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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Partial justice at last

by New Worker correspondent

LAST FRIDAY saw the beginning of the end of a decades old major scandal affecting many Post Office (PO) workers. At the Court of Appeal, 39 postmasters had their convictions for theft and fraud thrown out after it was finally decided that a computerised accounting system used in their branches was in fact responsible for the financial discrepancies with which they were charged.

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The Never-Ending Story

by New Worker correspondent

‘FIRE and rehire’ has occupied much space in these columns recently. Employees ranging from Heathrow Airport, Manchester buses, British Gas, coffee makers and supermarket workers have all seen themselves being ‘offered’ new contracts or the chance to collect their P45s.

In response, Unite the Union has launched a major national campaign to end the growing practice of fire and rehire, which even Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has said is “wrong” and a “bad practice”, adding that companies should know “better than behave in this way”.

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Doing well from COVID

by New Worker correspondent

INEVITABLY some people have done well out of the pandemic. Amongst them are the suppliers of emergency field hospitals set up in Wales at the start of the pandemic. In all, £166 million was spent to set up the 19 hospitals that were established. Unlike China building a 1,000-bed hospital in just eight days and another with 1,500 beds in two weeks, these Welsh ones were based in two existing buildings that they could take over on a temporary basis. Wales Online has discovered that in some cases hospital beds cost £166,667 per patient in rent alone.

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Housing protests

by New Worker correspondent

FORMER Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was one of 30 campaigners who took part in a protest outside Pentonville Prison last week. The protest targeted a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) decision to sell off two blocks of 28 flats formerly used to house prison staff.

In his capacity as the local MP, he said: “The Ministry of Justice is selling off a group of properties at the back of Pentonville Prison. The council, quite correctly, tried to buy them in order to house local people in housing need.”

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE Scottish National Party (SNP) was founded in 1934. It has always had one sole purpose in mind and that is independence. After 87 years however, they seem not to have worked out the details of that single point. This is despite them having for 14 years plenty of civil servants at their beck and call to do the sums. They still do not have a clear policy on what currency they plan to have, as if they had any choice in the matter. The breakaway Alba Party wants a new currency, presumably with Alex Salmond’s head on it – but this is obviously nonsense given that party also shares the SNP’s obsession with re-joining the European Union, which will have no truck with that idea.

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Election News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The election campaign is coming to an end. It has generally been about as interesting as watching paint dry.

Scandals have been thin on the ground. One was the discovery that a campaigner (not an actual candidate) for the Alba Party was once convicted for murder by battering his former beat man to death with a claw hammer. Labour’s leader has come under fire for accepting a donation from a paedophile constituent and the Tory leader came under fire for expressing opposing to gay marriage when he was a councillor in an area where such views were the norm. To keep things in the family, an SNP candidate has been accused of sexual misbehaviour and his MP wife has faced similar allegations with her staff at Westminster.

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Scottish Trades Union Congress Meets

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Although it does not matter very much these days, the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) took place recently in front of computer screens across the land. That delegates were once again unable to meet face to face in an upmarket hotel as in former years must be a great loss to the whisky industry.

The Congress generally declared itself to be in favour of goodness and against sin. It wants “greener industry” and “more high-quality jobs” according to General Secretary Roz Foyer.

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Johnson faces flak over Covid scandal

by Oleg Burunov

THE TIMES has cited unnamed sources as saying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had described COVID-19 lockdowns as “mad” and expressed concern about the economic consequences of such measures. But Boris Johnson denies having ever made remarks about letting “bodies pile high in their thousands” during the coronavirus pandemic.

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A Labour voice for Irish unity

by Joe Dwyer

A TIME OF social distancing and lockdown could be considered a difficult time for political organising and grassroots activism. As ever, however, progressive voices and left-wing activists everywhere have been to the fore in embracing new challenges and new means of communication in a time of pandemic.

In light of this time of new ventures, it was welcome to see ‘Labour for Irish Unity (LFIU)’ officially launched in March as a new voice in Britain on the politics of Ireland.

