New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Unions in education

by New Worker correspondents

THERE ARE two dominant trade unions for school teachers in Britain. First off the block was the Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS), founded in 1847. For England and Wales there is the National Education Union (NEU), which was formed in 2017 by the amalgamation of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). Both unions also have rivals within their geographical fiefdoms, but the EIS is by far the most dominant union in its particular area, representing 80 per cent of its membership. In contrast, NEU, with a membership of 510,000, has a more formidable rival in the shape of its 313,000-strong rival NASUWT: The Teachers’ Union. Whether this represents healthy competition or a lack of unity is debatable.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Dawn raid

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

CELTIC FANS are up in arms following rumours that the club is considering hiring a controversial former policeman for a senior security role at the ‘Paradise’ stadium in Glasgow.

Bernard Higgins, a former Police Scotland commander, is reportedly set to take over a senior security role at Celtic, much to the dismay of Celtic’s “Green Brigade” who are bitterly opposing the man who set up the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Cambo oilfield

Meanwhile, back in Edinburgh former First Minister Alex Salmond has, once again, accused his successor of killing off the independence dream. Nicola Sturgeon has certainly all but finished off Salmond’s dream, forcing her bitter rival to set up his own Alba Party (nicknamed Alexba for obvious reasons) that hopes, but so far has failed, to become the nationalist pole of the opposition to the Scottish National Party (SNP).

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

On the Bevy

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Another favourite SNP policy, the minimum unit price for alcohol (MUP), is rearing its head again. This was introduced to help boost the profits of supermarkets by discouraging the sales of very cheap drinks favoured by those who breakfast on cans of super-strong lager.

It was introduced in 2012 but only came into force in 2018 after protracted legal battles, the opposition coming from the Scotch Whisky Association.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

PeppaGate: more flak for Johnson

by Svetlana Ekimenko

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson is in the hot seat amidst a backlash from the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal and the row over MPs’ second jobs, the continuing Channel migrant crisis, as well as controversial social care proposals and perceived “rail betrayal”.

Some Tories think Johnson is “losing his grip over key policies”, ranging from social care issues to scaled-back rail plans for the north of the country, reports the Guardian.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Remembering Tony Birtill

by Joe Dwyer

THE IRISH community in Liverpool was left bereft on Thursday 21st October with the passing of Tony Birtill. The journalist, activist and teacher had fought a long and hard battle with cancer and in recent times had entered hospice care, but the news of his untimely death still came as a shock to all who knew him.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Modi backs down over farmers’ demands

by Sangeeta Yadav

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his government will withdraw the three controversial farm laws that hundreds of thousands of farmers have been protesting against since November last year. Farmers feared these laws would do away with the minimum support price (MSP) and leave them at the mercy of big corporations.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Mass support for Maduro

by Guillermo Alvarado

THE REGIONAL elections held on Sunday in Venezuela represented an important victory for the government of the Bolivarian Revolution, headed by President Nicolás Maduro, and showed the fragility and disunity of opposition groups.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Beijing Winter Olympics boycott doomed to fail


ATTEMPTS by reactionary foreign forces to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympic Games are doomed to fail says Russia’s communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Polish communists blast government over refugees

Communist Party of Poland

“THE POLISH government’s policy towards refugees failed and resulted in the death of at least a dozen people” points out the Communist Party of Poland (KPP) in a statement concerning the ongoing refugee crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Bad ideas

by Greg Godels

HISTORY is a corrective of ideas, serving as a reality check on intellectual inflation. Sometimes it takes years, decades, even centuries, for big and even not-so-big ideas to be properly deflated. I remember fondly many heated arguments with the late Fred Gaboury, a former union logger who became an organiser for the American Trade Unionists for Action and Democracy coalition, editor of Labor Today, and World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) representative to the United Nations. Fred was a serious thinker in ways that many of his contemporaries missed.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Bombing civilians in Syria: another American war-crime

by Evan Craighead

LAST WEEK the New York Times published an in-depth look at a series of US airstrikes that killed at least 80 people, including up to 64 women and child- air operations in Syria, has since responded to the report and, for the first time, confirmed that it took place.

As the public learns more about the previously unreported US airstrikes in eastern Syria, a number of questions have been raised about the report’s timing, the actual casualty count, and possible procedural violations by US military leadership.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Ireland: When the Church opposed a public health campaign

by Roisin Ni Dhalaigh

IN THE 1930s Dr Dorothy Stopford Price undertook a study which showed that, contrary to the belief that most adults had developed immunity to tuberculosis (TB), only 11 per cent of 14-year-olds in Ireland had been exposed to the disease. This compared with contemporaneous rates of 56 per cent in Denmark and 75 per cent in Paris.

In short, Ireland was a country that desperately needed to address the risk to the population of TB. When a public health campaign started to come together, opposition didn’t arise from the cost or the science but from a sectarian campaign against its leaders.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Rittenhouse verdict promotes white supremacy

by Monica Moorehead

Workers World is outraged – along with the rest of the country and the world – with the devastating 20th November acquittal of 18-year-old, white vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse for the murders of two anti-racists, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and the wounding of a third anti-racist, Gaige Grosskreutz. These killings occurred during a 25th August 2020 protest against the police shooting two days before of a 27-year-old Black man, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was shot seven times in the back and remains paralysed from the waist down. None of the police officers involved were charged in the shooting.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]