Evening Call: Why won’t it all just go away?

Turns out, this time around, most of us really are Brenda “not another election” from Bristol. Not everyone in the UK can be quite as  excited by the election as Jonn  (who, as he mentioned last week, has actually abandoned the New Statesman team in the middle of the election that he is so excited about). In fact, the response from
| News |

How Extinction Rebellion is being divided in two by citizens’ assemblies

Though assemblies are democratic, some fear they will delay the urgent actions needed to meet net-zero emissions.  Before MPs trudged out to the campaign trail in the December election, they made a decision that was nothing to do with Brexit. Though hardly covered in the media, it could have profound implications for the UK’s future. Six major parliamentary committees
| News |

Are citizens' assemblies really the answer to the climate crisis?

Extinction Rebellion has called for assemblies to be held next year, but Ireland's experience is a cautionary tale.  Before MPs trudged out to the campaign trail in the December election, they made a decision that was nothing to do with Brexit. Though hardly covered in the media, it could have profound implications for the UK’s future. Six major parliamentary committees agreed
| News |

How the push notification came to rival the Six O'Clock News

The power to reach millions of phones has made deciding when to send a push notification a serious business for news outlets. On Thursday night at 10pm, phones in millions of pockets across the UK buzzed briefly. Those who glanced at their screens would have seen a BBC News headline: “Labour promises free broadband for all”. There are few more effective
| News |

In Stoke-on-Trent North, apathy and mistrust put Labour's slim majority at risk

Once a safe seat, Labour's majority in this pro-Leave marginal has dropped by more than 75 per cent since 2005. Will Ruth Smeeth hold on? Sandra has always voted Labour, but on 12 December she isn’t planning to vote for anyone. First of all, says the 51-year-old resident of Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent, it’s because she wants to leave the
| News |

Meet the Labour Leavers voting Tory: “I’m upset about what I’ve got to do”

In the Vale of Clwyd, the Conservative decision to call a snap election is looking like a good bet. In 2013 Rhyl was hit by a huge tidal surge. Hundreds of properties were gutted, and some of the poorest communities in Wales were displaced by the Irish sea. It was the EU that stepped in to help construct the flood defences that
| News |

How the ongoing Jennifer Arcuri scandal exposes a difficult paradox for Boris Johnson

If the Prime Minister pulls off a large election victory, Conservative MPs may soon regard him as disposable.  Did the Conservatives offer peerages and government jobs in order to encourage Brexit Party candidates not to stand? Those are the accusations that Nigel Farage and other Brexit Party bigwigs are throwing at Boris Johnson. If you’re the police, then these
| News |

The row over Labour's broadband policy says as much about the right as the left

Because the thing that was truly horrifying about Stalin was his commitment to faster download speeds. Tonight's Evening Call. It’s all very well accusing the left of being unrealistic idealists, but Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has today actually managed to do something that most commentators assumed was impossible: they’ve got everyone talking about policy. So much so that it’s entirely dominated
| News |

Ed Davey exposes the awkward truth about free movement and infrastructure spending

You can promise all you like about infrastructure but you can't deliver on it while cutting migration. One of the areas of consensus in this election is about infrastructure spending: Sajid Javid is proposing £20bn of infrastructure spending, John McDonnell is promising upwards of £50bn.  It was much the same in the speech given by Ed
| News |

Broadcasters must take radical steps to challenge campaign spin and enhance understanding

Have we reached a time to abandon the "on the bus reporting"? Among the many opinion polls published about the election, one of the most revealing was a survey by Conservative pollster  Lord Ashcroft  that showed how little people knew about the campaign so far. While so-called campaign gaffes have already become a daily feature of election coverage – from leaders
| News |

Is Labour’s promise of free broadband for all a good policy?

Broadband is every bit as much an essential piece of infrastructure in the modern world as motorways.  Labour have pledged to provide free fibre-optic broadband to every household and business in the United Kingdom, and to do it by nationalising parts of BT Broadband – which, the party estimates will cost £20bn up front and £230m a year thereafter. It will be paid for
| News |

Is it just me, or is this election turning out to a little bit ridiculously bloody boring?

This should be The Most Important Election Of Our Lifetimes – and yet. Today's Evening Call newsletter. Look. I didn’t want to be the one to say it, but I didn’t want the dry cleaners to lose my best winter coat either and we are where we are, so: is it just me or is this election turning out to be a little
| News |

Is it just me, or is this election turning out to be bloody boring?

