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    Britain on its own will count for little in deciding how the west deals with the threats that face us.

    We will be part of Nato, yes. But as the US withdraws from global leadership, can we rely on the alliance for anything more than territorial defence? US behaviour is not just a question of Donald Trump: he is the consequence of America’s changing attitude to the world, not its cause. The regions the US has protected since 1945 have to determine their own defence and security. That includes Europe.

    I welcome Emmanuel Macron’s offer to keep the door open for a UK change of heart, but sadly I doubt that our current leaders will countenance a strategic rethink. So, as we exit the EU, we need to remain joined to our continental partners, not just through Nato but in the painstaking work of building a common foreign and security policy.

    Various solutions are at hand. But I see little effort to find one that enables Britain and the whole of Europe to benefit from our talents. if we can no longer help shape the world, others will do it for us. And Britain will have to lump the consequences.

    tags: Brexit JohnSawers MI6 foreignpolicy influencing UK 2017

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    There are ways to fix things. Consumers might own the rights to their own data streams. Labour laws could be revised so that tech firms cannot deny benefits to workers who are clearly full- time (another interesting idea being floated in policy circles is that independent contractors should own IP they create on the job). Portable healthcare and pensions not tied to full-time employment would make it a little easier for the new freelance workforce to “always be hustlin’,” as Mr Kalanick put it.

    Ultimately, the Silicon Valley monopolies should be broken up, as every other natural monopoly, from railroads to telephones to utilities, was before. It won’t happen soon.

    tags: SiliconValley technology monopoly market marketfailure regulation publicpolicy Google Facebook Amazon internet web services networkeffect

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    The essential and unavoidable fact is that Britain will not be in the room when EU summits are called on all the different issues that are certain to emerge in these increasingly uncertain times. It could be on a major financial crisis, a new Russian aggression, an accelerated Middle East meltdown or on something completely out of the blue. We have been there before.

    If there is a smooth and soft Brexit, it should be possible to set up the mechanisms of a “special partnership” tighter than the one Britain claims to enjoy with the US. But if there is a brutal Brexit, the political scars will last for years.

    For all its public ambivalence, there is little doubt that on the inside Britain has been very powerful in shaping the evolution of the EU. It has been in the vanguard of the single market, free trade, competitiveness and enlargement drives during the past few decades. It has given weight to the efforts to build a common EU foreign policy.

    tags: EU Brexit

  • Consultant clinical psychologist Emma Citron, who specialises in children and trauma, says families should not shy away from talking about such events.

    “Give children basic facts, tell them what it is they want to know, ask them what they would like to know and then give them access to that,” she says.

    “Support them and comfort them and be there for them, hug them, cry with them if they’re crying, just respond to how they’re responding emotionally.

    “Take the lead from them – we need to know what it is they want answers to.”

    While it’s important to talk about the news, parents should avoid unnecessary detail, adds Ms Citron.

    “Avoid nasty details, there’s no need for them, they’re unnecessary.

    “You don’t want to be describing the scene, describing the bloodshed, describing what it looked like, showing them images – I would be avoiding all of that, because that can traumatise the child.”

    Ms Citron says parents should take the lead from their children in how the conversation develops, but should try to include as many calm and reassuring phrases as possible.

    “General comments like, ‘This is a very rare occurrence’, ‘It’s absolutely awful, but thank goodness it’s extremely rare’, and ‘Security is going to be tightened even more’, are really reassuring.

    How would I know if my child was traumatised?

    The signs of trauma depend very much on the individual, however, symptoms to watch for include:
    child becoming fearful, clingy and anxious
    bedwetting
    child becoming preoccupied with thoughts and memories
    being unable to concentrate
    becoming irritable and disobedient
    physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach-aches

    tags: terrorism children parenting howto psychology fear anxiety trauma

  • tags: noun collective grammar English language funny culture 2017

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    Although Britain’s concession on the sequencing of talks may have little effect on the final settlement — the UK had wanted to hold divorce negotiations in parallel with those on a bilateral trade deal — it served to underline concerns in Whitehall that the government may have overestimated its leverage with Brussels.

    Given that a disorderly departure from the EU would have greater impact on the British economy than on Europe’s, officials have warned that Brussels would have the upper hand in several aspects of the talks because of the limited time available to conclude a comprehensive exit deal.

    tags: Brexit EU negotiation DavidDavis MichelBarnier UK

  • Age is now the main determining factor affecting party choice. The “phenomenal” generational divide has never before been so stark, according to John Curtice of NatCen Social Research. Mr Corbyn pulled in young people in droves by promising free university tuition. Labour won 43 of the 60 constituencies where full-time students make up 15% or more of the adult population, five of which it gained from the Tories.

    Overall, turnout rose by 2.5 points to 68.7%, the highest since 1997. Seat-by-seat analysis shows that it increased most in areas with large populations of well-educated under-45s; areas that are ethnically diverse; and areas that voted to remain in the European Union last year. That probably cost the Conservatives. Turnout in pro-EU London, where they lost six seats, increased by five points to surpass 70% for the first time since 1992.

    Brexit paid some dividends to the Tories. In 2015 the UK Independence Party won 12.6% of the vote with an anti-EU message. With the referendum won, its vote collapsed. About 60% of those who voted for UKIP in 2015 defected to the Conservatives, according to a post-election survey by Lord Ashcroft. The Tories did best in constituencies that voted heavily for Brexit: in six of their eight new English seats the Leave vote was over 60%.

