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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Pay battles

by New Worker correspondent

THE ISSUE of pay remains a priority for most unions. The NEU and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) have already rejected an effective pay freeze on teachers announced by the Chancellor in February.

They have urged the School Teachers’ Review Body, which makes recommendations on teacher pay, to defy the government and propose a rise.

The NEU has backed this up by its conference demanding a pay award to restore real terms pay to 2010 levels for teachers within three years, which means a 2021 pay award of at least seven per cent. If this demand is not met steps should be taken to start the strike ballot process.

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Dissatisfaction in the ranks

by New Worker correspondent INEVITABLY not all motions passed at conferences meet with wholehearted approval.

One motion passed at the NEU conference was for a “fully inclusive, properly funded education service where exclusion is reduced, ultimately ended”, and a “moratorium on exclusions in the wake of the pandemic”.

This caused at least a few teachers to resign from the NEU and for the joint general secretaries to backtrack on the motion. The problem with the motion is that it would prevent schools from excluding ANY pupil, no matter how bad their behaviour. Mary Bousted, the other General Secretary, pointed out that the motion could mean that “girls who have been raped in schools and colleges, girls who have been sexually harassed in schools and colleges, would be required to remain in a classroom or walk down a crowded corridor with the perpetrator of that rape or that sexual harassment”.

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Chumocracy, cronyism and stealth privatisation

by Svetlana Ekimenko

AS BRITAIN embarks upon a phased process of a post-lockdown easing of restrictions, touting an impressive COVID-19 vaccination drive, Boris Johnson’s government has been accused of corruption and mishandling the pandemic and climate crisis by a former government chief scientist.

Sir David King set up an independent alternative to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in May 2020 with unpaid members, ostensibly to offer public advice untainted by political influence after reports that Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings had sat in on some SAGE meetings.

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International News

Israel rejects war-crimes charges

by Ed Newman

ISRAEL will tell the International Criminal Court (ICC) it does not recognise the authority of the tribunal that is planning to investigate possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

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Justice for Daunte Wright! Smash police terror!

by Devin Cole

ON 11th April police in the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, USA, on the northwest border of Minneapolis, fatally shot a young Black man named Daunte Wright. According to witnesses, Daunte Wright was being stopped by Brooklyn Center police when he was shot by an officer. He then got back in his car and drove away, driving a few blocks before crashing the vehicle several blocks away.

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Yuri Gagarin: When the Soviet Union conquered space

SIXTY YEARS AGO, on 12 April 1961, a hero of the Soviet Union, cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, became the first man in outer space – marking a new era in human history.

On this occasion we remember and honour this great man whose legacy is inextricably linked with the legacy of his socialist motherland, the Soviet Union, which played a leading role in mankind’s effort to explore and conquer space.

On 12th April 1961 the first earthling escaped the gravity well of planet Earth. In the spaceship Vostok 1, Senior Lieutenant Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin orbited earth one time at an altitude of 187.75 miles (302 km) for 108 minutes at 18,000 miles per hour. He was the first man to see that the earth was indeed round, indeed mostly water, and indeed magnificent.

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The Chinese dream of Oscar-winning director

Xinhua

MALCOLM Clarke, a two-time Oscar-winning director from the UK, has a “Chinese dream” – building a “bridge” with films connecting China and the West.

Having worked in the film industry for more than 40 years, Clarke has travelled to over 80 countries to shoot documentaries and feature films.

Clarke visited China for the first time in the 1980s. After nine months of travelling and shooting, the country left a deep impression on him as “a rural, poor and difficult place to be”.

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Features

DUP ‘rhetoric’ played out on streets of northern Ireland

by Peadar Whelan

THE RHETORIC of ‘political unionism” was the driving force behind more than a week of rioting and sectarian violence according to Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly. He was responding to the disturbances that erupted across parts of the North in the last week. The violence involved loyalist gangs laying siege to the mainly nationalist Currynierin estate in Derry’s Waterside, attacking the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in parts of South Belfast, before erupting into serious rioting in the Ulster Defence Association (UDA)-dominated Newtownabbey area on the outskirts of North Belfast on the night of Saturday 3rd April.

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US out of Afghanistan – now!

by Sara Flounders

ON 29th February 2020, after rounds of negotiations in Doha, Qatar, with the Taliban – the insurgency they have fought for 20 years – the USA signed an agreement to withdraw from Afghanistan all US and NATO forces within 14 months – by this 1st May.

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The American Psycho

by Finian Cunningham

HOW TO best describe the behaviour and attitude of the USA in foreign relations? A mafia don who runs protection rackets? Or the psycho boyfriend who throws a fit of rage over any perceived sign of disloyalty?

Two news stories cropped up last week to illustrate. In the first one, the USA warned Norway not to go through with a free trade agreement with China. The warning came from former national security advisor John Bolton, who is also a senior Republican figure and no doubt expresses the view held by the Washington establishment on geopolitical matters.

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