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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Sackings galore

by New Worker correspondent

MACCLESFIELD College suddenly sacked eight members of staff, which UCU says will leave them open to unfair dismissal claims.

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Teachers versus the Coronavirus

by New Worker correspondent

ONE NOTABLE exception to the assorted lockdowns in the course of the year were schools, which, apart from the first nationwide lockdown, remained open. This was due to the fact that children are the least likely to suffer any serious consequences from catching it and in any case being at school would keep them fruitfully occupied.

Whilst parents will be delighted that their little darlings are no longer under their feet, teachers and their unions are less pleased at having to do face-to-face teaching.

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SNP’s record of failure

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE Scottish National Party ‘s (SNP’s) industrial strategy seems to have an almost 100 per cent record. Sadly, that is a record of failure rather than of success.

The death warrant of the BiFab construction yard in Fife has been signed, sealed and delivered – ironically just as Boris Johnson announced increased targets for the reduction of UK carbon emissions that were to be met by off-shore windfarms. The yard was once a pioneer in making North Sea oil rigs and was now supposed to help make Scotland the “Saudi Arabia of renewable energy” by manufacturing jackets for wind turbines. It could not win work from an offshore windfarm on its doorstep however, despite the Scottish Government giving £50 million to its Canadian owner, which bought the yard (and another) for £1. The figure of £1 is not a typo, it was exactly the price of this newspaper!

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The backstabbers’ gazette

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Tuesday saw Peter Murrell, or Mr Nicola Sturgeon, as the CEO of the SNP metaphorically (but not literally) dragged kicking and screaming into the official Holyrood inquiry into how the allegations of sexual misconduct by former First Minister Alex Salmond were handled by his wife’s government and her by personally. Even the chair of the inquiry, nationalist MSP Linda Fabiani, has accused the Sturgeon government of obstruction and obfuscation.

His evidence was not terribly convincing because he couldn’t make up his mind whether or not he was present at a now crucial meeting.

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British guru’s mad anti-Chinese rant

by Mu Lu

BRITISH right-wing political commentator Douglas Murray has recently demonstrated how arrogant and ignorant some Westerners are towards China by showing his neo-imperialist racism that demands immediate denouncement.

Murray believes “it is not racist to talk of a ‘Chinese virus’ or to avoid Chinatown”. On Saturday, in the Spectator, he wrote an article titled The case for Chinese reparations in which he argued to hold China accountable for “the largest fall in output” that the UK “has seen in over 300 years”.

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Unknown Soldier Day at the Soviet War Memorial

by New Worker correspondent

MEMBERS of London’s Russian community paid tribute to the Soviet sacrifice during the Second World War at a ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial in Lambeth last week. Standing by the monument in the shadow of the Imperial War Museum in south London, they joined many others who were honouring the Soviet war dead across Russia and beyond.

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A self-taught painter puts nostalgia on the walls

VNS

A TRIPTYCH of three large oil-on-canvas paintings adorning the Viet Rest restaurant in London has become a new magnet to bring together Vietnamese living in the capital city.

“I feel as if I were sitting on a boat floating on the real Hạ Long Bay,” says Long Vĩ Văn, the owner of the restaurant, who commissioned painter Vũ Kim Thanh to paint three pieces of Hạ Long Bay.

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International News

Lukashenko unveils new democracy plan for Belarus

by Ilya Tsukanov

ALEXANDER Lukashenko has expressed approval for major reforms to the country’s political system, including changes to the constitution, in the wake of the 9th August election that saw him re-elected for a sixth consecutive term in office but was also accompanied by large-scale street protests.

The Belarusian president expressed his approval for the redistribution of powers amongst various branches of government, promising that the process would take place in a transparent and democratic manner.

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A pandemic within a pandemic

by Ed Newman

WITH THE slogan “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility”, 1st December marked World AIDS Day. AIDS is a disease overshadowed in the media by COVID-19, but which infects and kills a large number of people.

According to data published by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in 2019, 1,700,000 people contracted HIV, the retrovirus which causes the disease.

During that period, there were a total of 38 million HIV-positive people and 690,000 lost their lives, despite all the scientific advances aimed at improving the health of those infected.

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Coronavirus sweeps through Israel

by Elizabeth Blade

THE FIRST batch of the Pfizer vaccine arrives in Israel on Wednesday. Another 100,000 doses are on their way. Israeli medical teams will be the first to get the much-awaited vaccine in an inoculation drive expected to kick off on 20th December. Then the state will start giving the shots to the elderly and other at-risk populations. This comes amidst reports that the number of COVID-19 patients continues to rise.

Israel registered more than 1,837 new coronavirus patients on Tuesday, and Israeli politicians and experts are now warning that a third wave of the pandemic is just around the corner.

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Indian workers unite in 250-million-strong strike!

by Martha Grevatt

FOR THE second time this year, a class-wide mobilisation in an “All-India strike” brought out 250 million workers. With one in four working-age people in India participating, this 24-hour work stoppage can again claim the status of “world’s biggest strike”. The first record-breaking general strike had taken place on 8th January.

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Anti-communist spew from Orthodox leader

by Nikos Mottas

“The Ukrainian term ‘Holodomor’ refers to the man-made and intentional famine, the devilish plan of the Stalinist system aimed at a well-planned genocide of a very pious people with the aim of eradicating the Christian faith and the Orthodox Church...”

These words were not expressed by any old extremist ultra-conservative bishop or priest, nor they were written in any right-wing newspaper. These are the words of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the head of the Orthodox Church, during a memorial service held at the Patriarchal Church in Istanbul for the 87th anniversary of the so-called 1932–1933 Ukrainian famine (also known as ‘Holodomor’).

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Features

How Ireland teaches empire

by Josh Brady

The campaign to keep history as a compulsory Junior Cert subject showed the importance Ireland claims to place on understanding history. But what is actually on the course? Josh Brady investigates how Ireland teaches empire.

“DID YOU KNOW ‘Goods’ in medieval times meant much more than the items mentioned. This term was applied to another type of cargo – slaves. At this time, the slave trade was common throughout Europe; between 1450 and 1500 alone, it is estimated that the Portuguese slave trade brought back 150,000 African slaves from their journeys.”

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The real Hunger Games

by Blair F Bertaccini

Coffeeland: One Man’s Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug by Augustine Sedgewick. Allen Lane Penguin Books 2020. Hardback: 433pp; £22; ISBN-10: 1594206155, ISBN-13: 978-1594206153.

DURING THE 1980S and ‘90s the author of this review was an active participant in solidarity activities that supported the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and the revolutionary movement in El Salvador led by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). These activities included many trips to the region to meet and work with Nicaraguans and Salvadorans engaged in liberation struggles at various levels.

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