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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.

Centre-left returns, but far right gains

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The results of the 28 April general election in Spain were very contradictory. There was good news in that the main right wing party, the PP, lost half of its vote, going from 137 MPs to just 66 today. The Labour-type Socialist party, PSOE, won the election with very big gains (from 85 to 123 MPs) and will almost certainly form the next government.

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.

Mike Oliver: a pioneer for disability rights

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Mike Oliver, who died last month, was a key figure in the British disability rights movement. He pioneered the development of what became known as the social model of disability.

His many books, including The Politics of Disablement (1990), helped lead to the foundation of Disability Studies as an academic discipline — in which he became the first professor in Britain. Throughout his life, Oliver argued that the fight against disability discrimination was also about wider social change.

US: an opening for left ideas this time

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Can there be a red in the White House? Although it’s very early days — primary season hasn’t even kicked off — the prospect doesn’t seem so ridiculous now Bernie Sanders has confirmed he will again run for president.

Over a million people had signed up to volunteer with his campaign within the first six days of his announcement.

First things first: could he win the Democratic nomination? The most important aspect of the Sanders campaign in 2016 was that it tapped into a deep bitterness in working class America at the status quo of poverty and inequality.

Love Music Hate Racism

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Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) was founded in 2002, when the British National Party had begun to make electoral gains and even produced a CD aimed at increasing their support among young people.

LMHR held many successful festivals in the early 2000s. Tens of thousands of people attended the Victoria Park carnival in 2008 and at Stoke Britannia Stadium in 2009.

LMHR is responding to the new rise of the right by launching a fortnight of anti-racist content aimed at tackling the hate filled propaganda of the far right.

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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