Vol 197 No 25 £2.90 €5.50* Exclusions apply A week in the life of the world | 24-30 November 2017 Mugabe’s long rise and fall From liberator to dictator Rewriting the cinematic canon Women in film pick their classics Germany’s coalition crisis sis Merkel fails to form government ment The anti-democratic alliance Assange, Trump and Putin: disrupting liberal norms. Composite: Geoff Caddick/Jim Watson/Mikhail Metzel/Getty In the digital era, radical libertarians are joining autocrats to undermine liberal institutions. But why, asks Julian Borger A t a time when strange alliances are disrupting once stable democracies, the Catalan independence referendum was a perfect reflection of a weird age. Along with the calls for “freedom” from Madrid’s control, the furore after the vote unleashed some of the darker elements that have haunted recent turbulent episodes in Europe and America: fake news, Russian mischief and, marching oddly in step, libertarian activism. From his residence of more than five years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Julian Assange tweeted 80 times in support of Catalan secession, and his views were amplified by the state-run Russian news agency, Sputnik, making him the most quoted English-language voice on Twitter, according to independent research and the Sydney Morning Herald. In second place was Edward Snowden, another champion of transparency, who like Assange had little track record on Spanish politics. Together, the two accounted for a third of all Twitter traffic under the #Catalonia hashtag. At the same time, an EU counter-propaganda unit detected an upsurge in pro-Kremlin fake news on the crisis, playing up the tensions. The same patterns were apparent in the Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s shock victory, the Front National surge in France, and the dramatic ascent of the Five Star Movement from the pet project of a comedian, Beppe Grillo, to the second most powerful force in Italy. In all cases, libertarians opposed to centralised power made common cause with a brutally autocratic state apparatus in Moscow, an American plutocrat with a murky financial record, and the instinctively authoritarian far right – all in the name of disruption of government and liberal norms in western democracies. So why are the pioneering crusaders of total transparency and freedom of information lining up alongside the most powerful exponents of disinformation and disruption? This has not just been a marriage of convenience. There are elements of ideological bonding, too. In direct Twitter messages during the last throes of the US election campaign, released over the past week, WikiLeaks, which US intelligence has deemed a tool of Russian intelligence, attempted to woo Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, with offers of secret collusion. The messages from the WikiLeaks account ask for a leak of the future president’s tax return, to soften the blow of its eventual publication 12→ Abu Dhabi AED14.50 Bahrain BHD1.90 *Cyprus €2.50 Czech Rep CZK145 Denmark DKK39 Dubai AED14.50 Egypt EGP49 *Greece €3.95 Hong Kong HKD52 Hungary HUF950 *Republic of Ireland €3.30 Japan JPY900 Jordan JOD2.90 Kuwait KWD1.45 Latvia €5.50 Lebanon LBP6000 *Malta €2.20 Norway NOK52 Oman OMR1.65 Pakistan PKR385 Poland PLN14 Qatar QAR14.50 Saudi Arabia SAR15.50 Singapore SGD8 South Africa ZAR49.90 Sweden SEK55 Switzerland CHF9 Turkey TRY15.50 2 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 World roundup Cult killer Charles Manson dies aged 83 Maduro opponent flees to Colombia 1 4 Charles Manson, the pseudo-satanic sociopath behind a string of killings that shocked California in the late 1960s, died last Sunday after almost a halfcentury in prison. The 83-year-old, who died of natural causes, had been serving multiple life sentences in state prison in Corcoran, California, for orchestrating the violence in 1969 that claimed the lives of Sharon Tate, the heavily pregnant wife of film director Roman Polanski, and six others. Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County, said: “Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death.” More US news, pages 10, 11 The Venezuelan opposition leader Antonio Ledezma, who was detained in 2015 on allegations of coup plotting but had been under house arrest in Caracas, has fled over the border to Colombia. Colombian immigration authorities said last Friday that Ledezma entered the country legally after crossing the Simón Bolívar bridge. Ledezma, 62, was the best-known detained opponent of president Nicolás Maduro’s government after Leopoldo López, who is also under house arrest in Caracas. Government officials mocked Ledezma as “the vampire” and at the time of his arrest accused him of having ties with violent hardliners. Spain willing to give Catalans tax power 6 Madrid is paving the way for Catalonia to be given the power to collect its own taxes in an attempt to defuse the crisis over an illegal referendum on independence. Senior sources in the Spanish government have said that although there remains intense opposition within the ruling People’s party to any future referendum, there is a willingness to discuss a new fiscal pact under which Catalonia would have greater control of its finances. More Europe news, pages 6, 7 → → Keystone pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons 2 6 1 2 TransCanada Corp’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in north-eastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported last Thursday. Crews shut down the pipeline and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County. Officials do not believe the leak affected drinking water. More environment news, page 7 → Argentinian submarine goes missing 3 The search for a missing Argentinian submarine and its 44 crew entered a critical phase this week as the vessel approached a probable limit of its oxygen reserves. On Monday, five days after the last radio contact with the ARA San Juan, the weather in the area of the South Atlantic where it went missing was too rough for it to remain above surface, and the outlook for the crew appeared increasingly bleak. Enrique Balbi, an Argentinian navy spokesman, said that although the vessel had enough food and fuel to survive 90 days on the surface, it only had enough oxygen for seven days underwater. The submarine had been scheduled to arrive at Mar del Plata naval base on Monday after a 10-day journey from Argentina’s southernmost city, Ushuaia. More Latin America news, page 11 → 4 Saudis urged to lift Yemen blockade 5 Untold thousands of innocent people will die in Yemen unless the Saudi-led military coalition unconditionally lifts it blockade of the country’s ports, the heads of three UN agencies have warned. In a powerful joint statement, the heads of the World Food Programme, Unicef and the World Health Organisation said the cost of the blockade was “being measured in the number of lives that are lost”. Supplies including medicines, vaccines and food are waiting to enter the country, the agencies said. “Without them, untold thousands of innocent victims, among them many children, will die.” The plea follows a statement released last Wednesday by the UK Foreign Office that called on all parties to “ensure immediate access for commercial and humanitarian supplies to avert the threat of starvation and disease faced by millions of citizens”. The Foreign Office statement called specifically for the reopening of the rebelheld port of Hodeidah, which is the entry point for 80% of the aid reaching the country. Last Monday Saudi Arabia announced it would allow aid to enter ports in areas controlled by Yemen’s internationally recognised government – predominantly Aden, Mocha and Mukalla in southern and western Yemen – but said it wanted discussions with the UN special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, on new procedures at Hodeidah. Leader comment, page 22 → 3 Israel seeks anti-Iran link with Saudis 7 Israel’s military chief has given an “unprecedented” interview to a Saudi newspaper underlining the ways in which the two countries could unite to counter Iran’s influence in the region. General Gadi Eisenkot described Iran as the “biggest threat to the region”, and said Israel would be prepared to share intelligence with “moderate” Arab states like Saudi Arabia in order to “deal with” Tehran. It is the latest dramatic twist in weeks of turmoil in the region, which followed an unexpected purge of Saudi princes and officials by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has also increasingly locked Saudi Arabia on a path of confrontation with Iran. The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 3 Eyewitnessed The week’s events in pictures → Centre pages 24-25 Riyadh accused can pay for release 8 Authorities in Saudi Arabia are offering businessmen and members of the royal family detained on allegations of corruption an opportunity to pay for their freedom, according to media reports. Around 200 princes, ministers, senior military officers and wealthy businessmen are being held in five-star hotels. Angola president sacks state oil chief 10 Quoting “people briefed on the discussions”, the Financial Times reported that the Saudi government was demanding up to 70% of the individuals’ wealth in return for their freedom. If settlements are agreed, hundreds of billions of dollars would be diverted into the country’s depleted coffers. Angola’s president, João Lourenço, has sacked his predecessor’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos, as head of the state oil company in a bid to assert his authority. Lourenço swept to power as the ruling party’s candidate in August elections after pledging to clean up Angola’s endemic graft, tackle nepotism and revive its economy. During the campaign he vowed to distance himself from José Eduardo dos Santos, who governed for 38 years and who remains head of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola. Isabel became the face of the family’s business empire during her father’s presidency. Deadly smog chokes city of Lahore 12 Parts of Pakistan have been enveloped by deadly smog in recent weeks, with the city of Lahore suffering almost as badly as the Indian capital, Delhi. Pictures and video that show Lahore looking like an apocalyptic landscape have left people in shock. Some residents have said they can’t see beyond their outstretched arm. Flights have been cancelled, schools have shut and major traffic jams and accidents have gridlocked the streets. At their peak, Lahore’s levels of PM 2.5, the particles most damaging to health, were more than 30 times the World Health Organisation’s safe limit. Indonesia’s house speaker found 7 8 13 The search for Indonesia’s house speaker, Setya Novanto, who disappeared after becoming the target of an arrest warrant, came to a dramatic end last Thursday when he was reportedly found unconscious in hospital. The high-profile politician had been on his way to meet anticorruption investigators when his car collided with an electricity pole in south Jakarta, said his lawyer, Fredrich Yunadi. Novanto, who is parliamentary speaker and 12 11 5 9 13 10 14 Judges uphold Kenyatta poll victory 9 Kenya’s supreme court has upheld the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in October’s controversial re-run of presidential elections, clearing the way for the 55-year-old leader to be sworn in for a second and final term next week. After hearing two days of arguments, a six-judge bench said that two petitions demanding the cancellation of the polls were “without merit”. The ruling is unlikely to end the worst political crisis in a decade in east Africa’s richest and most developed economy, which has seen more than 60 people killed in political violence in three months. Two people were shot dead on Monday during confrontations between police and supporters of the opposition, which immediately rejected the court’s decision. More Africa news, pages 4-5 → Pakistani police clash with protesters Australian parliament session cancelled 14 11 Pakistani police have clashed with protesters and arrested dozens in an attempt to disperse an anti-blasphemy sit-in staged by a cleric, which blocked a main entrance to Islamabad. Supporters of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, leader of the Tehreek-e Labbaik Pakistan party, were demanding that the law and justice minister, whom they accuse of undercutting blasphemy laws, resign. head of the Golkar party, has been dogged by allegations that he played a central role in a massive corruption scandal involving an electronic identity card project. It is alleged he is among a group of legislators and businessmen that siphoned off millions from the project. After dodging calls to be questioned by Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission, a warrant for his arrest was issued. However, he could not be found until news of the car accident broke. The Australian government has cancelled the penultimate sitting week of the House of Representatives, in a move Labor and the Greens have blasted as a bid to shut down parliamentary scrutiny. Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Labor’s shadow cabinet would come to work on Monday in Canberra regardless, a call echoed by Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent MP Bob Katter, who said they should “sit on the garden lawn”, vote, and “make the laws of the land”. The leader of the house, Christopher Pyne, said the government had asked the speaker to cancel the sitting week beginning on 27 November, so the lower house will now return on 4 December. Pyne said the move was necessary because a marriage equality bill was unlikely to pass the Senate before 30 November. More regional news, page 8 → 4 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 International news Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe’s long march from liberator to dictator He gave his country freedom from empire. But it all went wrong Analysis David Smith Three questions have dominated the 37-year rule of Robert Gabriel Mugabe. One is the mystery of how a giant of Africa’s liberation movement, an intellectual who preached racial reconciliation long before Nelson Mandela emerged from prison, could turn into a caricature of despotism. Second is what kind of future he has bequeathed Zimbabwe, which has known no other leader since gaining independence in 1980. The last was how he would go? The answer to this last question, despite Mugabe having last week been the subject of a military coup in all but name, remained in doubt this week after he refused to resign and faced impeachment proceedings. But for the other two questions there are clues, but no easy answers, to the making of this dictator. He was abandoned by his father as a boy; suffered the deaths of a threeyear-old son and a compassionate wife; then there was his warped fascination with Britain. Mugabe was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen, then stripped of it, an insult he never forgave. Mugabe created Zanu-PF, the ruling party, in his own image, and sought to do the same with Zimbabwe. He rose with quiet determination and ruthlessness. Raised a Catholic and educated at missionary schools, he moved to South Africa for the first of his seven degrees and became a teacher in Ghana. When he returned to what was then Rhodesia in 1960, his activism earned him a 10-year prison term for “subversive speech”, after which he fled to Mozambique to lead the guerrilla forces of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) in a war against Ian Smith’s government that left 27,000 dead. The 1979 Lancaster House agreement in London brought independence and Mugabe returned home a hero. He announced a policy of reconciliation and invited whites to help rebuild the country. He initially ran a coalition government with Joshua Nkomo, his fellow freedom fighter, but the pair fell out. Then came the biggest counterargument to the notion that Mugabe was a good man slowly corrupted by power: Gukurahundi, or “the rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rains”. As early as 1982 his Fifth Brigade crushed an armed rebellion by fighters loyal to Nkomo in the province of Matabeleland. His rival’s party, Zapu, was ethnically largely Ndebele, while Zanu was predominantly Shona. This divide underlay ethnic cleansing in the mid80s, when at least 20,000 people died in Matabeleland in a series of massacres classified as genocide by the US-based Genocide Watch. Few in the west noticed, or wanted to. They focused on the growing economy, as agriculture boomed and Mugabe built clinics and schools, turning Zimbabwe into one of Africa’s healthiest, best-edu- cated and most hopeful countries. In 1997 Mugabe gave in to pressure from war veterans waging violent protests for pensions. Trade unions and political activists began organising what would become the first viable political threat to Mugabe, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). But it was partly bankrolled by white farmers, which allowed Mugabe to whip up militancy against it. In 2000 Mugabe began a land reform programme, billed as an attempt to correct the colonial legacy by giving white-owned farms to landless black people. Many saw it as a crude attempt to sideline the MDC, which had wide support among farm workers. Ensuing chaos shrank the economy to half its 1980 size. The “breadbasket of Africa” became dependent on foreign aid for food. Schools and hospitals fell apart, once-eradicated diseases returned and life expectancy crashed from 61 to 45. Millions emigrated, a monumental flight of intellectual capital. The political environment became hostile, with activists and journalists persecuted, jailed or murdered. The MDC claims that 253 people died in violence in the 2008 election. The party’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, seen as the vote’s real winner, was forced to join Mugabe in a power-sharing agreement. Quite when, and why, Mugabe changed will be debated for years. Denis Norman, a white farmer who became his agriculture minister from 1980 to 1985, said: “I have always maintained that his driving force was the desire to control and remain in power.” Simba Makoni, who toured Europe with Mugabe in the late 1970s and was one of his finance ministers, said: “I know of two Mugabes: the early Mugabe and the later Mugabe. The first Mugabe of the liberation struggle and the first 10, 15 years of independence isn’t the Mugabe we have today. I didn’t know him to be cruel, I didn’t know him to be uncaring in the early years.” Makoni identifies three factors In Harare, thousands march on ‘second independence ce day’ Emma Graham-Harrison Harare They came from all over Zimbabwe, streaming into the streets of Harare last Saturday in a carnival of protest and celebration, determined to seal the peaceful but incontestable end of Robert Mugabe’s long rule. