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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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The benefits ‘freeze’ is robbing our poorest families. Where’s the outrage? | James Ball 19 Oct 2018, 7:30am The benefits ‘freeze’ is robbing our poorest families. Where’s the outrage? | James Ball
The worst-off families in the UK face further hardship – yet no one in politics or the media has their cornerNext year, more than 10.4m UK households – more than one in three – will be left
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California Public Employees Vote Against Pension-Fund Activism 18 Oct 2018, 7:07pm California Public Employees Vote Against Pension-Fund Activism
Playing politics with other people’s savings is never popular.
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Populism is not the whole story – European politics is rewiring itself | Cas Mudde 18 Oct 2018, 9:40am Populism is not the whole story – European politics is rewiring itself | Cas Mudde
Don’t be distracted by ‘earthquakes’ in recent elections. Swings to the far right or left are only one part of the bigger pictureAfter months of speculation about a
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Has the time come for remainers to compromise? | Martin Kettle 17 Oct 2018, 1:41pm Has the time come for remainers to compromise? | Martin Kettle
While the focus has been on how Tory backbenchers will vote on a Brexit deal, pro-Europeans on the opposition benches will face a crucial dilemma tooFor politicians, compromise can be a surprisingly hard word. So it is today over the Brexit endgame. The talk is still of crashing out, no deals and blood red lines. But this is paradoxical. Politics, like life itself, is mostly built on compromises. That is why the Brexit sherpas are, in fact, still talking in Brussels and London. Even on Brexit, it remains likelier than not that the practical human instinct to compromise will eventually have its way. This is not, though, the certainty it ought logically to be. Brexit is not simply another political process to be settled through compromise. To many, it is also a series of absolutes. One is that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was not just decisive but the immutable will of an entire people that cannot be questioned – or compromised. A second, never properly understood in Westminster, is that the EU sees leaving as a treaty process governed by rules that cannot be bent.
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MPs have forgotten the victims in the Commons bullying row | Rafael Behr 17 Oct 2018, 7:24am MPs have forgotten the victims in the Commons bullying row | Rafael Behr
In their unseemly haste to name and shame alleged bullies, too many politicians are ignoring those who have spoken outThere are always gaps in politics between what is known and what is declared. It is not a secret, for example, that many Conservative MPs despise John Bercow, the Commons Speaker. Bercow’s views on Brexit are not a mystery either. He dislikes it. It is also known, but theoretically unrelated, that some MPs are tyrants.
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How Donald Trump weaponised Pocahontas in a new identity war | Afua Hirsch 16 Oct 2018, 1:57pm How Donald Trump weaponised Pocahontas in a new identity war | Afua Hirsch
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a presidential hopeful, revealed that she has Native American roots. It was an unwise moveThe problem I have with “identity politics” is that it’s a phrase mostly used by people who don’t name their identities, against those who do. We all have identities, after all, and in racialised societies like this one it’s ethnic minorities who are guilty of playing “identity politics” for having the audacity to own, articulate or organise around that experience. Meanwhile the majority, who have the luxury of regarding their identities as normal, neutral and invisible, have always mobilised politically around class, region, and whiteness. But that’s not identity politics, that’s just politics, right?
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15 Oct 2018, 3:59pm Updated Did Elizabeth Warren Just Kill Identity Politics?
If the Massachusetts senator is now a person of color then the term has no meaning.
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What’s the point of growth if it creates so much misery? | Lynsey Hanley 15 Oct 2018, 1:00am What’s the point of growth if it creates so much misery? | Lynsey Hanley
Forget the ‘high-skill, hi-tech’ obsession: we should invest in everyday services to create a society run for collective goodThe late Prof Mick Moran, who taught politics and government at Manchester University for most of his professional life, had, according to his colleagues, once had “a certain residual respect for our governing elites”. That all changed during the 2008 financial crisis, after which he experienced an epiphany “because it convinced him that the officer class in business and in politics did not know what it was doing”. After his epiphany, Moran formed a collective of academics dedicated to exposing the complacency of finance-worship and to replacing it with an idea of running modern economies focused on maximising social good. They called themselves the Foundational Economy Collective, based on the idea that it’s in the everyday economy where there is most potential for true social regeneration: not top-down cash-splashing, but renewal and replenishment from the ground upwards.
