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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Assorted small victories

by New Worker correspondent

IT IS agreeable to report a few successes for the trade union movement. In one, hundreds of workers at the car-parts manufacturer Lear Corporation plant in Houghton have won a union recognition battle that cumulated in a decision by the Conciliation Arbitration Committee (CAC), which despite its name is a court.

After nearly a year of struggle, Unite the union won recognition for their 370 members at the plant, which makes parts for Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover. This brings the plant into line with others in Coventry, Redditch and Alfreton in Derbyshire.

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West London struggles

by New Worker correspondent

RESIDENTS in the west London borough of Ealing will have mixed views about the fact that traffic warders (or civil enforcement officers, to give them their Sunday name) voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action in the first week of February in a dispute over redundancies.

Shortly before Christmas their employer, Serco, announced that there would be eight redundancies on the contract but that all 60 workers would be at risk. Serco also refused to enter into collective consultation on the redundancies with Unite.

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Business leaders seek clarity over Brexit

by Svetlana Ekimenko

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has set a deadline of 31st December 2020 for the completion of talks on the UK’s future trade relationship with the European Union but details have not been released, reviving fears of nothing but a ‘bare bones’ deal being achieved.

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Tubaist Iomlan or Total Disaster

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

FOR CENTURIES, many Scottish Lowlanders have enjoyed looking down on the Highlanders whom they deemed violent cattle thieves when they are not backward, slow-witted, drunken layabouts.

Anyone who still holds such beliefs would be not be surprised at a recent report looking into the workings of the Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG), the non-departmental public body set up in 2003 to promote the Gaelic language in Scotland.

Two SNP MSPs, both with Lowland constituencies, have been unusually harsh in denouncing the running of the organisation at Holyrood’s Public Audit Committee.

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Bigger fish

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The Auditor General has also recently been getting her teeth into a much bigger matter which has been mishandled by the Scottish National Party (SNP) Government. These are the City Deals that have involved £5.2 billion of public money. The scheme was introduced in 2011 by the UK as a means of encouraging long-term economic growth in councils and regions. The four current Scottish deals cover Glasgow region, Aberdeen, Inverness & Highland, and that for Edinburgh and South East Scotland, but another eight are on their way.

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Titanic Battles

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Those who have not had enough of election excitement after the General Election will have to make do with the battles for the leadership of the Scottish Tories and deputy leadership of the Scottish Labour Party. Both are two-cornered contests, the later caused by the defeat of the incumbent in the General Election.

MSP Jackie Baillie and Glasgow Councillor Matt Kerr are contending for the Labour coronet from the right- and left-wings respectively. Although few people noticed, Jackie Baillie has been Leader twice before, but only in an acting capacity in between resignations and elections, once for three days.

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Another Bright Spark

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

One of our favourite nationalist parliamentarians has been making the headlines for his customary reasons. John Mason, the MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, has not revived his 2015 Holyrood motion to call for the teaching of Creationism in Scottish schools, nor has any unkind soul dug up his 2017 comments that surgeons do not need to spell correctly, his considered views on abortion, or his belief that Skye is not a “real island” because it is linked by a bridge to the mainland.

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A Cuban voice at a London conference

by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

ENA ELSA Velázquez, Cuba’s education minister, attended an international forum in London that opened on Sunday. Delegates from 95 countries are taking part in the conference on the future of education with the central theme of One generation, what does it take to transform education?

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The war to end all wars?


by Ben Soton 1917. Director: Sam Mendes. Starring: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin firth and Benedict Cumberbatch. 119mins, general release.

SAM MENDES’ latest work can best be described as an anti-war odyssey. The film is shot in one take, giving the film an appearance of a live drama and adding a greater sense of realism. Graphic scenes of dead and mutilated bodies combined with sound effects show the true horror of what was called “The Great War” until the second one started in 1939. We see rats eat the flesh of dead men and agonised faces appearing through bomb craters.

