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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Crown Jewels at risk

by New Worker correspondent

FOR THE first time since Henry VII established the unit in 1485, some of the 37 yeoman warders at the Tower of London, commonly known as Beefeaters, are facing redundancy because of the reduction in tourism due to COVID-19.

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More jobs at risk

by New Worker correspondent

ANOTHER organisation facing distressing job cuts is one of the bosses’ organisations, the Institute of Directors (IoD). Founded in 1903 and occupying grandiose premises on Pall Mall in central London, it has 150 employees. It presently has fewer than 30,000 members, numbers having fallen by about eight per cent in recent years.

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Catwalk News

by New Worker correspondent

A NEW union is being formed to organise a group of workers whose work is vital to the workings of the modern economy. The union is The Creators Union (TCU), which at present has 400 supporters amongst ‘Influencers’.

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Bar room blitz

by New Worker correspondent

A GLASGOW bar worker has been sacked for, of all things, being “surly when walking”. Another was dismissed for having a “work rate and enthusiasm” standard that was not up to scratch.

In former years being ‘surly’ was an essential attribute for working in a Glasgow bar but things seem to have changed at the West Bar in the former Templeton carpet factory on Glasgow Green.Bryan Simpson of Unite the union said: “A few weeks back, our members raised serious concerns about discrepancies in wages and holiday pay by way of collective grievance.” He went on to point out that “being ‘surly’ at work is not a justifiable reason to sack staff in the middle of a pandemic”, adding that: “Our members were rushed off their feet during the first week of the opening of the beer garden and found it difficult to show enthusiasm for a job which saw them being targeted for raising concerns about discrepancies in wages and holiday pay. These workers were sacked by email, without disciplinary meetings and with no previous warnings.”

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Ship breaking

by New Worker correspondent

A BANGLADESHI widow whose husband was killed whilst dismantling an oil tanker at a ship-breaking yard two years ago has won the right to file a negligence claim against the British company involved in the vessel’s sale to the breaker.

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The second wave could be even worse

Sputnik

ALTHOUGH the Johnson government initiative to step up NHS funding amidst the coronavirus pandemic is crucial, there are concerns as to whether the promised financial aid will fill all the gaps as the upcoming winter season threatens to become even more disastrous for the nation, British healthcare experts say.

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Damned Ruskies

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE PUBLICATION of the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on alleged Russian influence on British politics on Tuesday was something of a non-event so far as Scottish politics were concerned.

Predictably it claimed that “Russian state-owned international broadcasters such as RT and Sputnik” were tools of disinformation and malicious influence. This means that both outlets offer a perspective on the world that differs from the BBC, The Guardian and The Times – which is, of course, a very, very bad thing.

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The New Parties

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Last week we reported on two new parties, on both sides of the constitutional question, which have suddenly emerged. They have both been making more waves than expected.

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HR management

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Economy minister Fiona Hyslop has been mired in bullying allegations levelled against her by a member of staff in her Linlithgow constituency office, who resigned after enduring what she described as “six months of intimidation, harassment, lies and gossiping”.

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Legal Battles

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Late last month the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill at Holyrood was abruptly terminated at a private hearing of the Parliament’s Local Government Committee, which gave no reason for its action. Promoted by Labour MSP Pauline McNeill, it had cross-party support from 28 MSPs: 18 Scottish Labour, six Scottish Green Party, two Lib-Dems, one Tory and an independent.

The bill, which modestly sought to limit rent rises in the private sector to inflation plus one per cent, was not to the liking of the SNP and Tories so it came to an untimely end.

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Looking for talent amidst the COVID crisis

Xinhua

CLINGING to a sloping cliff in Cornwall, the Minack Theatre has a unique backdrop as an open-air theatre. Over the years a variety of acts and performances have played to audiences on the granite-carved stage that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

Built in the 1930s, the theatre has over the years become world famous and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

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A Play for Today

reviewed by Ben Soton

Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry, National Theatre 2016 archive recording. 150 mins. Free on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel until January.

LES BLANCS, which translates literally as ‘The Whites’, is a brilliant critique of European imperialism’s role in Africa.