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans of every age, class, political persuasion and skin colour turned out, singing, chanting, dancing and sometimes crying, all exhilarated at the prospect of change, so fervently hoped for and until now so painfully elusive. Homeless squatters and street vendors marched beside wealthy entrepreneurs; Zanu-PF stalwarts and war veterans mixed with white farmers they had forced off their land. “I can pretty much say this is our second independence day – we have waited for this a long time,” said Nyikayaramba, a 32-year-old IT worker. “We have suffered, and I praise God that this has finally happened. It’s a great time to be Zimbabwean.” The green, yellow, red and black of the national flag dotted the crowd, draped as capes, waved in the air, printed on clothes and painted on faces, on a day unmarred by violence. As they marched through town, tearing down mementos of Mugabe’s rule, from road signs to giant posters, each step made it clearer that his iron grip had finally loosened after nearly four decades, even if he was still in office. “We are making history today,” said Teclar Mazanhi, who was born in 1980, the year Mugabe came to power. “We want a new Zimbabwe.” It had been a week of excitement and confusion, the oldest head of state in the world abruptly toppled, then re- appearing smiling miling in he miliphotos with the tary officers who had him under house ouse arore disrest. Even more concertingly,, he had emerged to preside ation over a graduation ceremony last ast Friday, as if d nothing had changed. The marches to de-mand his finall The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 5 On the website Latest news, comment and analysis → theguardian.com Army-backed Mnangagwa sets out vision for future Emma Graham-Harrison Harare Left, Robert Mugabe inspects a presidential guard of honour in Harare, August 2017; top, saluting supporters after returning from exile in 1980 to fight the general election; above, with his wife, Grace Mugabe, in support of her bid to become vice-president Photographs: EPA; AP; Getty that led to the change in character: the accord with Nkomo that destroyed meaningful opposition; his switch from prime minister to president in 1987; and the death of his first wife, Sally, in 1992. One man will for ever cast a shadow across Mugabe. Nelson Mandela’s life paralleled Mugabe’s until the South African president relinquished power after one five-year term. Mandela is revered as the great- est statesman Africa has produced; Mugabe, who clung on beyond his time, is seen as its fallen angel. Allister Sparks, a veteran South African journalist, recalled a conversation with Mandela: “We got to talking about Mugabe, whom he really profoundly disliked, and I think it was reciprocated. He said, ‘You know Allister, the trouble with Mugabe is that he was the star – and then the sun came up.’” rem removal from power were planned by b y the party machine of Mugabe’s own Zanu-PF, and veterans of the ow independence war. But they were ind taken over by ordinary Zimbabweans tak in a national outpouring of emotion. One of the most extraordinary O aspects of Mugabe’s fall has been how asp fast and completely the party that he controlled so tightly, for so long, has con turned on him. “We were the ones tur who were with him in the bush, but wh now he is going astray,” said Ticho Njara, a 62-year-old war veteran and Nja Zanu-PF member. “He better surrenZan der his power today.” On the eve of the march, regional O party offices unleashed on Mugabe par the formal ritual of party procedure that he had so often deployed against rivals. All united to call for his resignation and the return of former vicepresident Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75. In a country where for decades it has been dangerous to challenge the government, or even dream of change, Zimbabweans were determined to cele brate the power of a peaceful population unleashed, and enjoy the chance, finally, to speak their minds. “We are fully aware of the possible risks and pitfalls beyond this tipping point,” Zimbabwean newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube said on Twitter. “We are confident we will be equal to the challenges. Yes, we remember Egypt too. After 37 years of repression, allow us to soak in this moment.” Robert Mugabe’s most likely successor, the ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, broke more than a week of silence on Tuesday to call for the 93-year-old leader to “accept the will of the people”. Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party was expected to begin impeachment proceedings in parliament this week in an attempt to strip Mugabe of the presidency, as the political crisis triggered by a military takeover moved into a second week. Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife, Grace Mugabe, to “usurp constitutional power”. Mnangagwa, a veteran of the liberation war of the 1960s and 70s and for decades Mugabe’s right-hand man, fled into exile earlier this month after being ousted from his position in government and Zanu-PF by a faction allied to the president’s wife. In a written statement, which gave no clue to his whereabouts, Mnangagwa said he had fled Zimbabwe after he was warned by security officials that “plans were underfoot to eliminate me”. His supporters are widely believed to be behind the military’s takeover of power. Zanu-PF has named him as the party’s new leader and nominee to take over as president if Mugabe steps down or is impeached. Mnangagwa said he had spoken to Mugabe, and told him he needed to resign because huge demonstrations in Harare last Saturday, and the party vote against him, showed he no longer had a popular mandate. “Mugabe has always said that if the people don’t want him he will leave office, now that they have spoken he must now accept the will of the people and resign,” the statement said. Mnangagwa also made what appeared to be an appeal to opposition politicians and their supporters. Other senior figures in the party had insisted Mugabe’s departure was an internal party matter that would be handled by Zanu alone. Laying out his vision for a “new Zimbabwe”, Mnangagwa said it was a national, not a party political project. “In that new Zimbabwe it is important for everyone to join hands so that we rebuild this nation to its full glory. This is not a job for Zanu PF alone but for all people of Zimbabwe.” Mnangagwa said he would return home “as soon as the right conditions for security and stability prevail”, but did not give any further details of when that might be. Mugabe had been given a deadline of noon local time on Monday to resign as head of state or face impeachment but he ignored the deadline and instead called a cabinet meeting for 9am on Tuesday. Adding to the confusion, Constantino Chiwenga, the army chief who took power last week, held a press conference at which he described further consultations with “his excellency president Robert Mugabe” held in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Chiwenga said on Monday that Mnangagwa would return to Zimbabwe shortly and was in touch with the president. The general made no mention of the potential impeachment of Mugabe, who has been was stripped of his party offices by Zanu-PF. A draft impeachment motion published by Zanu-PF said the 93-year-old leader was a “source of instability” who had shown disrespect for the rule of law and was to blame for the economic tailspin over the past 15 years. Mugabe had failed to resign as expected in a televised speech last Sunday night. Instead, his rambling address offered no substantial concessions, leaving viewers stunned. Comment, page 18 → China rejects claims it had helped to oust Mugabe Beijing has said speculation it had a hand in efforts to dethrone Robert Mugabe is an “evil” plot designed to sully its reputation and derail China-Africa relations. A recent visit to Beijing by one of the architects of last week’s slowburn coup stoked suspicions China played some role in attempts to oust its longtime ally. Experts say Mugabe had fallen from favour with China’s Communist party leaders in recent years, with Beijing particularly alarmed at the prospect of his wife, Grace Mugabe, succeeding him. However, China issued a forceful denial of any connection to the political crisis on Monday, calling such speculation “complete nonsense, and purely fictitious”. Its embassy in South Africa said: “Some people are trying to link China to the political crisis that is taking place in Zimbabwe in order to drive a wedge between China and Africa.” Such allegations were “illogical, inconsistent and filled with evil motives”. Tom Phillips Beijing 6 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 International news German president urges return to table Fresh elections possible following collapse of Merkel-led coalition talks Philip Oltermann Berlin The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called on German political leaders to reconsider their positions after the collapse of coalition talks last weekend pushed the country into its worst political crisis in decades. Coming out of talks with the chancellor, Angela Merkel, Steinmeier was expected to meet all the party leaders this week. He urged a rethink that could allow them to form a government and sought to avoid a minority government under Merkel or fresh elections. “There would be incomprehension and great concern inside and outside our country, and particularly in our European neighbourhood, if the political forces in the biggest and economically strongest country in Europe of all places didn’t fulfil their responsibility,” he said after the talks. The pro-business Free Democratic party (FDP) walked out of marathon negotiations shortly before midnight last Sunday, with its leader, Christian Lindner, saying there was no “common basis of trust” between the FDP, Merkel’s centre-right bloc and the Greens. It was “better not to govern than to govern badly”, he added. The collapse is the most serious threat to Merkel’s power since she became chancellor in 2005. “It is a day of deep reflection on how to go forward in Germany,” Merkel told reporters. “As chancellor, ‘A day of deep reflection’ … Angela Merkel’s leadership is under threat I will do everything to ensure that this country is well managed in the difficult weeks to come.” If coalition talks do not resume, Merkel could seek to form a minority government, either with the FDP or the Greens, and gather support from other parties on individual policy votes. Steinmeier could dissolve parliament and call fresh elections. To get there, however, he would need to first set in motion a complicated process involving a parliamentary vote. Merkel has been trying to forge a coalition between her Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, the FDP and the Greens following federal elections at the end of September. Lindner said last Sunday the parties involved in the talks had missed several self-prescribed deadlines to resolve differences on migration and energy policies, and had “no common vision for modernisation of the country”. The Social Democrat leader, Martin Schulz, whose party has played junior partner to Merkel in the German government for the past four years, on Monday said it was “not available” for a repeat of the so-called grand coalition. He said it “was clear that the grand coalition had got the red card” and the SPD would welcome fresh elections. Merkel described the FDP’s walkout as “regrettable” and insisted the parties would have been capable of reaching a compromise, in spite of their polarised views on migration. In a month of talks, she has often cut a passive figure as party representatives found themselves at loggerheads over issues such as the question of how many of the migrants now in Germany would be allowed to be reunited with their families. Migration emerged as a contentious political issue in Germany following the refugee crisis, when 1.2 million migrants entered the country in 2015-16. The backlash against Merkel’s decision to keep open Germany’s borders has resulted in a far-right party, Alternative für Deutschland, entering the German parliament for the first time in more than 50 years. Analysis: the incumbent chancellor’s power loosened After exploratory talks to form Germany’s next government collapsed in dramatic fashion, the culprit was quickly found: Christian Lindner, the cocksure leader of the probusiness Free Democratic party (FDP), who had staged a wellorchestrated walkout, makes an alltoo-convincing villain of the piece. But in the coming weeks German media will have to ask whether the real reason for the political paralysis in Europe’s biggest economy ultimately lies with another politician: Angela Merkel, the incumbent chancellor. Both a minority government or fresh elections will first involve the authority of Merkel’s chancellorship being tested in the Bundestag. To engineer a no-confidence vote that would trigger new polls, Merkel would first have to be formally voted in as Germany’s chancellor. If she fails to gain a sufficient majority, her loss of power will come sharply into focus. Yet even if there were to be new elections in the new year, it is possible that Merkel could run again. Seventeen years after she took charge of Germany’s conservative party, there are still no credible candidates for a coup at the top, nor candidates with her blessing that look ready to take over the helm. For now, the only party in Germany calling on Merkel to go is the far-right Alternative für Deutschland. PO Poland’s far right bolstered by returnees from west Christian Davies Warsaw The presence of Islamophobic, homophobic, antisemitic and white supremacist chants and banners at last weekend’s March of Independence in Warsaw raised fears about the rise of the far right in Poland. But interviews with nationalist and far-right leaders and their opponents reveal a more nuanced picture of a movement wrestling with its public image while hoping to seize the opportunities afforded to it by the success of the ruling rightwing Law and Justice party and popular opposition to immigration from Muslimmajority countries. Far-right insiders described a movement that has changed substantially in recent years – “more girls, fewer skinheads”, said one – with a marked increase in middle-aged and highly educated recruits. “A decade ago if you saw us in a bar you would know we were from the far right, but if you saw us now you would have no idea,” said one insider. One factor in this change, they noted, was the influence on Polish society of young people returning from working abroad. “So many young people travelled to work in western countries, and then came back and told their friends and families what was going on in western Europe,” said Krzysztof Bosak, of the ultra-nationalist organisation National Movement. “They told them about the process of exchange of population, by which people of European origin are replaced by people from Africa and Asia, and about Islamisation.” Aleks