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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

High paid Judges rule on low paid workers

by New Worker correspondent

OUR LEARNED friends have also been doing well from present day trade union matters. In the Supreme Court their lordships ruled that workers do not qualify for wages while they are asleep. That might sound reasonable enough but for the fact that the workers in question are night-time care workers responsible for looking after vulnerable people.

This particular case was taken up by public service union Unison against Mencap, the mental health charity, on behalf of care worker Clare Tomlinson-Blake. She had provided 24-hour support to two men in their own home. She argued that every hour of her night shifts should count as working time because she was required to keep an eye on them at all time.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Last Friday the SNP’s favourite newspaper, The National, led with a story reporting that King Arthur was Scottish. This curiosity came about because the previous day it had been unofficially leaked that the Scottish Parliament’s Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints had indeed come to the conclusion that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had misled them. That fact merited the front page of every other newspaper, but any suggestion that Sturgeon was anything other than saintly has to be concealed from its devoted readers. For Sturgeon the situation was so serious that the normally hidden health Secretary, Jeane Freeman was let out to give the daily Covid briefing.

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Good Day to Bury Bad News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

By a strange coincidence Tuesday was also the day the SNP Government chose to release a press release entitled QEUH Case Note Review and Oversight Board Report. This bland title announced a long delayed report into just some of the failings at the £842 million Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) which opened in 2015 to much fanfare and has been beset with numerous problems including Grenfell Tower style cladding. Only the most hard- hearted cynic could possible imagine it was issued on that particular day to avoid public notice.

The review investigated 118 episodes of serious bacterial infection in 84 children and young people who were treated for blood diseases and cancer at the Royal Hospital for Children at the south Glasgow site.

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McCluskey warns Starmer

by Jason Dunn

A LEADING trade unionist has accused Sir Keir Starmer of trying to turn Labour into an ‘establishment’ party and risking his chances at the next general election.

Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, said that the opposition leader could be “ditched into the dustbin of history” unless he changes his current approach and reaffirms Labour’s dedication to radical politics.

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Claudia Jones: A life of struggle

The Political Life and Times of Claudia Jones: David Horsley; CPB Books & Pamphlets; London 2020, £4.95.

a review by Ben Soton

THIS pamphlet is both an insight into the life of a remarkable woman and a history of the struggles of black people in the Caribbean, the USA, and Britain. It describes the life of Claudia Jones, famous for the establishment of the Notting Hill Carnival.

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A very British hit list

The Black Book: The Britons on the Nazi Hitlist: Sybil Oldfield, 448 pp, Profile Books London 2020; Hardback £25 ; Paperback £9.99 Kindle £8.85

a review by Daria Bedenko

THE NAZI leader, Adolf Hitler, had a plan for the invasion of the United Kingdom in 1940.It was called Operation Sea Lion. But the Germans failed to achieve air and naval superiority over the English Channel and the Luftwaffe lost the Battle of Britain.

Now new details of the failed plan have come to light. Author Sybil Oldfield, in a book titled The Black Book: The Britons on the Nazi List, looks at those who would be the first to go if Hitler had won. The Nazi ‘Black Book’ hit-list contains the names of over 3,000 prominent British subjects who would be rounded up by the Germans had they succeeded in occupying Britain.

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International News

Libya: Ten years later

by Manlio Dinucci

TEN YEARS ago, on 19th March 2011, US-NATO forces began the air and sea bombardment of Libya. The war was directed by the United States, first through its Africa Command, then through NATO under US command. In seven months, the US-NATO air force carried out 30,000 sorties, 10,000 of which were bombing attacks, unleashing over 40,000 bombs and missiles.

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The endless war

by Ed Newman

THE NEW American Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin, made his first visit to Afghanistan, where he met with the high command of the occupying army and local authorities, and repeated the old litany that his country is seeking a “responsible” solution to the war.

The truth is that it is very difficult to find that kind of solution to a conflict that will soon be 20 years old, the longest in which the Pentagon has been involved, and which has had immeasurable human, economic and political costs.

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Apartheid’s Waterloo

by Iroel Sánchez

“SOUTH AFRICAN aviation on the ground and its tanks flying” is the phrase loaded with sarcasm with which Fidel Castro, speaking to a group of diplomats from non-aligned countries gathered in Havana, described what happened on 23rd March 1988 in the Angolan locality of Cuito Cuanavale.

The racist South African regime had chosen an area it considered favourable for its adventures in southern Angola, but it was precisely the battle of Cuito Cuanavale that, in the words of Nelson Mandela, “marked the turning point in the struggle to free the continent and our country from the scourge of apartheid”.

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US ready to fight in Korea

by Gaby Arancibia

US DEFENCE Secretary Lloyd Austin has warned the DPR Korea that American troops were ready to “fight tonight” after the north Korean leadership condemned the resumption of military exercises between Washington and Seoul.

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China-Europe freight trains a lifeline for trade

by Ding Yinghua, Wu Yanxia and Yao Yulin

WITH A LOUD train whistle echoing through the air, a freight train bound for Duisburg in Germany, slowly pulled out of the bustling station at Tuanjie Village in south-west China’s Chongqing Municipality on Friday morning.

“Exactly a decade ago, I signalled for China’s first China-Europe freight train, the Yuxin’ou, to depart here,” said Zhang Xin, the station master, while the train disappeared in the distance.

For the past decade the rumbling trains have not only put this once obscure and dilapidated station on the map but also acted as a carrier for the Belt and Road Initiative, boosting trade between inland Chinese regions and Europe.

China has launched the China-Europe freight train service in over 60 domestic cities and has connected with many major European countries.

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Game of drones the illusion of ‘bloodless war’

by Conn Hallinan

IN THE aftermath of the recent war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, drone warfare is being touted as the latest breakthrough in military technology, a “magic bullet” that makes armoured vehicles obsolete, defeats sophisticated anti-aircraft systems, and routs entrenched infantry.

While there is some truth in the hype, one needs to be especially wary of military “game changers” since there is always a seller at the end of the pitch. In his examination of the two major books on drones—Christian Brose’s The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare, and Michael Boyle’s The Drone Age—military analyst Andrew Cockburn points out that the victims of drones are mostly civilians, not soldiers. While drones can take out military targets, they are more commonly used to assassinate people ‘unliked’ by the leadership of a drone-possessing country. A case in point was former President Trump’s drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, a country the United States is not at war with.

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Remembering Lenin

by Prakash Karat VLADIMIR Ilyich Lenin was the greatest revolutionary figure of the twentieth century. After Marx and Engels, Lenin made the biggest contribution to the theory and practice of Marxism. Lenin’s ground-breaking theoretical advances, such as his analysis of imperialism, set the stage for the world’s first socialist revolution in Russia in October 1917.

Lenin created a revolutionary strategy that encompassed the industrial proletariat and the peoples of the colonies and oppressed countries. Another aspect of this strategy was the concept of worker- peasant unity. In the sphere of revolutionary practice, Lenin pioneered the role of a revolutionary party organisation as the vanguard of the working class.

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