THE NEW WORKER

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 1st March 2019


National News

Ukraine will be free!

by Theo Russell

PROTESTERS gathered on Saturday opposite Theresa May’s residence in Downing Street to send a message of solidarity to anti-fascists in Ukraine and the Donbas who are resisting the illegitimate government in Kiev, which has unleashed a war in eastern Ukraine and a wave of fascist terror in the five years since the US-backed coup on 22 February, 2014.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The shadowy company behind the ‘Independent Group’

Sputnik

IN A SHOCK move, on 18th February seven Labour MPs resigned from the party and declared the creation of a new political collective — the ‘Independent Group’. They have now won the support of three Tory MPs and another one from Labour’s ranks.

The press conference convened by the original seven backbenchers to announce their departure from Labour was well-received by the media, despite the BBC broadcasting an attendant, unidentified journalist muttering “between this and Brexit we are actually fucked”, and the MP collective refusing to rule out admitting MPs accused of sexual harassment to their upstart grouping.

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Further low pay struggles

THIS WEEK various groups of low-paid and insecure workers are taking industrial action. Couriers working for, but not formally employed by, the courier company Deliveroo are taking their second day of strike action this month in Manchester. Non-TUC union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) are demanding £5 per delivery.

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On the Rigs

OIL RIG workers belonging to Unite have overwhelmingly voted for industrial action on the Elgin-Franklin, Shetland Gas Plant, North Alwyn and Dunbar platforms. The platforms, operated by Aker and Petrofac, cover over 200 workers.

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Partial victory

LOCAL government Unison has won a campaign against the planned closure of two care homes owned by Southampton council. Whilst one is still closing the other remains open, and there will be no compulsory redundancies.

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Media News

by our Scottish Political correspondent

SCOTLAND acquired a new TV station on Sunday evening. This was BBC Scotland, which will see the end of regional opt-outs from BBC One and Two. Even the BBC do not expect many people to watch it.

Beforehand, BBC Scotland Director Donalda [sic] MacKinnon gave the game away when she said the success of a new television channel “will not be all about audience numbers”, apart from the £32 million annual budget, of course.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Wind-Power(less?)

by our Scottish Political correspondent

One of the notable business success stories in Scotland is the growth of wind-power, by which we mean the renewable energy kind and not the output of the Scottish Parliament’s debating chamber. That is unsurprising because in addition to being very windy Scotland is also very wet, so there is no excuse for not converting the rain that runs down mountains into hydro-electricity. A quarter of Europe’s tidal and offshore energy comes from Scottish coasts andt on some windy days all of Scotland’s needs were in theory met by wind-power.

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Business Rates Protest

by our Scottish Political correspondent

Councils are having to bump up the valuations of properties to increase much needed revenue from the rates because of SNP austerity. This trend has upset an elderly lady in Aberdeenshire who has been forced to lodge two appeals against “punitive” rises amounting to £16,800, which she can barely afford. The hard-pressed lady is appealing against the increased rateable value of sporting land listed as ‘deer forests’ by the Scottish Assessors Association. She is none other than Her Majesty the Queen, who is grievously affected by excessive demands for the Abergeldie Estate at Crathie and Delnadamph at Strathdon.

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appealing

by our Scottish Political correspondent

According to the Scottish Assessors Association, Her Majesty is appealing against the rateable valuation of £22,500 and £12,500 at two sites at Balmoral, which means a joint business rates bill of £16,800.

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Traitors

TV Review by Ben Soton

HAVE YOU HEARD it said that Channel 4 used to make really good programmes but in recent years it has gone downhill?

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

British expert develops ‘green printing’ tech in China

Xinhua

PETER Bennett and his Chinese partners are working on the latest laser imaging technology, hoping to bring a more energy-efficient and environment-friendly future for the printing sector.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

France: arrests, tear gas and water cannons deployed on week 15 of Yellow Vests protests

Sputnik

Sputnik

FRANCE’S Yellow Vests showed no sign of tiring as the 15th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Macron’s austerity measures and repression took place across the country.

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Cuba votes for new constitution

Prensa Latina.

VOTERS IN CUBA have voted to ratify their new constitution. The preliminary results issued on Monday show that 7,522,569 voters, or 84.1 per cent of the electorate turned out. The result showed that 6,816,169 voters voted in favour of the Constitution, which represents 73.31 per cent of the total voter pool, but 86.85 per cent of the updated list after counting out blank votes and cancelled votes. There were 706,400 who voted no, which represents only 7.6 per cent of the total number of voters and nine per cent in relation to the updated list.

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DPRK and US leaders meet again

Xinhua

KIM JONG UN, the top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), left Pyongyang on Saturday afternoon by train for Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the second DPRK—USA summit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

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Media hype confronts reality on the Venezuela-Colombia border

by Marco Terrugi

THE CAMERAS are pointed at the border between Venezuela and Colombia. The stage is presented as a gate about to collapse. Everything seems ready, just waiting for the appropriate day that, according to the declarations of presidents and newscast headlines, is just about to happen. Narrative immediacy has been a central point ever since Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president: the impending fall of Nicolás Maduro, the imminent transition government and the resolution of all of Venezuela’s problems.

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Features

Kashmiri artists’ ‘act of resistance’ against Indian occupation

Telesur

by the gates of the Villa of Peace, our hands blossoming into fists till the soldiers return the keys and disappear. Again we’ll enter our last world, the first that vanished...

Agha Shahid Ali (1997)

MUAZZAM Bhat, a 25-year-old rapper from Indian Occupied Kashmir, is one of many young artists picking up guitars, paintbrushes and cameras to protest the atrocities against Kashmiris. The valley, which sees daily uninterrupted violence, has seen bruised and battered but almost forgotten lives in the world map of conflict zones.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

When the Haitian Revolution shook empires

by Motema Makasi

IN A VODOU ceremony led by Dutty Boukman in 1791, several hundred enslaved people swore to fight to the death against a brutal system of slavery and torture. The revolt that followed would shake the greatest empires of Europe and burn the slave society of Saint-Domingue to the ground. From the ashes emerged the first Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first nation founded by a successful slave rebellion: Haiti.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]