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Three years of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn has changed British politics | Gary Younge 13 Oct 2018, 1:00am Three years of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn has changed British politics | Gary Younge
Those who call his leadership a cult fail to understand Labour’s invigorated base. The Tories could learn from this During May’s local elections, Ilford Conservative party printed and distributed a leaflet
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Universal credit? If Iain Duncan Smith is an architect of anything, it’s misery | Marina Hyde 12 Oct 2018, 1:11pm Universal credit? If Iain Duncan Smith is an architect of anything, it’s misery | Marina Hyde
Only a dangerous politician favours simple fixes to complex problems – they have a way of causing hardship to millionsIf you were looking for the most wantonly sarcastic epithet in British politics, you might well alight on “Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of universal credit”. It’s basically impossible to say out loud without putting “architect” in air quotes. I know we shouldn’t underestimate the determination of a
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Corbyn’s right. It’s not as simple as having ‘pride’ or ‘shame’ in our history | David Wearing 12 Oct 2018, 5:24am Corbyn’s right. It’s not as simple as having ‘pride’ or ‘shame’ in our history | David Wearing
From Brexit to military interventions, Britain’s empire casts a long shadow. It’s past time for a grownup conversation about itAt the root of so much that is poisonous in British politics and society lies a simple, common theme. Behind racism and xenophobia, the resurgence of the far right, the
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How would Corbynism work in government? Here’s a clue | Aditya Chakrabortty 10 Oct 2018, 1:00am How would Corbynism work in government? Here’s a clue | Aditya Chakrabortty
The small story of a battle over a market in the borough of Haringey has major lessons for anyone hoping for a radical alternativeWhat will a Corbyn government actually do? Brexit aside, British politics has no bigger known unknown. The prospect fills the rich with fear and the left with hope. Both sides assume that Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn will be defined by his radicalism, yet in one corner of Britain an arm of the state is already ruling in his name. And the early results are sobering. In the north London borough of Haringey, the Blairite council leadership was
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We’ve launched a migrant rescue ship to resist the racist right in Italy | Michael Hardt and Sandro Mezzadra 9 Oct 2018, 5:05am We’ve launched a migrant rescue ship to resist the racist right in Italy | Michael Hardt and Sandro Mezzadra
This mission is not only about providing humanitarian aid but protesting against the toxic politics of Italy, Europe and the USWe are part of an activist project that launched the
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Pleased by a show of jazz hands (or boos) | Letters 7 Oct 2018, 1:11pm Pleased by a show of jazz hands (or boos) | Letters
Rise of populism | Identity politics | Clapping | Dating | Paying the ferrymanJohn Green (
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John Paul Schumer 5 Oct 2018, 1:11pm John Paul Schumer
The former Justice plays last-minute confirmation politics.
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It comes as no shock that the powerful hate ‘identity politics’ | Gary Younge 5 Oct 2018, 1:00am It comes as no shock that the powerful hate ‘identity politics’ | Gary Younge
The right denigrates equal rights campaigns as ‘grievances’ while cornering the market in victimhood Given the political volatility, economic precarity and environmental catastrophe that blight this current moment, there is every reason to be concerned about the durability of modern democracy. Donald Trump, Brexit, growing inequality, melting ice caps, stagnant wages, trade wars, actual wars, immigrants left to die in the sea, all while fascists and their sympathisers sit in government. The threats are everywhere. Some, however, are apparently more obvious than others. The last two weeks have produced the following headlines: “
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Banging your head over Brexit? Despite all the fury, we have to stay engaged | Simon Jenkins 4 Oct 2018, 1:56pm Banging your head over Brexit? Despite all the fury, we have to stay engaged | Simon Jenkins
If we really have to leave the EU, voters must force MPs to come together on the things that matterDear Mariella, I have a problem. I can’t stand any more Brexit. I tear up newspapers. I scream and dive for the TV off button. I have already smashed one radio. I crouch in a foetal position, banging my head against the wall. I fear my wife will leave me. And politics is my business. What can I do?
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This is insecurity Britain. Labour and the Tories are racing to connect with it | Phillip Blond 4 Oct 2018, 11:54am This is insecurity Britain. Labour and the Tories are racing to connect with it | Phillip Blond
People are crying out for economic justice and cultural security. Whoever grasps this will control the immediate political futurePolitical parties are governed by ideology. That ideology works when it offers the best explanation of reality to the party’s activists, members and voters. But when reality shifts – when the experience of people is no longer legitimated or explained by the politics they are offered – then that party and that ideology are in mortal danger. At the close of this autumn’s party conference season, it is clear we are in the middle of a significant reframing of our political reality. The shift is probably equal to, if not greater than, the 1945 moment that founded
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Our cult of personality is leaving real life in the shade | George Monbiot 3 Oct 2018, 1:00am Our cult of personality is leaving real life in the shade | George Monbiot
By reducing politics to a celebrity obsession – from Boris to Trump to Corbyn – the media misdirects and confuses us What kind of people would you expect the newspapers to interview most? Those with the most to say, perhaps, or maybe those with the richest and weirdest experiences. Might it be philosophers, or detectives, or doctors working in war zones, refugees, polar scientists, street children, firefighters, base jumpers, activists, writers or free divers? No. It’s actors. I haven’t conducted an empirical study, but I would guess that between a third and a half of the major interviews in the newspapers feature people who make their living by adopting someone else’s persona and speaking someone else’s words. This is such a bizarre phenomenon that, if it hadn’t crept up on us slowly, we would surely find it astounding. But it seems to me symbolic of the way the media works. Its problem runs deeper than fake news. What it offers is news about a fake world.
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A Few Steps Toward a Steadier U.S. Politics 2 Oct 2018, 6:37pm A Few Steps Toward a Steadier U.S. Politics
The Kavanaugh crisis shows the need to restore bipartisanship and lower the stakes.
