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Our Brexit limbo has given us two new parties, but the same old politics | Rafael Behr6h 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 Peaker37h 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 Harris43h 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’Ancona43h 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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The Guardian view on Conservative crisis: made by Brexit | Editorial 24 Mar 2:49pm The Guardian view on Conservative crisis: made by Brexit | Editorial
The main political parties are split and unable to contain the destructive fallout of the populist politics of leaving the EUTheresa May has not been honest about the withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the European Union. She repeatedly said it was the only one on the table. She now
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Theresa May has failed to offer sound leadership in this toxic Brexit phase | Phillip Lee 23 Mar 5:00pm Theresa May has failed to offer sound leadership in this toxic Brexit phase | Phillip Lee
The PM has brought us to this crisis with a series of calamitous decisions How has it come to this? Theresa May and her husband, Philip, have long been friends of mine and I have in the past admired her sense of duty and commitment to her party and her country. So it grieves me that her stubborn choices have left both in peril. At a time when our politics needs statesmanship, not brinkmanship, when our divided people need time to heal and come back together, and when our country needs honest leadership rooted in reality not ideology, Mrs May has embraced division. Rather than providing the calm, compassionate and unifying leadership we so desperately needed after a divisive EU referendum campaign, she rushed to own Brexit. She has clung to power in the process, but she is letting us all down.
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How the media let malicious idiots take over | George Monbiot 22 Mar 11:57am How the media let malicious idiots take over | George Monbiot
Be it Jacob Rees-Mogg or Nigel Farage, blusterers and braggarts are rewarded with platforms that distort our political debateIf our politics is becoming less rational, crueller and more divisive, this rule of public life is partly to blame: the more disgracefully you behave, the bigger the platform the media will give you. If you are caught lying, cheating, boasting or behaving like an idiot, you’ll be flooded with invitations to appear on current affairs programmes. If you play straight, don’t expect the phone to ring.
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Theresa May has trashed our democracy and put MPs in danger | Lisa Nandy 21 Mar 9:32am Theresa May has trashed our democracy and put MPs in danger | Lisa Nandy
Last night’s statement was poisonous. Credible threats have been made to MPs – she should not be unleashing populismThe sense of anger is hard to adequately put into words. Yesterday, in the toxic climate that now defines British politics the prime minister took to the steps of Downing Street to
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Why Viktor Orbán and his allies won’t win the EU elections | Ivan Krastev 20 Mar 2:00am Why Viktor Orbán and his allies won’t win the EU elections | Ivan Krastev
Rightwing populists think voters obsess about immigration. But that’s not the case Democratic politics need drama. Elections are a form of therapy session in which voters are confronted with their worst fears – a new war, demographic collapse, economic crisis, environmental horror – but become convinced they have the power to avert the devastation. “As the election approaches,”
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The Guardian view on Speaker Bercow: on parliament’s side | Editorial 18 Mar 3:07pm The Guardian view on Speaker Bercow: on parliament’s side | Editorial
The Commons equivalent of the double jeopardy rule is rightly invoked to impose sense on a government elevating a plebiscitary politics over a parliamentary oneThis country has been in a political and constitutional quandary since the results of the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Today the crisis deepened in a dramatic and decisive way. The Commons Speaker John Bercow said he was
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Whatever Nancy Pelosi says, youthful zest is moving US politics to the left | Clio Chang 17 Mar 2:47pm Whatever Nancy Pelosi says, youthful zest is moving US politics to the left | Clio Chang
From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal to universal healthcare, the Democrats’ goalposts are moving, with consequences for the whole planetA generational battle is taking place in US politics that could have profound consequences not just for the global left but also for the future of the planet. Ever since
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We scoffed at Grayling’s ‘ferries’ but his way is now a public service norm | Kenan Malik 17 Mar 5:30am We scoffed at Grayling’s ‘ferries’ but his way is now a public service norm | Kenan Malik
Interserve’s collapse reveals the dangers of a shadow state apparatus run solely for profitOh, how we laughed. Failing Grayling, the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, the Mr Bean of contemporary politics, had awarded a cross-Channel ferry contract to Seaborne, a company that had no ferries and had
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The Guardian view on Brexit delay: time to let reality in | Editorial 14 Mar 3:28pm The Guardian view on Brexit delay: time to let reality in | Editorial
Theresa May came to office without answers to European questions and looked for them in the wrong places. Her way of doing Brexit is overFor nearly two years, Britain has known when it is supposed to leave the EU. Its politics have been consumed by the question of how. There has been less exploration of why. The simplest answer is that a majority voted to do so and that their preference should, on democratic principle, be respected. But when the government has failed to find a safe Brexit path, to proceed regardless of the consequences is to risk being wantonly destructive. Just such a point of failure has been reached.
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The problem is not so much Theresa May – it’s that Britain is now ungovernable | Aditya Chakrabortty 14 Mar 11:42am The problem is not so much Theresa May – it’s that Britain is now ungovernable | Aditya Chakrabortty
There can be no ‘genuine leadership’ from a political class that has become totally divorced from ordinary peopleDramas need characters, politics requires politicians and a storm must have an eye. Which is why at the dead centre of Brexit – the biggest and most multifaceted crisis to face this country in nearly 50 years – there is just one person. She stands at a Commons dispatch box in an elegant outfit day after day, knowing that the evening will cover her in yet another dung-heap of
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Greta Thunberg:how her school strike went global – podcast 13 Mar 11:00pm Greta Thunberg:how her school strike went global – podcast
Greta Thunberg’s school strike against climate change has spread to 71 countries, and this Friday’s action could be one of the largest global climate change protests ever. She tells our environment editor Jonathan Watts how it all began. Plus: Gary Younge on how Brexit overwhelmed British politics One day last summer,
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Why Labour must not fall for the charms of a Norway-style deal | Michael Chessum 13 Mar 4:00am Why Labour must not fall for the charms of a Norway-style deal | Michael Chessum
Delivering a Brexit of any kind will be ruinous for the party – including this softer ‘compromise’ optionThis ought to be a time for the flourishing of big ideas in politics. For those who drove it, Brexit is about reasserting Britain’s imperial role in the world, and stripping out the modest social democratic reforms on workers’ rights and regulatory standards now enshrined in EU law. Under new leadership, Labour has been presented with an opportunity to mount the concerted, principled defence of immigration and internationalist politics that the party, and the wider left, have been avoiding for decades.
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These gaffes expose British politics’ real issue with race | Gary Younge 13 Mar 2:00am These gaffes expose British politics’ real issue with race | Gary Younge
Blunders by MPs from Angela Smith to Andrea Leadsom reveal a political class that has no grasp of Britain’s racial dynamicsAmong the unremarkable racial experiences in my life, I have been chased off a train as a teenager by men twice my age and size shouting “nigger”; pursued down a main street in Edinburgh by two men with baseball bats shouting the same word; had racist graffiti scrawled on my house; and had countless people shout at me in the street. Unremarkable not because they weren’t terrifying or upsetting at the time but because such stories are relatively common among black people of my age who grew up in Britain.
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We exclude the Labour left from British politics at our peril | Andy Beckett 11 Mar 2:00am We exclude the Labour left from British politics at our peril | Andy Beckett
Jeremy Corbyn’s project could solve Britain’s problems. But we will never know if we focus only on its flaws, not its policiesJeremy Corbyn’s leadership is on borrowed time. That assumption has hung over it throughout his three and a half years in charge. It’s there during every Labour crisis. It’s there before every perilous election – such as the local polls this May. And after every bad or even so-so Labour result the end of Corbyn’s leadership is there in the minds of his many enemies, of many commentators, of many anxious Corbynistas. When the party is doing better under him, such as during and immediately after the 2017 election, this sense that he is on perpetual probation recedes, but never completely and never for long. In June 2017, two days after Labour had won its largest general election vote since Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide, the then Labour MP Chris Leslie told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We shouldn’t pretend that this is a famous victory. It is good … but it’s
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Playing politics with a child’s life shames us all, Mr Javid | Jess Phillips 9 Mar 2:00pm Playing politics with a child’s life shames us all, Mr Javid | Jess Phillips
Shamima Begum may not deserve much sympathy, but she is a UK citizen. And so was her babyTheresa May famously peddled a story about an illegal immigrant who had won his case
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Neither oppressed nor trailblazing, Muslim women need to be heard | Raifa Rafiq 8 Mar 11:40am Neither oppressed nor trailblazing, Muslim women need to be heard | Raifa Rafiq
The representation of us in media and politics is too often decided by others – but we can speak for ourselvesThe politics of the Muslim woman remains wrapped up in “debate”. The oppressed-terrorist-bride complex is rampant within our societal infrastructures – and it’s still deeply ingrained in the consciousness of the supposedly reasonable
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An insane place where politics is done one day at a time – that’s Brexit Britain | Martha Gill 8 Mar 10:57am An insane place where politics is done one day at a time – that’s Brexit Britain | Martha Gill
May’s manoeuvres feel like the last futile moves of a chess player in check while the UK heads for a catastrophic no deal So here we are. The government seems to be headed towards a free vote on whether the country should leave Europe with no deal. This is, in case you are wondering, an insane situation. No deal would plunge the country into a state of emergency, cause
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Women worldwide must be heard and respected | Letters 8 Mar 1:59am Women worldwide must be heard and respected | Letters
Seventy-six women from the arts, business world, law and politics, including
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Deaths in police custody are tragic. Devastated families deserve legal aid | Kieran Yates 7 Mar 7:05am Deaths in police custody are tragic. Devastated families deserve legal aid | Kieran Yates
After Sean Rigg died, his relatives had to raise funds for the court case. The imbalance of power here is fundamentalThe idea of a level playing field, is, as the joke goes, in the hands of whoever manages the field. The gardener in charge of laying the grass is ultimately responsible for how evenly spread it is, and we trust that players on both sides have been given a fair chance of winning. We have to assume that pitches remain level, not sabotaged with mounds and stones on one side laid by scheming gardeners supporting opposing teams. Our trust in this parity is basic. Of course, if you have an understanding of race politics, or the impacts of government policy over the past few years, you will know the myth of the equal playing field. It was powerfully illustrated last week, when I attended a parliamentary meeting at the House of Commons on Tuesday as part of
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Why I backed a gender-fluid writer for a women’s fiction prize | Arifa Akbar 4 Mar 1:00am Why I backed a gender-fluid writer for a women’s fiction prize | Arifa Akbar
Akwaeke Emezi’s inclusion should not be hijacked by gender politics axe-grinders Sixteen dazzling and diverse novels make the longlist for the 2019 Women’s prize for fiction, an award whose illustrious literary alumnae include Ali Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith and the late Andrea Levy. This year’s writers, announced today, range across continents, ages and backgrounds. For the first time a gender-fluid novelist is among them. Akwaeke Emezi is Nigerian-born with Malaysian heritage who identifies as non-binary. Should we put our hard hats on? As one of the prize judges, I hope the book will be seen for what it is and the discussion not hijacked by gender politics axe-grinders. The prize is about judging the books, not the authors, so when I and fellow panellists read Emezi’s debut,
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The Guardian view on Chris Grayling: the joke is on the voters | Editorial 3 Mar 1:30pm The Guardian view on Chris Grayling: the joke is on the voters | Editorial
Ministers must be held accountable when policies go wrong – particularly when public faith in politics is at a low ebb Fierce criticism of ministers is a normal feature of democratic politics. Such attacks can have a theatrical aspect. But it is important that substantive attacks are not dismissed as point scoring, because it matters that powerful individuals are held to account for mistakes. The
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The Guardian view on the hostile environment: the ‘right to rent’ and other wrongs | Editorial 3 Mar 1:25pm The Guardian view on the hostile environment: the ‘right to rent’ and other wrongs | Editorial
Turning landlords into border guards has been ruled illegal. But the fight against cruel anti-immigration politics goes onHalf a century ago, the British government made it illegal to refuse housing on the grounds of race. On Friday, the high court
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I don’t recognise this depiction of Liverpool | Letters 3 Mar 12:59am I don’t recognise this depiction of Liverpool | Letters
Wavertree is a socially and economically disparate constituency and its politics reflect thatAs a long-term resident of Wavertree, Luciana Berger’s constituency, I found very little to recognise in your report (“
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The Tories’ response to raging Islamophobia? Turn a blind eye | Miqdaad Versi 2 Mar 4:00am The Tories’ response to raging Islamophobia? Turn a blind eye | Miqdaad Versi
A litany of unpunished bigotry by MPs should perhaps be no surprise from a party which seems to attract anti-Muslim racists On Thursday’s BBC Politics Live show, the Conservative MP Henry Smith
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Uncertainty over Brexit is ruining our personal lives | Zoe Williams 28 Feb 2:00am Uncertainty over Brexit is ruining our personal lives | Zoe Williams
Britons are so drenched in unknowables that we can’t make any decisions at all, from hobbies and holidays to housing In 25 years of covering British politics – overstating outrages, decrying terrible ideas that have already happened, wishing someone else were in charge (someone more like me) – I have never been here before. I don’t mean: “I’ve never looked at the ranks of government with such distaste and despair,” because there was no way of knowing, 10 years ago, that things would get this much worse. No, I mean, I’ve never felt the public realm bleed so relentlessly into my personal life that I’m drenched in unknowables and can’t make any decisions at all. All questions end: “Wait and see what happens in March, I guess.” “Do we move house?” is merely the headline uncertainty that probably only affects a few. Where do you go on holiday when you don’t know what’s going to happen to the pound? This stuff matters. I have a friend who went to France last year and spent £25 on a chicken in a market. She said: “You know if you got mugged by your own parent? That’s what it tasted like.”
