THE NEW WORKER
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 19th April 2019


National News

Williamson and Galloway back Assange!

Sputnik

LAST WEEK’S shock arrest and imprisonment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London is unacceptable given his previous work in helping to uncover war crimes in Iraq and raising the public awareness about the dreadful consequences of the abuse of power, Labour MP Chris Williamson told Sputnik at the scene of a second day of protests outside London’s Belmarsh Prison, which currently houses Assange.

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Gas boss should have rise blocked

by New Worker correspondent

BRITISH GAS staff should use their voting at next month’s AGM of parent company Centrica to reject the “obscene” pay rise of boss Iain Conn, says Unison, the giant union that represents many of the workers in the industry.

Iain Conn, the chief executive of Centrica, is due to receive a £2.4 million pay package — 109 times the £22,000 average salary of call centre staff — in a year when 2,000 employees are losing their jobs.

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Pay drama

by New Worker correspondent

STAFF WHO inspect the tickets or shift the scenery at the Edinburgh Playhouse have recently wrung pay-outs amounting to £20,000 in back pay from their boss, the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG), after a long legal battle. ATG refused to honour a national pay agreement negotiated by entertainment union BECTU, resulting in 25 workers going to an Employment Tribunal that also benefited another 70 workers.

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Off the rails

by New Worker correspondent

MICK CASH, General Secretary of transport union RMT, has warned that national industrial action could take place across the railway network if bosses try to get their greedy hands on rail workers’ pensions.

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Not just any strike, but an M&S strike

by New Worker correspondent

LAST FRIDAY saw workers at Bakkavor Bo’ness near Edinburgh take part in a one day strike with other action taking place this week. The company makes ready-made meals for those customers of Marks & Spencer who are too lazy to cook.

The workers have objected to derisory 2.27 per cent pay offer, which for the lowest paid workers equals a tiny increase of just six pence per hour. Before the strike Bakkavor tried to prevent GMB’s action taking place by getting their expensive lawyers to accuse GMB of potentially taking unlawful action.

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No room for racism

by New Worker correspondent

THE FOOTBALL Association and fiFA (FÉdÉration Internationale de Football Association), the international governing body of the sport, have consistently fought to kick racism out of the game. fiFA president Gianni Infantino has called on referees to use the so-called ‘three-step procedure’ if they see racist abuse, which involves stoppage, suspension and even the complete abandonment of a match.

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Twenty Years of the Scottish Parliament

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

DEPENDING on how you count it, devolution in Scotland is either 40- or 20-years-old. In 1979 there was a referendum to establish a Scottish Assembly, held by Jim Callaghan’s Labour Government.

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A Muppet Policy

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Nearly a year ago one of the SNP government’s flagship policies was finally implemented after a long delay as after it meandered through the courts.

This was the minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol. A long series of court battles was fought by the Scotch Whisky Association, who argued MUP would not help problem drinkers but merely penalises the moderate someone who has a small sherry before bed. The pub trade came round to supporting MUP because it disapproves of people getting drunk on supermarket-bought alcohol.

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A great Korean revolutionary

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON communists met last week to celebrate the life of Kim Il Sung, who led the mighty movement that freed Korea from Japanese colonialism and established the people’s government in the north that was to become the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Comrades gathered at the John Buckle Centre in south London for the commemoration called to honour the 107th anniversary of the birthday of President Kim Il Sung, the father of modern Korea, and to hear a report on the current situation by a diplomat from the DPRK embassy in London.

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Van Gogh and Britain

by New Worker correspondent

VINCENT van Gogh, the post-impressionist artist, is undoubtedly a household name. His paintings are displayed in galleries all over the world. But on the street little is known about one of the most influential figures in modern art, apart from the fact that he inspired Don McLean to write a song about him that got to number one in the charts in 1972.

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London seminar on Xi Jinping Thought

by Han Baoyi

THE CHINESE embassy in London held a symposium on President Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy last week, with Ambassador Liu Xiaoming delivering a keynote speech entitled Learn the Oriental Wisdom and Understand the Future of China.

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Assange: once hailed by the Press, now jailed by the Press

by Brian Becker

IN OCTOBER 2016, David Smith, writing for the Guardian, asked: “How did WikiLeaks go from darling of the liberal left and scourge of American imperialism to apparent tool of Donald Trump’s divisive, incendiary presidential campaign?”

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International News

Netanyahu wins: a terrible blow to peace

by Guillero Alvarado

FOLLOWING much contested legislative elections in Israel, the extremist Benjamin Netanyahu is already forming his fifth consecutive government, which is very bad news for peace in the Middle East and for the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to have a free and independent sovereign state.

The Likud Party, headed by Netanyahu, took 35 seats in the general election, the same number as the most important opposition party, the Blue and White bloc.

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German workers take on Amazon

by our European Affairs correspondent

WORKERS belonging to the German trade union Verdi have taken strike action at four warehouses in Rheinberg, Werne, Bad Hersfeld and Koblenz, over a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. The other eight might be joining in later this week. Verdi has organised a number of strikes on Amazon sites in the last six years to press demands on the global retailer to raise pay for warehouse workers in accordance with collective bargaining agreements in place in other mail-order companies.

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USA ready to attack Venezuela

by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

PENTAGON officials say that the US military is awaiting instructions from President Donald Trump to attack Venezuela. Last week US Southern Commander Craig S Faller said the USA was ready to attack Venezuela by the end of the year.

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finnish social democrats win election

by Shi Yinglun

ANTTI RINNE, the leader of the finnish Social Democratic Party, said on Monday that he hoped to be able to form a new government by the end of May.

The Social Democratic Party emerged as the largest party in parliament following the general election on Sunday, with 40 seats out of the 200 in total.

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China: Dulong people shake off poverty the socialist way

by Li Xia

THE INSPIRING news of a remote Chinese ethnic minority group being lifted out of poverty as a whole has proved the advantages of the socialist system in pooling resources for a certain cause.

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Features

GPs to be packaged for sale and side-lined in new Tory NHS plans

by Daphne Liddle

THREE campaigning doctors warned that imminent changes to the way general practitioner (GP) surgeries are organised threaten to destroy the traditional relationship between family doctors and their patients, and to package primary healthcare in this country ready for sale to giant corporations.

Retired GP Dr Paul Hobday, current GP Dr Bob Gill and retired surgeon Anne Athow were addressing a packed meeting last Friday evening in a community hall in Eltham, south London, organised by Greenwich Keep Our NHS Public.

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Algerians demand fundamental change

by G Dunkel

MILLIONS of Algerians came out in the streets 5th April, even after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had officially resigned. The general sentiment was: “We have won a battle but not the war.” Bouteflika’s colleagues are still in charge of the government.

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Long censored Irish exposÉ makes a comeback

by Jenny Farrell

PUBLISHED in London in 1935, but never re-issued until now, Hollywood Cemetery is one of five novels by Liam O’Flaherty banned by the Irish Free State under the Censorship Act. In the 1930s, O’Flaherty was one of Ireland’s most censored authors; in fact, his Galway novel The House of Gold was the very first book banned there in 1929.

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