Leaving the EU would be an act of political arson that risks the destruction of international order, the former foreign secretary David Miliband has said. In one of the starkest warnings of the referendum debate so far, Miliband argued that the impact of Brexit could extend far beyond the UK and that it could have a disastrous effect on the rest of the world. Writing for the Guardian before delivering a key speech in Westminster on Tuesday, he said it would amount to “giving up on our alliances” with the rest of the world. “It means forsaking our position at the negotiating table and abandoning our international responsibilities – unilateral political disarmament. No nation in human peacetime history has voluntarily given up as much political power as we are being invited to throw away on 23 June.” The former politician, who lost the Labour leadership race to his brother Ed in 2010, said leaving the EU could set off a domino effect across the world. … [Read more...] about Brexit would be political arson, says David Miliband
International covenants on civil and political rights
What now for Labour? In the short term, the party is prepared to continue talks with Theresa May to try to see whether a compromise can be found on the future relationship that both sides can support. Two key problems threaten the prospect of success: the prime minister’s almost non-existent authority, and whether it is ultimately ever going to be in Labour’s interests to do a deal with the Tories. Senior Labour figures simply do not trust that whatever is offered by May or her de facto deputy, David Lidington, will have the support of the cabinet – or that it will not simply be unpicked by a future leader. Internally, the six-month extension to article 50 complicates matters. There is no urgency to avoid no deal and come to a Brexit agreement. Labour MPs who had been thinking about finally voting for May’s deal are less likely to do so now. Supporters of a second referendum will feel emboldened to push the party towards backing legislation to allow a fresh poll … [Read more...] about What does a Brexit delay mean for politics, business, citizens and the EU?
David Cameron has pledged to try to make non-military national service “a rite of passage” for every British teenager in his first job since resigning as prime minister. A month after stepping down as an MP, Cameron has announced that he is to chair a panel of patrons on the expanded National Citizen Service (NCS) – a summer camp initiative he set up in his first months in office designed to instil social responsibility in young people as part of his “big society”. Cameron said the service was an example of the big society in action. But critics say there is little evidence that the scheme works. It has also emerged that one of the key funders of the initiative was a tycoon who backed Brexit. Cameron said he wanted to offer every 16- and 17-year-old the chance to take part in the four-week camps and to embed the initiative “in our national fabric”. Writing in the Telegraph, Cameron said: “That should be our goal – not necessarily … [Read more...] about David Cameron to work with National Citizen Service in first post-politics role
With just weeks to go until the general election, and the use of existing and emerging online platforms increasingly being used for political campaigning, it is concerning to read about the alleged manipulation of Wikipedia by the Tory party co-chairman Grant Shapps (Shapps accused of secret slurs against top Tories, 22 April). Online and digital content holds advantages for politicians on account of the longstanding ban on advertisements of a political nature, and with the undecided electorate turning to the internet for meaningful information to inform voting decisions, it is imperative that they feel this content is genuine. While Shapps denies the allegations, they raise the point that, generally, our ability to trust the information we’re presented with online is under threat by unethical practices. The worst offenders will create fake reviews, use “click-farms” or pay for “likes”, as we saw in the case of David Cameron on Facebook (Report, … [Read more...] about The internet must be free from political meddling
Donald Trump’s bellicose policies, including new tariffs on steel and aluminium, have raised fears of a worldwide slide into protectionism and trade conflict. The US president’s unilateral and xenophobic approach to trade policy is reprehensible and dangerous from any perspective. But many progressives feel conflicted about Trump’s actions. After all, he is challenging business-friendly trade deals (including the TPP and Nafta) which labour, social and environmental advocates have opposed for years. And while his policies will clearly make life worse for working and poor people in the US, he is nevertheless speaking to their actual experience: unlike free trade defenders, who continue to pretend that the tide of globalisation has lifted all boats. Given Trump’s domination of the debate, progressives need to work quickly to distinguish our critique of globalisation from his. In particular, we must flesh out a vision of trade policy reforms that would genuinely … [Read more...] about Is Trump right about free trade or is there a fair alternative?