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She holds the key to the Brexit deadlock. But will Arlene Foster dare use it? | Katy Hayward3h 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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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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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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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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We MPs know that Boris Johnson’s rhetoric is dangerous and divisive | Tracy Brabin and Jack Dromey26h 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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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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The EU takes back control – Politics Weekly podcast 19 Sep 12:07pm The EU takes back control – Politics Weekly podcast
Heather Stewart is joined by Polly Toynbee, Ryan Shorthouse and Stewart Wood to discuss the latest on the supreme court prorogation hearing and Brexit negotiations, as well as party conference season As the supreme court grapples with the question of whether Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament was justified or not, the EU is still grappling with prime minister’s mystifying position on Brexit. Now it looks as though the EU’s patience has finally worn thin. On Tuesday, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, and Finland’s prime minister, Antti Rinne, set a two-week deadline to table a plan for replacing the Irish backstop.
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The climate crisis isn’t just causing extreme weather. It’s fuelling extreme politics, too | Nick Lowles 19 Sep 6:54am The climate crisis isn’t just causing extreme weather. It’s fuelling extreme politics, too | Nick Lowles
The far right is exploiting divisions created by climate breakdown. This must be challengedIn the past three weeks, we took the pulse of citizens in eight countries in the Americas and western Europe whose governments will prove critically important to global efforts to tackle the climate emergency.
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How a parent’s bid to save their school exposes the rotten core of our democracy | Aditya Chakrabortty 18 Sep 1:00am How a parent’s bid to save their school exposes the rotten core of our democracy | Aditya Chakrabortty
This battle shines a light on the Whitehall takeover of our education system – a rehearsal for the trashing of parliamentary normsSome defenders of democracy tog themselves up in suits, joust over case law and star on the teatime news. Others raise two boys single-handedly in a market town in Essex, carry a smartphone with a perma-cracked screen, and do their best work in the dead of the night when the kids have gone to bed and there’s finally a bit of peace and quiet. Like Shaunagh Roberts. Roberts doesn’t hang out in courtrooms and can’t quote Latin, yet her battle shines as bright a light on our corroded politics as any case in the
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Why the EU should stick to the Brexit deadline and rule out any extensions | Cas Mudde 17 Sep 5:00am Why the EU should stick to the Brexit deadline and rule out any extensions | Cas Mudde
Brussels has been suffering from a London syndrome since the initial shock of the EU referendum in 2016. Now it is high time to move on British politics is in turmoil … again. Since 52% of the Brits who voted in the referendum opted to leave the EU on 23 June 2016, British politics has been essentially a single-issue game. But so has European politics. This is why, irrespective of whether and when new British elections will be held, the EU should reject any possibility of further extending the 31 October Brexit deadline. A new extension of another few months only makes sense if a clear and realistic solution is just a matter of time. However, more than three years after the referendum vote, the UK remains deeply divided, at both the mass and the elite level.
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Cameron may have fought Brexit. But it was his policies that made it happen | John Harris 16 Sep 1:00am Cameron may have fought Brexit. But it was his policies that made it happen | John Harris
Though he now styles himself as the failed pioneer of a softer politics, he can’t escape responsibility for austerityHere he comes, wielding the delayed memoirs that will finally go on sale on Thursday, about to star in the
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I left Russia to escape Putin’s assault on reason. Now I fear the UK is on the same path | Peter Pomarentsev 14 Sep 2:21pm I left Russia to escape Putin’s assault on reason. Now I fear the UK is on the same path | Peter Pomarentsev
We need to develop a more collaborative political discourse, built on facts, not spinNothing is true and everything is possible. That was my one-line attempt to sum up the politics and propaganda that enveloped Russia at the start of the 21st century. It was a world where politicians no longer cared whether they were caught lying; where old ideologies were dead and conspiracy thinking had become the new way to explain the world; where all the old political categories (socialist and liberal, conservative and communist) seemed utterly meaningless and it was unclear what political parties stood for; where warped nostalgia and vague emotive calls to “Raise Russia From Its Knees” had taken over from any rational idea of the future. The same pathologies of public opinion I saw in Putinist Russia are now prevalent here
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Students, this is your chance to get Boris Johnson and the Tories out. Here’s how | Laura Parker 14 Sep 6:30am Students, this is your chance to get Boris Johnson and the Tories out. Here’s how | Laura Parker
Momentum’s new website will help young people to make their votes count in target marginals British politics may feel like it’s in flux – with
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The Guardian view on a children’s manifesto: families need more from ministers | Editorial 12 Sep 1:31pm The Guardian view on a children’s manifesto: families need more from ministers | Editorial
Opening schools at weekends for sports activities is one of a list of demands to which politicians should pay attentionChildren, says the government-appointed commissioner charged with representing their interests in England, lack a voice in politics. As a result, their interests are too often “subjugated to the interests of others”, or lost down the cracks between departments. The
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The Lib Dems’ plan to revoke article 50 is as undemocratic as the race to no deal | Stephen Kinnock 10 Sep 1:24pm The Lib Dems’ plan to revoke article 50 is as undemocratic as the race to no deal | Stephen Kinnock
Jo Swinson’s position polarises politics further. Only a deal that represents the referendum result can break the deadlockToday the Liberal Democrats have moved from being a party supporting a second referendum on EU membership to one that simply wants parliament to
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‘The United States is broken as hell’ – the division in politics over race and class 9 Sep 2:00am ‘The United States is broken as hell’ – the division in politics over race and class
In the final part of our series on the American left we look at how marginalized groups in America are now asserting themselves “However rebellious children may be, they have their parents’ genes; American radicals are Americans,” wrote the late radical
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Politics should be about getting things done – not creating drama | Kenan Malik 8 Sep 1:00am Politics should be about getting things done – not creating drama | Kenan Malik
Boris Johnson may be more entertaining than the last PM but what is he achieving?A prime minister willing to die in a ditch. A machiavellian adviser snared by his own ambition. Bloodletting and purges. Brothers falling out. An opposition leader trapped by his own indecision. It’s been a week of high political drama. Journalists and politicians have revelled in the brinkmanship, the bluffs, the clash of characters, the arcane plots. There will no doubt be a TV drama. And probably a David Hare play, too.
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The law must step in to fill the gap left by a wounded parliament | Nick Cohen 7 Sep 1:00pm The law must step in to fill the gap left by a wounded parliament | Nick Cohen
Our politics, as it stands, seems to have no way to deal with an unprincipled leader In
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The Guardian view on demography and politics: nationalist narratives must be challenged | Editorial 6 Sep 1:30pm The Guardian view on demography and politics: nationalist narratives must be challenged | Editorial
Women’s autonomy and reproductive rights must be upheld as far-right ideas gain groundThe
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Boris Johnson has shown why Britain’s constitution must be reformed | Meg Russell 6 Sep 10:13am Boris Johnson has shown why Britain’s constitution must be reformed | Meg Russell
As the prime minister has abused the system, he has exposed its weaknesses, but also some of its strengthsRecent events in British politics have stretched the capacity of our constitutional norms to their limits. But what have they collectively taught us? They highlight worrying weaknesses – but also some less-discussed strengths.
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Britain is facilitating the slaughter in Yemen. Where is our outrage? | David Wearing 6 Sep 6:27am Britain is facilitating the slaughter in Yemen. Where is our outrage? | David Wearing
British planes and British bombs are spearheading the killings. Politicians and the media must raise their voices in opposition Nothing can diminish the threat of a disorderly Brexit, or the significance of Boris Johnson’s recent anti-democratic prorogation of parliament. That those stories lead the news is no surprise. But when our government provides crucial support to a campaign of indiscriminate killing in Yemen that has claimed the lives of thousands of people, and this is treated as a footnote in our politics rather than a national scandal, it is plain that something has gone badly wrong. This week a
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Johnson is acting like a winner. But reality may have other ideas | Martin Kettle 5 Sep 1:18pm Johnson is acting like a winner. But reality may have other ideas | Martin Kettle
Although the prime minister wants to frame any election as a people versus parliament battle, there’s no easy path to victoryWhen a football team loses its first four games of the season, the manager’s job is on the line. Could the same thing happen with Boris Johnson’s prime ministership? It seems unlikely, so soon after the ousting of Theresa May. And yet politics, like football, is a results-driven game. This week, Johnson lost four big votes in the Commons. Last week he lost Scottish Tory leader
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Brexit: crisis for Boris Johnson as rebel MPs set to debate bill blocking no deal – politics live 4 Sep 2:37am Brexit: crisis for Boris Johnson as rebel MPs set to debate bill blocking no deal – politics live
Prime minister threatened to seek snap general election after crucial vote passed on Tuesday in Commons
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Brexit: crisis for Boris Johnson as MPs set to debate bill blocking no deal – politics live 4 Sep 2:24am Updated Brexit: crisis for Boris Johnson as MPs set to debate bill blocking no deal – politics live
Prime minister threatened to seek a snap election if a crucial vote was passed on Tuesday in parliament
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The One where Friends is Analysed to Death is not an episode we need to see | Frances Ryan 3 Sep 2:00am The One where Friends is Analysed to Death is not an episode we need to see | Frances Ryan
There are, of course, valid criticisms to be made regarding the politics of the 1990s sitcom. But why argue over its quality? Ahead of Friends’ 25th anniversary this month, the website
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Parliament returns for Brexit showdown – podcast 2 Sep 10:00pm Parliament returns for Brexit showdown – podcast
Jonathan Freedland joins Anushka Asthana to discuss a pivotal week ahead in British politics. Plus Prof Liz Bentley of the Royal Meteorological Society on the destructive force of Hurricane Dorian, which has been battering the Bahamas and is heading for the US It’s another crunch week in parliament. As MPs return to Westminster after the summer recess, they will find themselves faced with potentially life-changing decisions to make – for the country, their parties and their political careers. The stakes could barely be higher as Boris Johnson and his team use every trick in the book, including
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Johnson wants us to feel outrage. Let’s take back control – starting with ourselves | Peter Ormerod 30 Aug 4:59am Johnson wants us to feel outrage. Let’s take back control – starting with ourselves | Peter Ormerod
Shutting parliament is the latest wheeze from the trigger-happy Vote Leavers in power. Don’t buy into their politics of divisionWhat did you feel? Maybe it was anger, fury, fear. Perhaps it was excitement, hope, a certain thrill. It is unlikely that you experienced the announcement of
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Ruth Davidson should have been Tory leader. Instead, she’s on the sidelines | Ian Birrell 29 Aug 9:47am Ruth Davidson should have been Tory leader. Instead, she’s on the sidelines | Ian Birrell
The former leader’s resignation is a grim blow for Tory moderates, who have lost their party to a fanatical cabalThe resignation of a Scottish Tory leader does not tend to be seismic political news. I doubt, for instance, many people south of the border could recall the name of the last woman to stand down from this post eight years ago. Yet Ruth Davidson has always been different, from her personal story to her style of politics – and this is why her
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Politics-as-usual can’t fix the climate crisis. Maybe it’s time to try a citizens’ assembly | David Farrell 28 Aug 9:56am Politics-as-usual can’t fix the climate crisis. Maybe it’s time to try a citizens’ assembly | David Farrell
Extinction Rebellion is calling for the approach that ended Ireland’s abortion deadlock to be used in the UKThe climate crisis demands an urgent, realistic and sustained response from governments around the world: such a response will inevitably require sacrifices from all of us. And there lies the rub for our systems of representative democracy. How can politicians facing short-term constraints (particularly the need to be re-elected every few years) be expected to take the necessary decisions that require long-term and, probably, quite painful change on the part of the citizens who get to vote for them?
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Populist parallels and points of difference in Britain and Italy | Letters 27 Aug 1:13pm Populist parallels and points of difference in Britain and Italy | Letters
Readers respond to Martin Kettle’s article on ‘the terrible twins of Europe’As someone who has written about the similarities between recent Italian and British politics, I welcome Martin Kettle’s attempt to interest a wider audience in this correspondence (
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Corbyn’s summit shows a no-deal Brexit is avoidable if MPs put tribalism aside | Jonathan Lis 27 Aug 12:16pm Corbyn’s summit shows a no-deal Brexit is avoidable if MPs put tribalism aside | Jonathan Lis
Today’s cross-party statement could be a watershed if our political parties can work togetherGood news from the bubble of party politics: Britain’s opposition leaders have today decided to
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Martin Rowson on the brave new world of trade deals – cartoon 26 Aug 1:02pm Martin Rowson on the brave new world of trade deals – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/picture/2019/aug/26/martin-rowson-post-brexit-trade-deals-pork-pie-licence-fee-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Dominic Cummings reminds me of Yanis Varoufakis – he could face the same fate | Duncan Weldon 26 Aug 4:00am Dominic Cummings reminds me of Yanis Varoufakis – he could face the same fate | Duncan Weldon
The hardline tactics of the No 10 adviser echo those of Greece’s finance minister in the 2015 crisis Covering the Greek crisis for BBC Newsnight in 2015 meant spending long days in a very hot Athens, eating too much room-service kebab and trying to stay on top of a series of twists and turns in Greek and European politics while all the time keeping an eye on the financial markets. The fundamental question was: will Greece do a deal or will it crash out of the euro? At the time, I had no idea that my crash course in European standoffs would prove useful to understanding what has emerged as the key question in British politics, Brexit: deal or no deal.
