Syria’s agony could be ended – if the US and Russia can reach a deal

You read of the latest suspected chlorine attacks on Syrian civilians, which activists and rescue workers say came in the form of barrel bombs dropped on Aleppo by a helicopter pilot serving Bashar al-Assad. You see the pictures showing children clutching oxygen masks, grasping for breath. You see people hosing down the young and naked, desperate to wash away any trace of the burning, stinging chemical.

Published by: The Guardian

Donald Trump’s achilles heel is that he is truly un-American

We may not notice when fascism creeps up on us: we may be too busy laughing. They say that clever people struggled to take the rise of the 1930s demagogues seriously. They found the strutting dictators in their silly uniforms just too ridiculous. And in some cases, derision was the right response. Britain’s own would-be Hitler, Oswald Mosley, was mocked into oblivion by PG Wodehouse’s fictional version, Roderick Spode.

Published by: The Guardian

Chakrabarti’s ultimate problem

The first thing to say about 3a>Shami Chakrabarti's nomination for a peerage3b> is that by any standards, and especially in comparison with many others who've received the honour, she merits it. I've long argued that Britain's second chamber should be elected, not appointed but, as the system stands, Chakrabarti is worthy of a place in the Lords. Her long service at Liberty and her expertise on human rights make her eminently qualified.

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

Corbyn can’t dismiss the importance of MPs. On Brexit, they’re centre stage

Labour’s internal agonies have been the dramatic sub-plot of this summer of turmoil. The important political news, the events that actually matter, are Brexit and the reshaping of the Tory government that will implement it. Labour’s slow-motion fratricide has been a sideshow: compelling viewing, but at first glance unrelated to the story that counts. While Jeremy Corbyn debates Owen Smith for the title of Labour’s Next Prime Minister – as the stage set for Thursday’s encounter in Cardiff had it – the actual prime minister is getting on with determining this country’s future.

Published by: The Guardian

Donald Trump speaks to the gut – and progressives need to do the same

When they come to make Trump: The Movie, what will be the plot? For a long while I’d thought the obvious structure was that of The Producers, the classic Mel Brooks tale of the Broadway duo who realise they can make a fortune by staging a surefire flop. To hold on to their investors’ money, they set about sabotaging their own show, making it as repellent as possible. The showstopper is the appalling, offensive dance number Springtime for Hitler. The trouble is, the audience love it.

Published by: The Guardian

Trump doesn’t have to be Putin’s agent. It’s bad enough that he is a fan

It’s quite a contrast. In 1984, Ronald Reagan won re-election with the help, in part, of a TV ad that began with the memorable line, “There’s a bear in the woods.” Without ever mentioning Soviet Russia by name, the ad played on cold war fears to suggest that only Reagan was prepared to face down the menace from the east. Back then, it was taken as read that the US Republican party would stand strong against an authoritarian, undemocratic regime in Moscow.

Published by: The Guardian

Trump doesn’t have to be Putin’s agent. It’s bad enough that he is a fan

It’s quite a contrast. In 1984, Ronald Reagan won re-election with the help, in part, of a TV ad that began with the memorable line, “There’s a bear in the woods.” Without ever mentioning Soviet Russia by name, the ad played on cold war fears to suggest that only Reagan was prepared to face down the menace from the east. Back then, it was taken as read that the US Republican party would stand strong against an authoritarian, undemocratic regime in Moscow.

Published by: The Guardian