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The British economy creates lots of jobs – not lots of pay rises | Philip Inman1h 32m The British economy creates lots of jobs – not lots of pay rises | Philip Inman
The UK has created many part-time or self-employed roles, with new full-time posts going to older workers, mainly in and around London Jobs, jobs, and more jobs. That is Britain’s economic success story of the last 10 years. While public services crumble and the welfare budget continues to be squeezed, when planning for a no-deal Brexit has displaced almost all other activities in Whitehall, ministers can always point to
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Corbyn has committed to a people’s vote, so why do remainers still attack him? | Owen Jones2h Corbyn has committed to a people’s vote, so why do remainers still attack him? | Owen Jones
A Labour election victory is the only viable route to ending the UK’s polarising culture war over BrexitEssential to the success of any struggle is to recognise when you have won. It is less than a year and a half since the
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She holds the key to the Brexit deadlock. But will Arlene Foster dare use it? | Katy Hayward2h She holds the key to the Brexit deadlock. But will Arlene Foster dare use it? | Katy Hayward
Improbably, the DUP leader finds herself with the power to change the course of European historyYou may not realise it, but Arlene Foster is one of the most powerful politicians in contemporary Europe. In the bizarre and tumultuous state of British politics, this fact is one that will stand among the most historically significant. It is an extraordinary situation. Foster is a member of a regional legislative assembly that hasn’t sat for
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Think only authoritarian regimes spy on their citizens? | Kenan Malik6h Think only authoritarian regimes spy on their citizens? | Kenan Malik
Use of AI surveillance technology is becoming the global norm, even in liberal democracies Almost half the world’s countries now deploy AI surveillance systems. So says a new report,
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Golden toilets, golden arches. As for David Cameron... | David Mitchell7h Golden toilets, golden arches. As for David Cameron... | David Mitchell
Like the thieves who stole the glittering khazi, our memoir-hawking former prime minister seems to have got off scot-free Like most people, I enjoyed the news of
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Tiny changes might seem insignificant. But they are how we save the planet | Peter Beaumont7h Tiny changes might seem insignificant. But they are how we save the planet | Peter Beaumont
Greta Thunberg and her Extinction Rebellion peers remind us that activism is not just about lobbying for change, but doing it ourselves There is a celebrated line in Jared Diamond’s
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May I have a word about… Facebook claiming the word ‘book’ | Jonathan Bouquet7h May I have a word about… Facebook claiming the word ‘book’ | Jonathan Bouquet
Does Mark Zuckerberg think people are too stupid to know the difference between the social media giant and, well, a book? It’s the bare-faced impudence of Facebook that takes the breath away. Mark Zuckerberg’s seemingly uncontrollable behemoth, having exerted ownership over “like”, “wall”, “poke” and “quest”, is now seeking to lay claim to the word “book” in Europe. It was
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What is it about Britain that has produced such a litany of failed leaders? | Will Hutton8h What is it about Britain that has produced such a litany of failed leaders? | Will Hutton
Today’s Tory and Labour politicians lack the will of their predecessors to reach out to others across the social divide Britain faces a crisis of political leadership. Neither the right nor the left of politics is capable of throwing up a figure who can bind their respective coalitions together and sustain parliamentary majorities best to navigate Brexit or Remain and their aftermath. Faith in parliamentary democracy is plummeting; belief in strongman politics is rising; the view that there is an elite, of which the political class is a member, intent only on feathering its own nest and pursuing its own sectarian interests, is widespread.
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The failed Watson plot exposes what really scares Corbyn and his coterie | Andrew Rawnsley9h The failed Watson plot exposes what really scares Corbyn and his coterie | Andrew Rawnsley
Instead of focusing on winning the election, the Corbynite left are desperate to tighten their grip on the party for fear it will be broken by another defeat On the eve of the Labour conference, a
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Holyrood must show its heart is in the right place for all its citizens | Kevin McKenna9h Holyrood must show its heart is in the right place for all its citizens | Kevin McKenna
While showing compassion for the dying, the government must do more for those living on the margins Those of us who have been disobliging of Holyrood’s attempts to micro-manage Scottish society should resist the urge to gloat now that they are beginning to unravel. At the end of last week, John Swinney, Scotland’s education minister, was compelled to make a
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Labour has travelled a long way from the first Euro referendum to the third10h Labour has travelled a long way from the first Euro referendum to the third
Corbyn is claiming to emulate Harold Wilson in staying neutral over Brexit. But the reality of 40 years ago was very different My friend Tom McGuinness, who will be known to many as the lead guitarist in Manfred Mann (now the Manfreds), recently spotted a most moving Churchill quote on a D-Day memorial in Normandy. “Men will be proud to say ‘I am a European’. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native country.” Having at one stage early in the second world war proposed a union between Britain and France, the great man cooled on the idea. Later he called for a United States of Europe, but he was not in favour of our joining. Nor was Clement Attlee, Labour prime minister from 1945 to 1951. As for Attlee’s successor as Labour leader, Hugh Gaitskell, he was passionately against it, arguing that it would be an insult to “a thousand years of history”.
