The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 24th May 2019

National News

Privatisation reversed

JUSTICE Secretary David Gauke has announced the end to a particularly unsuccessful privatisation experiment started by his predecessor Chris Grayling. In 2014 the Probation Service in England and Wales was separated into a public sector organisation managing high-risk criminals and 21 private companies responsible for the supervision of the more profitable 150,000 low- to medium-risk offenders. In March a National Audit Office report revealed that the whole fiasco had cost the British tax payer close to an additional £500 million for a very poor service. An inspection found thousands of offenders were being managed by a single brief phone call once every six weeks.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

No way to win friends

by Neil Clark

I WONDER if certain leading Remainers have ever read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie? I’m not sure that they have.

Instead of trying to understand why the 52 per cent voted for Britain to leave the European Union (EU) in the June 2016 referendum, and then using Quaker- style ‘friendly persuasion’ to try to win people over to their cause, the tactic seems to be to insult them. This approach is actually helping to boost the Brexit Party, who look set for a stunning success in the European Parliament Elections.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Health and Safety strike

THIRTY-SIX process operator workers at Liverpool based Colloids Limited, the global manufacturer of plastic concentrates for use in the automotive, aerospace and construction industries, are taking strike action next week in a row over the sacking of a fellow worker.

The action comes after the sacking of Unite union representative George Gore, who was unfairly dismissed in early February for an alleged breach of health and safety.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Bottle workers strike

ANYONE who is not a member of the Band of Hope will have handled the products of Encirc Limited, for they make about a third of all the glass bottles for beers, wines and spirits produced in Britain. Next month the company’s workers at their plant in Elton, Cheshire, are going on strike after voting overwhelmingly against a below inflation pay offer by the company.

A ballot held by Unite the Union saw workers vote by 95 per cent in favour of strike action and 96 per cent for industrial action short of strike.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Most Dishonest Political Discourse

by our Scottish political correspondent

POLITICS can be a funny old business at times and the Euro election campaign is one of them. There have been some unlikely appeals for votes. Nigel Farage called on “genuine Scottish nationalists” to vote for his newly minted Brexit Party, whose sole aim is the opposite of a key Scottish National Party (SNP) policy. At the same time, first Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that unionists can safely vote for the SNP, just as a former Deputy Leader of that party warned against voting for it.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Airport Chaos

by our Scottish political correspondent

Highland and Island Airports Limited (HIAL) and trade union Prospect have been involved in a pay dispute for over a year now. Most recently the union has complained that HAIL has failed to come up with a satisfactory pay offer. To make matters worse, HIAL and the SNP government cannot even decide who is responsible, according to the union.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Tartan Feminism

by our Scottish political correspondent

Feminism is beginning to make its mark in an unlikely area: traditional Scottish Highland Games. These involve heavy sports such shot put, tug-o-war, throwing the hammer and tossing a caber (a large bit of pine tree). As well as pipe band contests the events are also noted for the consumption of vast quantities of beer and whisky, although organisers tend not to dwell on the latter aspects. They now take place across Scotland, including these areas that formerly feared the Highlanders as uncivilised cattle thieves.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Macclesfield and the Silk Road

by Gu Zhenqiu

WALKING ON the cobbled streets in the centre of Macclesfield people can see historic signs related to ‘silk’ almost everywhere.

Atop a monument, there’s a sculpture of a piece of curving silk scarf covering the mouth of a big jar. The word ‘silk’ is enshrined in the names of buildings and restaurants — ‘Silk House’ and ‘Silktown Fryer’, not to mention the nearby Silk Museum.

With a population of more than 50,000, Macclesfield, in Cheshire, is considered the Western end of the ancient Silk Road in Europe.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Britain’s relations with China are as important as Brexit

by Gui Tao and Larry Neild

A LEADING British expert on China has decried his country’s apathy and urged it to consider its ways of working with China, saying the relationship is as important as the looming Brexit.

