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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Badly needed victories

by New Worker correspondent

AS WE struggle with the tiresome rigours of Dryuary it is good to report some union victories, which whilst not particularly big ones, and perhaps not always as good as some trade union press offices like to claim, are nevertheless welcome news.

At Luton Airport outsourced passenger mobility workers, who assist the less mobile passengers, have won a large pay rise after four days of strike action at the end of last year when their employer Wilson James tried to impose a pay freeze. Front of house workers at the company have secured a 4.3 per cent increase and qualified drivers have won a 20 per cent increase. Before, front of house staff were on the miserable £8.91 hourly minimum wage and drivers were paid £10 per hour. Much needed improvements in sick pay were secured, workers will now get 80 per cent of earnings for two weeks.

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Radio Times

by New Worker correspondent

ON MONDAY the Tory Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced that the TV licence was to be frozen at £159 and finally abolished in 2027.

This met with applause from right-wingers who have long sought its abolition. The news did not do down well with trade unions representing those that work for the BBC.

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet deplored the fact that the announcement was made before negotiations between the BBC and the government had concluded.

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The Gaelic Question

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THIS WEEK we head north to the Highlands & Islands to take a look at the Gaelic language, how it is doing and what is being done to combat its decline.

In the 2011 Census it was recorded that 57,375 people (1.1 per cent of the population) claimed to be able to speak the language, of these 32,000 were able to read and write it. In 1921 it was 148,950 (3.3 per cent), of whom 9,829 only knew Gaelic. Monoglots were last recorded in 1971. In the 2021 census the overall long-term decline was only relieved by a small increase in Glasgow and some other lowland towns. This is likely to be due to learners rather than Highland migrants.

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BoJo’s resignation the only way out

by Oleg Burunov

LAST weekend the media reported that embattled Boris Johnson is drawing up a hit-list of government officials that he intends to purge in an attempt to save his job in the face of the “partygate” scandal.

But a number of senior Conservative Party MPs have made it clear that if the Prime Minister fails to take responsibility for lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, they will be ready to force Johnson out.

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Stars support Emma Watson’s Palestine stand

by New Worker correspondent

STEVE Coogan, Peter Capaldi, Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Maxine Peake, Viggo Mortensen and Harriet Walter are amongst the celebs who have joined Emma Watson in showing solidarity with Palestine.

Earlier in the month the Harry Potter star shared a post from her Instagram account with the words “solidarity is a verb” over a picture of Palestinian flags. Widely praised, this message of solidarity also provoked the fury of Israeli officials.

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International News

Massive strike rocks France

by G Dunkel EDUCATION workers walked out in France last week in a massive one-day strike in protest against ineffective government COVID‑19 plans for schools. The countrywide strike was organised by unions representing teachers, other school staff, parents and students.

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Millions of dollars for subversion

Granma

AMERICAN President Ronald Reagan created the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983. Along with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the NED has functioned as an economic arm of the US government’s interventionist policies, financing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and foundations disguised with names citing very laudable values such as democracy and freedom, whilst in fact seeking to change governments that do not subordinate themselves to Washington’s policies.

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Silence is betrayal

by Guillermo Alvarado

THE 93rd anniversary of the birth of Dr Martin Luther King was celebrated on Monday. The African-American religious leader was one of the most important men in the modern history of the USA who led the fight for all human beings to be equal, regardless of their race or social and economic condition.

The 1964 Nobel Peace Prize laureate shook the structures of the dominant system in the world’s most powerful nation by demanding that the abolition of slavery, proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War, should go from the dead letter to everyday practice.

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Global-trotting DJ ready for Winter Olympics

by Lou Kang and Zhao Juecheng

BORN IN Northamptonshire, the now Jamaican skier Benjamin Alexander lives a rather courageously ‘follow-your-heart’ lifestyle. He had a short-lived career in finance before starting to DJ around the world, including in countries such as Thailand and People’s China, where he has worked from Shanghai to Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong.

Come February, Beijing is going to be his next travel destination as he is set to become Jamaica’s first Alpine skier at the Winter Olympics after qualifying under the B criteria, just six years after he tried the sport in Canada for the first time.

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Features

Brazil not all sand and sea

by Dermot Hudson

PEOPLE usually associate Brazil with sun, sand, football and carnivals, but there is a darker side to Brazil. I’ve been there four times – the last over the Christmas break this year and, if anything, poverty has increased since my last visit.

We can of course see the homeless and beggars in London, and indeed on my way to my home from Heathrow a bloke was begging for money at London Bridge Station. In Brazil, however, it was something different. I saw loads of homeless people and beggars in Rio De Janeiro and also some in Sao Paulo, more than in London. When we went to a New Year party we passed two people sleeping on the street. In Brazil people actually came up and asked not for money but to be bought a meal, which made it different to London.

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Who really killed Kennedy?

by John Bachtell

JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass (2001). Documentary. Dir: Oliver Stone. Stars: Donald Sutherland (voice), Whoopi Goldberg (voice) and Robert F Kennedy Jr. 118mins. Based on the book Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case by James DiEugenio.

WHO really killed JFK? Oliver Stone’s latest assassination documentary reveals more hidden secrets.

I’ll tell you straight away: I liked Oliver Stone’s new documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass. President John F Kennedy’s 1963 assassination was a seminal tragic event shaping modern American history and my own personal outlook, along with the assassinations of Martin Luther King, and Robert F Kennedy, 9/11 and, most recently, the 6 January 2021 failed coup.

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