans to form part of the planned European Army. Nothing is more guaranteed to get a nationalist in a tizzy than the suggestion that the numbers of the armed forces based in Scotland should be reduced.

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Council Workers on the March

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Across Scotland council service workers have been taking to the streets in protest at the actions (and inactions) of their employers. On Saturday hundreds of UNISON women members took to the streets for a march to Glasgow’s George Square to demand equal pay from the SNP-run city council. Led by women dressed as suffragettes, they had won a decade long legal case to secure equal pay when the council decided not to appeal a court decision.

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Attacks on Democracy

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Hundreds of students have made a stern protest at a decision by University of Aberdeen authorities to deny a potential candidate a place on the ballot that would give him a chance to follow in the footsteps of Herbert Asquith, Winston Churchill and Andrew Carnegie by becoming Rector of their university.

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Oxford students celebrate Chinese New Year

by Gu Zhenqiu

HOLDING high a sanxian, the three-stringed plucked lute, in his hand, Oxford student Mike Skelton on Sunday night explained to a full house of more than 400 that the Chinese musical instrument was brought into existence nearly 2,000 years ago.

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Red Salute to Kim Jong Il!

by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS of the Korean revolution have been commemorating the anniversary of the birth of dear leader Kim Jong Il throughout the month at events in the capital and other parts of the country. And last week comrades and friends gathered to mark the Day of the Shining Star at the John Buckle Centre, the HQ of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (ML) [RCPB(ML)] in London.

Kim Jong Il steered the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) through the difficult times that followed the death of great leader Kim Il Sung in 1994. He devoted his entire life to serving the Korean people in the cause of building a human-centred society, a cause that is espoused by the democratic and anti-imperialist forces the world over.

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The truth about Korea in north Wales

by Ray Jones

ABOUT 20 people gathered on a cold evening last week in St John’s Methodist Hall in Llandudno to hear what was happening in Korea.

At the invitation of Conwy Peace Group, Dermot Hudson from the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) and Lindis Percy from the Campaign for Accountability of US Bases, both of whom have recent experience of Korea, reported to the meeting.

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The Strange Death of Liberal England

BOOK REVIEW by Brent Cutler

AS I BROWSED the shelves of my local Waterstones bookshop I noticed a 1935 book amongst an array of more modern ones. This well written treatise, with its imaginative prose, has considerable relevance today. The Strange Death of Liberal England by George Dangerfield covers the period from the Liberal landslide election victory in 1906 to the outbreak of the first World War. These years are sometimes referred to as the late Edwardian era.

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International News

New US strategy on Afghanistan triggers Taliban surge

by Abdul Haleem

ANTI-GOVERNMENT militias in Afghanistan recently conducted a series of deadly attacks in the capital city of Kabul. The attacks have left more than 120 people dead, mostly civilians, and injured more than 250 others whilst causing widespread panic amongst Afghans.

The Taliban, the major anti-government fighting force in the country, claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the luxury Intercontinental Hotel on 21st January, which killed 22 people including four Americans.

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South Korean leader invited to Pyongyang


DEMOCRATIC Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited south Korean President Moon Jae In to Pyongyang at the “earliest date possible” in a letter delivered during an informal lunch meeting yesterday at the presidential palace in Seoul. Kim Yo Jong, the north Korean leader’s sister, hand-delivered the letter to Moon as the North Korean delegation met with southern officials.

Moon showed himself willing to visit Pyongyang and said that both Koreas should “accomplish this by creating the right conditions.” He also suggested that north Korea should engage in talks with the USA.

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African refugees protest against Israel’s racist deportations

by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

THOUSANDS of African migrants have staged a protest outside the Rwandan Embassy in Israel against a “racist” Israeli plan to deport them to the African country. During the protest, the demonstrators urged Rwanda and its President Paul Kagame not to co-operate with Israel on the plan. “Kagame — We are not for sale,” said one banner held by the demonstrators. “Prison or Deportation? What would you choose?” said another.

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One Belt and One Road a Chinese project of global benefit

Prensa Latina

SINCE IT was proposed in 2013, the ‘“One Belt and One Road’’ (OBOR) has attracted international attention for its ambitious objectives of creating a community with shared interests, destiny and responsibility under the win—win strategy.

Its source of inspiration is the old commercial routes of China and now it seeks to link it to numerous countries through a great platform of exchanges, modern infrastructures and coordinated policies that lead to the balanced growth of the planet.

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SPYCOPS: messing with the wrong people

by Kit Klarenberg

The official investigation into the long-raging ‘Spycops’ scandal refuses to disclose the cover names of police officers who spied on activists for half a century. A number of individuals and groups are battling the official conspiracy of silence — one campaigner explains why they refuse to give up their crusade.

ON MONDAY 5th February 2018, the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) held a preliminary hearing at the Royal Court of Justice, London.

The Inquiry was launched March 2014 to investigate how, over 50 years, undercover police officers embedded themselves within protest groups, posing as activists for years at a time under false identities. ‘Spycops’ would monitor the activities of individuals and organisations, and be involved with protest actions, all the while feeding intelligence back to Scotland Yard.

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Black Liberation and the Vietnamese struggle

by Abayomi Azikiwe

DURING THE height of the genocidal war waged by the USA against the people of Vietnam during the 1960s and early 1970s, African-Americans were involved in a life-and-death campaign in the USA aimed at reclaiming their national identity, human rights and racial dignity.

The 30th January was the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive that shook the foundations of the US war strategy in Vietnam. In a surprise move, the forces of the National Liberation Front and the People’s Army of Vietnam attacked more than 100 cities and towns across the country.

The US anti-war movement during this period is often portrayed as led by white university students who had left-wing political leanings, with African-Americans being almost exclusively preoccupied with Civil Rights and Black Power demands within a domestic framework.

The reality of the period proves to be quite the contrary. From the early 1960s, leading figures in the Civil Rights and Black nationalist movements expressed their opposition to the US role in Vietnam.

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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.

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