New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Outdoor relief for capitalism

by New Worker correspondent

THE FURLOUGH scheme introduced at the start of the pandemic was advertised as a means of maintaining the jobs of people who would otherwise have lost them when their workplace closed and they were unable to work from home. At present we are told to be grateful that the present unemployment rate is a mere 4.9 per cent, only fractionally above that from the start of the pandemic.

Tt is now becoming increasingly clear, however, that that the furlough scheme has been equally useful at protecting dividends.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Hatchets buried

by New Worker correspondent

ON THE 26th March [NW:2105] this column reported on the legal battle between public service union Unison and Mencap, the mental health charity, on behalf of a care worker who 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 times.

This went to the Supreme Court, which ruled definitively that the minimum wage must be paid but that hours spent sleeping did not have to be paid for. At the time Mencap claimed it had only taken the legal action because it would be bankrupted by the size of the possible back-pay liabilities, which could have amounted to £400 million.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

YES, IT’S election time in Scotland again and manifestos are rolling off the presses in the run up to 6th May.

As they have been in power since 2007, that issued by the SNP is of most interest. Amongst its many promises are freezing income tax, abolishing dentistry charges, a bridge across the Clyde from Gourock to Dunoon, free bus travel for those under 22, free pink flamingos for all householders, free school breakfasts and lunches for every primary school pupil, a free internet connection and device for every child, free bikes for school-age children who cannot afford one.

Careful readers might spot that one of these has been made up – but that only highlights the fact that they are particularly good at making lavish promises, even if the delivery leaves something to be desired.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

A Quick Split

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

On Friday 26th March Alex Salmond announced the formation of his new Alba Party. Over the next few days it acquired two MPs, several councillors and other senior disgruntled SNP members, and a claimed membership of some 4,000. But on Tuesday 13th April Alba suffered its first public defection when a former Glasgow SNP councillor announced his departure from Alba, which must surely be record of sorts.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Labour Blues

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Labour’s UK leader Sir Keir Starmer got into organic hot water when he paid a flying visit to campaign in Edinburgh. This was because his visit to the Scottish capital was a flying one by aeroplane, instead of a four-hour train trip from King’s Cross Station in his constituency. He probably did not save very much time given the checking-in procedures and travel to and from the airports, but he came under predictable flak for flying after supporting higher taxes on domestic flights to encourage more use of trains and buses.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Strange silence that tells a story

by Lu Xue GRETA THUNBERG’S environmental commitment is now being questioned following her silence on Japan’s dumping of radioactive water. The Japanese government announced on 13th April that it would dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. It is believed that this action will trigger irreversible damage to the global marine environment.

Many environmental groups and many people in the international community as a whole have voiced firm opposition to the Japanese decision. But some Western institutes and individuals who claim to advocate environmental protection have been silent toward Japan’s move. Among them is Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who skipped school for so-called climate protests.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Football: US-style “Super League” plan collapses

by Svetlana Ekimenko

TWELVE of Europe’s leading football clubs, including Chelsea and Arsenal. officially announced the establishment of a new European club football tournament on 18th April. But the botched breakaway American-style European “Super League” was reportedly plotted in secret for years.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

A subbotnik for the Soviet memorial

by New Worker correspondent

RUSSIAN expats returned to the gardens of the Imperial War Museum in London on Saturday to give the Soviet War Memorial a spring clean as part of an international subbotnik in honour of the 80th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War, memorial when Hitler’s hordes attacked the Soviet Union in 1941.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Hong Kong media mogul jailed

by Wang Qi and Chen Shasha

HONG KONG pro-secessionist media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying has been jailed for 14 months for organising and taking part in two illegal assemblies in August 2019. The sentences were announced by the Hong Kong court last week – a day after the city’s first celebration of National Security Education Day.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Cuba: A Congress for the present and the future

by Ed Newman

THE Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) celebrated its Eighth Congress on a day of great significance for all Cubans. Sixty years ago – on 16th April in 1961 – Fidel Castro proclaimed the socialist character of the Revolution, which would be defended heroically hours later against the mercenary invasion at Playa Giron, supported and financed by the USA.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Syrians celebrate Evacuation Day

by Hamda Mustafa

ON SATURDAY 17th April Syrians marked the 75th anniversary of the evacuation of French colonial forces from their land, whilst facing fierce aggression by the new colonialists who have been waging a fierce war on Syria through their terrorist tools and an economic blockade that targets the peoples’ livelihood.

The terrorists and their sponsors who are stealing Syria’s wealth are just like the French occupation’s soldiers who invaded Syria in 1920 and began immediately to plunder Syria’s resources and confiscate properties and crops.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Ramsey Clark 1927–2021

By Sara Flounders

WE SALUTE Ramsey Clark, who died on 9th April 2021, an outspoken defender of all forms of popular resistance to oppression, a leader always willing to challenge the crimes of US militarism and global arrogance. He remained optimistic that the power of people could determine history. His courageous voice will be missed.

Ramsey Clark will be remembered by people and struggles around the world as a prominent individual who used his name, reputation and legal skills to defend people’s movements and leaders whom the corporate media had thoroughly demonised.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Greenland global warming and green cars

by G Dunkel

GREENLAND is the largest island in the world that is not a continent. Only it and Antarctica are covered by ice sheets. With 58,000 people, 89 per cent of whom are Inuit, it remains a ‘“semi-autonomous region’ under Danish rule whose main exports are fishery products and whose budget is heavily subsidised by Denmark.

Global warming and the resulting melt of Greenland’s ice sheet are exposing mineral resources with potentially vast profits.

Its recent elections for the Inatsisartut (Parliament of Greenland), won by the Inuit Ataqatigiit (Community of the People), a progressive, pro-independence party opposed to uranium mining, were covered by the world’s press and many business-oriented websites.

The reason for such immense interest is the IA’s opposition to a mine for the production of rare earth minerals at Kvanefjeld in southern Greenland. This mine would also produce uranium. This area has not been under the ice sheet.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Prussian prince is no pauper

by Victor Grossman GERMAN prince Georg Freidrich Ferdinand is no pauper. But it seems the poor fellow has problems with his crown jewels. And this is no simple little private problem, to be expected with princes!

Nor is this handsomely smiling, youngish man, who hardly looks his 44 years, itching only for jewels. He also wants hundreds or even a few thousands, fine jewellery, delicate porcelain and glass objects, portraits of Prussian generals, sculptures, even a decorative sword or two.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]