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Paul Flynn was a champion in the fight against nuclear power 26 Feb 11:24am Paul Flynn was a champion in the fight against nuclear power
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/18/paul-flynn-obituary" title="">Paul Flynn
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I don’t give a damn about how your father voted – political tribalism has had its day | Suzanne Moore 26 Feb 2:00am I don’t give a damn about how your father voted – political tribalism has had its day | Suzanne Moore
In between the Tory and Labour die-hards are the great majority – the unsure. And the party that will triumph will be the free-thinkers who can adapt Is politics genetic? I mean is there some sort of DNA test to show that you think equality is good, but, come off it, it’s never gonna happen? And can it tell you who you really are? I ask because a lot of friends are doing those commercial DNA tests at the moment to find out, what exactly? Scientifically, I don’t think the database is big enough to tell you much, but then I am my own special creation. My mother was adopted and my father American, so I could be anything. I am impure. That’s all I need to know. My ethnicity is not that interesting to me because purity is not that interesting to me. I feel much the same way about politics and all this talk of tribalism. “I was born Labour,” I hear people say. Emily Thornberry said she would rather die than leave the Labour party at the weekend. That seems a little extreme. Some people in the Labour party already appear half-dead, because they are distressed at the rigor mortis of their leadership.
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There is now a force to disrupt Brexit. MPs, it’s time to act | Matthew d’Ancona 24 Feb 11:33am There is now a force to disrupt Brexit. MPs, it’s time to act | Matthew d’Ancona
The Independent Group has made old certainties around the 2016 referendum look weaker than everOne of the great lessons of the 20th century is that history has no direction: as Isaiah Berlin and Karl Popper argued, and as the transformative upheavals of 1989 showed to thrilling effect, there is no secular version of providence, no ideological script to follow. So it has been alarming, in the past few years, to watch the two main parties surrendering to different versions of the teleological delusion. The Conservative party has embraced Brexit as a mythic nativist destiny towards which we must all march loyally. Labour, meanwhile, is in thrall to the old left determinism, in which all the core debates have long since been settled, devotion to the leadership must be absolute, and all that remains is for those who are foolish enough to think otherwise to be stripped of their false consciousness. For those of us who believe in pluralist politics, it has been a depressing spectacle, a battle between desperate certainties that slide pointlessly over the gritty, unpredictable reality of 21st-century life. Which is the principal reason why the foundation of the 11-strong
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A new politics? That lies with the people, not the Independent Group | Neal Lawson 24 Feb 7:39am A new politics? That lies with the people, not the Independent Group | Neal Lawson
Our connected, newly energised local communities are the future of this country. Not MPs still chained to WestminsterThe launch of the new
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Why binary politics leaves Britain all at sea | David Mitchell 24 Feb 5:00am Why binary politics leaves Britain all at sea | David Mitchell
Our two parties are more interested in guaranteeing their own survival than in helping the country to flourish Eton College’s most admirable attribute, I’ve long thought, is its motto. A Latin phrase, but not one that would have been familiar to the Romans,
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Independents offer hope to those who despair of our broken politics | Andrew Rawnsley 24 Feb 4:00am Independents offer hope to those who despair of our broken politics | Andrew Rawnsley
Tory and Labour defectors will appeal to voters repulsed by how the blue and red tribes have been captured by narrow sectsWinston Churchill, who left the Tories to become a Liberal and then went back to the Conservatives, wryly congratulated himself: “Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re-rat.” He is the exception to the rule that switchers don’t succeed in British politics. It is an enormous decision when an MP chooses to break with a party to which the politician will very often have committed decades of his or her life. It means the ruination of friendships and the wrecking of family relationships. And it is much more often than not a choice that leads to doom. This is why so many Labour and Conservative MPs stay within their parties even when they are in the most profound despair with where they are going or how they are being led. They resign themselves to bitter self-imprisonment in the belief that splitters never prosper.
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The Guardian view on Britain’s political parties: Brexit is breaking the mould | Editorial 22 Feb 1:30pm The Guardian view on Britain’s political parties: Brexit is breaking the mould | Editorial
It would be ironic if, as Britain prepares to leave the EU, the country’s fragmentary politics became more characteristically EuropeanAcross Europe, old two-party political systems have been fragmenting for a generation and more. In most western European countries, the left-right split has long been overlaid by others, notably on social values and identity. Germany now has seven significant parties in the Bundestag. France has at least nine in a national assembly dominated by a party that did not even exist in 2016. Ireland’s Dáil has 10 and more. Spain’s outgoing congress of deputies some 13. Part of this fragmentation can be explained by differences in electoral systems and in national histories that make multiparty outcomes more likely. But not all of it. The fragmentation also reflects the fact that all societies have evolved in the post-industrial era, and that politics has had to adjust. Is the same thing happening here? It already has done in Scotland. The abandonment of the
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The odds are against them, but these MPs could yet change our politics | Jonathan Freedland 22 Feb 12:32pm The odds are against them, but these MPs could yet change our politics | Jonathan Freedland
Those who say the Independent Group is bound to fail forget that the political playbook has been shreddedWestminster has a new parlour game. Since Monday, a conversation with anyone in or around politics will open with a round of “So what are the chances for this new Independent Group?” Players are encouraged to produce ever smarter reasons why the cluster of 11 MPs who broke from their former parties – eight from Labour, three from the Tories – is doomed to fail. Bonus points are awarded for historical references or imaginative use of polling data. By way of a warm-up, there are the obvious early arguments. New or third parties do notoriously badly under our first-past-the-post electoral system: just look at the
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Just when the country needs Tom Hanks, we get Derek Hatton | Marina Hyde 22 Feb 12:26pm Just when the country needs Tom Hanks, we get Derek Hatton | Marina Hyde
The shortage of heroes in British politics is acute. All that seems to be on offer is fighty extras
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These Tory women defectors are the Thelma and Louise of British politics | Gaby Hinsliff 21 Feb 12:42pm These Tory women defectors are the Thelma and Louise of British politics | Gaby Hinsliff
Their charisma and exuberance is infectious, but could their leap of faith also take voters over the cliff edge?At the end of Thelma & Louise, as the net closes in on the outlaws, Geena Davis’s character turns to her friend and says she doesn’t ever remember feeling this awake. The freedom they craved may be violent and volatile compared to the steady suburban unhappiness of the lives they left behind, but at least now it feels as if there’s something to live for. There was a hint of something similar about a gleeful Heidi Allen declaring, as she left the Conservative party this week, that she was “tired of feeling numb” about politics; that she hadn’t felt this excited in years. The self-styled “
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Yes, there’s Brexit. But the inaction on the fit-for-work scandal is shameless | Frances Ryan 21 Feb 3:00am Yes, there’s Brexit. But the inaction on the fit-for-work scandal is shameless | Frances Ryan
The cold reality is there is no motivation for ministers to address the issue, and little faith that they’re up to the jobIt’s become practically a cliche of current politics to lament the way Brexit has pushed all other tasks off the agenda: leaving pressing issues like homelessness, climate change and social care to fester. What is rarely acknowledged, however, is that this is hardly a new phenomenon. While the European question has undeniably derailed Britain’s domestic agenda, the political class lost sight of the key social and economic issues of our times long ago.
