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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Class struggle in the aisles

by New Worker correspondent

ALTHOUGH Sainsbury’s Stilton may be superior to that in Morrisons, the pay situation at Sainsbury’s is worse.

Speaking for 9,000 of Sainsbury’s 112,000 employees, Unite the union said the company’s “PR friendly plan” to pay small bonuses will cause reductions and interruptions to the in-work benefits that many of its low-paid staff rely on.

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Profiting from COVID-19

by New Worker correspondent

BRITAIN’S BOSSES are remarkably clever at finding ways of benefiting from a crisis and for extracting money from workers. So, hats off to the Tomahawk Steakhouse, a restaurant chain with venues in Yorkshire, the north east of England, and a new branch in London, which serves “the finest Himalayan salt dry-aged steaks, Wagyu and other great local meat”, for finding another novel way of exploiting workers.

It has the brass neck to demand that furloughed staff lend the chain 10 per cent of their wages each month to cover their pension and national insurance contributions, according to the GMB union. Those unwilling have been told that their “suitability for the role will have to be reviewed”.

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Tartan Montagues and Capulets

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

SOMETIMES it’s a struggle finding something interesting to fill this page, but this week we are spoiled for choice. Whilst the main interest centres around the internal warfare within the Scottish National Party (SNP), other political events are taking place, such as the election of yet another Labour leader and preparations for the next round of Holyrood elections.

As the New Worker went to press on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was finally putting her side of story at the long-running inquiry into her Government’s handling of the complaints of sexual harassment made against her predecessor. Although we obviously do not know the outcome, it is virtually certain that she did little to refute the damaging testimony presented by Salmond last Friday. Her own story has changed too much to make anything she says terribly convincing to those not directly or indirectly in the pay of the SNP.

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Ten in a Row

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Whilst it may not matter all that much, it is worth recording that Scottish Labour Party has yet another new leader. Predictably he is Glasgow MSP Anwar Sarwar, who defeated his vaguely left-wing opponent.

The first hint of his political direction was some sympathetic words for the nine Aberdeen Labour councillors who have long been suspended (but without further action) for forming a coalition with the local Tories, which has been running the city since 2017 no better or worse than any other comparable city. Sarwar has repeatedly gone on record opposing a second independence referendum. This decision will alienate some Labour supporters and definitely not win back nationalists but could win opponents of nationalism.

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Election News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

What impact Sarwar’s leadership will have in the forthcoming Holyrood elections remains to be seen. Although the SNP keep telling us that it is still too dangerous to stick our heads out the door, the Holyrood election still looks like going ahead on 6th May. The SNP appear to want to take advantage of the fact that the SNP have had a lengthy Party Political Broadcast each day – which is officially known as the COVID Briefing.

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Court victory will help suspended Labour members

by Mohamed Elmaazi

A GROUP of Labour Party members have won the right to bring a joint case in the High Court to challenge their suspension from the party, despite the leadership spending years to prevent the cases from being joined. The members had been suspended for years without any form of resolution in their cases.

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Ducking and diving in Vichy France

Review by Andy Brooks

Szkolnikoff: Hitler’s Jewish smuggler: by Pierre Abramovici, Pen & Sword Books. Barnsley 2016. Hardback: 223pp, illus; RRP: £19.99. ISBN: 978-1-47386-186-2.

THE POPULAR perception of France under the German occupation is moulded by war-time propaganda that has echoed down the decades in a seemingly endless stream of films and TV dramas portraying the Germans as Nazi thugs who take anything they fancy from a helpless French population, whilst spivs, much like Private Walker in Dad’s Army, use the consequential shortages to exploit their own people on the street. But this is only part of the story.

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A tale of the Troubles

Review by Ben Soton

Bloodlands, BBC TV mini-series, 2021. Dir: Pete Travis. Starring: James Nesbitt, Charlene McKenna, Lorcan Cranitch, Peter Balance, Lisa Dwan

THIS BBC1 Sunday night drama is a reminder that Northern Ireland has seen over 20 years of relative peace since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The series is also a reminder of the fragility of this peace and that it will remain fragile so long as Ireland remains divided. Britain’s recent departure from the European Union has shown the economic stupidity of partition. Although a united Ireland inside the EU might be something of a frying pan/fire scenario, this is something the Irish People need to decide for themselves.

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International News

Sarkozy guilty of corruption

A PARIS court has found Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s former president, guilty of corruption and influence peddling, sentencing him to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence. He is the second former president in modern France, after Jacques Chirac, to be convicted of corruption.

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Russian communists honour Red Army

IDoC

DESPITE the freezing temperatures and the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of workers, young men and women, members and supporters of Russian Communist Parties and Communist Youth organisations honoured the Day of the heroic Red Army last week.

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American COVID-19 deaths top 510,000

Radio Havana Cuba

THE TOTAL number of COVID-19 cases in the USA surpassed 28.48 million infections, with over 510,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

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Red-tourism ends poverty in historic Jinggangshan

by Shan Jie

AN ARMY of 200 people, in full grey-blue uniforms with red-starred caps, are marching on a slippery and rugged stone road up to a hill in drizzle. The 10 men in front are carrying baskets with shoulder poles. These people are experiencing ‘A day of life as the Red Army’, which is a must-go ‘red tourism’ event in Jinggangshan, in eastern China’s Jiangxi province.

Every year, tens of thousands of people visit the county-level city, a sacred place in China’s history of revolution in modern history, to trace and worship the Jinggangshan spirit – “overcoming difficulties with hard work and relying on the masses for victory”.

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Radio Havana Cuba: 60 years of revolutionary broadcasts

by Ed Newman

RADIO Havana Cuba celebrates the 60th anniversary of its creation as an experimental shortwave radio station on the air in 1961.

Those were difficult times, and Radio Havana Cuba was intended to fill the gaps in the information battle that the young Cuban Revolution was waging against a virulent campaign of slander unleashed against our country by the press responding to the US imperialism.

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Features

Full-Spectrum’ Psyops to destabilise Russia

by Mohamed Elmaazi

SECRET documents from the Foreign Office reveal a “clandestine, full-spectrum, multi-channel, on- and offline, assault on perceptions waged by the UK government globally” targeting Russia and other states, says investigative journalist Kit Klarenberg. In February 2021, documents apparently hacked by a group calling itself ‘Anonymous’ revealed a highly extensive anti-Russian influence campaign funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist and one of the few to report the existence of those documents as well as on their significance. Klarenberg, whose article was published on RT, spoke to Sputnik about what the documents reveal and why he believes are important.

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1837: The Murder of Elijah Lovejoy

by Chris Mahin

HIS KILLING by racists shocked the conscience of America – and led to a nationwide outpouring of indignation, just as the murder of George Floyd did many years later. His murder constituted a brutal attack on freedom of the press – long before a president denounced “fake news” and cheered on physical assaults against journalists.

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