Verse

James Connolly's The Legacy

Come here my son, and for a time put up your childish play,
Draw nearer to your father’s bed, and lay your games away.
No sick man’s ’plaint is this of mine, ill-tempered at your noise,

James Connolly's The Legacy: The Dying Socialist to His Son is a powerful exposition in verse of the socialist view of working people throughout history.

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Challenging the nationalist narrative

Author: 

Janine Booth

From its declaration of war in 1914, Britain’s ruling class appealed to patriotism to boost its support and its military recruitment. By 1916 both were flagging. On the pages of socialist newspaper The Herald, poets used verse to question both nationalism and the war’s aims. When the government asked men to fight for King and Country, was it shielding its true motives?

From its declaration of war in 1914, Britain’s ruling class appealed to patriotism to boost its support and its military recruitment. By 1916 both were flagging. On the pages of socialist newspaper The Herald, poets used verse to question both nationalism and the war’s aims

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The last speech of Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco

This is the famous last speech of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the class-war prisoner who, alongside Nicola Sacco, both of them anarchists, died in the electric chair in August 1927, framed by the US authorities. This speech, despite its broken English, is so beautiful and moving that it falls naturally into verse form. No-one has ever expressed more splendidly and with such stirring, simple language the aspirations and hopes of all those who fight for a better world. Once read, these words form part of every socialist’s heritage.

This is the famous last speech of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the class-war prisoner who, alongside Nicola Sacco, both of them anarchists, died in the electric chair in August 1927, framed by the US authorities. This speech, despite its broken English, is so beautiful and moving that it falls naturally into verse form. No-one has ever expressed more splendidly and with such stirring, simple language the aspirations and hopes of all those who fight for a better world. Once read, these words form part of every socialist’s heritage. This typographical arrangement of Vanzetti’s speech first appeared in Labor Action, an American socialist weekly.

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Verses from the First World War: Conscientious Objectors

Author: 

Janine Booth

Once the Military Service Act come into force in 1916, men aged 18-41 had to apply to a Military Tribunal if they believed that they had a reason not to be drafted. The majority had health, work or family reasons, but 2% were Conscientious Objectors (COs): men who objected to military service because they objected to war.

Once the Military Service Act come into force in 1916, men aged 18-41 had to apply to a Military Tribunal if they believed that they had a reason not to be drafted. The majority had health, work or family reasons, but 2% were Conscientious Objectors (COs): men who objected to military service because they objected to war.

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Verses from the First World War: conscription

Author: 

Janine Booth

One hundred years ago this week, conscription came into force in Britain. The Military Service Act placed men between 18 and 41 years of age into the army reserve unless they were married (this exemption was removed later in 1916), widowed with children, serving in the Royal Navy, a minister of religion, or working in a “reserved occupation”. The initial rush of volunteers had dried up by this time, and while poverty continued to make signing up as a soldier an attractive option for some men, recruits were being killed at a faster rate than they could be replaced.

One hundred years ago this week, conscription came into force in Britain.

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Verses from the First World War: poets against profiteering

Author: 

Janine Booth

As the First World War progressed, working-class people became more aware, and resentful, of those profiteering from their suffering. While men were wounded and died in the trenches, and men, women and children at home suffered appalling poverty, capitalists saw the war as an opportunity to make money. Poets addressed this with anger, mockery and wit. The three poems here were all published by anti-war labour movement newspaper The Herald a century ago in 1916.

As the First World War progressed, working-class people became more aware, and resentful, of those profiteering from their suffering. While men were wounded and died in the trenches, and men, women and children at home suffered appalling poverty, capitalists saw the war as an opportunity to make money. Poets addressed this with anger, mockery and wit. The three poems here were all published by anti-war labour movement newspaper The Herald a century ago in 1916.

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Ranting, Rhyming, Revolting

Author: 

Richard Driver

At the launch of Janine’s new book she reassured those worried about it not containing enough hating of Tories that their concerns were unfounded. And I want to reassure readers that the polemical potency of the poetry is not poorly presented.

A review of The 3 Rs: Ranting, Rhyming, Revolting by Janine Booth.

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A failure, and a crime

Author: 

Janine Booth

Janine Booth continues describing the history of what took place at Gallipoli. Part one can be found in Solidarity 388.


Guy Dawnay, one of Hamilton’s staff officers, went to London to tell the truth about what was happening. On 14 October, Britain’s Dardanelles committee sacked Hamilton, replacing him with Sir Charles Monro. By this time, the Allies were evacuating 600 men per day due to sickness and injury.

Gallipoli was not a war of national liberation, but an imperialist invasion. While other countries mark a national day on a date when they achieved self-governance or independence, Anzac Day falls on the anniversary of an attempted military conquest.

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Savage, bloody and pointless

Author: 

Janine Booth

The First World War was into its second year when Britain attacked the Dardenelles strait, a narrow passage of sea in the eastern Mediterranean overlooked by the Gallipoli peninsula.

The First World War was into its second year when Britain attacked the Dardenelles strait, a narrow passage of sea in the eastern Mediterranean overlooked by the Gallipoli peninsula.

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Heroes and Hordes

Author: 

Janine Booth

If Nicholas Winton were saving the children today
His Transport of Kindness would camp out in fear at Calais
Compassion is easier cast back through history's mist
Abhorrence for migrants but Oscars for Schindler's List

No humans may cross here, this tunnel is only for freight
Hurrah for the Blackshirts and see off the swarms at the gate
They've kind words for history, now for the iron-clad fist
Coldness for Calais and Oscars for Schindler's List

A poem about migration now and in the 1930's.

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