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To beat Trump in 2020, Democrats will need to get down and dirty | Nesrine Malik 26 Aug 3:30am To beat Trump in 2020, Democrats will need to get down and dirty | Nesrine Malik
The president has made identity politics part of his vision – progressives must fight back on those same terms The 2020 US presidential election is going to be about native entitlement. It’s going to be about race and immigration and deportation and Israel and every other wedge issue Donald Trump can summon to split the vote into “us” and “them”. He will become Chief Native, swelling his supporters’ sense of dominion over others less white. The campaign has already started; his social media presence has gone from ungainly swiping to a more coherent regular punching. He has in effect launched a cyber-bullying offensive. Trump will reduce people to tears, from
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Boris Johnson will have us laughing all the way to the food bank | Will Self 25 Aug 5:00am Boris Johnson will have us laughing all the way to the food bank | Will Self
The dialectical relation between politics and comedy is taking us somewhere deeply unfunnyHello, I’ll be standing in for David Mitchell this week, and Stewart Lee next. I’d like to apologise for this in advance: regular readers of this column have become used to scintillating satire from these two, delivered via crisp, witty prose. What do I have to offer in return? Nothing but grim jeremiads about the dreadful state we’re in – and pretentious, jargon-laden analyses about how we got here. True, I too was once a well-known light entertainer on national television, but in recent years I’ve fallen victim to the worst character trait of the ageing farceur: a desire to be taken … seriously – an inclination that has, quite rightly, coincided with my gently smelly slide down into Stygian obscurity. Bobbing about down here, I’ve begun to suspect that my status in our septic, MRSA-ridden isle exists in an inverse correlation to that of Her Highness’s current first minister. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that, in search of his destiny as “world king”, Boris Johnson turned to television to build his base, and in particular to the satirical news show
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An election is coming – and only all-party cooperation can stop no deal 23 Aug 4:34am An election is coming – and only all-party cooperation can stop no deal
The Women’s Equality party believes in collaborative politics. Will other parties put aside self-interest to tackle this crisis? With a snap
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When calling out environmental hypocrisy is nothing but a cynical ploy | Zoe Williams 23 Aug 12:59am When calling out environmental hypocrisy is nothing but a cynical ploy | Zoe Williams
Those who would benefit from climate inaction try to sabotage green politics by criticising activists. We must resist themEver since Al Gore first
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Boris Johnson is playing politics with Northern Ireland’s ‘delicate balance’ | Matthew O’Toole 22 Aug 6:09am Boris Johnson is playing politics with Northern Ireland’s ‘delicate balance’ | Matthew O’Toole
By asserting hard UK sovereignty in Northern Ireland, the prime minister is risking the country’s painfully won consensusControl and consent are intimately related. Where consent exists and is freely given, statements of control are unnecessary.
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Britain and Italy are now the terrible twins of Europe | Martin Kettle 21 Aug 1:00pm Britain and Italy are now the terrible twins of Europe | Martin Kettle
Poles apart for decades, the similarities are now uncanny as populist governments produce ever more extreme policiesFor most of the time since 1945, the politics and government of Britain and Italy have seemed like polar opposites. True, both were important European powers. True too, each had a place among the world’s major economies. Even now, Britain and Italy will be among the select group of economically powerful nations whose leaders will gather in the Second Empire splendour of Biarritz’s Hotel du Palais this weekend for the latest
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‘Self-care’: how a radical feminist idea was stripped of politics for the mass market | André Spicer 21 Aug 6:34am Updated ‘Self-care’: how a radical feminist idea was stripped of politics for the mass market | André Spicer
Audre Lorde proposed a series of calming activities as a way to survive adversity. Now it’s just another form of ‘me time’What do professional golfers, radical queer feminists and Instagram lifestyle influences have in common? They are all devotees of “self-care”. While the earlier self-help movement focused on improving yourself, the relatively new self-care movement
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Ignore the sneering: young people’s rage is an age-old sign of failed politics | Fiona Sturges 21 Aug 1:00am Ignore the sneering: young people’s rage is an age-old sign of failed politics | Fiona Sturges
Like the rockers and ravers before them, this generation treats the choices of their elders with alarm In the documentary Everybody in the Place, the Turner prize-winning artist
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If you can’t abide Jeremy Corbyn, learn from the moral of Ed Miliband | Aditya Chakrabortty 20 Aug 1:29pm If you can’t abide Jeremy Corbyn, learn from the moral of Ed Miliband | Aditya Chakrabortty
A coalition making cuts, a Labour leader jeered as a zealot, a rabid rightwing press. But this time, the stakes are even higherIn that moment you could feel British politics lurching out of its rut. Labour was about to pick its next leader – and instead of choosing the favourite, the old Tony Blair tribute act, voters were throwing a giant spanner in the works. They wanted the slightly gawky leftwing underdog. They wanted a transformed party, a bigger politics.
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The Guardian view on Gamergate: when hatred escaped | Editorial 20 Aug 1:25pm The Guardian view on Gamergate: when hatred escaped | Editorial
Five years after an online movement based on male rage started, its destructive effects have leached into our politics and daily livesFive years ago a young woman broke up with her boyfriend, who was so offended by this that he posted nearly 10,000 words of misery and self-justification to the internet – and set in motion a
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The Observer view on Jeremy Corbyn and stopping a no-deal Brexit | Observer editorial 18 Aug 1:00am The Observer view on Jeremy Corbyn and stopping a no-deal Brexit | Observer editorial
Dislike of the Labour leader should not be allowed to get in the way of Britain’s need for a national governmentNobody in life gets everything they want all of the time. We have to live with the cards we have been dealt and the decisions we have made, good or bad. So it is in politics. The majority of MPs who have expressed their opposition to a no-deal Brexit have to live with two realities they may find unacceptable. Jeremy Corbyn is a committed socialist, careless of division and widely distrusted. Boris Johnson is a prime minister steering Britain full tilt towards a moment of national peril propelled solely by the exigencies of extreme rightwing politics. Yet it is Corbyn who has tried to break the deadlock. It is against this background that MPs beyond the rightwing English nationalist laager into which Johnson has locked his party must assess Corbyn’s offer to create a
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If Caroline Lucas truly wants to stop a no-deal Brexit, she must work with Corbyn | Phil McDuff 13 Aug 6:25am Updated If Caroline Lucas truly wants to stop a no-deal Brexit, she must work with Corbyn | Phil McDuff
As a Green party member I find this intransigence embarrassing. Remainers need Labour’s helpI’m old enough to remember when “Caroline Lucas should lead a national unity government” was just another fringe idea found in the hinterlands of Twitter. Alas, a week is such a long time in politics that Caroline Lucas has managed to
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Joseph Fiennes: ‘I’ve done my bit for society – I’ve illustrated the patheticness of misogyny’ 12 Aug 1:00am Joseph Fiennes: ‘I’ve done my bit for society – I’ve illustrated the patheticness of misogyny’
The star of The Handmaid’s Tale says he doesn’t like to equate Donald Trump’s politics with the show. But, he adds, sometimes you just have to point out the blazingly obvious …‘It’s alluded to in the novel … someday, something will happen to Fred. Quite soon.” In a neutral-looking cafe in central London, Joseph Fiennes is talking about the future of his role in The Handmaid’s Tale. “Why, though?” I plead with him. “Why does he have to die?” “It’s in the novel,” Fiennes explains very patiently. “He’s got to. Come on, there are some very angry women in red out there.” When The Handmaid’s Tale first appeared on our screens in 2017, it was a bit like having an anxiety dream about the new politics, your subconscious supplying the sharp contrasts and glorious Technicolor, the brutally formal sexual violence and the intricate dystopian detail. There was a watchful intelligence in all the performances – particularly Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred, Fiennes as Fred and Yvonne Strahovski as Serena, his wife – which was arresting, and left you vaguely unsettled for a long time after each episode.
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The very idea of a united kingdom is being torn apart by toxic nationalism | Gordon Brown 10 Aug 4:00pm The very idea of a united kingdom is being torn apart by toxic nationalism | Gordon Brown
Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy is imperilling centuries of common purpose. It can’t be allowed to succeedThe first step to solving a problem is to see it clearly. And if we are to understand why we are facing not only our most serious constitutional crisis since the 17th century but an unprecedented economic calamity precipitated by a no-deal exit from the EU, we must recognise that nationalism is now driving British politics. Having set almost impossible terms for any negotiation with Europe and preparing to renege on legal obligations to pay our debts to the EU – the economic equivalent of a declaration of war – Boris Johnson’s government is hell-bent on conjuring up the absurd and mendacious image of the patriotic British valiantly defying an intransigent Europe determined to turn us into a vassal state.
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I’m a Brexit party MEP. With the Lib Dems, we can reboot Britain’s politics | Matthew Patten 9 Aug 3:00am I’m a Brexit party MEP. With the Lib Dems, we can reboot Britain’s politics | Matthew Patten
The cooperation between me and a fellow MEP shows that we can challenge the broken two-party systemThis is a story of hope and optimism. During the last European parliamentary session in Brussels, I sat down with a fellow British MEP over a coffee to discuss how we might work together to encourage a peaceful solution to the crisis in the
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A signal failure in modern politics | Brief letters 8 Aug 1:34pm A signal failure in modern politics | Brief letters
Wheelchair users and sports grounds | Footpaths | Mass shootings | Interrail | Baked potato recipes | SpadsI have seen wheelchair user fans at below pitch level at Stamford Bridge (
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The Guardian view on Labour and Scotland: a wound born of weakness | Editorial 8 Aug 1:33pm The Guardian view on Labour and Scotland: a wound born of weakness | Editorial
John McDonnell has left Labour facing both ways on a second Scottish referendum. But he thinks that is a price worth payingIf the shadow chancellor had planned a bombshell announcement that would create maximum havoc in the Scottish Labour party, it would look exactly like what he said this week. A second independence referendum is the hottest question in Scottish politics. Scottish Labour opposes it. Its leader Richard Leonard has repeatedly said that Labour would refuse permission to the Scottish nationalists to hold such a vote. Yet John McDonnell went to Edinburgh on Tuesday and, without consulting Mr Leonard, said
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After El Paso and Dayton, the left needs to reach out to men, not condemn them | Iman Amrani 8 Aug 12:00pm After El Paso and Dayton, the left needs to reach out to men, not condemn them | Iman Amrani
A lot of young men seem to be lost and disenfranchised, but only the likes of Jordan Peterson are engaging with them A horrific act of violence takes several innocent lives, a frantic live-stream details the events, terrifying mobile footage spreads rapidly online. Then come the tweets of condemnation from world leaders, followed by an onslaught of outrage split down partisan lines. The way that shootings, or suicide bombings, or knife attacks are politicised depending on the backgrounds of the perpetrators and the victims shows how successful these acts are in deepening the divisions in society. And that is one of the intentions that the perpetrators share, no matter their race or politics.
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John McDonnell has offered the SNP more than necessary on independence | Jonathan Freedland 7 Aug 6:40am John McDonnell has offered the SNP more than necessary on independence | Jonathan Freedland
There’s no way the Scottish National party would vote down a minority Labour government and put the Tories back in power In politics, it’s possible to have logic, and even principle, on your side – and still get it badly wrong. John McDonnell’s
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How the world’s dirtiest industries have learned to pollute our politics | George Monbiot 7 Aug 1:00am How the world’s dirtiest industries have learned to pollute our politics | George Monbiot
The fossil-fuel lobby is threatened by public concern over the climate crisis. So it’s buying influence to get the results it wantsThe tragedy of our times is that the gathering collapse of our life support systems has coincided with the age of public disservice. Just as we need to rise above self-interest and short-termism, governments around the world now represent the meanest and dirtiest of special interests. In the United Kingdom, the US, Brazil, Australia and many other nations, pollutocrats rule. The Earth’s systems are breaking down at astonishing speed. Wildfires
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The Observer view on how the left can thwart Johnson and Trump | Observer editorial 4 Aug 1:00am The Observer view on how the left can thwart Johnson and Trump | Observer editorial
Rightwing populism is a threat to democracy on both sides of the Atlantic, but ‘politics as usual’ won’t stop itMuch has been made in recent days of the supposed similarities between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. On a personal level, it is said, both men are boastful braggarts, frequently untruthful and skilled at self-promotion, which is pretty much all they care about. In terms of policy, both are rightwing populists wedded to a recklessly destructive form of regressive, pseudo-nostalgic nationalism. Both Johnson and Trump inspire strong feelings, especially in their detractors. Max Hastings, who was Johnson’s boss at the
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The Guardian view on no-deal planning: stop this political lie | Editorial 1 Aug 1:31pm The Guardian view on no-deal planning: stop this political lie | Editorial
There is no economic case for crashing out of the European Union. MPs must stop the government’s plans in their tracksBrexit is both a political and an economic choice. But a no-deal Brexit would be an entirely political one. Boris Johnson’s blustering openness to no-deal derives from many things. Partly it stems from the fact that, to the keenest leavers, Brexit has always been an article of belief rather a policy programme. Partly it derives from the fear that only a decisive break will puncture the threat from the nationalist Brexit party. Partly it follows from the fact that he and many like him do not ultimately care about the Northern Ireland peace process, and are not bothered about the concerns of the devolved nations either. In the end, however, a no-deal Brexit is an act of faith-based politics and not a rational choice. It would also have very serious and perhaps destructive economic consequences. Some of those are becoming clearer by the day in response to the Johnson government’s prioritisation of politics. The most instantly destabilising is the fall in the
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Millions are in deep poverty. Meanwhile, Johnson splurges £100m on advertising | Frances Ryan 1 Aug 5:54am Millions are in deep poverty. Meanwhile, Johnson splurges £100m on advertising | Frances Ryan
Welcome to the land of warped priority, where the Tories can find money for ruinous policies – but not for hungry familiesYou can tell a lot about a person by their priorities. It’s true with friends – say, the mate who ditches your birthday drinks for a date – but take a look at British politics, and it’s increasingly the case with ministers, or even the country.
