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Illustration: Nathalie Lees
It’s never their fault: why the Brexiteers love to cry betrayal
The notion of personal responsibility was once such a linchpin of conservative thinking that almost every riposte to liberal ideology ran through it. Whether the right was making the case for longer prison sentences or against the welfare state, the argument generally rested on the principle that we must stand by the consequences of our actions. To cite the context that shaped how a decision was made, insist on the parallel importance of collective responsibility, or expect the state to cushion the blow, were all signs of whiny weakness. To think otherwise revealed not just a flawed political philosophy but a lack of moral fortitude.


President Trump and his wife Melania step off Air Force One. ‘He may not know how to make friends, keep them or treat them, but he needs them all the same.’
Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
For May, the ‘special relationship’ means craven compliance
A US president with no moral authority flies in to meet a British prime minister with no authority whatsoever. Each seeking legitimacy in the presence of the other, they hail their special relationship like two bald men might brandish a comb. Isolated in their trajectories, belligerent in their rhetoric, incoherent in their policies, they have alienated their allies in pursuit of a brazen nationalism that bodes ill for them and everybody else.


Photograph: Guardian Design Team
The radical lessons of a year reporting on knife crime – podcast


Illustration: Ben Jennings
Rudderless and riven by Brexit, the Tories have only one ambition left
On the night of the Brexit referendum Michael Gove went to bed, full of red wine and smoked beef, before the results were in. He had campaigned to leave the European Union, but his main concern that night was that remain might win by anything up to 15 points. He slept soundly.


Beyond the blade
Photograph: Guardian
Beyond the Blade: thank you for reading and supporting our series on knife crime
We have now published the final long read in this award-winning series on the impact of knife crime on young people in Britain and this will be the last Beyond the Blade update for now. We’d like to thank you for following us over this year and a half on this difficult but important subject. It was harrowing to both hear and relate the stories of so many young people whose lives were cut short. But ultimately we feel that by both putting real people behind the statistics and exploring the themes that emerged from their death, the series was a valuable journalistic exercise.
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Who Are We – And Should It Matter in the 21st Century?
book review
The more power an identity carries, the less likely its carrier is to be aware of it as an identity at all.
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