Ridiculing Brexiters is a sure way to lose the argument for staying in the EU
Tuesday 31st May 2016,
, Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images
If, come 24 June, the liberal establishment should wonder what could have possessed voters to be so stupid and small-minded as to vote to leave the European Union, they could do worse than ponder whether they didn’t win people over precisely because they treated them as “stupid” and “small-minded”.
Ignore the doom merchants: Corbyn has shown he’s a viable leader
Prior to the December byelection in Oldham, where many predicted that Labour would lose to Ukip, the consensus of the commentariat was that anything short of an increased share of the vote for Labour would prove undeniable evidence of Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous leadership. So confident were they of the conclusion that the first edition of the Daily Mirror, published before the results came in, carried the headline: “Dark night of the polls for Jeremy”. Labour increased its share of the vote by 7.3%. The Mirror changed its headline for later editions. The new consensus was that this victory had nothing to do with Corbyn and was entirely due to the local candidate.
The Left Is Winning the Debate. Now What?
After the Labour Party’s electoral defeat in Britain last year, the party’s small left caucus debated whether it should stand a candidate for the leadership at all. Some feared defeat would expose just how small the caucus was. Others insisted that someone needed to at least raise the arguments against anti-austerity and for a progressive foreign policy to counter the narrative that Labour had lost because it was too progressive.
Racism is a system of oppression, not a series of bloopers
Wednesday 4th May 2016,
, Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty
On the weekend in 2001 when Oldham went up in flames during a series of racially charged disturbances, I was at a garden party at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival – when I, along with many others, heard Germaine Greer using the term “nigger in a woodpile”. I walked away, not particularly interested in her justification for using that offensive word. By the time the weekend was through I’d had several calls from newspaper diarists asking me to comment on the incident.