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The breakaway MPs are like a tribute act to the failed politics of the past | Owen Jones 21 Feb 1:00am The breakaway MPs are like a tribute act to the failed politics of the past | Owen Jones
Yes, they’ll enjoy an extended honeymoon. But unlike the SDP in the 80s, this movement has misread the timesIf any breakaway “centrist” party was going to thrive, it was the Social Democratic party. Their founder members were political titans: David Owen, a former foreign secretary at the age of just 38; Shirley Williams, one of Labour’s most prominent women, an education secretary who fronted party political broadcasts; Roy Jenkins, a chancellor, deputy leader, president of the European commission and once a likely future leader. They had gravitas, intellectual heft – Jenkins was a prolific author – and a body of ideas. They received adulation in the media. At the end of 1981,
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The splitting of the Tories and Labour could redefine British politics | Martin Kettle 20 Feb 2:32pm The splitting of the Tories and Labour could redefine British politics | Martin Kettle
Britain is split down the middle on Brexit. In response the independent MPs have made a bold breakHeidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston are not the first MPs to
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The Independent Group will only succeed if PR is their central policy | Catherine Mayer 20 Feb 7:34am The Independent Group will only succeed if PR is their central policy | Catherine Mayer
If they are serious about fixing ‘broken politics’, they should join us in backing a fairer voting system
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The Independent Group and the Labour party’s shifting politics | Letters 19 Feb 1:09pm The Independent Group and the Labour party’s shifting politics | Letters
It is unclear what the seven MPs who left the party this week believe in, says ex-MP
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Podemos was the dazzling new force in Spanish politics. What went wrong? | Giles Tremlett 19 Feb 1:00am Podemos was the dazzling new force in Spanish politics. What went wrong? | Giles Tremlett
Internal strife and a narrowness of vision has halted the party’s rise – and left room for the far right to creep inIt was only five years ago that Spain’s break-out party Podemos became
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Andrea Levy had to fight for a recognition she truly deserved | Gary Younge 15 Feb 4:32am Andrea Levy had to fight for a recognition she truly deserved | Gary Younge
The author whose politics were rooted in anti-racism defined achievement on her own terms
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Remainers, hold your nerve. May is no nearer to her Brexit deal | Martin Kettle 14 Feb 1:00am Remainers, hold your nerve. May is no nearer to her Brexit deal | Martin Kettle
Although some plans are being talked up and others talked down, Theresa May knows everything is still to play for Even at the best of times, politics can be a place of deception and a hall of mirrors. High politics and low calculation are inseparable in the way MPs cast their votes. For some of us, that’s part of what makes politics so fascinating. But, over Brexit, the mirrors glint and deceive more than ever. As the Commons prepares for
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The country is stockpiling beans and body bags – but they won’t save us from Brexit’s bad politics | Zoe Williams 13 Feb 12:02pm The country is stockpiling beans and body bags – but they won’t save us from Brexit’s bad politics | Zoe Williams
A survival kit of condensed milk and tinned peaches is no defence against the fallout of chaos and disintegration
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Deal or no deal, both Labour and the Tories will split over Brexit | Rafael Behr 12 Feb 2:12pm Deal or no deal, both Labour and the Tories will split over Brexit | Rafael Behr
Under May and Corbyn, the two broad churches of English politics are shrinking into intolerant sectsA casual observer seeing Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn
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Why the sickly ugly sisters of our politics deserve to suffer the splits | Andrew Rawnsley 10 Feb 5:00am Why the sickly ugly sisters of our politics deserve to suffer the splits | Andrew Rawnsley
Once broad churches, both the Tory and Labour parties have become increasingly sectarian. Breakaways will be the resultIf they did not exist, would we invent them? Given the chance to start from scratch, would Britain regard the Conservative and Labour parties, the two old and ugly sisters of our politics, as the best we can do? Are they fit for the purpose of representing and reconciling the diversity of opinions in a modern and complex country? And for offering it a choice of decent governments? A growing number of us have been saying not and for a long time. Even before
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The France-Italy row is theatrical – but such shows are dangerous for Europe | Natalie Nougayrède 8 Feb 9:06am The France-Italy row is theatrical – but such shows are dangerous for Europe | Natalie Nougayrède
No two European countries are closer. Yet, as with Brexit, polarised politics have swiftly morphed into open rupturesTo describe this as the worst crisis between France and Italy since the second world war seems a bit of an overstatement. It’s not exactly as if troops are about to march across the Alps – as Mussolini’s did in 1940. Still, when
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Whatever Luciana Berger’s politics, Labour members must stand with her against antisemitism | Owen Jones 8 Feb 8:19am Whatever Luciana Berger’s politics, Labour members must stand with her against antisemitism | Owen Jones
Local activists have the right to an MP who reflects their values. But they must also denounce vile abuse without reservationSome things in politics are far from being clear-cut. Here’s something that is. Luciana Berger, Labour’s MP for Liverpool Wavertree, is the victim of antisemitic abuse and harassment. She has suffered this for years. In October 2014, a
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Teaching all pupils to act more like Etonians won’t help solve inequality | Suzanne Moore 7 Feb 11:15am Teaching all pupils to act more like Etonians won’t help solve inequality | Suzanne Moore
Damian Hinds wants everyone to mimic public school children, but class assimilation is a superficial solutionIt really does take a special kind of inattention to observe public life today and conclude that what we need is more public school swagger. Our politics is currently dominated by men who are so convinced of their own swag it’s dangerous. We know where politics as a debating society with no real-world consequences leads: Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson are exemplary only in their callous recklessness. Still, here we have the education secretary, Damian Hinds (I know no one knows who he is or what he does, as Brexit has vacuumed all policy into its void), suggesting that state school pupils should
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Dear Theresa May, your Brexit plan is doomed. Here’s a deal that will work | Gina Miller 6 Feb 12:31pm Dear Theresa May, your Brexit plan is doomed. Here’s a deal that will work | Gina Miller
We’re heading for a no-deal disaster. But there’s a UK-EU agreement already worked on that she can use to move forwardDear Mrs May, I write to you at a time of grave national crisis, beholden to no party, a representative of no special interest and in nobody’s pocket. I am, however, a concerned citizen, a mother and an employer and I am hopeful that, in view of the deadlock in our politics just weeks before we are due to leave the European Union on 29 March, you will have the intellectual and moral honesty to consider a commonsense and pragmatic proposal.
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Jess Phillips: ‘I thought I was quite posh – I’ve realised I’m basically a scullery maid’ 3 Feb 9:00am Jess Phillips: ‘I thought I was quite posh – I’ve realised I’m basically a scullery maid’
Last week, the Labour MP’s witty speech on immigration made waves around the country. She talks about class, Jeremy Corbyn – and who should be the next Labour leader If you want to make yourself depressed about the state of politics, go on Twitter and search for Jess Phillips. Last Monday, the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley stood up in the House of Commons during the immigration bill debate. The House was largely empty – “The reason I got to speak for so long is that there weren’t that many people down to speak,” she says several days later –
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Jeremy Hardy – true to his politics and his comedy | Stephanie Merritt 3 Feb 1:00am Jeremy Hardy – true to his politics and his comedy | Stephanie Merritt
The campaigning comic was political to his bones, yet also gloriously silly Even a decade ago, Jeremy Hardy used to worry about the vulnerability of his supposedly aged Radio 4 fanbase: “I hope we don’t have a harsh winter – I could lose half my audience.” This was characteristically modest, since he was loved and admired by comedy fans of all ages, from the spit’n’sawdust clubs where he started out in the early 80s to the Hay festival and the BBC Radio theatre. So many of the tributes pouring in after the
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Politicians have lost the plot. But lawyers still grasp Brexit realities | Tom Clark 1 Feb 5:00am Politicians have lost the plot. But lawyers still grasp Brexit realities | Tom Clark
In times of crisis, politics usually tramples on the law. But this time a fractured Westminster can’t even agree on the facts Politics and law are entirely different ways of seeing the world, even though they bump up against each other all of the time. The lawyerly mindset emphasises precision, takes the time to be certain, and makes sense of everything through the rules. To the average politician, lawyerly arguments are finickity, pedantic and beside the point, because when it comes to the crunch, political will can sweep them out of the way.
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Brexiter MPs are not the problem – it’s the other 600 of them | Simon Jenkins 1 Feb 1:00am Brexiter MPs are not the problem – it’s the other 600 of them | Simon Jenkins
The fundamentalists are few in number, yet they got their way because the majority in parliament abandoned responsibilityI once wanted to be an MP, but a kind friend warned me off. He said I was far too interested in politics, and it would end in tears. I am sure he was right. Others I knew did enter parliament, and I admired their courage in opting for a tough and vital calling. But after this week’s Commons vote, I confess I have never held MPs in lower esteem. Never in my lifetime has the profession so
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The Brexit delusion: May to demand the impossible? - Politics Weekly podcast 31 Jan 12:29pm The Brexit delusion: May to demand the impossible? - Politics Weekly podcast
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Martin Kettle and Aarti Shankar to discuss the latest round of fantasy Brexit. Plus: a short history of Brexit, and why MPs should pay their speeding tickets The Tory party has finally decided what sort of Brexit they want. The Brady amendment, which was passed on Tuesday, demands the replacement of the Northern Irish backstop with “alternative arrangements”. But just six minutes after the vote was counted, Brussels reminded everyone that “the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation”. Undaunted, Theresa May is set to head to Brussels to demand what looks impossible.
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Labour’s immigration U-turn is a wake-up call for Corbyn supporters | Rachel Shabi 30 Jan 8:34am Labour’s immigration U-turn is a wake-up call for Corbyn supporters | Rachel Shabi
By criticising the party’s approach to migration, loyalists helped to change it. The leadership must learn to listen to themWe’re here, then. The point at which a Labour leadership that won support for being different ends up being the same. The stage that jaded observers warned was an inevitability of politics, no matter who was in charge. The day that a political project with impeccably pro-migration credentials triangulated into abstention on a miserable, destructive Conservative immigration bill.
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May thinks she’s won. But the reality of Brexit will soon hit her again | Rafael Behr 29 Jan 4:34pm May thinks she’s won. But the reality of Brexit will soon hit her again | Rafael Behr
The Brady amendment passed. But ultimately the problem is not the deal, or the backstop, or Brussels: it is Brexit itselfBritish politics now follows the tortured pattern of addiction. Inside the addict’s head the most important thing is getting to the next Brexit fix, scoring the best deal. But from the outside, to our European friends and family, it is obvious that the problem is the compulsive pursuit of a product that does us only harm. Last night Theresa May thought she had scored: a slender majority in parliament voted for an imaginary agreement in Brussels, stripped of the hated “backstop”. Tory Eurosceptic ultras and the DUP pledged conditional allegiance to the prime minister if she delivers “alternative arrangements” for a seamless border on Northern Ireland. But no one has any idea what those might be and the EU has already ruled out a renegotiation on terms that might satisfy the hardliners. The transient buzz of Tory unity will yield to the chilly comedown of Brexit reality, as it always does.