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Banning Huawei would leave Britain behind

by Mu Xuequan

CHINESE Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming says that banning Huawei means back-pedalling for Britain, which would leave the country trailing behind on technology.

Liu, writing in the Sunday Telegraph earlier in the month, said that Huawei provides network services to more than three billion people in over 170 countries and regions, and no country, organisation, company or individual has come up with any concrete evidence that its products pose any security threat.

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British mercenary army’s secret ops

Keenie Meenie: The British Mercenaries Who Got Away with War Crimes by Phil Miller (2020). Pluto Books. Paperback (with free eBook when purchased direct from publisher): 352pp, £12.99; ISBN-10:0745340792, ISBN-13: 978-0745340791. Hardback (with free eBook when purchased direct from publisher): 354pp, £75.00; ISBN-10: 0745340784, ISBN-13: 978-0745340784. eBook: £7.99 (direct from publisher). Kindle: 352pp, £12.98; ASIN: B083QM518B.

A BRITISH mercenary company was “involved in war crimes around the world from Sri Lanka to Nicaragua” with the tacit support of the Government. Out this month, Keenie Meenie: The British Mercenaries Who Got Away with War Crimes covers their operations across the globe during the Thatcher era.

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International News

Billionaires have more wealth than 60 per cent of the global population

by Ed Newman

THE WORLD’S 2,153 billionaires have more wealth between them than a combined 4.6 billion people, according a new study by OXFAM. The charity urged policymakers to increase taxes on the world’s wealthiest by 0.5 per cent over the next decade in a bid to reduce wealth inequality.

The report comes as delegates gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) conference. The report says: “If everyone were to sit on their wealth piled up in $100 bills, most of humanity would be sitting on the floor,” adding that: “A middle-class person in a rich country would be sitting at the height of a chair. The world’s two richest men would be sitting in outer space.

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TeleSUR: the voice of those who fight and resist

by Elson Concepción PÉrez

CUBAN President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez strongly condemned “threats made against the voice and image of the peoples who fight and resist the imperial onslaught,” insisting: “From Our America and the world: Viva Telesur!”

The Cuban leader was reacting, on his Twitter account, to plans announced by the impostor Juan Guaidó, under US guidance, directing his venom against a channel that carries the message of our peoples around the world and expresses the views of those resisting efforts to subvert progressive governments and derail integrationist projects.

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Palestinian village struggles to survive

by Fatima Abdul Karim

A SMALL Palestinian village named Shushahleh in the West Bank is evacuated every night by the Israeli army, citing that the villagers should not be allowed to stay on agricultural land.

For the 22 families of Shushahleh, however, staying in their village is essential for tending their lands, all of which are privately owned and registered under their names, according to their land deeds.

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by Greg Butterfield

THE WORD ‘imperialism’ is used a lot by people in the progressive and revolutionary movement. What does it mean?

Some people think imperialism is just a cuss word that radicals use to put down rotten government policies — but it’s more than that.

Imperialism is rooted in a particular economic system, capitalism, and benefits a particular class, which Marxists call the bourgeoisie or ruling class. The bourgeoisie is the super-wealthy class of corporate owners, bankers and big landlords.

Progressives know that the USA acts in an imperialist way. The US government, which represents the ruling class, imposes its will on other countries by economic, political and military means.

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A shameless tool of the ruling class

by Greg Godels

After the disappearance of the Soviet Union and the European socialist countries, the US government and its Cold War allies were in a celebratory mood. The most militant foes of the capitalist order were now absent from the playing field. Was this a temporary setback? Would socialism relaunch? Would the People’s Republic of China continue its flirtation with capitalist economic relations? Does the setback to socialism bespeak some deeper meaning for the course of history?

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Sanctions do harm to reconstruction in Syria

by Karin Leukefeld

ACCORDING to Governor Talal Barasi, about half a million people fled from Homs province, the largest in Syria, during the war. Some 2.3 million people had lived in Homs before the war, Barasi explained. Of these, about 500,000 people, or 100,000 families, had left the province.

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