Opinion

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.

QAnon’s threat from beyond the fringe

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The idea that Covid-19 was created by a cabal of satanists is fusing with conspiracy therories about 5G and vaccines. It may sound like a plot of a B Movie, but it’s gaining traction, warns Richard Donnelly

Along with the public health catastrophes and economic and social dislocation triggered by Covid-19, we have seen a pandemic of paranoia. Theories that the virus was created in a biological weapons laboratory or that epidemic diseases are part of a shadowy plot to depopulate the world have interwoven with previously marginal fears about the dangers of vaccination and 5G telecommunications infrastructure. Now these theories are fusing with opposition to public health measures.

Declassified

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In the grounds of Lews castle on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides there is an impressive monument commemorating the achievements of a certain James Matheson. It was erected in 1880, some two years after his death and renovated in 2006. He was the second biggest landowner in Britain, had been a Liberal MP for over twenty years, was a governor of the Bank of England and for many years was chairman of the giant shipping company P&O. He is celebrated on his monument as ‘a child of God…a good and faithful servant’ who had been welcomed into Heaven.

Rebellious Daughters: Elaine Brown & Anne Knight

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Elaine Brown & Anne Knight
Elaine Brown (1943-) grew up in North Philadelphia with her single mother Dorothy Clark. Despite desperate poverty, Dorothy worked hard to provide Elaine with a good education. Elaine moved to California and worked as a cocktail waitress at a strip club. She soon became involved with the Black Liberation Movement and began working for the radical newspaper Harambee.

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