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What I learned about Viktor Orbán on a road trip with my dad | John Domokos 28 Jan 10:21am What I learned about Viktor Orbán on a road trip with my dad | John Domokos
Travelling through Hungary, we found an anxiety about identity and place that liberals can’t ignoreLike many families, mine has been divided by politics in recent years. I am British; my dad has returned to his native Hungary. I work for the Guardian; he has become a supporter of Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán. It had become a festering sore. He loves talking politics, and resented the fact that he couldn’t discuss politics with me. I couldn’t talk about it, because I resented his politics. So we decided to
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Demography is not destiny. Politics should be about winning minds | Kenan Malik 27 Jan 4:00am Demography is not destiny. Politics should be about winning minds | Kenan Malik
A study shows Britain is now majority Remain. But reliance on data is not a motor for change Peter Kellner’s
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Left-Wing Politics and the Decline of Sociology 25 Jan 5:47pm Left-Wing Politics and the Decline of Sociology
Nathan Glazer came from an era when the field cared about describing the world, not changing it.
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The Guardian view on the Alex Salmond case: Scottish politics must go on 24 Jan 1:44pm The Guardian view on the Alex Salmond case: Scottish politics must go on
Difficult months lie ahead on Brexit and the future of the UK. Scottish politics must continue, despite the charges against one of the country’s biggest figuresAll news media will have to be scrupulously careful for several months about anything to do with the arrest and charges against Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond. The Guardian will observe that strictness for as long as required. Certain bare facts are, nevertheless, public and can be repeated. The former SNP leader was charged onThursday
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The Weirdness of American Politics 23 Jan 7:03pm The Weirdness of American Politics
From Michelob Ultra to dancing to Cardi B, Democrats are trying to out-Trump Trump.
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Green Politics and Global Instability 22 Jan 8:06pm Green Politics and Global Instability
How ‘Occupied,’ a Netflix show about Norway, could presage civil strife in Canada.
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The Guardian view on Theresa May’s challenge: no change, no Brexit | Editorial 20 Jan 1:25pm The Guardian view on Theresa May’s challenge: no change, no Brexit | Editorial
At the weekend, two former prime ministers showed they understand the need for new Brexit approaches. Theresa May needs to learn the same lessonOn Monday afternoon in the Commons, Theresa May will update MPs about any progress she may have made on Brexit options following her conclusive parliamentary defeat last week. It is expected to be a holding statement, to enable her to carry on consulting as she hunts for the elusive formula that can win a Commons majority, retain EU agreement and keep her government alive. Given Mrs May’s approach and personality, this could be a long search. Don’t hold your breath for the outcome. One of Mrs May’s most disabling qualities in this situation is her political rigidity. In spite of last week’s defeat, she struggles to see that everything about her premiership has changed. She remains formally in charge of the government. But, on the issue that defines British politics, she is no longer in charge at all. She merely leads one of the many groups with no majority that make up the
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It was never about Europe. Brexit is Britain’s reckoning with itself | Fintan O’Toole 18 Jan 1:00am It was never about Europe. Brexit is Britain’s reckoning with itself | Fintan O’Toole
Brexit is just the vehicle by which a fractured state has come to realise that its politics are no longer fit for purpose At least the Sun thrives on chaos. The savage parliamentary mauling of Britain’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union allowed Rupert Murdoch’s pet tabloid to unveil on Wednesday morning a front page of grandly gleeful malevolence. Under
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Martin Luther King, Colorblind Radical 17 Jan 7:02pm Martin Luther King, Colorblind Radical
He flirted with democratic socialism and opposed the Vietnam War but stood against identity politics.
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Amber Rudd’s denial of the benefits crisis takes political spin to a new level | Frances Ryan 17 Jan 3:00am Amber Rudd’s denial of the benefits crisis takes political spin to a new level | Frances Ryan
Apparently, universal credit failings only affect ‘one or two’ people. It almost makes you nostalgic for the Blair years Watching the government jostle to survive this week, I couldn’t help but think how “spin” – that frantic, Thick of It-type politics
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MPs alone won’t solve the Brexit deadlock. We need a citizens’ assembly | Lisa Nandy and Stella Creasy 16 Jan 9:57am MPs alone won’t solve the Brexit deadlock. We need a citizens’ assembly | Lisa Nandy and Stella Creasy
Few in Westminster will admit we’re stuck. This could be the non-partisan approach that could restore trust in our politics
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Alex Glasgow and the post-pub revolution | Brief letters 15 Jan 12:30pm Alex Glasgow and the post-pub revolution | Brief letters
Price rise | In praise of the Guardian | Alex Glasgow | Ynys Môn | Viagra treatment for goutI return to Blighty after a week’s holiday in Brussels, and what do I find? You’ve increased the price of the paper to £2.20. What is a pensioner to do? Decisions, decisions. To add insult to injury, on pages 8 and 9 on Monday you have a photo of Theresa May in her constituency. What was wrong with the pics of her attending church on Sundays? They were such a comfortable fixture – not that I approve of the PM or her politics.
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Brexit has revealed MPs’ flaws – and our own | Isabel Hardman 13 Jan 1:02pm Brexit has revealed MPs’ flaws – and our own | Isabel Hardman
As parliament gears up to vote, its imperfections are obvious. But Britain as a whole seems to have forgotten how to disagreeHow do you find out someone’s character flaws? We all go to great lengths to conceal our own, producing improbable lines in job interviews about our greatest weakness being our tendency to work too hard. Politicians employ advisers who plot news grids to show how busy and effective their leaders are, even as those leaders regularly fail to take important decisions. Shakespeare liked to use two devices to get his characters to reveal their true selves: he either put them in disguise or got them drunk. In politics today, the device for unmasking people’s weaknesses is rather less fun than a masked ball or session with a tankard: it’s Brexit.
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A divided Britain is not new. So why do today’s schisms seem intractable? | Kenan Malik 13 Jan 1:00am A divided Britain is not new. So why do today’s schisms seem intractable? | Kenan Malik
Once, divisions were more clearly embedded in politics. Now they can appear arbitrary A few years ago, we stayed in a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. One night, we went for a drink in the local. It was plastered inside and out with union jacks. The moment I saw the flags, the hairs on my neck stood up. Anyone black or Asian who had grown up in 70s and 80s Britain would probably have felt the same. The union jack in those days was a sign, meaning: “Beware, fascists around”.
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Theresa May is about to find out that Brexit is bigger than her | Rafael Behr 11 Jan 7:56am Theresa May is about to find out that Brexit is bigger than her | Rafael Behr
The need for a viable deal means the prime minister will shortly become a bit-part in this national tragedyWhatever else happens with Brexit, no one in British politics will ever again underestimate the power of a timetable. The pressure of the article 50 clock ticking down forced Theresa May into the compromises that make her deal unpalatable to MPs. She has tried to pass the pain on to MPs, hoping that the grim consequences of missing the deadline would force them to settle for her plan. Earlier this week,
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Politics May Trip Up Amazon and Walmart in India 10 Jan 6:58pm Politics May Trip Up Amazon and Walmart in India
The country isn’t too big for foreign companies to walk away from or avoid.
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It’s not perfect, but Norway plus may be Labour’s least worst option | Owen Jones 10 Jan 1:00am It’s not perfect, but Norway plus may be Labour’s least worst option | Owen Jones
The party must push for an election. But a Norway-type deal could be the only one that commands a parliamentary majority There are no good options for Labour on Brexit. Accepting this fact is both depressing and liberating. Being on the left is supposed to be about unbounded optimism, a belief that what is deemed politically impossible by the “sensible grownups” of politics can be realised, with sufficient imagination and determination. But recognising that there is no magic button that will end the Brexit debate is to be freed of the stress of searching for the impossible. Supporters of every position on Brexit should be honest about the downsides of their chosen strategies. Labour’s priority is, rightly, a general election. When Theresa May declared from a Downing Street podium that she was seeking to dissolve parliament in April 2017, she wanted to make the election entirely about Brexit. Labour did not allow her to do so, shifting the conversation on to domestic issues, where it was strong, from hiking taxes on the rich to investing in public services to public ownership: issues that unite remainers and leavers. Even though voters have priorities other than Brexit, such as stagnating wages, housing and the NHS, repeating the 2017 strategy this time would be far more challenging, to put it mildly. Labour’s electoral coalition, which encompasses both pro-remain Kensington and pro-leave Ashfield – will be placed under severe strain. The fact that Brexit dominates political debate is bad for Labour because it suppresses its anti-establishment politics; its leading figures are left looking like triangulating politicians, the same as the all the rest.
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The Guardian view on the politics of street confrontation: a dangerous trend | Editorial 9 Jan 1:25pm The Guardian view on the politics of street confrontation: a dangerous trend | Editorial
Brexiters’ casual denigration of remainers as ‘traitors’ and ‘enemies of the people’ has helped fertilise political ground where violent extremism growsPolitics describes many activities that do not look much alike. In the Commons today there was passionate debate on a
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I was harassed outside parliament. These thugs must not stifle Brexit debate | Femi Oluwole 9 Jan 5:31am I was harassed outside parliament. These thugs must not stifle Brexit debate | Femi Oluwole
Those who verbally abuse MPs and journalists outside parliament do not speak for ordinary votersThe Brexit result split those who support it. The darker politics that was mixed in with the mainstream leave vote no longer feels the need to hide. On Monday, Anna Soubry, Owen Jones and I were
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Anna Soubry abuse reflects the deplorable state of politics today | Letters 8 Jan 1:46pm Anna Soubry abuse reflects the deplorable state of politics today | Letters
Readers respond to the intimidation and ‘Nazi’ slurs faced by the Conservative MPThat a bunch of angry men should think it acceptable to intimidate and abuse Anna Soubry because they disagree with her stance on Brexit is a lamentable reflection of the state of our political discourse, which has been continuously degraded during the past two years (
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Mob politics is the hateful new norm – it must be resisted at all costs | Gaby Hinsliff 8 Jan 6:52am Mob politics is the hateful new norm – it must be resisted at all costs | Gaby Hinsliff
The ugly gauntlet Anna Soubry and fellow MPs are being forced to run isn’t democracy but the antithesis of it This is thuggishness, pure and simple. There’s no other way of characterising the ugly scenes unfolding outside parliament, where
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Theresa May is taking us to the no-deal cliff but won’t march us over | Polly Toynbee 8 Jan 1:00am Theresa May is taking us to the no-deal cliff but won’t march us over | Polly Toynbee
Although the prime minister has many grievous failings, her sense of duty will make her cautious about the country’s fate They’re back but nothing has changed, so happy 2019 Groundhog Day. Ahead lies more perpetual Brexit hell, so get used to it. Don’t imagine the next fortnight of high parliamentary drama will lead to an ending where we can all return to politics as usual. This won’t end with the 15 January vote on the prime minister’s deal, nor with reprised attempts to revive it soon after. It won’t end by the supposed 21 January deadline either, nor will it all be over on 29 March, exit day. Barring extraordinary and dangerous shocks (yes, dreadful things are possible), Brexitry will go on and on for the foreseeable future. Awful prospect? Yes, but all alternatives are frighteningly worse than extending the process as we back off the precipice.
