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‘There is more to politics than elections.’ Labour supporters at a campaign rally in London, December 2019.
Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Amid defeat, remember – the left is more than Labour
During a deputation to the White House by civil rights leaders in 1963, President John F Kennedy was asked whether he supported the March on Washington, at which Martin Luther King made his “I have a dream” speech. Kennedy said he didn’t. “We want success in Congress, not just a big show at the Capitol … It seemed to me a great mistake to announce a march on Washington before the bill was even in committee.”


‘Britain has elected the most rightwing government for decades handing the least principled leader in living memory such a massive majority that it could take a decade to get rid of him.’
Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images
Labour won’t win again until it works out why it lost
This changes everything. The fourth national vote in four years has broken the parliamentary logjam with devastating effect. It was a rout. Labour’s vote in its traditional strongholds finally collapsed. The demographic, geographic and social ties that bound its coalition together have unravelled. We have yet to see if they can be put back together again. Britain has elected the most rightwing government for decades, handing the least principled leader in living memory such a massive majority that it could take a decade to get rid of him. Last night was bad. The worst is yet to come.


Most people I spoke to in Stevenage had been canvassed by Labour; from the Tories they had just had a leaflet.
Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observer
The view from Stevenage: 'I feel I have to vote to get Johnson out'
When Eric Harvey contacted the Guardian last month he was planning on voting Liberal Democrat. But he had reservations. Brexit was the main issue for Harvey, a retired registrar and post office senior manager who has lived in Stevenage for two years, but the Lib Dems’ complicity in austerity gave him pause. When I met him a couple weeks later, he was leaning towards Labour. His wife is one of the millions of women affected by the change in pension rules and he liked Labour’s promise on that front, while Labour is the only party that can beat the Conservatives in Stevenage.


Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observer
Election 2019: Gary Younge returns to his childhood town of Stevenage


‘Labour has to nail dissembling conman shtick to his Brexit promise.’
Photograph: POOL/Reuters
From Johnson’s lies to Corbyn’s promises – this election is about trust
The appeal of any presidential candidate, said Richard Nixon’s speechwriter, Raymond Price, is based on a “gut reaction, unarticulated, non-analytical, a product of the particular chemistry between the voter and the image of the candidate … [It’s] not what’s there that counts, it’s what’s projected.” That projection “depends more on the medium and its use than it does on the candidate”.
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The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream
book review
“The speech is profoundly and willfully misunderstood,” says King’s longtime friend Vincent Harding.
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