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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Fire alarms

by New Worker correspondent

BRITAIN’S fire services are not in a satisfactory state. On Monday, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) warned that up and down the country fire services could not cope with more than one national emergency at a time – and we already have one.

The FBU say that firefighters have responded to 11 of the UK’s 12 major threats with 11,237 fewer firefighters, a 19 per cent reduction, although some regions have lost a third of frontline firefighters since 2010.

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At the chalkface

by New Worker correspondent

WHILST ENGLAND enters another total lockdown the main teaching union, the National Education Union (NEU), has launched a campaign to close schools and colleges during the lockdown. In support they cite figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that estimate that one per cent of primary pupils and two per cent of secondary pupils have the coronavirus, and that these levels have increased dramatically since wider opening in September.

This means that coronavirus levels are now nine times higher amongst primary pupils and 50 times higher amongst secondary pupils.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

TUESDAY afternoon saw the SNP Scottish government effectively abandon its one-time great hope that Scotland would become the “Saudi Arabia of renewable energy”. Back in 2001 the SNP promised us a “green energy revolution” that would generate 28,000 direct jobs in the offshore wind sector and would see £7.1 billion of worth of investment by now. Whilst there are many windfarms in Scotland these days, the one thing they have in common is that virtually all the windmills are imported in a country once famed for its engineering.

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Labour Woes by our Scottish political affairs correspondent The Scottish Labour Party has been in the headlines again, for all the wrong reasons. It has transpired the party, in what was once its stronghold, is now dependent on the UK party to pay its bills.

Corbyn’s suspension divides Labour

SIR KEIR STARMER says that the “vast majority” of Labour members would not have approved of Jeremy Corbyn’s response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism in the party. But Eric Shaw, senior lecturer in politics at Stirling University, believes that the move to suspend Corbyn will undeniably have some divisive effects in the Labour Party. Dr Shaw, a former researcher in the International Department of the Labour Party, has written five books on Labour and British politics.

Sputnik: Do you think the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn was just?

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Bringing Cuba to Glasgow

by New Worker correspondent

CUBAN FILMS are not often shown in the UK, but the Havana Glasgow Film Festival has gone a long way over the last few years to bridge the gap. Now in its sixth year, the festival is the brainchild of Glasgow filmmaker and writer Eirene Houston, who has been visiting Cuba since 1997 and has taught at the national film school in Havana.

To view the programme, go to the website:

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China-UK fair promotes talents exchange


MORE THAN 40 Chinese and British companies took part in an online talent fair last weekend that is expected to provide some 2,000 job opportunities to overseas Chinese students and scholars from British universities.

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Enemies at the Gate


by Ben Soton

The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden (2020). Penguin Michael Joseph: London. ISBN: 9780241351239, hardback, 464pp, RRP £20.00.

THE ‘Clash of Civilisations’ theory, the struggle between Asiatic ‘despotism’ and Western ‘democracy’, originates in the Greco-Persian Wars of the fifth century BC.

It sees Greece, which at that time consisted of a loose confederation of fractious city states governed by free men, versus the vast Achaemenid Persian Empire, which ranged from northern Greece to India, with its armies of slaves ruled over by a single despot. Supporters of this thesis give the example of Ancient Athens, which, after the reforms of Cleisthenes, established an early form of democracy. This view is propagated in Conn Iggulden’s new novel, The Gates of Athens.

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International News

The last journalist assassinated in Cuba

by Pedro Martínez Pírez

THOSE of us who support the work of the United Nations (UN) remember well that 2nd November was proclaimed as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Therefore, I believe this is an important date to remember and pay tribute to the last journalist murdered in Cuba – the young Ecuadorian Carlos Bastidas Argüello – who was assassinated in Havana on 13th May 1958, only a few months before the end of Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship.

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Turks retreat in Syria


TURKISH forces withdrew completely from Morek on Monday. The Turkish army’s observation post in Hama province was the largest Turkish base in Syria. The Syrian flag was hoisted above the town soon after.

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Snowden applies for Russian citizenship

by Ed Newman

US whistle-blower Edward Snowden and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship in order not to be separated from their future son.

Snowden’s wife, Lindsay, is expecting a child in late December. Snowden, 37, fled the USA and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the US National Security Agency (NSA), where he was a contractor.

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Left anti-communism: a Trojan Horse against the working class

by Dave McKee

“THE pure socialists’ ideological anticipations remain untainted by existing practice. They do not explain how the manifold functions of a revolutionary society would be organised, how external attack and internal sabotage would be thwarted, how bureaucracy would be avoided, scarce resources allocated, policy differences settled, priorities set, and production and distribution conducted.

“Instead, they offer vague statements about how the workers themselves will directly own and control the means of production and will arrive at their own solutions through creative struggle. No surprise then that the pure socialists support every revolution except the ones that succeed.”

Michael Parenti wrote these words in his 1997 classic, Blackshirts and Reds. Writing half a decade after the overthrow of socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe, Parenti examined the relationship between reactionary ideologies, especially fascism, and capitalism. Along the way, he discussed the role that anti-communism played – and continues to play – within the political left, helping to destroy the socialist movement by undermining unity and militancy, and weakening it ideologically and organisationally.

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Belarusian opposition leader: a ‘sell-out’ and ‘traitor’

by Mohamed Elmaazi

Poster: Byelorussia is not for sale

THE European Parliament has selected Belarus’ opposition movement as the winners of 2020’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The European Union’s legislative body specifically singled out several people and organisations including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, whom they refer to as an “opposition leader”.

But Western-led institutions and governments are not genuinely interested in the right of self-determination of the Belarusian people as is evidenced by their one-sided support for anti-government groups and individuals, says Kayla Popuchet.

Kayla Popuchet is minoring in Slavic studies as part of her education in Latin American and Eastern European politics at the City University of New York, and is also a regular contributor to the anti-imperialist Anticonquista media collective and is a New York City Housing Court Specialist. She says that much of Mrs Tikhanovkaya’s image has been constructed by Western governments who do not have the best interests of the Belarusian people at heart.

Sputnik: Who is Svetlana Tikhanovskaya?

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