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Labour risks total wipeout if it fails to take Boris Johnson seriously | Aditya Chakrabortty 31 Jul 1:00am Labour risks total wipeout if it fails to take Boris Johnson seriously | Aditya Chakrabortty
For the first time in years a Tory leader has a clear strategy and open chequebook. Labour must wake up to the threat How to beat Boris Johnson? British politics has no question more urgent. The prime minister is mere weeks from crashing the country out of the EU, a feat for which he is even now buying public consent with £100m of
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Boris Johnson is channelling a punk ethos to force through Brexit. It could work | John Harris 28 Jul 11:29am Boris Johnson is channelling a punk ethos to force through Brexit. It could work | John Harris
The prime minister’s taboo-busting, provocative approach has potential popular appeal“How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power? Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the 20th century.” Those words were written by the Labour hero
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Motherhood is good prep for politics | Brief letters 24 Jul 12:34pm Motherhood is good prep for politics | Brief letters
Motherhood | Awkward teacher encounters | Sheep | NHSI was bowled over by Nell Frizzell’s honesty and common sense (
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The UK is at its most combustible. And now it’s led by a man who plays with matches | Aditya Chakrabortty 24 Jul 1:00am The UK is at its most combustible. And now it’s led by a man who plays with matches | Aditya Chakrabortty
As our economy stutters and our politics turns sour, Boris Johnson will be trying to outflank Nigel Farage and the hardcore Brexiteers Me, me, me. That’s always been the bottom line for Boris Johnson, hasn’t it? And it’s what we’re all going to get now. A whole summer season devoted to just one man. His debut speech outside his new home on Downing Street! His first set of ministers to play with! His very own poll bounce! Morsel after marvellous morsel shall be served up in the papers and on TV by Conservative MPs and commentators. For his boosters, there will be the first 100 days of speeches and photo ops, and endless bloviating optimism. For his critics, there will be his vast yellowing back catalogue of falsehoods and flubs. For Johnson, all of them wind around to the same fabulous end: him, him, him.
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Why you don’t hear Trump or Farage talking about the tech revolution | John Harris 22 Jul 1:00am Why you don’t hear Trump or Farage talking about the tech revolution | John Harris
Protecting people against the chaos wreaked by automation should be a priority. But populists would rather talk about trade This week’s nightmare is the arrival of Boris Johnson; the autumn brings the Brexit watershed. Soon after, the 2020 US election takes shape, compounding the sense that politics everywhere is in a state of complete unpredictability. All that is clear, perhaps, is that the forces gathered around Brexit, Donald Trump and the various brands of European populism still think things are
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All change at number 10 - Politics Weekly podcast 18 Jul 1:07pm All change at number 10 - Politics Weekly podcast
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Aditya Chakrabortty, Isabel Hardman and John Crace to discuss next week’s prime-ministerial reshuffle Next week, it is likely that Boris Johnson will be announced as the 77th prime minister of the United Kingdom. But after a career littered with lies, casual racism, affairs and fantasy bridges, is Johnson really cut out to be PM? Joining
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This Commons vote shows how weak a Boris Johnson government would be | Rafael Behr 18 Jul 11:12am This Commons vote shows how weak a Boris Johnson government would be | Rafael Behr
The rebellion doesn’t indicate opposition to a hard Brexit, but it is a warning not to torch parliamentary democracy on the wayIt is a measure of how far British politics has passed through the looking glass that MPs feel compelled to put in law that prime ministers should govern with the consent of parliament. There was a time, not too long ago, when that sort of thing was understood as a convention underpinning democracy. The imminent arrival of
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Trump and the Squad both want the same thing – and Pelosi is in the way | Geoffrey Kabaservice 18 Jul 9:08am Trump and the Squad both want the same thing – and Pelosi is in the way | Geoffrey Kabaservice
They both want to make the progressive women the face of the Democratic party – to push the party further to the left – but Pelosi disagrees American politics makes some extremely odd bedfellows. That’s worth keeping in mind when trying to understand why Donald Trump Twitter-trolled four progressive, first-term congresswomen of color – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – in his now-infamous
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I reported on misogyny in parliament 29 years ago – shockingly little has changed | Jennifer Nadel 18 Jul 8:30am I reported on misogyny in parliament 29 years ago – shockingly little has changed | Jennifer Nadel
To stamp out bullying, harassment and sexism in Westminster, we need to shift the whole way we do politics
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The government is rubbish at social media. And no, a new PM won’t change that | Jack Bernhardt 18 Jul 4:00am The government is rubbish at social media. And no, a new PM won’t change that | Jack Bernhardt
Even if @10Downing Street did get a personality, the needs of the state and the messy habits of the internet just don’t matchIn unsure political times, one has to cling to particular certainties. Mark Francois’s face will grow redder and angrier the longer we delay Brexit. By January 2020, he should be visible from space. Chuka Umunna will, at some point, leave the Lib Dems to create a party called Alternative Change Politics, which he will leave within 45 minutes of registering it. Jeremy Corbyn will keep finding new and exciting ways to disappoint you. And regardless of who the new prime minister is, the government will continue to be absolutely rubbish at social media. Last week the government announced it was setting up the adorably pathetic
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The Guardian view on Theresa May’s farewell speech: she threw away her shot | Editorial 17 Jul 1:30pm The Guardian view on Theresa May’s farewell speech: she threw away her shot | Editorial
The prime minister had the opportunity to tell her party some hard truths about the Brexit choices it is making, and she missed itBritish culture reserves affection for failure if it is heroic, or even dogged, and in that spirit it is possible that history will not be as unkind to Theresa May as politics has been. The prime minister’s tenure in Downing Street ends next week with few policy accomplishments to her name and the single most important task – Brexit – messily incomplete. There is no evidence that the nation thinks warmly of her, although there is respect for her tenacity, stamina and probity. It is easy to find critics of her judgment, but no one thinks she has been venal. Critics who think her principles were the wrong ones acknowledge at least the aspiration to be principled. The contrast with her successor could hardly be starker.
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Pro-Europe Tories must locate their rebel spirit – and make the case for remain | Rafael Behr 16 Jul 1:14pm Pro-Europe Tories must locate their rebel spirit – and make the case for remain | Rafael Behr
As more leading Tories soften on no deal for the sake of their careers, principled moderates have only one option leftIf hardline Brexiteers were free to shop around for beatable enemies they probably wouldn’t change much about the current state of British politics. Their
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From Donald Trump to Boris Johnson, we’re moving from a post-truth world to a post-shame one | Alastair Campbell 15 Jul 12:40pm From Donald Trump to Boris Johnson, we’re moving from a post-truth world to a post-shame one | Alastair Campbell
Populism means never having to say you’re sorry, and never having to say you’re wrong. You just change the subject A confession: I tend not to read the online comments about anything I write for the Guardian. But as I am about to embark on a short “politics of mental health” speaking tour down under, I made an exception for the comments section beneath
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Labour MPs, remove Corbyn now. Change UK failed to transform politics – it’s your turn | Gavin Shuker 15 Jul 7:38am Labour MPs, remove Corbyn now. Change UK failed to transform politics – it’s your turn | Gavin Shuker
My former colleagues should not fear challenging their unrepentant leader. There are just 10 days of parliament leftLook, I get it. The headlines wrote themselves last week as more Change UK debris
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The Conservatives look like the party of privilege. We must invest in social mobility | Justine Greening 15 Jul 3:00am The Conservatives look like the party of privilege. We must invest in social mobility | Justine Greening
Emergency funding could tackle unequal access to education and opportunity, ending the bias against poorer young peopleThe Conservative party can only succeed if it’s in the centre ground of British politics and offers an antidote to Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left Labour party. We must be seen as the party of opportunity, as we were when I was a working-class teenager growing up in Rotherham. Yet the current Conservative party leadership battle – a candidate from Eton pitting himself against one from Charterhouse – makes us look like the party of privilege. When I was education secretary, I saw first-hand how privilege bias is hardwired into our education system and then beyond into business and careers. Any party committed to equality of opportunity should be determined to change this.
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Narcissists and cliques control the main parties and threaten democracy | Nick Cohen 13 Jul 1:00pm Narcissists and cliques control the main parties and threaten democracy | Nick Cohen
Labour and the Tories have been taken over by activists who seem to care little for the votersParty democracy is the enemy of representative democracy. Party democracy stops MPs speaking out against racism and warning of the perils facing their country. Party democracy makes politicians put their members ahead of their constituents. Party democracy makes them flatter coteries of arrogant obsessives. Party democracy is the enemy of conscience and judgment. To borrow a phrase, the party has become the enemy of the people. Who does your MP represent? Who are they frightened of? You and your neighbours? What creaking haycart brought you and the rest of your yokel friends into town? “Control of politics has passed to unelected and irresponsible members,” says the
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The roots of Labour’s antisemitism lie deep within the populist left | Jonathan Freedland 12 Jul 12:55pm The roots of Labour’s antisemitism lie deep within the populist left | Jonathan Freedland
Much of the hate spewed out against Jews harks back to conspiracy theories about bankers and the RothschildsIn Britain we sometimes imagine that populism lurks in our future or over there, in Donald Trump’s America or Viktor Orbán’s Hungary. Even those who are alarmed by the prospect of populist politics and all it entails take comfort that we’re not there yet, that it’s still some time, or distance, away. But what if that’s wrong? What if it’s already here?
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Faith in religion is dwindling, but when will British politics reflect that? | Polly Toynbee 11 Jul 7:58am Faith in religion is dwindling, but when will British politics reflect that? | Polly Toynbee
The decline in belief shown by the latest British Attitudes Survey is not reflected in diminished religious influence In these dark times the Enlightenment itself can seem in retreat. Fact-free emotion wins over reason and the hard-earned liberalism of centuries is thrown into reverse.
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The Guardian view on Kim Darroch’s resignation: a grim portent | Editorial 10 Jul 1:29pm The Guardian view on Kim Darroch’s resignation: a grim portent | Editorial
Boris Johnson’s failure to support the UK’s ambassador in Washington is a sinister indication of his priorities and characterDonald Trump was not yet elected US president when the UK voted to leave the European Union but those two ballot-box shocks of 2016 have become historically intertwined. For Conservative Eurosceptics, quitting the EU was inseparable from the ambition to strike a trade deal with Washington, and the arrival in the White House of a maverick economic protectionist did not change that calculation. On the contrary, the pro-Brexit side of British politics was soon captured by a Trumpian ethos, marked by contempt for international institutions, democratic norms and diplomatic protocol. The
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Women’s World Cup captured public’s imagination despite Fifa’s worst efforts | Marina Hyde 10 Jul 7:30am Women’s World Cup captured public’s imagination despite Fifa’s worst efforts | Marina Hyde
Patronising scheduling set it up to fail but players used their platform to highlight how the governing body lets them downGianni Infantino is one of those intensely political people who believe that as far as everyone else is concerned, there is no place for politics in football. It was just last year – at some grimly political press conference in Iran, naturally – that the Fifa president announced: “It’s very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics.” Is it? If so, the conclusion of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday suggests it is time to ask Infantino how that one’s working out for him. So much of the previous month’s tournament had felt exuberantly political, from the delicious insolence of Megan Rapinoe in pre-emptively
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The Guardian view on Jeremy Corbyn: new deeds and words needed | Editorial 7 Jul 1:30pm The Guardian view on Jeremy Corbyn: new deeds and words needed | Editorial
Given the politics of today the Labour leader cannot tackle the issues of antisemitism and Europe with yesterday’s argumentsA general who fights the previous war usually loses. When French commanders built the Maginot Line in the 1930s it was with the first world war in their minds. They proved that leaders who think they can win by imagining today’s battles can be fought on yesterday’s terrain will find themselves outflanked. But what can one say of a leader who thinks that victory can be secured by repeating a strategy from the last war that brought defeat? That is what Jeremy Corbyn is in danger of doing. Labour’s leader is coming under fire for sticking to his guns on antisemitism and
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They’ve got Ivanka, we’ve got Stanley Johnson. When did politics become a family affair? | Catherine Bennett 7 Jul 2:00am They’ve got Ivanka, we’ve got Stanley Johnson. When did politics become a family affair? | Catherine Bennett
The president’s daughter was rightly ridiculed at G20, but Boris’s father goes unchallengedIn the debate over Trump and Johnson, as to which man constitutes the more severe national embarrassment, the entry of Ivanka on to the world stage arguably gives the US monster an edge. For their achievements in lying, racism, conceit, incompetence, rudeness, jingoism, greed, crotch-length ties, laziness, fiscal opacity, diplomatic offences, hair choices, sexual incontinence and infantile fantasies featuring bridges, walls and tanks, the men are surely – taking into account that Johnson has yet to enjoy the enhanced misconduct opportunities that come with national leadership – well matched.