“My argument is that, important as leaving the European Union (EU) is, it is the way Britain shapes and crafts its relationship with China that will have the larger long-term impact,” said Professor Kerry Brown, a professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College of London.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Gunboat diplomacy (1)


“IF IRAN wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again.”

US President Donald Trump issued this stern warning to Iran on Sunday in which he threatened to end the Persian Gulf country if they went to war with America. Trump, who has reintroduced sanctions against Iran, has long criticised the government of the Islamic Republic, even going as far as threatening military action in the Persian Gulf.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Gunboat diplomacy (2)


“PREBLE sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to challenge-- excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” said Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet.

A US warship reportedly entered the disputed region of the South China Sea on Monday morning as Washington attempts to challenge Beijing’s authority there.

The busy waterway is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the USA—China relationship, which also includes a trade war, US sanctions and Taiwan.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Save your tears

by New Worker financial Correspondent

THE FACT that the $655 billion lost by investors at the end of the first day of trading in Uber stock was the largest of any other Initial Public Offering (IPO) in financial history was not the end of the world for whose who work on Wall Street.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

fiddling the figures

Radio Havana Cuba

IN WASHINGTON, the Donald Trump administration has proposed redefining how the government calculates the poverty line, using a different measure of inflation.

Economists warn that the switch to the so-called ‘Chained Consumer Price Index’ would underestimate the impact of inflation on wages, gradually chipping away at benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid and healthcare subsidies for millions of Americans.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Kiev Parliament dissolved


NEW Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced in his inaugural speech on Monday the dissolution of the Ukrainian parliament, paving the way for early parliamentary elections.

The snap elections will be held in two months, according to a statement on the presidential website. The official decree on the dissolution of the parliament has not yet been unveiled however.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Tele Wars


GOOGLE has restricted Huawei’s use of its Android operating system days after the Trump administration placed the Chinese telecom giant on the US Commerce Department’s ‘Entity List’.

President Trump signed an executive order on 15th May barring US companies from using telecom equipment from sources the administration deems a national security threat, in an action seen as targeting China, specifically, Huawei, a leader in 5G technology and a global tech business with a reported revenue of over $100 billion.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Venezuela and China: A friendship forged in struggle

by Ian Goodrum

LAST MONTH I spent the morning at a packed building in Beijing’s Sanlitun, a part of town known for its agglomeration of diplomatic missions as well as glitzy shopping districts.

Mercifully, a visit to the former was on the agenda that day. We were at the embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in China on Friday 19th April to ring in an important anniversary —209 years to the day since the country declared its independence from Spain. Simón Bolívar and other revolutionaries conducted a protracted crusade to free their people from oppression, inspiring other nations to wage their own liberation struggles in turn. Although the declaration was a watershed moment, it was only the beginning of a long campaign by the peoples of Latin America to break the shackles of colonialism and stand on their own two feet.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Defying the Trump threats

by Alicia Jrapko and Bill Hackwell

CONSIDERING the level of belligerence and hostility coming from the empire of the North, one might expect that the powerful May Day march through the Plaza of the Revolution might take on a defensive military overtone. But Cuba is never that way, instead they show their resolution and defiance cloaked within their humanity.

Just as the sun started to rise the march to celebrate the International Day of the Workers began, and behind the banner that read “Unity, Commitment and Victory” were not soldiers with weapons but waves of doctors, soldiers in white, who had recently been expelled from Brazil by the right-wing government of Bolsonaro leaving vast areas of Brazil without medical professionals. Vibrant demonstrations also marked the occasion in all 15 provinces of Cuba and the Isle of Youth.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Uber shares dive as rideshare workers strike!

by Martha Grevatt

UBER/Lyft/Via/Juno drivers leveraged their collective power and went on strike on 8th May in a global day of action to protest against their employers’ greed. Drivers held a number of solidarity rallies and urged consumers to turn off their rideshare apps and not “cross the picket line”. These actions raised the voices of drivers seeking higher wages, job security and a say on the job.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]