Szczerbiak, a professor of politics at the University of Sussex, said: “It was long assumed that young Poles would come to the west and become more secular, multicultural and liberal, and that they would reexport those things back to Poland. But instead their experience of the west seems to have reinforced their social conservatism and traditionalism in many ways.” The march’s organisers included the National-Radical Camp, the successor to a pre-war Polish fascist movement; All-Polish Youth, a farright youth organisation that has run social media campaigns condemned as racist; and the National Movement. But the march also attracted thousands of people with little to no affiliation to nationalist or far-right groups. Opponents argued that the presence of people with a range of political views at the march earlier this month amounted to a tacit acceptance of far-right extremism. “They may not all identify as nationalists, but they are being united by the language of nationalism” said Rafał Pankowski, a professor at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw and director of Never Again, an anti-racism campaign group. Timothy Garton Ash, page 20 → The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 7 International news Climate summit makes progress Bonn lays groundwork for implementation of landmark Paris deal Damian Carrington Bonn The world’s nations were confident they had made important progress in turning continued political commitment into real world action, as the global climate change summit in Bonn closed last Friday. The UN talks were tasked with converting the global agreement sealed in Paris in 2015 from a symbolic moment into a set of rules by which nations can combine to defeat global warming. Currently, the world is on track for at least 3C of global warming – an outcome that would lead to severe impacts around the world. The importance of the task was emphasised by Frank Bainimarama, Fiji’s prime minister and president of the summit: “We are not simply negotiating words on a page, but we are representing all our people and the places they call home.” The Paris rulebook, which must be finalised by the end of 2018, now has a skeleton set of headings on how action on emissions is reported and monitored. Nations have suggested detailed texts, but these are often contradictory and will need to be resolved next year. “The worst outcome would have been to end up with empty pages, but that is not going to happen,” said a German negotiator. The final hours of the negotiations were held up by a technical row over climate funding from rich nations. Poorer and vulnerable nations want donor countries to set out in advance how much they will provide and when, so recipient nations can plan their climate action. Rich nations claim they are not unwilling, but that making promises on behalf of future governments is legally complex. NGOs criticised slow progress in delivering previous funding promises. Raijeli Nicole, from Oxfam, said: “For the most part, rich countries showed up to Bonn empty-handed.” Coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel – has had a high profile at the summit, with the US administration’s only official side-event controversially promoting “clean coal”. But the momentum has been against the fuel, with a new coalition of countries pledging a complete phaseout. This happened outside the negotiations, a significant move, according to Camilla Born at thinktank E3G: “We have had the Paris agreement living in the real world.” Heavily coal-dependent Poland is hosting the next UN climate summit in a year’s time and has frequently held up climate action in the EU. But last Friday, apparently under heavy EU pressure, it ended its holdout against passing a climate commitment called the Doha amendment which sets in law pre-2020 climate action. Germany, still stuck in domestic coalition building, was unable to commit to phasing out its huge coal industry. However, Barbara Hendricks, the outgoing German environment minister, said last Friday: “The phasing out of coal makes sense environmentally and economically.” Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris deal had little impact at the talks, according to negotiators. Gebru Jember Endalew, the Ethiopian chair of the 47-strong Least Developed Countries negotiating bloc, said: “Unlike immigration, you cannot protect your country from climate change by building a wall.” China and India did not use the US move to try to gain advantage but 3C Level of global warming under current pledges. The Paris agreement sets targets to keep the rise to 2C remain constructive players, insiders say. Now attention moves to 2018 and the tougher, final decisions that need to be made then. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who as Peru’s environment minister ran the 2014 climate talks and is now at WWF, said: “The planet is at a crossroads. The decisions we make today set the foundation for 2018 and beyond. Countries must increase their ambition to put us on a path to a 1.5C future. “The Poland summit [in 2018] will be tough,” he said. “We expect to make progress, but it is not going to be easy.” L aurence Tubiana, France’s climate ambassador during the Paris deal and now at the European Climate Foundation, said: “There is no time to rest on our laurels, we are not on track. If we are serious about tackling climate change, everyone will need to step up and put forward ambitious climate commitments between now and 2020.” Weekly Review, pages 30-31 → Is it for real? A ‘Leonardo’ sells for $450m After breaking the world record as the most expensive painting ever sold at auction – for $450.3m at Christie’s in New York to an unnamed bidder last Wednesday – Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is at the heart of a hot debate about whether this painting of Jesus was ever touched by Leonardo’s brush. Some say it could have been made by Giovanni Boltraffio, an Italian who worked as a pupil in Leonardo’s studio. Many art experts who have laid eyes on the Salvator Mundi spent last week discussing its authenticity. “I don’t believe the attribution to Leonardo is correct,” said Todd Levin, a curator and art adviser at Levin Art Group in New York. The painting had unknown whereabouts from 1763 to 1900 before being acquired by art collector Charles Robinson of Richmond, near London, who thought it was painted by the Leonardo follower Bernardino Luini. It sold at Sotheby’s for $60 in 1958, was restored and then believed to be an authentic Leonardo in 2011. It was exhibited at the National Gallery in London before Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the painting in 2013 for $127.5m. The painting’s conservator, Dianne Modestini, started working on Salvator Mundi in 2005. Modestini stands by the artwork as a Leonardo. Martin Kemp, a scholar who coauthored Mona Lisa: The People and the Painting, attests that the painting is a Leonardo. “There are no wellfounded doubts about Leonardo’s responsibility for the picture,” he said. Nadja Sayej Photo: Alamy Prison death for mafia boss Stephanie Kirchgaessner Rome Lorenzo Tondo Corleone Salvatore “Totò” Riina, who died in a prison hospital bed last Friday at the age of 87, was for nearly four decades the “boss of bosses” of the Sicilian mafia. Nicknamed “the Beast” because of his cruelty, Riina was an unrepentant criminal who not only assassinated his criminal rivals on an unprecedented scale in the 1980s and 90s, but also targeted the prosecutors, journalists and judges who sought to stand in his way. In the end, it was Riina who was defeated. The Sicilian mafia is far weaker now, left in disarray by Riina, who sought unsuccessfully to lead it from his prison cell in Parma. The crime syndicate still exists , but it is a shadow of what it once was and unable to regain its dominance of the illegal drug trade. Riina was serving multiple life sentences after convictions for ordering 150 murders, though experts believe the true figure was much higher. In his birth city of Corleone responses to Riina’s death were mixed. While young people saw the death as a chance for the town to escape its corrupt reputation, elderly people recalled Riina with fondness, describing the mafia boss as a gentleman. A local priest said he agreed with church authorities in Palermo, who have already determined that Riina would not be given a church funeral. “I can understand the suffering of Riina’s family with this loss. But he was the head of the mafia and no sign of redemption ever came from him,” said Don Luca Leone. 8 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 International news Health fears on Manus Island intensify As makeshift wells are tainted, many face life-threatening illnesses Ben Doherty Manus Island The piercing pain in Joinul Islam’s right arm keeps him from sleeping. He can’t bend it to eat properly (to eat with one’s left is considered unclean), and there are precious few painkillers to allow him to rest. Four months ago, he was attacked by a gang in Lorengau, his elbow was sliced open with a machete and the surgery to repair it did not work. He was promised follow-up surgery, but it never happened. Now, he waits and hopes for more medical treatment. In the meantime, he bears the pain without assistance. He has been told by Papua New Guinea authorities he can get more painkillers, but only in Lorengau, the island’s main settlement and the place where he was attacked. “I cannot go back there, I cannot go back. How can I go to Lorengau? I need a safe place,” he says. Islam says he feels under intense pressure to quit the Manus Island detention centre, even to abandon his claim for protection altogether, and risk returning to Bangladesh. Islam’s case is barely remarkable inside the condemned Manus Island detention centre – formerly a key facility in Australia’s controversial and much criticised immigration policy – officially shuttered on 31 October, with all essential services withdrawn. There are few uninjured or healthy people among the 400 who remain in the camp, surviving on rainwater and makeshift wells, smuggled food, and solar panels powering phones that give them a link to the outside world. Inside the camp, the Guardian saw United ... Manus Island detainees protest against their water supply being cut off EPA/Refugee Action Coalition men who had stepped on nails that had pierced their feet. Their infected wounds wept pus as they walked. Others revealed open and infected sores on their legs. Weeks after the camp was formally closed, the medical situation in the condemned centre has reached a new, even more dangerous stage. Even men who appear healthy are battling diarrhoea and vomiting brought on by drinking salty, contaminated water pulled from makeshift wells. Last Saturday, Australian Medical Association members voted unanimously to call on the Australian government to grant access for doctors to be allowed into the detention centre to intervene in what the association describes as “a worsening and dangerous situation emerging on Manus”. “It is our responsibility as a nation with a strong human rights record to ensure that we look after the health and wellbeing of these men, and provide them with safe and hygienic New Zealand seeks deal with Australia to resettle refugees New Zealand says it will only take refugees from Manus Island detention centre with the cooperation of the Australian government. A statement from the office of the prime minister Jacinda Ardern, indicating a shift in her position, was issued last Friday after the Australian immigration minister, Peter Dutton, said a move to resettle the refugees could hurt the countries’ diplomatic relations. “New Zealand’s relationship with Australia is strong. The offer to take 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru remains on the table, but clearly it’s up to Australia to take up that offer,” Ardern’s spokesperson said. The comments came after Dutton said New Zealand and Papua New Guinea could do a bilateral deal to resettle people but warned that it would have consequences for diplomatic relationship with Australia. Paul Karp Canberra living conditions,” the AMA president, Michael Gannon, said. Periodically, Papua New Guinean police and immigration officials – on Australian orders, the Guardian was told – enter and poison the wells, befouling them with dirt and rubbish and making the water undrinkable. David Yapu, police commander on Manus, has said fear of a widespread outbreak of potentially fatal illness was very real. “The centre is unhygienic, it is subject to illness such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery,” he says. Cholera, most often spread by unsafe water, is easily treatable with the correct medication, but without it, the infection can kill in hours. There is a meagre and dwindling cache of medical supplies inside the camp but refugees fear what will happen when these run out. Several refugees have become the unofficial medical officers of the camp, dispensing what medications they have. “Everybody here is sick, they say we are sent here for treatment but nothing happens, we just get worse,” one refugee from Myanmar said. “Who knows what our future will be.” Australia’s PM wants marriage equality by Christmas Guardian reporters The Australian parliament must commit to delivering marriage equality by Christmas, the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has said after an “unequivocal, overwhelming” vote of 61.6% in favour of same-sex marriage in a national postal survey. As nationwide celebrations heralded a result that will give enormous momentum to a final push to achieve the social reform, Turnbull moved to head off attempts from conserva- tives in his ruling Liberal-National Coalition to frustrate or delay the legislative process. Turnbull said the survey – which had a participation rate of 79.5% – meant Australians had “spoken in their millions and have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality”. “They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with the job the Australian people asked us to do,” he said. A national vote was resisted by marriage-equality advocates who viewed it as an affront because it determined the right to equality before the law by a majoritarian vote; but prominent LGBTI Australians celebrated that the Australian values of fairness and equality were reflected in the outcome. Large public gatherings in cities including Sydney and Melbourne saw marriage proposals, tears and the popping of champagne corks as Australia’s chief statistician, David Kalisch, announced the result in the capital, Canberra. In Melbourne, 5,000 people outside the State Library of Victoria danced to Kylie Minogue. In Sydney’s Prince Alfred park, the Australian singer John Paul Young reprised his 1978 hit Love Is in the Air. Every state and territory voted for marriage equality, with the national vote 7,817,247 in favour and 4,873,947 against. The constituencies of central Sydney and Melbourne saw the largest majorities in favour, at 83.7% each. Comment, page 19 → The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 9 Share Kickeryour herethoughts like this Where youdescription stand on the issues? Then a do short here like this → Reply, page 23and Page XX Then Section International news The Caribbean island reduced to a ghost settlement by Hurricane Irma Barbuda diary Kate Lyons W alking the streets of the small Caribbean island of Barbuda on a recent Friday afternoon, you are likely to see more goats than humans. Dogs, cats and horses, all of which roam freely about the island now that fences are down, also seem to outnumber people. The streets are empty and the houses – at least the ones still standing – are abandoned. The island is like a ghost town. Barbuda, which covers only 160 sq km, was the first to feel the force of Hurricane Irma. When the storm made landfall on the night of 6 September, it hit Barbuda at about 300km/h. A two-year-old boy died and an estimated 90% of properties were damaged. Two days later, fearing Barbuda would be hit again, this time by Hurricane Jose, the prime minister ordered an evacuation. All 1,800 residents were ferried to Antigua, Barbuda’s larger sister island, which suffered only minor damage. Jose passed without incident, but the government warned that diseases caused by stagnant water and issues with vermin had rendered it unsafe for habitation, and it was three weeks before residents were allowed to return. Even now, weeks after the evacuation order was lifted, this island is eerily deserted. “Barbuda is quiet, quiet, quiet. It’s dead,” says Kendra Beazer, 24, the youngest member of the Barbuda council, the island’s ruling body. Another councillor, Wayde Burton, 38, says that Fridays through to Sundays were the quietest times for the island as people come over from Antigua early in the week and stay a few days to clean up before going back to Antigua for the weekend. Burton says life is slowly returning to the island, although little more than a tenth of its population has returned. Two months after the hurricane hit, a restaurant, a bakery and a supermarket have opened, though, as electricity is yet to be restored, the businesses are running off generators. But even at its most occupied, Burton estimates Flattened … Irma destroyed homes and businesses Salwan Georges/Getty there are 250 people on the island. Beazer and Burton travel back and forth between the islands. In Antigua, Beazer lives in a rundown hotel, paid for by the government. Some Barbudans are staying with friends and family in Antigua or abroad, others in shelters. One shelter, at the Sir Vivian People get here, they walk around their house, they pick up a few things – then they go back to their boat Richards cricket stadium, is run by stadium staff and overseen by Denise Harris, the arena’s HR and accounts manager. She recalls how her boss was called by a government minister on the day of the evacuation. “They said: ‘We are sending you 80 Barbudans.’ We had 197. We thought it was just for two weeks or so, but now it’s two months. They were just brought here, nothing was in place.” Harris says the stadium has remained largely functional despite the continued presence of 142 people, but is adamant the situation cannot continue. “Honestly, I don’t think they can be here past the end of December,” says Harris. “We have [the England cricket team] coming in February.” She says it can be difficult to accommodate the number of supporters accompanying the touring England team, with weeks of preparation necessary. It would be impossible with the buildings full of people on camp beds. Some aid agencies are operating on Barbuda. Samaritan’s Purse is among those on the island, and has been providing equipment and water treatment units. The Red Cross has brought medical kit, enabling the consulting and emergency rooms at the Thomas Hanna hospital to reopen. Yet the rebuilding efforts seem piecemeal. Burton cleans and repairs houses with a group of friends. They scrounge plywood and corrugated iron from the wreckage to fix roofs. On Dominica, a nearby island devastated by Hurricane Maria, aid organisations are out in force and each night the military clears debris from the streets. In comparison, Barbuda feels almost abandoned. The recovery effort has been challenging. Few people on the island have house insurance and many rent their homes; neither group is clear about its role in the rebuilding process. But Barbudans agree the evacuation has made rebuilding slower. “Lots of homeowners refuse to come back home because they say there’s nothing for me to come back to,” says council leader Knacyntar Nedd as she cleans out a building. “We had to leave the next day [after the hurricane], so people didn’t have time to process the damage to their homes. Now people are seeing the magnitude of the damage. They get here, they walk around their house, they pick up a few things – and then they go back to the boat.” Damage from the hurricanes has been compounded by absence. Beazer’s house, which has a concrete roof, survived the storm in reasonable shape. But the shutters were blown off and the windows broken. The evacuation order meant he had to leave the island before he could do repairs, and rain got into his property. Eli Fuller, an Antiguan businessman who runs a boat tour company, has a bleak prognosis. “The Barbuda as we know it died with that evacuation order,” he says. “They don’t want to go back. How can they go back? Why would they go back?” If Barbuda is to have a chance of recovery, it needs to be reinhabited. “The more we stay away the more we’re going to lose,” says Burton. 10 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Special report Break the Cycle Finding hope in fight against gun deaths Commentary: firearms reform is far from a hopeless pursuit Vigil … an anti-gun rally in Newtown, Connecticut, scene of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting Getty Since Sandy Hook, many US states have moved to tighten laws and checks Lois Beckett New York Nearly five years after a mass shooter murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook elementary school, US Republicans are still blocking tougher federal gun control laws. But at state and local level, the fight to prevent gun violence is not over. Here are 10 victories since 2013 in the fight to prevent gun deaths – including a major effort led by the gun industry itself. 1. At least 25 states have passed tougher domestic violence gun laws Laws to keep guns away from domestic abusers have advanced since 2013, including in conservative states such as Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, North Dakota and South Carolina. In some cases, the National Rifle Association has quietly backed the legislation. to invest in preventing gun violence among young men of colour. The Live Free Campaign argues that, in addition to tougher gun laws, violence prevention requires criminal justice reform, police reform and communitybased strategies. The campaign got a $2m boost from Google.org. 4. After family members failed to stop a 2014 mass shooting, California passed a new ‘gun violence restraining order’ law Weeks before he murdered six people in a rampage across a California college town, Elliot Rodger was visited by local law enforcement. His mother had seen disturbing videos he posted on YouTube and requested a welfare check. Rodger noted later he had firearms hidden in his apartment. Later that year California passed its new law, which gives families and law enforcement a way to petition a judge to temporarily bar a high-risk person from owning or buying firearms. 2. Gun stores are leading an industryagreed movement to prevent suicide In one week in 2009 a gun store in New Hampshire sold three guns to people who committed suicide. The store owner teamed up with mental health and suicide prevention experts to develop the Gun Shop Project, an effort to educate gun store workers and customers about what they can do to prevent gun suicide, which claims more than 20,000 American lives a year. 5. Many states have added missing mental health records to the US gun background check system In 2011 a gun control group analysed the records in the national background check system, and found that 23 states had submitted fewer than 100 mental health records to the federal database – and some had submitted none at all. This meant that high-risk people disqualified from legally owning guns were still able to buy guns. Today the number of mental health records in the database has nearly quadrupled. 3. Google is funding efforts to advance police reform and gun violence prevention in communities of colour In early 2013 the pastor Michael McBride led a group of black ministers to Washington to press, unsuccessfully, for the Obama administration 6. New York City is investing millions in ‘violence interrupters’ in a public health strategy to cut gun violence After a pilot programme funded by the justice department, New York City invested $12.7m in expanding a strategy that uses neighbourhood “violence interrupters” to defuse conflicts before they turn fatal. The city’s shootings hit a record low in 2016. 7. Sandy Hook families set up a training programme on how to prevent school shootings and other violence Sandy Hook Promise, a not-for-profit group formed by family members of some victims of the 2012 shooting, has developed free training programmes to help schoolchildren and adults recognise the signs of at-risk behaviour and know how to respond. More than 2 million have taken part. 8. Ten states have passed laws expanding background checks on gun sales After Sandy Hook, parents of the children murdered joined with the Obama administration for a push to close loopholes in background checks on gun buyers. The legislation failed. Since then 10 states have passed universal background checks or expanded background check requirements, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 9. Massachusetts bans bump stocks “Bump stocks” are a dangerous toy with zero self-defence value that allows semi-automatic rifles to be fired more quickly. After the Las Vegas shootings, officials said the shooter had multiple bump stocks. Massachusetts became the first state since the Las Vegas shootings to ban the device. 10. Gun control advocates have convinced some private retailers to oppose gun-carrying in their stores Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has celebrated Starbucks, Chipotle, Target and other stores for asking customers not to bring guns into their stores (with the exception of law enforcement officers). Travels in white America, page 26 → Gun violence in America follows a ritualised playbook. Shootings happen, outrage is expressed, debate ensues, preventive measures suggested. Then the backlash begins. And nothing happens. It’s clear that the cyclical way the US media covers gun violence is letting politicians off the hook. The country seems to have reached a settled view about gun violence: the politics are too difficult; it is impossible to bring meaningful reform; and a mass shooting every few weeks is becoming normal. It’s time for a different approach. This month Guardian US has launched Break the Cycle, a new series to change the way the media covers American gun violence – and to challenge the orthodoxy that gun reform is a hopeless pursuit. The aim is to take issue with the vested interests who distort the terms of the debate for their own benefit, to spotlight progress that has been made, and offer possible solutions. To accept that America’s gun violence is an intractable problem is an insult to the memory of all of those who have died from it. Research suggests that, while Americans support the second amendment right to bear arms, large majorities are also open to considering some measures of control. Partisan agendas are often out of step with shifts in public opinion that are happening on the ground. Dismissing gun owners as paranoid or irrational is one of the errors of the debate. If we want to save lives, we need to recognise that gun owners and gun rights advocates are important partners. More than 36,000 people die from gunshot wounds in America each year – and more than 20,000 of those are suicides. To drive change it is also necessary to examine domestic violence, accidental killings, and the disproportionate burden of gun violence on communities of colour. Gun violence is an American disease. The scale of gun ownership and deaths is unrivalled in any other developed country. Millions of Americans want to do something about this and the aim is to show them what’s possible. Guardian US For more Break the Cycle coverage, visit theguardian.com/us The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 11 International news Embattled Moore plays the God card In Alabama, the Senate candidate finds backing despite sex accusations David Smith Alabama Observer Two young boys in suits and ties, and two young girls in dresses, sang about the love of God. A woman turned to the person next to her and asked: “How can you look at these children and not believe?” On the gym’s back wall hung a huge Stars and Stripes; at the front a sign proclaimed: “GOD SAVE AMERICA.” About 400 people had gathered for the religious revival in Jackson, in the countryside of southern Alabama, last Tuesday night. US and Christian flags were carried in as about 50 children sang of faith from sea to shining sea. The main act was Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the US Senate in Alabama. Facing accusations of sexual misconduct towards women in their teens when he was a deputy district attorney in his 30s, his name is now anathema to the Washington political establishment. Moore denies the misconduct allegations. But here, in a rural outpost of the faithful south, he was seen as a martyr. “After fortysomething years of fighting this battle, I’m now facing allegations, and that’s all the press want to talk about,” said Moore. “I want to talk about the issues. I want to talk about where this country’s going, and if we don’t come back to God we’re not going anywhere.” The currents that swept Donald Trump to victory by 28 percentage points in last year’s presidential election here are keeping Moore afloat too. It is a fusion of patriotism and religion combined with contrariness, grievance and desire to repudiate Roy Moore … seen as a martyr by some Republicans in his state meddling elites. David Webb, pastor of the Walker Springs Road Baptist church, which hosted the event with Moore, said: “We have faith, we believe God, we believe our Bible and we stand for truth. Just because somebody rises up, we get attacked and people think that we’re hatemongers, but we’re not. We hate sin, but we love people and sometimes that gets misunderstood in society.” Moore has taken a hit in the polls but local Republican officials are standing by him, giving him a fighting chance of holding off Democratic rival Doug Jones on 12 December. For many here the maverick candidate, opposed to abortion and homosexuality, represents a defender of values they regard as under siege from the liberal classes. William Wright, helping with logistics at the church, said: “We see this as a scapegoat, a group of people that have come together because they’re scared of what he’s going to do, and that includes Republicans.” Wright, 49, a former millwright, had an appearance from central casting: long grey beard and checked shirt beneath denim dungarees, finessed with a red carnation. Wright voted for Trump and describes himself “ecstatic” at his performance so far. His hardline interpretation of the Bible did not shift when his daughter, Laci, 28, came out as gay. “ You have hopes and dreams for your daughter, like marriage and children. She knows I love her and will always support her. I would die for my daughter in a split second. I love her girlfriend but that doesn’t mean we have to agree: I’m totally against lesbianism and homosexuality and would oppose them getting married.” Moore, 70, has long been a divisive figure. He was twice ousted as chief justice of the Alabama supreme court for defying court orders, first in 2003 over his insistence that a Ten Commandments monument be placed on the grounds of the state judicial building, and then last year for trying to defy the US supreme court ruling that legalised gay marriage. Even Trump endorsed his rival, Luther Strange, in the Republican primary. The avalanche of sex allegations – including that he abused a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney – has led Republican central command to ostracise him. Yet Alabama Republicans, some local evangelicals and many vot- ers there remain loyal. Last Friday, his wife Kayla spoke at a “Women for Moore” rally, describing the Vietnam veteran as “an officer and a gentleman”. Supporters have blamed a witch-hunt and, drawing from Trump’s playbook, sought to blame the media. In a crude attempt to discredit journalists, a fake robo-caller named “Bernie Bernstein”, complete with Jewish New York accent, claims to be a Washington Post reporter seeking women “willing to make damaging remarks” about Moore in exchange for money. It is a baffling business to much of the nation and does little to challenge cliches of Alabama as redneck, backward and bigoted. Indeed, in the Trump era, the state has become something of a punchbag for frustrated liberals. Ambrosia Starling, 45, an Alabama drag queen whom Moore named as his nemesis over LGBT rights, said: “We have a lot of insecure people who desperately need someone to look down on and they will support any politician who gives them a licence to hate. Alabama’s problems are indicative of America’s problems. I’ve always said discrimination in America will not end until it ends in Alabama.” This state produced George Wallace and Moore, but it also produced Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, set in the fictional “tired old town” of Maycomb, Alabama. Barack Obama cited the classic novel in his farewell address as president earlier this year. “If our democracy is to work in this increasingly diverse nation, each one of us must try to heed the advice of one of the great characters in American fiction, Atticus Finch,” he said. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Leftwingers send electoral shockwaves through Chile Piotr Kozak Santiago Chile, so used to geological upheavals, faces a vastly changed political landscape after a progressive alliance surged ahead in last Sunday’s general election, and left conservative presidential frontrunner Sebastián Piñera facing a fight in December’s runoff. Piñera, a billionaire and former president, had been widely expected to cruise to victory – and possibly even win outright in the first round. He still took first place, taking 36% of the vote, but faced a strong challenge from his two main leftwing rivals who between them won 43%. Former TV news anchor Alejandro Guillier, who heads a centreleft alliance, came second in the presidential race, but the real political earthquake was the emergence of a new political force, the Frente Amplio – or Broad Front – whose roots can be traced to student protests that shook the country in 2011. Often compared to the Podemos movement in Spain, Frente Amplio is an anti-establishment alliance of leftliberal parties, ecologists, humanists and grassroots organisations. Among the movement’s demands are the replacement of Chile’s neoliberal economic model together with the Pinochet-era constitution; broad changes to the country’s pension system; and major reforms in health, education, workers’ rights and wages. Led by Beatriz Sánchez, a 46-year-old journalist who came third with 20% of the vote, Frente Amplio will control 12% of the 155-seat chamber of deputies. Frente Amplio’s supporters now face a choice: do they swing behind a Guillier-led coalition, which includes some of the parties in the current coalition government led by Michelle Bachelet, or do they carry on as radical independents and focus on building a popular base? Last Sunday’s election was also marked by a high level of voter abstention, continuing a trend witnessed in presidential elections four years ago when just under half of the electorate turned out to vote. 12 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 International news Strange allies in the disruption games ← Continued from page 1 and to give WikiLeaks the appearance of impartiality, given it had already released a trove of documents hacked from the Democratic party (by Russia, according to US intelligence). Donald Jr only replied occasionally to the WikiLeaks emails, but appears in some cases to have acted on them. His father once tweeted a reference to WikiLeaks 15 minutes after it had been in touch. WikiLeaks grew bolder in its proposals, urging the Trump campaign not to concede on election night if he lost but to challenge the result as rigged. In mid-December, when Trump was president-elect, it suggested he should push for Assange to be made Australian ambassador to Washington. Assange also backed the Brexit vote in the UK, an intervention that again does not appear to be incidental. It earned him an unannounced visit in March from Nigel Farage, the Brexit leader and Trump’s closest British ally. It has become clear Brexit was another arena in which Assange and Moscow were in step. Last week researchers at the University of Edinburgh identified more than 400 fake Twitter accounts apparently run from St Petersburg, which published Brexit-related posts in the run-up to the UK vote, some aimed at stirring anti-Islamic sentiment. “The radical libertarians and the autocrats are allied by virtue of sharing an enemy, which is the mainstream, soft, establishment, liberal politics,” said Jamie Bartlett, director of the centre for the analysis of social media at the Demos thinktank. “Most early, hardline cryptographers who were part of this movement in the 1990s considered that democracy and liberty were not really compatible. Like most radical libertarians – as Assange was – the principal enemy was the soft democrats who were imposing the will of the majority on the minority and who didn’t really believe in genuine, absolute freedom.” That meant odd bedfellows could become useful allies. “They have been able to forge a convenient marriage with other enemies of liberal democracy,” said Bartlett, “who in every other sense imaginable are completely at odds, but they do share that common hatred of establishment, western, soft, democratic politics as they see it.” Snowden’s worldview also had libertarian roots. He was a supporter of the rightwing maverick US presidential candidate Ron Paul, and opposed the Obama administration’s Ideologue … Trump ally Steve Bannon admires Putin’s nationalism AP endorsement of gun control and affirmative action. He turned against his employers in the US security apparatus and stole their secrets in the name of transparency. His defection has left him in exile in Moscow, at the mercy of a government that does not observe such western niceties. But Snowden, unlike Assange, has been increasingly critical of the Kremlin. Western libertarians share with Moscow a distaste for the EU, seen as an epitome of centralisation and liberal social norms. “This libertarian hatred of political correctness, that everyone has to follow this social democratic view on gender, welfare, progressive politics and immigration … libertarians can’t stand that, as degrading the idea of individual liberty,” Bartlett said. “So I think you’ll find quite a lot of people on the libertarian right who think that Russia has become the only real counterbalance to that philosophy.” The meeting of minds is embodied in the man long seen as Trump’s chief ideologue, Steve Bannon. He is another libertarian for whom the contradiction between opposing restrictions on individual liberties at home and backing Russian authoritarianism is subsumed beneath an admiration for Vladimir Putin’s muscular nationalism. In the summer of 2014, Bannon explained the attraction of Putin for “traditionalists” to a meeting of conservative Catholics through a Skype link to the Vatican. “One of the reasons is they believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism – and I think that people, particularly in certain Kushner ‘failed to disclose emails sent to Trump team’ Jared Kushner shared emails within Donald Trump’s team about WikiLeaks and a “backdoor overture” from Russia during the 2016 election campaign and failed to turn them over to investigators, it emerged last Thursday. Senators Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstein said a disclosure of files to their committee by Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, “appears to have been incomplete” and was missing “documents that are known to exist but were not included”. They said in a letter to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, that they knew of emails received and sent on by Kushner during the campaign that appear relevant to inquiries into alleged collusion between Moscow and Trump’s team. Lowell said Kushner had been “responsive to all requests” by investigators. The Senate judiciary committee is conducting one of several investigations into Russian meddling in the US election. Grassley and Feinstein disclosed in their letter to Lowell that Kushner was refusing to turn over certain documents that he believed “might implicate the president’s executive privilege”, which allows Trump to withhold some information from Congress. Kushner is also refusing to give material he submitted as part of his application for high-level security clearance, according to the letter. Jon Swaine countries, want to see sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism,” he said. “They don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralised government in the US.” For Farage, too, reverence for Putin’s boldness has outweighed doubts about his rule. Asked in 2014 which world leader he most admired, he said: “As an operator, but not as a human being, I would say Putin.” Investigation into the Russian involvement in the Brexit vote is only now getting started. Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev argues Moscow’s influence has been overstated. Pointing to the minimal audience for Russia’s English-language TV channel, he wrote: “Russian trolling operations seem less like pouring gasoline on fire and more like pouring a bucket of water into the ocean.” Kadri Liik, an expert on RussianEuropean relations, said: “Some fake news may have influenced the Brexit vote, but these fake news were manufactured by the British tabloids and the leave campaign.” In Catalonia, Russian bots and their fake news output were pushing on a door already swinging open because of other circumstances. However, the long-term effect of Russia’s use of disinformation to break down trust in western institutions is hard to measure. What is clear is that it is continuing with the assistance of political movements who trade in disillusion and resentment and have found a natural home on the internet. In Italy the Five Star Movement (M5S) combines its antiestablishment stance at home with close alignment to Moscow’s line in foreign policy. Its web guru, Gianroberto Casaleggio, who claims that M5S is pioneering “a new, direct democracy that will see the elimination of all barriers between citizen and state”, has established news sites that circulate conspiracy theories, many cross-posted from Russian outlets. One story suggested the US was covertly funding the flow of immigrants from Africa. It linked back to a story on Sputnik Italia. The libertarian political movements believe that “the state will wither away and power will be redistributed in some fundamentally democratic revolution that they thought would be embedded within the internet”, said Franklin Foer, a US journalist and author of World Without Mind: the Existential Threat of Big Tech. “It’s fairly naive, because power always reasserts itself.” Observer The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 13 UK news The tieshere thatlike unravel Kicker this Brexit’s threat to public projects Then a short description here like this → George Monbiot, Then Section and page Page21 XX Ireland pessimistic over May’s progress on EU border issue Taoiseach wants written guarantee before he backs Brexit trade talks Jessica Elgot Ireland’s prime minister, L eo Varadkar, issued a stark warning that progress in the Brexit negotiations was at risk of even further delays, during a tense day for Theresa May of sideline meetings with EU leaders at a Swedish summit last Friday. The taoiseach emerged from a frosty bilateral meeting with May at the European social summit and said: “I can’t say in any honesty that [any agreement] is close – on the Irish issue or on the financial settlement.” Varadkar said he would not be prepared to back progress of the Brexit negotiations on to trade talks at the summit in December without a formal written guarantee there would be no hard border in Ireland. Britain, he said, wanted “a divorce, but an open relationship the day after”. At the summit in Gothenburg, the president of the European council gave the UK government an ultimatum that progress needed to be made on the Irish border and the financial settlement. Donald Tusk also hit back at suggestions by the Brexit secretary, David Davis, that the UK needed to see more compromise from Brussels. “I appreciate Mr Davis’s English sense of humour,” he said. May spoke to several European leaders on the fringes of the social summit. Government sources admitted it was clear from the meetings that more work was needed. The prime minister told reporters: “But we are clear and I am clear that what we need to do is move forwards together and that’s how we can ensure that we are going to get the best deal for the UK and for the EU,” she said. Tusk said he had told May in an earlier bilateral meeting that progress on the two matters of concern needed to happen “at the beginning of December at the latest”. The EU was ready to move on to the second phase of the Brexit talks, which will discuss the future trade relationship and transition period, he said. These are due to begin at its next summit in Brussels starting on 14 December. He told reporters he was “cautious but optimistic”. Downing Street said May’s meeting with Tusk was due to take place in Brussels at the Eastern Partnership summit this week. No return … a protest at Northern Ireland’s Stormont Assembly against a hard border with the Irish Republic Getty Varadkar’s warning was the most blunt, though the EU is likely to take the lead from Ireland when it assesses whether enough progress has been made on the issue of the border with Northern Ireland, one of the three topics that must be agreed before talks move to trade. Leaving the summit several hours later, Varadkar said he was not satisfied with the progress. “After 40 years of marriage, most of them good, now Britain wants a divorce, but an open relationship the day after,” he said. “We have heard now for 18 months … that the UK does not want a hard border in Ireland. But after 18 months of the right language we need to understand how that can be achieved in law.” Varadkar said that even though this was “not a problem of our creation”, the Irish government had proposed its Government ups EU divorce oﬀer to £40bn – but with strings Theresa May’s cabinet is prepared to increase its financial offer to the EU in an attempt to break the deadlock in Brexit talks, but will make clear that any figure is contingent on the final deal, including the shape of a future trading arrangement. The prime minister’s new Brexit subcommittee agreed to a calculation of the divorce bill that would result in a larger payment. But the leading ministers, including key Leave campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, agreed that the government should be prepared to withdraw the divorce bill offer if they were unhappy with the final Brexit deal. Some sources claim the final figure could reach £40bn ($53bn), but no specific figure was discussed in the meeting. Sources made clear that May also expects reciprocity this December with the EU moving discussions on to trade talks and on Monday repeated her new Brexit mantra that the EU and the UK “should move forward together”. Anushka Asthana own solution, which would require the UK to commit to retaining the same EU rules and regulations across Ireland, in effect keeping Northern Ireland in the single market and customs union. “We don’t have a counter-proposal from the UK government yet which makes any sense, but we would certainly welcome one,” he said. A UK government source said it had been clear from the outset there would “be no hard border”. Boris Johnson, backed by other cabinet Brexiters, has been arguing for the government to refuse to make a firm offer to settle Britain’s EU liabilities before receiving assurances about the outlines of a trade deal. Johnson regards the financial settlement as a strong negotiating card. Anand Menon, director of the thinktank UK in a Changing Europe, said: “This is for the birds. The EU has made quite clear that there’s a sequence.” Even once talks on a future relationship are under way, the EU is determined there must be a “firewall” between trade negotiations and talks on the final details of the Brexit bill. Leader comment, page 22 → 14 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 UK news Grenfell Tower ﬁre claimed 71 lives Police conclude search for victims as blaze investigation continues Kevin Rawlinson Harriet Sherwood Vikram Dodd The Grenfell Tower fire claimed the lives of 71 people, police said last week after recovering what they believe to be the last of the bodies. Five months after fire tore through the west London tower block, officers investigating the disaster said that they had identified the final victims as 71-year-old Victoria King and her daughter, Alexandra Atala, 40. “We were devastated to hear of our sister Vicky’s fate and that of her daughter, Alexandra, in the Grenfell Tower tragedy,” their relatives said in a statement. “Some comfort can come from the knowledge that she and Alexandra were devoted to one another and spent so many mutually supportive years together. They died at each other’s side and now they can rest together in peace. We will remember them always.” Scotland Yard does not expect to find any more victims. Those who died included a family of six and at least three families of five, and ranged in ages from a stillborn baby boy to an 84-year-old woman. Local faith leaders said the police statement marked an important moment. “The expectation of many people in the community was that the death toll was in the hundreds. So in a way this is good news, although every single death was and is a painful loss,” said Abdurahman Sayed, of the Al-Manaar mosque. Rev Mike Long, minister of the Notting Hill Methodist church near the foot of the tower, said the past five months had been an appalling ordeal for the bereaved. “The news that all those who so tragically lost their lives have now been recovered and identified marks a significant stage. Hopefully this will help in the long healing process and establishing confidence among the community.” He said that the “difficult and demanding work of the recovery and forensic teams has been remarkable, and their efforts need to be acknowledged”. Stuart Cundy, the Metropolitan police commander over seeing the investigation, said: “The human cost and terrible reality of what took place at Grenfell Tower affects so many people. Our search operation and ongoing investigation is about those people.” The Met is conducting a criminal inquiry and officers have told survivors there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect Kensington and Chelsea council and the organisation that managed the tower block of corporate manslaughter. Members of 320 households affected