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Labour Remainers must try to seize control before the party becomes a historical footnote | Will Hutton 7 Jul 2:00am Labour Remainers must try to seize control before the party becomes a historical footnote | Will Hutton
Jeremy Corbyn’s wait-and-see approach no longer cuts it as a general election loomsThe Labour party is in peril. The flailing political right, intellectually bankrupt but keenly culturally aware, has unleashed a social and political civil war to save itself. Brexit marks not the end but the beginning of a new politics in which the right is transmuting into the party of English nationalists – the Brexit party engulfing mainstream Toryism. The ugly forces have to be confronted, argued against and beaten. No quarter is possible. By refusing to take up arms, the Labour party has colluded with the Brexit right, created the opening for the Lib Dems and Greens and thus permitted the emergence of a new multi-party system. If Labour continues to temporise, the first past the post electoral system will fell it. The Lib Dems, unapologetic Remainers who are beginning to recognise that their Keynesian tradition offers better policies for the times than soft Thatcherism, have the opportunity to become the new anchor of British progressive politics – strengthened, if they are sufficiently strategic, by working closely with the Greens.
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Neoliberal economics and other fairytales about money | Letters 4 Jul 12:34pm Neoliberal economics and other fairytales about money | Letters
Politics is not about a struggle over a fixed pot of money, says
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Is a no-deal Brexit back on the cards? – Politics Weekly podcast 4 Jul 12:12pm Is a no-deal Brexit back on the cards? – Politics Weekly podcast
Heather Stewart is joined by Jonathan Freedland, Owen Jones and Rachel Wolf to discuss the latest Tory leadership pledges, the new intake of European MEPs and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland As Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt do their utmost to drive the country off a no-deal cliff edge, business leaders, fellow politicians and the rest of the world look on aghast. While the Thelma and Louise of British politics wrestle over the steering wheel, we ask: are we really going to leave the EU without a deal?
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Boris Johnson embraces failure. But it’s the rest of us who will suffer for it | Frances Ryan 4 Jul 3:00am Boris Johnson embraces failure. But it’s the rest of us who will suffer for it | Frances Ryan
From life expectancy to cuts to basic services, Britain is decaying. And this would-be leader will do nothing to stop it “Expectation management” is a well-known tactic in politics, in which a party or politician’s own side plays down hopes to ensure that even the most average performance can be spun into a sign of success. Would-be prime minister Boris Johnson’s entire political career appears to be an example of this: in which a toxic mix of entitlement, class privilege and enablement by sections of the press has cast the smallest achievement – say, a new haircut and a smattering of Latin – as proof of worthiness for the highest office of state.
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The Guardian view on the social care impasse: hurting people and politics | Editorial 1 Jul 1:30pm The Guardian view on the social care impasse: hurting people and politics | Editorial
New rules and extra funding are urgently needed, but years of inaction show no sign of endingSomeone is going to have to pay for the social care that older people need and English councils cannot afford to buy.
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Owen Jones goes to Glastonbury: ‘Can you talk politics at a rave?’ 1 Jul 5:00am Owen Jones goes to Glastonbury: ‘Can you talk politics at a rave?’
Is there more to Glastonbury festival than a massive party in the sun? Owen Jones spent a few days at Worthy Farm finding out how trans activists cut through at a rave, how women are leading discussions and whether people can talk politics without mentioning Brexit
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How Boris Johnson’s Scotland problem could keep the Tories out of power | Katy Balls 1 Jul 1:00am How Boris Johnson’s Scotland problem could keep the Tories out of power | Katy Balls
Will the leadership contender’s pro-union media blitz be enough to win over reluctant Scottish members?Usually when a broadcaster airs vox pops on politics, they endeavour to make sure that the samples offer a balanced display of public opinion. But when Sophy Ridge took to the streets of Edinburgh for Sky News earlier this month to survey local opinion on Boris Johnson, there was little in the way of variety on offer. The comments from members of the public ranged from a Johnson premiership looking “quite scary” to being “incredibly divisive”. The highest praise was from a woman who thought he would “get us through Brexit” – before adding that she thought he was a “bit of a clown” generally. As Ridge summed up: “I’ll be honest, here in Edinburgh, it’s been hard to find anyone with a good word to say about Boris Johnson.” Perhaps that’s unsurprising when Johnson has a negative net approval rating of minus 37 in Scotland – the Brexit party’s Nigel Farage is more popular, on a mere minus 24. That
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Glastonbury isn’t just a fleeting experience – it’s a mirror of society | Miranda Sawyer 29 Jun 12:00pm Glastonbury isn’t just a fleeting experience – it’s a mirror of society | Miranda Sawyer
From green activism to food to sexual politics, the festival adopts the trends and sells them to the worldGlastonbury is another world. At least, that’s what it feels like when you’re there: it’s so vast, so utterly overwhelming. The size of Colchester is the latest comparison (as though that means anything to anyone). At night, if you stand at the back of the Green Fields, you can see the festival stretching down, twinkling, filling the valley all the way to the lit-up cross. Our tent is small, and so are you. Teeny-tiny you is inside enormous Glastonbury, part of it at all times, whether you’re being teased by drag queens in Block9, watching the sun come up in the Sacred Space, traipsing along the surprisingly quiet main drag in the heat or curled up on your coat in the foetal position somewhere between the Left Field and the Glade, wondering if you’ll ever stop shaking. It’s a Narnia of escapism, of living in the moment, a fantasy break away from the everyday. A bubble of joy – or at least a hiccup of concentrated sensation – in a world of never-ending routine. “In Glastonbury,” tweeted a friend yesterday, “my life is perfect and unsustainable.”
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The Guardian view on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Iran must free her | Editorial 28 Jun 1:25pm The Guardian view on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Iran must free her | Editorial
A British-Iranian family has become the victims of superpower politics. Their suffering must end
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Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will have to ditch no deal – or face an election | Simon Jenkins 28 Jun 1:00am Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will have to ditch no deal – or face an election | Simon Jenkins
The Tory leadership contenders’ tough talk is irresponsible. In reality a hard Brexit would spark a parliamentary crisis The Tory leadership bid has become a miniature general election on a single issue: no-deal Brexit. It is an election on the narrowest franchise since the 18th century. As a result it is being conducted like a public-school stunt, a sneer in the face of those who will be its principal victims. We don’t care what it costs, say Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, as the Treasury blows another £2bn preparing the country yet again for no deal. We are rich and can smash up the shop. We are the politics of the Oxford
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‘Soft’ Brexit is dead. Now Labour must really embrace a people’s vote | Owen Jones 27 Jun 1:48pm ‘Soft’ Brexit is dead. Now Labour must really embrace a people’s vote | Owen Jones
Technical support for a referendum is not enough; the party must throw its weight behind a poll with remain on the ballotHow does class politics survive a full-blown culture war? This is the crux of Labour’s current dilemma. The basis of its political vision is that the economic interests of the majority are not only different from those of the elite, but on a collision course with it. This is pithily summed up by the party’s slogan: “For the many, not the few.” Yet the Brexit culture clash smothers any discussion of the real divide in British society, let alone how to overcome it. After the referendum, Labour had a strategy to deal with this. It accepted that while remain lost, the leave triumph was narrow, and therefore there should be a close relationship with the EU. This positioning granted the party permission to pivot back to talking about domestic issues. It prevented Theresa May turning the 2017 contest into the Brexit election she sought; the party instead could fight on issues – like taxing the rich and big business to invest in the economy, tackling student debt, and public ownership – for which there was majority support. Had she succeeded, the Tories would not have been deprived of their majority, and Britain would already have left the EU on the terms May desired.
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The politics of neither: how Northern Ireland is shunning unionism and nationalism | Ben Lowry 25 Jun 9:19am The politics of neither: how Northern Ireland is shunning unionism and nationalism | Ben Lowry
The tribalism that defines Northern Irish politics may be crumbling, as voters identify less and less with either sideNorthern Ireland is arguably as polarised as at any time since the IRA hunger strikes of 1981. It has been
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The Guardian view on Tory leadership: politics may not survive Brexit | Editorial 24 Jun 1:56pm The Guardian view on Tory leadership: politics may not survive Brexit | Editorial
The Brexit virus that is running through the Conservatives may end up shutting down both the party and the electoral system that supports itThe
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Erdoğan’s loss in Istanbul could transform Turkish politics | Sinan Ülgen 24 Jun 11:57am Erdoğan’s loss in Istanbul could transform Turkish politics | Sinan Ülgen
The landslide election of Ekrem İmamoğlu as mayor is a huge test for Turkey’s ruling AKPThe opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu’s
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Boris Johnson turned politics into a game of personality. The row in his flat matters | Matthew d’Ancona 23 Jun 12:01pm Boris Johnson turned politics into a game of personality. The row in his flat matters | Matthew d’Ancona
The would-be prime minister says Brexit just requires confidence, brio, va-va voom. His pitch is all about his characterLet’s begin with the straightforward part: any incident in which a woman is heard screaming in her home, and shouting “Get off me!” at a man, instantly becomes a matter not only of public interest but public responsibility.
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The left is fighting back, even in Republican states, as it attempts to reshape capitalism | Will Hutton 23 Jun 2:00am The left is fighting back, even in Republican states, as it attempts to reshape capitalism | Will Hutton
As Trump announces his candidacy, forces are already mustering to confront him Behold the new political yobs. The British and American right, once keen to engage intellectually with the left and firmly anchored in business and the middle class, have now become yobs in their evidence-free, argument-free attitude to trade and foreigners. They are guided by noxious prejudice and the simple rule that their flag and interest must rule whatever. Yobs too in their attitudes to all the decent impulses in society: tolerance; the rule of law (that’s for suckers); a welcome to immigrants, fair play; respect for truth, personal integrity. The triumph of the new nativism is the triumph of the yob. Our societies, let alone our politics, have never been so threatened.
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The climate emergency needs political action – not citizens’ assemblies | Stefan Stern 21 Jun 8:27am The climate emergency needs political action – not citizens’ assemblies | Stefan Stern
The public is exhausted by politics saturation, and addressing this crisis isn’t their responsibility anyway “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard,” said the American journalist HL Mencken, who died 60 years before the EU referendum but nonetheless seems to have known how things might play out. The British people have spoken and said … what, exactly? Last week’s BritainThinks survey of today’s attitudes
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Labour has only one realistic option on Brexit – back remain | Paul Mason 18 Jun 4:59am Labour has only one realistic option on Brexit – back remain | Paul Mason
An alliance of the left and centre against Brexit is inevitable. The only question is: who will lead it and own its success?With the Conservatives ready to seal an electoral pact with Nigel Farage, British politics has become a battle of cultures and beliefs. At the same time, as Labour’s shadow cabinet was forced to accept last week, we are now seeing a four-way fragmentation of the party system. As a result, some time between now and its September conference, the Labour party is likely to commit unconditionally to a
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Why is it so hard for Labour to find a woman for its inner circle? | Suzanne Moore 17 Jun 1:30pm Why is it so hard for Labour to find a woman for its inner circle? | Suzanne Moore
The Tory leadership is just men talking among themselves, and the opposition has no one to counter it On Sunday night, I may have watched some men in suits talking nonsense. I may have been in the pub. I may have fallen asleep because the Tory-leadership candidate who is actually going to win couldn’t be arsed to turn up. Such is power. Some of these guys aren’t recognisable to me. Such is politics. The winner will stand against Jeremy Corbyn. We all know Corbyn is very concerned about having more women in the Labour leadership. But not concerned enough to actually have many. Emily Thornberry couldn’t be called on to do PMQs as she made the terrible faux pas of telling the truth about the European elections. In the US, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden feel entitled enough to lead despite all the great Democrat women who are running against them.
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Chuka Umunna’s self-serving hypocrisy is emblematic of our broken politics | Owen Jones 14 Jun 7:42am Chuka Umunna’s self-serving hypocrisy is emblematic of our broken politics | Owen Jones
The ex-Labour MP’s vanity has collided with political reality – he now embraces a party he once planned to destroy
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Boris Johnson may be an incompetent liar, but charm is his secret weapon | Simon Jenkins 13 Jun 2:02pm Boris Johnson may be an incompetent liar, but charm is his secret weapon | Simon Jenkins
His record as London mayor is farcical. Yet disillusioned Labour voters are as mesmerised by him as punch-drunk ToriesCharm is politics’ deadliest weapon. It is not charisma, the authority to lead through an electrifying presence. It is a subtler, more intangible quality, possessed by
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All aboard the Boris Express - Politics Weekly podcast 13 Jun 11:28am All aboard the Boris Express - Politics Weekly podcast
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Isabel Hardman, Jonathan Lis and Richard Partington to discuss the week’s key political events Boris Johnson came out of hiding on Wednesday to finally launch his bid to be the next prime minister. As the field of candidates narrows, and polls show him way out in front, can anything derail the Boris Express?
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Boris Johnson: a charlatan with bravado. Barely a word he spoke was trustworthy | Polly Toynbee 12 Jun 9:48am Boris Johnson: a charlatan with bravado. Barely a word he spoke was trustworthy | Polly Toynbee
He charmed the Tory faithful with bluster but this launch was a policy-free performance from a man without qualitiesThe charm, the magic, the charisma were well polished – and this is as good as the man gets on best behaviour after weeks of behind-the-scenes training. If you puzzle as to how this man, unfit for every office he has held, can be about to sweep into Downing Street, his performance today is the answer. His snake oil of choice is optimism, so miserably lacking in politics now, radiating out of him like sunshine. All fake, all sun-ray lamp that turns off in private, but it outshines his rivals and dazzles anyone willing to ignore everything we know about his rotten-to-the-core character. Cheering in the room erupted rapturously from the remarkable assembly of MPs backing him from all wings of the party. Many know him bitterly well from trying to work with him, yet there they were, shamefully prepared to subject their country to the whims of a man they know is unsafe at any speed. A man without qualities, devoid of public spirit or regard for anyone but himself, consumed by lifelong ambition, needy for acclaim and irritable when it’s denied, willing to swing dangerously in any direction to be loved, a man to shame the country as its figurehead.