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The Guardian view on Javid and Johnson: what’s the Conservative future? | Editorial 2 Oct 2018, 1:46pm The Guardian view on Javid and Johnson: what’s the Conservative future? | Editorial
Two men with ambitions for the leadership addressed the Tory party conference todayTwo of the biggest names in Conservative politics took to the stage today and presented contrasting views of the future of the Tory party. Neither was a liberal speech. Sajid Javid’s peroration at least had the virtue of being serious.
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The Guardian view on a Conservative crisis: one of the Tories’ own making | Editorial 30 Sep 2018, 1:38pm The Guardian view on a Conservative crisis: one of the Tories’ own making | Editorial
The 2016 Brexit vote has exposed divisive contradictions at the heart of the ruling party. But its roots lie in the disruptive form of globalisation promoted by the Tories and New LabourThe Conservatives’ factional politics are now so monumentally petty that it cannot get a
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Conference will reveal whether the Tories still have the recipe for survival | Andrew Rawnsley 30 Sep 2018, 3:00am Conference will reveal whether the Tories still have the recipe for survival | Andrew Rawnsley
Unless the party can once again reinvent itself and produce some fresh ideas that resonate with the public, it is heading towards obsolescenceThis may be extremely hard to believe at the moment, but the British Conservative party is the most enduringly successful force in democratic politics anywhere. Love them, which not many do, or loathe them, as many always have, that is just a fact. The Conservatives have dominated the government of Britain. The party emerged in the 1830s, at a time when steam locomotives were the scary new thing and only very affluent chaps had the vote. Since then, the Conservative party has collided with economic and social movements so powerful that many people, including many Tories themselves, thought they were doomed to disappear. Yet this party originally rooted in reactionary privilege adjusted to universal male suffrage, to women securing the vote and to the transformation of an agrarian economy into an industrial one. It has survived world wars, the retreat from empire and the death of deference. Great winds of change have blown through Britain and there the old Tory party still stands, a gnarled and twisted ancient tree that no one has ever thought pretty, but no one has ever managed to uproot. The Tories are survivors, something that cannot be said for their rivals. Their competitor in the 19th century and early decades of the 20th was the Liberal party. That is now a party with just a dozen MPs, which has been reduced to advertising a vacancy for its leadership in the hope that someone from outside might be interested. With Labour as their main rival, the Tories have won many more times than they have lost. Since 1945, just three leaders of the Labour party – Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Tony Blair – have won a general election. Just five have been prime minister. Over the same period, nine Tory leaders have held the job.
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Kavanaugh has revealed the insidious force in global politics: toxic masculinity | Jonathan Freedland 29 Sep 2018, 1:00am Kavanaugh has revealed the insidious force in global politics: toxic masculinity | Jonathan Freedland
A swaggering machismo. A sense of male entitlement. But the instincts of the supreme court nominee stretch far beyond the partisan battles of WashingtonWhen Donald Trump speaks the truth, it’s usually by accident. A choice example came late on last night, after TV audiences in the US and around the world were riveted by the sight of Trump’s choice for the supreme court ranting and raving, his face twisted in fury, as he insisted he was innocent of the sexual assault that had just been detailed in calm, precise terms by Christine Blasey Ford. “Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him,”
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Time to Put Down the Bong, Elon 28 Sep 2018, 7:00pm Time to Put Down the Bong, Elon
Tesla’s CEO needs to steer the car maker toward a future that doesn’t depend on green politics.
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Confirm Brett Kavanaugh 27 Sep 2018, 6:59pm Confirm Brett Kavanaugh
The Judge rightly called out the politics of ‘search and destroy.’
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The Guardian view on US politics: no hearing for women | Editorial 27 Sep 2018, 1:41pm The Guardian view on US politics: no hearing for women | Editorial
Christine Blasey Ford raised profound doubts over Brett Kavanaugh’s suitability for a lifetime seat on the US’s highest court. But these Republicans do not listen to womenCan you trust women? This is the question at the heart of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the supreme court. It was evident long before Thursday’s
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Labour backing a second referendum shows democracy is working beautifully | Zoe Williams 25 Sep 2018, 1:00pm Labour backing a second referendum shows democracy is working beautifully | Zoe Williams
It was a messy process to get there. But the party’s new Brexit stance is the product of grassroots decision-makingPeople always say politics is ugly to watch up close, and they’re talking about the cynicism and manipulation, the treachery, the low cunning beneath the high rhetoric. Democracy in action is ugly in a different way, more like a jumble sale: mess, chaos, mountains of tedium, elbows everywhere. You have to stay alert because you know that underneath the polyester there’s something – not wishing to overextend an analogy, let’s call it
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The Politics of Destruction 24 Sep 2018, 7:31pm The Politics of Destruction
A second Kavanaugh accuser betrays the Democratic strategy of character assassination.
