Opinion

Declassified

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On 4 December 1935, England played Germany at White Hart Lane, the Tottenham Hotspur football ground in north London. The game was seen by the Nazis as a great political and propaganda coup, especially coming so soon after Hitler devised the racist Nuremburg Laws that deprived German Jews of their citizenship and civil rights. In England, the decision to go ahead with the game met with considerable opposition, but the Conservative government and its supporters, together with Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, were positively enthusiastic.

To save nature, we must destroy capitalism

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The struggle for the natural world has always pitted the left against the right, now it’s become a battle for survival, argues Sarah Ensor

In the 19th century some scientists tried to understand the work of the ‘creator’, while others wanted knowledge to improve people’s lives. Chemist Justus von Liebig was trying to solve capitalism’s developing crisis of soil fertility in farming. His research into nitrates and chemical interactions in soil began to show that declining soil fertility was caused by the processes of capitalism, and was not natural. This work was deeply influential on Marx and Engels’s ecological thinking in relation to metabolic rift and the dialectics of nature.

Another black September

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“We, the Palestinians, are losing our shadow!” These are the words of 32-year-old Sanaa abo Gazal when I asked her to describe what life is like today in Gaza, the world’s largest prison. The people there simply cannot get out from under the 13-year siege imposed by Israel and Egypt. “They are waiting for their soul to come out of their body,” Sanaa says. “Two million are under siege. Two million are in curfew. No food. No electricity all day. No water every week. Some of us are waiting for the mercy of the Gulf states, dreaming of having the $100 from Qatar.”

Why we make no compromise with Holocaust denial

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The left faces a challenging battle in the fight against allegations of antisemitism over coming months. The attacks did not end with Labour’s election defeat or Jeremy Corbyn’s departure as leader. Indeed, the probusiness and pro-imperialist wing of the party is stepping up its onslaught. This is an attack that extends to the entire left. A huge responsibility will fall upon the left to face this onslaught in a principled fashion, and to expose the false conflation between anti-Zionism and antisemitism that lies at the core of the allegations.

The cruel exploitation of elderly people

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During the pandemic care workers were thrown into the frontline with little support or PPE, caring for the elderly that had been abandoned to the privatised care industry, writes Jenny Dalgleish

If COVID doesn’t kill them loneliness will.” Time and again I heard this from care workers as those we care for, already so isolated, spent months in near solitary confinement, in their own homes or in residential care. The cafés, church lunch groups and day services were closed and families were banished. Particularly for older people living alone, often in pain or in grief, lockdown has been devastating. The government initially wanted to allow the virus to rip through the population, only implementing lockdown, too late, to prevent the NHS being completely overwhelmed.

Why Ireland is saying ‘we are not going back’

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Conor Reddy on how the emergency response to the pandemic has strengthened the demand for an all Ireland national health service

A particular effect of the pandemic has been the exposition of long running structural deficiencies in the provision of healthcare across Ireland. In the most acute phase of the pandemic, the real threat of hospitals being overwhelmed forced unprecedented action from governments North and South — budgets were increased, recruitment moratoriums lifted and private hospital capacity was taken into public control.

The ‘hostile environment’ is targeting the most vulnerable

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Covid-19 disproportionally affects BAME people and migrants, yet they have most to fear from seeking treatment, writes Jim Fagan

Since 2015 new health regulations have introduced charges for a growing number of patients wanting to access NHS services. Since then, NHS Trusts must identify and charge people deemed ineligible for free care. People who live outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland will require health insurance when they visit the UK, and those with no insurance will be charged at 150 percent of the NHS national tariff for any care they receive. An Immigration Health Surcharge has also been introduced.

Battle for the supreme court

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Donald Trump is set to nominate a successor to liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on 18 September. His declaration speaks volumes about the opportunism of the ruling elite. Trump is proposing Amy Coney Barrett, described as a “social conservative”. She is pro gun, anti immigration and against abortion. His calculation is that he can increase his appeal among women that support the religious right’s reactionary agenda. Any nomination must be ratified by the Senate and it is here that the cynicism is most clearly exposed.

No longer playing by the rules

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When US sports stars led an unofficial walkout over the police shooting of Jason Blake, the season was over. Then Obama intervened, and that’s the problem with the Democrats, writes Virginia Rodino

Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African-American man, was shot seven times in the back in front of his children by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on 23 August. The bullets wounded his arm and damaged his stomach, kidney and liver. He remains paralyzed in hospital. Three days later Milwaukee Bucks, a professional team in the National Basketball Association (NBA), were inspired to collective action and decided not to play, in protest at the attack. The move came as a surprise to the rest of the league.

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