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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

New pipe – old tune

by New Worker correspondent

AFTER the election of new general secretaries at both Unison and RMT, the GMB has followed suit and has elected their Scottish Secretary Gary Smith as their new general secretary. The contest was called after the incumbent, Tim Roache, hurriedly resigned last year after allegations that he did not behave appropriately towards the younger female members of the union’s staff. Roache strongly denies any impropriety, claiming his speedy departure soon after his re-election was due to health issues.

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Breakfast food battle

by New Worker correspondent

UNITE THE UNION warns that supplies of Weetabix could soon be endangered as a result of about 80 engineers at Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire having voted for a series of one-day strikes until August.

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Battle of the Dons

by New Worker correspondent

ON WEDNESDAY staff at the University of Leicester began three days of strike action in opposition to management imposing 26 compulsory redundancies imposed by Vice-chancellor Nishan Canagarajah. The strike has been organised by the University and College Union (UCU), whose members voted by a 70 per cent majority for action.

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End of an era

by New Worker correspondent IT HAS BEEN announced that 20 jobs are to go at Oxford University Press (OUP), a move which brings to a final end official university printing that will now be entirely contracted out. The distinguished OUP will no longer have an actual press to print its famous dictionaries, scholarly monographs, Bibles, and journals such as the world famous Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society. The closure ends a tradition that began in 1478, 1586 or 1668 depending on how university printing is counted.

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Education system under fire

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE SNP’s handling of the education system came under fire from all quarters, with a particular focus of the activities of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), which is the executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government responsible for accrediting educational awards. The non-departmental status means that ministers can more easily avoid blame when things go pear-shaped. It employs 750 people in Glasgow and Dalkeith, some of whom work on accrediting qualifications abroad. One wonders what the foreign governments thought they were doing by contracting accreditation to such a dysfunctional body.

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The Green agenda

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The Scottish Greens are talking to the SNP about a proposed “co-operation arrangement” between the two parties in Holyrood – much to the theatrical anger of the Tories who have dubbed it a “coalition of chaos”.

Green co-leader Lorna Slater was branded “the biggest danger to the north east economy we have seen in a generation” by one Tory councillor over her party’s opposition to the extraction of oil and gas from the North Sea. But she denies wanting to throw thousands of Scots out of work and insists she only wants to build a sustainable economy for the benefit of all.

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Do as I say, not as I do!

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The SNP are very keen on promoting public transport but obviously they do not want to take things to extremes, especially not any measure which deprives them of ministerial cars.

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Assange: ‘suicide is a very real fear’

by Oleg Burunov

JULIAN ASSANGE’S fiancée Stella Moris has bemoaned the fact that even though the WikiLeaks founder “won his case against extradition to the USA six months ago”, he “remains locked up” in the Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London.

In January, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled not to extradite Assange to the USA, citing health reasons and the risk of suicide in the US prison system. The judge, however, decided that the WikiLeaks founder must stay in jail to wait for the outcome of an appeal by US prosecutors against the British court’s ruling.

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No arms for Israel protest outside BAE plant

by Ed Newman

THOUSANDS of pro-Palestine activists gathered in protest outside a notorious arms manufacturer near Blackburn on Friday 4th June demanding an end to Israeli arms sales. Anger was vented in various ways, including a funeral procession honouring the recent martyrdom of 60 children slain in Gaza.

BAE Systems is one of Britain’s biggest arms manufacturers and it is known for building weapons used to target innocent civilians in conflict zones. This is the second week that local residents have come in good numbers to condemn BAE Systems and more action is being planned.

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International News

Bulgarians protest against NATO occupation

by Maria Fileva

PROTESTERS calling for the closure of all US bases in Bulgaria picketed the US embassy in Sofia last week. The demonstration, organised by the 23rd September Movement, followed an incident when US soldiers stormed a sunflower oil factory in the village of Cheshnigirovo during a bungled military exercise last month.

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Namibia says German reparations not enough

Radio Havana Cuba GERMANY’S OFFER to fund projects in Namibia worth over a billion euros over 30 years in compensation for its genocide and property seizures in its former African colony is “not enough”, says Namibia’s Vice President Nangolo Mbumba.

“We need to recognise that the amount of €1.1 billion agreed upon between the two governments is not enough and does not adequately address the initial quantum of reparations initially submitted to the German Government,” Mbumba said during a press briefing on the outcome of six years of negotiations with Berlin that concluded last month.

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American dockers block Israeli ship

DOCKERS in the US port of Oakland have refused to unload an Israeli cargo ship as part of an international boycott campaign against Israeli atrocities against Palestinians.

Pro-Palestine Americans protesting the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have banned the Israeli ship docked in the port of Oakland in California from unloading its cargo, forcing it to leave the US harbour.

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‘Uyghur Tribunal’: Much ado about nothing

by Xin Ping

THE UK is a magical place. Things are not always what they seem. Names say one thing but mean another. For instance, the BBC could be broadcasting fake news; Arsenal’s ‘Gunners’ might miss the goal and Coldplay’s concerts are often very fiery events. And the calls for independence never cease in a ‘United’ Kingdom. Let’s face it, this is a weird place.

It’s the same for the so-called ‘Uyghur Tribunal’ that was held in London last week. There, the audience, long drenched in a kind of Shakespearean cultural richness, have become picky eaters when it comes to dramas. But what’s going on in this theatre of the absurd, wasn’t Portia upholding justice with her sophisticated wisdom?

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‘Lab leak’ conspiracy signals new Cold War against China

by Joshua Hanks

SHORTLY AFTER the 30th December 2019 announcement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Authority that a dangerous new respiratory infection had been detected in the Chinese city, conspiracy theories began to spread faster than the coronavirus itself.

One that is receiving renewed attention claims the virus was created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and was either leaked or deliberately released. This conspiracy theory, supported only by wild speculation with no hard facts, represents one part of a broader offensive by the US government against China, one which looks more and more like a new Cold War. It is supported by both US capitalist parties, which aim to indefinitely preserve Western imperialism’s grip on the global order.

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Pride and Prejudice in Poland: The Deterioration of LGBT and Women’s Rights

by Ky Brooks

SINCE THE destruction of the Polish People’s Republic in 1989, Poland has witnessed a steep rise in the forces of reaction within the Polish government as well as a decline in the rights of women and the working class. In recent years, the rights of the LGBT community and women have come under heightened attack with the introduction of various anti-LGBT and anti-women laws targeted at the freedoms and safety of these groups.

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USA spying on its European lackeys

by Finian Cunningham

JOE BIDEN’S attempts to rally the transatlantic alliance have just got a punch in the nose after media reports of American spying on European leaders.

President Biden is due to arrive in Europe this week for two major summits with so-called allies. It will be his first in-person meeting with European leaders since becoming president. But it’s going to be awkward given new revelations about the Americans tapping private communications amongst senior European Union politicians.

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