The UK’s Brexit negotiating tactic is to drive our fellow Europeans mad

Perhaps it’s all part of a cunning plan. Maybe there’s a secret strategy document stashed in a Downing Street vault, codenamed Operation Wind-up. The classified text will reveal that the UK government’s negotiating tactic is to drive our fellow Europeans mad, to infuriate them through so many contradictions, contortions of logic and outright violations of previous agreements that they’ll end up reduced to a sobbing, gibbering mess, ready to concede to Theresa May whatever she wants, just to make the madness stop.

Published by: The Guardian

May cannot lead on Brexit. Here’s Corbyn’s chance to seize the day

You’re not being fired. Heavens, no. You and the company are merely going through what we call an “ambitious managed divergence”. The torture Brexit inflicts on the English language escalates daily, the latest indignity being the euphemism coined after the tellingly named Brexit war cabinet had an eight-hour session among the whiteboards at Chequers on Thursday. “Ambitious managed divergence” was the agreed description for the planned future relationship between Britain and the EU, a phrase so blatantly designed to stitch together two clashing positions you could see the seams.

Published by: The Guardian

The slaughter in Syria should outrage us. Yet still we just shrug

Almost anything is more interesting than the massacre of civilians in Syria. Just look at today’s front pages. The Guardian leads on the slaughter of unarmed residents in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, but for the rest it’s a mix of continuing scandals in international aid charities, the tax record of a newly appointed financial regulator, and Brendan off Strictly having an unauthorised waltz with Camilla.

Published by: The Guardian

Brexit reveals our political system is failing. The 48% must have a voice

Britain makes its most disastrous mistakes when its two main parties agree with each other. So it has proved in the past – and so it is proving now. Next month will mark the 15th anniversary of the fateful night in the House of Commons when Labour and Tory frontbenches united in whipping their MPs to vote for military action in Iraq. Yes, there were rebellions: some 84 Labour members said no to Tony Blair’s war, while 69 abstained. But the official tally – 412 out of 659 – spoke of cross-party consensus. Outside the Palace of Westminster, the country was rancorously divided on this fundamental question. But inside, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition were on the same side.

Published by: The Guardian

Poland can’t lay its Holocaust ghosts to rest by censoring free speech

History is complicated enough without getting the police involved. But in Poland debates about the darkest event of the 20th century could soon spill over from the seminar room and editorial pages and into the courts, even the prison cells. That’s because a new law, awaiting the president’s signature, would impose a fine or up to three years in jail for anyone found guilty of blaming “the Polish nation” for the Holocaust.

Published by: The Guardian