Seven final thoughts on the Labour party conference | Gaby Hinsliff, Jonathan Freedland, John Harris, Matthew d’Ancona, Owen Jones, Rafael Behr, Martin Kettle

There’s been a niggling question in the background at Brighton; call it the Ben Okri question. Jeremy Corbyn quoted the novelist and poet (along with Maya Angelou) and the audience loved it; one fan told me how blissful it was to be led by someone who loved writers like that too. Then an MP told me the response in their constituency would be “who the fuck is Ben Okri?”.

Published by: The Guardian

Six things we’ve learned from the Labour party conference , Tom Clark, Rafael Behr, Matthew d’Ancona, Martin Kettle and Gaby Hinsliff

Remind me who’s the prime minister again? To judge from the speeches and fringe talk in Brighton, you’d think David Cameron retired long ago. His name is barely mentioned. Instead Labour speaker after Labour speaker concentrates their fire on George Osborne. The chancellor is the target of every jibe, the hate figure offered up for the audience’s guaranteed disapproval.

Published by: The Guardian

Religion is like sex – it can seem absurd, but it works

I blame the Book of Mormon. Not the actual book, but the show. A couple of hours in the theatre with Elder Price, Elder Cunningham and the gang and it’s hard to take any kind of religious ritual seriously. Not after you’ve spent an evening giggling at the poor saps idiotic enough to venerate nothing more than a book.

Published by: The Guardian

Friends who are enemies

Lots is uncertain in British politics just now, but here's one prediction you can bet on: if Labour goes into the next general election led by Jeremy Corbyn, the party will receive the lowest Jewish vote in its history. Part of the explanation predates...

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

Mama Merkel rückt das Bild vom „hässlichen Deutschen“ in die Vergangenheit

Es gab einmal eine Zeit, noch immer lebendiger Erinnerung, in der Flüchtlinge verzweifelt versuchten, per Eisenbahn aus Deutschland zu entkommen. Heute sehnen sie sich danach, per Zug einzureisen. „Wir wollen nach Deutschland, weil wir dort unsere Rechte bekommen, dort sind wir willkommen“, sagte ein Flüchtling zu Guardian-Mitarbeiter John Domokos, der sich einer Gruppe angeschlossen hatte, die zu Fuß durch Ungarn marschierte – auf dem Weg in das Land, das die Fliehenden als ultimativen Zufluchtsort sahen: das gelobte Deutschland.

Published by: The Guardian

Aylan Kurdi: this one small life has shown us the way to tackle the refugee crisis

What we learned about ourselves anew this week was something that, in truth, we knew already. We rediscovered a simple, human weakness: that we cannot conceive of an abstract problem, or even a concrete problem involving huge numbers, except through one individual. The old Stalinist maxim about a million deaths being a statistic, a single death a tragedy, was demons trated afresh.

Published by: The Guardian