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Boris Johnson’s confrontation: don’t lose sight of the real story | Kenan Malik10h Boris Johnson’s confrontation: don’t lose sight of the real story | Kenan Malik
The PM’s hospital encounter led to an online frenzy while the state of the NHS was forgotten ‘The problem with politicians and political activists is that they are trapped in their own little bubbles.” If there’s one complaint that defines our age, it’s the accusation that those involved in politics are too removed from “real” people. The trouble is, when political activists show that they have the same concerns as everybody else, the complaint gets turned on its head. “But that’s not a real person, that’s a political activist.” So it was with the confrontation last week between Boris Johnson and
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Insights... efficiency is fine, but happiness at work is another kettle of fish | Thorsten Bell10h Insights... efficiency is fine, but happiness at work is another kettle of fish | Thorsten Bell
Vietnam’s fish-filleters show less banter is more productive, but people like to chat We are having a productivity crisis. More of us are working, but since the crash we’ve made almost no progress in getting more out of each hour. In part, that’s why we’ve had the longest pay squeeze in two centuries. But what affects our productivity? An answer has come from an unlikely source – fishmongers in Vietnam. And those of a sociable disposition are not going to like it. Many economists recognise the benefits of having similar companies in proximity. The story goes that “clusters” of particular types of businesses lead to higher productivity because people learn from each other. But does this apply to proximity of workers within a firm? Not so much is the answer from
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The Observer view on the Afghanistan peace process | Observer editorial11h The Observer view on the Afghanistan peace process | Observer editorial
America has a duty to make sure that democracy does not fail When Donald Trump revealed a secret plan for a “peace summit” with Afghan Taliban chiefs at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland earlier this month, the news caused a sensation. The idea that a group, officially designated as terrorists by the United States, was to be given the red-carpet treatment reserved for important allies shocked many in Washington. In fact, Trump had
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We fight for security and pensions | Letters11h We fight for security and pensions | Letters
For the University and College Union, better working conditions and contracts are every bit as important as pensionsPhilip Inman gave a misleading account of the University and College Union’s campaigns to defend university pensions and fight for job security and a manageable workload (“
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The Observer view on Labour’s lack of leadership over Brexit | Observer editorial11h The Observer view on Labour’s lack of leadership over Brexit | Observer editorial
Voters will not be fooled by Corbyn’s foolish prevarication Britain is gripped by political crisis. We have a prime minister bent on taking Britain out of the EU in just over a month, even if it means crashing out with no deal, with dreadful consequences for jobs and growth, for regional inequalities and for the union. Lacking any democratic mandate, Boris Johnson has shut down parliament for five weeks in an attempt to stop MPs from blocking him, a move whose legality the supreme court will rule on this week. Yet the Labour party is heading into its conference this weekend riven by splits over Brexit and sectarian attempts by Jeremy Corbyn’s allies to scrap the position of deputy leader. It represents a breathtaking failure of leadership by Corbyn. Never has Britain been in such desperate need of a leader of the opposition who can take on a prime minister who appears prepared to ride roughshod over the rule of law and who has shown such rank disregard for our democratically elected representatives. Yet Labour seems determined to show voters that it, too, is a hopelessly divided party that cannot reach consensus on its internal party structures, let alone a clear position on Brexit or a vision for the country.
