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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Council workers pay

by New Worker correspondent

IN A consultative ballot about 100,000 council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have overwhelmingly rejected a miserable pay and conditions offer for 2020/1 that amounts to just £1.83 per day or 2.75 per cent.

The ballot was conducted by Unite the Union, who said that despite the vote it is likely that the offer will be imposed. It also notes that low-paid key workers who keep vital services running are being robbed of a pay rise because with a decade of Tory austerity their pay has been cut by more than 20 per cent in real terms.

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Fighting talk from Unison

by New Worker correspondent

UNISON has warned that British Gas, who plan to sack its entire 16,500-strong workforce and re-employ them on reduced terms, could face industrial action. In addition, British Gas has served formal notice that it will end all trade union recognition agreements including that with Unison, which has the largest membership, mostly in its offices.

Outgoing general secretary Dave Prentis has written to MPs at Westminster urging them to demonstrate their support for “these loyal and hardworking employees who are being treated in such an appalling fashion”.

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Unsporting behaviour

by New Worker correspondent

RUGBY players are unlikely victims of the coronavirus plague. Manchester-based players at the Toronto Wolfpack Rugby League team have been abandoned without wages by its Canadian owners however, who are seeking to sell the club and have four potential suitors.

The players’ union, GMB, say the owners have ignored the players who having not been paid in three months could face eviction from their homes.

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Assange’s defence team slams new American action

by Mohamed Elmaazi

THERE IS CONCERN that the second superseding indictment served by the US government may result in further delays to the extradition case of the WikiLeaks publisher, whose case is due to restart in earnest on 7th September 2020 at the Old Bailey in London.

John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, says he believes the prosecution was doing everything it could to ensure the proceedings are delayed until after the US presidential elections, due to be held in November.

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Happy Families

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE Scottish National Party’s civil war between the Salmondistas and the Sturgeonites has found a new battleground in a Holyrood Committee especially set up for that purpose.

The matters under consideration are, on the surface at least, restricted to an inquiry into how the SNP Government handled harassment complaints against the former First Minister Alex Salmond. Reading between the lines of the case is not difficult however, and much more is at stake for the contending parties and their party.

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Noisy Viruses

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The SNP Government has managed to infuriate a group of cultural workers whom one would have thought they would be eager to support.

Leaders of pipe bands are up in arms because the SNP Government has outlawed group practice sessions, which are now allowed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, on the grounds that the pipes could blast an “aerosol” of infectious particles into the air. In other parts of the UK bands are allowed to perform outdoors at a safe social distance, but bands are banned north of the Border.

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Defending Liam Campbell

by New Worker correspondent

SUPPORTERS of the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group-Greater London picketed the Irish embassy in London on Saturday in support of the campaign to stop the extradition of Liam Campbell to Lithuania.

Liam Campbell, a dissident Irish republican, was arrested in Dundalk on 2nd December 2016 on a warrant issued by Lithuania and endorsed by the High Court in Dublin. He is facing extradition to Lithuania pending an appeal against the 13th July order in January 2021. If extradited and found guilty, he faces a sentence of 20 years. This latest attempt to extradite Liam comes after a legal battle lasting nearly 12 years in the High Court in Dublin.

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Voices of War at the Imperial War Museum

Xinhua

IN 1940, Donald Lashbrook from Exeter left behind friends and family to embark for India to serve in the British Army in the Second World War.

He spent five years on the frontline in India, Afghanistan and Myanmar, as the British Army joined China and the USA in their fight against Japanese forces.

On 15th August 1945, the war was declared over and Lashbrook, then 25 years old, was able to return home.

“VJ (Victory over Japan) Day came, it was all over. Everybody was ‘we’re on our way home’,” Lashbrook said in an archived audio interview that now features in the Voices of War soundscape collection at London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM).

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The seedy side of Georgian London

TV REVIEW

by Ben Soton

Harlots (2017–2019). Creators: Moira Buffini and Alison Newman. Stars: Lesley Manville, Kate Fleetwood, Holli Dempsey. BBC2, from Wednesday 5th August at 9pm, starting with a double-bill. Series one and two will air back-to-back.

IT IS A common misconception that the past was more puritanical than the present. It may have been the case in the Victorian era and obviously the short-lived Puritan-led English Republic of the 17th Century but not Georgian London, which is the setting of the BBC drama Harlots.

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International News

Pompeo caught in his own trap

Xinhua

MIKE POMPEO just wrapped up his second trip to Europe within a month, where he spared no efforts to goad the America’s European allies into his new ‘Cold War’ campaign against China. But his fanatical policies have only been met with the cold shoulder so far.

During his second trip to Europe in less than a month, the US foreign minister, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, unsurprisingly carried on his malign campaign, hurling insults at China, scrambling to indoctrinate ‘America’s friends’ with slanders and lies, and contriving to revive a Cold War.

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Jailers support Trump

THE OWNERS of the main private prisons that operate in the USA are making juicy contributions to the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump, who has drastically increased the number of undocumented persons incarcerated in those jails.

In fact, handing over a good part of the correctional facilities to private capital is a practice that began about four decades ago and had its peak in the administration of former President Barack Obama. The current Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden was an enthusiastic promoter of these profitable businesses during his term as vice president of the USA.

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Radio Havana Cuba

ANGER is boiling in the Middle East and elsewhere over a recent agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalise diplomatic relations, with Palestinian leaders describing it as a “stab in the back” by an Arab country.

Dozens of people raided the UAE embassy in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli on Saturday to express their outrage over the normalisation pact between the Persian Gulf country and Tel Aviv. Several protesters threw petrol bombs at the diplomatic mission, denouncing Abu Dhabi’s deal as “shameful”.

Radio Havana Cuba

The “Belarusian Maidan” must be prevented

IN A declaration about the elections and the ongoing protests in Belarus, the Communist Workers’ Party of Russia-Revolutionary Party of Communists (RKRP-CPSU) points out that a possible “Belarusian Maidan” must be prevented.

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Features

Should Bibi worry about the protests ?

by Elizabeth Blade

THE ISRAELI media say Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu has every reason to be afraid. The protests that are sweeping the country as a result of the pandemic might be relatively small in size, compared with others that the country witnessed in 2011, but they’ve united various groups, including right-wing circles, and they don’t plan to leave the streets.

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Historian challenges traditional Marxist view of American Revolution

by Jamal Rich

THE ‘SO-CALLED’ American Revolution of 1776 was not a bourgeois-democratic uprising for liberty as the common view would have it. Instead, it was a settler-colonialist revolt, a reactionary event aimed at blocking the impending abolition of slavery. That is according to radical historian Gerald Horne, who is challenging both mainstream as well as traditional Marxist narratives about the founding of the USA.

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The war against a Russian vaccine

by Ed Newman

EVER SINCE Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of the vaccine against COVID-19, named Sputnik V, there has been a flood of opinions from alleged experts, politicians and unscrupulous people trying to discredit this important discovery.

Even on the so-called social networks, some comments have claimed that Russia does not have a tradition of scientific research that accredits or supports its work in this field, which in addition to being total nonsense, represents a gross ignorance of that country‘s achievements.

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