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
The UK Independence Party is a ultra-right-wing anti-immigration party with strong streaks of racism, homophobia, sexism and other unsavoury beliefs in both its rank-and-file and its leadership. Having made the transition to a mainstream party -- one that's sucking up disaffected Tory voters in bulk -- they've adopted and sometimes even enforced principles against outright racism and sexism, but the membership haven't quite got the message.
Case in point: William Henwood, a UKIP candidate in local elections for Enfield council, tweeted that comedian, actor and beloved British institution Lenny Henry should move to a "black country" if he was concerned about a lack of representation for people of colour in the media. (He had previously tweeted a comparison between Islam and the Third Reich).
So, what of UKIP and its much-vaunted anti-racist, anti-sectarian official programme? Don't hold your breath. A UKIP spokesman told the BBC that there are people who say things like this in all the parties in their social media streams, but only UKIP is singled out for scrutiny by the biased media, and called reporting on candidates who publicly tell Lenny Henry to move to a "black country" a "smear campaign."
UKIP are in the lead for EU elections next month. Read the rest
A poll of voters in the UK, Germany, France and Poland finds the UK's position in the EU in a precarious state. It's well understood that there's widespread hostility to EU membership in the UK, with the xenophobic (and racist, and sexist, and unbelievably cruel) UK Independence Party gaining ground and the UK Tories fighting back by espousing eugenics and swearing to renegotiate the UK's position in Europe.
But what's news is the sentiment in Europe, where voters are indifferent-to-hostile to the UK, and seemingly prepared for the country to make an exit from the European Parliament. Only 9% of Germans and 15% of French voters polled think that the UK is a force for good in the EU (Poles were more bullish, but still decidedly lacklustre, at 33%). Read the rest
The UK Home Secretary Theresa May wasted £95,000- £110,000 in a failed attempt to deport a dying Nigerian asylum seeker named Ifa Muaza. Muaza sought asylum from Nigeria, and believes his family were murdered after his departure; the UK denied his application. He embarked on a 100-day hunger strike, prepared to die in a high-security detention centre rather than go back to Nigeria. Muaza was an embarrassment to Theresa May, whose Conservative party has declared war on migrants and asylum seekers in a bid to appeal to xenophobic voters who defected to the racist UK Independence Party.
May secretly chartered a private jet to deport the frail and failing Muaza, whom government doctors had declared to be too ill to travel and in danger of "imminent death." The plane was refused entry to Nigerian airspace; it later landed in Malta (which objected to use of its airstrip). Finally, the plane returned to the UK, landing at Luton airport with Muaza still aboard, and the British taxpayer out £95,000- £110,000, in addition to the £180,000 already spent on legal bills, thanks to May's vanity and determination to appear "tough on immigration." Read the rest