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The Guardian view on Labour: Brexit and the economy are the key tests | Editorial 23 Sep 2018, 1:35pm The Guardian view on Labour: Brexit and the economy are the key tests | Editorial
Labour is emphatically Jeremy Corbyn’s party, but shadow chancellor John McDonnell may make the most important speech of the weekAs the old political adage puts it: “Oppositions don’t win elections; governments lose them.” Many of the dynamics of British politics in 2018 would seem to bear this out. The Conservatives are bungling Brexit big time. The prime minister’s authority is shot. And the Tory conference next week could be a bloodbath. If the adage is right, therefore, then the Labour party may be tempted to spend the next three days in Liverpool avoiding needless mistakes and basking in the advent of a Jeremy Corbyn government. That would be a complacent mistake. For one thing, Commons arithmetic and the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act make an early election
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Whoops – there go the railways, says Westminster’s answer to Mr Bean | Ian Birrell 20 Sep 2018, 12:17pm Whoops – there go the railways, says Westminster’s answer to Mr Bean | Ian Birrell
With his history of bumbling ministerial ineptitude, the sooner Chris Grayling’s cabinet career hits the buffers the betterImagine you were running a business and one of your senior managers left a trail of disaster in their wake. First, you would investigate to see what had gone wrong in each case. And then, if you found the same person was responsible for repeated failures, you might either dismiss them or, if feeling generous, put them in charge of the paper clips. But as the hapless career of Chris Grayling proves, they do things differently in government. Grayling is a nice guy. No doubt he means well. But when it comes to politics, he seems utterly clueless and shamelessly incompetent as he lurches from job to job, leaving others to clear up his chaos.
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The Guardian view on clean air zones: cities must be bold | Editorial 18 Sep 2018, 1:30pm The Guardian view on clean air zones: cities must be bold | Editorial
As evidence about the harmful effects of pollution mounts, mayors need to take action to reduce emissions and improve healthThe slogan “Think global, act local”, popular among environmentalists since the 1970s, is apt when applied to the politics of air. While pollution by greenhouse gases, chiefly CO
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Liberalism needs to be rebuilt – just not by the Lib Dems | Rafael Behr 18 Sep 2018, 1:00am Liberalism needs to be rebuilt – just not by the Lib Dems | Rafael Behr
Insurgent forces of the far left and right have resulted in a hollowing-out of centre politics. But Vince Cable’s tribe is not up to filling the voidIf it is true that failure makes a great teacher, the Liberal Democrats must know a lot about British politics. Currently they are learning about Brexit by failing to capitalise on the votes of millions of remainers, despite being England’s most pro-European mainstream party. In 2016 support for EU membership was 48%, yet the Lib Dems struggle to reach double digits in opinion polls. That reflects another failure: at a time when Jeremy Corbyn has taken Labour radically to the left, and Theresa May’s agenda is dictated by the fanatical right, there must be room for a party of mainstream moderation. But
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Here’s the science behind the Brexit vote and Trump’s rise | Michele Gelfand 17 Sep 2018, 1:00am Here’s the science behind the Brexit vote and Trump’s rise | Michele Gelfand
My research shows that when people feel threatened they want ‘tighter’ social norms, with profound consequences for politics What is the essential dividing line between human beings around the world? The one between the haves and the have-nots? East and west, rural and urban, secular and religious? Or maybe globalists and nationalists – a split purported to explain Putin, Brexit and the rise of Trump? These divisions are all significant, but none provide a consistent way of understanding differences observed from antiquity to the present day, in everything from international relations to relations in our homes. My research across hundreds of communities suggests that the fundamental driver of difference is not ideological, financial or geographical – it’s cultural. Behaviour, it turns out, depends a lot on whether the culture in which we live is a “tight” or “loose” one.
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Shocked by Brexit, we launched the first pan-European progressive movement | Colombe Cahen-Salvador 5 Sep 2018, 1:00am Shocked by Brexit, we launched the first pan-European progressive movement | Colombe Cahen-Salvador
The vote to leave the EU made me take action. We now have Volt, a party offering a different kind of politics Before Brexit I never thought deeply about Europe. I benefited from the European Union, studied its shortcomings and achievements, yet it had always seemed to be a given. But 23 June 2016 changed everything. On the morning of Britain’s vote to leave the EU I was on the phone to my partner, Andrea Venzon, and felt devastated. I grew up in France and studied law in the UK. Andrea and I had always planned to move to London some day. It just made sense: I’m French, he’s Italian, and we’d first met there. We represent the generation who have been able to study across Europe as part of the
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Rough Social Justice at Evergreen State 22 May 2018, 7:05pm Rough Social Justice at Evergreen State
The Washington college’s enrollment plummets as even the left sours on protest-mob politics.
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Suffer the Little Children 22 May 2018, 6:59pm Suffer the Little Children
Philadelphia sacrifices Catholic foster services to identity politics.
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We can stop Brexit. But we’ll need some help from across the Channel | Timothy Garton Ash 5 Jan 2018, 1:00am We can stop Brexit. But we’ll need some help from across the Channel | Timothy Garton Ash
Nothing is impossible in modern politics. But if so many Europeans really want Britain to stay in the EU, they need to find their voices nowThis is the year to stop Brexit. There will not be another chance. If by the end of this year the British parliament has approved a transition agreement with the 27 other members of the EU, including the framework for a
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It’s a mistake to sneer at centrists. Adonis’s stand on Brexit shows why | Matthew d’Ancona 31 Dec 2017, 11:05am It’s a mistake to sneer at centrists. Adonis’s stand on Brexit shows why | Matthew d’Ancona
Liberal politics is out of fashion, but the former transport secretary’s trenchant intervention reminds us it has real muscle Bravo, Andrew Adonis: the final transformation of this mild-mannered policy wonk into battling anti-Brexiter is a fitting way to end a year no less defiant of prophecy than 2016. And rather a cheering one, as it happens. In truth, the former Labour transport secretary and No 10 policy chief has been steadily morphing from bookworm to kick-ass over the last 18 months, his interventions growing more trenchant, his cerebral manner increasingly matched by a taste for action.
