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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

NHS in Danger

THE Unite the Union is also making that same point in more general terms by commenting on reports in the Sunday papers that the Tory Government is thinking about reversing ‘reforms’ to the NHS implemented by David Cameron. One assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail, said: “The 2012 Health and Social Care Act is recognised as a disaster, fragmenting services and giving too much sway to the profit-hungry private sector. There can never be a market for healthcare – you can’t put a price on the care a patient needs from the NHS in time of need.

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Pay victories

SOME 200 of Britain’s most essential workers, members of Unite the Union, have won an above inflation pay rise. The deal is for the next three years and includes a five per cent company bonus. The essential workers are those employed at three Whyte & MacKay distilleries giant’s sites at Grangemouth, Invergordon and Dalmore distilleries. The deal also includes a company pledge to become a Real Living Wage employer.

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Childcare battle

THE COMMUNICATION Workers Union (CWU) is demanding that Royal Mail management at the huge Mount Pleasant site in north London abandon their plans to close their Kiddycare Childsplay Nursery in March.

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Hi-Tech redundancy battles

THE CWU is also facing battles at its other major employer, British Telecommunications (BT), as its Global division is planning to make 16 people redundant in its Digital Delivery Service Organisation (DDSO) and a further five in its Commercial unit. Members fear that these job cuts are just part of several “management decisions apparently driven by a virulent offshoring agenda”.

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Scotland’s Watergate?

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent THE 1971–4 Watergate scandal began with a comparatively minor matter, a burglary at the opposition Democratic Party offices, which is small beer by the standards of American politics. The attempts to cover it up, however, caused the downfall of a President and the electoral defeat of his successor.

With each passing day the internal SNP warfare suggests parallels with the Watergate affair. For all its complexities it is basically a dispute to determine which First Minister, past or present, has been telling the truth about matters that could have seen someone go to jail.

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Publishing News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

An obscure Inverness publisher called Sandstone Press announced recently that it was to publish a volume of Nicola Sturgeon’s selected speeches just after the Holyrood elections. This tome is to be entitled Women Hold Up Half the Sky, which is, of course, a quote from Mao Zedong. The blurb says the book will demonstrate how “One of the world’s most experienced political leaders” is “thoughtful, progressive, and compassionate”, which suggests it is aiming for the fiction market.

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American woman behind teen Brit’s death was a spy

by Jason Dunn

THE WIFE of a CIA operative is accused of killing 19-year-old Harry Dunn whilst she drove on the wrong side of the road in Britain in August 2019. Anne Sacoolas, who is also reported to be employed by US intelligence, managed to avoid criminal charges through diplomatic immunity and subsequently left the UK following the incident.

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London care workers keep up the fight

by New Worker correspondent

CARE WORKERS and cleaners at the Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green, North London, walked out in a second wave of strike action from 4–8 February last week. The key workers, who previously went on a three-day strike back in January, are demanding a living wage of £12 per hour, trade union recognition, and full pay sick pay and annual leave in line with NHS rates.

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Chinese ambassador bids farewell

by New Worker correspondent

CHINESE ambassador Liu Xiaoming has retired after a ground-breaking 11 years at his post in London. At an online farewell reception in January, the Ambassador said it had been an honour for him to have worked and lived in the UK for 11 years, and to become the longest-serving Chinese Ambassador both in the history of China–UK relations and of all Chinese ambassadors of all time, which he will cherish for the rest of his life.

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Russian-British film festival opens this week

by New Worker correspondent

RUSSIAN FILMS are routinely ignored by the mainstream media, with screenings usually confined to niche slots on streaming services or independent cinemas that have been closed along with the rest of the entertainment industry under the current lockdown. But the internet has provided an alternative outlet to explore some of the best that Russian cinema has to offer to the world.

The Sochi International Film Festival (SIFFA) opened its online British programme with film screenings and creative meetings this week.

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International News

Living on borrowed money

by Ed Newman

THE GLOBAL economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has reached such proportions that – for the first time since the Second World War – the global public debt at the end of 2020 was the equivalent to the 98 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That means that for every dollar earned in the world, 98 cents is owed and only two cents are left to meet all daily needs. Seems absurd… but true.

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China: truth or lies?

Global Times

THE SOURCE in the BBC’s sensational report accusing China of “mass rape” in the training centres in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has been found to have changed her “testimony” many times in the past years, especially after she was found and “supported” by a US-based-and-funded anti-China organisation when she began to make the latest “rape” accusation.

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American neo-Nazi funds Serbian extremists

by Andrija Filipović

New Communist Party of Yugoslavia

THE League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ), the youth movement of the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia (NKPJ), has called on the Business Registers Agency of Serbia to immediately initiate the procedure for removing Will2Rise, an American company, from the register.

Will2Rise is owned by Robert Rundo, a US citizen well known for his neo-Nazi, racist and xenophobic attitudes.

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Lessons to be learned from China

REVIEW by Tara Brady

76 Days. XTRA Films (2020). Directors: Weixi Chen, Hao Wu. Screenplay: Hao Wu. 93 mins. On Dogwoof on Demand and other digital platforms.

ON 23RD JANUARY 2020, China locked down Wuhan, a city of some 11 million citizens, to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. 76 Days, a gripping new documentary, chronicles the frontlines of the epidemic across four Wuhan hospitals.

Hao Wu, one of the film’s co-directors, had flown to Shanghai from New York for Chinese New Year on 23rd January, the same day that China imposed a complete lockdown on Wuhan to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Shanghai is far from Wuhan, but China’s largest city, Hao recalls, “…appeared like the film set of a zombie apocalypse movie”.

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Netanyahu courts Israeli-Arab voters

by Elizabeth Blade

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu continues to lead in Israeli opinion polls, as another survey predicts the prime minister (PM) will get 32 out of 120 seats in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

The PM, who is readying himself for a fight in the upcoming elections on 23rd March, is counting on much more, confiding to his inner circle that he aims to get 40 seats in the Knesset.

To get it Netanyahu will need to put boots on the ground and tour cities and towns in a bid to secure more votes. But he will also need to put in a lot of time and effort to win over those he previously shunned, Israel’s Arab population.

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GM 1937– Amazon 2021: Which side are you on?

by Martha Grevatt

BESSEMER, Alabama, sitting on the outskirts of Birmingham that was once the industrial hub of the Deep South, with a population of 26,500 – about 75 per cent African American – has become a central focus for the entire class struggle in the USA. There, at Amazon warehouse BHM1, thousands of workers are fighting for a union.

Over Amazon’s strident objections, the National Labor Relations Board is conducting a union representation election by mail. From 8th February to 29th March, workers will mail in ballots indicating if they want representation by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Workers Union, which is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

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Is Russia ready to recognise the Donbas republics?

by Lyuba Lulko

THE RUSSIAN Donbas forum was held in Donetsk last week. There, the participants advanced the doctrine of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The doctrine states that the statehood of the people’s republics should be strengthened as Russian nation-states and that the two unrecognised republics should be returned to the sphere of the Russian historical space

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