Opinion

Passchendaele: the foulness of their fate

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The battle which came to be known as Passchendaele took place in Belgium in the second half of 1917. Steve Guy describes the horror faced by soldiers crawling through mud that had become like quicksand.

At the south east corner of the town of Ypres stands the Menin Gate, a vaulted arch mausoleum built of red brick and Portland stone and opened in 1927. It is a memorial to the missing British and Commonwealth soldiers from the five battles that took place in the area beyond the town during the First World War, known as the Ypres salient.

A positive message from Scottish Labour

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Most people on the left in Scotland will welcome the election of Richard Leonard as the new leader of Scottish Labour. Clearly identifying himself as a socialist, though not as a “Corbynista”, his vote represents a major step forward for all those looking to see Labour become a party in Scotland which challenges the Tory agenda of austerity, cuts and the scapegoating of refugees and immigrants.

Korean War: ‘Systematic and ruthless destruction’

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It is important that we remember the war that created the belligerent North Korean regime, writes John Newsinger, and that Britain's Labour government supported it at the time, though the public didn't.

The threat that Donald Trump made at the United Nations to “totally destroy” North Korea should not be dismissed, not least because in the early 1950s another US president, Harry Truman, actually did destroy North Korea. Moreover, the destruction of the country was carried out with the full support of the UN, indeed on behalf of the UN.

US aerial bombardment literally laid the country waste. This crime was perpetrated when there was a sensible moderate Democrat in the White House rather than a pathological right wing narcissist.

Letter from Catalonia

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It’s important for the left to understand what’s at stake in the independence debate, writes David Karvala.

On 1 October 2017 Catalonia is to hold a referendum on the question “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?”

The Spanish state aims at all costs to stop the vote, with administrative and judicial measures as well as covert operations.

Catalonia is a nation of around 7.5 million people at the eastern end of the Iberian Peninsula.

Scotland feels the Corbyn effect

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The gears are shifting in Scottish Labour, in a direction that Kezia Dugdale didn’t like, as evidenced by her resignation as leader.

She stood down immediately after Jeremy Corbyn’s tour of Scotland in late August, which saw him speak to thousands of supporters — including in Glasgow at the Govanhill Against Racism Carnival and the Central Mosque.

Corbyn has set his focus on developing his support in Scotland through the Campaign for Socialism (CfS) group.

#grime4corbyn caught a mood

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One of the most remarkable aspects of the general election was the extent to which young people rallied behind Jeremy Corbyn. Approximately 250,000 registered to vote on deadline day alone and two thirds of those who cast a ballot voted for Labour.

That electoral surge included the frankly astonishing sight of the decidedly uncool Corbyn being hailed by a host of young black musicians including Akala, Riz Ahmed and JME. Moreover that support coalesced into a movement, #grime4corbyn, and a range of activities including a campaign rally in north London.

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