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No more tribal politics: MPs must be allowed a free vote on Brexit | Simon Jenkins 7 Jan 5:47am No more tribal politics: MPs must be allowed a free vote on Brexit | Simon Jenkins
With the clock ticking, the choice is clear: May’s deal or no-deal. MPs should decide individually what is best for the nationHas anything changed over the holiday? Yes. 29 March is two weeks nearer. Like the imminence of death, it concentrates the mind.
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The Guardian view on the Orthodox schism: theology and low politics | Editorial 6 Jan 1:25pm The Guardian view on the Orthodox schism: theology and low politics | Editorial
Splitting the Ukrainian church from Moscow is an attempt to build an independent nationThe Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who reigns in Constantinople, has a magnificent title which corresponds to almost nothing on earth. Although he represents an unbroken tradition of almost 2,000 years of Christianity, Constantinople has been the Muslim city of Istanbul since 1453 and there are now fewer than 3,000 Orthodox Christians living there. Although his title is a claim to universal authority in the church, this has been has been obviously false since the papacy broke away and took with it western Christianity in the 11th century. Adding insult to injury, the patriarchs of Moscow regard themselves as his successors in “
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Power politics always drives space conquest. China’s coup is no different | Kenan Malik 6 Jan 1:00am Power politics always drives space conquest. China’s coup is no different | Kenan Malik
Landing a spacecraft on the far side of the moon is a fine achievement – and propaganda win Nasa rejected it as too difficult and costly an undertaking. Last week, China declared “mission accomplished” after
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Chris Grayling, I salute you as a titan of enterprise and innovation | Kevin McKenna 6 Jan 12:59am Chris Grayling, I salute you as a titan of enterprise and innovation | Kevin McKenna
Does it really matter if government hands out huge contracts to ferry firms with no ferries? Of course not The ghastly and tribal nature of modern British politics was wretchedly laid bare once more over the so-called festive period. The unfair criticism of Chris Grayling, our transport minister, over his
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The Observer view on Britain failing dismally in its moral duty to help refugees | Observer editorial 6 Jan 12:59am The Observer view on Britain failing dismally in its moral duty to help refugees | Observer editorial
Our callous response to the crisis in the name of party politics belies the kindness we are capable of offering If you had survived years of conflict in Syria or South Sudan, seen multiple family members perish, made a desperate, life-threatening dash for Europe that ended in a camp in northern France, but had a father or a sister in the UK, would you risk your life to try to join them? Our home secretary,
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Cheap rail fares would benefit the rich? That’s muddled thinking | Phil McDuff 4 Jan 5:36am Cheap rail fares would benefit the rich? That’s muddled thinking | Phil McDuff
It’s easy for nonsense to become common sense, such as on the rail rises. Beware the ‘fairness error’ – equality helps everyoneOne of the most depressing things about politics in the UK is realising how easy it is for total nonsense to become common sense and received wisdom. Take this
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The Guardian view on India’s temple dispute: faith and politics | Editorial 3 Jan 1:36pm The Guardian view on India’s temple dispute: faith and politics | Editorial
The supreme court offered politicians the chance to do the right thing when it ruled that women of childbearing age should be able to enter the Sabarimala shrine. Instead, they have exploited the disputeUnder cover of darkness, and with the aid of police, two women in their 40s
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Trump May Be the True Liberal 31 Dec 2018, 6:21pm Trump May Be the True Liberal
Today’s progressives have embraced illiberalism, from speech codes to identity politics.
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There is a path to a second referendum – and only Labour can win it | Tom Kibasi 31 Dec 2018, 10:47am There is a path to a second referendum – and only Labour can win it | Tom Kibasi
As the political class returns to Westminster, this could be the time that, through the Brexit process, Labour finds its path to powerIf it was the season of peace and goodwill towards all, then politics failed to get the memo. Not only did hostilities continue through the Christmas period, some of the main protagonists announced in advance that they were incapable of taking a break. If anything, the holidays provided more opportunities for irate, booze-fuelled Twitter rants. One particular object of ire was Jeremy Corbyn’s
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A Case of Mistaken Identity Politics in the Heart of Silicon Valley 29 Dec 2018, 11:40am Updated A Case of Mistaken Identity Politics in the Heart of Silicon Valley
A school won’t be named after Fred Yamamoto because of an unfortunate coincidence of surnames.
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A year of joyful escape: my top 10 moments of 2018 | Ian Jack 29 Dec 2018, 2:00am A year of joyful escape: my top 10 moments of 2018 | Ian Jack
How stained glass, swimming and strawberry tarts provided much-needed respite from a tumultuous 12 monthsNearly a year ago, on the last day of 2017, my wife and I had walked only a few miles across the South Downs when the rain began to sweep relentlessly across the bare upland, forcing us steeply downhill towards a little settlement called Firle. The pub there was crammed with walkers as soaked as ourselves, who boasted they had never been so wet in all their lives. The rain made us comrades, turning the pub into an idealisation of English decency, so that when we walked onwards to the station at Glynde – the rain now subsiding – we felt in good spirits, which lasted until we reached home through the suburban dusk and learned that Gavin Stamp, a good friend, had died the day before. Gavin would like Firle, so I’d thought on the train, guessing that he probably knew it already. He knew something about most places, and it was always worth getting in touch with him before travelling anywhere to see what he could tell you. Mainly it was buildings – he was the country’s pre-eminent architectural historian – though his knowledge and opinions never stopped at stone and brick. Many years of writing the Nooks and Corners column in Private Eye gave him a sound knowledge of local politics, and of local corruption, through his campaigns to save good architecture from the wrecker’s ball. He believed that Britain’s postwar destruction of its Victorian heritage amounted to a form of national self-hatred.
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I used to think the Brexit referendum would revitalise politics. I was wrong | Katy Balls 27 Dec 2018, 5:00am I used to think the Brexit referendum would revitalise politics. I was wrong | Katy Balls
The upturn in voter engagement was a cause for celebration. Then the process hit the brick wall of our political class The Brexit vote managed to
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Sylvia Pankhurst’s popularity shows the shifting nature of politics | Martin Kettle 26 Dec 2018, 9:59am Sylvia Pankhurst’s popularity shows the shifting nature of politics | Martin Kettle
She was not the most celebrated suffragette at the time. History is as much about the present as the past Newspapers are about the present not the past. It’s rare for a long-dead historical figure to make it into them, let alone twice in just a few days. That’s the sort of feat that only someone with instant name recognition like Winston Churchill would normally achieve. So when, just before Christmas, there were two separate news stories about Sylvia Pankhurst, it got me thinking about how we make use of our history nowadays and what it says about us. The first Pankhurst story revealed that the former suffragette had written to the postmaster general in 1934 to
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A modest proposal for 2019: scrap the parliamentary lobby | James Ball 26 Dec 2018, 8:00am A modest proposal for 2019: scrap the parliamentary lobby | James Ball
Westminster is full of brilliant journalists but the shadowy briefing system that guides them should be more transparent It’s traditional at the end of the year to look back on what’s happened and what we’ve done – and what we might do differently next year. For those of us in politics or the media, after a year as frenetic and divisive as 2018 this becomes a serious duty. So here is a proposal for how we might do better in 2019: let’s scrap the
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If we want a different politics, we need another revolutionary: Freud | Suzanne Moore 26 Dec 2018, 5:00am If we want a different politics, we need another revolutionary: Freud | Suzanne Moore
Marx is all very well, but to effect real change Sigmund Freud’s modern tools of self-examination hold the answers “If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist.” I love that Karl Marx said that. I love his self-knowledge. I love the poetry of
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When we let politics put paid to Prospero | Brief letters 23 Dec 2018, 12:15pm When we let politics put paid to Prospero | Brief letters
Rocket science | Crosswords | Gravy on the border | Egypt, Bucks | Hollywood, BirminghamTerence Hall is incorrect regarding the lack of success of Blue Streak (
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How did old people become political enemies of the young? | Ashton Applewhite 23 Dec 2018, 6:00am How did old people become political enemies of the young? | Ashton Applewhite
Attempts to pit younger voters against older people are hateful and prejudiced – we need a New Generational Compact These days, pitting old against young is considered good politics by some. Part of the pre-midterm get-out-the-vote frenzy was a PSA aimed at millennials. Funded by Democrats, the ad features a set of older, out-of-it, conservatives telling young people, “Don’t vote.” One ditzy dame “can’t keep track of which lives matter”. Another smirks as she describes climate change as a “you problem. I’ll be dead soon.” It’s slick; Adweek chose the video as an Ad of the Day. And it’s satire. But it’s hateful. A version pitting the interests of white against black, or straight against gay, or men against women is unthinkable today. Racism, misogyny and homophobia remain alive and well in this country, but at least they no longer get a pass. It’s time to add ageism to the list of prejudices we no longer tolerate, and to deny it a foothold in our political discourse.
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The Guardian view on a Brexit citizens’ assembly: the people’s voice is needed | Editorial 20 Dec 2018, 1:38pm The Guardian view on a Brexit citizens’ assembly: the people’s voice is needed | Editorial
A polarised politics has prevented a civil and respectful debate about Brexit. Ireland shows deliberative democracy may help to break the deadlockThe failure of Theresa May’s government to anticipate and then adequately address the political crisis caused by the result of the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 is
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Pantomime politics and the real world | Letters 20 Dec 2018, 1:28pm Pantomime politics and the real world | Letters
Readers respond to the allegations that Jeremy Corbyn called Theresa May a ‘stupid woman’The “did he or didn’t he” over what Jeremy Corbyn actually mouthed at the PM in PMQs (
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A year of dispatches from the frayed edges of Britain’s safety net | Frances Ryan 20 Dec 2018, 3:00am A year of dispatches from the frayed edges of Britain’s safety net | Frances Ryan
I paid a second visit to three of the people I met while I was writing the Hardworking Britain series Over the year, this column has told the personal stories of people behind politics – from young families struggling to get by under universal credit to disabled people having their social care cut. Each of the stories spoke not only of their lives but something altogether bigger: what is happening to Britain’s safety net. This month, I returned to visit three of them.