by the fire are still living in hotel accommodation, including more than 200 children. An independent report published by the Grenfell Recovery Taskforce, said council staff dealing with survivors needed to display “a greater degree of humanity”. The search, which is nearing its conclusion, included a fingertip search by specially trained officers, who examined 15.5 tonnes of debris on each floor. They were supported by forensic anthropologists, archaeologists and odontologists. Cundy said: “It was vital that our search and identification operation was undertaken in a manner that families and loved ones could have complete confidence in,” adding that specialist teams “pushed the boundaries of what was scientifically possible to identify people”. Chaos and confusion fed local distrust of initial oﬃcial count In the fraught days after the Grenfell Tower fire in June, controversy over the official number of dead worsened already tense relations between officials and residents. A day after the fire, the death toll released by the police stood at 17, and the next day it jumped to 30, at a time when a quick count of the photographs of the missing stuck to the walls and fences surrounding the building suggested the real number was much higher. Among the crowds of traumatised residents waiting for news, there was anger that officials were apparently not being upfront about the real scale of the tragedy. The police announcement will largely quell lingering unease over the figures, but mistrust of officials is so potent among relatives of the dead and survivors that even now there remains residual scepticism. In the absence of clear information, rumours quickly took hold. Groups of grieving survivors took to the internet to research and compile independent death tolls, coming up with far higher numbers. The local Labour councillor Robert Atkinson said difficulties were intensified because the council did not appear to have clear lists of who was living in the block, amid concern over illegal subletting. “It is an indication of how much chaos and confusion there was in the aftermath that these rumours were allowed to spread,” he said. “People started to try to count the dead themselves and numbers got double counted. It was absolutely shambolic.” Amelia Gentleman Final victims identified … Grenfell Tower Tolga Akmen/Reuters Austerity burden falls hardest on already disadvantaged Patrick Butler Disabled people, single parents and women have been among the biggest losers under seven years of austerity, according to a report by the equalities watchdog. While the poorest tenth of households will on average lose about 10% of their income by 2022 – equivalent to £1 in every £8 of net income – the richest will lose just 1%, or about £1 in every £250 of net income, the study carried out for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reveals. David Isaac, the EHRC’s chairman, said the study showed the poorest households faced a “bleak future”, and called on ministers to review their plans. “The government can’t claim to be working for everyone if its policies actually make the most dis advantaged people in society financially worse off.” The study modelled the cumulative impact on UK households by 2022 of all tax, social security and public spending policies carried out since 2010, including universal credit, VAT and the national minimum wage. Some groups were worse-hit than others. Ethnic minority households will be more adversely affected than white households; the average loss for black families is 5% of income – more than double that for white families. Lone parents will lose about 15% of their net income on average, equivalent to almost £1 in every £6. The study found that households with the most serious disabilities stand to lose most as a result of tax and benefit reforms, most notably as a result of cuts. Women, who will lose about £940 ($1,245) on average from the reforms, lose more than men (£460 on average) at every income level. The study says this is because women are more dependent than men on benefits and tax credits. The EHRC said the government had refused to carry out a cumulative impact assessment of its policies, but this study showed that such an exercise was both possible and necessary. The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 15 UK news First Greek camp child for UK Syrian boy had London council oﬀer last year but oﬃcials did not act Mark Townsend Observer More than a year after the UK government pledged to transfer hundreds of child refugees from Greece, the first unaccompanied minor from there was due to arrive in London this week. However, the 15-year-old Syrian has been described by experts as profoundly traumatised because of the delay and has recently attempted to take his own life. Fourteen months have elapsed since the boy was first identified by the Home Office as especially vulnerable and eligible for immediate transfer. It has also emerged that Hammersmith and Fulham council in west London told the Home Office a year ago it had a place for the teenager, but officials did not act on the offer – a decision charities say has caused “irreversible damage” to the child, who has lost contact with his family in Syria. Giannoula Kefala, the council’s principal social worker, said that last December she told the Home Office of her intention to travel to Greece to assess the boy. “It is absolutely clear from my visit that the long delay has caused this child terrible harm, and that it has been apparent for a long time that the available resources in Greece cannot cater for this child’s needs. Recent hospital records make clear the ongoing uncertainty is Waiting … Syrian children queue for food in a Greek refugee camp Getty having a devastating impact.” The teenager is on heavy psychiatric medication, believed to be necessary to prevent a fatal outcome. Until last Monday the youngster was being detained in a police cell with no access to medical professionals and forced to sleep on a mattress on the floor. During his detention the teenager has spent more than 380 days in psychiatric clinics, 124 days in shelters for unaccompanied minors and six weeks in police detention. Almost 300 unaccompanied minors in Greece were identified last year as eligible to be moved to the UK under the Dubs amendment to the Immigration Act, passed in April 2016 following a campaign to bring 3,000 lone refugee children stuck in camps to Britain. Yet changes introduced by the Home Office in March reduced the number of those eligible to come to the UK to about 40. Only four eligible child refugees have been identified in Greece since April, despite data showing 9,700 unaccompanied children had entered this year, most having fled Syria. Aside from the situation in Greece, 11,186 unaccompanied minors are known to be in France, along with 13,867 in Italy. A Home Office spokesperson said: “We remain committed to transferring 480 children from Europe to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act. We have accepted further referrals this year and transfers are ongoing. We will continue to work closely with EU partners and local authorities to transfer eligible children here quickly and safely.” After 669 years, a woman is Black Rod Peter Walker The Queen has appointed Sarah Clarke, a former director of the Wimbledon tennis championships, as Black Rod. It is the first time a woman has held the largely ceremonial parliamentary post in its 669-year history. Clarke, who will formally be known as Lady Usher of the Black Rod, will take over early next year from David Leakey, who has been Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod since 2011. Originating from a role created in 1348 by Edward III to guard the door outside meetings of his advisory council, the Order of the Garter, Black Rod is now a senior official in the House of Lords. The post is most visible at the annual state opening of parliament, when Black Rod is sent from the Lords to the Commons to summon MPs for the Queen’s speech. The ceremony involves the door to the Commons being slammed in Black Rod’s face. A staff is used to knock three times on the door to gain admittance. Black Rod also organises other ceremonial events, and is responsible for “business resilience and continuity planning” for the House of Lords. Their department includes Black Rod’s deputy, the yeoman usher, and the House of Lords doorkeepers. Black Rod is also officially responsible for royal sections of parliament, such as the robing room and the royal gallery. Before organising the Wimbledon championships, Clarke worked for the 2012 Olympic Games, the London marathon and UK Sport. She said she was “deeply honoured and delighted” to be offered the post. “I am truly looking forward to starting work.” The Speaker of the House of Lords, Lord Fowler, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Sarah Clarke to the role of Black Rod. As the first woman to take on the role, this is a historic moment for the house. The Lords has a great record of women taking on senior political roles. Five of the last seven leaders of the Lords and the current leader of the opposition have been women, as well as both my predecessors as Lord Speaker.” Currently both the Tory and Labour leaders in the Lords are women: Lady Evans and Lady Smith. News in brief Kicker here like this Then a short description here like this →Then ≥ ThenSection Sectionand andpage PageXX XX • Philip Hammond claimed “there are no unemployed people” in the UK in a major slip-up as the chancellor prepared to fight for his political life in this week’s budget. The gaffe came as he made the case on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that driverless cars will not necessarily lead to more unemployment. In fact, there are about 1.42 million unemployed people in the UK and many more who are underemployed. • Gerry Adams has announced he is stepping down as Sinn Féin president after 34 years heading the Irish political party once closely linked to the IRA. Adams also confirmed he will not seek re-election to the Irish parliament, the Dáil, in the next general election. The 69-yearold republican played a pivotal role in shifting the IRA to a permanent ceasefire in the 1990s and nudging Sinn Féin towards power sharing with its former unionist enemies in Northern Ireland. Comment, page 22 → • Official reviews will clear MI5 and the police of making serious mistakes that allowed terrorists to strike Britain in four attacks this year, the Guardian has learned. But they will also make recommendations to minimise the chances of missing future attackers, including a new computer algorithm to detect behaviour that could indicate involvement in terrorism. The inquiries were carried out by MI5 and the police themselves, overseen by a barrister. Nothing in the reviews shows that clear chances were missed to stop any of the attacks that killed 36 people. • Jeremy Corbyn strengthened his grip on the Labour party after Scottish members elected a leftwing trade unionist, Richard Leonard, as their seventh leader in the past decade. Leonard defeated Anas Sarwar, a former Scottish deputy leader, after a contest between the party’s left and right wings. But the victory was overshadowed by a party row over the decision by Kezia Dugdale, former Scottish Labour leader, to take time out of her parliamentary role to be on the reality-TV show I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! 16 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Finance Interview ‘Donald Trump has fascist tendencies. It is disturbing’ The Nobel prize-winning economist deplores the US president’s divisive tactics, and worries that he will push the nuclear button, writes Larry Elliott H arry Truman once demanded to be given one-handed economists because he became so frustrated with his advisers meeting every demand for answers with “on the one hand, on the other hand”. Truman would have liked Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist who worked for a later Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and who does not mince words when talking about the current incumbent of the White House, Donald Trump. Stiglitz says that for the past six or seven years he has been growing increasingly disturbed by America’s growing inequality and the simmering anger it has caused. “I began to say ‘if we didn’t fix this problem we are going to have a political problem’ and historically a Trump figure, a fascist kind of figure, arises.” Asked whether he really thinks Trump is a fascist, Stiglitz says: “I certainly think he has those tendencies. He is restrained by our institutions and every day those institutions work we feel relieved. We don’t know what the bounds are and we don’t know how far he would push those bounds. “A couple of things are most disturbing – the attack on the press and the attack on the foundations of knowledge which goes beyond the press. “We have never had a president who day after day lies and is unaffected by it. Normally everybody you deal with is tethered by a sense of responsibility and truth, but not him. “I think the other thing you have seen with some of these fascist leaders is using ‘us versus them’ as a way of dividing society.” Stiglitz says Trump is using racism and misogyny to divide America. “To me it is deeply, deeply disturbing.” A couple of things are disturbing … We have never had a president who day after day lies and is unaﬀected by it Stiglitz had his differences with Clinton, for whom he worked as chairman of the council of economic advisers, and Barack Obama, criticising both for not doing enough to ensure that the fruits of growth were more evenly shared. But he sees Trump as not just misguided but dangerous – a man who has difficulty telling the truth, whose word is not to be trusted and who might even respond to being thwarted in his plans by pushing the nuclear button. He gives as an example the president’s determination to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which created a free trade zone between the US, Canada and Mexico a quarter of a century ago. Trump thinks the agreement has been bad for America but is running into strong opposition from big business. “What I worry about is that when Trump is confronted with the reality that he can’t do on Nafta what he wants to do he will strike out like a little kid and do something dangerous – like putting his finger on a button he shouldn’t be putting his finger on.” Would Trump really put his finger on the nuclear button because he was thwarted over Nafta? “We don’t know. There is a discussion in Congress to restrain his ability to put his finger on that button.” Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race has encouraged Stiglitz to update and expand his 2002 book, Globalisation and its Discontents. The original book, written in the wake of the violent protests on the streets of Seattle, Prague, Washington DC and Genoa, assumed that globalisation’s discontents were in poor countries. The new book charts how the unhappiness has spread from the developing to developed world and led to Trump, Brexit and growing support for extreme parties in continental Europe. Stiglitz attributes Trump’s election to globalisation, rising inequality and the legacy of the 2008 financial crisis. “This is a global phenomenon. Part of it is growing inequality and the way people have come to understand that inequality. They see the world doing better and they see that they are not getting better off. They Paris sets out its stall in race to cash in from Brexit: Angelique Chrisafis Cranes dot the skyline of Paris’s La Défense business district as drills clatter away on the building sites of future skyscrapers containing acres of new office space. Marie-Célie Guillaume proudly walks the route of the guided tours she gives to companies drawing up Brexit contingency plans and considering moving jobs from London after the UK leaves the EU. “The uncertainty opened up by the Brexit vote is growing even bigger today,” she says as she takes a lift up France’s highest office building to inspect a luxurious new designer workspace, with treadmill desks and meditation rooms. “We have no clarification of the full timeframe or the conditions of Brexit – and if there’s one thing companies hate, it’s uncertainty.” Guillaume, chief executive of Defacto, which manages this vast business district that nudges up against the west of Paris, was behind last year’s tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign to lure companies to France post-Brexit: “Tired of the fog? Try the frogs!” Since then she has seen a growing number of inquiries from international firms about the Hop to it … an advert for Paris La Défense aimed at British firms practicalities of a potential move of staff from London. La Défense, Europe’s largest business district, happens to be in a building boom just as Paris itself races to construct new office buildings amid a massive extension of the public transport system. The business district is ready with hundreds of thousands of square metres of comparatively cheap office space for any company that might decide to relocate staff, particularly if Brexit means the loss of London’s “passporting rights”, which allow international financial firms access to EU markets. Joseph Stiglitz ... ‘Trump is not fit to be president’ Martin Godwin don’t want to say it’s because of what I’ve done, it’s because of what’s happened to me. Something that Trump said captured what a lot of people think: the system is rigged. “Part of this is a legitimate anger relating to the crisis of 2008 and how we handled it. We saved the banks, we saved the bankers and we saved the shareholders; we didn’t do much for homeowners and the workers who were losing their jobs.” Stiglitz says he told Obama before he became president that the focus should be on helping ordinary Americans. “But the dominant influence were the bankers in Wall Street.” The rules of the US economy were rewritten in the 1980s in ways that weakened labour and watered down anti-trust and other competition laws, Stiglitz says. He believes discontent would have surfaced even without the 2008 crisis. “But I think it worsened it, crystallised it.” He added: “The crisis of 2008 made things much, much worse. Millions of Americans lost their homes and the way things were managed was grossly unfair.” The reason neither developed nor developing countries are happy with globalisation, Stiglitz says, is that trade agreements were written by and for corporations and against ordinary workers in both places. Stiglitz was born in Gary, Indiana, in 1943. Then a booming steel town, Gary has become one of the places in the midwest that has come to symbolise America’s rust belt decay. Stiglitz says he understands the anger that turned Indiana into Trumpland because for the poorest Americans wages adjusted for inflation had not increased for six decades. The US economy has been growing at a reasonable pace in the year since the presidential election, with unemployment falling, consumer confidence strong and the stock market rising. So does Stiglitz thinks Trump’s economic strategy will work? “There is no way ... that it will raise living standards. The reality is that the standard of living will go down if he succeeds in doing any significant part of what he is proposing. “He is proposing deglobalisation, breaking up the efficient supply chains that have been created and raising costs. If manufacturing jobs do come back to the US they will be done by robots in hi-tech parts of the country rather than the rust belt states.” The updated Globalisation and its Discontents sketches out three possible ways forward: doubling down on the current model of globalisation, the new protectionism or a fairer globalisation. More of the status quo is not politically feasible, he says, and wouldn’t work anyway, while Trump is the manifestation of the new protectionism. “It means going back into yourself, ignoring all the advantages of trade such as specialisation. It’s dishonest populism. We have to make globalisation work, stop more than 100% of the gains going to the people at the top.” But is fairer globalisation any more politically feasible given the likely push back from the 1%. “There is going to be resistance. But we are democracies. I don’t think we can have democracies that work where most of the people are not benefiting economically.” Stiglitz says Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump. Instead America is led by a man Stiglitz says should not be in the White House. “He is not fit to be president. He does not have an understanding of the issues, the political process. He is used to making one-time deals. You can cheat your contractors when you buy a real estate property and fix it up. Reputation doesn’t matter. For the president of the United States reputation does matter. The reputation of the United States does matter. We are dealing with countries all over the world. They want to know if your word is good. Trump’s word is not good.” Globalisation and Its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalisation in the Era of Trump, and The Euro: And its Threat to the Future of Europe by Joseph E Stiglitz are both published by Penguin on 28 November ‘I think we can gain 10,000 jobs’ London businesses and financiers are playing a waiting game on the exact terms of Brexit, and are under pressure to take decisions early next year. But Guillaume is looking to the east to win business from London too. She recently travelled to South Korea and Japan to make the case for Paris. “Until now Asian firms setting up in Europe immediately chose London without a moment’s thought. Now it’s clear that they are hesitating between Germany and France.” Paris has markedly stepped up its pace in the race among European cities to corner the “Brexit relocation” sector. Valérie Pécresse, the head of the Île de France region that surrounds Paris, spoke to business leaders in London during several cross-Channel relocation roadshows. She brought a vast team of technical experts to answer companies’ precise questions – from tax to labour laws, visas or the price of office rents – as businesses enter a new, more urgent phase of preparing detailed Brexit contingency plans and making decisions early next year. “Our first target is French banks,” Pécresse says. “With France’s changes to legislation, French banks no longer have reason to put their workers in London.” The ultimate target for the Paris region was to bring 10,000 direct jobs from London by 2019. “Of course, everything depends on the negotiations in Brussels,” she says. “If the negotiations lead to the withdrawal of financial passporting from the UK, I think Paris can gain 10,000 direct jobs … France is reformable and there is a new state of mind.” Jean-Louis Missika, the Paris deputy mayor in charge of economic development, said Brexit is “a slow earthquake – it started the day of the vote and it continues very slowly, but with earthquake effects”. Finance in brief The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 17 • The Norwegian central bank, which runs the country’s sovereign wealth fund – the world’s biggest – has told its government it should dump its shares in oil and gas companies, in a move that could have significant consequences for the sector. Norges Bank, which manages Norway’s $1tn fund, said ministers should take the step to avoid the fund’s value being hit by a permanent fall in the oil price. The fund was built on the back of Norway’s hydrocarbon wealth, and around 300bn krone ($36bn), or 6%, is invested in oil and gas companies. The Norwegian government said it would consider the proposal, but a decision should not be expected until next year. • Airbus has landed the aerospace industry’s biggest-ever deal by number of planes, with an agreement to sell 430 jets worth up to $50bn to budget airlines. The preliminary deal for A320neo narrowbody jets was signed at the Dubai airshow and offers a major boost to Airbus, which has lagged behind its rival Boeing in deals this year. • The European commission is to push for a quota for women on company boards to address the slow progress to gender equality in the senior ranks of publicly listed businesses. Under the proposals, companies whose nonexecutive directors are more than 60% male would be required to prioritise women when candidates of equal merit were being considered for a post. Previous attempts by the EU’s executive to set a 40% goal for women in boardrooms have been blocked by Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden over fears that Brussels was overreaching into domestic policy. Foreign exchanges Sterling rates Australia Canada Denmark Euro Hong Kong Japan New Zealand Norway Singapore Sweden Switzerland USA 20 Nov 1.75 1.69 8.36 1.12 10.35 148.60 1.94 10.94 1.80 11.18 1.31 1.33 13 Nov 1.71 1.66 8.34 1.12 10.19 148.13 1.89 10.64 1.78 10.94 1.30 1.31 18 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Comment&Debate Zimbabwe is ready to thrive after Mugabe Ranga Mberi Most Zimbabweans have known no other leader, and we now hope that this young nation can ﬁnally realise its potential L ast Friday an office worker at a government building took down President Robert Mugabe’s portrait to dust it, as she has done every day for years. Then she paused, unsure whether to put it back up. The portrait is everywhere, from supermarkets, offices and banks. There he is – Mugabe, sitting stiffly in his dark suit, peering down through thickrimmed glasses, as the stern father looking down at us. Much like the portrait, Mugabe has been an everpresent influence in every Zimbabwean’s life. But as strangers hugged and stopped to dance with each other when I made my way to an anti-Mugabe rally, it seemed that he was finally leaving, with Zimbabweans looking to the future with a mix of anxiety and hope. Everyone has imagined what they would do the day Robert Mugabe goes. They have replayed it in their minds. They would go into the streets, sing and dance and honk their car horns. They would, over a beer, toast the end of a rule that has denied opportunity to an entire generation. But his end has not been that sudden. The last days of Mugabe have, instead, been something of a soap opera. Is this really how it is all going to end, we’ve asked each other in recent days. Many of us have known no other leader. He was sold to us as the father of the nation. Our guardian. The one who led our struggle for independence and protected us from imperialists. Watching the reign of such a dominant figure end in such a farce is not what we imagined. The military action against him was made in plain sight. Zimbabweans stared at their phones as incredible pictures of army vehicles rolling into Harare flew around social media. Last Tuesday night, few slept. The army had taken over the state broadcaster, someone said. No. It was all fake news, we said. But then, in the early hours of last Wednesday, two men in military uniform appeared on the screens. We are here just for the criminals around Mugabe, they said. This is not a coup. For a full day, there were no further updates. We scrolled through the foreign news channels desperate to find out what was happening in our own country. In the vacuum we did what we do best. We created memes online and joked away the anxiety. Soon we grew tired of the jokes. For years, state media had sold us the image of an invincible man. Now we watched, mouths agape, as the young ZBC presenter said the words we never In the west, Mugabe has often been touted as the good leader who somehow turned bad midway. Zimbabweans know better Ellie Foreman-Peck thought we would hear on national television: “ZanuPF has asked President Mugabe to step down.” This was when we knew we had to start thinking of life without him. He has built for himself the image of a father figure who the country cannot do without. Many Zimbabweans had even come to see him as the country, and now wonder what life will be without him. In the western media he has often been touted as the good leader who somehow turned bad, especially when he started taking over white-held land. Only after the land takeovers did the world start to see him as an ogre. Zimbabweans know better. As Mugabe himself told an interviewer in 1981: “What I was, I still am.” In the 1980s a military brigade that reported directly to Mugabe killed thousands of civilians in the south of the country. Through the 1990s Mugabe expelled party officials who opposed his plan to establish a one-party state and make himself leader for life. Protests by unions were brutally crushed as the economy collapsed. Now, a generation that has lived under no other leader must dare to hope. Zimbabwe is often portrayed as the standard African banana republic. We face-palm when we read distorted western portrayals of the country we live in; we side-eye the talking heads on CNN as they call us a failed state. Zimbabwe has suffered greatly, but we remain a young nation still bursting with unrealised potential. We are relieved, but cautious. The changes are a chance to start over, even though we are not quite sure what change exactly this is. Despite all the years of decline, Zimbabwe’s infrastructure – from roads to communications – is largely intact. Banks are without cash, but the financial sector is modern. T he population is young, well educated and desperate to use its skills. From the rolling hills in the east to the game parks in the west, Zimbabwe has some of the best tourist attractions in Africa. The country is rich with minerals, from gold to lithium, with demand for the latter growing as it is used in rechargeable devices. Last Friday, before Zimbabweans marched for Mugabe’s resignation, I went to the place where it all began for him. Stodart Hall is in Mbare, Harare’s oldest township. There was nothing there to suggest it is a place full of history. The light bulbs had been stolen and, at the entrance, there was a sign announcing the start times for the next prophetic healing service. On Pazarangu Avenue, which runs past the hall, jobless youths sat on piles of bricks and prop their feet up on boxes to avoid the slime flowing from a broken sewerage pipe. Across the road, at what used to be a sports complex, a crew was preparing for a show later that night of Kinnah, a popular artist of the dancehall music that has become the refuge of many poor urban youths. Nothing said that this was where Mugabe, almost 60 years ago, began his political career when a fiery speech he made sparked weeks of protest. Mugabe has come back to Stodart Hall frequently, but only to preside over the funerals of his dead war comrades. At the National Heroes Acre, the burial place for heroes of the struggle, a sculpture of Mugabe stands fixed to a towering wall. Many who lie here sacrificed more, but it is Mugabe alone who stands immortalised in bronze, chest thrust forward, flag fluttering behind him. On one visit, Kingston Kazambara, the curator, looked up at the massive piece of North Korean art and gushed: “That’s none other than His Excellency, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, majestically, triumphantly, bravely guiding his flock forward to a new future.” Now we must imagine a new future without him, and without the portraits of a big man looking down on our every move. Ranga Mberi is a Harare-based journalist The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 19 Comment&Debate It’s time for us to rethink our fidelity to marriage Arwa Mahdawi It’s great that Australia voted yes for equality. But a more heartening sign of progress would be an equal form of partnership for everyone I t’s been a busy few weeks for ticking things off the Gay Agenda. First, Starbucks launched an ad campaign with lesbians in it and then, in almost as momentous news, Australia said yes to samesex marriage. Almost 80% of Australians voted in the historic national postal survey, with 61.6% of people in favour of treating gay people like everyone else, and 38.4% against. Unlike a result of, say, 52% versus 48%, that’s a pretty unambiguous indicator of what Australia wants and what it values. As prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said, the country “voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that Australia voted for marriage equality. Being of a homosexual persuasion, I’m all for gay people having equal rights. They tend to come in very handy. And I’m certainly all for fairness, commitment and love. But I’m just not sure that marriage, as an institution, has anything to do with fairness, commitment or love. Quite the opposite, in fact; marriage has long been about power, property and control. It has traditionally been a way of commoditising women and regulating female sexuality and, in many ways, it still is. We’ve moved on, of course, from the days of coverture when, as William Blackstone describes in Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765), marriage meant that “the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs every thing”. We’ve moved on from the days when raping your spouse was totally fine under the law – although it’s worth remembering that it wasn’t until 1991 that marital rape became a crime in England and Wales. Nevertheless, marriage still hasn’t been properly modernised. In the UK, marriage certificates still have only the names of the couple’s fathers, not their mothers, for example, although there have been numerous efforts to change this recently. The traditions we’ve established around marriage also reinforce outdated gender norms. The diamond engagement rings; the white dresses; the father walking the bride down the aisle; the fact that it’s still considered unusual for a woman to propose. I’m surprised by how many strong, smart, feminist women I know seem to have one foot in the 1950s when it comes to marriage. Not to mention that heterosexual marriage still largely benefits men. Studies show that while tying the knot seems