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For authoritarians, stifling the arts is of a piece with demonising minorities | Elif Shafak11h For authoritarians, stifling the arts is of a piece with demonising minorities | Elif Shafak
As well as misogyny and homophobia, censorship is now a weapon for the popular rightEarly this month, Brazil’s leading literary event, the Bienal do Livro Rio, found itself at the centre of the country’s culture wars when a comic book was ordered to be confiscated by the authorities. The
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Baby Anoush offers a modish twist to past experiments in childrearing | Catherine Bennett21h Baby Anoush offers a modish twist to past experiments in childrearing | Catherine Bennett
The baby Anoush case offers a modish twist to past childrearing experimentsRegardless of their reasoning, the very ambition of the gender-neutral experiment embarked upon by parents Hobbit Humphrey and Jake England-Johns surely deserves some sort of recognition. As they have explained in a
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The Queen above politics? Not when Cameron and Johnson come calling | Nick Cohen22h The Queen above politics? Not when Cameron and Johnson come calling | Nick Cohen
She broke convention over independence for Scotland. She could do it again over BrexitThe Queen is a sham head of state. She cannot act as a constitutional president and force rival politicians to look for ways out of a national emergency. She cannot insist that the prime minister obeys the rules, because there are too few rules in Britain and too many woozy, unenforceable conventions. Elizabeth II’s strength came from being “above politics”. Now even that pose – how can a head of state be above politics? – has been exposed, as Buckingham Palace’s “
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Justin Trudeau – not so much racist as shallow and ineffectual | Leah McLaren22h Justin Trudeau – not so much racist as shallow and ineffectual | Leah McLaren
The blackface row has exposed the failings of the Canadian prime ministerAs a Canadian living in Britain, I’m pretty sure nobody on either side of the Atlantic really believes Justin Trudeau is a racist. Certainly not an afro-wig wearing, Banana Boat-singing, face-blacking one. Though, admittedly, he did do all those racist things and possibly more – it’s hard to know because
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The Mean Girls have had their day. Welcome to the new Machiavellians | Barbara Ellen22h The Mean Girls have had their day. Welcome to the new Machiavellians | Barbara Ellen
Young women deserve better than to be classed in an outdated, demeaning categoryFifteen years after the release of Tina Fey’s cult film
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We MPs know that Boris Johnson’s rhetoric is dangerous and divisive | Tracy Brabin and Jack Dromey25h We MPs know that Boris Johnson’s rhetoric is dangerous and divisive | Tracy Brabin and Jack Dromey
The current loss of civility in politics is alarming because the repercussions will be felt in the real worldAs members of parliament, we have borne witness to a change in the way in which politics is conducted in this country that deeply concerns us. Of course, politics can involve heated debate and there is no doubt that we have both been involved in fiery and impassioned exchanges over the course of our political lives. Politics involves important decisions that can have life-changing impacts and it is unsurprising that such debates and discussions involve emotion on the part of those involved.
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The language of Brexit ‘betrayal’ is poisoning politics | Jonathan Lis33h The language of Brexit ‘betrayal’ is poisoning politics | Jonathan Lis
A puritanical culture war has taken hold in which compromise is regarded as treasonFor a few weeks it was all going well for the so-called remain alliance. As Boris Johnson strained every sinew to facilitate the most damaging Brexit possible, bitter opponents Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson teamed up with other party leaders to force,
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Rape victims should not be forced to hand over their phones. It feels like more abuse | Anonymous34h Rape victims should not be forced to hand over their phones. It feels like more abuse | Anonymous
I work with victims and see them feeling anxious and unfairly treated by the police – as if they are the ones being investigated As someone who has supported and advocated for survivors of sexual abuse within the criminal justice system for more than 10 years, I have witnessed how victims of rape and sexual abuse have become subject to “digital strip searches”. Since
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Even bankers are starting to think Corbyn might be the safe choice now | Andy Beckett35h Even bankers are starting to think Corbyn might be the safe choice now | Andy Beckett
Faced with the Tories’ no-deal extremism and a glaring crisis in capitalism, the financial establishment is losing its fear of a radical Labour government Beneath all the noise of Brexit, an unexpected question is being quietly asked in British politics as an election nears. Is a Jeremy Corbyn government actually the safe option? If you’ve been persuaded by the years of warnings from most of the media and countless politicians that such a government would be extreme, chaotic, authoritarian and doomed to failure, you may find this question ridiculous. If you’re still a Corbynista, then the notion of him as a stabilising premier for today’s turbulent Britain may be equally absurd. For many believers, the whole point of Corbynism has been the possibility that it might lead to “the most radical government in British history”, as the leftwing theorist and activist Jeremy Gilbert
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