This should be The Most Important Election Of Our Lifetimes – and yet. Today's Evening Call newsletter. Look. I didn’t want to be the one to say it, but I didn’t want the dry cleaners to lose my best winter coat either and we are where we are, so: is it just me or is this election turning out to be a little
| News |

In Wrexham, voters are abandoning Labour over Brexit

Former miners and council tenants are just some of the voters flirting with the Tories.  The bus station, the McDonald's, the benches in front of the council offices – these are the places where the spice addicts congregate in Wrexham. When I arrive, at 11 o'clock on a Tuesday morning, a man is keeled over in the driving sleet. “Drug addiction and
| News |

Boris Johnson’s toilet humour might have won him favour once, but not anymore

People in those must-win marginals hit by the floods don’t want to vote for a “fun Tory”. Boris Johnson accused Jeremy Corbyn of planning to hold two referendums in 2020 (one on Brexit, and a second on Scottish independence), but all anyone is talking about is masturbation, after CCHQ trailed that the Prime Minister would refer to those referendums as an
| News |

Brexit decides Tesla to Open Gigafactory in Germany in Win for E-Mobility

By Sören Amelang | – Tesla’s announcement to build a “gigafactory” for e-car production in Germany is likely to speed up the slow shift to electric mobility in the country, politicians and mobility experts have said. Media called the announcement a “head-on attack” on the country’s mighty carmakers BMW, Daimler and VW that will force […]
| Germany, Green Transportation |

Will the floods cost Boris Johnson the election?

After months of carefully wooing voters in Labour heartlands, it has taken only six days to render the Conservative message hollow. “Where’ve you been?” was the question put to Boris Johnson today on his visit to Yorkshire, six days after the region was ravaged by serious flooding. “You took your time,” said another resident as Johnson popped up in
| News |

Everyone has missed the two biggest policy pledges of the 2019 election

Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson have both made Brexit promises with radical implications for the United Kingdom's economic future.  The biggest and second-biggest policy commitments of this election have gone almost entirely unnoticed. The second-biggest was made by Jeremy Corbyn, in which he committed to continuing free movement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. In
| News |

So why aren't the Lib Dems standing down in Canterbury?

Let's stop all the fight. Here's Evening Call. Well, the good news is – we have less than 24 hours still to go of whinging about who’s standing down for whom, because tomorrow at 4pm is the deadline for registering as a candidate in next month’s election. The bad news is, you can get quite a lot of whinging into 24 hours if
| News |

Labour Needs a Bold Climate Vision in This Election – Including a 2030 Decarbonisation Target

Contrary to what Sky News and Boris Johnson might tell you, this isn’t just a Brexit election. As Jeremy Corbyn made clear from day one, this election is a historic opportunity to tackle the biggest crises facing us – inequality, austerity and the climate crisis – and transform Britain for the many. Buffeted by Brexit […]
| Articles, GE2019, climate change |

Books of the year

Our friends and contributors choose their favourite reading of 2019. Bernardine Evaristo A Portable Paradise (Peepal Tree Press) is the fourth poetry collection by Trinidadian-British poet Roger Robinson. It’s also his finest, ranging from the most breath-taking poems about the Grenfell Tower fire to the most exquisitely moving poems about the premature birth of his
| News |

First Thoughts: The FT’s first female editor, the launch of the Critic, and the tuneless Welsh

Lebanon-born Roula Khalaf is set to succeed Lionel Barber at the paper. Contrary to popular opinion, most politicians don’t lie. They ignore questions and answer completely different ones. Or they use true statements to give a false impression, as President Bill Clinton did when asked on TV if he had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. “There is not a sexual relationship,”
| News |

Esther Duflo: “Even politicians now realise how mistaken austerity was”

The Nobel-winning economist on why Brexit happened,  Emmanuel Macron’s errors and Donald Trump’s political genius .  Economists are traditionally revered for their grand theories, whether of the “invisible hand” of the market, or the interventionist state, or the contradictions of capitalism. The French economist Esther Duflo, who was awarded the Nobel Prize on 14 October, has pioneered an
| News |

How Britain was sold

Why we need to rethink the case for a national capitalism in the age of uncertainty. How did the most successful conservative party of the 20th century become the agent for a national humiliation? How could a political party so firmly tied to power, not least economic power, come to disregard its own particular view of the national interest?
| News |

Commons Confidential: The moulting Prime Minister

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.  Criticised for dishevelment at the Cenotaph as well as laying that poppy wreath upside down, Boris Johnson’s failure to comb his unkempt barnet is no longer simply the cultivation of a messy blond trademark. Tory handlers whisper that the Prime Minister is concerned that strands of his thinning mop fall out
| News |

If you want to meet beautiful women, carry a theatre programme around on the Tube

Wandering around London with a theatre programme marks you out as the kind of guy it’s OK to approach and start talking to. I seem to have become a theatre critic for another publication. Don’t ask me how it happened, I’m not entirely sure myself. It’s certainly not a well-thought-out plan on my part. Those who know me well will find
| News |

Would Jeremy Corbyn really deny the SNP a new independence referendum?

