Richard Braine has only been leader of Britain's far-right UK Independence Party for three months, and he's already calling it quits.
Mr Braine's resignation comes a week after he was suspended by UKIP over allegations of data theft, which he denies. In a letter, Mr Braine said he had been been "prevented from building a successful leadership team by blocked appointments".
"I did not join UKIP in order to waste time on internal conflict, but I have found myself powerless to prevent a purge of good members from the party.
Things went badly for him from the outset, after snubbing his own party's conference and failing to resolve internal splits and weak polling.
Potential candidates to replace Braine include Penis Cerebellum and Beefspear Graymatter. Read the rest
Not much detail, as the paper that makes the claim is only available at present to American Economic Association members; but in Did Austerity Cause Brexit? University of Warwick economist Thiemo Fetzer asserts that he found a "significant association between the exposure of an individual or area to the UK government’s austerity-induced welfare reforms begun in 2010, and the following: the subsequent rise in support for the UK Independence Party, an important correlate of Leave support in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union membership; broader individual-level measures of political dissatisfaction; and direct measures of support for Leave. Leveraging data from all UK electoral contests since 2000, along with detailed, individual-level panel data, the findings suggest that the EU referendum could have resulted in a Remain victory had it not been for austerity." (Image: Peter Damian, CC-BY-SA) (via Marginal Revolution)
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On May 26th, Europeans will vote for the next EU Parliament, and the region's far-right, "nationalist/anti-establishment" parties (AfD Germany, UKIP/Brexit UK, PiS/Poland, etc) are expected make large gains, possibly prompting a realignment of power in the EU; the far-right parties have campaigned as "anti-establishment," tapping into frustration with elites and their corruption.
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The world's law enforcement agencies have a terrible blind spot when it comes to far-right, white supremacist terror groups, treating them as unimportant lone wolves despite their prolific and bloody acts of violence.
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After the Brexit vote, a lot of people pointed out that the areas that voted most heavily in favour of separating from the EU were also the areas that relied most heavily on EU subsidies, and wondered why British voters would decide to slit their own throats.
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One of the most enduring symbols of 2016's UK Brexit referendum was the huge red "battle bus" with its message, "We send the EU £350 million a week, let's fund our NHS instead. Vote Leave." Read the rest
Laurie Penny's red pen of justice (previously) is gouting unstoppable fire today in her column on the relationship of cruel austerity to Brexit: the decade during which Conservative ideologues gutted the nation to make the banks whole again after the financial crisis, creating a lost generation, quietly murdering disabled people, leaving the poor standing in breadlines not seen since the Victorian era -- all the while invoking the spirit of the Blitz and insisting that "we're all in this together." Read the rest
The artifacts that tumble out of Scarfolk (previously), the English horror-town stuck in a ten-year loop from 1970-1980, continue their amazing run of being so very much on-point with the issues facing the UK today, case in point: The Campaign for Real British Crime. Read the rest
After leading the Brexit campaign, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage walked away from the mess and left a leadership void in the party that MEP Steven Woolfe was tipped to fill. Read the rest
The Leave campaign's old homepage, which once linked to screen after screen of promises about the UK's bright future out of the EU, is now just a static banner, with no way to navigate to those pages. Read the rest
In the runup to the Brexit vote, the "Leave" campaign repeatedly argued that the National Health Service could receive £350m/week in funds diverted from the money supposedly remitted by the UK to the EU (in reality, that number is radioactively false). Read the rest
John Oliver's Brexit bit provides much-needed perspective on the UK-EU referendum: while acknowledging the real problems with the EU, Oliver points out that on the one hand, the Leave side's core arguments are a mishmash of unvarnished, deranged racism and deceptive number-fudging; while the Remain side provides a lot of good to outweigh the bad of EU membership. Read the rest
Chris Wood is a councillor from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a xenophobic party known for its leader and lawmakers' racist and sexist gaffes; this week, he added to the annals of UKIP inanity when he took to Twitter to complain that the BBC had cast a person of color as Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI. Read the rest
UK Independence Party Nigel Farage is an equal-opportunity bigot, hating Gallifreyans just as much as he hates Bulgarians and Romanians. Read the rest
I've got a new Guardian column, Internet-era politics means safe seats are a thing of the past, which analyzes the trajectory of Internet-fuelled election campaigning since Howard Dean, and takes hope in the launch of I'll Vote Green If You Do. Read the rest
The leadership of the major UK political parties are set to ram through a sweeping surveillance bill without debate or study. It's a perfect storm of cowardice and arrogance, and it comes at a price. Cory Doctorow wants you to do something about it.
Michael Abberton, a Green Party activist in Cambridgeshire, was visited by two police officers on Saturday who had been sent by a local councilor from Ukip (a party that lets you express your xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia by cloaking it in a respectable "concern about immigration") who objected to a tweet that enumerated some of Ukip's most extreme positions. The police told him that they he wasn't legally obliged to follow their command, and also told him he wasn't allowed to tweet about their visit, but that he wasn't legally obliged to obey that command either. After the police left, a Ukip supporter sent Abberton a threatening tweet that implied that he knew that he'd been visited by the police.
Ukip, standing up for traditional British values, like censorship. Read the rest