Tuesday, April 26, 2016

150,000 tell Cameron to go!

by New Worker correspondent

MORE than 150,000 people marched from Gower Street near Euston to Trafalgar Square last Saturday, in a giant march organised by the People’s Assembly as a March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education but, in the wake of the Panama Papers tax dodging scandal, added one further demand – that David Cameron must go.
Before the march the organisers issued a statement: “The Tories are facing their biggest crisis yet. Revelations of David Cameron’s stake in his father’s off shore tax haven prove that this is a government for the privileged few, not for the majority.
“This shows beyond all doubt that Cameron is divorced from the life of any working person. The Government’s failure to deal with the steel crisis could leave thousands without a job. They've attacked junior doctors and student nurses while privatising the NHS.
“They plan to force all schools to become academies and teachers are now balloting to strike over pay and conditions. They've done nothing to address the growing housing crisis. Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation shows a government falling apart.
“This is a situation, which is unrecoverable for the Tories if we mobilise, demonstrate and unite everyone together against austerity.”
Steel workers, whose jobs are threatened by the decision of the global giant Tata to sell off all its steel production plants in Britain, and junior doctors marched ahead of the main banner, which was supported by Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, amongst others.
Before setting off, the crowd was addressed by Dianne Abbott MP and junior doctors involved in organising strikes against the new contract that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is seeking to impose. Abbott said: "I'm so glad to be here to pass on Jeremy Corbyn's absolute support for this demonstration. There couldn't be a more important movement and demonstration than this one today.”
All the main trade unions were there, along with dozens of community groups, left and progressive political groups and campaigns: Stop the War, Unite Against Fascism, Greater London Pensioners, Sisters Uncut and many, many more. The Fire Brigades Union’s fire engine was there, travelling very slowly in the crowd.
There were scores of union banners, giant balloons from different unions, several bands and thousands of placards calling for “Dodgy Dave” to be ditched, telling us: “The Tories put the N in cuts” and mental health workers carrying a banner proclaiming: “Equality is the best Therapy”.
The marchers packed Trafalgar Square completely when they arrived to hear Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell speak. He said: “As a Labour government, when we get into power we will end austerity.
“We will halt the privatisation of our NHS and make it public once again.
“And for all those people desperately waiting for a home – I can give this promise, we will build the hundreds of thousands of council homes that will end homelessness.”
The Hayes and Harlington MP also said that his party would scrap the work capability assessments affecting the disabled. He added: “The Panama revelations demonstrate that they have been robbing us for generations now. We will make the rich and corporations pay their way in society.”
Other speakers included Len McCluskey and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.
In a video message played to the demonstrators, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The austerity we are in is a political choice, not an economic necessity.”

The Day of the Sun in London

Chris Coleman (RCPB-ML) adding his tribute

 by New Worker correspondent
FRIENDS and supporters of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) were invited to the DPRK’s embassy last Friday evening, 15th April, to mark Korea’s Day of the Sun, which coincides with the birthday of Kim Il Sung 100 years ago.
Many of those attending brought flowers to lay in front of a portrait of Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il.
The DPRK ambassador Hyon Hak Bong made a brief speech outlining the life and achievements of Kim Il Sung, who began his revolutionary work against the Japanese occupation of Korea at just 14 years old.
Kim Il Sung went on to lead the Korean people to two great victories against foreign invaders: first the Japanese and then the United States in the 1950–53 war.
Invited guests then added their tributes to the Great Leader and his role in forging the Juche philosophy, uniting the communist movement when it was split between the Beijing and Moscow camps.
And then, after the revisionist Soviet leadership collapsed and communist parties all around the world were collapsing, Kim Il Sung and the Workers’ Party of Korea pulled the global communist movement back together at a conference in Pyongyang and gave communists confidence to fight on – now stronger because the revisionists had departed.
The New Communist Party was represented by Daphne Liddle who delivered flowers, respect and congratulations to the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Protesters call for Cameron to go

THOUSANDS of protesters descended on Downing Street on Saturday 9th April, at very short notice, to demand David Cameron’s resignation after a week of admissions, dragged one-by-one from the Prime Minister, about his and his family’s connections with offshore investments.
This delivery left everyone wondering what new revelations were coming next in relation to the leaking of the “Panama Papers” from the database of the Panamanian lawyers Mossack Fonseca.
After more than 10 years of savage austerity cuts imposed by Cameron many people are very angry that he appears to be amongst the millionaires who have salted away most of their wealth into offshore trusts where it cannot be taxed.
As Jeremy Corbyn told the House of Commons, if those people had paid their taxes most of the austerity cuts would not have been necessary.
Cameron, of course, pleads that he has done nothing wrong; he has not broken the law, even though a few years ago when comedian Jimmy Carr was pursued by the HM Revenue and Customs over hiding a large part of his income in offshore trusts, he said that even though it might be legal it was not moral.
Now Cameron is guilty by his own words but his real crime is presiding over a government that has failed to make this sort of tax avoidance illegal. This failure has cost the lives of many who have had benefits sanctioned and committed suicide, or had their deaths hastened by hunger and/or stress. Thousands have been made homeless by housing benefit cuts.
He is under yet more pressure after an unearthed 2013 letter shows that he urged the EU to shield offshore trusts from a crackdown.
Many of the protesters who came to Downing Street last Saturday were dressed according to Panamanian fashion and they all had one message for Cameron: “Resign!”
A huge paper pig was erected by the protesters, with Cameron’s image pinned to its face.
The rally moved to Trafalgar Square, then along the Strand to the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden where the Tories were holding their Spring Conference.
Among the protesters was pop singer Lilly Allen. She told the press: “I think he's been dishonest and the trust has gone. I just think it's really important that young people take more of an interest in politics so that's why I'm here really. I think lots of people in my position don't because they're scared of the repercussions.”
One protester commented: “A lot of people feel they have lost confidence in the Government,” while another added: “This is a symptom of a much more important disease, our economic system is broken, as it favours huge tax avoidance.”
American National Security Agency (NSA)  whistle-blower Edward Snowden, now living in Russia, on Friday urged the British people to demand Cameron’s resignation from government.
Cameron was accused of hypocrisy after he finally admitted profiting by more than £30,000 in an offshore tax haven. After days of pressure, he acknowledged he had benefited from a controversial fund set up by his late father Ian.

