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Showing posts from October, 2016

Just how weird can the post-Brexit world get?

British politics has surely never been such an extraordinary mess in the course of modern history. And Brexit is right at the heart of it all.
The referendum on 23rd June was of course a symbol of the chaos we were already in, but also a harbinger of calamities yet to come.
And if you want to see in microcosm how shockingly weird the landscape is now, pay a visit to Richmond Park constituency in south-west London. This highly affluent seat elected the even more affluent Zac Goldsmith to represent it in 2015, with a phenomenal majority over the shattered Lib Dems.
I actually had to double check the figures, because although I knew he’d won well, I’d forgotten that Goldsmith clocked up a staggering majority of 25,000 in an area previously held by Jenny Tonge and Susan Kramer.
Zac is forcing a by-election and standing as an independent in protest at the expansion of Heathrow Airport – a position no doubt supported by the majority of Richmond residents, who live right under the flightpath a…

Michelle Obama spoke for decency. Three stories remind us how far America has to travel.

Michelle Obama’s speech this week was extraordinary in both its content and delivery. As many have observed, she is a highly credible presidential candidate herself and brought to the campaign a raw emotional blast against the abhorrent sexism and vulgarity of Donald Trump.
In a sense, the First Lady was doing what Clinton can’t. With just a few short weeks until the election, Hillary cannot afford to be labelled unfairly as a harridan or a man-hater.  She is conscious of all the baggage about Bill, which her opponent is happy to dredge up at every opportunity. So while she agrees with everything that was said this week by Mrs Obama, she needed someone else to say it.
The speech was about sexism and the treatment of women. It will rightly be remembered long after this tawdry and tortuous campaign season is over. But there’s another shadow that hangs over this election, as we all know. And that is the stirring of ugly racist sentiment – not just by Trump himself, but by a coterie of …