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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Battles old and new

by New Worker correspondent

THE WORLD’S FIRST known industrial dispute took place in the construction industry in ancient Egypt. The reign of Ramesses III (1186–155 BC), who was seen as the last good Pharaoh, saw the first strike in recorded history. After successfully seeing off a foreign invasion the country suffered from trade disruption and the loss of many soldiers made labour scarce in a period of reconstruction and poor harvests.

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Right royal cut

by New Worker correspondent

UNITE the union is taking up yet another case of hire-and-fire, this time at the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s (DofE). This is the charity founded in 1956 by the Duke of Edinburgh, the late Prince Philip, to teach the youth of the nation how walk across mountains without getting killed, and which gave the public the impression that HRH had a proper job running it.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

MANY ASSUME that “when one door closes another will open” comes from the Good Book. It is, in fact, a quote from one of Edinburgh’s finest sons, Alexander Graham Bell, who ended up in America to invent the telephone in 1876. But it’s doors not phones that are now on everybody’s lips following the SNP Government’s brilliant idea to defeat COVID‑19 by cutting holes in school doors at a cost of only £300,000.

The measure, described as “basic common sense” by the First Minister, is to improve ventilation in schools by cutting the bottom off 2,000 “problematic” classroom doors. The other 48,000 classroom doors will remain unaffected.

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High Finance

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The SNP have managed to get themselves tied in knots on a very basic aspect of their plans after they win a second referendum. Ian Blackford, the Edinburgh investment banker who doubles as their Westminster leader, has stated as fact that the rest of the UK will be happy to continue to pay the state pension for Scottish pensioners after independence.

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Backtracking

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

In the 2017 local elections, one of the election promises that sped the SNP into power on Glasgow council was speedily to resolve the long-running equal pay dispute.

This involved largely women workers such as home helps finally securing pay parity with the outdoor workers such as janitors who are largely male. This battle was fought by both unions and some rather dodgy legal firms who took advantage of perceived slowness of some unions, particularly Unison.

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Island Struggle

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The Isle of Skye is not noted its industrial militancy – their MP is Ian Blackford, after all.

Workers at the Diageo-owned Talisker whisky distillery in the village of Carbost on the island have taken up arms in protest against their multinational employer, whom they claim forced six of its eight factory workers off sick with stress-related illness in the last year. Distilling is not a labour-intensive industry but the Talisker staffing level seems very low even by industry standards.

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Starmer mobbed outside Parliament

by Oleg Burunov

TWO PEOPLE have been arrested after anti-lockdown protesters mobbed Labour leader Keir Starmer and Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy on Monday as they left the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, with many shouting “traitor”, “Jimmy Savile”, and slamming Starmer’s record on COVID‑19.

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What it means to be a communist

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON communists discussed the problems of our movement at a joint seminar at the New Communist Party Party Centre last weekend. Called by the NCP and the RCPB-ML, comrades spent Saturday afternoon looking at the question of “what it means to be a communist – new and revolutionary today” in the Sid French Library in south London.

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International News

How the USA plays with ‘taglomacy’

by Xin Ping

FROM “promised land” and “city on a hill” to “beacon of democracy” and “human rights defender”, Uncle Sam has been adroitly creating beautiful tags for itself that conjured up an image of a noble and glorious country full of opportunities. But the tags the USA has created for its rivals and enemies are the other way round: “rogue states”, “axis of evil”, “authoritarian regime” …the list goes on and on.

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Vaccinated against hatred, immunised with solidarity

by José Llamos Camejo

A MILLION doses of Cuba’s COVID‑19 vaccine Soberana Plus have arrived in Venezuela.

Many peoples without access to sufficient quantities of the vaccines they need to protect their populations from the pandemic place their hopes on Cuba, their sister country. Cuba is the first country in Latin America to create its own vaccine to battle the COVID‑19 coronavirus despite facing the planet’s longest and fiercest blockade.

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Israel apartheid proven again

by Ed Newman

IN ANOTHER hostile action against Palestinians, Israel has denied Palestinians their family reunification right, confirming recent charges by human rights groups that Israel acts as an apartheid regime against the Palestinians.

The Palestinian media reported on Sunday that right-wing Israeli minister of interior, Eyelet Shaked, was pushing her administration to support a law that bans Palestinians from the occupied territories married to Palestinians living inside Israel from uniting with their spouses and families.

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Promoting peace in Central Africa

Xinhua

A FIESTA was in full swing in Goma, a major city in north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last weekend, as the Amani music festival finally returned despite the still ongoing Covid pandemic and the restlessness of decade-long turmoil.

Under the optimistic slogan “Playing for Change, Singing for Peace”, the Amani music festival, meaning “peace” in Swahili, has been reuniting African artists to bring people of Africa’s Great Lakes region together through music.

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Cuba remembers Camilo Cienfuegos

Radio Havana Cuba

WITH MEETINGS of different generations and community actions, Cuba remembered the 90th anniversary of the birth of Commander Camilo Cienfuegos on Sunday.

The previous day, a political and cultural evening was held with the participation of artists, young people and children, in the territory of Yaguajay, in the central province of Sancti Spiritus, where the hero and revolutionary fought his last victorious battle in the struggle to overthrow the tyranny of Fulgencio Batista.

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Features

Danger: false-flag experts at work!

by Finian Cunningham

THE PENTAGON has accused Russia of planning a false-flag provocation in order to provide a pretext for invading Ukraine. The Pentagon said such a ploy was “right out of their play-book”.

“Their” means “Russian”. But in an amusing way, the double entendre actually conveys “American”, that is, “our play-book”. Because let’s face it, and history proves it, nobody does false flags like the USA when it comes to creating pretexts for criminal aggression.

To select just a few short examples out of a long, sordid history, we can point to the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbour in 1898 to launch the Spanish-American war; the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, which was used to justify ramping up the US war against Vietnam; and the deception over alleged weapons of mass destruction that enabled the Anglo-American genocidal destruction of Iraq beginning in 2003.

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Sidney Poitier: 1927–2022 A brilliant ‘force of nature’ both on and off screen

by Monica Moorehead

AFTER THE heart-breaking news of Sidney Poitier’s death at 94 on 6th January, unparalleled adjectives have been used – from the most famous to ordinary film lovers – to describe his towering legacy and talent as trailblazing, regal, inspiring, noble and more. His career as an actor and director spanned 70 years.

Poitier was presented an honorary Academy Award in 2002 “for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the motion picture industry with dignity, style and intelligence throughout the world”.

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The Winter Olympics: already a great success

Xinhua

WHEN THE giant snowflake, inscribed with names of all participating countries and regions, rose up in the Bird’s Nest on Friday night, the flame at its centre symbolised the beginning of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games.

The smiling faces of athletes from across the world at the grand opening ceremony showed that they were ready to enjoy the sports gala.

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