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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Off the buses

by New Worker correspondent

ANOTHER group of transport workers taking continuing strike action are the bus drivers at London United. Workers at two more garages voted to join the industrial action over pay and attacks on conditions.

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In the departure lounge

by New Worker correspondent

THERE HAVE been some welcome victories for workers. At Heathrow Airport a series of 41 separate targeted strikes due to start last Friday for 24 days were called off at the last minute after the Airport’s owner made an improved offer on pay and conditions after lengthy negotiations.

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DVLA – People before Profit

by New Worker correspondent

AT THE Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) at Swansea talks to avert strike action over COVID-19 health issues have broken down, resulting in workers taking strike action earlier this week. The four-day Tuesday–Friday strike was organised by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which is deeply concerned about the lack of immediate moves by Management to reduce the number of workers on site. Some 600 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus since September, and one has died. Despite this, most of the 2,000 workers still have to come into work, sitting just one metre apart.

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Posties win

by New Worker correspondent

POSTMEN and women have voted by 97 per cent in a Communication Workers Union (CWU) poll to approve a welcome pay deal that combines an across-the-board rise with variable bonus consolidations and lifting guaranteed wages by between 4.7 and 7.1 per cent. The deal also includes improvements to the defined contribution pension scheme, in particular the introduction of a higher ‘maximum tier’ of eight per cent employee and 12 per cent employer. This being their ‘2020’ pay deal, payments are also fully backdated to 1st April 2020.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE HOLYROOD elections are underway, and the race is on. Whilst there are not exactly 57 varieties of political parties to choose from, the real figure is not far off it.

In Glasgow alone there are 21 parties to choose from, with no fewer than 102 standing on the regional list. Across the country on the Lothian list there are 18 parties and 91 candidates.

Central Scotland region has 77 candidates from 14 parties in the race. There are a mere 14 parties on the Highland list.

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Ex-Minister savages top politicians in explosive memoir

by Max Gorbachev

In the Thick of It: The Private Diaries of a Minister by Alan Duncan. Publisher: William Collins, 2021. Hardback: 512pp; RRP £25.00, currently available for £18:99. Kindle: 512pp; currently available for £12:99.

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has been called an “embarrassing buffoon” and a “clown” in a memoir penned by former government minister Alan Duncan. In the Thick of It, the book, which the media called one of the most “explosive political diaries ever to be published”, covers Duncan’s final years in the government.

The author of the book, Alan Duncan, served as minister of state for Europe and the Americas as well as Boris Johnson’s deputy when the latter was the head of the Foreign Office between 2016 and 2019. He resigned in protest when Johnson become the leader of the Conservative Party.

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Pickets out in force in London!

by New Worker correspondent

PICKETS were out in force at RATP’s London United bus depot in Harlesden last week after peace talks broke down over proposed attacks on conditions and real terms pay cuts.

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International News

Anti-Netanyahu protests return to the streets

CP Israel

ANTI-NETANYAHU protesters gathered outside the homes of opposition party heads Naftali Bennett, Gideon Sa’ar, Ayman Odeh and Benny Gantz last week to call on them not to form a government with far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following last month’s inconclusive general election.

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Cuba: a COVID vaccine powerhouse

by Jorge Ruiz Miyares

LAST WEEK the Washington Post recalled the efforts by Cuban leader Fidel Castro to develop biotechnology on the island in the early 1980s. Forty years later, they have enabled Cuba to become possibly the world’s smallest country to develop not just one but multiple COVID-19 vaccines.

In an article, the Post says five vaccine candidates are in development, two in late-stage trials with the goal of a broader rollout by May.

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US interference in Hong Kong will fail

Xinhua

CHINA’S central authorities have taken steps to improve Hong Kong’s electoral system, and the public has enthusiastically supported it. Hanscom Smith, however, the US Consul General in Hong Kong, has twisted right and wrong and upended black and white.

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US supports terror in Syria

Radio Havana Cuba

TOP US diplomat James Jeffrey has admitted that a rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate was a US “asset” for pursuing Washington’s hegemonic policy in the Middle East. He said the Syrian al-Qaeda-affiliated group known today as the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist group was “an asset” to the US to undermine the democratically-elected government of Bashar Assad.

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Hostilities continue against Democratic Korea

by Seamus Carey

IN MID-MARCH, Reuters – followed immediately by CNN and other western media outlets – ran a story stating that “a senior Biden administration official” had told them that “north Korea has not responded to behind-the-scenes diplomatic outreach since mid-February by President Joe Biden’s administration”.

The Reuters article describes the official’s 13th March “disclosure” as offered “on condition of anonymity”, conjuring an image of this event as a secretive leak that the Biden administration has no interest in publicising.

The context in which this “disclosure” occurred reveals this appearance to be an obvious and deliberate falsification.

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Nawal El Saadawi 1931–2021

by Reem Haddad

EGYPTIAN icon and novelist Nawal El Saadawi has passed away. Known for her courage and liberal thoughts and ideas, she created a controversy amongst her genre. She died at the age of 89, after a lifetime spent fighting for women’s rights and equality.

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Nawal El Saadawi 1931–2021

A life devoted to wildlife protection

Studying in Britain, Nguyễn Ngọc Như Thảo had many opportunities to pursue a well-paid career. She decided to go to Africa, however, to take part in wildlife protection programmes, and returned to Việtnam with many dreams. Việt Nam News talks to Thảo about her desire to protect wild animals and her future plans.

Can you tell us about yourself and your current job?

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Features

BBC – British Black-ops Corp

by Finian Cunningham

FOR MANY the state-owned BBC is a household institution, a national treasure of presumed noble British values. The media outlet even claims to be “the world’s most trusted news source”.

For others, however, the “Beeb”, as the organisation is innocently referred to, has a much more sinister role in serving British imperialist interests, or what is euphemistically called ‘soft power’.

Established in 1927, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is funded out of the pockets of taxpayers – by law. Failure by any household to buy an annual TV licence to support the Corporation can result in a jail sentence.

If that sounds slightly Orwellian, then what about more ignoble episodes in the BBC’s history when it functioned as a conduit for British military intelligence? Such as its role in facilitating the 1953 coup in Iran where it played a crucial part in disseminating MI6 and CIA disinformation, as documented by historian Mark Curtis.

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Unions grappling with right-wing ‘populists’

by Mark Gruenberg

FOR YEARS, union leaders on both sides of ‘The Pond’ – also known as the Atlantic Ocean – have faced a problem: right-wing ‘populist’ rhetoric sways millions of their members to vote against their own interests.

And then once those putative plutocrats achieve public office, they show their true colours, by enacting and enforcing repressive pro-corporate anti-worker laws.

The problem is visible in the USA, where 40 per cent of union members and their families backed former Oval Office occupant Donald Trump in 2020. But it’s not just Trump.

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Courageous women of the Paris Commune

by Martha Grevatt

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Paris Commune. The Commune was established during a bloody inter-capitalist conflict called the Franco-Prussian War. In 1871,

Parisian workers were in revolt against France’s Government of National Defence, seated in Versailles, which planned to surrender part of France and pay a fine to invading Prussian troops.

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