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The political kaleidoscope has been shaken and will be again | Andrew Rawnsley 30 Dec 2017, 7:05pm The political kaleidoscope has been shaken and will be again | Andrew Rawnsley
Mrs May was undone by hubris. Labour risks repeating the Tory mistake of taking the electorate for grantedThe clear lesson from 2017 concerns what you should do if you are the conservative prime minister of a tea-drinking nation who is faced with divisive constitutional questions at the same time as the largest opposition party appears to be in total disarray. Obviously – this is a no-brainer really – you should exploit your advantage and call a snap election. Well, that was the lesson from the politics of Japan.
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In 2017, Markets Rose Above Politics 29 Dec 2017, 3:58pm Updated In 2017, Markets Rose Above Politics
In the face of crisis, Polish and Korean stocks soared more than 40%—even faster than in the U.S.
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‘Trumpism’ is ingrained in white America. When he goes, it will remain | Cas Mudde 28 Dec 2017, 7:16am ‘Trumpism’ is ingrained in white America. When he goes, it will remain | Cas Mudde
The Republican party’s radicalised base will outlast their current leader. The sooner we realise this, the sooner we can find a solutionThe author Tom Wolfe once wrote: “The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.” He was reflecting a consensus, shared by public and scholars alike, that far right politics is a European phenomenon, at odds with “American values”. It is a conviction so deeply held that it has left the US blind to reality. Any example of far-right politics is explained away as exceptional, not representative of the “real” America, from “lone wolf” terrorists such as the Oklahoma City bomber
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Remembering Those Who Died in 2017 27 Dec 2017, 6:18pm Remembering Those Who Died in 2017
We lost some greats from the worlds of politics, media, sports and the military.
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The Handmaid’s Tale held a mirror up to a year of Trump | Matthew d’Ancona 26 Dec 2017, 4:00am The Handmaid’s Tale held a mirror up to a year of Trump | Matthew d’Ancona
Margaret Atwood’s ingenious dystopia, serialised on TV this year, prefigured the US president’s misogyny – and the #MeToo fightbackIn politics and culture, the year 2017 was the opposite of Where’s Wally? The question, instead, was always Where Isn’t Trump? All roads – public debate, private argument, artistic endeavour – seemed eventually to lead in his squalid direction; his gravitational pull irresistible, his fleshy presence horribly ubiquitous.
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Next Year in Jerusalem 22 Dec 2017, 6:13pm Next Year in Jerusalem
The U.N. reveals the depth of its anti-U.S., anti-Israel politics.
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Damian Green’s fall shows that politics needs cleaning up, but so does the web | Martin Kettle 21 Dec 2017, 12:51pm Damian Green’s fall shows that politics needs cleaning up, but so does the web | Martin Kettle
The disgraced politician was sacked for lying about porn on his computer. But we would all be better off without access to such demeaning materialTo lose one cabinet minister in two months may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two may look like carelessness. To lose three strongly suggests downright incompetence. Yet as
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May says she wants investigation into release of Damian Green information – Politics live 21 Dec 2017, 11:34am Updated May says she wants investigation into release of Damian Green information – Politics live
Prime minister flies to Poland after third cabinet departure in two months creates further headache for government
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Damian Green qualifies for £17,000 pay-off, Cabinet Office confirms – Politics live 21 Dec 2017, 9:55am Updated Damian Green qualifies for £17,000 pay-off, Cabinet Office confirms – Politics live
Prime minister flies to Poland after third cabinet departure in two months creates further headache for government
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Damian Green was sacked because he lied, says Jeremy Hunt – Politics live 21 Dec 2017, 8:49am Updated Damian Green was sacked because he lied, says Jeremy Hunt – Politics live
Prime minister flies to Poland after third cabinet departure in two months creates further headache for government
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Damian Green sacking prompts new trouble for Theresa May – politics live 21 Dec 2017, 3:24am Updated Damian Green sacking prompts new trouble for Theresa May – politics live
Prime minister flies to Poland after third cabinet departure in two months creates further headache for government
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Identity Politics Began in the American Revolution 15 Dec 2017, 6:51pm Identity Politics Began in the American Revolution
Can a politician represent constituents of drastically different backgrounds? It’s a very old question.
