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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Airport battles old and new

IN MANY RESPECTS the aviation industry has been at the forefront of neoliberalism. British Airways, which was created by the merger of two state-owned companies, was one of the first major privatisations. Heathrow Airport was one of the first airports to be privatised, in 1986. Since then airports have become more like shopping malls. The duty-free shops that were a bonus to travellers are now global chains. In many airports revenue from hungry and thirsty passengers exceeds that from landing fees. The British Airports Authority (BAA) was once owned by the British Government but is now a private company owning not just British airports but also many abroad, and in turn is partly by the Qatar and Malaysian sovereign wealth funds.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

BROADCASTER Jeremy Paxman briefly became an icon in the nationalist press this week after saying he would vote for Scottish independence in a second referendum. The former BBC broadcaster and University Challenge host, who is actually a Yorkshireman, told the media: “My view about the Union is that if there is to be a referendum then the English should be allowed a vote as well. We are supposedly a nation of equals, so we should be equally entitled to a vote. And although I am a quarter Scottish I would vote to separate, I think. Because I can’t see what is gained by persistently giving the Jocks an excuse. We’re always going to be friends.”

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All at sea

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

But now we must return to the long saga of the failing ferries. Recently the state owned Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), which owns the ferries (through Caledonian MacBrayne), ports and harbours serving the Firth of Clyde and the western and northern isles, announced the preliminary results of a competition to build two 94.8-metre-long new ferries.

CMAL narrowed the choice down from 11 to four, for the £100 million contract to serve the isles of Islay and Jura. One of the tendering companies was Ferguson Marine Limited (FML), which is also a state-owned company and the last such company on the lower Clyde. It didn’t make the final cut, however, instead there will be a battle between a Polish, a Romanian and two Turkish yards before the result is announced in March. So we have the curious spectacle of one arm of the Scottish Government effectively saying another arm is totally useless.

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NHS Blues

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The same genius the SNP bring to the economy can be seen in their handling of the NHS. A 65-year-old man with several known health problems died in Glasgow after having waited 40 hours for an ambulance to arrive. That is not a typo for minutes, it is indeed hours, nearly two days, and in Glasgow, not some remote part of the Highlands. His GP told the family that “I can assure you that if they’d got to him your dad would still be here.”

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Celebrating Vietnam’s freedom

by New Worker correspondent

VIETNAMESE ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long welcomed politicians, diplomats, journalists and members of the Vietnamese community in London at a celebration of Vietnam’s National Day at Claridge’s Hotel on Monday.

NCP leader Andy Brooks and Rob Griffiths from the CPB joined the packed assembly in the ballroom of the Mayfair hotel for the first major diplomatic reception in the capital since the end of the lockdown. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Minister of State for Asia Amanda Milling and the Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace were also amongst the 500 or so guests at the commemoration of the Vietnamese declaration of independence from France on 2nd September 1945.

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At Westminister: Labour gaffes and Johnson snubbed

FOUR OF the five living former prime ministers have rejected Boris Johnson’s invitation to celebrate the centenary of the PM’s official country seat.

Chequers, a 16th century manor house in Buckinghamshire’s Chiltern Hills, has hosted foreign leaders and been the scene of many political battles – including former premier Theresa May’s unveiling of her Brexit negotiation plan.

A Downing Street source confirmed that David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, and Sir John Major have all RSVPed “no” to BoJo’s offer of dinner at Chequers last weekend.

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International News

Israel’s new Gaza plan another diversion

by Saud Abu Ramadan and Emad Drimly

ISRAELI Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s initiative to solve the crisis in the Gaza Strip, has been dubbed “economy for security”. But Palestinians say it is yet another attempt to evade any commitment to peace negotiations between the two sides, which have been stalled since 2014. They say the plan will not work because it bypasses the root cause of the conflict between Palestine and Israel.

The Israeli plan is absurd. It is “an attempt to escape from a fair peaceful solution and it ignores the essence of the conflict, which is political in the first and last place,” says Hani Habib, a Palestinian journalist in Gaza.

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Cuba and Vietnam: brothers in arms

by María Josefina Arce

CUBA and Vietnam are more than friends, they are brothers. For more than six decades, they have maintained a special relationship that began to be forged since the very triumph of the Cuban Revolution in January 1959, and which is full of examples of solidarity.

The historic leaders of both countries, Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh, were the promoters of that brotherhood and cooperation that unites the two peoples and that throughout all this time has become indestructible.

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A dark day in Chinese history


LAST WEEK China marked the 90th anniversary of the “September 18th Incident” which dragged China into a 14-year bitter war with Japan’s fascist regime.

Back on September 18th 1931, the day seemingly dawned as just another day in Shenyang, the capital of today’s Liaoning province in north-east China. An incident that night, however, sparked Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

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9/11 twenty years on

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

TWENTY YEARS after the world stood still and watched in horror as airliners slammed into the World Trade Center, has a new world order appeared?

On 11th September 2001, the Twin Towers took centre stage in the global media arena for weeks to come as humankind held its breath at the sheer audacity of the al-Qaeda attack against the people of the USA in New York and Washington. For some, David had slapped Goliath in the face, wreaking revenge for the Western treatment of Muslims and turning a blind eye to Israel’s apartheid policies on lands it stole from the Palestinians. For the majority, civilians – and especially women and children – can never be indiscriminate targets of any sort of violence.

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All that glitters is not gold

Global Times

PEOPLE are questioning whether “made in the UK” really is a marque of quality following claims that a supposedly ‘gold’ medal awarded to a Chinese champion at the London Olympics has oxidised.

Following a Chinese Olympian posting about her peeling Tokyo gold medal, another Olympic champion, Xu Lijia, posted a video in which she said that her London Olympic gold medal had “oxidised”.

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Australian nuke deal targets China

by C J Atkins

A NEW military alliance that will see the USA and Britain provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines to patrol the Pacific and Indian Oceans is being denounced as a threat to “regional peace and stability” by China. The country sees itself as the obvious target of an US- and British-supplied Australian atomic fleet.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that the pact between the three countries will set off an “intensifying arms race” in the Indo-Pacific region and severely damage global nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

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Sorry cover-up for US mass murder

by Finian Cunningham

SO A TOP US commander has come clean on prime-time TV about the killing of 10 civilians in Afghanistan with a drone missile. Seven of the victims were children packed into a car.

CentCom General Kenneth McKenzie said the deadly strike was a “tragic mistake” and he offered his “deep condolences”. In an unprecedented, televised press conference, the general said he took personal responsibility for the atrocity and that there would be financial compensation paid out to the victims’ families.

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