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Showing posts from November, 2016

Fakery and Bullshit - some Trump reading

It won't be dull with President Donald Trump in the White House, with even the transition period providing plenty of comment.  Here's a few reads to keep up to date.

At the UCL Mishcon Lecture last night, Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian gave the liberal tour-de-force warning of the appalling times to come under President Trump.  More on that below, but one article he recommended is the Tony Schwartz one from the New Yorker.  Schwartz ghost-wrote the Trump book "Art of the Deal", and in a fit of buyer's remorse, as Freedland put it, came clean about the real Donald Trump.  The New Yorker piece is here.

Trump has tried to re-awaken the memory of the Republicans' favourite president of recent years, Ronald Reagan, but how good was Reagan really?  An article in Salon suggests Reagan was the most ill-informed president to ever take office, and slept through much of his presidency - read it here.  Some may indeed be wanting Trump to sleep throughout most of his …

Live Blog - After 3!

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0445  There's no actual winner, but - in the old Nixon phrase - if present trends continue, Donald Trump will be president of the United states tomorrow.  It's not the most elevating of thoughts, but it is democracy.


0406    Has Hillary given up? (https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/796169187882369024?lang=en)


0358  Michigan has been Democratic for 20 years, and tonight The Donald, our Donald, looks to end the reign. Currently ahead by over 40,000 votes, this will be a big win for Trump if he pulls it off. Ever divided, the room is buzzing with debate reminiscent of that between rival sports fans. Thobiyas and Smitho are still supporting Clinton to her last breath (although morale is low), and us deplorables are loving every second. Trump still looks more certain to be the President with every update.

Alex and Ben M

0356  Election night carries on at SGS. Our very own Smitho is in the first stage of grief - denial. Currently staring sadly at the MSNBC news stream, when a…

Live Blog

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1158pm Of course as the clock strikes 12 Trump has gained access to his twitter, after repeated bans by his campaign team. What is he complaining about this time? Muslims, Mexicans, The poor? This time however, he has practically admitted defeat with his unsurprising allegation of voting fraud. It seems once again that if things aren't going Trump's way he shall complain again and again.

Yacoub

1202  I wouldn't be so sanguine at the moment, given Trump's apparent strength in New Hampshire according to exit polls.  Still time for a big upset, 2016 style!

GM

1210  The Donald currently polling ahead in New Hampshire, suggesting Trump may yet pull ahead. First time the Republicans will win the state since 2000. Let’s go lads. Kentucky and Indiana are also looking promising, with Rand Paul winning his senatorial seat in Kentucky.

Alex and Ben M




Trump currently behind in Virginia, a vital state for a Trump victory. Hopefully he can pull it out of the bag, but this is worrying fo…

Tonight's the kind of night where everything may change

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We're there.  Finally.  One of the most controversial and divisive presidential elections in American history is drawing to a close, and tomorrow could be the apocalypse, or just business as usual.

Admittedly, everything looks good for Hillary, but predictions in this year of all years are fragile things, to be blasted away by iconoclastic forces.  Who's to say whether or not the utterly devoted Trump supporters don't turn out in such numbers as to give him Florida and the rust belt states?  Maybe Hillary is a far greater turn off than her supporters and admirers would concede.  We could know how far into the lunatic fringe America is heading, or how much she intends to stay in the realm of normality, in about seven hours.

I have made no secret in the last few blog posts of how much I think Trump is a monstrous, appalling abomination of a candidate, or how I think Hillary's poor standing significantly under-sells her formidable strengths as a po…

The Observer's Clarion Call for Sanity

The Observer used to be a fine campaigning newspaper, although it has become a little subsumed within its Guardian embrace in recent years.  Nevertheless, its editorial today provides the best, most vigorous response yet not only to the anti-High Court hysteria of last week, but also of the wider threat posed by a constitutionally blind right-wing movement across Europe.

In its dissection of the British constitution and its evolution, the editorial provides AS politics students with a masterly and concise overview.

In its attack on "the lie factories of Fleet Street", it offers a well executed broadside against the lethal exercise of power without responsibility that the mainstream press still has.

In its defence of the role of parliamentary sovereignty, it offers an articulate case for the virtues of that particular system.

In its linkage to the wider world of right-wing political extremism, from Donald Trump to the authoritarian clampdown of Turkey's President Erdogan…

What did the Brexiters actually want then?

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It was a commonplace amongst Brexit campaigners that they wanted a return to the sovereignty of the British parliament.  They wanted British laws judged by British courts.  What they didn’t tell us was that they only wanted that if it agreed with them. 
An independent judiciary and the separation of courts and political partisanship have long been held to be the foundation stones of healthy democratic societies.  So long as courts remain above the fray then political acts can be called to account and subjected to an impartial judgement.  Politicians can too, if the need arises.  We have a strong legal system because it protects us.  We have it because we, the people, deserve that protection against the unbounded ambitions of our political leaders. 
Parliament offers up a different level of protection, but one that is no less crucial to the well-being a state’s citizens.  With proper parliamentary scrutiny, a government – the executive – cannot get away with arbitrary rule or unchec…

This election belonged to Trump and his supporters, whoever wins

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This has been an extraordinary presidential election.  In its outsize anger, ugliness and insurgent appeal it has beaten every modern presidential election into a grey shadow of virtual irrelevance.  For some presidential historians you have to go back to 1828, the culmination of a four-year long populist campaign by General Andrew Jackson against the Washington establishment led by President John Quincy Adams, to find a similar one.  Even then Jackson did at least have some concrete public achievement behind him. 
The reason it has been so outsize, and so ugly, is of course entirely down to just one of its candidates – Donald J Trump.  Everything one says about this election, one is really saying about Donald Trump himself.  He has dictated the discourse of the campaign.  He has consistently dominated the media coverage.  He is the outlier, the leader of an angry, often ugly movement of alienated citizens who just needed someone to take their irrational hatred onto a higher platform…