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We’re back to the 1930s politics of anger and, yes, appeasement | Larry Elliott 20 Dec 2018, 1:00am We’re back to the 1930s politics of anger and, yes, appeasement | Larry Elliott
Echoes of a horrific decade are getting louder, and the UN climate accord is the equivalent of Chamberlain’s piece of paper More than any other decade,
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The Guardian view on the immigration white paper: still a hostile environment | Editorial 19 Dec 2018, 1:40pm The Guardian view on the immigration white paper: still a hostile environment | Editorial
With a divided cabinet, a dysfunctional government and a stalled Brexit plan, the attempt to map out a future migration regime looks like badly scripted political theatreBritain’s economy and society benefit from immigration, and British politics routinely denies that fact. There will one day be a moment of reckoning, when a government renounces as unfair and unworkable the rhetoric associated with Theresa May’s tenure at the Home Office and in Downing Street. It will one day be widely accepted that cross-border labour flows can be managed without tilts into xenophobia; without government vans inviting people to “
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The National Gallery of Identity Politics 18 Dec 2018, 7:29pm The National Gallery of Identity Politics
Forget Monet or Hopper. The art museum’s new director wants to tackle ‘gender equality,’ ‘social justice’ and ‘diversity.’
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Failed by both its major parties, betrayed Britain lurches towards the abyss | Andrew Rawnsley 16 Dec 2018, 3:30am Failed by both its major parties, betrayed Britain lurches towards the abyss | Andrew Rawnsley
There are no winners, only losers, in this profound crisis in our politics The seesaw is smashed. The pendulum is stuck. The tides are frozen. All the trusty images that used to help explain British politics have been scrambled by Brexit. Back in simpler times, a bad week for one politician or party translated into a good one for a rival. Seesaws went up and down. Pendulums swung. Tides flowed in and out. It is one of the unique characteristics of the
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Why are Labour’s leaders so quiet on Europe? Maybe it’s the lure of disaster | Nick Cohen 16 Dec 2018, 1:00am Why are Labour’s leaders so quiet on Europe? Maybe it’s the lure of disaster | Nick Cohen
The party’s apparent defeatism on Brexit is grounded in old-style Leninist fantasyFor readers bewildered by the indifference of Labour’s leaders to Brexit, let me offer a suggestion: you cannot understand British politics until you grasp that the party has been taken over by men (and the occasional woman) who spent their lives around the fag ends of the 20th-century Marxist-Leninist movement. It’s not that Labour now has a communist programme. Revolutionary socialism is as dead as any idea can be. Rather, Labour has inherited the mental deformations of the Leninist style of doing business: the leadership personality cult, the love of conspiracy theory, the robotic denunciations of opponents, and most critically for our current crisis, the ineradicable fantasy that the worse conditions for the masses become, the brighter the prospects of the far left are. Disaster socialism is its alternative to disaster capitalism.
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The Observer view on the baleful distraction of Brexit | Observer editorial 15 Dec 2018, 4:00pm The Observer view on the baleful distraction of Brexit | Observer editorial
Every shred of political energy is being tied up in Brexit, with detrimental effects on a nation facing other urgent challenges Brexit has paralysed British politics: it has left the government utterly incapacitated, ministers warring and both main parties riven by splits. It is absorbing every shred of political energy; in the words of one official, it has wiped the policy grid clean. Yet in every nook and cranny of the state – from understaffed hospitals to the schools sending parents begging letters for financial support – there are problems that demand urgent focus and resource. We also face huge social challenges that require action now, from how to care for an ageing society to how to prepare for the impact of technology on the world of work. All this is going ignored, with detrimental effects on people’s lives. There is a grim paradox at the heart of Brexit. The vote for Britain to leave the EU was partly fuelled by the sense among many voters that there are increasingly two Britains: a thriving capital barely touched by recession and boarded-up high streets outside the south-east. This has been
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Westminster has known the options since 2016. Which Brexit does it want? | Rafael Behr 14 Dec 2018, 6:29am Westminster has known the options since 2016. Which Brexit does it want? | Rafael Behr
The chaotic theatre of British politics doesn’t change facts. There are three possible approaches – and time is running outOnce again a Brussels summit and British politics cross paths like celestial bodies on intersecting orbits. For just a few moments a cold hard ball of EU reality eclipses the gaseous inferno that is Westminster. Theresa May has not secured any meaningful change to her withdrawal agreement.
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Theresa May arrives in Brussels with Brexit vote not scheduled until January – politics live 13 Dec 2018, 7:32am Updated Theresa May arrives in Brussels with Brexit vote not scheduled until January – politics live
PM won party backing in confidence vote but faces uphill battle to get her deal through Commons
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Theresa May heads to Brussels with Brexit vote delayed to January – politics live 13 Dec 2018, 6:34am Updated Theresa May heads to Brussels with Brexit vote delayed to January – politics live
PM won party backing by 83 votes but faces uphill battle to get her deal through Commons
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Theresa May heads to Brexit talks in Brussels after seeing off confidence vote – politics live 13 Dec 2018, 5:29am Updated Theresa May heads to Brexit talks in Brussels after seeing off confidence vote – politics live
PM won party backing by 83 votes but faces uphill battle to get her deal through Commons
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Theresa May heads to Brexit talks in Brussels after seeing off vote – politics live 13 Dec 2018, 2:17am Updated Theresa May heads to Brexit talks in Brussels after seeing off vote – politics live
PM won party backing in confidence vote but faces uphill battle to get her deal through Commons
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Theresa May survives confidence vote with a majority of 83 – Politics live 12 Dec 2018, 8:37pm Updated Theresa May survives confidence vote with a majority of 83 – Politics live
Prime minister defeats leadership challenge after Conservative MPs vote to back her by 200 to 117
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Brexit is a failed project. Labour must oppose it | Paul Mason 11 Dec 2018, 1:00am Brexit is a failed project. Labour must oppose it | Paul Mason
The opposition should get behind a second referendum – and vote to remain Sometimes, in politics, you just have to fight for what you believe in. I believe that – amid the current geopolitical meltdown – staying in the European Union and reforming it is safer than casting ourselves adrift with a bunch of rightwing Tory xenophobes at the helm. But since the referendum, I’ve understood that a leftwing Labour government can only be achieved by building a coalition of voters across the Brexit divide. It’s a belief based on the experience of the 2017 general election, when I campaigned in solidly working-class areas where, to keep a doorstep conversation going for more than 30 seconds, the first sentence had to be: “We will deliver Brexit.”
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Civil unrest? Violence on the streets? Let’s stop this reckless language | Margaret Beckett 10 Dec 2018, 3:30am Civil unrest? Violence on the streets? Let’s stop this reckless language | Margaret Beckett
Senior politicians are using the threat of riots to argue against a second referendum. This is not how democracy operatesThere have been many moments in my long political career when I have felt worried about the direction of our politics. But nothing compares with how I feel now when I watch the antics of those who seek to get Brexit over the line by any means possible. For some, that includes suggesting that there will – even should – be violence on the streets if the British people are given a vote on whether to stay in Europe after all. This has never been how our democracy operates and only the most irresponsible suggest it ever will. Last week,
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The Guardian view on the Turner prize: art as politics | Editorial 7 Dec 2018, 1:24pm The Guardian view on the Turner prize: art as politics | Editorial
It has been a year when artists have had no choice but to be part of the wider debateThe judges of the Turner prize have issued a challenge by awarding it to
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How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain | George Monbiot 7 Dec 2018, 1:00am How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain | George Monbiot
That Spiked magazine’s US funding arm received $300,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation suggests a hidden agendaDark money is among the greatest current threats to democracy. It means money spent below the public radar, that seeks to change political outcomes. It enables very rich people and corporations to influence politics without showing their hands. Among the world’s biggest political spenders are Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries, a vast private conglomerate of oil pipelines and refineries, chemicals, timber and paper companies, commodity trading firms and cattle ranches. If their two fortunes were rolled into one, Charles David Koch, with $120bn, would be
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Macron’s politics look to Blair and Clinton. The backlash was inevitable | Larry Elliott 6 Dec 2018, 1:00am Macron’s politics look to Blair and Clinton. The backlash was inevitable | Larry Elliott
The French president has cut taxes for the rich but maintained austerity. It’s a failed formula Rioting in the streets. Filling stations running out of fuel. Panic buying in the supermarkets. A country in chaos. Not a dystopian vision of Britain after Brexit, but France in the here and now under that self-styled champion of anti-populism, Emmanuel Macron. French politicians invariably claim to be inspired by Charles de Gaulle, and Macron is no exception.
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At last, parliament is taking back control of Brexit | Rafael Behr 5 Dec 2018, 6:09am At last, parliament is taking back control of Brexit | Rafael Behr
May suffered three defeats – and now a Commons coalition of the reasonable is taking shapeIt’s coming home, it’s co-ming … politics is coming home. The
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The private takeover of schools like this is well under way: 7,000 have gone | Aditya Chakrabortty 5 Dec 2018, 1:00am The private takeover of schools like this is well under way: 7,000 have gone | Aditya Chakrabortty
Waltham Holy Cross primary school is under threat of forced academisation. But local people are fighting backThis is a story about democracy in Britain, how badly it is broken and how it might be fixed. It is about people battling arrogant bureaucrats and highly paid company executives. Yet it is a world away from television debates, trade negotiations or legal small print. It concerns instead something far more fundamental: the schools our children attend. And it begins 30 miles from Westminster, in an Essex market town on Monday night this week. While outside is drizzle and dark, inside Waltham Abbey town hall are almost 200 people worried about the future of a primary school. This meeting has been pulled together on a shoestring by parents living in a part of Essex where politics is usually about working out which candidate is wearing the blue rosette. Only tonight this hall looks like the setting for a suburban mutiny.
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Across Trump’s America, the grassroots are growing radical | DD Guttenplan 5 Dec 2018, 1:00am Across Trump’s America, the grassroots are growing radical | DD Guttenplan
While Democrats and Republicans argue over the midterms, popular activists have carried new candidates to success Depending on which media you consume, Donald Trump will either leave office in handcuffs – or coast to a second term. Making sense of American politics has never been easy, but the extreme polarisation of the press and the public has made it much more difficult. Last month’s midterm results were no exception. Were they a
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The Guardian view on the gilets jaunes: Macron needs to regain his popular touch | Editorial 3 Dec 2018, 1:45pm The Guardian view on the gilets jaunes: Macron needs to regain his popular touch | Editorial
The French president needs to find a way to tackle both climate change and the anger on the streetsAlmost two decades ago a new fresh-faced leader of the centre-left emerged in Europe and appeared, having won a historic election, on the cusp of changing politics in his country. But as he flew higher, he lost a sense of the public mood and failed to face up early on to a crisis which brought his modern industrial society to a halt. In doing so he revealed an inability to control events or win around public opinion.
