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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Sinn FÉin MP warns of voter registration restrictions at London meeting

by Theo Russell

FRANCIE Molloy, Sinn FÉin MP for Mid Ulster, told a meeting in London last week that the problems the party experienced with registering voters in the North of Ireland for the December 2019 election “were the most difficult Sinn FÉin has ever experienced”.

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Recognition victory

IN CONTRAST, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has secured recognition for workers at the new Chesterfield HQ and design centre of the Spanish train manufacturer TALGO UK.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA, General Secretary, said: “We are extremely excited that train building from scratch is coming back to our shores. TALGO’s commitment to open a research and design (R&D) facility in Chesterfield will create many highly-skilled jobs in North Derbyshire and a world class train design facility in the UK. This is great news for our economy, our engineering skill base and for our rail industry.

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Saudi Arabia of Renewables

DESPITE boasts by the SNP government that Scotland would become “the Saudi Arabia of Renewable Energy”, what little progress that has been made seems to be going backwards with the announcement the renewables fabrication firm BiFab in fife has confirmed another 16 lay-offs with the wind-down of oil and gas manufacturing work, amidst speculation that a vital contract from the Neart na Gaoithe project in the firth of Forth will be delayed until August.

Hazel Nolan, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: “The Minister for Energy and the Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables should hold their hands up and admit: ‘We are failing to bring the green jobs revolution to Scotland’.” That would be a first.

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Whitehall strike

MONDAY saw Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell join a busy picket line organised by Civil Service union PCS in support of cleaners, porters and maintenance workers at the Foreign Office on Whitehall in their campaign for union recognition.

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Cynical Careerism or Stupendous Incompetence?

by our Scottish political correspondent

THE “Great Betrayer” guilty of a “colossal, criminal dereliction of duty”, who has “failed utterly”, was how the nationalist website Wings over Scotland (based in Jane Austen’s Bath) described Nicola Sturgeon after a speech last Friday morning. The site’s proprietor, the self-styled “Reverend” Stuart Campbell, also deplored that: “The party has been the custodian of the fight for independence for over 80 years, but through cynical careerism, stupendous incompetence or both, the current leadership has not merely dropped the ball, but punctured it with a garden fork, set it on fire and kicked it onto next door’s roof.”

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Economic News

by our Scottish political correspondent

Coming at the same time, but much less well publicised, were some interesting figures about the state of the Scottish economy from the SNP Government that were discreetly published but carelessly omitted from the press release.

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Solidarity with Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination

by New Worker correspondent

A SEMINAR on the latest human rights situation in Kashmir was held at House of Commons last week, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Third World Solidarity. Chaired by Dave Anderson of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Liz Twist MP, with historian Victoria Schofield, Khalid Mahmood MP, Shadow Minister for Europe and Russia, and Qurban Hussain as main speakers.

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Farewell to Teresita

by New Worker correspondent

NEW Communist Party leader Andy Brooks joined diplomats, politicians, businessmen and solidarity workers at a reception to say goodbye to Teresita Vicente Sotolongo the Cuban ambassador, who returned to Havana at the end her five-year tour of duty in London last month.

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Honouring the victims of Auschwitz

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES joined war veterans, diplomats and anti-fascists last week at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) commemoration, organised by the Soviet War Memorial Trust and Southwark Council.

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International News

The best president money can buy

Radio Havana Cuba

TWO billionaire Democratic presidential hopefuls, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, collectively spent about $389 million last year on their campaigns, more than the rest of the remaining Democratic field combined, according to disclosures filed over the weekend.

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Bolivian battles

Sputnik and Radio Havana Cuba

EVO MORALES, the former Bolivian leader who quit the office last November after weeks of unrest over disputed election results, has been registered as a senatorial candidate in Cochabamba.

The ex-President has been included in the senator candidates list for the forthcoming general election in May.

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Irish Teachers Strike

Across the Republic, hundreds of schools and colleges were closed on Tuesday as about 19,000 teachers went on strike accusing their employers of failing to address pay discrimination within the profession.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) strike resulted in nearly all of the country’s 248 Education and Training Board schools, and nearly 150 community, comprehensive and voluntary schools, were shut. Also affected were institutes of technology and colleges of further education, where the TUI represents many lecturing staff.

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US returns to ashes of 1945

by finian Cunningham US VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence used his speech at the Holocaust memorial last week to bang a war drum at Iran. It revealed a deplorable lack of dignity and understanding of the event, despite Pence’s efforts to appear solemn.

Not only that, it showed too how out of touch the USA — at least its political leadership — is with the rest of the world and a growing collective concern amongst others to ensure international peace.

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Features

The greater the insults the stronger I become’: Assange’s father

by Mohamed Elmaazi

The father of Julian Assange, John Shipton, said in an interview with Sputnik that he would like people to understand his son’s “courage and integrity” in providing information on what governments do, so that ordinary citizens can make their own judgments based on raw facts.

John Shipton, an anti-war activist, has made dozens of trips from Australia to the UK in recent years whilst his son, a co-founder of Wikileaks, is fighting against extradition to the USA, where he was indicted on 17 charges related to the Espionage Act.

Sputnik accompanied Shipton on the train ride from London Bridge to southeast London, where the high-security Belmarsh prison is located, to see his son for the first time in eight weeks, speaking to him about what it’s like to be the father of an award-winning publisher facing up to 175 years imprisonment in the USA. Sputnik: When did you get back from Australia?

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China mobilises to combat coronavirus

by Joshua Hanks

SINCE A NEW strain of pneumonia-causing virus hit China in late December, there has been a massive response by the central and local governments.

On 31st December China alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it had detected a pneumonia-like illness in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in central China’s Hubei province.

By 7th January the cause was identified as a novel coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCoV, that is in the same family as the common cold and SARS. Two days later the Chinese Centre for Disease Control had sequenced the entire genome of the virus, a rapidly achieved feat that will help scientists around the world to understand it more fully.

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History’s thieves

by Greg Godels

WITH THE historical memory fading, ageing Cold Warriors are seizing the opportunity to portray 20th century socialism as an abject failure, a human tragedy of enormous dimensions. With fewer of the millions who sacrificed to achieve it still alive, enemies of socialism enjoy a clean slate to reconstruct the history of the Soviet Union as they please — and they are availing themselves of that opportunity. Shamefully, academic historians who know or should know the historical record remain silent.

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