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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Care in the Community

by New Worker correspondent

COMMUNITY is a lovely word, which can mean almost anything, but in the trade union world a union of this name emerged in 2004 as a result of a merger of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC) and the National Union of Knitwear, Footwear & Apparel Trades (KFAT). This might not sound like a particularly appropriate marriage, indeed it was one of desperation given that the industries which they represent had, to say the least of it, seen better days.

Perhaps to justify the odd mix, the union started advocating “Community Unionism” by which it meant that efforts are made not only to improve conditions in the workplace but also in the general community in which members live. This has been taken up with some success by Unite’s Community branches.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

NICOLA STURGEON recently wrote an unusually polite letter to Boris Johnson in which she effectively abandoned decades of SNP policy. The letter concerned a pending application to create a new oil platform in the stormy Atlantic waters west of the Shetland Isles that could create thousands of jobs and produce anything from between 170–800 million barrels of oil. Approving or otherwise licences for such developments is the responsibility of the Westminster government.

Her letter was also curiously vague because she only wanted the project to be “reassessed”. It is a difficult decision that, whatever way it goes, is bound to upset lots of people, therefore Sturgeon for once has avoided demanding a say on it. A final decision needs to be made soon and before the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. Less than seven years ago the nationalists said that oil and gas revenues were to be the basis of a flourishing independent Scottish economy. Nowadays things are a bit different – the SNP are seeking a coalition deal with the Greens, who are less keen on oil. The Green MSPs may be anxious to get ministerial salaries but they need to keep their members sweet so they cannot be seen to sell out so quickly.

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Efficiency?

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The SNP Government likes to boast that they are superior and more efficient than that run by Boris Johnson. But when these claims are subject to more than a casual glance it turns out the evidence is thin on the ground.

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Crunch Time

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Last week saw what looks like the closing chapter of the saga of the McVitie’s biscuit factory in the east end of Glasgow, which is now certain to close with the loss of 472 jobs. The Turkish owner, the London-based Pladis Global corporation rejected offers by the SNP Government for financial assistance to build a new factory in the area. Neither the SNP nor Pladis took the offer very seriously, the final ‘rescue’ meeting seemed a token exercise with comparatively low-level participants. Despite claims from Pladis that it has excess capacity, it is in fact expanding its factory at Carlisle just across the border, so that excuse is a thin one.

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New police powers may trigger unrest

by Ekaterina Blinova

TEN YEARS AGO, England was swept by riots that shattered the country in the wake of the death of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old unarmed man who was fatally shot by the Metropolitan Police in Tottenham, north London, on 4th August 2011. This week a British professor explains why the UK could face 2011-style riots again.

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Gordon Brown urges West to end stranglehold on COVID‑19 vaccine

by Oleg Burunov

FORMER Labour Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Brown has accused the European Union (EU) of taking a “neo-colonial approach” to the supply of coronavirus vaccines, demanding that developed nations should “end their stranglehold” on vaccine deliveries.

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International News

People’s China puts people first

by Huaxia

SOME PARTS of the US media have recently conspired to attack China’s anti-pandemic strategy, claiming that China’s approach to tackling the virus will lead to its long-term isolation from the world. These groundless claims deliberately distort the truth and ignore the essence of China’s anti-pandemic fight.

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Breaking the chains of slavery

by Ed Newman

ON THE night of 14th August 1791 – 230 years ago – a secret ceremony was held in a place in Haiti called Bwa Kayiman, a Creole expression meaning Forest of the Caymans. It was the spark that generated the triumphant slave revolution against the French colonial rule in 1804.

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US unions quit consumer group over Amazon

Radio Havana Cuba

THREE MAJOR US unions have quit the board of the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organisation, claiming funding from Amazon has compromised the group’s progressive mission.

In separate letters last month, the presidents of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the United Auto Workers (UAW) wrote that their unions were resigning immediately from their roles on the board of the National Consumers League (NCL), citing the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s involvement with the group.

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Afghanistan: a promising future killed off by US imperialism

by Marilyn Bechtel

In the mid-1970s and early ’80s Marilyn Bechtel was editor of the bimonthly magazine New World Review. She visited Afghanistan twice, in 1980 and 1981. This article was originally published on 6th October 2001. At that time the former Afghan king, Mohammad Zahir Shah, was being promoted by US right-wing Republicans as the personage around whom Afghans could unite. He returned to Afghanistan in 2002 during the imperialist occupation. But the old man, now in his eighties, had to make do with the honorary title of ‘Father of the Nation’, although many of his relatives were rewarded with posts by the new regime.

With the Biden administration now withdrawing all troops from the country, this article is a reminder that American imperialism’s longest war had roots that went beyond the terrorist attacks of 9/11, stretching back to Cold War anti-communism.

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British reporter based in China records everyday life

People’s Daily (Beijing)

JAMES ALEXANDER, a teacher-turned-reporter from the UK who has been living in south-west China’s Chongqing municipality for over a decade, has taken pleasure in recording his everyday life and the city’s many changes, priding himself on relaying the country’s stories to the outside world.

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Features

It’s time to stand up against sectarianism

by Declan Kearney

THIS IS 2021, not Mississippi in the 1960s. Recent events have underlined once again just how much needs to be done to tackle sectarianism in the north of Ireland and to make our society a truly shared space.

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Tokyo Olympics: athletes resist, forge solidarity

by Minnie Bruce Pratt

BLACK-GLOVED fists raised in a Black power salute, heads bowed on the podium, US sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos honoured the Black freedom struggle at the 1968 Olympics after they received their gold and bronze medals. Suffering a storm of vicious, racist condemnation after that principled act, banned and shunned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until 2016, they kept their pride. Fifty years later, Carlos firmly said: “I’m proud of what we did.”

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COVID End of US Empire?

by Finian Cunningham

THE USA is facing perfect storm conditions for the gruelling continuation of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The long-term economic impact could hasten the end of its global power as we know it.

Infections, hospitalisations and deaths are on the rise again – as they are in other capitalist states. But the outlook for the USA is uniquely bleak.

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