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After this week, I refuse to believe that Brexit is unstoppable | Martin Kettle 15 Dec 2017, 1:00am After this week, I refuse to believe that Brexit is unstoppable | Martin Kettle
The government’s Commons defeat opens up new and far-reaching possibilities – of a second referendum and of the leaving process coming off the rails Appearances matter a lot in politics. But in the end, the numbers matter more. On Brexit as on everything else, Theresa May has always behaved as if she is a prime minister with a clear parliamentary majority, a united party and a reconciled country behind her. But the reality is that she is none of these things, and
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Labour isn’t flip-flopping on Brexit – this is practical politics | Maya Goodfellow 12 Dec 2017, 7:58am Labour isn’t flip-flopping on Brexit – this is practical politics | Maya Goodfellow
While the prime minister has been muddying the EU waters, Jeremy Corbyn has been busy forming relationships in BrusselsFor some, Labour can do no right on Brexit. The party has a clear, adaptable position – but in recent days it has, somewhat predictably, been accused of being ambiguous. The party wants “
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Haringey council taken over by Momentum? It’s just locals taking back control | Aditya Chakrabortty 12 Dec 2017, 1:00am Haringey council taken over by Momentum? It’s just locals taking back control | Aditya Chakrabortty
This isn’t a hard left plot: Labour members simply opposed a council that handed its assets to private interests and turfed poor people out of their homes I’ve just been reading about the most terrifying place. For weeks, this “toxic” neighbourhood with its “poisonous” atmosphere has been all over the front pages and columns. It’s a land of revolutionary politics, of “ruthless attacks” and “purges”. Hordes of Trotskyists reportedly roam its high streets – like wildebeest, if they only swapped the majesty of the Serengeti for suburban pound shops. It sounds, frankly, dreadful. It also happens to be right next door to where I was born and raised. Indeed, it’s where I’ve spent much of the past year reporting, on exactly the local politics that now jostles news of Meghan and Harry’s engagement on the front page of the Times. Which is how I know that the fantasies generated by the Murdoch papers and others are just those: a purpose-built media onslaught.
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Just seven words are keeping a Brexit deal afloat for all sides | Gaby Hinsliff 11 Dec 2017, 3:12pm Just seven words are keeping a Brexit deal afloat for all sides | Gaby Hinsliff
Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, goes the latest meaningless mantra. But sometimes maddening ambiguity is what makes politics workNothing is agreed until everything is agreed. If
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‘Ladydata’ could help solve gender inequalities | Stella Creasy 9 Dec 2017, 7:05pm ‘Ladydata’ could help solve gender inequalities | Stella Creasy
There must be independent assessments of the impact of budget cuts on different groups Benjamin Franklin once argued nothing was certain except death and taxes. Certain they may be, but experience of both is very unequal. While women tend to live longer than men, their pockets are hit much harder when it comes to public revenues. And if one is a matter of physiology, the other is a question of politics. Without data to identify how and why, neither can be addressed. It is now devastatingly clear that seven years of austerity budgets have hindered equality in Britain. Raising the personal tax allowance and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 may be popular, but it helps older white men most of all.
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Steve Bell on Arlene Foster and Theresa May – cartoon 5 Dec 2017, 3:25pm Steve Bell on Arlene Foster and Theresa May – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/picture/2017/dec/05/steve-bell-on-arlene-foster-and-theresa-may-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Integrity in presidential politics? I think it’s extinct | Tim Dowling 5 Dec 2017, 3:24pm Integrity in presidential politics? I think it’s extinct | Tim Dowling
I’ve met Bill Clinton, and been thrown out of Gerald Ford’s elevator. But my favourite was John Anderson, a would-be candidate in 1979. He was my hero At some point in the summer of 1979, I was eating breakfast at a diner with my family, in northern Massachusetts or southern New Hampshire. I can’t be sure: we were halfway through a long drive to Maine, and had spent the night in a motel. A man with white hair and glasses walked up to our table and introduced himself. He asked if he could sit down. This overt display of friendliness, I could tell, alarmed my parents. When he claimed to be running for president, we all exchanged worried glances. But he had badges and stickers with his name on them. John Anderson,
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Shy Tory remainers must find the courage to mutiny too | Rafael Behr 5 Dec 2017, 2:39pm Shy Tory remainers must find the courage to mutiny too | Rafael Behr
Theresa May’s Brexit delusions need to be challenged. But that task shouldn’t all be left to Brussels and DublinEnacting the will of the people turns out to be rather tricky when there are lots of different people with incompatible wills. That is a banal truth of democratic politics that Theresa May avoided for months and finally bumped into in Brussels this week. Even after the opinions of millions who voted to stay in the EU were discounted, the chances of satisfying every one of the leavers’ preferences were nil.
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Martin Rowson on British efforts to get a Brexit-Irish border deal – cartoon 4 Dec 2017, 3:34pm Martin Rowson on British efforts to get a Brexit-Irish border deal – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/picture/2017/dec/04/martin-rowson-on-british-efforts-to-get-a-brexit-irish-border-deal-cartoon">Continue reading...
