The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 27th January 2017

National News

Unison Black members debate violence and abuse

VIOLENCE and abuse topped the agenda of the Unison Black members’ conference last weekend in Brighton. This debate covered police brutality, domestic violence, abuse in daily life and much more.

It was opened by Tania Ebosi McKee, for the national Black members’ committee, introducing a motion on solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign to oppose police brutality and murder.

She noted that there have been nine “unlawful killing” findings by coroners since 1999, yet not one has resulted in criminal proceedings. She also highlighted the misreporting of such incidents — such as exaggerating the height of a victim and suggesting that he was therefore more of a threatening figure.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

RMT angry at TUC talks exclusion

THE RMT transport union on Wednesday expressed anger that the TUC had denied it access to the current talks that the TUC is hosting between the train drivers’ union ASLEF and representatives of Southern Rail over the long-running dispute over keeping the guards on the trains.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “RMT is a recognised union for drivers on Southern and it is disgraceful that we have been carved out of the current talks process set up by the TUC and the Government. That is a kick in the teeth for our members.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Government tried to hide its own report on climate change

BOB WARD, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in London, last week accused the Government of “sneaking out” its own alarming report on climate change, which included high-risk issues on flood risk and dangers to health.

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Report, which by law has to be produced every five years, was published with little fanfare on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website on 18th January.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Toxic air in London

CAMPAIGNERS claim that air pollution in parts of London exceeded the legal limit for the whole year within just five days of the New Year.

By law, hourly levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide must not be more than 200 micrograms per cubic metre (?g/m3) more than 18 times in a whole year, but late on Thursday this limit was broken on Brixton Road in Lambeth.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Corbyn and Brexit

by Scottish Affairs correspondent LABOUR Leader Jeremy Corbyn caused a widespread outbreak of foaming at the mouth amongst the Scottish Nationalist ranks during a visit to Glasgow last week. He made a wide ranging attack on the Scottish National Party (SNP) for “Trying to talk left at Westminster when in opposition whilst acting right in power at Holyrood” before demolishing their abysmal record in Scotland, which regular readers will be well aware of.

He savaged the SNP’s proposed local government budget cuts of £327 million, cuts to college funding, franchising Scotland’s rail services out to a Dutch state operator, centralising power in Edinburgh, the SNP’s appalling mismanagement on health and other issues. He blamed all of this on the SNP refusing to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to invest in all of these areas.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Dodgy Bus Business

by Scottish Affairs correspondent

WHAT is rapidly becoming the leading source of investigative journalism in Scotland, the Sunday Post, has exposed an SNP plan to increase the eligibility age for the concessionary travel scheme.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Moscow ‘wants Washington involved’ in Syrian peace efforts

RUSSIA, Turkey and Iran have kick-started the Syrian peace process by brokering a ceasefire and holding talks in Kazakhstan. Moscow, however, appears to be interested in bringing Washington on board when it comes to resolving the Syrian crisis so that the two countries could work together to tackle terrorists, says Michael Maloof.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Cuba says no to gender violence

by María Karla González Mir THE SECOND International Symposium on Gender Violence, Prostitution, Sex Tourism and Human Trafficking, organised by the National Centre for Sex Education (Cenesex), took place in Havana’s La Pradera Convention Centre this week.

This event, entitled Berta Cáceres in memoriam in honour of the social activist from Honduras who was murdered in March 2016, featured scientific debates by researchers and political figures from countries such as Germany, Sweden, Nicaragua, Canada and the United States. Participants discussed causes, alternative solutions and efforts related to these issues, which affect Cuba and the world today.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Kosovo: A ‘Tinderbox’ inside the EU


Russia is not considering recognising Kosovo any time soon and does not use its relations with other countries as a bargaining chip in its fence-mending talks with the US says Andrei Sushentsov, following claims made by Western analysts that Russia could recognise Kosovo in order to reach a deal with the United States.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Global warming, Trump and China

by Deirdre Griswold

THE YEAR 2016 just ended was the hottest on record. So [previously] was 2015. And 2014 before that. Each year, new world records are being set as a blanket of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, warms the planet even faster than scientists had predicted. In the United States the heat last year was surpassed only by the record-breaking year of 2012.

So what are the powers-that-be in the richest country on earth doing about this monumental crisis? Well, they’ve just succeeded in getting one of their right-wing billionaire buddies elected president and he’s picked a cabinet that abounds in fellow climate deniers — very conveniently, given their connections to the coal and oil industries.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Stormont brought down by DUP arrogance

by John Hedges

STORMONT’S Executive Government was brought down by the sheer weight of the arrogance of the Democratic Unionist Party (DIP) under Arlene Foster and their refusal to truly embrace the challenges of power-sharing.

Martin McGuinness’s commitment to power-sharing was unquestionable. It is still unquestionable. It was recognised by that most famous of DUP leaders, Ian Paisley, who formed an unlikely yet successful partnership with Martin McGuinness. Arlene Foster is no Ian Paisley.

The Renewable Heat Incentive scandal was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The DUP leader point-blank refused the common-sense request that she stand aside whilst an independent investigation was carried out into an out-of-control financial disaster presided over by Arlene Foster as minister.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Journey to the East

by Pan Jianing & Wu Yifei

AS A college student in Britain, Sophia Hurst happened to attend a summer school in Scotland, which later changed her life. She went to a presentation by Jene Bellows, a lecturer who had visited China and showed images taken during the visit. “Go to China,” Bellows urged the students. “It is the country of the future.”

The young student was irresistibly drawn to the faces Bellows showed during the presentation, finding “purity and sincerity” in them. Her mind was made up. She was ready to go to China.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Britain gears up for biggest Chinese New Year show outside Asia

by Wang Mingjie

BRITAIN is gearing up for some of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia and tourism chiefs expect they will help attract a record influx of visitors from China.

The Chinese New Year falls on 28th January, marking the start of the Year of the Rooster. Visitors will be able to join celebrations nationwide.

Celebrations in London will include a parade on 29th January that starts in Chinatown and ends in Trafalgar Square.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Obama’s farewell tears are an insult, his record is soaked in blood

by John Wight

DO NOT be fooled by the tears and gushing words of Obama and his supporters as he counts down to his departure from the White House. They are an insult when measured against the tears of the countless Libyans, Syrians, Afghans and others who have suffered as a result of a foreign policy that brought his administration into disrepute.

Barack Obama goes down in history as a president who, more than any other in living memory, entered the White House on a wave of hope and expectation, only to depart eight years and two terms later under a cloud of crushing disappointment and bitterness.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

South Korea: President Park in the soup

by Yohannan Chemarapally

A SCANDAL of humongous proportions has hit the south Korean president Park Gyeun Hye and plunged domestic politics into turmoil. The calls for the resignation of the south Korean president are getting louder by the day and public support for her is now in single digits. The south Korean capital, Seoul, has been witnessing huge protests since the scandal erupted in full force at the end of October.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]