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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Hard Times indeed

by New Worker correspondent

LIFE UNDER Lockdown is tough for all, but one sadly neglected minority group’s sufferings have gone largely unnoticed. Get your hankies out as you prepare to shed a tear over the unspeakable hardships that are presently being suffered by outrageously rich people. It is extremely difficult to look after your 14-bedroom mansion when your servants cannot come in to work. The obvious lesson is that you need live-in servants rather than having people coming in every day.

It was truly heart-breaking to read in a recent issue of the Times about the woman who took a Brillo pad to her expensive enamel bath in the absence of her maid, or the person who took one of their chandeliers apart to clean it and could not get it back together. Others have had trouble finding where the vacuum cleaner is kept.

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Clean air or jobs?

by New Worker correspondent

CLEARER SKIES and less pollution that have resulted from the lockdown are all very well but it also means lost jobs, so Unite the Union is demanding that the Government give increased support to the aviation industry in which it has 65,000 members.

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Jobs not dividends

by New Worker correspondent

TUESDAY saw the announcement of 2,600 job losses at SSE Energy Services, which was recently taken over by OVO in September, using the excuse of the COVID-19 emergency. The workers are employed in jobs such as meter reading or in call centres.

In response, Unite national officer for energy and utilities Peter McIntosh condemned the company for delivering this “devastating news for the loyal and dedicated workforce who have continued to provide emergency and essential services to customers throughout the COVID-19 crisis” and for failing to explain why it is not continuing to take advantage of the government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS), which was specifically designed to deal with potential job losses caused by the coronavirus crisis.

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Doctors told to shut up about PPE

by Lilia Dergacheva

ACCORDING to WhistleblowersUK, which was incentivised by the Department of Health to speak up about burning issues in the health sector, the group has been contacted by at least 100 medical staff over a lack of protective kit supplies for frontline COVID-19 workers.

Some NHS managers have attempted to silence doctors willing to speak out against existing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), the BBC reported citing WhistleblowersUK’s account, despite the Department of Health insisting that no one should be prevented from speaking their mind.

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Freedom of Information Wars

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

READERS of the Guardian are likely to be under the illusion that the Scottish National Party’s (SNP’s) handling of the coronavirus crisis has been unimpeachable.

The reality is far different. Just about the only speedy action taken by the SNP Government as the present crisis emerged was the vital one of restricting the Freedom of Information (FoI) laws. Their cut and paste emergency law included extra clauses allowing public bodies to vastly extend the time they have for replying to FoI requests from citizens. Instead of 20 days they could take 60 days, or even 100 days in certain circumstances. In some cases, it could even take 10 months when there were reviews. This of course delays things so that news is ancient history before it is made public.

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A Busy Minister

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

We can still take our hats off to Jeane Freeman however, she is having a busy time of it. Much of her time seems to be spent standing beside the First Minister when she gives her daily press conference on the coronavirus. Freeman is not normally allowed to speak very much for fear of detracting from the star turn and because the risk of her putting her foot in it is unusually high, even for an SNP minister.

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New efforts to combat coronavirus

by Huaxia

Another 170 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of 16th May, bringing the total COVID-19-related death toll in the country to 34,636, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma said last weekend.

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Welsh protest at RAF expansion

by New Worker correspondent

CYMDEITHAS y Cymod, the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales, is leading a campaign to stop the expansion of the RAF Valley airbase in Anglesey to Llanbedr airfield in Harlech.

Cymdeithas y Cymod is an international peace organisation that has for many years campaigned against the use of the Llanbedr Airfield for military training. “We are against this development because it further increases the militarisation of Wales” states Cymdeithas y Cymod’s secretary, Awel Irene.

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Piers Corbyn arrested at anti-lockdown protest

by New Worker correspondent

PIERS CORBYN, the elder brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was arrested at an anti-lockdown demonstration in Hyde Park in London last weekend. He had refused to leave the area or provide his personal details to the police who were enforcing the current emergency regulations that ban gatherings of more than two people and enforce social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

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Secret Foreign Office unit works with Venezuelan coup plotters

by Mohamed Elmaazi

THE Government has openly allied with the USA in backing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s self-appointment as interim president. But government documents newly obtained by a UK-based investigative journalist reveal a much deeper relationship with members of the coup-government-in-waiting.