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The Five Star experiment has failed us. Now Italy needs real political change | Francesco Grillo 12 Jun 1:00am The Five Star experiment has failed us. Now Italy needs real political change | Francesco Grillo
The upstart populist party promised to pioneer digital politics and focus on the environment. But we’ve seen none of that
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Anyone who wants to be prime minister should have a course of therapy first | George Monbiot 12 Jun 1:00am Anyone who wants to be prime minister should have a course of therapy first | George Monbiot
Our toxic political system rewards all the wrong traits and produces the worst possible leadersWho in their right mind would want the job? It is almost certain to end, as Theresa May found, in failure and public execration. To seek to be prime minister today suggests either reckless confidence or an insatiable hunger for power. Perhaps we need a reverse catch-22 in British politics: anyone crazy enough to apply for this post should be disqualified from running. A few years ago, the psychologist Michelle Roya Rad
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Vince Cable: ‘The Tories have made a Horlicks of Brexit’ 10 Jun 1:00am Vince Cable: ‘The Tories have made a Horlicks of Brexit’
As he prepares to stand down as leader of the Lib Dems, the veteran MP talks about past coalitions, possible alliances – and ballroom dancingVince Cable, the other party leader stepping down this summer, looks like a man ready to hand over. In the Twickenham home he has lived in for 45 years, a table is covered with piles of notes and clippings from the Financial Times – “horizontal filing,” he calls it – research for a new book he is working on. It is a study of how major politicians “have changed the way we do economics”, from Alexander Hamilton to Margaret Thatcher and, although he has not made a final decision on this – because who knows how the story will end? – Donald Trump. He will soon have more time for that project. Unlike Theresa May, the 76-year-old leader of the Liberal Democrats did not have to be dragged from politics’ front line. It was his decision. But what a way to go. A few months ago, the Lib Dems were down to just 11 MPs. It seemed that theirs was a permanently ruined brand, rendered toxic by five years in coalition with David Cameron’s Tories. The decline was painfully obvious every Wednesday lunchtime, when Cable would have to wait the best part of 45 minutes to be called at Prime Minister’s Questions, long after the leaders of Labour and the Scottish National Party and a string of backbenchers. He and his party were a political afterthought.Any centrist energy was focused on the Independent Group, the breakaway of Labour and Conservative MPs who looked set to gobble up the Lib Dem vote and perhaps the party itself.
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These D-day heroes evoked a glorious shared purpose. It’s now under threat | Will Hutton 9 Jun 2:00am These D-day heroes evoked a glorious shared purpose. It’s now under threat | Will Hutton
The anniversary events were in stark contrast to the totalitarian spirit again polluting politics, this time across our own landIt was well done, in the end; in parts, beautifully done. In an era of anniversaries, there was never a chance that the 75th anniversary of the
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As Theresa May exits stage left, the Tories dance ever rightward | Nick Cohen 8 Jun 1:00pm As Theresa May exits stage left, the Tories dance ever rightward | Nick Cohen
Moderate Remainers and Leavers have been abandoned by all the candidatesThe far right is defining politics. To understand how, imagine a line dance where each dancer takes a step to the right and points an accusing finger at the person next to him. You think we’re selling out British workers, says Labour, by not fighting for Remain, and threatening jobs and living standards by taking us out of the single market? Don’t think about what we are doing (steps to the right and points) – look at Theresa May’s deal that wouldn’t even keep us in customs union.
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Like May, the first woman in cabinet faced a lonely battle in a male-dominated world | Rachel Reeves 8 Jun 1:00am Like May, the first woman in cabinet faced a lonely battle in a male-dominated world | Rachel Reeves
Ninety years after Margaret Bondfield was appointed, the challenges for female politicians are different but realThe imminent departure of Britain’s second female prime minister reminded me of Margaret Bondfield. Unlike Theresa May, the former shop worker and union organiser is far from a household name – but she should be. Her story tells us much about the battle women fought to secure political representation and the way they were treated when they arrived in Westminster. It also tells us something about women in politics today. Ninety years ago today Bondfield made history when she became the first female cabinet minister.
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UK politics has changed for ever. The main parties must adapt or die | Letters 5 Jun 11:57am UK politics has changed for ever. The main parties must adapt or die | Letters
Party loyalty is a thing of the past, writes
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The Guardian view on the Peterborough byelection: a populist backlash? | Editorial 4 Jun 1:35pm The Guardian view on the Peterborough byelection: a populist backlash? | Editorial
Mainstream parties need to offer narratives, and policies, that address the underlying economic grievances of votersPeterborough is a smallish city in eastern England with a fast-growing population of European migrants attracted by its factories, warehouses and agricultural work. On the edge of the Fens, it sits on top of two faultlines in British politics: those of culture and class. When the city voted to leave the European Union in 2016, it seemed to be reacting against the ethos of the times – against immigration, against diversity, against pluralism. But less than 12 months later, in the general election, Jeremy Corbyn’s leftwing Labour party won in Peterborough. Despite Ukip pulling out to avoid splitting the rightwing vote in 2017, Stewart Jackson, the pro-Brexit Conservative MP,
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Trump mind focused on sycophantic colonic irrigation | John Crace 4 Jun 1:13pm Trump mind focused on sycophantic colonic irrigation | John Crace
US president could barely raise a pulse as he stumbled through his script This wasn’t the way it had been meant to be. When Theresa May had invited the US president for a state visit, she had pictured herself standing next to him as almost an equal. The prime minister who had delivered Brexit, now poised to negotiate a free trade deal with America. Two leaders ready to the carve up the world in their own image. Instead she was now barely even a supplicant. More like a woman without a shadow. The woman who wasn’t really there, at the press conference no one really wanted. The point at which politics disintegrates into existential ennui. Shortly after 2pm, May and Donald Trump took up their positions at the two lecterns set up in the Durbar Court of the Foreign Office. The prime minister spoke first. She tried to sound upbeat, but her voice rarely strayed beyond a flat monotone. She may still have a few weeks left in No 10, but mentally she has checked out already. The epitome of demob unhappy.
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Yes, Jeremy Corbyn has to protest against Trump. But where does that leave politics? | Gaby Hinsliff 4 Jun 7:42am Yes, Jeremy Corbyn has to protest against Trump. But where does that leave politics? | Gaby Hinsliff
Corbyn’s life has been a preparation for this moment. Yet offending Trump is not the best move for a prime minister in waitingThere is almost nowhere on Earth Jeremy Corbyn belongs more than on a
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Want to tackle inequality? Then first change our land ownership laws | George Monbiot 4 Jun 1:00am Want to tackle inequality? Then first change our land ownership laws | George Monbiot
From housing costs to wildlife collapse, we pay the price while the rich boost their profits. But from today we can fight back What is the most neglected issue in British politics? I would say land. Literally and metaphorically, land underlies our lives, but its ownership and control have been captured by a tiny number of people. The results include soaring inequality and exclusion; the massive cost of renting or buying a decent home; the collapse of wildlife and ecosystems; repeated financial crises; and the loss of public space. Yet for 70 years this crucial issue has scarcely featured in political discussions. Today, I hope, this changes, with the publication of the report to the Labour party –
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Brexiters beware: Donald Trump will trample all over our sovereignty | Zoe Williams 3 Jun 2:25pm Brexiters beware: Donald Trump will trample all over our sovereignty | Zoe Williams
The US president’s willingness to intervene in our politics and the targeting of the NHS by US business should serve as a warningA diagram
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Britain is horribly divided – but that’s also the fault of remainers | John Harris 3 Jun 1:00am Britain is horribly divided – but that’s also the fault of remainers | John Harris
Opposing a reckless, no-deal Brexit by embracing a tribal war would be disastrousIn the buildup to the European elections, I travelled around Britain and had the sense of people talking about the state of the country in wildly different ways. “Democracy is broken,” shouted a Brexit supporter in Swindon. I met lifelong Tories on the affluent edges of the Cotswolds, anxious about how England seems to be embracing the politics of extremes. In Manchester, everyone was remain, but remarkably disengaged from the Brexit conversation. In Merthyr Tydfil, a woman who had voted for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, offered the brisk rationale about her town that “it’s the same as it’s always been, so that’s why we need a change”. In retrospect, everything fitted the picture offered by that much-discussed
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It’s not his enemies but his erstwhile friends who are alarming Mr Corbyn | Andrew Rawnsley 2 Jun 3:00am It’s not his enemies but his erstwhile friends who are alarming Mr Corbyn | Andrew Rawnsley
The Labour leader’s continued ambiguity over Brexit is breeding discontent even among his most loyal supportersIn politics, it is not your enemies who are the death of you. The game is up when you lose those you once called friends. The curtain finally came down on Theresa May when previously loyal Tory MPs declared that it was time for her to book a removal van. The most alarming development since the European elections for Jeremy Corbyn is not the sound of Tom Watson and other familiar foes challenging him. It is the anger of those whom he once counted as allies.
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The Observer view on Donald Trump’s meddling before his state visit | Observer editorial 2 Jun 1:00am The Observer view on Donald Trump’s meddling before his state visit | Observer editorial
The president has once again interfered in British politics. He should learn to mind his mouthAs Britain sees it, a state visit is an important way of celebrating and strengthening the relationship between two sovereign countries. It is a symbolic occasion intended to formalise and promote a voluntary alliance linking two independent peoples. The principal focus is not on individual politicians, except in so far as such leaders are seen as representing their fellow citizens. State visits are certainly not supposed to be an ego trip. This is something, among many other things, that Donald Trump plainly does not understand. When the Queen hosts a foreign leader, she does so in her capacity as head of state, not as a tour guide or re-election campaign prop. The honour she bestows belongs entirely to the country of which her guest is the current, temporary leader. Whatever he may think, the state visit is emphatically not a
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Democracy is the victim if the law starts to police politics | Kenan Malik 2 Jun 1:00am Democracy is the victim if the law starts to police politics | Kenan Malik
The electorate should judge Boris Johnson’s Brexit bus claims, not the judiciary‘The expanding empire of law is one of the most significant phenomena of our time.” So observed the recently retired supreme court justice Jonathan Sumption in
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Politics may be broken. But it’s only politics that can save us | Jonathan Freedland 31 May 12:25pm Politics may be broken. But it’s only politics that can save us | Jonathan Freedland
From Trump to Brexit, democracy seems paralysed. But there’s no point waiting for a hero to ride to our rescueNo one would cast Robert Mueller as the lead in a romcom. And yet
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Forget Boris Johnson. The Tory leader will come from the centre | Martin Kettle 29 May 1:30pm Forget Boris Johnson. The Tory leader will come from the centre | Martin Kettle
He may be the frontrunner, but the former foreign secretary will surely lose his allure. Look out for the unexpectedSomething important and wholly without precedent is happening in plain sight in British politics – but not enough attention is being paid to it. The something is that never before has a new British prime minister been chosen by the grassroots members of the ruling political party. Such a thing might have happened in 2007, when Tony Blair resigned, but Gordon Brown was chosen unopposed. It nearly happened in 2016, after David Cameron stepped down, but in the end the other candidates stood aside in favour of
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Britain is in the grip of an existential crisis that reaches far beyond Brexit | Aditya Chakrabortty 29 May 1:00am Britain is in the grip of an existential crisis that reaches far beyond Brexit | Aditya Chakrabortty
Nearly three years after the referendum, Westminster has still not come to terms with the grievances that drove the resultThe person who is best qualified to hold up a mirror to British politics today is neither a minister nor an academic. He is not even British. No: he is, of course, Michel Barnier, the French-born servant of Brussels. In his 1,036 days as the EU’s chief negotiator, he has sat for numbing hours opposite Theresa May, haggled with David Davis and Dominic Raab and their junior ministers and faced down countless Whitehall officials. He is the outsider who knows our system inside out. So when he popped up right at the end of the BBC’s
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As a newly elected Green MEP and a refugee, I’ve got a message for the far right | Magid Magid 28 May 9:30am As a newly elected Green MEP and a refugee, I’ve got a message for the far right | Magid Magid
I’m determined to offer an alternative to the politics of fear and division engendered by Salvini, Farage, Le Pen and the likeI am honoured to have been elected as a Green party MEP. I can’t wait to get to work on behalf of all those who put their faith in me and in our movement’s vision of hope. We are truly building a common world, rooted in the aspirations of the young and set to deliver lasting change for all. Millions of citizens from Sheffield to Stuttgart have grown weary of the same old politics of tribal allegiances
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Nigel Farage’s victory gives him the whip hand over British politics | Tom Kibasi 27 May 11:16am Nigel Farage’s victory gives him the whip hand over British politics | Tom Kibasi
The left must fight the no-deal crash-out pushed by the Brexit party leader, which could tip millions more into povertyBy any yardstick, the European election results were
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Woke-washing: how brands are cashing in on the culture wars 23 May 1:00am Woke-washing: how brands are cashing in on the culture wars
From M&S’s LGBT sandwich to Kendall Jenner stopping a riot with a Pepsi can, corporate business is adept at adopting our concerns. But is it all a cynical marketing ploy? Imagine getting angry over a sandwich. When Marks & Spencer launched its LGBT sandwich – basically, your classic BLT with some gay guacamole thrown in – I, along with a list of other LGBTQ commentators, was asked by ITV’s This Morning if I was offended by the sandwich. I wasn’t, and neither were any of the others they asked, so this fixture of daytime television settled on a former associate of David Icke, who proceeded to rant about trans people. How did we arrive at a point where sandwich packaging is debated on daytime TV? Brands are increasingly flirting with the realm of politics. This week, Lacoste announced it would swap its trademark crocodile logo for 10 limited-edition polo shirts featuring a different endangered species instead; it was soon pointed out that the company was offering “gloves made from deer leather” and “cow leather handbags” online. When police asked McDonald’s to stop selling milkshakes in Edinburgh during a visit by Nigel Farage – following the “milkshaking” of far-right activists – Burger King cheekily announced to the “people of Scotland” that they were “selling milkshakes all weekend”. But has this fast food giant really joined the anti-fascist resistance?
