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

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

Corbyn’s Brexit failure, Labour’s crisis

Labour's crisis has become existential. Jeremy Corbyn's election last year galvanised an expanded membership to participate in the party's affairs, but has had only a very modest wider impact. Although the sabotage of some on Labour's right is partly to blame, Corbyn has not responded well to the huge challenges of leading the party. I see this… Continue reading Corbyn’s Brexit failure, Labour’s crisis

BREXIT: The R is for Racism

My latest post on openDemocracy:  If the B in Brexit stands for Boris and his overweening ambition, the R is for Racism, the method through which Vote Leave aims to achieve the political upset of the century. In ITV’s two-hour debate, Johnson waffled on about democracy and an ‘Australian-style points system’, his latest migration-management wheeze… Continue reading BREXIT: The R is for Racism

What will happen after the referendum?

My article on openDemocracy two days ago. Boris Johnson has achieved the remarkable feat of making David Cameron (‘PR Dave’) look principled. While Johnson’s ‘agonising’ Brexit choice - apparently after drafting two opposing articles for the Daily Telegraph - was transparently opportunist, Cameron’s ‘Remain’ looks like a strategic decision. Unlike Johnson’s, the prime minister’s deceitful hype… Continue reading What will happen after the referendum?

The making of an open and democratic Europe: reading Brexit through E.P. Thompson

It is said that the Brexiteers have the identity side of the debate sown up. The British, or at least the English, do not feel European. We have our history as a proud, island people - they, on the Continent, have very different traditions. It is remarkable how this myth has taken root, although the English, Scots,… Continue reading The making of an open and democratic Europe: reading Brexit through E.P. Thompson