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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

The New Normality

by New Worker correspondent

DURING the pandemic working from home became a necessity, rather than something to be argued for on those occasions when it was time to catch up with the paperwork.

Now that the jabs are fighting the coronavirus it is uncertain how many people will be returning to their office. Workers’ views are mixed. Some will be glad to avoid catching a crowded 7.15am into the city and work in their pyjamas. Others will be glad to escape three-year-olds appearing in their Zoom meetings and having to pay for their own day-time heating.

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Spies in the office

by New Worker correspondent

ANOTHER ASPECT of working lives that has dramatically altered recently is the increased use of information technology. This correspondent remembers being astonished at the advanced technology demonstrated many moons ago by a fax machine, which could send a semi-legible letter down a telephone line in as little as 10 minutes.

We’ve certainly moved on, with new-fangled technology that has both created and destroyed jobs as any telephone operator or mobile phone salesman will tell you.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

FRIDAY afternoon saw former First Minister Alex Salmond launch a brand-new nationalist party called Alba, the Scottish Gaelic word for Scotland. The launch took place in a tiny Sky TV studio notable for a wobbly camera and dim lighting but Salmond, who is used to the far grander studio provided by his regular Russian TV employers, could live with that.

Although the launch only featured a single long-rebellious SNP councillor, the Alba Party soon won over long-term Salmond ally Kenny McAskill, a Westminster MP who was sacked as Justice Secretary in one of Sturgeon’s first acts as First Minister of Scotland.

Another more obscure MP, Neale Hanvey, speedily followed suit, as did the SNP’s recently elected Woman’s Convenor and their Equalities Convenor. Several councillors have also defected.

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Real Elections News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Now we turn from speculating about a future election to looking at recent real election results. March saw a respectable number of real-life elections that help us to take the temperature more effectively than opinion polls. These were council by-elections, some long postponed, which took place up and down Scotland.

First off the mark was North Lanarkshire (one of the four areas to vote Yes in 2014), where Labour gained two seats from the Nationalists after incumbent SNP councillors resigned. Labour narrowly gained Thorniewood, on the eastern fringes of Glasgow, and in Orange-coloured Fortissat Labour had a wider margin of victory. In both cases it appears that Liberals and Tories held their noses and voted Labour to spite the SNP.

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Former police chiefs condemn proposed new crime bill

by Jason Dunn

AN EX-POLICE chief issued a stark warning on Sunday that proposed new protest laws are moving Britain dangerously towards “paramilitary policing” and that politicians “flexing their muscles via their police forces” can be compared to the world’s repressive regimes.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill being pushed through parliament includes serious criminals being released half-way through their jail terms, as well as allowing up to 10-year sentences for “nuisance” protestors.

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International News

Suez Canal: Capitalist greed confronts physics – and loses

by G Dunkel

THE Ever Given, a Panamanian-flagged, Taiwan-operated, Japanese-owned, German-managed, Indian-crewed Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV), blocked the Suez Canal in the early morning of 23rd March. It was eventually freed on 29th March. Each day the canal was blocked cost $10 billion in international trade.

The only alternative route between Europe (and the East Coast of the USA) and East Asia is around the Horn of Africa. That route is 15,000 miles longer and requires two weeks to a month extra travel time, depending on the speed of the vessel. As of 27th March, 369 vessels were still waiting to go through the canal, including 13 carrying livestock where the concern was providing food and water.

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The glass ceiling

by Ed Newman

IT IS quite common for the US government, loyal to its traditions, to meddle in the sovereign affairs of other nations as it recently did when demanding freedom for Bolivian coup leader Jeanine Áñez.

Washington has always felt a strong attraction to dictators, those behind riots and assaults against democratic and progressive administrations and de facto rulers.

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Solidarity with Cuba against the US blockade

by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

LAST Sunday Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla joined the caravan against the US economic blockade on Havana’s sea front-drive, the Malecon, and thanked the expressions of solidarity that the island received from some 50 cities around the world.

In statements on social media, the minister emphasised the genocidal nature of this economic, commercial and financial siege that the US government has intensified in the face of the current epidemiological situation generated by COVID-19.

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Using Myanmar crisis to smear China

Global Times

SINCE THE beginning of the political upheaval in Myanmar the Western media has not stopped manipulating the situation in the country as a tool to hype up their conspiracy theories about People’s China. The smears have become even fiercer as the crisis intensifies.

The West is using the situation in Myanmar to attack China for the following reasons. First, from the geopolitical perspective, they are worried that their sanctions on the Myanmar military will push the military government towards China. So they hype up claims that China is behind the unrest in a bid to prevent the Myanmar military from restoring the favourable relationship with China that the former Aung San Suu Kyi government enjoyed.

Second …..

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The vaccine circus

Radio Havana Cuba

A FEW months ago, the whole world was anxiously awaiting the production of effective vaccines against COVID-19. But now that they are already in circulation, we are witnessing an appalling image of human greed.

The richest countries are hoarding and even hiding these vaccines, forgetting about the fate of the rest of the world living in low- and middle-income regions, or even those with no income at all.

A few days ago, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom, said that the inequality concerning vaccine administration in the most developed and the least favoured countries is increasing and is extremely alarming.

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Not losing his Marbles

by Jason Dunn

IN THe run-up to the bicentennial celebration of Greek independence, Athens has renewed its campaign to bring the fifth-century BC Parthenon Marbles carvings back to their native land.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected demands from the Greek authorities to return the Parthenon Marbles, otherwise known as the Elgin Marbles. Johnson suggested that the priceless cultural artefacts were “legally acquired” and are the rightful property of the British Museum.

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Chinese workers abused and super-exploited in US

by Jim McMahan

THE SIX Asian spa workers murdered in Atlanta on 16th March were low-wage workers. They were not respected by capitalism. Their deaths came on a surge of anti-Asian violence.

Anybody with an honest view of the US wars against Korea and Vietnam is familiar with anti-Asian racism. The USA stands guilty before the world in the deaths of four million people, caused by these two imperialist wars against Korea and Vietnam.

US imperialism has a history of domestic terrorism stemming from the exploitation and forced migration of Asian labour starting in the 1840s. Anti-Asian violence “is rooted in a long history of anti-Asian sentiment that recruited Asian labour, but denied them the rights of citizenship through exclusive laws and policies” wrote Linh Thy Nguyen, an assistant professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Washington.

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Royal racism no surprise

by Casey Davidson

The Queen’s relationship to Australia is unique. In all her duties, she speaks and acts as Queen of Australia and not as Queen of the UK. The Queen’s Royal style and title in Australia is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.

THE MAINSTREAM media have sensationalised the most recent Royal Family racism scandal, despite the monarchy’s long history of colonialism that has seen millions of people suffer and die across the globe.

The outrage was sparked after Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, participated in a two-hour interview with US talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, where they revealed that members of the Royal Family had concerns about how dark their son’s skin would be. It should come as no surprise that the Royal Family at the centre of an inherently racist empire would be concerned about a non-white prince in the family, given its white supremacist roots.

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Mansour Abbas: Israel’s Kingmaker?

by Chris Summers

ISRAEL held its fourth election in two years last week but the result was no landslide victory for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party. In fact Likud lost seats and is considering an unusual partner in a coalition government – an Israeli Arab party.

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