We’re led by a party not fit for power in a system not fit for purpose
Thursday 28th March 2019,
, Illustration: Ben Jennings
A few days before the 2015 general election, the prime minister, David Cameron, tweeted: “Britain faces an inescapable choice – strong and stable government with me, or chaos with Ed Miliband.” Cameron won (the first general election the Tories have won outright since 1992), followed through on his pledge to hold a referendum on staying in the European Union, promised not to resign if he lost, lost and then resigned as chaos ensued.
Brexit is not the cause of Britain’s political breakdown. It’s a symptom
Thursday 21st March 2019,
, Illustration: Nate Kitch
The French EU minister, Nathalie Loiseau, has called her new cat Brexit. “He wakes me up every morning meowing to death because he wants to go out,” she says. “And then when I open the door he stays put, undecided, and then glares at me when I put him out.” The Dutch prime minister has compared Theresa May to the knight in Monty Python who has all his limbs lopped off and insists “It’s just a flesh wound” and calls it a draw. “She’s incredible,” says Mark Rutte. “She goes on and on. At the same time, I do not blame her but British politics.” Italian friends tell me Brexit now comes on at the end of the news, in that wacky slot just before the sport and weather.
Brexit Has Made the UK a Laughingstock
Thursday 21st March 2019,
The scene outside Westminster these days couldn’t be more like a theme park devoted to English eccentricity if Basil Fawlty and Mr. Bean were doing a duet on Parliament Square. Tourists snap photos as people either draped in Union Jacks or waving European Union flags shout obscenities at one another. One woman carrying a sign—“The Bible says Britain’s future destiny is different to Europe’s”—is being asked to move on by police. Hovering nearby, a few hard-right “Leave” voters insist that if her sign had mentioned the Quran, the cops would have left her alone. Meanwhile, a man with a leave means leave banner adroitly dodges traffic, presenting an American dad with the unenviable challenge of explaining to his kids what Brexit is, or might be.
Greta Thunberg:how her school strike went global
Thursday 14th March 2019,
, Photograph: Morris MacMatzen/Reuters
These gaffes expose British politics’ real issue with race
Wednesday 13th March 2019,
, Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Among the unremarkable racial experiences in my life, I have been chased off a train as a teenager by men twice my age and size shouting “nigger”; pursued down a main street in Edinburgh by two men with baseball bats shouting the same word; had racist graffiti scrawled on my house; and had countless people shout at me in the street. Unremarkable not because they weren’t terrifying or upsetting at the time but because such stories are relatively common among black people of my age who grew up in Britain.
Gary Younge: ‘Our understanding of democracy is under threat'
Saturday 9th March 2019,
, Photograph: Production Company/Channel 4
When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor. Or maybe a revolutionary, but a doctor in my spare time. As I got a bit older, I discovered that I loved words, and I studied translation – I wanted to play with language, and was fortunate enough to do so as a student in France and Russia. But I soon realised that I didn’t just want to convey the words of other people – I had things I wanted to say myself. I was very politically involved, particularly in anti-apartheid, student politics and the labour movement. So I was delighted to receive a Scott Trust bursary, and even more so when I was invited to do a week’s work experience at the paper.
Teenagers are being killed. But more policing is too simple an answer
Wednesday 6th March 2019,
While researching my book about all the young people and teens who were killed by guns on a random day in the United States, I would call the journalist who wrote the original story of the shooting and ask if they had any leads. With a handful of exceptions they didn’t. The victims were overwhelmingly working-class black and Latino killed in poor black and Latino neighbourhoods. The stories were often little more than rewrites of police reports. “People are desensitised to it,” said one journalist. “They figure that’s where bad things happen.” “Unfortunately, homicides are not uncommon in that area,” said another. “Unless something unexpected happened, it just wouldn’t be the kind of story we’d follow up on,” said a third.
Talking to the Taliban: what price peace?
Tuesday 5th March 2019,
, Photograph: Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA