National News

Aleida Guevara addresses Miami Five protest

by New Worker correspondent

ALEIDA GUEVARA, daughter of the Cuban revolutionary hero Che Guevara, last Tuesday attended a mass vigil outside the United States embassy in Grosvenor Square, organised to demand the release of the Miami Five.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Disabled claimants to face new barrier

THE GOVERNMENT has just made it harder for claimants to appeal against a DWP decision based on an Atos report. Atos is the private company contracted by the Government to carry out Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) on all disabled benefit claimants. Under the new rules, due to be implemented from April 2013, claimants who wish to challenge a benefits decision will no longer be allowed to choose to lodge an appeal immediately.

Instead, there will be a new requirement for claimants to request a revision of the original decision from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and have that request determined before launching the right to appeal to an independent tribunal.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Atos nurse ordered to find people fit for work

JOYCE DRUMMOND, a former nurse who was employed by the company Atos to carry out work assessment capability interviews of benefit claimants on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), said she was forced to manipulate tests so that disabled people were deemed fit for work.

Joyce Drummond alleged she was warned by the French-owned firm she was being "too nice" to claimants. She said candidates were considered more able to work if they arrived for their interview with brushed hair, had a toddler with them, or wore make-up.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Tory Lord wants tax haven Britain

TORY Party treasurer Lord Fink seems to have totally given up on the image of Britain as a major player on the world political stage and wants us to become more like the Cayman Islands, or Jersey — in other words a minor offshore group of islands dependent on being a tax haven for the very wealthy.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Protesters escort fascists off Liverpool campus

ANTI-FASCISTS in Liverpool last week escorted fascists belonging to a new organisation, the “Natural Culturalists”, from the University of Liverpool campus as they tried to leaflet students attending the freshers’ fair. The student union has a policy of “no platform for fascism”.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

CBI calls for more privatisation

THE CONFEDERATION of British Industry is calling on the Government to step up the privatisation of public sector services, claiming that the Government could save £22.6 billion.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Sun shines for our paper!

WELL IT DID last Saturday at the Metropolitan supporters group’s annual garden party in Charlton. There was plenty of good food and drink and even the autumn chill could not dampen the discussions that always take place when comrades get together. And they showed their thanks in the traditional manner by putting £95 into the collection tin for the New Worker!

International News

Portugal: “Fuck the troika!”

by John Catalinotto

AROUND a million of Portugal’s 11 million people held massive marches in Lisbon, Oporto and 38 other cities and towns on 15th September to condemn the austerity policies of the troika — the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — and of the three parties backing austerity in Parliament. Demonstrations of tens if not hundreds of thousands also took place in Spain that day on similar issues.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Belarus gives Europe and USA a lesson in free and fair elections

by Lyuba Lulko

THE BELARUSIANS have elected their deputies to the lower house of parliament. The opposition has shown its weakness by boycotting the elections. The pro-Nato Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) predictably said that the elections were not free. Poland called the Belarusian elections "make-up on the face of dictatorship," while Germany said that it was a tragedy. But the Belarusians do not care much about those attacks. They held the elections for themselves and not for the West.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Threat to Catalan independence

by John Hedges

THE SPECTRE of Spain's fascist leader General Franco looms behind Monday’s statement by retired army officers in the Spanish Military Association (Asociación de Militares Españoles — AME) saying that anyone promoting “Spain’s fracture” (in other words independence for Catalonia) could be courtmartialled.

AME named the President of Catalonia and all the members of his party as potential defendants in military tribunals.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Pyongyang International Film Festival begins

THE 13th Pyongyang International Film Festival opened this week with around 30 feature and documentary films from over 50 groups in 30 countries competing for the "torch prize" of the biannual film festival that was established in 1987.

More than 90 films will be screened during the festival, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) first two coproduced movies Meet in Pyongyang with China, and Comrade Kim Goes Flying with a British director.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


The London Cables: Labour leaders and US imperialism

Part one

by Neil Harris

BRADLEY MANNING, in solitary confinement since his arrest, is facing a courtmartial in the spring of 2013. If he is lucky enough to escape the death penalty he will be serving a long prison sentence, under the same kind of harsh conditions he has faced up till now.

If the allegations are true; that he leaked some 250,000 US State Department “cables”, then his sacrifice means we owe him a great debt. It is our duty to make full use of this remarkable and unique resource: essentially a series of confidential reports sent back to Washington by US Embassy staff from around the world. At the time of the original disclosure, the bourgeois press published a small selection of these without criticism, effectively repeating the official State Department worldview, as if it was true.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]