Politics

Jeremy Corbyn, a Very English Hero?

Jeremy Corbyn’s opening speech was a bit of a turn-up. Full of energy and passion and with turns of phrase reminiscent of Harry Potter: “the wealth-extractors”. They sound nasty. He is now dashing around Tory marginals, campaigning like a professional.

It came as rather a surprise after the listless, phoned-in performance he turned in over Brexit, and in the House of Parliament, sounding often like a substitute maths teacher gamely - but lamely - filling in for the drama department. Obviously, it’s still unlikely, but it would be ironic if Jeremy Corbyn turned out to be Britain’s next Prime Minister.

It struck me that perhaps the feeble performance at PMQs and elsewhere could have been an act, designed to lure the Tories into calling a snap election, when he would throw off the facade and emerge as a true leader.

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The Brief: Three Reasons Why Brexit Means the Break-Up of the UK

Talking to English friends recently, it has become apparent to me that they don't really think that the United Kingdom is in the process of breaking up as a result of Brexit. It will all blow over, they insist, when everyone realises what a great success Brexit is. Things will unfold like England after the Reformation - sure there were difficult times, some beheadings. A massive land grab by the aristocracy. Bloody Mary. But then it all came good under Elizabeth 1. And that is how it will be again. But my perspective as a Scot is pretty clear. Brexit spells the end of the UK. Here’s why:

1 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union. So a UK-wide Brexit would mean that for the convenience of the English, Ireland and the European Union would be expected to undertake the trouble and expense of enforcing a border across 300 miles of the island of Ireland. Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

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The Real Reason Trump Didn't Attack Bill Clinton

Hillary Clinton referenced “my husband’ in the first debate the other night - this was unusual, and a critic quoted in the New York Times said it was a remark that "put women back years" but it could be a good move. Although most commentators felt she won the debate hands down; the polling in the swing states is still close. If what people like about Donald Trump is that he’s a real person and they see her as a patronising know-all, then her long marriage to Bill shows Hill in a different light.

The political class have never forgiven Bill. You can see them having flashbacks when his name is mentioned. The crudity of the sex scandal that engulfed the White House during his presidency is all too vivid in their memories. The embarrassment, the humiliation that they felt as the world’s media swarmed into Washington, holding their hands over their mouths to mask their giggles, still surfaces easily.

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Turn out will be high in the US election, predicts senior political journalist Emily Rooney

“Turnout will be huge. It will be what it was the first time Obama was elected,” political journalist Emily Rooney predicted at  a women’s forum in Boston’s Beacon Hill this week. But the former political director at Fox News would not be drawn who will win the increasingly close race.

Fellow media commentator Margery Eagan said she is concerned by the possibility of a Trump win: “I don’t want to be hiding under my desk the way I was when I was five years old, worrying about a nuclear war.”

Clinton, Eagan said “knows everything”. But she “described Trump as a “magnetic’ figure, whose comments constantly “disrupt the news cycle”.

“Honestly, during the primaries if you were in your kitchen and Trump came on and made a speech you might stand there and listen, because he’s magnetic, he’s mesmerising, he says outrageous things and that’s part of what has taken him where he is today.”

She said “People forget that the media is a business and Trump has  been a bonanza for the cable channels”.

Read more: Turn out will be high in the US election, predicts senior political journalist Emily Rooney