In Glasgow this morning, the Labour leader ruled out granting permission for a new vote in the next parliament. But there's a catch. Would a Corbyn government hold two referendums in its first year in office? That’s what Boris Johnson would like voters to believe. But, while Labour’s commitment to a fresh vote on Brexit in the first six months
| News |

In the old monetary world markets created constraints, but now there is no sense of where the limits lie

Corbyn won the leadership because his opponents, saturated in New Labour culture, had nothing to say about his ideological attacks on austerity.  For more than seven decades, the convulsions of British politics were marked by sterling crises. The second Labour government fell apart in 1931 when Ramsay MacDonald cut unemployment benefit to try to keep sterling in the Gold Standard.
| News |

The two ways that Jo Swinson can hurt Boris Johnson

A very good Liberal Democrat performance hurts the Conservatives - but so does a very bad one. There are two ways that Jo Swinson can hurt Boris Johnson in this election: doing very well at the election, and doing very badly. Do very well, and the Liberal Democrats gain far more seats at the Conservatives’ expense than they indirectly cost the
| News |

The 2019 Goldsmiths shortlist in reviews

Before the announcement of the winner this evening, read our verdict on the six books shortlisted for this year's prize. This evening, the winner of the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize will be announced at Foyles, Charing Cross Road. The prize, which celebrates “fiction at its most novel”, will go to one of six shortlisted books, all of which, says chair of judges Erica Wagner, “not
| News |

Peter Oborne’s Diary: Boris Johnson’s NHS lies, my bulging dossier of deceit, and Sunday Times suppression

Johnson says that he’s going to build 40 new hospitals but in reality only six have been allocated sufficient funding.  My father had a heart attack ten days ago. Ever since, we’ve been in and out of Salisbury District Hospital. He is cheerful and seems to be doing well. It is impossible to praise the nurses and doctors too highly. They
| News |

The Tories are haunted by the 2017 election. Just ask local newspapers

After being accused of ignoring the local press on a visit to a key Midlands marginal, Boris Johnson has now promised to return — in a sign that the Conservatives are learning from their last campaign.  One of the truisms of this election is that the Conservative campaign will inevitably be better than the disastrous operation Theresa May ran in 2017.
| News |

The Johnson-Farage pact is a dramatic electoral opportunity for Labour

A rational panic will begin among the clear majority of voters who want to stop Brexit.  This election will be won or lost on a single question: what matters? What issue, at 6pm on Thursday 12 December, will be in the mind of a van driver who has just finished work as they go out into the darkness — which in
| News |

Leave donor Crispin Odey dismisses calls for Brexit Party to stand aside

The prominent Leave donor and sponsor of Boris Johnson's leadership campaign has said he disagrees with Arron Banks' call for Nigel Farage to pull more candidates The prominent Leave donor and Johnson backer Sir Crispin Odey has said he disagrees with Arron Banks' call this morning for the Brexit party to stand aside in more seats to allow a Conservative victory. Odey, a billionaire hedge fund manager who has donated
| News |

Leave donor Crispin Odey dismisses calls for Brexit Party to stand aside in Tory targets

The prominent Leave donor has publicly rejected Arron Banks' demand for Nigel Farage to withdraw more candidates.  The prominent Leave donor and Boris Johnson backer Crispin Odey has said he disagrees with Arron Banks' call this morning for the Brexit Party to stand aside in more seats to help achieve a Conservative victory. Odey, a billionaire hedge fund manager who has donated large
| News |

The Liberal Democrats want to be the party of David Gauke, not the party of Tim Walker

Jo Swinson’s strategic gamble is that there is more to be gained from courting former Conservatives than Labour sympathisers. What’s more important to the Liberal Democrats: the support of Tim Walker, the New European ’s diary columnist, who has stepped down as the party’s candidate in Canterbury, urging voters in that constituency to vote instead for Labour’s Rosie
| News |

Evening call: Are the polls tightening?

