The year of Trump has laid bare the US constitution’s serious flaws

There’s a million things to love about Hamilton, the musical that has opened in London to reviews as glowing as those that greeted its debut on Broadway. The lyrics are so ingenious, so intricate and dexterous, that the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has a claim to be among the most exciting writers, in any medium, in the world today. Rarely have I seen an audience delight in the tricks and rhyming pyrotechnics of language the way I saw a preview audience react to Hamilton a fortnight ago.

Published by: The Guardian

The NHS staff who rallied to my son’s aid show there is hope, even in bleak times

There has been so much bad news this year that I thought I’d offer a little sparkle of something more heartening. Perhaps it might serve as a reminder that even those clouds that have darkened our skies most – the menacing dominance of technology, the strained state of our public services – are, every now and again, lined with a trace of gleaming silver.

Published by: The Guardian

The Donald Trump quiz of 2017

Who started the rumour about Melania’s body double? What happened to Sean Spicer? And how much golf has the commander in chief really played?

Published by: The Guardian

Trump may celebrate his tax giveaway – but it could speed his downfall

Donald Trump is set to close this most turbulent year with his first big win. Today, barring a last-minute hitch, both houses of the US Congress will send the president a tax reform bill that he will sign with full ceremony. He’ll lavish praise on himself and say he’s making good on his promise to make America great again. Or as he put it via Twitter: “Biggest Tax Cuts and Reform EVER passed. Enjoy, and create many beautiful JOBS!”

Published by: The Guardian

The defeat of Roy Moore in Alabama is a rare moment to lift the spirits

That unfamiliar sensation you experienced this morning? It’s the feeling you get when, at long last, you wake up to some good political news from America. For progressives around the world who would prefer to admire rather than to revile the United States, the last 13 months have brought cause only for despair. But the defeat of Roy Moore – who believes homosexuality should be illegal and that America was at its best in the age of slavery – is a moment to lift the spirits.

Published by: The Guardian

Theresa May’s EU deal will postpone the pain of Brexit, but won’t prevent it

The least important consequence of Theresa May’s dawn breakthrough in Brussels is that it might well have saved her premiership. After Monday’s Brexishambles, in which the prime minister had to tell Jean-Claude Juncker to put the cork back in the champagne thanks to a party-pooping call from the DUP, the clock was ticking on the prime minister. Failure to strike an agreement that satisfied both her Belfast allies and the negotiators in Brussels would, in the eyes of many Tory MPs, have removed the chief justification for her continued tenure in Downing Street: namely, that she can deliver Brexit. The Tory regicidal instinct, never still, was twitching.

Published by: The Guardian

Donald Trump’s Jerusalem statement is an act of diplomatic arson

Not content with taking the US to the brink of nuclear conflict with North Korea, Donald Trump is now set to apply his strategy of international vandalism to perhaps the most sensitive geopolitical hotspot in the world. With a speech scheduled for later today that’s expected to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and reaffirm a pledge to move the US embassy to the city, he is walking into a bone-dry forest with a naked flame.

Published by: The Guardian

In the age of Trump, it’s time to ditch the special relationship

When Donald Trump took the oath of office, less than 11 months ago, the word of the hour was normalisation. Let’s not treat this man like a normal president, his US opponents said, because he’s not. You can’t, for example, assume that most of what he or his White House says is the truth – as you would for a normal occupant of that office – because he is a serial and proven liar. And sometimes it will not be enough to describe his words or deeds as “controversial” or “racially charged”, because the right word will be “racist”.

Published by: The Guardian