Farage and Extinction Rebellion: two politics of protest, only one has a future
Friday 26th April 2019,
, Illustration: Eleanor Shakespeare
Watching Nigel Farage, leader of the new Brexit party, saunter the few minutes from a Wetherspoons pub to Clacton pier on Wednesday, surrounded by media and supporters, I recalled Michael Rosen’s poem explaining that fascism does not arrive “in fancy dress”: “Fascism arrives as your friend. / It will restore your honour, / make you feel proud, / protect your house, / give you a job, / clean up the neighbourhood, / remind you of how great you once were …”
Memo to Tory MPs: denigrating the membership is a really bad idea
Thursday 18th April 2019,
, Illustration by Ben Jennings
In the wake of the Brexit referendum, one Labour MP rationalised the effort to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, who had been elected party leader less than a year earlier with one of the greatest mandates in the party’s history, as an act of mercy. “There are always going to be 500,000 people in the country who are off-the-page nuts. The problem we’ve got is that they have all joined the Labour party because of Jeremy Corbyn,” he told Tim Shipman in All Out War. “It slowly dawned on us that the man’s insane and the people around him are too. To think you can run a political party with 172 of your colleagues having no confidence in you is insane.”
Brexit Is Not Just a Tragedy for Britain
Thursday 18th April 2019,
To be a British commentator traveling through Europe at the moment presents a credibility challenge. The problem is not when people ask you what will happen with Brexit. Journalists are not clairvoyants and shouldn’t try to be. In a moment as volatile and fragile as this, we should devote our energies to being descriptive rather than predictive. Not least because journalists have proved to be pretty poor at predicting anything of late. Those who did not foresee the rise of the Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn or Donald Trump’s taking the White House or Britain’s voting to leave the European Union probably aren’t the ones you want to rely on to figure out what will happen next.
White supremacy feeds on mainstream encouragement. That has to stop
Friday 5th April 2019,
, Photograph: HOPE not hate/PA
On 19 April 1995, Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring another 684, in the deadliest act of domestic US terrorism to date. A white supremacist, among other things, he was radicalised by what he regarded as excessive federal government power, US foreign policy and a constellation of bigotries and inadequacies too numerous to mention. He was sentenced to death and placed in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.