Dominic Cummings’ appointment reminds that whatever liberal gestures Johnson makes on immigration, he is focused on winning an early election – and will reach for whatever dirty, racist weapons he needs

Boris Johnson is making liberal gestures on race and immigration - appointing the largest number of cabinet ministers of BME (black and minority ethnic) background, refusing to commit to cutting immigrant numbers after Brexit, even repeating his support for the idea of an amnesty for irregular immigrants. Some liberal observers see Johnson’s position as more… Continue reading Dominic Cummings’ appointment reminds that whatever liberal gestures Johnson makes on immigration, he is focused on winning an early election – and will reach for whatever dirty, racist weapons he needs

Brexit: The Uncivil War – the TV drama disguised the ugly truth

At the beginning of Channel 4’s drama Brexit: The Uncivil War, the ex-Tory Ukip MP Douglas Carswell tells Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings, newly appointed to run Vote Leave, that they will offer a “respectable alternative” to the “rightwing thugs” Nigel Farage and Arron Banks. Cummings, the “strategist” (and anti-hero of this semi-biopic), soon returns… Continue reading Brexit: The Uncivil War – the TV drama disguised the ugly truth

Separating ‘racial self-interest’ from racism doesn’t work

Can we 'cordon off' the overtly racist attacks and abuse against Europeans which followed Brexit from the demand from immigration control supported by a majority of Leavers - one of the two main motivations (along with 'sovereignty') for people to vote Leave? Eric Kaufmann thinks we can regard immigration-restriction as the 'racial self-interest' of the… Continue reading Separating ‘racial self-interest’ from racism doesn’t work

Going native: Populist academics normalise the anti-immigrant right

When academics write for a wider audience, as political scientists Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin do in their much-trailed National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy, it is not unusual for us to simplify our arguments and express our personal opinions. But there's a difference between simplified and simplistic. And there's also a difference between… Continue reading Going native: Populist academics normalise the anti-immigrant right

Truly Project Hate: the third scandal of the official Vote Leave campaign headed by Boris Johnson

(A still from Vote Leave's TV ad. Fair use.) Boris Johnson’s weaponisation of the burqa came on the heels of new revelations about the propaganda strategy of the Vote Leave campaign which he fronted in the 2016 referendum. I argued at the time that Vote Leave’s official television advertisement, the most high-profile item of Leave… Continue reading Truly Project Hate: the third scandal of the official Vote Leave campaign headed by Boris Johnson

Anatomy of a Genocide by Omer Bartov – review

Genocide is generally conceived of as violence by centralised perpetrators, usually states and regimes, towards whole population groups. In the last two decades, however, there has been more emphasis on the typical complexity of perpetrator forces, including the roles of ancillary states, paramilitaries and even civilians. Few, however, have looked unremittingly at genocide from the… Continue reading Anatomy of a Genocide by Omer Bartov – review

The Soviet Union and the Gutting of the Genocide Convention: review

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is unusual even in the realm of international criminal law, where enforcement is generally limited due to the priority of state sovereignty and the weakness of international policing and judicial authorities. The Convention, adopted by the United Nations on 9 December 1948, defines… Continue reading The Soviet Union and the Gutting of the Genocide Convention: review