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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

On the Rails

by New Worker correspondent

ON MERSEYSIDE, transport union RMT have reached an agreement with the regional rail operator Merseyrail over the release of back-dated pay awards to support Guards during the COVID-19 crisis. This dispute over their roles on the city region’s new trains began in April 2017.

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Social care crisis

by New Worker correspondent

UNITE the Union, which represents many workers in social care, is warning that the sector is at breaking point and workers do not even have basic personal protective equipment (PPE).

Social carers, generally on low wages from private sector companies and who look after some of the frailest and most vulnerable in society, are reporting that employers are unable to supply basic PPE such as gloves, aprons, masks and hand sanitiser.

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Paying to work

by New Worker correspondent

UNITE has demanded that all hospital car parking charges for NHS staff in England are abolished. It points out that NHS trusts were charging employees an estimated £50—£200 per month for the privilege of parking at their place of work.

This, it says, would remove the additional worry for NHS staff worried about travelling on restricted public transport networks, some of which, particularly the London Underground, have become crowded as a result of cutting services.

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More penny-pinching

by New Worker correspondent

NEWSQUEST, the British arm of the American newspaper publishing giant, which has often featured in these pages as a result of its penny-pinching cost cutting, is putting a large number of its staff, mostly those who work in advertising, on taxpayer-subsidised furlough leave whilst all those who remain at work will face a wage cut in order to “minimise wider job losses” during the COVID-19 crisis.

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What’s Johnson’s Bunker relying on during the crisis?

by Lilia Dergacheva

DESPITE THIS WEEK being meant to be marked by celebrations — of Boris Johnson’s 100 days in office, his fiancÉe Carrie Symonds’ birthday, and Mother’s Day on Sunday, Downing Street is predictably opting for a bit of self-isolation with its most prominent flat relying on food deliveries — more specifically, of eco-veggies as it turns out.

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Salmond Walks Free

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

OVER 40 YEARS ago, in 1979, the former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe was cleared at the Old Bailey of plotting to murder his former gay lover. On Monday, another member of the Privy Council, Alex Salmond, was likewise cleared at the High Court in Edinburgh, of a string of lesser but still serious charges. Salmond must be greatly relieved that is the correct parallel to draw rather than that of Harvey Weinstein.

Salmond was originally charged with 14 offences, of which one was dropped. He was found not guilty by a majority verdict on the 12 remaining charges and was given a “Not Proven” verdict on one, that of sexual assault with intent to rape. It is a well-known fact that in Scots Law the “Not Proven” verdict means “We know you did it but can’t prove it, so go away and don’t do it again”.

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A Smaller Battle

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

A smaller, and in the circumstances a more amusing, SNP spat has taken place involving the colourful figure of John Mason MSP. first he deplored his church, the Easterhouse Baptist Church, for cancelling services. He declared that his fellow parishioners should “take risks and trust in Jesus”. Later he came under fire from the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman for planning to keep his constituency office open and saying he would be “happy to do home visits”.

Nicola Sturgeon was also furious. Whatever her contempt for Mason she must be worried about his safety, if only because she must dread a by-election that could allow a certain leading figure to return to Holyrood.

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Belgravia: a Victorian fantasy

by Ben Soton

Belgravia: ITV drama series by Julian Fellowes. Stars: Tamsin Greig, Philip Glenister, Harriet Walter.

STARTING on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the drama then jumps 26 years to 1841 without the characters having aged more than a day. The series centres around the Trenchards; James Trenchard (played by Philip Glenister), is a merchant and supplier of food to the British army. We should be reminded of Napoleon’s remark about an army marching on its stomach.

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International News

Israeli PM accused of dictatorship amidst coronavirus crisis

Radio Havana Cuba

DEMONSTRATORS defied restrictions on large gatherings to protest outside the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, as they accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to solidify his power and undermine Israel’s democratic foundations.

In recent days, Netanyahu and his surrogates have shut down Israel’s court system in advance of his trial on corruption charges, have begun using phone-surveillance technology on the public and adjourned parliament until next week.

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Washington’s utter contempt for human life

Radio Havana Cuba

IRANIAN Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the USA of taking its policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran to a “new level of inhumanity” by imposing new sanctions on Iran as it struggles to cope with a huge surge of COVID-19 cases.

Zarif tweeted that the Trump administration was “gleefully” taking pride in “killing Iranian citizens” on Nowruz, the Persian New Year, celebrated on 20th March this year. He said US policy betrayed an “utter contempt for human life”.

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Brazilian gangs impose coronavirus curfew in Rio


CRIMINAL GANGS have imposed curfews in some of Rio-de-Janeiro’s favelas amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Brazilian government restricted the use of public transport but has not officially laid out a plan to keep people off the streets.

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If anyone should compensate the world it’s the Americans

Global Times

by Li Qingqing ACCORDING to a recent survey from polling company Rasmussen Reports, 42 per cent of US voters think China should cover some of the financial expenses incurred by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Meanwhile, 36 per cent disagreed AND another 22 per cent said they were undecided.

Does the USA have a score to settle with China? Then we might as well do it. Let’s go back to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) admitted that H1N1 (swine flu) was first discovered in the USA in April 2009 but it took six months for them to declare it a national emergency.

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Vietnam in the lead in the fight against the virus

Il Manifesto

WITH THE EYES of the world focused on Italy, Europe and the USA in panic, Asia is once again taking the lead in the fight against the pandemic. This time, the medal of valour goes to Vietnam. The country, which has been gravitating into the orbit of China for years and with which it shares its northern border, imported the first non-Chinese case of Coronavirus on 23rd January.

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America’s ugly big-money politics

by Zhong Sheng

CERTAIN AMERICANS are doing everything to defame and stigmatise other countries under the disguise of protecting human rights. the more they act like a ‘lecturer in human rights’ however, the more they expose their own problems. For instance, the in-name-only civil and political rights in the USA are no secret for the rest of the world.

China’s State Council Information Office recently issued a report on the human rights violations in the USA, illustrating with abundant facts how worsening money politics distorts public opinion and how money games are affecting US political elections.

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A reckoning?

by Greg Godels

TO UNDERSTAND the global economic chaos endured over the last few weeks, it is essential to separate the proximate from the ultimate cause.

The immediate or proximate cause is the often fatal, expanding contagion of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The collapse of worldwide equity markets has been an immediate and widely noted effect of this proximate cause. The virus’s carnage in People’s China triggered a rapid and effective response, but one that dampened economic activity in a country already dealing with a slowing economy battered by economic sanctions and tariffs.

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Remembering the Past Tomás Mac Curtáin

by Mícheál Mac Donncha

IN THE local government elections of January 1920 the Irish Republic, which had been declared independent by the first Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament, a year previously, received another massive endorsement, with Sinn FÉin majorities in 172 of the 206 councils throughout the country.

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