The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 17th March 2017

National News

Making a lot of noise for Orgreave

by New Worker correspondent

HUNDREDS of trade unionists and campaigners gathered in Marsham Street outside the Home Office in Westminster last Monday to demand a full inquiry into the events (described as a police riot) outside the Orgreave coking plant on 18th June 1984 and to demand it very loudly.

Also present to support the call were Diane Abbott MP and people from the Hillsborough disaster campaign, who campaigned and won an inquiry into the Hillsborough football stadium disaster, also at the hands of the South Yorkshire Police.

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Union reveals £1billion free school slush fund

THE GENERAL union GMB last week revealed that the Government has set aside a slush fund of £1 billion to help “free” schools, which are free in the sense of not being accountable to any local education authority.

The union, which represents thousands of school support staff, accused the Government of being selective with the truth as well as with school admissions.

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Parliament votes to decriminalise abortion

THE HOUSE of Commons voted last week to decriminalise fully abortions in England and Wales. MPs backed a Bill by 172 votes in favour, versus 142 against. The Bill, which was introduced as a Ten-Minute-Rule-Bill, will now go to a second reading on 24th March, before it can be passed into law.

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Union demands curb on zero hours

LEN McCluskey, the general secretary of the giant union Unite, last week called on Government ministers to tackle the rise in insecure employment after Wednesday’s (15th March) figures from the Office for National Statistics showed zero-hours contracts had increased by 101,000 in the last quarter of 2016 to 905,000 compared with the previous year.

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BMW accused of pensions betrayal

THE GERMAN-based motor company BMW was accused last week of seeking to rob car workers making the iconic Mini and Rolls-Royce cars of their future pensions — after the company had just posted record profits.

On Thursday 9th March, figures from BMW showed a surge in BMW Group’s net profit of eight per cent to €6.9 billion, as well as a record year for Mini sales and a six per cent rise in Rolls-Royce sales. These figures came just as 4,500 members of the giant union Unite were getting ready to vote for industrial action in a dispute over plans to close the final salary pension scheme by 31st May.

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Skool Newz

by our Scottish political correspondent On the same day as Ms Sturgeon made her call, the Dundee Courier reported that the headmistress of Blairgowrie High School had written to parents asking them to help teach mathematics in the weeks before the exam season because of a combination of one teacher leaving for a new job and the Head of the Department another being “absent from work”.

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Justice for Joint Enterprise victims

by New Worker correspondent

DOZENS of campaigners gathered on the north side of Parliament Square on Monday to demand justice for prisoners convicted of crimes they did not commit under the ‘joint enterprise” or “common purpose” laws that were scrapped last October because they were proved to be unjust.

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Manchester artistic feast

by Mu Xuequan

THE biennial Manchester International Festival (MIF) has revealed its 2017 programme, which will contain world premieres of works in a variety of forms from dance to club music, theatre, performance art and musical events.

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The eternal flame of Marxism

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends paid homage to the memory of Karl Marx at the annual New Communist Party commemoration at the Party Centre last Saturday. NCP leader Andy Brooks spoke about the immense contribution of Marx and Engels as practical revolutionaries as well as laying down the foundations of modern socialist theory.

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The Crucible — a new look at a Miller classic

a review by Andy Brooks

BACK IN the 17th century a wave of hysteria swept a small town in what was then the English colony of Massachusetts in New England. Based on the accusations of children, the largely Puritan settlers of Salem started an enquiry that turned into a frenzied witch-hunt that was used to settle old scores between rival factions in the town. Twenty people, 14 of them women, were executed and five others, including two infants, died in prison before the whole process was halted by broader public opinion.

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Witchery in Dagenham

by Carole Barclay

VALENCE HOUSE in Dagenham may seem to some an unlikely venue for an exhibition about the occult arts — but the Bruja exhibition, the word is simply the Spanish for witch, has considerable interest in the London borough that was once part of south Essex.

This modest display of sketches, paintings and ‘magic’ paraphernalia by Alisha Ward is tucked away in one of the rooms of this historic moated manor house, which goes back to the 13th century. It now contains permanent exhibitions on history and life in Barking and Dagenham, including displays from the old London County Council’s massive Becontree Estate.

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International News

South Korea rejoices at Park’s impeachment


SOUTH Korea has gone into ecstasy following the court decision on Park Geun Hye’s impeachment on corruption charges on 10th March.

That day an estimated 100,000 people in Seoul held a “day of victory of candlelight rally” and there were similar events in other places.

More than 5,000 citizens, who were watching the live impeachment trial near the constitutional court, burst into cheers at the decision and marched towards the presidential Blue House. And the “emergency national action for ousting the Park Geun Hye regime” committee sponsored a candlelight rally at Kwanghwamun plaza.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

ISIS atrocities

by Muhama Mahmud

ON Sunday, east of the city of Mosul in northern Iraq a new mass grave was found in which ISIS terrorists had buried the remains of more than 40 civilians and law enforcement officers. The identification of the remains is currently ongoing and according to the information that is available so far it has become known that one of the executed was a colonel.

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The shameful problem of 21st century colonisation

by Elson Concepción Pérez

ON 23rd December 2016 the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously approved, save for the United States which abstained, a resolution representing a written condemnation of Israel’s policy of establishing settlements on Palestinian land.

Shortly before, the Barack Obama administration had signed an over 30 billion dollar military aid package with Israel, the largest in its history.

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International Women’s Day: How are we doing?

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE FIGURE concerning the percentage of women who have experienced some form of attack or abuse remains the same as when I started reporting on this day two decades ago: one in three women have been subjected to physical or emotional violence. Figures from one or two years ago show that we are not making progress. Planet Earth 2017 is a disgrace.

Hopefully Humankind in future generations will look back on Planet Earth 2017 and deride us in the most virulent terms. Despite all the good work being done by private and public individuals and institutions, such as UN Women, and despite the International Days (8th March is International Women’s Day) and events (the Commission on the Status of Women 61 will be held in New York from 13—24 March), the statistics from 2014 and 2015 are staggering and totally depressing. Planet Earth 2017 is sexist.

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Trump gang in crisis

by Fred Goldstein

THE TRUMP administration’s crisis deepens as accusations of ties to Russia multiply and surround him and his aides. Meanwhile, this authoritarian, racist, misogynistic bigot is opening up a war on the people and what is left of gains won over the last 50 years. Especially under attack are the millions of undocumented workers.

The war within the capitalist state has reached a boiling point, with Trump accusing former President Barack Obama of wire-tapping Trump Towers during the 2016 election campaign. It is being assumed that Trump heard this on Mark Levin’s right-wing talk show, promoted by Breitbart News. Steve Bannon, Trump’s special ‘strategy’ advisor, previously ran Breitbart.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]