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Brexit has become a subplot to the battle for the post-May Tory party | Martin Kettle 22 May 2:28pm Brexit has become a subplot to the battle for the post-May Tory party | Martin Kettle
Once again Europe is going to bring down a Tory leader. But stalling Brexit makes its outcome ever-more uncertainUntil quite recently, it was still accurate to say that the central problem in British party politics was Brexit. This week, that has imperceptibly but now decisively changed. Now, and probably for much of the coming summer, the central problem in British party politics is no longer Brexit itself but the character of the
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Five more years of Narendra Modi will take India to a dark place | Kapil Komireddi 21 May 12:00am Five more years of Narendra Modi will take India to a dark place | Kapil Komireddi
If the Indian prime minister is returned to office, his sectarian politics will make bigotry the defining ideal of the republic Indian elections are a marvel to behold. The rules stipulate that no citizen should have to travel more than 2km to vote. So the state goes to the voters. Carrying oxygen tanks, election officials scaled the Himalayas to erect a voting booth in a village in Ladakh, 4,500 metres above sea level. In western India, a polling station was set up for the lone human inhabitant of a wildlife sanctuary. In eastern India, officials trekked for an entire day to reach the sole registered voter, an elderly woman, in a remote village. By the time voting closed on Sunday, some 600 million people had cast their ballots, 10 million of them for the first time. The refrain from Hindu voters has been identical: Modi has failed us, yes, but he's at least put Muslims in their place
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Derided before its launch, BBC Scotland has silenced the critics with its excellence | Kevin McKenna 19 May 1:00am Derided before its launch, BBC Scotland has silenced the critics with its excellence | Kevin McKenna
The many naysayers, including myself, were wrong – it’s the best channel on TV A shoestring revolution is happening beneath the noses of most of Scotland’s population. It’s why I watched a Glaswegian hairdresser last night discussing sex, religion and politics as he bobbed and weaved with scissors around his customer’s salt and pepper hair. I came to bury this show but I am enchanted. The revolution is unfolding nightly on the BBC’s new Scotland channel, launched three months ago amid industry pessimism and the
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The Brexit party reflects our hollowed-out, tired politics | Kenan Malik 19 May 12:59am The Brexit party reflects our hollowed-out, tired politics | Kenan Malik
Its success reveals how Labour and the Tories have failed votersWill British politics be upended in the
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The Guardian view on the EU elections: a chance to reshape our politics | Editorial 17 May 1:29pm The Guardian view on the EU elections: a chance to reshape our politics | Editorial
Pro-European voters should back candidates who oppose hard Brexit and are in with a chance. Above all, they must make their votes countNext week, voters across Europe face the most highly charged election to the
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Change UK were always doomed to failure, and Joan Ryan just showed why | Owen Jones 17 May 7:32am Change UK were always doomed to failure, and Joan Ryan just showed why | Owen Jones
Ryan’s cringeworthy ‘look at your hands’ speech encapsulates how Change UK simply don’t have the politics or the personnelFawlty Towers, Alan Partridge, The Office: finally the great British tradition of it’s-so-awkward-you-want-to-look-away-but-you-can’t comedy has a new addition, and it’s called
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Return of the withdrawal agreement bill and European elections – Politics Weekly podcast 16 May 1:04pm Return of the withdrawal agreement bill and European elections – Politics Weekly podcast
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/profile/heatherstewart">Heather Stewart
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At last, Tories can begin to talk about Theresa May in the past tense | Rafael Behr 16 May 12:40pm At last, Tories can begin to talk about Theresa May in the past tense | Rafael Behr
The prime minister has set a date for her departure – and it might provide the push to get her Brexit deal over the lineThere is a small but significant distinction in politics between what is known and what is declared. In recent weeks it has become ever harder to imagine how Theresa May might continue in her job if another attempt to steer Brexit through parliament fails. But imagination is no longer required.
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Has the politics of climate change finally reached a tipping point? | John Vidal 15 May 1:00am Has the politics of climate change finally reached a tipping point? | John Vidal
People increasingly see the environmental crisis as a national priority. This is an opportunity for bold action from governmentLast week a small campaign group in the staunchly conservative town of Shrewsbury called a public meeting about climate change. The organisers were delighted when 150 people turned up. Even they were surprised, though, when people unanimously said they were prepared to give up flying, change their boilers and cars, eat less meat and even overthrow capitalism to get a grip on climate change. But this was just a straw in the political wind whipping through middle England. Shrewsbury joins
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Tackling inequality means addressing divisions that go way beyond income | Gaby Hinsliff 14 May 7:43am Tackling inequality means addressing divisions that go way beyond income | Gaby Hinsliff
An inquiry by the IFS will consider too disparities in health, ethnicity and geography that feed into the politics of grievance
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Farage cannot be allowed to dictate Britain’s future. He must be thwarted | Tony Blair 11 May 4:02pm Farage cannot be allowed to dictate Britain’s future. He must be thwarted | Tony Blair
The EU election results will send a vital message to MPs about BrexitIf you care about what the Brexiters are doing to our country, then vote on 23 May. All that matters is that on 24 May, Nigel Farage and his allies on the far right of the Conservative party cannot claim they speak for Britain. Politics is not an exact science. After the vote, there will be a ledger. On one side will be hard or no-deal Brexit with Farage and the Tory fellow travellers. On the other will be those who want an end to Brexit and those who believe that, after this degree of mess and on a decision of this magnitude, the final say should be with the people.
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Farage, Rees-Mogg, Claire Fox... Britain is seduced by politicians who are ‘characters’ | Nick Cohen 11 May 1:06pm Farage, Rees-Mogg, Claire Fox... Britain is seduced by politicians who are ‘characters’ | Nick Cohen
Anywhere else in Europe, such politicians would be challenged as the far-rightists they areIf you want to deceive the French public, you pose as an intellectual. In England, you pose as a character. Like a criminal on a witness protection programme, the ham actor who plays upper-class roles avoids the accountability that prevents democratic life degenerating into the feast of fools we see around us. Brexit has as much been a failure of British journalism as British politics. The basic questions have not been asked. You promised the electorate a trade deal with the EU should be
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Cold war politics hampered life-saving phage therapy research | Letters 9 May 1:23pm Cold war politics hampered life-saving phage therapy research | Letters
Western scientists ignored the progress being made in the Soviet east, argues
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The sexist abuse of Gamergate has entered politics. If only we’d been listened to | Keza MacDonald 9 May 7:52am The sexist abuse of Gamergate has entered politics. If only we’d been listened to | Keza MacDonald
The rank misogyny women reported in 2014 has engulfed public life – and one of its perpetrators, Carl Benjamin, is a Ukip candidate For luckier people than me, this week will have been the first time they’ve ever heard of
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Brexit has robbed Labour of its insurgency. It’s time to claw it back | Owen Jones 8 May 12:42pm Brexit has robbed Labour of its insurgency. It’s time to claw it back | Owen Jones
Farage’s Brexit party now echoes the Corbyn mass rallies of 2017. Labour must pick fights with unpopular vested interestsThe supposed iron law of British politics – back when an economy dominated by Big Finance seemed to be a never-ending fountain of growth and tax revenues – used to go like this: you had to present yourself as a steady pair of hands, pro-business, competent, exuding stability, not someone to rock the hull of HMS Britain. Tony Blair, speaking of Margaret Thatcher, once
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The real – and sinister – reason Nigel Farage is spouting conspiracy theories | Carl Miller 8 May 9:02am The real – and sinister – reason Nigel Farage is spouting conspiracy theories | Carl Miller
He and others like him seek to exploit voters’ deepest fears about the ruling order and take power for themselvesLanguage, we all know, matters in politics. And
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The Eurovision boycott row confirms it: Palestinian lives don’t matter | Arwa Mahdawi 8 May 3:00am The Eurovision boycott row confirms it: Palestinian lives don’t matter | Arwa Mahdawi
It feels like there is no acceptable way for Palestinians to protest against oppression Eurovision has always been an exercise in bad taste, but this year’s event takes things to an extreme. If you want to enjoy the kitschy song contest, which will take place from 12 to 14 May in Tel Aviv, Israel, then you have got to ignore the bloody political context that surrounds it. Indeed, Israel is so intent on keeping Eurovision politics-free that anyone it says might disrupt the event will be
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Council election results prove local politics is alive and well | Letters 7 May 12:57pm Council election results prove local politics is alive and well | Letters
The local elections had less to do with Brexit than many have suggested, say
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Young people could turn the Brexit tide – if they register to vote today | Will Higham 7 May 9:05am Young people could turn the Brexit tide – if they register to vote today | Will Higham
Registration closes at midnight, yet millions of mostly young voters are not signed up – they could send a clear message to the main partiesDeadlock has defined British politics for the past few years. A Brexit deal, no deal, rematch or election all founder. Yet we have now glided into one of the strangest national elections imaginable – the European parliament elections, well past the date Theresa May promised to leave the EU – and few people seem prepared for it. We know that some 8 million people, mainly young people, renters and EU citizens, weren’t even registered as the stuttering Euro-election campaigns began. Some of the reasons are clear: no one expected this election – students move around, as do renters, and even when younger people are registered, turnout among them is lower. The risk is that on 23 May, these voices will not be heard.
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If Labour really wants to move on, it has to back a second referendum | Tom Kibasi 6 May 7:30am If Labour really wants to move on, it has to back a second referendum | Tom Kibasi
The party has to make the case that Brexit simply isn’t worth it – and focus on issues such as wages and the NHSSince the local elections, protagonists on either side of the Brexit divide have sought to marshal the poor result for Labour to advance their cause. Predictably, many MPs from leave-supporting areas have argued that it means Labour has to deliver on the referendum result; their remain-supporting counterparts argue that the strong performance of the Liberal Democrats and Greens means Labour should come out unambiguously as the “party of remain”. Here’s an alternative strategy. Politics is not about two competing answers to the same question; it is about which question is being asked in the first place. So the core strategic insight of the Labour leadership is correct: that so long as the question is Brexit, the party will suffer at the polls. That means Labour’s primary political objective should be to change the question away from Brexit and towards domestic concerns. Put simply, to move on.
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Don’t look to national politics for hope: you’ll find it thriving in local councils | John Harris 5 May 7:23am Don’t look to national politics for hope: you’ll find it thriving in local councils | John Harris
Councillors are paid a pittance and face hostility. But from tackling obesity to saving high streets, good ideas are growingLast Friday morning, my head spun. Having voted in two local elections – for our town and district councils – and then spent the first few hours of the next day following the results, my partner and I got our polling cards for yet another contest. This caused a brief fit of amusement about Brexit Britain’s weird addiction to sending us to polling stations, before we realised we had effectively received our tickets for an awful reality TV show. Thanks chiefly to Nigel Farage’s
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A cynical Westminster fix won’t end the Brexit nightmares of May and Corbyn | Andrew Rawnsley 5 May 3:59am A cynical Westminster fix won’t end the Brexit nightmares of May and Corbyn | Andrew Rawnsley
Britain is repelled by both the main parties that have dominated its politics for the past centuryBritish politics was designed to be idiot-proof. It had some simple rules that anyone could follow. One of the most basic of those rules was the law of the seesaw. When one of the major parties plunged, the other soared. A terrible day for the Tories would be a triumphant day for Labour and vice versa. This previously reliable rule is one of the many that has been unravelled by Brexit. It is now possible for both the major parties and their leaders to be in crisis at the same time. It is also possible for neither party to be able to agree how to extract themselves from their respective emergencies. The latest evidence of this is provided by the
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5 May 12:59am Remember Orwell’s chilling warning to boot-licking propagandists... | Nick Cohen
Arguments on the left are less to do with ideology, more with the lure of the gangThe Labour left presumptuously claims to represent the British tradition of dissent, but never tolerates dissent against its command and control politics.
