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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Skool Kuts

by New Worker correspondent

THE School Cuts organisation, an umbrella group supported by the education unions, have shown that despite Tory promises no less than 83 per cent of English schools will be worse off next year than they were in 2015.

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Chris Williamson remains suspended

Sputnik

LAST WEEK a High Court judge found that the Labour Party acted unlawfully in the re-suspension of Derby North MP Chris Williamson. But although the court ruled that Labour’s re-opening of his case was unlawful, Williamson, who is a strong supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, lost his bid to be readmitted into the Labour Party and he remains suspended.

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Thirsty work

by New Worker correspondent

WORKERS producing a product without which Britain cannot function are balloting for industrial action over after they rejected a miserable two per cent pay offer from their bosses. They are employed by Greene King, the Suffolk-based brewery founded in 1799 whose beer is served at Buckingham Palace.

Two-hundred and fifty members of Unite the Union, including draymen, brewery production staff and warehouse workers, at Bury St Edmunds and distribution centres in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Eastwood, Nottinghamshire are involved. Greene King has just been taken over by CK Asset Holdings owned by Hong King’s richest man Li Ka-Shing, who paid £4.6 billion for the brewery and its 3,000 pubs. Such take-overs are rarely good for workers.

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All right for some

by New Worker correspondent

A GROUP of public servants have won inflation-busting pay rises. These are councillors in the London Borough of Camden where they voted themselves a considerable, if unevenly distributed, increase.

The council leader will get an increase in her allowance from £29,000 to £40,000, whilst cabinet members will get a 54 per cent rise from £16,275 to £25,000. Committee chairs will get a 66 per cent to £9,000 from a piddling £5,500.

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Legal pay battle

by New Worker correspondent

GMB union members in a well-known business have voted 89 per cent on a 76 per cent turnout in favour of strike action in protest at a miserable one percent pay offer that was increased to two per cent only after talks lengthy at ACAS. The workers are still demanding a 3.5 per cent raise.

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Derby winners

by New Worker correspondent

THE THREAT of strike action by the civil service union PCS has resulted not in a wage increase but in a much-needed increase in staff numbers. This victory took place at the Universal Credit Service Centre at Derby. Two months ago, local reps held a pavement meeting outside the gates of their office to discuss the workload problems at the site after they were forbidden from using the official car park.

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Derby pay battle

by New Worker correspondent

IN RIPLEY, also in Derbyshire, 70 workers at the Forbo Flooring factory took part in a 48-hour strike this week after rejecting a new ‘unsatisfactory’ pay offer.

On Monday they overwhelmingly rejected a slightly improved two-year package backdated to 1 January 2019. This included a 2.2 per cent on basic salary and a bonus from last New Year. If management do not cave in further strikes will take place throughout November and December, and a continuous overtime ban starts this weekend.

Unite regional officer Cheryl Pidgeon said: “This dispute has been marred by the inconsistent treatment of all employees; bullying and harassment; and a ‘we tell you, but you do’ culture. We offered to work constructively with the conciliation service ACAS to resolve these issues, but this was firmly rejected by the company’s Swiss directors.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

ON MONDAY the Queen’s Speech was delivered in the House of Lords. Not to be outshone, the very next day Nicola Sturgeon delivered her version in the Event Centre in Aberdeen at what passes for the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) annual conference.

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Murder Most Foul

REVIEW

by Andy Brooks

Murder in Istanbul: Jamal Khashoggi, Donald Trump & Saudi Arabia by Owen Wilson (2019). Gibson Square Books Ltd, London. Paperback: 288pp; rrp £9.99, or £7.19 via Amazon; ISBN-10: 1783341653; ISBN-13: 978-1783341658. Kindle: 288pp; £6.47; ASIN: B07WNSKHYM.

LAST YEAR a prominent Saudi journalist was murdered at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul by hitmen acting on orders from the Crown Prince of the oil-rich Arabian kingdom. According to the Turkish media Jamal Khashoggi was killed, chopped up in to 15 bits and packed into five suitcases for disposal and the consulate swept clean of evidence on 2nd October 2018.

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Debating Brexit in London

by New Worker correspondent

THE PRESIDENT of the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) joined the regulars on the New Worker platform at the Cock Tavern in central London last week for a debate on Brexit that was unusual on two counts. The first was that due to a mix-up over the booking we had to meet in the downstairs back bar — something we haven’t done for many years. And the second was that none of us came to blows over the issue that has divided workers as well as the ruling class for the last three years!

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TV REVIEW

World on fire by Ben Soton

World on fire. Season one (2019) by Peter Bowker. Starring: Jonah Hauer-King, Julia Brown, Zofia Wichlacz. Produced by BBC One and Mammoth Screen.

BBC1’s latest Sunday night drama covers the age-old themes of love and war. The war is World War II; the love themes include love across the divides of class and nationality.

The main characters are Harry Chase, played by Jonah Hauer-King, an interpreter at the British Embassy in Warsaw and Lois Bennett, a factory worker and part time singer played by Julia Brown. Both share a common opposition to fascism and are keen to support the war against Germany in 1939. This pro-war sentiment is not shared by Julia’s father, Douglas Bennett played by Sean Bean. Douglas Bennett, a committed pacifist, sees all war as inherently bad, a result of his experiences in the first World War.

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International News

Catalans rage at leaders’ jailing

by Ed Newman

ANGRY PROTESTS are erupting across Catalonia following a decision by Spain’s top court to sentence several Catalonia leaders to up to 13 years behind bars for sedition over their role in an independence referendum back in 2017.

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A caravan that poses questions

by Lena Valverde Jordi

MEXICAN authorities are estimating that between 9,000—10,000 migrants will concentrate in the next few days in the northern border city of Tijuana, bordering with the USA, in a move that has awakened many commentaries and speculations about its possible outcome.

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Curfew lifted in Ecuador

by our Latin American affairs correspondent

PRESIDENT Lenin Moreno has given in to mass protests against fuel hikes that plunged the capital into violence last weekend.

The curfew in Ecuador’s capital Quito was lifted on Monday after agreement was reached with indigenous leaders to put an end to more than 10 days of turbulent protests. People are free to move about again and life is gradually returning to normal in the city. The curfew was imposed on Saturday following a particularly violent day of demonstrations that saw protesters set fire to a government building.

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China boosts healthcare in Africa

by Li Sibo, Wang Shoubao and Peng Lijun

SINCE THE first Chinese medical team arrived in Africa in 1963, all kinds of Chinese medical services have contributed to the continent’s healthcare and saved the lives of tens of thousands of people.

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Features

Astronomical imperialism!

by Janet Mayes

ON THE 50th anniversary of the first US space land grab on 20th July, when the Apollo 11 mission planted an American flag on the Moon, there was intensified hoopla about research in astronomy and future space travel. Buried in the romantic exhilaration however, are motives that are anything but benign.

The world’s richest billionaires are in on the space race and are investing untold millions of dollars to reap enormous financial gain. Private corporations are investing heavily in not just space tourism, but in plans to mine the Moon and the asteroid belt to obtain materials that will yield huge profits.

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Irish call for Pan-Celtic culture at Plaid Cymru conference

by Oisín Mac Canna

SINN FÉIN President Mary Lou McDonald delivered a keynote address to party membership of Plaid Cymru at their annual party conference that met in Swansea in the first week of October.

McDonald called for a pan-Celtic political culture to defeat Toryism, and said that the futures of Ireland and Wales must be shaped by the hopes and aspirations of our peoples — not by Boris Johnson and his band of Eton elitists in London.

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