A pair of surveys have shown the Tory lead cut to six points. But don't get too excited just yet. There’s a rule round these parts: we don’t write up individual polls. When you get an interesting poll of voting intention, it’s more likely to be an outlier or a cock-up than a sign that things are actually changing.
| News |

Ed Davey: Nigel Farage is running scared of the Liberal Democrats

He knows the British people have changed their minds on Brexit. And what’s more, Boris Johnson knows it, too. It’s been less than two weeks since Nigel Farage launched his general election campaign, when he said that he would field a full slate of candidates across Britain. So why has he U-turned? Because he’s running scared. Farage admitted as
| News |

Deep England: the strangely moving music of Gazelle Twin and “drone choir” NYX

The ensemble merges choral music and electronica to create a sound that throbs with the rage of Brexit Britain. When Elizabeth Bernholz and her husband Jez, both musicians, moved from Brighton to rural Leicestershire, they knew to expect change. The couple, used to living in a “very friendly, arty, liberal city”, but forced to move for financial reasons, had to ask
| News |

The real reason for the UK’s record employment: we’re working more because we’re poorer

The boom in jobs and working hours reflects the fact that our living standards are worse than expected. Why are three million more of us working today in the UK than in 2008? How has our employment rate reached 76 per cent, when full employment before the crisis meant 73 per cent of us working?  These are employment levels
| News |

The real reason for the UK’s record employment: we’re poorer

The boom in jobs and working hours reflects the fact that our living standards are worse than expected. Why are three million more of us working today in the UK than in 2008? How has our employment rate reached 76 per cent, when full employment before the crisis meant 73 per cent of us working?  These are employment levels
| News |

How Europe Stumped Britain’s Conservatives

Not long before Margaret Thatcher’s intensely dramatic departure from office in November 1990, the veteran Conservative politician William Whitelaw was talking to Sir Robin Butler, recently appointed as Cabinet secretary, the most senior permanent official in the British government. As Charles Moore relates in Herself Alone , the third and final volume of his authorized biography of Thatcher, Butler was taken aback by what he heard. “The trouble is,” Whitelaw said, “that when
| Magazine, December 2019, Books & The Arts |

Nigel Farage has given Boris Johnson a reason to celebrate

For the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, the path to success has become more complicated. Nigel Farage will stand down in the 317 seats that the Conservative Party currently holds. Is that a boost for Boris Johnson? Well, nine in ten Brexit Party voters say they will vote Conservative if there is no Farage party on the ballot paper.
| News |

Why the Liberal Democrats believe Nigel Farage's retreat will help them

Senior Liberal Democrats are willing to argue that they are the real beneficiaries from Farage’s withdrawal from Tory-held seats — but some candidates are less sure. Nigel Farage sold his decision to stand down 317 Brexit Party candidates in seats won by the Conservatives in 2017 as a bid to protect Boris Johnson from the resurgent Liberal Democrats. Unsurprisingly, Jo Swinson’s campaign team
| News |

The Tories’ new policy on military veterans could create more problems than it solves

Whitehall sources warn amending the Human Rights Act to halt Troubles prosecutions could fail on its own terms and have damaging consequences. Only one issue rivals Brexit in its ability to rile the Conservative grassroots: the prosecution of Troubles veterans. Nothing gets quite so loud a cheer at a meeting of Tory members — or, for that matter, backbenchers — as a promise to
| News |

Nigel Farage’s Climbdown Has Made This Election Clearer. Only Labour Can Defeat the Right

On Monday morning, Nigel Farage announced that the Brexit Party, of which he is leader, will not be running against 317 Tory MPs at the forthcoming general election. That represents a major climbdown by the former Dulwich College student, probably the greatest of his political career to date. Only a week ago the Brexit Party […]
| Articles, GE2019, brexit party |

Evening Call: Has Nigel Farage just gifted the Tories a majority?

Possibly. Then again, possibly not. Is this it, then? Is the Leave alliance coming together, even as Labour/the Liberal Democrats are still focused on explaining that it is the Liberal Democrats/Labour who are, in fact, the real monsters? Are we officially, finally stuffed? Here comes the news part. Concentrate. This afternoon, Nigel Farage announced that his new-yet-somehow-still-old Brexit party
| News |

Will Labour pay an electoral price for its anti-Semitism crisis?

As a weary Britain heads to the polls, relations between Labour and the Jewish community have reached a new low.  As a weary Britain heads to the polls, relations between Labour and the Jewish community might have plumbed to their lowest depths yet. The Jewish Labour Movement, officially affiliated with the party since 1920, said it would only be campaigning for
| News |