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Goodbye, intrepid soldier Gavin Williamson – here are your best bits! | Hannah Jane Parkinson 4 May 4:00am Goodbye, intrepid soldier Gavin Williamson – here are your best bits! | Hannah Jane Parkinson
He’s been through it all on the front line (of politics) – snuggled a hedgehog, played ‘army’, and disappointed a soft toy Straight off the bat, I’ll remind you that Gavin Williamson’s Instagram avatar is a picture of him standing in a risk-free environment in a flak jacket, and we’ll go from there. Everyone’s favourite purchaser of Action Man toys has been
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The Guardian view on local elections: national lessons for Brexit | Editorial 3 May 1:30pm The Guardian view on local elections: national lessons for Brexit | Editorial
The failure of Britain’s gridlocked politics has found expression in the rise of smaller parties and large swathes of the country where no one party can run local governments. This will further disrupt our broken politicsFor Britain’s major political parties
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The demise of the middle classes is toxifying British politics | Larry Elliott 3 May 12:59am The demise of the middle classes is toxifying British politics | Larry Elliott
As the rewards of the digital age are hoarded at the top, automation and flexible working are hollowing out the rest of the economy
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The hounding of Greta Thunberg is proof that the right have run out of ideas | Aditya Chakrabortty 1 May 12:21pm The hounding of Greta Thunberg is proof that the right have run out of ideas | Aditya Chakrabortty
With scientists backing her cause, opponents of the young environmental activist have resorted to ugly personal attacksOver the past few days, something extraordinary has happened in our politics. A bunch of grown men have begun bullying a schoolgirl. Perhaps you already know who I mean:
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Labour needn’t worry: in its northern heartlands, Brexiters are not the only voices | Polly Toynbee 30 Apr 1:00am Labour needn’t worry: in its northern heartlands, Brexiters are not the only voices | Polly Toynbee
The party is drawing up its European manifesto. From what I’ve seen, it won’t suffer a backlash by pledging a confirmatory vote “I voted out. Out means out and I’d do it again,” said the old man, as he harrumphed off up Kirkgate on his mobility scooter. Wakefield voted 66% to 34% in favour of leave, so here was the perfect vox pop. Bank it, let it stand for northern working-class leavedom and head back south? But what of the other voices I heard in the windswept West Yorkshire market precinct outside the cathedral? Fed-upness with all politics, indignation at Westminster chaos, resentment at three wasted years of empty argy-bargy. A few people said they wouldn’t vote again in another referendum, they were just too disillusioned. “Bring back Guy Fawkes!” one man joked. Plenty of well-justified grudge; but there were plenty of switchers too. Resentful, not ode-to-joy converts, but weary givers-in to the realities, trade-offs and hard choices that were never revealed during the referendum.
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We’re young and we’re engaged with politics. Ignore us at your peril | Lara Spirit 29 Apr 11:24am We’re young and we’re engaged with politics. Ignore us at your peril | Lara Spirit
My generation is creating a whole new kind of politics – it’s time for the UK’s main parties to take noticeAre we entering a new era of political campaigning? As Westminster grinds to a halt and the traditional party system teeters at the edge of collapse, those seeking progress need only look across the road to Parliament Square, where the grass is worn from a year of new protests and new faces. Young people have been a driving force in almost all of these. From
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Nigel Farage is fuelled by the betrayal myth. And Brexit is only the start | Matthew d’Ancona 29 Apr 1:00am Nigel Farage is fuelled by the betrayal myth. And Brexit is only the start | Matthew d’Ancona
His rhetoric was always that the elite would thwart the will of the people, enabling a new movement to rise up amid the angerIt is a grim reflection that no contemporary British politician better understands the networks, dynamics and ever-changing rules of modern politics than Nigel Farage. He is as effective as he is awful. His fledgling
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The Observer view on the Spanish elections | Observer editorial 28 Apr 1:00am The Observer view on the Spanish elections | Observer editorial
In Spain, as in the rest of Europe, voters are focused on social and economic problems, not immigration A settled system of responsive, trustworthy government remains an aspiration, not a reality, for many people in Spain. The country has made enormous strides since the end of Franco’s dictatorship in 1975. Its accession to the EEC in 1986 decisively boosted the forces of modernisation. But its recent politics, mired in division, separatism and corruption, has served as a reminder that democracy is fragile and easily subverted. Unsurprisingly, 67% of Spaniards hold a favourable view of the European Union. Only the Poles are more enthusiastic, according to a recent
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The Observer view on the Labour manifesto: get off the fence, Mr Corbyn | Observer editorial 27 Apr 4:00pm The Observer view on the Labour manifesto: get off the fence, Mr Corbyn | Observer editorial
The democratic case for a people’s vote on any Brexit deal is as strong as everJeremy Corbyn put honesty and integrity – the idea of doing politics in a different way – at the heart of his pitch for the Labour leadership four years ago. That makes Labour’s long-standing failure to clarify whether or not it is decisively in favour of a confirmatory referendum on any Brexit deal all the more depressing. Ambiguity remains the name of the game as we approach the European elections in just a few weeks. A
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Voters are right to fear for their dying villages as Spain goes to the polls | Giles Tremlett 27 Apr 4:00am Voters are right to fear for their dying villages as Spain goes to the polls | Giles Tremlett
Rural regions throughout Europe may be in decline but their influence over politics is still decisiveRaúl Romano is proud of Otones de Benjumea – his village near Segovia, central Spain, where he recently organised a feast for 350 people, together with music and a talk. But Romano does not live in Otones. Nor do the vast majority of the members of the village’s 400-strong
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With his money-grabbing speeches, Boris Johnson cheapens our politics | Suzanne Moore 26 Apr 8:49am With his money-grabbing speeches, Boris Johnson cheapens our politics | Suzanne Moore
While he earns thousands blathering to bankers, his party’s policies leave people starving. The disconnect is astoundingWhat does a person
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Farage and Extinction Rebellion: two politics of protest, only one has a future | Gary Younge 26 Apr 1:00am Farage and Extinction Rebellion: two politics of protest, only one has a future | Gary Younge
The Brexit party and climate protesters share a frustration with conventional politics. There the similarity endsWatching Nigel Farage, leader of the new Brexit party, saunter the few minutes from a Wetherspoons pub to Clacton pier on Wednesday, surrounded by media and supporters, I recalled Michael Rosen’s poem explaining that fascism does not arrive
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Local elections, Scottish independence and breaking the Brexit deadlock - Politics Weekly podcast 25 Apr 11:29am Local elections, Scottish independence and breaking the Brexit deadlock - Politics Weekly podcast
Heather Stewart is joined by Polly Toynbee, Rafael Behr and Ryan Shorthouse to discuss next week’s local council elections, Nicola Sturgeon’s Indyref2 announcement, and what obstacles lie ahead on the long road to Brexit Next week 8,425 seats will be contested at local council elections across the country. And the biggest losers could well be the Tories, with fears they could lose as many as 1,000 councillors as punishment for the Brexit deadlock.
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Our Brexit limbo has given us two new parties, but the same old politics | Rafael Behr 23 Apr 2:06pm Our Brexit limbo has given us two new parties, but the same old politics | Rafael Behr
Never mind the insurgent ‘outsiders’. What we need is better politicians, not anti-politics, to get us out of this messImagine that, for some reason, you want to lose an election. You need a vote-repellent campaign, something really unsupportable. You would probably form the Establishment party – passionately in favour of the system, cheering for the status quo. Your candidates would boast of their credentials as career politicians. Their slogan would be “business as usual”. This imaginary party is the perfect adversary, the most beatable thing in British politics – which is why real-life parties all want to run against it. Everyone claims to be the new politics and pins the despicable badge of oldness on their rivals.
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Smaller parties have a surprisingly big impact on British politics | Hannah Peaker 22 Apr 6:13am Smaller parties have a surprisingly big impact on British politics | Hannah Peaker
By influencing the policies of Labour and the Tories, parties such as the Women’s Equality party effect change, whatever their resultsTechnology sometimes reminds you that the unpredictable is actually all too predictable. At its last extraordinary general meeting, the national executive for the
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Our schools are beyond breaking point – where is the outrage? | John Harris 22 Apr 1:00am Our schools are beyond breaking point – where is the outrage? | John Harris
Bone-headed reforms and deep cuts have left our education system is a scandalous state of disrepair Last summer, as the politics of Britain’s exit from the EU staggered on and England’s World Cup run offered some kind of respite,
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Extinction Rebellion is leading a new, youthful politics that will change Britain | Matthew d’Ancona 22 Apr 1:00am Extinction Rebellion is leading a new, youthful politics that will change Britain | Matthew d’Ancona
A generation of networked rebels will bring down an old order whose failings have been laid bare I am a fan of generation gaps. Though academics and the media love to identify new demographic cohorts – Generation X, Generation Z, Net Gen, Gen Wii – such distinctions often confuse mere fashion with decisive transformations in behaviour, social priority and worldview. But we need such transformations, the inter-generational arguments that they spawn, and the changes that, sooner or later, they compel upon us all.
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Mueller’s account of Trump’s world acts as a cautionary tale for UK politics | Will Hutton 21 Apr 4:00am Mueller’s account of Trump’s world acts as a cautionary tale for UK politics | Will Hutton
Senior figures in both countries behave as if they are above the law. Enough is enoughTrump was right. His presidency was
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As Brexit absorbs all political energy and guile, the country’s problems mount | Anne McElvoy 21 Apr 3:00am As Brexit absorbs all political energy and guile, the country’s problems mount | Anne McElvoy
Paralysed in a quest to fulfil its EU destiny, the governement has allowed other serious items on its agenda to fall into an abyssWe can all list our favourite reasons why the Brexit promised in the pale dawn sunlight of June 2016 has not turned out to be a walk in the park or even a final date with EU destiny. But whatever we now think of the outcome of the referendum, we are all trapped in the old Indian saying about the banyan tree – under its shade little new can grow. Sometimes, I miss my role writing about politics of the kind that was not just about meaningful(ish) votes, all-or-nothing dates leading to the next cliff edge, scoldings from EU leaders, and whether Theresa May is on her way out, only to be there the next week and off on another walking holiday. One day political archaeologists will dig into the frozen tundra and find the remains of government activity preserved under the permafrost. It might well start with
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The backstabbing brutality of Game of Thrones has taken over politics | Kevin McKenna 21 Apr 1:00am The backstabbing brutality of Game of Thrones has taken over politics | Kevin McKenna
Politics is a more visceral and primitive thing – The West Wing was a much better influence There are few situations more superficial and contrived than when a politician insists on borrowing themes from the realm of popular television and drama. Donald Trump
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Newcastle can be the capital of a new, radical British politics | Aditya Chakrabortty 19 Apr 1:00am Newcastle can be the capital of a new, radical British politics | Aditya Chakrabortty
In two weeks the north-east elects its first metro mayor. The likely winner could become the most powerful Corbynista in Britain In a meeting room inside a leisure centre in the middle of one of the most beaten-up parts of Britain, a slight, bald man in stubble and jeans is talking revolution. “This is our chance,” he tells the 20 or so people sitting at their foldaway tables. “The rest of the country will be watching us – this lefty mayor with his plans for actually giving power to people. There’ll be a lot of people who want this to fail, but we can make it work. This is our opportunity.”
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Roger Waters is too simplistic on Israel | Letters 18 Apr 12:50pm Roger Waters is too simplistic on Israel | Letters
Readers share their views on the musician’s call for other artists to stay away from Israel over its human rights recordRoger Waters’ mother imploring her son to “decide for yourself” and execute the “right thing to do” was no doubt in reference to the juvenile politics of the playground (
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#Change UK – really? If you don’t get the internet, you shouldn’t be in politics | Phil McDuff 18 Apr 10:01am #Change UK – really? If you don’t get the internet, you shouldn’t be in politics | Phil McDuff
With the European elections just weeks away, TIG’s failure to register its party logo is a masterstroke of incompetenceIf you want to vote in the European elections
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The Guardian view on the Palace of Westminster: renovate it – and our democracy | Editorial 17 Apr 1:41pm The Guardian view on the Palace of Westminster: renovate it – and our democracy | Editorial
The dangerous dilapidation of the Houses of Parliament can no longer be ignored. They must be restored and modernised before catastrophe strikesThe physical state of the Palace of Westminster – its confusing warrens of corridors and staircases, its arcane rituals and atmosphere, its leaking roofs, its dreadful plumbing – has become bound up with a general dissatisfaction with the state of British politics. The metaphors pile up without effort: there is an urge, understandable at times, to write off the building as well as the parliament that sits within it, condemning both as worthless and outmoded. This is unfair, not only to the public-service ethics of the vast majority of parliamentarians, but to the building itself. The palace is a Unesco world heritage site, an architectural masterpiece and a historical locus of almost inestimable value. Though most of the Gothic structure was designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin in the 19th century, the palace also contains the 11th-century Westminster Hall and the 13th-century Saint Stephen’s chapel, sole survivals of a catastrophic fire in 1834 that tore through the rest of the buildings.
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The Guardian view on MPs and Brexit: this is no time to disengage | Editorial 14 Apr 1:35pm The Guardian view on MPs and Brexit: this is no time to disengage | Editorial
Britain must decide within five weeks whether to hold EU elections. There are big decisions to face before then, even though parliament is in recessIt is a reasonable bet that a fair proportion of readers don’t want to think about Brexit at all right now. It would be very understandable if that’s the case. Brexit politics has meant relentlessly hard pounding ever since the new year. Now there’s a brief hiatus. Parliament is
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I was born black and working class. The identities need not be in opposition | David Olusoga 13 Apr 2:00pm I was born black and working class. The identities need not be in opposition | David Olusoga
The new politics of division shamelessly exploits racial issues to thwart class solidarityFor two weeks, I’ve been doing the press rounds, talking about
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The Guardian view on the Brexit impasse: trust citizens to judge the evidence | Editorial 11 Apr 1:47pm The Guardian view on the Brexit impasse: trust citizens to judge the evidence | Editorial
The familiar methods of British politics have failed to find a solution. Parliament must have the confidence to innovateExtending the time available to make a decision does not increase the range of Brexit options, but it allows for a more honest account of those choices and perhaps a more deliberative, less aggressively partisan evaluation of their merits. The real opportunity represented by the
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Brexit trick or treat? – Politics Weekly podcast 11 Apr 10:15am Brexit trick or treat? – Politics Weekly podcast
Sonia Sodha is joined by Owen Jones, Polly Toynbee and Will Tanner to discuss what Brexit horrors await. Plus: why people under 50 aren’t voting for the Tory party To no one’s great surprise, Theresa May’s request for a short Brexit delay was torn up by the EU27 last night, with the offer instead of extending Britain’s membership of the EU until Halloween. In the early hours of the morning, Donald Tusk held a press conference to warn the UK: “Please do not waste this time” – but a solution looks as elusive as ever.