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Never before have I seen blind anger like this on the streets of Paris | John Lichfield 3 Dec 2018, 8:53am Never before have I seen blind anger like this on the streets of Paris | John Lichfield
The factors that gave rise to this weekend’s shockingly violent riots will not be easily addressed. A recurrence is likelyFrance is a republic that was founded in popular violence. Politics runs to the street here more rapidly than in any other western democracy. I’ve lived in France for 22 years and have witnessed street protests by workers, farmers, wine producers, truck drivers, railway employees, university students, sixth-formers, teachers, youths in the multiracial suburbs, chefs, lawyers, doctors and police officers. Yes, even police officers. I have never seen the kind of
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Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism – review 3 Dec 2018, 1:59am Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism – review
Kristen R Ghodsee’s study of the links between female sexual pleasure and politics is a joyous readVote for me and have more orgasms! Politicians don’t usually campaign on these terms but in these days of Brexit anaesthesia maybe they should. Sex may feel mostly private and individual but it takes place in a system that changes how we may experience it. So does late capitalism make the earth move more or less? We have lived through a period in which we could actually test that. Before the
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John McDonnell has a plan, but he’ll need a movement too | Aditya Chakrabortty 28 Nov 2018, 1:56pm John McDonnell has a plan, but he’ll need a movement too | Aditya Chakrabortty
The shadow chancellor wants to transform Britain, but it will take a huge national effort to undo the damage of austerityYou can’t doubt the dedication of the crowd packing out this London concert hall on a Tuesday night. For an audience with John McDonnell, they have braved all the muck that a November evening can throw at them. They line up at the end for selfies and book signings. And the very mention of rent controls is greeted with an ovation. Yet they’re here with good reason. Interviewing the shadow chancellor for this Guardian Live event, it strikes me that what he says and does over the next few weeks matters more for him and for the rest of the country than at any time during his previous 40 years in politics.
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My arts degree hasn’t made my fortune – but its value is incalculable | Max Liu 28 Nov 2018, 5:52am My arts degree hasn’t made my fortune – but its value is incalculable | Max Liu
New figures showing male arts graduates earn less than non-graduates are familiar – but I’d never give up doing what I loveI was 29 when my brother-in-law casually said to me: “It would be nice if one day you could make use of your education.” I had a degree and an MA in creative writing which, as far as I was concerned, I used every day – reading novels, trying to write novels, arguing about politics, interpreting the subtle meanings in French cinema, and generally leading an examined life. But my brother-in-law, who left school at 18, didn’t understand why, as a journalist, I was bringing home less than half the salary he earned in the hospitality industry.
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The seismic shock of Brexit will change the UK’s politics for ever | Rafael Behr 27 Nov 2018, 1:00am The seismic shock of Brexit will change the UK’s politics for ever | Rafael Behr
Party politics is sailing into a constitutional hurricane, where many things will be thrown overboard – policies, MPs, leaders Parliament’s verdict on
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Liberals, learn the politics of emotion to beat right-wing populists | Paul Mason 26 Nov 2018, 1:00am Liberals, learn the politics of emotion to beat right-wing populists | Paul Mason
Attachment to place and identity can be part of a radical democratic project that speaks to people’s hearts In Europe, the United States and Brazil, authoritarian nationalism is sweeping to power through a mixture of negative emotion and elite connivance. But this is no mere re-run of the 1930s. In the first place, unlike in Germany, Italy and Spain at the incipient moments of their dictatorships, the existing elites neither want nor need fascism. Their problem is that they don’t know how to fight it. Over the past 15 years political science has engaged a well-evidenced but unfruitful debate over what caused the rise of parties such as Ukip, the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands, or France’s Front National. In general, I think it is proven that cultural rather than economic insecurities are what’s driving politics to the right. But it does not follow from this that action at the economic level can’t stem the tide of plebeian racism. In order to get the actions right, though, we have to understand that the political narratives of the centre are failing due to the way the free-market economy was designed.
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Conservatives and the Politics of Work 23 Nov 2018, 7:25pm Conservatives and the Politics of Work
Oren Cass, Mitt Romney’s former domestic-policy director, says wage subsidies are an alternative to the current welfare state and the left’s universal basic income.
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You think 2018 is the worst year ever? Try the real dark age: 536 | Kate Williams 23 Nov 2018, 5:53am You think 2018 is the worst year ever? Try the real dark age: 536 | Kate Williams
The world may feel like it’s in a terrible state now, but it doesn’t compare to the year the sun stopped shiningIt may seem amid the maelstom that is 2018 that it’s a pretty bad time to be alive. There’s the terrible and accelerating effect of climate change, the rise of fascist and “alt-right” politics, violent conflict, millions of stateless refugees, a looming Brexit crisis and political turmoil in many other directions. But there have been many other awful moments in history – the Black Death; the
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Can leftwingers be friends with Conservatives? | Suzanne Moore 22 Nov 2018, 9:31am Can leftwingers be friends with Conservatives? | Suzanne Moore
John McDonnell sees only the suffering the Tory party has inflicted. But his tilt at purity politics isn’t practicalThe good old politics of purity are back just as everything descends into chaos. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor,
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Britain will go back into the European club. History proves it | Simon Jenkins 21 Nov 2018, 1:00am Britain will go back into the European club. History proves it | Simon Jenkins
We’ve been in an on/off relationship for centuries. Even if we leave now, it won’t be forever Sometimes, when politics screams and tears its hair out, history can rush forward with a comfort blanket to wrap round its shoulders. It’s all right, it says, calm down, we have been here before. Britain has left Europe in a huff, and been drawn back in again. It has turned its back on Europe, and turned it back again almost as often. Today is just one of those times. The ancient province of Britannia was firmly part of the Roman empire for four centuries before that empire’s disintegration forced it to leave, in 410. Two centuries later, in 664, England voted at the Synod of Whitby to rejoin what was emphatically a European union, that of the Roman Catholic church, albeit with many a squabble under the likes of Henry II and King John. In 1534, Henry VIII spectacularly withdrew from that union, and Reformation England held itself aloof from Europe’s wars of religion throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.
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Don’t blame the Irish: the Brexit chaos is all about England | Fintan O’Toole 19 Nov 2018, 12:03pm Don’t blame the Irish: the Brexit chaos is all about England | Fintan O’Toole
The rise of English nationalism has left Britain deeply uncertain about its identity and place in the worldBrexit has been derailed, as it was always going to be, by the Irish question. And, amid the chaos, there is something oddly comfortable about this. Isn’t that what the bloody Irish always do – disrupt an otherwise placid British polity with their hopelessly convoluted and unresolvable feuds? In 1922, reflecting on the way Ireland had dominated imperial politics even on the eve of the great catastrophe of the first world war, a rueful
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Theresa May: how dare you say we EU nationals ‘jumped the queue’? | Mimi Mollica 19 Nov 2018, 11:36am Theresa May: how dare you say we EU nationals ‘jumped the queue’? | Mimi Mollica
I used to love the fact I lived in a country that recognised how surreal Italian politics was. Now all I feel is disappointmentBritain is now in panic mode, held hostage by a foolish plan gone really really bad. Theresa May has been cornered by her own party, which is
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Mrs May has put her cards on the table. Now it’s everyone else’s turn | Andrew Rawnsley 18 Nov 2018, 3:00am Mrs May has put her cards on the table. Now it’s everyone else’s turn | Andrew Rawnsley
The prime minister has made her choices. Others will have to take responsibility for fateful decisions of their own The eye is supposed to be the calmest place in a storm. Weird as this may seem, the most tranquil person in British politics this weekend is probably Theresa May. This is not the same as saying that she is in a good place. Bits of her government keep falling off, like a decaying gothic folly shedding masonry. Even discounting for the tendency of the Brexit ultras to brag up their strength, a full-frontal attempt to oust her is more likely than at any time in her beleaguered premiership. A confidence ballot of Tory MPs could happen as early as this week.
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Switzerland has been a lab for toxic rightwing politics. We took that on | Flavia Kleiner 15 Nov 2018, 12:38pm Switzerland has been a lab for toxic rightwing politics. We took that on | Flavia Kleiner
The Swiss People’s party used referendums to deploy its anti-migrant, anti-EU rhetoric. That’s where our movement startedFour years ago, along with some friends, I started a grassroots liberal democratic movement in Switzerland called
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Brexit: Rees-Mogg calls for vote of no confidence in May as ministers resign – Politics live 15 Nov 2018, 12:21pm Updated Brexit: Rees-Mogg calls for vote of no confidence in May as ministers resign – Politics live
May addresses MPs amid resignations following cabinet’s decision to support draft version of Brexit deal
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Brexit: May hit by two cabinet resignations as Raab and McVey quit over plan – Politics live 15 Nov 2018, 8:35am Updated Brexit: May hit by two cabinet resignations as Raab and McVey quit over plan – Politics live
May addresses MPs amid resignations following cabinet’s decision to support draft version of Brexit deal
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Brexit: May hit by two cabinet resignations as Raab and McVey quit over plan - Politics live 15 Nov 2018, 7:55am Updated Brexit: May hit by two cabinet resignations as Raab and McVey quit over plan - Politics live
May addresses MPs amid resignations following cabinet’s decision to support draft version of Brexit deal
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May hit by two cabinet resignations as Raab and McVey quit over Brexit plan - Politics live 15 Nov 2018, 5:23am Updated May hit by two cabinet resignations as Raab and McVey quit over Brexit plan - Politics live
May will address MPs today after cabinet agreed to support draft version during tense five-hour meeting
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Russian trolls prey on the toxic way we do our politics | Rafael Behr 13 Nov 2018, 1:00am Russian trolls prey on the toxic way we do our politics | Rafael Behr
The Kremlin’s target is not the outcome of specific votes, such as for Brexit or the US presidency, but to divide the west To understand the current political frenzy on both sides of the Atlantic, it helps to know
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The Guardian view on May’s Brexit: a meaningless deal will not pass a meaningful vote | Editorial 12 Nov 2018, 1:45pm The Guardian view on May’s Brexit: a meaningless deal will not pass a meaningful vote | Editorial
The prime minister is inviting chaos with a Brexit proposal that cannot command a majority in parliamentIn the two years since the nation voted to leave the European Union, the Conservative party has consistently put politics before country by failing to come forward with a credible Brexit plan. The Tories have also failed to resolve the questions about inequality and powerlessness that were thrown up in too many parts of the country by the poll in June 2016. Instead we have had Theresa May conduct months of parallel negotiations – one set at home and one abroad – to get to a position where this country’s long-term post-Brexit relationship with the EU remains a riddle
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Why political books for kids are more popular than ever – and six you should definitely read 12 Nov 2018, 11:39am Why political books for kids are more popular than ever – and six you should definitely read
Children’s literature with a political message was once frowned upon, but now it’s everywhere, with authors writing about everything from eco-socialism to redistribution All children’s books are political, because everything is: to walk the under-fives through a gallery of girls in pink who are waiting for a prince is easily as strident as any of the more delicate messages about human intercourse you might find in a Michael Rosen book. Yet children’s literature with a progressive political bent was traditionally frowned upon – often held to be “politicising”, and thereby exploiting the malleable young mind. That has been turned on its head. It’s not so much that authors don’t recognise the politics in their own work; rather that they have decided, en masse, that the miniatures are ready for it. This is discernible both in newly bold, explicit messages – from eco-socialism to trade unionism to racial diversity – and in the cast of characters, fore and background: a recent US study found that, in 2017, a quarter of kids’ protagonists were not white, up from 14% the year before. It’s not new, of course – Dr Seuss was speaking for the trees before anyone even believed in climate change (The Lorax, anyone?) – but it is everywhere.
