Beyond the UK

Portugal: Fame, Politics and Leadership

Like Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and other accessible European politicians, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is mobbed every time he appears in a public place and is in regular demand for selfies. You can even download an app, Marcelfie, developed by José Brízida, in case you are one of the few fans not to have a photograph with President Marcelo. Like…

Brexit: The Need For Compromise

With election results, it is tempting to find an easy story to tell. The inevitable ambiguity and complexity that accompany them create a demand for narratives to join up the dots. Such narratives crave heroes and villains, exulting winners and humiliated losers. On that account, the winners in the local elections on Thursday were the Liberal Democrats and Greens, who respectively doubled…

South Africa: What Next?

On May 8th, South Africans will go to the polls. Virtually all pundits predict that the incumbent African National Congress will win its sixth consecutive mandate to govern the country nationally. While the party’s margin of victory remains an open question, it seems inconceivable that anyone other than Cyril Ramaphosa will be President. This threatens catastrophe for the left. To understand where…

Nicaragua: The Need for Moral Clarity

On September 10th last year, my friend Amaya was kidnapped from her safehouse by the paramilitary police in Leon, Nicaragua. She was taken to El Chipotle prison, notorious for human rights abuses, and transferred shortly afterwards to La Esperanza women’s prison, where she remains. A student leader in the anti-Ortega movement, she was charged with terrorism. Her trial has been delayed several…

The British Model

What is Labour’s “British Model” Brexit?  Looking at the Conservative alternatives, we need one fast. In response to Jo Johnson’s resignation from the government, Jeremy Corbyn was asked whether he supported Johnson’s call for a second referendum on Brexit. After stating that he didn’t think he could, the Labour leader re-emphasised his belief that the Britain had to move on from the referendum result. “The issue…

The Green Gap

Conventional wisdom says that the political centre is empty. It’s wrong. The liberal centre is held by the traditional third party, which still possesses substantial national infrastructure and resources. The much larger authoritarian centre ground is fiercely contested by the leadership of both major parties, offering competing control narratives in economic and national spheres. What British politics lacks is a Green-Left movement,…