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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Changing of the Guard(s)

ON MONDAY, white puffs of smoke emerged from the roof of public sector union Unison HQ on London’s Euston Road to announce the election of a new General Secretary, whose salary of £138,000 did not receive any publicity.

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Less than United

OVER AT Unite the Union, the queue for the top job lengthened with the announcement that Gerard Coyne, who came a close second in the previous contest, is standing again for the post of General Secretary.

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Party and the Unions

ON THE same day as the Unison result, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) said they would be launching consultation of its members about whether it should remain affiliated to the Labour Party.

The union, which before the pandemic had been taking effective action in the fastfood industry, has expressed dissatisfaction with the new leadership of the Labour Party.

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Sink or swim

YET ANOTHER example of bosses using the pandemic to ditch staff comes from Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), the “social enterprise” which was founded to run local services in the London Borough of Greenwich in 1993 as a “non-profit distributing co-operative” and has now expanded to managing 250 venues.

Unite the union, which represents many of its employees, argues that more than 500 jobs that were cut since last March are just the permanent posts and the figure ignores the 2,000 workers on zero-hours contracts who have been told there is no longer work for them.

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Fire and rehire

THE GMB union has announced that its members working in British Gas will be taking five more days of strike action starting next Wednesday for the rest of the month.

The ongoing dispute was sparked by British Gas attempting to fire all its workers and rehire them at lower rates, this not unnaturally persuaded the 9,000 GMB members affected to reject the deal by a massive 89 per cent vote for strike action.

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Stinks to High Heaven

by our Scottish Political correspondent

THE warfare between former First Minister Alex Salmond and his successor is simmering away nicely, occasionally threatening to boil over as details of an alleged plot to destroy Salmond are scrutinised by an unusually determined Holyrood committee that has been slowly, in the face of obstruction from the SNP Government, gathered damning evidence that there was indeed a plot to see him behind bars.

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CIVID Complaints

by our Scottish Political correspondent

When it is not busy with its scandals, how is the SNP Government managing to cope with the pandemic? Not very well, as one might expect.

According to a report from Scottish Future, Scotland’s coronavirus detection rate is the worst in the UK. This is based on a comparison with Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) estimates, which suggest a daily average of around 43,379 people in Scotland had COVID-19, but at the same time the testing programmes picked up an average of 13,600 cases. In other words, it means only 32 per cent of the total cases are being picked up.

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Another New Party

by our Scottish Political correspondent Monday saw the formation of yet another political party to brighten the Scottish political scene.

It has been something a fashion to so with the emergence of the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP), which is not of course founded by the Scottish Independence Referendum Party, to say nothing of the opposing Alliance4Unity headed by George Galloway.

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International News

COVID-19 in Africa

Communist Party of Swaziland

JUST ONE example of the devastating effect of COVID-19 in exploited countries comes from Swaziland in southern African, which is ruled by the absolute monarch Msawti III. The “incwala” referred to below is the country’s annual tribal get together that marks the first harvest of the year at which the King adds to his collection of wives.

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Vietnam’s workers calls for minimum wage rises

Việt Nam News

THE VIỆTNAM General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), the country’s TUC, is calling on the country’s Government to increase the minimum wage as the country’s economy begins to show positive signs of recovery.

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Belated justice


IN PERU, at long last the 244,234 Indigenous women who were irreversibly sterilised as part of the former President (1990–2000) Alberto Fujimori’s family planning policies have the possibility of justice.

Fujimori launched his National Population Programme in 1995, supported by training and $36 million from the US government, the Nippon Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for curtailing population growth, claiming it would reduce poverty. Within a few years it became clear that people were conned or coerced into taking part. It was targeted on poor areas such as shantytowns and indigenous peoples who supported the Maoist Shining Path guerrillas.

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DPR Korea Party Conference

Edited from the Pyongyang Times

The Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) concluded last Tuesday, 12 January after eight days of work. The following is part of the concluding speech by newly re-elected General Secretary Kim Jong Un.

THE CONGRESS first undertook a comprehensive and detailed review and analysis of the work of the Seventh Central Committee of the WPK. It also undertook an in-depth analysis of the line and strategic and tactical problems for a new struggle.

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Ireland’s baby homes scandal

Workers Party of Ireland

TUESDAY saw the final report of a five-year investigation by the Irish Government’s Commission of Investigation into the running of the country’s notorious Mother and Baby homes. These were run by the Roman Catholic Church, which was effectively given a blank cheque by successive governments to run them as it chose, as it did with Ireland’s schools.

It is only now that the full horror of these institutions to which impoverished unmarried mothers to be were taken is coming to light, but in 2014 hundreds of infant bodies were found in a disused buried sewage tank in the grounds of a former home in Tuam in County Galway resulting in the present report.

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Vaccine for the rich only

Radio Havana Cuba TEDROS Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director- General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said on Monday that there is a “clear problem” that poorer countries are not yet receiving supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and urged countries to stop striking bilateral deals with manufacturers.

“Rich countries have the majority of the supply” he said, commenting on vaccine nationalism at a Geneva news briefing. “No country is exceptional and should cut the queue and vaccinate all their population while some remain with no supply of the vaccine.”

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Kiev used phosphorus-incendiary bombs to send New Year ‘greetings’ to Donbas

ON THE eve of the New Year holidays, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) began a heavy artillery bombardment of the Donbas area, including the use of phosphorusincendiary bombs that are banned worldwide. This has been reported by the press service of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), but largely ignored elsewhere.

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California’s Proposition 22 and the essence of capitalist exploitation

by Marcello Severo

IN NOVEMBER, voters cast their ballots in the most expensive, and hence most thoroughly corrupted, election in US history.

On California’s ballots were 12 direct initiatives, ranging from medical regulation to privacy statutes. In such a corrupted environment, it is unsurprising that the appearance of direct democracy did not ensure across-the-board victories for the working class. Whilst 59 per cent of voters passed an initiative to enfranchise formerly incarcerated people, on the other hand 60 per cent rejected an initiative to expand subsidised housing, and 57 per cent voted to uphold the state ban on affirmative action.

In the most expensive campaign amongst these 12 initiatives, and indeed all initiatives in Californian history, 59 per cent of voters passed Proposition 22 (Prop 22), an unprecedented bill that legally strips Uber, Lyft and DoorDash drivers, amongst others, of their status as employees of those companies. Analysing the law, as well as following the money and tactics behind the campaign, illuminates the reasons for, and the significance of, the passage of this monumental, regressive initiative.

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100 years of the Luxembourg Communists


OVER 100 years ago, on 2nd January 1921, the Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL) was founded in the working-class town of Differdingen in the south of the country. Immediately afterwards, the party took up the struggle for the rights of the working class, especially amongst the miners and steelworkers in Luxembourg where many KPL members proved themselves in demonstrations and strikes.

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