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International News

Democracy is not Coca-Cola

by Ed Newman

CHINESE Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged Washington to abandon its ideological approach to foreign policy, arguing that it is wrong for the Americans to try to model the rest of the world in its own image.

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Ukrainian spy jailed in Russia

by Tim Korso

A UKRAINIAN national has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for carrying out espionage activities in Russia. The spy, who goes by the name of A V Marchenko, tried to buy parts for the S-300 air defence system called klystrons for $163,000.

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Shooting sprees rock America

by Matthew Rusling

RECENT WEEKS have seen multiple mass shootings across the United States, but major gun control legislation is unlikely due to deep partisan and cultural divide in the country.

As of Tuesday 20th April, 13,154 Americans had been killed in gun violence incidents in 2021, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.

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Nicaragua and the Western human rights industry

by Stephen Sefton

JOHN HEARTFIELD’S famous 1930 photomontage of a newspaper cabbage-head is captioned “Whoever Reads Bourgeois Newspapers Becomes Blind and Deaf!” This is even more true now as the 21st Century moves into its third decade.

Western reporting of all kinds is strained through the filters of the corporate-dominated intellectual managerial classes in every sphere: science, law, culture, medicine, and finance, in foreign and domestic news media, in non-governmental organisations, and in multilateral international agencies. Directly or indirectly, every area of reporting has become increasingly shaped by corporate funding.

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New Stalin Museum in Nizhny Novgorod

by New Worker correspondent RUSSIAN communists are going to build a new museum dedicated to Joseph Stalin. Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov welcomed the project that reflects renewed public interest in the life of the Bolshevik leader these days. “There’s a Yeltsin Centre that’s a symbol of the oligarchic liberal collapse of the country, why not think about erecting a centre that will symbolise creation?” Zyuganov said.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) has launched an appeal to raise funds for the construction of the Centre which will be the largest of its kind in Russia with halls dedicated to various periods of the Soviet leader’s life.

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Royal Navy sails into troubled waters

by Finian Cunningham

THE USA backed off sending two warships to the Black Sea after Russia warned of a naval showdown. Days later, however, Britain stepped in with plans to send the warships to “defend” Ukraine.

Talk about “Mad Dogs and Englishmen”, the proposed British military intervention is a reckless provocation in a situation that is already spiralling out of control.

Violence is exploding in Ukraine’s seven-year civil war between the NATO-backed Kiev regime and ethnic Russians in the eastern Donbas region; Russia has mobilised its army for defence drills, and the USA and European Union (EU) are expelling Russian diplomats, and vice versa.

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Chauvin guilty but police killed 64 more people during his trial

by Wayne Nealis

WITH THE first white cop in Minnesota going to prison for killing a Black man, there is joy and relief in the city of Minneapolis. Nowhere is this moment felt more deeply than in the Black community. Last week a diverse jury of Hennepin County residents returned a guilty verdict on all three counts against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Finally, justice was extracted from a legal system that rarely indicts officers for murder or brutality.

At a press conference after the verdict that was live streamed on television, George’s brother, Philonise Floyd, said: “It’s been a long journey. And it’s been less than a year. And the person that comes to my mind is in 1955. And to me, he was the first George Floyd. And that was Emmett Till.” The difference, he said, is that “today, you have the cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother … the world saw his life being extinguished”.

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Imperialism in the name of ‘water preservation’

by Jason Cohen

US VICE President Kamala Harris, whilst appearing with California Governor Gavin Newsom, made a stunning remark that illuminated the perilous future ahead due to climate change. Discussing the need for policies to bolster the crumbling infrastructure that is needed to provide adequate water supply nationwide, Ms Harris said: “For years there were wars fought over oil; in a short time there will be wars fought over water.”

This should serve as a wakeup call for eco-socialists and the American left overall. The US government, alongside the European Union, may ‘justify’ future imperialist endeavours in the name of protecting water supplies and other natural resources.

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