Set around a mission providing medical care to the local population in an African colony, the play takes the form of a series of arguments between the characters who range from anti-imperialist to colonial oppressor. The actors without exception play the characters well – in particular, Dani Sapani who plays the anti-imperialist Tshembe Matoseh recently returned from Europe

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International News

French workers resist layoffs

by G Dunkel SOME big companies with major operations in france have been using the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on their business as an excuse to lay off thousands of workers, even though they have received major subsidies to maintain payrolls.

On 8th July, the three unions representing workers at the Airbus plant near Toulouse – France’s Silicon Valley – called for a march from the Airbus facility to the local airport and back. An estimated 6,000 to 9,000 workers showed up for the march to the airport, where they occupied a runway, forcing some flights to divert. Airbus is a pan-European company and the main competitor of Boeing in the multi-billion-dollar aeronautics market. It is planning to lay off 5,000 workers in France by the middle of 2021.

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Anti-Netanyahu protests rock Israel

CPI

THOUSANDS took part in protests throughout Israel on Saturday, against far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his neoliberal government’s confused and inconsistent response to the coronavirus pandemic. In both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, four-figure protests initially began in areas designated by police but later spilled over into clashes with the cops in surrounding streets. Fifteen protesters were arrested in Jerusalem and 13 detained in Tel Aviv.

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Danish communist Betty Carlsson dies

THE Communist Party in Denmark (KPiD) has announced the death of its former General Secretary Betty Frydensbjerg Carlsson, who died on 19th July at the age of 76.

Betty led the KPiD from its foundation in 1993 until 2015, when she had to step down on health grounds. But she continued to sit on the central committee and to edit the Danish party’s monthly paper to the end.

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China has the whip hand

by Finian Cunningham

LISTENING to British ministers bossing China around sounds like they’re reliving the 19th century Opium Wars. That’s when a globally powerful Britain humbled China for exploitation, including selling narcotics to that nation, as well as stealing the territory of Hong Kong.

Today, Britain is in no position to bully China – the world’s second largest economy after the USA, and soon to be the first. Currently, China’s economy is about six times greater than Britain’s.

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In the middle of the storm

by Ed Newman

WITH ONLY three months and two weeks away from the presidential elections in the USA, the current President and candidate for re-election, Donald Trump, is in the midst of a crisis that is getting worse every day due to his own uncontrolled actions.

The USA is fast approaching the figure of four million infections by the novel coronavirus and has already exceeded 140,000 dead. The Donald and his team not only seem be to unaware however, but also fight against those who know about this matter and could contribute to alleviating the situation.

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Features

The Fight for Change on 26th July

by Karina Marron

ON 26th July, every year, Cuba celebrates the National Rebellion Day, dating back to the attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes garrison in Bayamo. In fact, that event represented the birth of a popular movement that rose to power for the benefit of the masses. A group composed of over 150 young revolutionaries, including two women, led the actions in both cities of eastern Cuba – headed by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Their motivation was their love for their homeland, which they wanted to be free again after the coup d ́état headed by Fulgencio Batista, of 10th March 1952. But Cuba’s situation at the time was more intolerable than the tyrant of the moment, or the fact that the constitution was ridden over rough-shod and the principles of the Cuban Magna Carta approved in 1940 ignored.

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Ding, ding, all change!

by Ray Jones

“NOTHING ever changes!” you must have heard people moan sometime or other, but you will have also heard people complain that something (sometimes everything) was better in the “Old Days”. Both these sayings certainly reflect, to a degree, people’s experiences, coloured by their moods, hopes and fears, but neither is fully accurate.

When asked to consider seriously most people will admit that things do change and that not everything was better when they were kids, but this will probably not stop them repeating these sayings in the future. This is because they often see no obvious pattern to the nature of change and apparent stability.

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Pages of Our History: Charles H Kerr & Co

by Robin McGregor

CHARLES H KERR & Co is not a particularly well-known name on this side of The Pond but it is possible that some readers will at have a few books from this Chicago publishing company on their bookshelf from when it was the main labour movement publisher in the days before the First World War.

Charles Hope Kerr was born in 1860, the son of a mathematics teacher at a boys’ school in the American state of Georgia. His parents were abolitionists helping slaves escape via the underground railway, an activity which forced them to take advantage of it and flee the state northwards, where his father became professor of Greek at Madison University.

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