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The Guardian view on Labour and Brexit: fight for workers’ rights | Editorial 26 Nov 2017, 2:56pm The Guardian view on Labour and Brexit: fight for workers’ rights | Editorial
Social protections can best be upheld through international cooperation. Labour should clearly back the single market and the customs unionBritish politics is polarised on nearly every axis, so it is strange how little conflict there is between Labour and the Conservatives on the biggest issue: the terms of departure from the EU. Jeremy Corbyn’s challenges to Theresa May over Brexit negotiations
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We need new words to explain these curious times. How about ‘coffused’ or ‘procrastinetflix’? | Arwa Mahdawi 26 Nov 2017, 10:00am We need new words to explain these curious times. How about ‘coffused’ or ‘procrastinetflix’? | Arwa Mahdawi
Troubled by conflicting advice over how much coffee to drink, or putting off a deadline with a quick Stranger Things binge? Don’t worry I’ve got the neologisms for you. And plenty more where those came from These days, the world can be very confusing. Technology keeps disrupting everything and politics has become a fast-paced drama full of plot twists. It is no surprise, then, that this brave new world has spawned a bevy of brave new words. From Brexit to Regrexit, from
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A quick UK-US post-Brexit trade deal?Looking at Nafta, that seems unlikely | Randall Mark Wigle 24 Nov 2017, 8:55am A quick UK-US post-Brexit trade deal?Looking at Nafta, that seems unlikely | Randall Mark Wigle
Trump has promised a deal ‘very, very quickly’. If talks proceed as slowly as they are for a revised US agreement with Canada and Mexico, that won’t happenBeing a Canadian sabbatical visitor in the United Kingdom this year has allowed me to witness Brexit politics at close hand. As an economist, I’ve found it fascinating. Some Britons feel that Brexit sets the stage for a
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Cassowaries! Quandongs! Snitty the cassowary hosts the Queensland elections | First Dog on the Moon 24 Nov 2017, 1:42am Cassowaries! Quandongs! Snitty the cassowary hosts the Queensland elections | First Dog on the Moon
What are the issues Queenslanders should consider when voting - other than how terrible politics is and why won’t they all shut up?
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Don’t be fooled by the ‘economicky’ words: this budget is all politics | Victoria Waldersee 23 Nov 2017, 8:03am Don’t be fooled by the ‘economicky’ words: this budget is all politics | Victoria Waldersee
The dominant school of economics has long marketed itself as value-free. But the chancellor should be honest about the ideological nature of his decisionsYou’d think that a leading figure giving their most important speech of the year on what exactly they’re planning on doing with the nation’s money would try to avoid inductive leaps, questionable stats, and a stubborn inability to be open about the fact that their actions are a choice, not a necessity. But when it’s the budget, and your job title is chancellor of the exchequer, it seems like anything goes. It’s not Philip Hammond’s fault (though given he uses “
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Martin Rowson on Brexit developments – cartoon 20 Nov 2017, 2:33pm Martin Rowson on Brexit developments – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/picture/2017/nov/20/martin-rowson-on-brexit-developments">Continue reading...
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What does Germany’s political crisis mean for Brexit? | Martin Kettle 20 Nov 2017, 8:41am What does Germany’s political crisis mean for Brexit? | Martin Kettle
With coalition talks collapsing, Angela Merkel has problems at home to sort. The idea she could magic a Brexit solution favourable to the UK is simply for the birdsThe British political class, like much of the British media, remains foolishly obsessed with America to the exclusion of all other foreign countries. As a result, both refuse to pay consistent attention to German politics, or indeed to the internal politics of any other European country at all. So the news that Angela Merkel may not, after all,
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The Guardian view on climate talks: Brexit’s heavy weather | Editorial 17 Nov 2017, 2:14pm The Guardian view on climate talks: Brexit’s heavy weather | Editorial
If Brexit goes ahead, Britain will need to shape a green politics with devolution and social justice at its core. And make sure that politicians cannot renege on our international obligationsThe tragedy of climate change, as the governor of the Bank of England has put it,
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‘Putting politics above prosperity’ – wait, isn’t that what the Brexiteers are doing? | Christian Odendahl 17 Nov 2017, 11:17am ‘Putting politics above prosperity’ – wait, isn’t that what the Brexiteers are doing? | Christian Odendahl
David Davis’s ill-advised remark to an audience of German businessmen reveals an alarming ignorance about the way in which the EU is conducting negotiationsPutting
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May needed to master the new politics that Brexit demands. But she’s failed | Simon Jenkins 16 Nov 2017, 1:00am May needed to master the new politics that Brexit demands. But she’s failed | Simon Jenkins
Britain needed a prime minister to fight for what the public truly wants. Instead, she has driven all sides to extremesBastards, mutineers, saboteurs, enemies of the people. As the Brexit debate approaches climax, it is
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Russia is meddling in western politics as it has nothing to lose | Robert Service 15 Nov 2017, 9:40am Russia is meddling in western politics as it has nothing to lose | Robert Service
Putin knows Russia is no longer a superpower, but he can bolster his standing at home by destabilising the westFrom the Brexit referendum to the American and French presidential elections, Russia has been causing serious mischief in the western democracies. Just yesterday it emerged that
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As Trump fawns over Xi, global politics is now a ‘strong man’ game | Will Hutton 11 Nov 2017, 7:05pm As Trump fawns over Xi, global politics is now a ‘strong man’ game | Will Hutton
Trade agreements are being torn up in a brutal exercise of economic force by the most powerfulIt was an extraordinary moment, so small wonder there was an audible intake of breath from the huge audience in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Here was Donald Trump, visibly flattered by the pomp and magnificence of the welcome mounted by the Chinese Communist party, saying in his big speech
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A Media Merger Is Mugged by Bureaucrats, Not Donald Trump 10 Nov 2017, 7:24pm A Media Merger Is Mugged by Bureaucrats, Not Donald Trump
A shocking possibility: Partisan politics will save the AT&T and Time Warner deal.