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The Guardian view on Mrs May’s Brexit: blocked by naysayers | Editorial 9 Nov 2018, 12:32pm The Guardian view on Mrs May’s Brexit: blocked by naysayers | Editorial
The prime minister has squandered opportunities to build bridges across parliament and is now paying a heavy priceIt is an unwritten rule of politics in Northern Ireland that everything proceeds from the word “no”. The establishment of trust in the dialogue that led eventually to the Good Friday agreement was a slow and meticulous business. The Democratic Unionist party never endorsed that deal, which is relevant to the difficulty Theresa May now has in persuading parliament to vote for any Brexit plan she might agree in Brussels. At the heart of the impasse is a historical fact that the leave campaign shamefully belittled: the Good Friday agreement was possible because both the UK and the Republic of Ireland were EU members. Brexit
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My kids have started school – and are giving me a lesson in class politics | Emma Brockes 9 Nov 2018, 10:12am My kids have started school – and are giving me a lesson in class politics | Emma Brockes
While the children usually resolve their disputes by the end of the day, we parents look at one another with murder in our eyesTwo and a half months ago, when my kids started school, I imagined the biggest challenge would be socialisation. At nursery they’d had “friends” in the way it might be imagined slow-moving animals in a field have friends – which is to say animals doing the same thing as them but several feet over there. At school, by contrast, they have to choose whom to sit with. And so the rigmarole of popularity begins. What I hadn’t realised was how much this process was going to involve me. The socialisation – or rather resocialisation of parents who experienced classroom politics approximately 300 years ago, and have to rapidly dust off the machinery – has been shocking. I am 42, and, like everyone else of that age, screen my calls, ignore my voicemail, use my children to get out of doing things I don’t want to do, and am extremely agile at avoiding those I dislike. Well, those days are over. In the interests of protecting my children’s social life, all of a sudden I have to play nice.
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Prince Charles is like a Shakespeare character – just not the one he thinks | Sian Cain 8 Nov 2018, 1:43pm Prince Charles is like a Shakespeare character – just not the one he thinks | Sian Cain
The Prince of Wales likened himself to Prince Hal, but he’s more like the high-rolling Richard IIJust as children like to pretend to be kings and queens, so royals love to flatter their own self-image. In the BBC’s documentary to mark his 70th birthday this week, Prince Charles invoked Shakespeare’s laddish take on Prince Hal to pooh-pooh the idea that as king he’d continue meddling in politics and bothering ministers with his thoughts. As an ageing prince, he has of course spent decades doing just that. “You can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir,” Charles observed. “But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on in exactly the same way if I have to succeed is complete nonsense because the two situations are completely different. You only have to look at Shakespeare plays, Henry V or Henry IV Parts I and II, to see the change that can take place. Because if you become the sovereign then you play the role in the way that it is expected.”
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Populism, Trump and the US midterms – Politics Weekly podcast 8 Nov 2018, 11:53am Populism, Trump and the US midterms – Politics Weekly podcast
Pippa Crerar is joined by Gary Younge, Matthew Goodwin, Stephen Booth and Rafael Behr to discuss the results of the US midterms, and what the results mean for the tide of national populism around the world It was a tale of two chambers: in Tuesday’s US midterms the Democrats’ so-called ‘blue wave’ won the House of Representatives, while Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate. So how bad were the results for Donald Trump? And in the wake of the midterm results, we discuss whether national populism is on the wane. Is populism a last protest vote from an ageing electorate, or is it more than that?
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David Cameron, get back in your shepherd’s hut. Your legacy is done | Marina Hyde 2 Nov 2018, 12:42pm David Cameron, get back in your shepherd’s hut. Your legacy is done | Marina Hyde
The former prime minister was said to be planning a political comeback. The only possible response is hahahahahaha“David Cameron eyes return to frontline politics.” God, why couldn’t that sentence stop after the word frontline? Why does “politics” have to ruin everything? I suppose it’s because Cameron is more of the type who’d have been drinking wine back at the chateau in the first world war. “We’re right behind you!” brays General Melchett at Baldrick on the eve of
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David Cameron wants to return to politics. It’s a shame he has so little to offer | Owen Jones 2 Nov 2018, 8:04am David Cameron wants to return to politics. It’s a shame he has so little to offer | Owen Jones
The worst prime minister in 200 years has no talent or ability. But he does have a colossal sense of his own entitlement
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The Roots of Political Polarization 1 Nov 2018, 6:27pm The Roots of Political Polarization
Our politics seem to be degenerating because we no longer understand each other’s priorities.
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Finally, the Tories are discovering the state can be a force for good | Martin Kettle 1 Nov 2018, 2:00am Finally, the Tories are discovering the state can be a force for good | Martin Kettle
The party has been gripped by the ghost of Thatcher. But as this week’s budget shows, many MPs still believe in the role of government According to WH Auden, all good dramas consist of two contrasting acts: “First, the making of a mistake; then, the discovery that it was a mistake.” A similar corrective arc often also applies in politics. On the issue of the progressive role of the state, the late-20th-century Conservative party made a historic mistake. Now it is struggling with the dawning of discovery. The single most obvious thing to say about the Tory party in autumn 2018 is that it is split over
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The Many Faces of Jew-Hatred 31 Oct 2018, 6:38pm The Many Faces of Jew-Hatred
Anti-Semitism is a politics of misdirected blame. Today its most frequent target is the state of Israel.
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Merkel’s exit will leave a gaping hole in centrist politics | Rafael Behr 30 Oct 2018, 2:00am Merkel’s exit will leave a gaping hole in centrist politics | Rafael Behr
The German chancellor has been a torch-bearer for civilised values. Liberal democracy needs more figures like her
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The election hackers are back – and they’re starting with the US midterms | PW Singer and Emerson Brooking 26 Oct 2018, 8:03am The election hackers are back – and they’re starting with the US midterms | PW Singer and Emerson Brooking
The disrupters and their ‘like wars’ are more sophisticated than ever, as they target elections on both grand and local scalesWhether it is in the movies, media or politics, discussions of election security typically focus on the sexy story of
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The October Surprise Arrives 25 Oct 2018, 1:14pm Updated The October Surprise Arrives
The politics of the migrant caravan sound a lot like the Kavanaugh nomination fiasco.
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Trump Flunks Fed Politics 24 Oct 2018, 7:25pm Trump Flunks Fed Politics
Bashing Jay Powell makes it harder to keep interest rates low.
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The Politics of Pipe Bombs 24 Oct 2018, 7:21pm The Politics of Pipe Bombs
All those who choose violence need to be held accountable.
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Letters: Denzil Davies obituary 24 Oct 2018, 10:47am Letters: Denzil Davies obituary
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/15/denzil-davies-obituary" title="">Denzil Davies
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My constituents backed Brexit. But I didn’t enter politics to make them poorer | Phil Wilson 23 Oct 2018, 4:30am My constituents backed Brexit. But I didn’t enter politics to make them poorer | Phil Wilson
Now we know what leaving means, let’s do the right thing and have a second referendumIn normal times and in all good faith, politicians at a general election present a manifesto they believe will improve people’s lives. Politicians of a like mind will largely agree with that manifesto, believing it to be better than the alternative. In government, with all good intentions, the manifesto is implemented – maybe not in its entirety and with compromises being made. That is politics, in normal times. But these are not normal times. Brexit is different. As an MP who campaigned for Remain during the EU referendum in June 2016, I do not believe I can, in all good faith and with all good intentions, tell my electorate that I have changed my mind. First, my constituents won’t believe me. And second, I did not enter politics to knowingly make my constituents poorer. This presents a moral dilemma for Remain-supporting MPs, especially those whose constituents voted to leave.
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The Guardian view on the Tories and Brexit: rage against the facts | Editorial 22 Oct 2018, 1:43pm The Guardian view on the Tories and Brexit: rage against the facts | Editorial
If Theresa May wants to deliver a Brexit deal, she must compromise with the EU and with the majority in the Commons. That’s why Tory rightwingers are so angryTo observe the Conservative party at Westminster on Monday was to watch a party that seems closer than ever to falling apart over Brexit. Paradoxically, however, nothing in the politics of Britain’s planned departure from the European Union had actually changed since last week. Theresa May still leads a minority government and a divided party, as she did before the weekend. Talks with the EU remain stalled over the
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The Guardian view on taming technology: it’s out of control | Editorial 21 Oct 2018, 1:02pm The Guardian view on taming technology: it’s out of control | Editorial
Technology’s power to manipulate minds and emotions may be too much for societyCan even a man with Nick Clegg’s record of unblemished political success rescue Facebook’s reputation? There is an awful symmetry in Sir Nick’s move from British politics to Facebook. In his earlier career, he stood for a posture of responsibility without power, of careless promises to which he was later held by an unforgiving electorate. In his new one there will be more of the same. Facebook too has a long record of cheap rhetoric about democracy and bringing people together – alongside a record of acting as a tool for destabilising democracies and in some cases for the encouragement of
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White identity is meaningless. Real dignity is found in shared hopes | Kenan Malik 21 Oct 2018, 1:00am White identity is meaningless. Real dignity is found in shared hopes | Kenan Malik
Demographics cannot make sense of unrest. Social context is key to understanding‘It’s dignity, stupid.” Where once economic wellbeing was seen as key to winning electoral support, there is now recognition that more intangible qualities matter too – the ability to be heard, to live in meaningful communities, to possess self-worth. The acceptance that values and social connectedness matter is welcome. The danger, though, is that concern with dignity is becoming as rigid as was that with economic security. In this age of identity politics, dignity is all too often reduced to the public affirmation of ethnic or cultural identity.
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I’m joining Facebook to build bridges between politics and tech | Nick Clegg 19 Oct 2018, 11:28am I’m joining Facebook to build bridges between politics and tech | Nick Clegg
It’s time we harnessed big tech to the cause of progress and optimism. I believe that Facebook can lead the wayNext week it will be
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