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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Mixed fortunes

by New Worker correspondent

PAY RISES are not on the agenda at the moment (except for some of Britain’s bosses, of course). Most union activity at the moment is about securing decent terms for laid-off workers, and securing safe working conditions and safety equipment for those who have to work.

Employment agency Adecco has been prevented from sacking hundreds of agency workers at Bentley Motors. Unsurprisingly, the production of luxury cars could not be considered essential so production at Bentley’s plant at Crewe was halted. Two hundred agency workers were told they would be made redundant before Unite the Union forced a reversal and now they have been put on the government’s job retention scheme on 80 per cent of their pay.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Transport troubles

by New Worker correspondent

On London’s buses there has been limited progress on securing protection for these essential workers.

Unite the Union’s officer for buses, John Murphy, said that some progress had been made in that “we have secured the introduction of steps such as sick pay from day one” along with enhanced cleaning regimes, sealed assault screens and providing hand sanitisers for every driver.

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Vital Supplies in Danger

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The COVID-19 crisis is putting essential supplies, which many people in Scotland cannot do without, at risk. The root of the problem in is in Devon, where the Benedictine monks at Buckfast Abbey have shut down their production line, which makes the famous 16.4 per cent proof tonic wine that does much to keep the Scottish legal profession in claret. The cheap wine was a beneficiary of the SNP’s minimum price of alcohol legislation. Because it was cheap, but not so cheap as to be affected by the law, business boomed as drinkers traded-up from the sort of very cheap cider that has never been near an apple.

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Government “sleepwalking” into crisis

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has been accused of “sleepwalking” into the coronavirus crisis in damning new revelations reported by the Sunday Times last weekend.

Johnson’s sluggish response to the coronavirus outbreak has been under harsh scrutiny in recent weeks as the UK’s death toll climbs to 15,000, ranking it number five in terms of the global COVID-19 body count.

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Lenin in London

by New Worker correspondent

MOST OF US know that Lenin worked in London editing Iskra, the underground Russian socialist newspaper, from a room in the building now known as Marx House in Clerkenwell Green. In actual fact Lenin made five trips to London in the early 1900s, calling himself ‘Jacob Richter’ and a number of other aliases to confound the Czarist secret police who covertly monitored the activity of all the Russian opposition movements in Britain.

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TV REVIEW

Hunting Nazis

by Ben Soton

Hunters: TV drama, Amazon Prime (2020). Creator: David Weil. Stars: Al Pacino, Logan Lerman and Lena Olin.

Hunters, exclusive to Amazon Prime, takes us back to the USA of the 1970s. The era of Starsky and Hutch, Kojak, and when Al Pacino was at the height of his acting career. Now aged 80, he returns as the series’ main character Meyer Offerman. Offerman leads a bizarre group of Nazi hunters, which include a Black Power activist and a British nun. In episode one they are joined by a petty criminal Jonah Heidlelbaum, played by Logan Lerman. The Nazi-hunting theme combined with extreme, almost cartoon violence, gives the series a touch of Simon Wiesenthal meets Pulp Fiction.

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International News

US economy crumbles as millions of workers lose jobs

by G Dunkel

AT LEAST 17 million workers in the USA lost their jobs from the second week of March to the second week of April. That’s 10 per cent of the total workforce. The real number of workers without a job is higher because the computer systems used to enrol workers in unemployment (UI) insurance failed under the load in many states.

Losing your job – which in the USA is often the source of health insurance – is perilous when a pandemic is raging.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

China–Africa ties unshakable amidst lie campaign

Global Times

CHINA–AFRICAN friendship should not be shaken by misinformation, especially the recent hyping of so-called discrimination towards Africans in China’s Guangdong Province on overseas social media, expressed ambassadors, officials and people in China and Africa.

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More imperialist filth

IDOC

AMIDST the coronavirus pandemic, the lackeys of monopoly capital and imperialism are imitating Dr Goebbels’ tactics. More specifically, the so-called ‘Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’ (VOC) – the infamous propagandistic tool of US imperialism – strikes again, by officially adding global coronavirus deaths to its tally of… historical victims of communism!

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Communists expose Sweden’s bogus ‘welfare state’

WHILST THE COVID-19 pandemic threatens the lives of Sweden’s working class and people, the state seems to care about how it will protect and safeguard of capitalists’ profitability.

The Communist Party of Sweden (SKP) has been active in exposing the cynical response of the government during the pandemic outbreak, and the state’s negligence towards the health of the workers and the less privileged popular strata.

In a statement titled Class alliance against the state of monopolies: Condemning the state’s actions in relation to COVID-19, the Swedish Communist Party blasts the government for its policy. “When it comes to saving the profits of the Swedish monopolies, lives and deaths of the lower classes do not count in the economic calculations of the state.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Game of Thrones in the US Empire

Radio Havana Cuba

US President Donald Trump and the governor of the influential state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, have been arguing over the eventual re-opening of the US economy, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues wreaking havoc on the US Empire.

According to the president, people should go back to work as soon as possible. He appears to be setting his sights on May Day as the Big Day to lift the restrictions and send everyone back to their jobs.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Features

Coronavirus: Singapore’s low-paid migrant workers bear the brunt

by Eileen Ng

AFTER managing to keep on top of the first wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, Singapore is grappling with an alarming rise in infections amongst migrant workers housed in crowded dormitories.

Such cases now account for about a quarter of Singapore’s 1,910 infections. The government reported 287 new cases last Thursday, its biggest daily jump. More than 200 were linked to the foreign workers’ dormitories.

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Capitalism kills!

by Greg Godels

ON FRIDAY 3rd April 1,320 people died in the USA from COVID-19. Deaths in the USA account for nearly a quarter of deaths resulting from the virus worldwide on that day. And New York state, the epicentre of US deaths, accounts for over one-half of those deaths (almost as many as the entire UK on 3rd April).

To give some perspective, during the week of the Vietnamese Tet offensive that began on 11th February 1968, 543 American soldiers were killed, the most lethal week of the Vietnam war. Many attribute those deaths in war to shifting popular opinion and bringing the anti-war movement to decisive heights in the USA.

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Hitler’s Last Stand

Sputnik

SEVENTY-FIVE years ago, on 16th April 1945, at the Zeelov Heights – numerous hills near the city of Zeelov, about 90 km east of the German capital – the Berlin Offensive began. It was the last large-scale Second World War battle in Europe. According to official figures, more than 360,000 Red Army soldiers were killed during the operation.

The Red Army faced especially fierce resistance in the last weeks of the war on the outskirts of Berlin as well as in the city itself because Nazi propaganda had convinced the local population that after being captured everyone would die, German historian Jörg Morre, head of the unique German-Russian Berlin-Karlshorst museum, said.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]