Comrades mark Kim Il Sung anniversary

by New Worker correspondent
Comrade Thae holding up the New Worker!
AT THE HEIGHT of the Cold War NATO forces staged an intimidating war exercise along the length of the border between eastern and western Europe involving 120,000 troops from assorted NATO countries.
This year NATO forces, along with Japanese and south Korean troops, staged an aggressive war exercise, including practising the use of  nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, in the much smaller space of the south of the Korean peninsula involving 300,000 troops.
The exercise included goals entitled: “behead the leader” and involved practising invasive beach landings. And they wonder why the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been motivated to develop its own nuclear weapons!
This information was delivered by Comrade Thae Yongho, a representative of the DPRK embassy in London, to a meeting of the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) and the Juche Idea Study Group of England in central London on Saturday 2nd April  to celebrate the 104th anniversary of Korean revolutionary leader Kim Il Sung and the DPRK Day of the Sun.
Dermot Hudson outlined the life of Kim Il Sung and the contributions he made to communist unity throughout the world, especially at a time when there was an ideological war between Moscow and Beijing that led to sectarian divisions and even violence between the different factions throughout communist parties across the world.
Kim Il Sung, and his son and successor Kim Jong Il, developed the Juche idea, which is based on the principle that human society is the master of its own destiny; that communist parties in different countries should work out their own path to socialism according to their circumstances; that they should respect each other but not rely on each other for protection nor to set out what political line they should take. Each party and its membership must be responsible for its political line and actions.
They went on to develop the Songun, or Army First, policy, which does not mean a military dictatorship but that the army should be engaged in civil construction and other work, creating a better standard of living for the people and creating a long-lasting bond between the people and the army.
And so the country has raised itself up and, despite United States imposed sanctions and natural disasters like flooding, has steadily raised the standard of living so that people in the DPRK now enjoy a life well balanced between work and leisure that their grandparents could hardly have dreamed of – where there is respect and affection between the generations, guaranteed housing, free healthcare and education. and a life with much less stress and anxiety than in our society.
Other speeches were made by Sean Pickford, Nick Shakespeare, Alex Meads and Daniel Braggins, and there was a film shown of DPRK defence exercises.

The US has lost the battle in Syria

 by New Worker
Dermot and Prof Majid
MEMBERS of various parties met on Thursday 31st March in central London at a New Worker discussion meeting on the wars in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, introduced by Professor Kamal Majid, an Iraqi communist in exile, Theo Russell from the New Worker and Dermot Hudson in the Chair.
Kamal Majid said: “The situation is changing very fast and the war in Syria won't be going on for much longer. Even former Liberal-Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown and former US Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz admit that the US has lost the battle in Syria. The US has now decided to take over Iraq, with the aim of separating Iraq and Syria, and disrupting Syria's friendship treaties with Iraq and Iran.”
“But,” he said, “in reality the war in Syria is not a local war. The US had been intervening even before the anti-government protests began in 2011, and its real aim was to remove the Russian naval base at Tartus.”
He said: “Eighty-five per cent of ISIS fighters are Iraqis, most of whom blame the US, which has caused all the problems.”
Four million Sunni refugees had fled from ISIS-occupied regions in Iraq and are living in tents and with no toilets."
Kamal said Vladimir Putin was now hugely popular in the Middle East: “After the US defeat in Syria, middle eastern leaders are now moving towards Putin, as the US is seen as unreliable. Russia's foreign policy is to be friends with everyone, even Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.”
Commenting on the plan for an autonomous federation in northern Syria, Kamal said: “Up to now the Syrian Kurds have shown support for Syria and Russia, and the leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD) has visited Moscow, but the US wants to turn the PYD into its ally.”
Theo Russell said that a year ago it was proving difficult for the Syrian Arab Army to sustain the war, but Russia's limited intervention had transformed the situation and paved the way for genuine peace talks with the Syrian opposition.
He said he said that the Arab League had refused to recognise the Syrian Kurdish federation plan, and backed “the unification of Syrian territories”. But he warned of a possible Kurdish–US alliance and said that there was a US–NATO “Plan B” to divide Syria into separate entities.
He said long-term US policy had been to destroy secular regimes, such as is Iraq, Libya and now Syria, and to destroy nation states, as in the former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. He added that US power was not limitless, and  had suffered defeats in Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
He pointed out that Security Council resolution 2254 (November 2015) supported strikes against “terrorist acts committed by ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front” and their allies, adding that until then the US–NATO bombing had no legal basis.
Theo also said that the US was protecting the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front: “According to French intelligence, US air strikes against Isis avoided hitting al-Nusra, and US pilots were returning from 75 per cent of missions against Isis saying they couldn’t find targets. And at the Munich security conference John Kerry proposed to: ‘Leave the al-Nusra Front off-limits to bombing, as part of a ceasefire, at least temporarily, until the groups can be sorted out'.”