Shaun Doherty

Can Corbyn beat the toxic Tories?

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With a general election finally on the way in Britain, Shaun Doherty argues that we need to absorb the spirit of the global revolts against the effects of neoliberalism and austerity.

Against a background of global revolts, some of which are outlined on the following pages, voters in Britain have also been given the opportunity to add their voices to the demand for a world transformed.

The courts, parliament and Boris Johnson

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The ruling of the Supreme Court that Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he prorogued parliament is not without significance, but when the liberal establishment stop hyperventilating with excitement, they may wish to reflect on some of the problems that their noble Lords have presented them with. Those of us who want to see a fundamental transformation of society will have quite different responses to the ruling.

Beware the rancid stench of Tory hypocrisy

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The stench of hypocrisy rising from the Tory leadership election is matched only by the bluster and evasion of Boris Johnson, the favourite to win it.

He refuses to take part in an adversarial televised debate with his rival Jeremy Hunt, but then is afforded a less confrontational one on one interview by the BBC (the Back Boris Corporation) with its political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

The Border

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The Brexit vote in June 1916 reignited the historically contentious issue of the Irish border. As the only land border between the EU and Britain it became the focal point of arguments about a withdrawal agreement, encapsulated in the “Backstop” proposal for Northern Ireland, the purpose of which was to ensure the continuation of the existing “frictionless” border and avoid the politically explosive prospect of a return to customs posts and tariffs on trade.

Let’s kill off the divided Tory government

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The Labour Party National Executive Committee is right to have rejected an attempt by Tom Watson, the deputy leader, to tie Labour to a confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal that may be cobbled together in talks with the Tories.

Any attempt to concede to such a demand or to support a second referendum would have been an electoral own goal and would have damaged Labour’s attempts to campaign on policies that would attract both Leave and Remain voters.

Sri Lankan horror leads to repression

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The horrific suicide attacks in Sri Lanka which targeted hotels and Christian churches and caused more than 250 deaths have led directly to increased repression from the state.

Responding to Islamophobic anger in the wake of the atrocities it was decreed that “all face coverings” would be banned. The rationalisation for this measure was national security, but it was clearly aimed at Muslim women wearing niqabs and burqas, despite the fact that the perpetrators of the attacks were male and dressed in trousers and shirts.

Brexit shambles and EU crisis

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There could be many twists and turns in the Brexit melodrama in the hiatus between my writing this article and you reading it.

To speculate on what may or not happen is futile, but there have been enough developments to date that help us unpick some of the fundamental issues at stake.

The most obvious starting point is that the government’s paralysis as a result of Theresa May’s inability to put her deal to the vote for a third time does not mean that there is likely to be an agreed alternative.

No compromise on freedom of movement

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The Immigration and Social Security Bill which had its second reading last month is designed to put an end to freedom of movement after Britain leaves the EU.

It makes an entirely arbitrary distinction between “skilled” and “unskilled” migrants and imposes a 12-month limit on the latter, who would not be able to bring in their families or access public funds.

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