As pressure builds on Labour’s NEC to endorse a confirmatory referendum in its European election manifesto (Explainer: What’s happening on Thursday, 29 April) too little thought is being given to what the referendum question should be. Yet this issue is crucial to achieving a settled outcome on which national reconciliation and reform can be built. The desire of each side of the Brexit argument to achieve its preferred outcome has led to the current impasse and obscured the importance of achieving the right process. The issue of Brexit can only be laid to rest by a process which can command the acceptance of a significant proportion of UK citizens – otherwise we are doomed to rerun it again and again. Four principles should underpin this process – it must involve the people, because only a people’s vote can supplant the 2016 referendum result; it must allow most people to feel that their preferred option has been properly considered; it must lead to an … [Read more...] about Labour’s NEC must commit to a public vote on any Brexit deal
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Rachel Riley says she is "relieved" at Labour's poor results in the election.The party has won its lowest number of seats since 1935, with the Conservatives winning an election landslide.The Countdown presenter, a prominent member of the Jewish community, has previously accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of antisemitism, and called him out for what she sees as a failure to stand up to racism in the party.As the exit poll results came in, Riley tweeted simply: "Love you Britain".She then tweeted to say "inevitable abuse" had flooded in. Advertisement Love you Britain 🇬🇧🙏❤️— Rachel Riley 🍊 (@RachelRileyRR) December 12, 2019 She went on: "It's nothing compared to the relief of a minority community who've been living in fear of what might be. I won't apologise for that relief."Saying she voted for former Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who left the party earlier this year, she concluded "for now, we can breathe". More from … [Read more...] about General Election 2019: Rachel Riley celebrates Labour’s downfall as Jewish community reacts to result
Neil McArthur has never forgotten the words uttered to him by a London-based property guru when he said he wanted to base his firm’s technology division in Irlam, the district of Salford he grew up in: “What the hell do you want to build it in the middle of Beirut for?” McArthur bristled. The Irlam he was born into, a good 30 years before he founded the telecoms company that became TalkTalk, was an industrial boom town. Everyone had a job, if not at the steelworks like his dad, then in the factories making soap, margarine, rope or baskets. “It was manically busy,” says the 62-year-old, “with thousands of people coming in by train to work.” By the time his colleague in the capital made the unflattering comparison with war-torn Lebanon, things had changed in Irlam. The industry was gone, and a third of the shops were boarded up, with only the brothel and the bookies doing a brisk trade. Traffic at the railway station was now going in the other … [Read more...] about How philanthropy breathed new life into a forgotten Salford suburb
Is it reasonable to hope for a better world? Study the cruelty and indifference of governments, the disarray of opposition parties, the apparently inexorable slide towards climate breakdown, the renewed threat of nuclear war, and the answer appears to be no. Our problems look intractable, our leaders dangerous, while voters are cowed and baffled. Despair looks like the only rational response. But over the past two years, I have been struck by four observations. What they reveal is that political failure is, in essence, a failure of imagination. They suggest to me that it is despair, not hope, that is irrational. I believe they light a path towards a better world. The first observation is the least original. It is the realisation that it is not strong leaders or parties that dominate politics as much as powerful political narratives. The political history of the second half of the 20th century could be summarised as the conflict between its two great narratives: the stories told by … [Read more...] about George Monbiot: how do we get out of this mess?
Boris Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit and repay the trust of voters after he led the Conservatives to an "historic" general election win.The prime minister - who has met the Queen to ask to form a new government - has a House of Commons majority of 78, with one seat still to declare.He said he would work "flat out" and lead a "people's government".Jeremy Corbyn said he would not fight another election as Labour leader, amid recriminations over the party's defeat. He said he was "very sad" about the result, adding that he had received "more personal abuse" from the media during the campaign than any previous prime ministerial candidate.Labour was swept aside by the Conservatives in its traditional heartlands in the Midlands and north-eastern England, and lost six seats in Wales. LIVE: Updates and reaction as results come in Sir John Curtice: What's behind the Conservative victory? Corbyn: I will not lead Labour at next election Sturgeon: PM has 'no right' to block Indyref2 With … [Read more...] about Election results 2019: Boris Johnson hails ‘new dawn’ after historic victory