The World Bank’s most recent report on Gaza says its economy is in “free fall”; the conflicts at the border are heating up again, with seven Palestinians – including two children – killed by Israeli forces in a particularly violent day at the end of September. There is even talk about the possibility of another major military confrontation between Israel and Hamas. During his distinguished career with The Independent Donald Macintyre was the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent for eight years. In the following extract from his book on Gaza, out in paperback next week, Donald traces the factors – including international neglect – that have driven the impoverished and besieged Gaza Strip to this point. *** On a chilly, grey Sunday afternoon in January 2003, we were standing outside what had been, until the night before, Mahmoud al-Bahtiti’s vehicle engine repair shop in the southern Gaza City neighbourhood of Zeitoun. The previous night, … [Read more...] about An Israeli-Palestinian settlement is possible – but not unless the international community wills it
Why is voting important essay
I cannot believe you winging Remainers. We had a vote to leave the EU full stop. We also understood what it meant and what we voted for to Leave and not still ruled by the EU and all the self-interests of the political elite. Why can’t you accept this? If we had a general election and god forbid Labour won would you be asking for a rerun because you realised they would bankrupt the country? No! So why are you asking with Brexit, after we’re promised we would get whatever the result is? Leave won! No wonder people don’t believe a word the useless politicians say. Most of your lot said if we didn’t join the euro currency our whole economy would be ruined. But again what happened? We were fine and did better than most. If we don’t leave this corrupt club you, The Independent, and the politicians will feel the wrath of the people who think you are all traitors to our country and to our democracy. Steve HawkesAddress supplied It would be a terrible thing to … [Read more...] about Letters: We voted to leave the European Union, just deal with it
When Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in September 2015, most of his fellow MPs regarded his unexpected victory in the same way that you might think of a nasty cold: unpleasant, but ultimately something that would take care of itself. Optimists hoped that he could be dislodged midway through the parliament, perhaps in the summer of 2017, when little else would be going on. Pessimists expected him to lead Labour to cataclysmic defeat in 2020, which was then the due date for the next election. Both groups believed that when Corbyn stepped down, the institutions of the Labour Party would be essentially unchanged. That calculation meant that informal conversations between some of Corbyn’s most committed Labour critics and the Liberal Democrats, including Nick Clegg and Norman Lamb, stalled quickly. Labour MPs were intensely loyal to the party brand, as one Lib Dem MP complained to me at the time: “It’s all ‘my grandfather was in this party, and his … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightLeaving Labour: why a party split is now inevitable
These are dangerous times for democracy. Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Poland and other countries that once offered democratic hope are now, in varying degrees, falling into authoritarianism. Democracy is also in trouble in sturdier places. In the United States, Donald Trump poses the greatest threat to the American constitutional order since Richard Nixon. And yet, despite the floundering first year and a half of Trump’s presidency, the opposition has yet to find its voice. One might think that Trump’s inflammatory tweets, erratic behaviour, and persistent disregard for democratic norms would offer the opposition an easy target. But it has not worked out this way. For those who would mount a politics of resistance, the outrage Trump provokes has been less energising than paralysing. There are two reasons for the opposition’s paralysis. One is the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. The hope … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightRight-wing populism is rising as progressive politics fails – is it too late to save democracy?
If you voted for Bernie Sanders, have sea-punk green hair, and wear a pin declaring “Capitalism Is the Crisis,” you may already be familiar with David Graeber’s writings on the takeover of our lives by bulls--- jobs.Graeber, an anthropology professor at the London School of Economics, was a mover and shaker in the Occupy Wall Street movement and is well known for his approachable critiques of neoliberal free market ideology. His new book, Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (Simon & Schuster; $27), sprang from a shorter essay he published in 2013 in a feminist-activist magazine called Strike, which quickly struck a nerve. (One that kept thrumming: on a Monday morning in 2015, an anonymous group plastered the London Underground with quotations from the writings.)“Huge swathes of people spend their days performing jobs they secretly believe do not really need to be performed,” Graeber writes. The rise of automation has meant that fewer … [Read more...] about You’re Not Just Imagining It. Your Job Is Absolute BS