Russia’s brazen lies mock the world. How best to fight for the truth?

Comedy is now diplomacy by other means. A mighty nation has taken to conducting a grave international dispute by means of humour, expecting a similarly comic response in kind. How else are we to view the interview granted with RT, the state propaganda outfit formerly known as Russia Today, by the Morecambe and Wise of the east, the two men who identified themselves as Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov?

If you were in the White House, how would you tackle Trump?

This week’s revelations show many around the president have deep fears about his state of mind – but deciding how to act for the best poses a real dilemma

A new and unhinged American president orders a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea. The senior officials who surround him are terrified, desperate to thwart his will, resorting to subterfuge to prevent the man they serve from wreaking havoc. They are the resistance from within. Two of them have a hushed conversation about the 25th amendment of the US constitution, which allows for a president to be declared incapacitated. When that road is blocked, they contemplate an even more drastic solution …

That was the starting point of the novel whose manuscript I delivered in January 2017, two days after Donald Trump had sworn the oath of office. The book, To Kill the President, was published last year last year under the pseudonym Sam Bourne. When I wrote it, none of us knew for sure what the Trump presidency would look like. But this week, Washington Post legend Bob Woodward published Fear, based on detailed interviews with Trump insiders. Among other things, the book describes “repeated episodes of anxiety inside the government over Trump’s handling of the North Korean nuclear threat. One month into his presidency, Trump asked [the head of the US military] for a plan for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea.”

‘If you become convinced the leader you serve is a danger to your country, where does your patriotic and democratic duty lie?'

Related: To Kill the President by Sam Bourne review – does fact Trump fiction?

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If you were in the White House, how would you tackle Trump?

This week’s revelations show many around the president have deep fears about his state of mind – but deciding how to act for the best poses a real dilemma

A new and unhinged American president orders a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea. The senior officials who surround him are terrified, desperate to thwart his will, resorting to subterfuge to prevent the man they serve from wreaking havoc. They are the resistance from within. Two of them have a hushed conversation about the 25th amendment of the US constitution, which allows for a president to be declared incapacitated. When that road is blocked, they contemplate an even more drastic solution …

That was the starting point of the novel whose manuscript I delivered in January 2017, two days after Donald Trump had sworn the oath of office. The book, To Kill the President, was published last year last year under the pseudonym Sam Bourne. When I wrote it, none of us knew for sure what the Trump presidency would look like. But this week, Washington Post legend Bob Woodward published Fear, based on detailed interviews with Trump insiders. Among other things, the book describes “repeated episodes of anxiety inside the government over Trump’s handling of the North Korean nuclear threat. One month into his presidency, Trump asked [the head of the US military] for a plan for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea.”

‘If you become convinced the leader you serve is a danger to your country, where does your patriotic and democratic duty lie?'

Related: To Kill the President by Sam Bourne review – does fact Trump fiction?

Continue reading...

Jewish concern over Corbyn is not all about Israel. It’s about antisemitism

There was a brief moment when it looked as if Labour’s long summer of pain over antisemitism might soon be over. It lasted perhaps a minute or two, as word emerged on Tuesday afternoon that the party had finally adopted the full text of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance: both its definition of antisemitism and all its illustrative examples. But the prospect of an end to this sorry saga receded almost as soon as it appeared.

This mafia style of government makes Trump a role model for all autocrats

More than 18 months into his presidency, Donald Trump’s modus operandi – and the danger it represents – is clear. His working method is that of the mafia boss and gangland chieftain, daily wielding his power to settle scores, teach lessons and crush dissent. Anyone who’s seen The Sopranos will know the routine: the casual intimidation, the obsession with loyalty, the brutal ostracism meted out to those who dare defy the man at the top.

This mafia style of government makes Trump a role model for all autocrats

More than 18 months into his presidency, Donald Trump’s modus operandi – and the danger it represents – is clear. His working method is that of the mafia boss and gangland chieftain, daily wielding his power to settle scores, teach lessons and crush dissent. Anyone who’s seen The Sopranos will know the routine: the casual intimidation, the obsession with loyalty, the brutal ostracism meted out to those who dare defy the man at the top.

For Corbyn, precision and honesty are the way out of this wreath mess

Jeremy Corbyn did an event in Stoke last night, and a reporter interviewed some of the 400 or so supporters who had turned out to hear him. Among other things, Lewis Goodall of Sky News sought their views on “wreathgate”, the ongoing row about the ceremony Corbyn attended in Tunis in 2014. “Everyone we spoke to agreed,” Goodall wrote afterwards. “Corbyn is being smeared, Labour does not have a problem with antisemitism and that the whole thing is largely concocted by the media and Tories.”