John McEvoy is an independent journalist who has published in the International History Review, The Canary, Tribune, Jacobin, Declassified UK and Brasil Wire, amongst other publications. He reported from Venezuela during the coup efforts in 2019, from Colombia during the student protests the same year, and from France in 2020 on the Yellow Vests movement and general strike. His main focus is on contemporary British involvement in Latin America – notably British state intervention and natural resource extraction in Colombia since 1989.

You recently published an exposé revealing the existence of a secret unit working within the UK Foreign Office that was liaising with elements of the Venezuelan opposition. What exactly did you discover?

John McEvoy

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International News

China–Africa solidarity in action

Xinhua FOR DECADES, China–Africa friendship has weathered vicissitudes at every critical juncture.

As the two partners jointly tackle the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, their ties – featuring sincerity, real results, amity and good faith – have fully demonstrated the true value behind China’s vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus infection, African countries have offered support for China’s fight against the epidemic. In return, amidst the spread of coronavirus in Africa, China has extended a helping hand by providing various forms of support and assistance for its African brothers.

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Uncertain future for the EU economy

Radio Havana Cuba

THE COVID-19 pandemic will have a strong negative effect on the economies of the European Union member countries, which this year will suffer an unprecedented setback in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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Iranian oil for Venezuela

Radio Havana Cuba IRAN is shipping oil to Venezuela in defiance of US sanctions on both countries in a symbolic move guaranteed by Tehran’s missile prowess.

Unconfirmed reports and tanker-monitoring groups suggest that at least five Iranian-flagged tankers are transporting fuel to Venezuela through the Atlantic Ocean despite the US sanctions on both Tehran and Caracas. Iran has intentionally hoisted its own flag over the huge tankers, which are navigating through the Atlantic before the eyes of the US Navy.

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Workers’ Party demands Bolsonaro’s impeachment

Radio Havana Cuba

THE Workers’ Party (PT) of Brazil is moving the impeachment of far-right President, Jair Bolsonaro, for his mismanagement of the COVID-19 health crisis that the country is going through.

The left-wing party has decided to submit a collective impeachment petition to the Chamber of Deputies against President Jair Bolsonaro. Their request will be supported by social movements, civil society organisations and legal bodies.

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Features

Trump’s game: scapegoating China

People’s Democracy (India)

THE coronavirus global pandemic is still raging with its epicentre in the USA. It is during this time that President Trump and his administration have launched a frontal campaign against China, blaming it for the creation of the virus and its spread and going to the extent of demanding compensation for the damage caused.

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The US aims at Greenland

by G Dunkel

THE USA, even during a pandemic, does not want to relax its imperialist exploits in the Arctic.

Global warming is proceeding more rapidly in the Arctic than in any other region of the world. As it proceeds, resources, until recently buried under hundreds of feet of ice, have become available. Shipping lanes are opening up from East Asia to Europe or the east coast of North America that cut the length of the trip by 3,000 miles.

Greenland, the world’s largest island, straddles the Arctic Circle and has, beyond 10 per cent of the world’s fresh water bound up in the deep glaciers that cover it, huge deposits of sand and gravel growing from its melting glaciers.

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Michael Lucas: immigrant organiser and friend of the Soviet people

by Greg Butterfield

MICHAEL LUCAS, editor of Northstar Compass and leader of the International Council for Friendship and Solidarity with the Soviet People, died in Toronto on 4th May. He was 94.

Lucas was a fixture of the Canadian left for decades, especially amongst communities of progressive immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia. He was long-time head of the Society of Carpatho-Russian Canadians. A musician, Lucas was deeply committed to preserving and sharing the culture and traditions of his people. Throughout his long life, he was a staunch supporter of socialism and the anti-fascist traditions of the Soviet Union.

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