    But Brexit hurt the party in other places. Excluding Scotland, there is a strong correlation between swings from the Tories to Labour and the vote in the EU referendum (see chart). By our seat-by-seat analysis, Brexit was responsible for about half of the national swing from the Tories to Labour. Labour said as little as possible about the subject, allowing it to attract voters from both sides of the referendum divide. It gained 18 seats in lukewarm Leave constituencies and 13 in areas that voted Remain.

    tags: analysis election 2017 UK ConservativeParty LabourParty Brexit youth politics

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  • The fire revealed the world of London’s growing service class: the immigrants, refugees and casual labourers who are warehoused in (in this case unsafe) social housing so that they can provide the over-class of surrounding Kensington with drivers, cleaners, hairdressers and pedicurists. The fire also exposed some of the problems of using market mechanisms to deliver social goods: four executives of KCTMO, the company that manages the flats, were reportedly paid £650,000 in bonuses last year.

    The argument in favour of contracting out the management to specialised companies, and motivating the managers of those companies with bonuses, is that it benefits everybody by boosting overall efficiency. That argument is hard to make when managers are enjoying huge bonuses and lives are being lost for the sake of a saving of £5,000…

    The neo-liberal model of harnessing the power of markets to deliver public services has been in power for longer than that. The Grenfell disaster will not only strengthen Mr Corbyn’s short-term project of toppling Mrs May’s weak Conservative government. But it will strengthen his longer-term project of toppling the neo-liberal model that has been in power in Britain since the 1980s.

    tags: London fire tragedy 2017 UK politics inequality wealth exploitation ConservativeParty LabourParty JeremyCorbyn corruption publicservices marketfailure

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  • you have to realize that politicians like Mr. Sanders and Mr. Corbyn have carried the left-wing torch in a sort of long-distance relay, skipping generations of centrists like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, to hand it to today’s under-35s. And you have to understand why young people are so ready to grab that torch and run with it.

    Both Britain and the United States used to have parties that at least pledged allegiance to workers. Since the 1970s, and accelerating in the ’80s and ’90s, the left-wing planks have one by one been ripped from their platforms. Under Mr. Blair, Labour rewrote its famous Clause IV, which had committed the party to the goal of “common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.” Under Mr. Clinton, the Democratic Party cut welfare programs and pushed anti-worker international trade deals. Writing in 1990, Kevin Phillips, a former strategist for Richard Nixon, called the Democrats “history’s second-most enthusiastic capitalist party.” Elsewhere in Europe, traditional socialist parties became sclerotic and increasingly business-friendly.

    All of this left many voters with a sense that there is no left-wing party devoted to protecting the interests of the poor, the working class and the young…

    people my age — I’m 29 — are more in need of a robust leftist platform than ever. The post-Cold War capitalist order has failed us: Across Europe and the United States, millennials are worse off than their parents were and are too poor to start new families. In the United States, they are loaded with college debt (or far less likely to be employed without a college degree) and are engaged in precarious and non-unionized labor. Also the earth is melting…

    At the ballot box, our options have been relatively limited. Clinton- and Blair-era liberals have hobbled their parties’ abilities to confront the ills of capitalism. But while left-of-center parties ran into the waiting arms of bankers, Mr. Sanders and Mr. Corbyn held fast to left-wing politics…

    tags: politics polarisation wealth inequality disillusionment youth JeremyCorbyn BernieSanders socialism UK USpolitics

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  • More broadly, the key to successfully fighting tax evasion is to change the incentives for the providers of wealth concealment services. Over the last few years, a number of banks have pleaded guilty in the US to criminal conspiracies to defraud the Internal Revenue Service – yet they were able to keep their banking licences, and the fines they had to pay paled in comparison to their profits. A more ambitious approach would put criminal organisations out of business. If tax evasion ceases to pay, it will disappear.

    tags: wealth inequality taxevasion taxavoidance research HSBC Switzerland Panama incentive bankruptcy privacy

  • Many factors were to blame for the Tories’ failure, not least an insipid campaign. But big boosts for Labour in Remain-voting areas suggest that Brexit motivated many; we calculate that it was responsible for about half the Tory swing to Labour (see article). Mrs May beseeched voters to endorse her extreme approach. Voters have delivered their verdict and it is damning…

    Negotiations will be hamstrung by the government’s precariousness. The talks will last until late 2018, perhaps beyond Mrs May’s sell-by date. So Britain needs to reach a cross-party agreement on the basic principles of Brexit, and then find a way to make the consensus stick, whoever is in power. Several senior Tories, as well as the Liberal Democrats, have proposed a commission to draw up a negotiating mandate, rather as the EU government have for the European Commission. The main obstacle is Labour, which sees no reason to make life easier for the Tories. Yet such a commission may be in its interest. Nailing down the principles of Brexit now would save it from having the argument later in office; Mr Corbyn, who has never shown much interest in the subject, would be free to focus on his revolution at home.

    The EU can improve the chances of a sensible outcome. It does not want Britain to emerge with a better deal than it had as a member, in case that gives ideas to Eurosceptics in other countries. But the risk of anyone envying Britain in its current lunatic state is slight…

    Britain’s position is appallingly weak. The negotiations are as likely as ever to blow up before they get going. But the chaos in Westminster presents a rare opportunity to change the course of Brexit. Both sides should seize it.

    tags: Brexit TheresaMay election 2017 option choice ConservativeParty LabourParty LibDem

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