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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

London’s transport

by New Worker correspondent

One area where the class struggle will be fought out is on the railways up and down the country, and perhaps most sharply, below ground in London.

Rail unions have united in condemnation of the actions of the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL), which they say will lead to a loss of 600 Underground station jobs.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

On the buses

by New Worker correspondent

In Cambridgeshire, workers employed by Cambus, part of the Stagecoach company, have won an improved pay offer after threatening to take strike action. The 400 workers, who have not had a pay rise since April 2019, voted by 96 per cent to hold 10 days of action due to start this week.

The action was called off at the last minute however, after a series of meetings with a still confidential offer which is being recommended by Unite.

Mark Plumb, a Unite regional officer, said: “Details of the offer remain confidential while our members vote on the package. In the meantime, they are working normally. Our members should not pay for the continuing pandemic, while the employer has readily scooped up UK taxpayer support, including cash from the furlough scheme.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Dirty work

by New Worker correspondent

IN EASTBOURNE on the south coast 20 HGV bin drivers employed by the council-owned company South East Environmental Services Ltd (SEESL) marked New Year’s Eve by going on strike, an action which continues this week and possibly beyond. The dispute has been aggravated by the council using strike breakers. The Council claimed a GMB union representative illegally blocked vehicles as they attempted to leave a depot. The Council’s actions have encouraged refuse loaders to vote to join the dispute alongside their HGV drivers.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

RECENTLY Josh Taylor, the boxer whom all readers will know is the world undisputed light-welterweight champion, got into trouble this week for announcing on social media that Scotland was a “fascist state under Sturgeon’s SNP”.

This was a bit of an exaggeration. Taylor’s outburst came after seeing the video of a heavy-handed police action in a central Glasgow pub on New Year’s Eve. By Glaswegian standards the pub’s clientele were very decorous and the numbers were well within COVID‑19 restrictions.

No fewer than six van-loads of police were involved. The video shows a man being pushed to the ground by several officers before being arrested and a woman claiming to be a friend was also handcuffed. Three people, including the licence holder, were charged after it was closed for the night.

The “fascist state” description might be a bit too far-fetched, but thanks to an investigation by the Sunday Post it appears that it is not without foundation.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

SNP Triumphs

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The festive season is generally a quiet time for news but one item which did emerge was news of yet another, albeit small, failure of an SNP initiative.

In September the Access to Bikes Scheme was announced with much fanfare and with a budget of £390,000. This was to be devoted to providing 500 loans to people on “low incomes” (in other words the poor) to buy bikes, a pet project of the new Green Minister.

It has been such a success however, that not a single loan has been made – but £145,000 of the budget has been swallowed up in administrative expenses. There were 290 enquiries but not a single person took up the offer, seemingly due to the repayment demands being far too demanding for those unable to buy a bike themselves.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Rest in Peace

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

As a matter of purely historical record, we belatedly record the sad passing of ‘Solidarity: Scotland’s Socialist Movement’. This modestly subtitled party was the latest vehicle for Tommy Sheridan, the former Trotskyist MSP jailed for perjury about his visits to a Manchester sex club. Incredibly, despite all of the evidence, some people still think Sheridan is innocent simply because it was the Rupert Murdoch owned News of the World that accurately described his misdeeds.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Another cover-up over Iraq?

by Oleg Buronov

TONY BLAIR’S Defence Secretary was told “in no uncertain terms” to burn a memo saying that the invasion of Iraq could be illegal. Former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon claims that during Blair’s time in office, Downing Street ordered him to burn a secret legal advice that said the 2003 invasion of Iraq could be illegal.

The claim come as more than 600,000 people have signed up to an online petition to have the former Labour Prime Minister stripped of his recently awarded knighthood. Anti-war campaigners accuse Blair of war crimes for sending British troops into Iraq and Afghanistan during his tenure.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

A deadly year for the United States

by María Josefina Arce

FOR THE USA, last year was the deadliest for incidents associated with firearms in the last decade. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the number of deaths surpassed by 1,516 the number registered in 2020.

The archive, which keeps the statistics of this type of cases, revealed that between only January–November last year more than 43,000 people lost their lives due to these devices.

Also alarming is the number of mass shootings that have taken place in 2021, about 690. A figure that analysts warn has been on the rise since 2014.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Polish deserter says army kills migrants

by John Catalinotto

A POLISH soldier has fled to Belarus claiming he was ordered to shoot migrants on the border with Belarus. Emil Czeczko, who was serving on the border under orders to prevent migrants from crossing from Belarus into Poland, fled through a barbed wire fence on 17th December. He is now seeking political asylum in Belarus.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Palestinian hunger-striker freed

by Ed Newman

A PALESTINIAN who has been on hunger strike for 141 days to protest being imprisoned without charge has agreed to end his fast after reaching a deal with Israel to be released next month.

Hisham Abu Hawwash, a 40-year-old father of five, is the latest of several Palestinians to go on hunger strike to protest being held under “administrative detention” – a measure where a prisoner is held indefinitely without charge or trial.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Christmas in Vietnam – UK style

VNS CHRISTMAS is a holiday celebrated by people all over the world and the expat community in Việtnam is no exception. while most people spend the holiday with friends and family, for those in Việtnam however, that isn’t an option this year.

Lauren Cole, a 26-year-old teacher from the UK living in Hànội, said that the rising COVID‑19 cases in the capital were her biggest concern.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

1931–2021

SOUTH AFRICAN Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who died Sunday 26th December at the age of 90, was certainly an interesting and influential religious leader. He will be remembered for his active stance against the racist Apartheid, as well as for his reconciliatory role as the chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu 1931–2021

Features

USA: Kellogg’s workers accept offer to end strike

by John Wojcik and strike supporters

KELLOGG’S WORKERS called off their strike against the cereal giant on Tuesday 21st December after almost three months on the picket line.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union announced workers had approved a five-year contract with the company in a weekend ballot.

Anthony Shelton, the union’s president, said in a statement that workers “courageously stood their ground” and secured a contract that “makes gains and does not include any concessions”.

Some 1,400 workers at four facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Tennessee walked out in October, drastically reducing the supplies on supermarket shelves of two of the best-selling cereals in America, Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Let tyrants tremble...

Film review by Keith Bennett

The Battle at Lake Changjin, directed by Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam, premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival on 21st September 2021 and was released in China on 30th September. As part of its international distribution it has been showing at selected cinemas all over the world. With a budget of some $200 million it is the most expensive Chinese film ever made. The acclaim with which it has been received however, has also made it the highest grossing film of 2021, the highest grossing film in Chinese history and the highest grossing non-English language film.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]