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Who’ll win the Tory biathlon of cabinet chaos? They all will | Marina Hyde 10 Nov 2017, 1:15pm Who’ll win the Tory biathlon of cabinet chaos? They all will | Marina Hyde
If we think of the week as a contest to prove ministerial stupidity and ineptitude, a single winner is impossible to pickAnother edifying week on the Mount Olympus of British politics, as the Tory gods continue to operate on a
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May must pay up and clear out the Brexit rebels. All else is madness | Simon Jenkins 10 Nov 2017, 4:25am May must pay up and clear out the Brexit rebels. All else is madness | Simon Jenkins
Hardcore Brexiteers are in the minority – the prime minister must stand up to them. Talk of ‘no deal’ is illiterate, playing politics with other people’s lives.Why does Theresa May keep telling us what we already know? She
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Tories can take being hated. But not being laughed at | Gaby Hinsliff 10 Nov 2017, 1:00am Tories can take being hated. But not being laughed at | Gaby Hinsliff
Voters needn’t love Theresa May, they just have to believe she’s more competent than Labour. How many think that now?What a shambles. What an undignified, mortifying mess British politics is in right now. Two cabinet ministers have gone in a week and the foreign secretary keeps his job only because it’s so awkward to move him. The prime minister has been embarrassed at home and abroad by the behaviour of her colleagues, all the more so because these scandals are so avoidably stupid. Sexual and financial transgressions are shocking enough, although they happen in real life as well as in politics. But
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The budget will show whether the Tories really care about ‘just managing’ families | Frances Ryan 9 Nov 2017, 3:00am The budget will show whether the Tories really care about ‘just managing’ families | Frances Ryan
The 2015 benefit freeze has been far more destructive than the government thought. Will the Tories take the chance to lift it?In politics, there are some ideas that are good in theory but don’t work in practice. Then there are those that were always going to cause harm but turn out to be more damning than even the policy’s architects could have imagined. Increasingly, the benefit freeze is the poster child for the latter category. The government is rightly coming under increasing pressure to halt the roll-out of universal credit. But lifting this freeze in benefit levels should be as much of priority. In the 2015 budget, then chancellor George Osborne put in motion a freeze on most working-age benefits for four years, from housing benefit and tax credits, to employment support allowance and child benefit. In other words, on the “top-up wage” for the mum working all hours as a care assistant but still struggling to pay the rent, or the safety net for the cancer patient temporarily too ill to hold down a job.
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Selfie Politics 8 Nov 2017, 7:01pm Selfie Politics
Trump, in fact, tweets as the Everyman of America’s new politics: Embrace Me!
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The Guardian view on Priti Patel’s sacking: no alternative for Theresa May | Editorial 8 Nov 2017, 2:52pm The Guardian view on Priti Patel’s sacking: no alternative for Theresa May | Editorial
The former international development secretary ran her own foreign policy and defied the prime minister. Downing Street had to show who was boss In the end Theresa May did not force out Priti Patel because she wanted to. She did it because she had to. At the weekend, the prime minister was presented with serious reasons to dismiss the international development secretary. Ms Patel’s freelance but secret Middle East foreign policy – notably the 12 private meetings this summer with senior Israeli politicians and officials without first informing the Foreign Office or No 10 – was institutionalised insubordination. Yet in spite of these major breaches of trust and collective responsibility, Mrs May bent over backwards not to fire Ms Patel. She preferred to have her colleague stay, especially so soon after Michael Fallon’s resignation. Ms Patel was given a ticking-off on Monday but she was cleared to fulfil a pre-arranged visit to Africa at the start of the week. The initial failure to sack Ms Patel reflected the weakness of Mrs May’s premiership, which has deepened since June’s humiliating general election. Paradoxically, the same thing is true of Wednesday’s reverse decision to give Ms Patel the sack. If nothing else, the two contrasting responses illustrate Talleyrand’s cynical dictum that, in politics, treachery is all a matter of dates. In between the decisions not to sack and then to sack, it became clear that Ms Patel had again been economical with the facts when she told Mrs May about her recent meetings with senior Israelis. The decisive revelation concerned a meeting at the House of Commons in September with the Israeli public security minister, which Ms Patel continued to conceal at the weekend. Although some of the facts concerning this meeting, and another in New York with the head of Israel’s foreign service, were in dispute on Wednesday, it added up to a deception too far for No 10.
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What can we learn about politics from Gordon Brown’s memoir? 7 Nov 2017, 10:20am What can we learn about politics from Gordon Brown’s memoir?
He doesn’t rate Corbyn, didn’t like ‘touchy-feely’ politics, and still hates Tony Blair – a roundup of all the hot revelations from the former prime minister’s new bookFor reasons now lost to me, I read Gordon Brown’s previous book, Beyond the Crash, in which he revealed precisely nothing about himself, except for that fascinating quirk of the unusual mind. He’d say a big thing with no explanation at all (“that’s what an economy is for, to create jobs”), then explain a small, obvious thing at the most tremendous length. Imagine the surprise, therefore, to find his latest work,
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