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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

On the Rails and down the Tube

by New Worker correspondent

IN HG Wells’ 1897 novel The War of the Worlds, the invading Martians devastated Surrey and London before being defeated not by the artillery regiments, whose shells caused little damage, but by the germs that the Martians have never encountered on their home planet. Likewise, the recent coronavirus has done more than years of campaigning by the transport unions to advance the cause of rail nationalisation.

On Monday the Daily Telegraph reported that the Rail Delivery Group, the rail industry’s trade body owned by Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and various passenger and freight operators, is in talks with the Department for Transport about how they should be bailed out as passenger numbers plummet. This has not been denied by some operators such as East Midlands Railway. The private rail companies want contracts “ripped up and replaced [with] fixed fee alternatives”, which would mean taxpayers footing the bill for the country’s rail network if the contractors flee in the face of declining revenues from people heading government advice to work from home.

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Grounded

by New Worker correspondent

AS BRITAIN closes down in order to avoid the fate of HG Wells’ Martians, it is increasingly obvious that it is the working class that bears the brunt of the crisis. Whilst labour movement pioneers Keir Hardy and William Gallacher might have welcomed call for Britons to stop frequenting public houses, many jobs will be at risk as people stop spending money on life’s little and large luxuries.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

IT WOULD be impolite for her to say so publicly but the spread of coronavirus has had some positive benefits for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. It means that the Scottish National Party’s (SNP’s) Spring Conference will be cancelled, which will spare her from coming under any criticism from her members.

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Quango Troubles

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The SNP government is in the process of setting up a new Social Security Scotland (SSS) office that it claims will improve the lot of the Scottish poor. It is already making a difference, but the main beneficiaries are private contractors working in the Information Technology sector who are raking in £750–£1,000 per day on the project that is basically a duplication of the work presently carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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Bhoys in Blue

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Glasgow Rangers Football Club have appointed a new head of communications who will be charged with the task of telling the world what a nice club they are. The person they have chosen for the job at Ibrox stadium comes from across the sea.

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Wrestling with an Octopus

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

That was the phrase used by at the continuing trial of Alex Salmond at the High Court of Edinburgh to describe the actions of the former First Minister. One of the 14 charges has been dropped after the Crown presented no evidence.

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A public experiment too far

by New Worker correspondent

A PUBLIC meeting in Porthmadog last week was unanimous in calling on the Welsh Government and Cyngor Gwynedd council to seriously re-think their strategy for jobs in the Trawsfynydd area. Called by Cymdeithas Atal Distryw Niwcliar Oesol (CADNO – Society to Stop Lifelong Nuclear Destruction), the meeting opposed the construction of an experimental nuclear reactor on the site of the former Snowdonia nuclear power station in Trawsfynydd.

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Which East is Red?

Reviewed by Dermot Hudson Which East is Red? The Maoist Presence in the Soviet Union and Soviet Bloc – Europe 1956-1980 by AM Smith, 2019. Foreign Languages Press: Paris. pp77; 5 euros / 6 US$; ISBN: 978-2-491182-00-7.

THERE IS no doubt that the 1956 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the “secret speech” of Nikita Khrushchev attacking Stalin was a total disaster for the socialist camp and international communist movement. Khrushchev’s speech was the first step on the road to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

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International News

China report on human rights violations in US

Xinhua

PEOPLE’S CHINA issued a report on human rights violations in the USA last week. Titled The Record of Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2019, the report said the facts detailed in the document show that “in recent years, especially since 2019, the human rights situation in the United States has been poor and deteriorating”.

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Cuba’s contribution to the fight against Covid-19

by Lena Valverde Jordi

“THE BEST medicine is the one that prevents us from being ill” said José Martí, the Cuban independence hero, more than a century ago. This conviction governs the health policy that is firmly applied in Cuba in these times when the world faces the Covid-19 pandemic.

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French anger at anti-worker pension plan

by G Dunkel

HUNDREDS of thousands of people have been in the streets protesting for months. Transportation strikes have disrupted travel. Public opinion supports the strikes, even though they were extremely inconvenient. Students and teachers from primary grades to universities have walked out repeatedly.

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How People’s China cleaned Beijing’s air

by Joshua Hanks

THE United Nations (UN) Environment Programme recently released a report called UN Environment 2019: A Review of 20 Years’ Air Pollution Control in Beijing. It sheds new light on the astounding clean-up of air pollution in China’s bustling capital city of 22-million people.

The report summarises a treasure trove of data that has consistently shown sharp improvements in Beijing’s air quality over the last several years. These improvements accelerated after the central government declared a “war on pollution” in 2014.

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Features

Trump, racism, and fascism more than just personality disorders

by Roger Harris

Roger D Harris is on the state central committee of the Peace and Freedom Party, the only ballot-qualified socialist party in California.

AFTER the supposedly post-racial presidency of Barack Obama, what passes for the liberal punditry discovered racism had arisen in the homeland. They never felt so good feeling bad about racism, denouncing what they identified as its primal cause – Mr Trump, who was sullying that “shining example” of the United States of America. Obscured were those historical antecedents of this “exceptional” republic, founded on the expropriation of indigenous land and extermination of its inhabitants, and built in part by African slave labour.

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Stalingrad: a human bond between Britain and Russia

by Nikolai Gorshkov

DID YOU KNOW that Clementine, the wife of the iconic war-time leader Winston Churchill, was a distinguished Russian nurse? The title, together with an Order of the Red Banner, was bestowed on her by the Soviet government for services in helping Russians survive the hardship and devastation of the 1941–1945 Nazi invasion.

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