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The Tories once had a radical fringe. Now it is the whole party | Aditya Chakrabortty 11 Apr 1:00am The Tories once had a radical fringe. Now it is the whole party | Aditya Chakrabortty
Forget the ‘natural party of government’ – Brexit has left the country shackled to a bunch of just over 300 extremists Let’s drop the niceties. Cut the pretence. Something is happening to the Tories, obvious even to that vast majority of the public who ignore politics. The Conservative party is becoming the natural party of extremists. It is the new home for hardliners, catastrophists and those wishing to take up permanent residence in la-la land. Evidence of this mutation is in every day’s headlines, and borne on a never-ending stream of tweets. It is Jacob Rees-Mogg,
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I’ve got the best job in British politics: being an MEP | Seb Dance 10 Apr 6:58am I’ve got the best job in British politics: being an MEP | Seb Dance
We have the kind of clout backbench MPs in Westminster can only dream of. Working in Brussels is an absolute joy Arriving in Brussels was like the first day of school. There were hundreds of us, all coming from the four corners of the continent, to be inducted as MEPs. Exactly as I would have done at school, I made a beeline for the only people I recognised, my Labour colleagues. As we chatted nervously, we were guided through various stations of induction: photograph, badge, finances, logistics, office accommodation and finally IT. I handed over my phone to be enabled, and within a few seconds I had an inbox full of hundreds of unread emails. I told the technician these couldn’t possibly be my emails: I had walked through the door only that day. “Welcome to the European parliament,” was his dry reply.
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Dreamy Matinee Idol Matt tries to get a jump on Tory pretenders | John Crace 9 Apr 1:18pm Dreamy Matinee Idol Matt tries to get a jump on Tory pretenders | John Crace
While Theresa May was touring Berlin and Paris a trio of Tories were auditioning for her job As Theresa May dropped in to Berlin and Paris on the off chance she might accidentally stumble on something useful to say to Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, several of her potential successors lined up to take her job. No one – not even the prime minister – now believes she is anything but Leader in Name Only, so the time has long passed when any Tory made an effort to conceal their ambition. Not even a sideways look to the camera and an insincere “I’m focusing on doing my own job”. Just a straightforward, full on “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme”. Politics abhors a vacuum and any and every occasion is now being used as a leadership hustings. Brexit as job creation scheme for prime minister. The latest excuse for a hustings was the launch of new research by the centre-right thinktank Onward on why almost no young people dream of voting Tory these days. In just two years, the age at which people are more likely to vote Conservative has risen from 47 to 51. At this rate, all Labour really needs to do is sit tight and wait for the Tories to become extinct: in 30 years’ time the tipping point should be round about 111, which should be enough to see Jeremy Corbyn over the line.
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The Observer view on Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s elections | Observer editorial 7 Apr 1:00am The Observer view on Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s elections | Observer editorial
The Israeli leaders confrontational style has cut the country off from its friends and exposed its citizens to harm The likelihood that Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge victorious after Israel’s election on Tuesday is doubtless pleasing for his rightwing supporters and his oleaginous pal in the White House. But it is a worrying prospect for the country and the Middle East as a whole. Mr Netanyahu has dominated domestic politics
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If identity politics is a force for good, how does white nationalism fit in? | Kenan Malik 7 Apr 1:00am If identity politics is a force for good, how does white nationalism fit in? | Kenan Malik
The term was once used in the battle against oppression. Not after Christchurch ‘You turned the issue on its head,” someone said to me after I gave a talk on identity politics in Melbourne last week. “I’ve never thought of it that way round.” It always was on its head, I said to her. It’s just that we’ve never noticed. I’ve been in Australia over the past week talking, among other things, about the politics of identity. The issue has, in the wake of the Christchurch mosque massacres, acquired new resonance. The gunman, who has been charged in a New Zealand court with 50 counts of murder, was Australian. It has led to much soul searching about white nationalism and its roots and about the role of mainstream media and politics in fuelling hatred.
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Luton’s cabbies are giving Brexit Britain a lesson in political courage | Aditya Chakrabortty 6 Apr 1:00am Luton’s cabbies are giving Brexit Britain a lesson in political courage | Aditya Chakrabortty
By uniting to improve conditions in the gig economy, Addison Lee drivers are showing an imagination Westminster lacksFor a lesson in how politics should be done, don’t look at Westminster, as politicians um and ah and slump into their umpteenth mutinous Brexit stalemate. Instead, head 30 miles north to Luton airport, where a bunch of minicab drivers are getting on with the real business of politics: battling to improve their and others’ lives. And in a few weeks they will make history, for the right reasons. The fight of these 60-odd drivers for Addison Lee looks nothing like the zombie politics of parliament. These aren’t English public schoolboys waging decades-old grudge matches, but working-class cabbies, almost all of Asian origin. They don’t lunch with top journalists but worry about how they’re going to afford the family’s groceries. And their politicking is done not inside a Gothic debating chamber but over post-shift Happy Meals.
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The Guardian view on online politics: transparency is essential | Editorial 5 Apr 1:25pm The Guardian view on online politics: transparency is essential | Editorial
Democracy needs strengthening when parties are replaced by opaque lobby groups in an age of social mediaThe Guardian’s revelation that Facebook campaigns which appear to be spontaneous outpourings of popular sentiment are
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The lesson of this Brexit ordeal? The EU is a club worth belonging to | Jonathan Freedland 5 Apr 12:05pm The lesson of this Brexit ordeal? The EU is a club worth belonging to | Jonathan Freedland
The past two years have shown the EU united and fighting for its members’ interests. Britain will be weaker outside itConsider it preparation for a self-sufficient future after Brexit: now our politics generates its own satire, with metaphors included. On Thursday the proceedings of the House of Commons came to a halt because the roof was leaking. The New York Times ran
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All eyes on Jeremy Corbyn – Politics Weekly podcast 4 Apr 12:00pm All eyes on Jeremy Corbyn – Politics Weekly podcast
Heather Stewart is joined by Lisa O’Carroll, Zoe Williams and Henry Newman to assess the chances of Corbyn and May burying the hatchet to reach a cross-party consensus on Brexit. Plus: we meet one of the environmental protestors who invaded Parliament this week. And is Brexit bad for our mental health? After three years of turmoil, billions of pounds spent, and three failed attempts at getting her deal through parliament, Theresa May stopped trying to exit the EU with Tory and DUP votes and turned instead to Jeremy Corbyn. But have two political leaders ever been more ill-suited to finding a cross-party consensus?
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Cutting disability services doesn’t save money. But it does damage lives | Frances Ryan 4 Apr 4:00am Cutting disability services doesn’t save money. But it does damage lives | Frances Ryan
Withdrawing funding from charities such as Possability People leaves many with nowhere to seek support and adviceIn times of deep inequality and shrinking services, politics is often framed like a David and Goliath battle. You see it in the mothers who this week
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The Guardian view on Brexit radicalisation: take time, lower the temperature | Editorial 3 Apr 1:30pm The Guardian view on Brexit radicalisation: take time, lower the temperature | Editorial
Brexiters may well be frustrated but their rhetoric of betrayal, sabotage and treason is fuelling a dangerously febrile atmosphereIt is a measure of how fevered British politics has become that many MPs speak of holding elections to the European parliament as a calamity to be avoided at all costs. It would certainly be an unusual exercise for a country committed to leaving the EU, but there are worse things that could happen to a democracy than its citizens having an opportunity to vote. The UK could be
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A comedian could be Ukraine’s next president. How did that happen? | Volodymyr Ishchenko 2 Apr 9:02am A comedian could be Ukraine’s next president. How did that happen? | Volodymyr Ishchenko
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has united a polarised country by rejecting angry nationalism – but his politics offer no panaceaA politically inexperienced comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskiy,
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Stop looking for the ‘Gotcha!’ moment in public debate | Kenan Malik 31 Mar 2:00am Stop looking for the ‘Gotcha!’ moment in public debate | Kenan Malik
A Tory MP finds herself at the centre of an antisemitism row after using the term ‘cultural Marxism’ It’s not often you have a public row about the meaning of “cultural Marxism”, but in the heated cauldron of contemporary politics, almost anything can become a controversy. Last week, Tory MP and leading Brexiter
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Labour’s plan for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal can heal the country | Tom Watson 30 Mar 4:59pm Labour’s plan for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal can heal the country | Tom Watson
The party is uniting behind a new referendumLike someone who works with heavy machinery or lives next to a railway line, it’s possible to get so accustomed to the ugly noise that blasts out of our political system that you don’t always hear it. But whenever I step back, I can tell the sound of our politics has become shriller and angrier, particularly since the referendum of 2016 that split our country in half.
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Brexit has nearly broken British politics. Here’s how to fix it | John Coakley 30 Mar 5:00am Brexit has nearly broken British politics. Here’s how to fix it | John Coakley
The third rejection of the withdrawal agreement shows Britain’s political system is helpless. We need a realistic view of its flawsFor those who live in the shadow of one of the most remarkable states to emerge in world history, the image of the UK now floundering in prolonged indecision over Brexit is shocking.
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Brexit can pave the way to a new politics | Letters 29 Mar 1:42pm Brexit can pave the way to a new politics | Letters
The Brexit crisis shows the need for a constitutional shake-up, says
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Tory playground politics are alienating the poor | Letter 29 Mar 1:17pm Tory playground politics are alienating the poor | Letter
Blame the government for curbing council powers that can prevent segregated play areas in some housing developments, says
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Those gunning to be caretaker PM should take notes from Solskjær | Stefan Stern 29 Mar 9:37am Those gunning to be caretaker PM should take notes from Solskjær | Stefan Stern
Football and politics have a rich history of caretaker managers. The tricky bit is keeping the magic alive if they become ‘permanent’ Meet the new boss, not quite the same as the old boss. Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the 46-year-old caretaker manager of Manchester United football club, has seen his temporary appointment become a
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Exit Theresa May? – Politics Weekly podcast 28 Mar 12:32pm Exit Theresa May? – Politics Weekly podcast
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Dan Sabbagh and Aarti Shankar to discuss the PM’s possible departure, and contenders for the top job. Plus: the Labour MP Rachel Reeves tells us about the forgotten women of Westminster Theresa May played her final hand at the Tory party’s 1922 Committee on Wednesday night, promising to sacrifice her premiership if they back her twice-rejected deal. Brexiters suddenly realised the Irish backstop was not the big problem they had thought it was just hours earlier and got behind her deal, and for a few minutes at least it looked as though Brexit was sorted.
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Brexit has ganged up with Alzheimer’s against my mother | Anne Penketh 28 Mar 7:30am Brexit has ganged up with Alzheimer’s against my mother | Anne Penketh
With politics utterly gridlocked, the most vulnerable people in society are floundering in a policy vacuumIt’s tempting to think that the sudden deterioration of my mother’s mental health could be linked to Brexit and our country’s collective nervous breakdown. I know it’s just a coincidence. But I believe that she and many others with Alzheimer’s disease are Brexit victims because the government’s focus on leaving the EU has created a policy vacuum that has cut adrift the most vulnerable people.
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May’s exit won’t halt Britain’s slow drift into a kind of Brexit civil war | Martin Kettle 27 Mar 5:59pm May’s exit won’t halt Britain’s slow drift into a kind of Brexit civil war | Martin Kettle
This crisis would have tested a Cromwell or a Lloyd George. It will not be resolved by a new leader but only by parliamentBe clear which of the current crises in British politics matters more in the long term. This isn’t easy right now, when the prospect of a Conservative leadership contest inevitably triggers a Tory party and media frenzy. Nevertheless, Brexit is the root of the matter. That fact didn’t change after Theresa May addressed the 1922 Committee tonight, and it isn’t going to go away. The Tory succession battle is ephemeral by comparison. It has long been obvious that May would not see the year out in Downing Street. Her
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Don’t knock the humble vox pop. It’s a vital tool of journalism | John Domokos 26 Mar 10:49am Don’t knock the humble vox pop. It’s a vital tool of journalism | John Domokos
Street interviews can be abused by lazy reporters. But in Anywhere But Westminster, we’ve found them to be revelatory A lot of people, it seems, are sick of vox pops. With British politics becoming ever more bitterly dysfunctional, debate becoming more polarised and the media less trusted, the humble vox pop has become a symbol of what has gone wrong with the way we talk politics. The comedian David Baddiel
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If Jacinda Ardern was in No 10, imagine how different Brexit would be | Jonathan Powell 26 Mar 4:00am If Jacinda Ardern was in No 10, imagine how different Brexit would be | Jonathan Powell
Unlike Theresa May, New Zealand’s prime minister has the leadership qualities to bind a crisis-struck nation togetherThey are the second and third female prime ministers of their countries. They both preside over minority governments. They have both spent most of their lives in politics. Both have a long-term interest in policing and home affairs. And they have both had to lead as their countries confront one of the greatest man-made crises they have ever faced. That is where the comparisons end. One has become an international heroine and the other is about to leave office in humiliation as the second worst prime minister ever. In New Zealand,
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