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The State of It

Evidence that the Home Office should be abolished, part XVII: The Home Office have privatised the visa system and made it even less accessible. The Home Office detained a trafficking victim for five months because it insisted he was somebody else.

Evidence that the US is lost, part XVII: The youngest child separated from his family at the US border was 4 months old. America’s new concentration camp system.

How Rupert Murdoch’s empire of influence remade the world.

Canadian permafrost is thawing 70 years early. The reality of melting Greenland sea ice. Antarctica has lost as much sea ice in four years as the Arctic lost in 34. Planes are even worse for the climate than we thought. #ShowYourStripes

Finally, a sad development in a country close to me: Cocaine and meth fuel crime and chaos in Fiji.

2 July 2019

Chch

Two months ago I gathered a handful of links to mark the massacre in Christchurch, but couldn’t collect my thoughts sufficiently to post them here. The city has been one of my favourite places ever since J. and I lived there for a few months in 1997, and as often happens with awful events in places I love, I found it hard to disentangle the events from my memories of the place.

Read More · 28 May 2019

The End of May

The European Elections are out of the way, and soon Theresa May will be as well.

Read More · 27 May 2019

The Silver Bodgie

The BBC reported yesterday that Australians will remember Bob Hawke for breaking a beer-drinking record and being a good bloke, which was a pretty feeble eulogy. Australians will remember him for a bloody sight more than that.

Read More · 17 May 2019

No-Brexit Day Redux

Remember when it was early December, and we were all in agony awaiting the first Meaningful Vote on May’s deal, which ended up not happening that month? That was only four months ago. If we have six more months of this, we’re not even halfway through the end of the beginning.

Read More · 12 April 2019

Deal or No Deal? No Idea... Not Ideal

56 hours to go, and we still don’t know if we’re going.

Read More · 10 April 2019

In Extra Time

Once again the UK is potentially days away from crashing out of the EU with no deal, with no clear path to avoiding it. Theresa May is in talks with Jeremy Corbyn about reaching a cross-party agreement which could trade away our freedom of movement and any chance of a people’s vote for some vague statements about post-Brexit negotiating aims. On Monday in Parliament Labour whipped in favour of three indicative motions to find a way forward, but not for Joanna Cherry’s crucial emergency brake, on which many of its MPs abstained. If we crash out because of that, or leave on the barest of terms with Corbyn’s approval, many voters will be abstaining from voting for Labour.

Read More · 4 April 2019

The Hunger Games: Jokingmay Part 1

A BuzzFeed report on EU officials’ responses to the past couple of days of UK political developments has just the best punchline.

Read More · 29 March 2019

The Wavering Middle

I’ve long thought that Labour’s switch to selecting its leader via a direct membership vote was a wrong turn, and that the next Tory leadership battle will be disastrous for the same reason.

Read More · 23 March 2019

10, 9, 8...

Counting down the days.

Read More · 21 March 2019 · 2 Comments

Europe: The Final Countdown
With apologies. Lifted off.

18 March 2019

The Wire

Two weeks until a possible No Deal, and we’re all having to twiddle our thumbs for five days until Meaningful Vote 3 to see what fresh hell awaits us.

Read More · 15 March 2019

Breaking Point

With three weeks to go, Britain is unprepared for any kind of Brexit and unable to decide which way to turn, with May’s government operating under a cloak of secrecy and considering prolonging the indecision if parliament’s second vote on her Withdrawal Agreement fails next week. The endless Brexit lies have left us in an Orwellian nightmare, with some MPs receiving death threats every single day. Now new lies are doing the rounds of social media, as questionable money buys who knows what amount of under-the-radar campaigning in advance of a possible second referendum. Bookmakers, though, consider the odds of a second referendum to be worse than those of No Deal (5/1 versus 4/1 respectively), with the odds of the latter shortening.

Read More · 8 March 2019 · 1 Comment

Brexit Diary

I’d better post something to mark our penultimate month in the EU. Since the parliamentary votes at the end of January I’ve been resigned to the worst, and too ill for most of the month to pay the daily ins and outs much attention, but here are a few things I noticed and briefly commented on along the way.

Read More · 28 February 2019

That Wasted the Week That Was

Another precious week has passed with no sign of progress on Brexit, as everyone waits for next week’s next parliamentary vote.

Read More · 26 January 2019 · 1 Comment

Meet the New Plan, Same as the Old Plan

Theresa May’s statement to Parliament yesterday about her Brexit Plan B was a non-event, after a week of even more floundering about than we’ve come to expect. Gina Miller has written about the need for MPs to use the parliamentary sovereignty that she fought for. David Lammy MP argues that even a Norway outcome would be lose-lose. A backbench effort to rule out a no-deal Brexit is supposedly supported in private by much of the government, who don’t want to do it themselves for fear of splitting their party. But might explicitly ruling out No Deal mean that May’s deal ends up getting through?

Read More · 22 January 2019

Psychodrama

Tom Watson played a blinder in his speech to the House during the no-confidence vote. Just look at May’s laughter when he points out the impact of the past thirty months on EU27 citizens living in Britain. Nervous laughter, or laughter at the idea that she’s failed to give them reassurance, or outright indifference: whichever it is, it’s a terrible look.

Read More · 20 January 2019

I’ve been thinking about what I’d say to Lexiters, and any other Brexiter who’s willing to listen, that might get past the whole “will it/won’t it be a disaster” debate with firmly held positions on both sides. I’m not sure it would help in most cases, but it might in some...

Read More · 17 January 2019

The meaningful vote is due in something like six or seven hours, and the anticipation is hard to bear.

Read More · 15 January 2019 · 1 Comment

Two short sentences in a comments thread woke my inner satirist.

That’s an argument, not a story. A story gets an emotional reaction.

Read More · 11 January 2019

The Neverending Brexit Endgame

Now that Christmas is out of the way, Parliament’s vote on the EU withdrawal agreement, delayed by Theresa May in December, is imminent. The ever-reliable Ian Dunt has explained Wednesday’s extraordinary events in the Commons, which came two days after a small group of Brexit supporters staged a yellow vest protest and three days after the government staged a fake traffic jam intended to show that we could survive without a deal, so there.

Read More · 11 January 2019

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