National News

Lumpens on the Street

LAST SATURDAY hordes of fascist lumpens from the English Defence League gathered outside Downing Street in an attempt to challenge the arrest of the former founder and leader of the EDL. The protesters were quite aggressive and very soon got into scuffles with the police, but the Met said there were no arrests.

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University Staff successes

THE SMALL non-TUC union Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) have claimed that its strikes and protest at the University of London has won major concessions for outsourced workers.

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The Foodbank Trade

In his memoirs William Gallacher, the Communist MP tells of how he once attended a lecture by a rich women who advised the poor how to cook salmon head. Gallacher politely asked how the poor could get the whole fish. This tradition continues today.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish Political correspondent

Cut and Paste Report

AT LONG last the SNP have finally launched their long awaited report Scotland: the Case for Optimism. It comes from a grandly Sustainable Growth Commission which is simply a SNP committee authored by former MSP Andrew Wilson. Wilson is also a former Deputy Chief Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland. In 2013 he gave the Donaldson Lecture at the 2013 SNP conference, named after the Nazi supporting founder of the SNP.

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Legal Delays

THE Scottish legal system has come under attack from relatives of victims for long delays in holding Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI) despite a new system being brought in two years ago. The father of a victim in the November 2013 tragedy in which ten people died when a police helicopter collapsed on a Glasgow pub said five-year wait for an inquiry into the tragedy was “absolutely pathetic.” The only investigation has been by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch which found the pilot did not follow emergency protocol for low fuel warnings

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Capitalism at Work

by New Worker correspondent

THE ANNUAL General Meeting of Lloyds Banking Group took place in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre last Thursday. Having a very small shareholding as a result of the demutualisation of the Leeds Permanent Building Society decades ago allowed this correspondent to observe how British finance capital works or pretends to work

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Religion: General Assembly Week in Edinburgh

from Our Ecclesiastical Affairs correspondent

SOME VULGAR people assert that the third week in May is the busiest time of the year for the ladies of the night in Edinburgh. This is due to the fact that Scotland’s warring Presbyterian denominations hold their General Assembly or AGMs in the City. This is unlikely to be true as the visitors to the Edinburgh festivals in August are far more numerous.

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International News

Irish Referendum: ‘This is our time, this is our Ireland’life

THE LANDSLIDE vote to repeal the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution on abortion has been hailed as a “momentous day for the people of Ireland” by Sinn FÉin President Mary Lou McDonald. The resounding vote in favour of repeal was 66.4 percent to 33.6 percent against and opens the way for liberisation of abortion law.

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Brazilian Truck Drivers Victory

From Prensa Latina and other sources.

BRAZIL’S President Michael Temer caved in on Sunday to demands from striking lorry drivers’ demands after a week-long strike which paralyzed much of the country. He finally promised to subside the cost of diesel which had risen dramatically in the week before the strike. In a televised address from the presidential palace in Brasilia he said the Government would pay state-run oil company Petrobras the difference in price. This will cost up to $2.7 billion.

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The poison gas conspiracy

Guardian Australian Communist Weekly

FARAH Notash, of the Vienna-based World Anti-Imperialist Front, commenting on the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, points out that “the creation of the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was an advanced humanist step taken to protect nations against a weapon of mass murder, but ... for some time the world has been witnessing the misuse of this ban by the imperialists. They misuse this ban when they want to expand their domination by cheating and lying.”

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Capitalism, Cuba and human rights

Workers World (US)

SCARCELY one month apart, the US and Cuba each released a review of human rights. On April 20, the US State Department released its “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.” This is the US government’s take on human rights in other countries — many of them devastated by US-instigated, regime-change chaos, bombardments or economic sanctions. The report doesn’t mention any of this country’s well-known internal and external human rights violations, pointing only at those in countries it deems foes. The report unsurprisingly singles out Russia, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran.

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Nicaragua: Extortion, dialogue and a longing for peace


Above all, people in Nicaragua want to be able to live, work and study in peace, writes Tortilla Con Sal. RECENT experience confirms that the Latin American and the Caribbean right-wing, like the US government, cannot be trusted to comply with agreements. That has been true for Cuba’s revolutionary government in its direct talks with the US authorities; for Colombia’s FARC former guerrillas over government implementation of the peace agreement, and for Venezuela’s government in the national dialogue with the political opposition. Likewise, misgivings prevail about the integrity of the National Dialogue for Peace in Nicaragua mediated by the Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church as witness of the process.

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Climate change and class struggle

Workers World (US)

WORKERS and their allies throughout the world argue that it is possible to make climate, meaning the patterns of daily weather events, less violent, less dangerous, more comfortable, more human. Their bosses argue that come what may — come high heat, high water, frigid cold — workers have to get to work to make money for them and, in addition, bear most of the costs of violent weather.

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