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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

In the departure lounge

by New Worker correspondent

AT LONDON City Airport in Docklands workers are up in arms about how they are being treated in the present crisis that has seen air travel drop to almost nil.

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Safety battle won

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON’S BUS drivers have won what has almost been a year-long battle to secure an improved air conditioning system on the buses. Unite, which represents over 20,000 London bus workers, say the changes will greatly reduce the risk of drivers being exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus whilst driving because the new air conditioning systems ensure air entering the driver’s sealed cab comes directly from the outside and does not pass through the passenger area of the bus.

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Going Dutch

by New Worker correspondent

AT THE same time as railway workers north of the border are balloting for industrial action, it has been discovered that the Scottish National Party (SNP) government is preventing pay negotiations taking place on the false grounds there is no money in the kitty.

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Some real election news

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

COUNCIL by-elections are normally something of a yawn, but at times they can be interesting barometers of what happens when people actually cast their votes rather than what is said to opinion pollsters. The Tories recently won a much-delayed by-election in tiny Clackmannanshire. This was no great surprise in itself; the seat had been held by the party and the by-election was caused by the incumbent being forced to stand down on grounds of ill health rather than scandal.

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another now

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Whereas it is possible to win council, Holyrood and Westminster seats on a minority of votes, it is another thing to win referendums that way. The SNP want another one now. The Tories are adamantly opposed and so was Labour.

But Labour’s stand on the question of a second independence referendum seems to have changed. Now their biggies are saying they would not support one for the whole of the next Holyrood term, leaving the door open for another vote after 2026.

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The Queen’s Navy

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The SNP have recently found yet another cause for internal bickering, this time over military policy. The SNP like to talk about how keen they are on unilateral nuclear disarmament. Britain’s nuclear deterrence is based on the Clyde. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon often boasts that she was in CND before the SNP, although details of her membership are a mystery to CND veterans.

Opinion poll results on the question of nuclear weapons vary according to how the question is posed, especially if mentioning the lifetime or annual costs.

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blithely ignored

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

When the SNP recently gave its pennyworth to the UK government’s defence review it blithely ignored its own policies however, by ditching its long-held unilateralist views and instead demanded that the UK government commit “wholeheartedly” to a multilateral approach in its integrated foreign policy and defence review. Whilst some might think this was simply a tactical withdrawal to please a Tory government (which holds all the cards on this issue), the SNP leadership have prevented delegates at their forthcoming conference from discussing the question of an independent Scotland ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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What’s behind Johnson’s decision to back Priti Patel?

by Ekaterina Blinova

BORIS JOHNSON is apparently trying to preserve his inner circle’s integrity as the Brexit transition period ends this year, say academics assessing the Prime Minister’s decision to shield his Home Secretary Priti Patel from criticism. They have warned however, that Johnson’s approach is fraught with risks.

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Syrians win first place in AI competition in Britain

by Hamda Mustafa

THE LATAKIA branch of the Syrian Computer Society (SCS) has ranked first in the 2020 Ada Lovelace Hackathon for Artificial Intelligence online competition, beating teams from the USA, Britain, India, Romania and Kazakhstan.

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Britain’s ‘continued subservience’ to USA

by Mohamed Elmaazi

THE PRIME Minister unexpectedly announced the largest increase in military spending since the Cold War, on 19th November 2020. Sputnik spoke to a member of Britain’s oldest secular anti-militarist movement about their response to this surprise decision and why they think it has been made at this time.

Symon Hill of the Peace Pledge Union (PPU), which has been campaigning against militarism since 1934, responded to the recent announcement by the Government to increase military spending by over £16.5 billion over the next four years. “It’s now clearer than ever that tanks and warplanes can’t keep us safe from the most serious threats that we face, such as pandemics, poverty and the climate emergency,” Hill said.

Sputnik: What do you think has led to Boris Johnson making this surprise announcement regarding such a large increase in military spending?

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International News

Biden transition faces rocky road while China marches on

by Hu Xijin

THE US General Services Administration on Monday informed Democratic candidate Joe Biden that the administration of US incumbent President Donald Trump is ready to begin the formal transition process.

This indicates that the USA will begin to ‘correct’ its policies of the last four years. The incoming Biden administration is expected to adopt a different course in comparison to the Trump administration. This includes seeking international cooperation in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, returning to the Paris Agreement, and discussing the possibility of re-joining the Iran nuclear deal.

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Sarkozy in court on corruption charges

by Ed Newman

FORMER French President Nicolas Sarkozy has gone on trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, becoming the first ex-president in France to appear in the dock. Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012, attended the court in Paris on Monday but declined to make any statement to reporters.

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RCEP: where does US imperialism stand?

by Amiad Horowitz

ON 15th November a group of 15 countries, including the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional powerhouses such as People’s China, Japan and Australia, made history by signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The agreement establishes the world’s largest free-trade zone, covering almost a third of the world’s population and GDP.

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Disney finally opens up to racism charges

by Rolando Pérez Betancourt

THEY DENIED IT for many years, but the weight of reality ended up tipping the balance. Disney has finally acknowledged on its gigantic streaming platform that there are racist stereotypes and other offensive material in a wide variety of its titles.

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Bolivia: Morales returns!

by John Catalinotto

EVO MORALES — president of Bolivia from 2006-19 before a US-backed right-wing coup forced the country’s first Indigenous president to leave both his office and his country — returned in triumph on 9th November, as the workers and farmers of Bolivia dealt a blow to imperialist domination of their country and the continent.

At Chimoré airport in Bolivia on 9th November, the people welcome former President Evo Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera.

On 8th November, the day before Morales returned, newly elected President Luis Arce and Vice President David Choquehuanca of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) were inaugurated. Now in office, the MAS candidates had won the long-delayed 18th October election by a landslide — receiving 55 per cent of the votes compared to 29 per cent for the centre-right Carlos Mesa and 14 per cent for the neo-fascist Luis Fernando Camacho.

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Germany: Trump, Tegel and fighting the right

by Victor Grossman

DING-DONG, the wicked witch is dead! A wicked but very male US Witch was crushed under a houseful of angry voters, though this house, unlike Dorothy’s in the Wizard of Oz, was definitely not from Kansas!

And I have a lingering fear that the man still in the White House may plan another trump card, like a false flag operation to provoke a conflict – at home, with Iran, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, even China – then proclaim a national emergency requiring him to remain commander-in-chief. Is that just a hangover nightmare? Or can someone finally dig up a straitjacket?

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