to reduce the chances of men kicking the bucket early, unmarried women don’t experience the same negative health effects as single men. As for marriage encouraging commitment … Well, I’m sorry to say it, but straight people have diluted the institution of marriage. The great and the good of the heterosexual world all seem to treat marriage like an impulse purchase. The president of the United States, for example, has had three wives. Kim Kardashian, the unofficial president, has had three husbands – her second marriage to Kris Humphries famously lasted Peter Hermes Furian/Alamy only 72 days. Which, to be fair, is longer than Britney Spears’s 55-hour marriage. This, perhaps, is down to the burgeoning wedding-industrial complex and the fact that, in many ways, marriage has become more a celebration of consumption than of commitment. Y I’m just not sure that marriage, as an institution, has anything to do with fairness, commitment or love ou don’t have to participate in all that, you might say. It’s perfectly possible to get married without spending a fortune on a diamond ring or having a traditional wedding. It’s perfectly possible to have an equal relationship and stay married for longer than 55 hours. Of course. And I’m glad that Australia voted yes for marriage equality. It’s a heartening sign of progress. But what I think would be even more heartening is if more of us voted no to marriage and if society normalised a more inherently equal form of partnership; one that isn’t permeated by old-fashioned ideals. I don’t often say this, but the French are an inspiration in that regard. France created a system of civil unions in 1999 – the pacte civil de solidarité or Pacs – as a stepping stone to gay marriage. As it turns out, it was embraced by heterosexual couples who weren’t enamoured with traditional marriages and wanted an alternative way to formalise their relationship. In the UK, gay couples can have a civil partnership but heterosexuals can’t, despite the fact that many straight couples are eager for a more modern alternative to marriage and have been fighting for a change in the law. Earlier this year, Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, a couple from London, lost their court of appeal battle to be able to choose a civil partnership over a marriage. I don’t normally feel sorry for straight people claiming “heterosexual discrimination”, but in this case, they’re absolutely right to be angry. Extending civil partnerships to everyone in the UK is vital if we want to call ourselves an equal, progressive society. So now that Australia has put gay marriage equality to the vote, perhaps it’s time for the UK to put straight partnership equality to the vote. After all, who doesn’t love a referendum? Arwa Mahdawi is a writer and brand strategist based in New York 20 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Comment&Debate We can halt the rise of the global far right Timothy Garton Ash Matt Kenyon The nationalist march in Poland is part of an alarming international trend. It is up to all of us – not just politicians – to stop it from spreading E very journalism school should show its students the video clip of the moment this month when a chirpy Polish state television reporter asked a man decked out in red and white national colours what it meant to him to participate in a march celebrating Poland’s independence day. “It means,” replied the man, “to remove from power … Jewry!” Since Poland is governed by the rightwing populistnationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), the obvious next question is: who do you have in mind as Jewry’s current representative in power? The PiS party leader, Jarosław Kaczyński? The prime minister, Beata Szydło, perhaps? Or do you mean someone who is in power elsewhere: Donald Trump or Theresa May, or the Jews on Mars? Throwing away this rare journalistic opportunity to interview an antisemite, the flustered reporter turned to a nearby woman, asking what it meant to be a patriot taking part in the march. When she agreed with the previous speaker, and said she was proud to be there as a Pole among Poles, the reporter turned back to camera saying cheerily: “This is pride, pride that one may be a Pole, pride that one is a Pole!” Call yourself a journalist? Actually, he’s a hack working for the public TV channel TVP Info, now degraded into a PiS propaganda conduit, and he was desperately sticking to the party line that this is just one great, warm, patriotic pride parade. The clip is a brilliant 58-second lesson in how not to be a journalist. I’ve turned my lens on the journalist rather than the antisemite because, faced with a global mainstreaming of far-right ideas from Charlottesville to Moscow, the crucial question is: how should we respond? First, we have to understand what’s going on. In every case, there’s a combination of unique local and generic transnational features. This 11 November “independence march”, which has been an annual event in Warsaw for some years, is organised by homegrown rightwing groups, and has steadily grown in strength. Whereas nationalists in the past tended to be national, there is now an international network of far-right xenophobic activists. These thoroughly modern reactionaries make skilful use of social media. A report from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue shows that some of the most popular trending hashtags favouring the populist-nationalist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in the German election in September were successfully promoted by far-right activists. With the AfD set to be the second-largest opposition party in the Bundestag, Germany is another example of a dangerous blurring of the line between conservative nationalism and far-right extremism. We also see this in Trump’s America. And a recent tweet from the official account of Leave EU described the 15 Tory MPs opposed to enshrining the Brexit date in UK law as “the cancer within their party and traitors to their country”. In the popular front that needs to be formed against this mainstreaming of far-right ideas, three things are especially important: online platforms, public figures and everyday neighbours. What we need from the platforms is more transparency. Twitter, Facebook and others need to understand more quickly how their own platforms are being abused. Public figures need to speak up whenever the outer boundary of legitimate political debate is crossed. The Polish government has just spectacularly failed to do this: minister after minister talking dismissively of minor “incidents” or “provocations” in an otherwise “beautiful march”. And then there’s you and me. We are all neighbours of people susceptible to such views. Every time we hear them expressed, whether in the pub or the cafe, at the football ground or on Facebook, we need to speak up. More at theguardian.com/opinion Opinion In brief I spoil my grandchildren. And I’m OK with that Board games bring out the worst in us Since I became a grandad, the sounds of Friday night have been markedly different. Running feet, cupboard doors being wrenched open, the plunk of the lid coming off the biscuit tin followed by frantic scrabbling, presumably aimed at finding the ones with the most chocolate on them. Then there’s the tearing of crisp packets, then silence will fall for a while, only to be shattered by the restarting of an Xbox until the next sacking of my kitchen. Of course, I know I’m doing wrong. Just last week, research from Glasgow University revealed that overindulgent chain-smoking grandads and grannies are allowing children to slob about, eat what they like, fry their brains, and never take exercise because we’re all too old and slow to run after them. The research may well be right. But can’t I be left with just a few il- It has always astonished me that there are people in the world who are prepared to professionally devote themselves to board games, because, after growing up in a household in which every child had, at times, behaved like Steven Seagal in a pool hall, but with Scrabble tiles, I cannot comprehend the focus and calm that must be required to succeed in that world. So in some ways, I’m not surprised to learn that the Association of British Scrabble Players has banned one of its leading players following allegations of a serious misdemeanour. When I’ve cheated – and I have cheated – it’s because I’ve been so bored by the board game that I’ve longed to bring things to a conclusion. I’ve taken advantage of distracted Monopoly players by taking my turn and not saying, “Oooh, who lusions? Whatever happened to that charming notion that grandparents are the “safe” generation? The one above the parents who can easily be confided in and told things that Mum and Dad can’t be trusted to know. The comforting ones who always keep madeira cake in the tin, homemade lemonade in the larder and an inexhaustible supply of peppermints in a jar. That we are the providers of a place where children can enter their own dream world without being constantly pursued with rules and regulations. It could be that we are, in fact, the generation that first let the brakes off a bit, then bred a generation that let them off even more. And now we’re all reaping the whirlwind. I’m interrupted in this reverie by a sound from the kitchen. There goes the biscuit tin again. Peter White owns Park Lane?” I may not have secretly refreshed my unused Scrabble tiles, but I have sworn that Qxatt is a word. I’ve even broken wind unapologetically to mask the noise of the telltale buzz in Operation. I admit that I’m unscrupulous, but this is born out of a healthy disrespect for the rules. Even though those rules are enforced by my family members in a painful way. Once, when I was flagging after three hours of Monopoly, and trying to make my escape, one of my sisters said: “In Victorian times, a man went to prison for abandoning a game.” Board games can produce the strangest, least reasonable behaviour from the most unlikely people. If tensions are already running high and everyone has had some Baileys, Scrabble should come with a trigger warning. Daisy Buchanan The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 21 Comment&Debate In praise of ... A Sistine soprano As Zimbabwe’s army took control of the government in Harare, Theresa May faced pressures of her own in the UK The ties that bind us can unravel George Monbiot Public projects such as the NHS and BBC define the UK as a nation. Without that cohesion, we risk authoritarianism S o what is this United Kingdom we are asked to love? This might once have been an easy question. National identity was built around a range of institutions, considered to represent the national interest. Rebellion against them was characterised as treason. But one by one, these institutions have been subverted from within. Look to the top to see treachery at work. The most obvious – and most trivial – example is the way in which the crown has used investment vehicles based in offshore secrecy regimes to enhance its wealth. The Paradise Papers show that both the Queen’s investors (the Duchy of Lancaster) and Prince Charles’s private estate (the Duchy of Cornwall) have been conducting their affairs beyond the view of government. If the crown mocks its own agencies in this way, why should anyone else respect them? But this, by comparison to other recent revelations, is froth. Former international development secretary Priti Patel’s engagements in Israel, which included discussions about a plan to divert British aid money to the Israeli army for “humanitarian operations” in the occupied Golan Heights, raised the question of whose national interests she was representing, the UK’s or Israel’s. The governments of Saudi Arabia and the US seem to benefit from British decisions that seem more attuned to their interests than to ours. Brexit is likely to exacerbate this tendency. We were promised that in leaving the EU we would regain our sovereignty. But in abandoning an association based on equal standing, we expose ourselves to coercion by other nations. Our relationship with the US, especially under the stewardship of the trade secretary Liam Fox, is likely to look like that of servant and master. Fox, preposterously, is now the only official member of the UK’s board of trade. The new trade bill would grant him Henry VIII powers, enabling him to create laws without parliamentary approval. He will, in effect, be given a licence to do whatever he wants. We know where his inclinations lie: he was forced to resign from his previous job as defence secretary for For the past 500 years, sacred music has echoed up towards Michelangelo’s sublime ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, performed exclusively by male choirs. Now, in a development that will delight both music lovers and reform-minded Catholics, one of the church’s gender taboos has finally been broken. Cecilia Bartoli, one of Italy’s most celebrated classical singers, has become the first woman to perform inside the chapel with the all-male Sistine Chapel Choir. Last Friday night the mezzosoprano joined the 20 men and 30 boys who make up the choir, among the oldest choral groups in the world, to sing Beata Viscera, by the Renaissance composer Pérotin. A few days before, the five-time Grammy award-winner told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that she was “in seventh heaven” about the prospect of performing in the chapel. “It’s a huge privilege,” she added. Angela Giuffrida blurring the boundary between official business and corporate interests. Fox allowed a corporate lobbyist, Adam Werritty, to attend official meetings. But Werritty also ran the UK office of the organisation Fox founded, the Atlantic Bridge. This group sought to strengthen the ties between neocons in the UK and US, partly by working with corporate-funded US lobby groups. Already, Fox has suggested that our food standards could be lowered to facilitate a trade agreement with the US. But this is just the beginning of what threatens to become a full-spectrum assault on our sovereignty. It is hard to see how the UK, even if so inclined, could easily resist US demands for the most extreme form of investor-state dispute settlement – offshore tribunals run by corporate lawyers, through which corporations can sue nation states for compensation for lost assets. These tribunals offer no representation for third parties and no right of appeal. The result is a curtailment of parliament’s ability to pass laws protecting the public interest. Sovereignty and democracy lose their meaning. So what remains, to which we might attach ourselves? In the UK as a whole and England in particular, almost every cultural reference point is poorly defined, weak and contested. All that remain as widely shared, commonly accepted sources of national pride are our public services: the NHS, the BBC, the education system, social security, our great libraries and museums. But all have been gutted, disciplined and undermined by those who roundly assert their patriotism. When the enabling state, providing robust public services and a strong social safety net, is allowed to wither, what remains is the authoritarian state, which must coerce and frighten. As the enabling state shrinks, the flags must be unfurled, the national anthem played, schoolchildren taught their kings and queens, and more elaborate pieties offered to dead soldiers, because nothing else is left with which to hold us together. National pride becomes toxic, and is used as a weapon against anyone who seeks to express their love for the country by reforming it. The institutions charged with defending the national interest become its deadly enemies. 22 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 theguardianweekly Comment Brexit and the Irish border Britain’s dereliction Conservative Brexiters have shown that they simply could not care less about Ireland. In the referendum campaign, few gave even a passing thought to the impact of a leave vote on the relationship between Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK and the republic. When the vote went their way – though they lost in Northern Ireland – the Brexiters then gave bland assurances that the decision would make absolutely no difference to the island’s soft border, the legacy of the peace process, or north-south and east-west cooperation. This was, and is, nonsense. The Irish government warned immediately that serious difficulties had been created by the vote and by Theresa May’s wish to leave the single market and customs union. In practice, though, this warning was not taken seriously in London. The peace agreements had been the fruit of long years of cooperative work. But the neighbourly mentality that made them possible has gone missing in London. The truth is that the Brexit wing of the Tory party does not take Ireland into account. This failure is compounded by Mrs May’s foolish pact to construct a majority with the votes of the Democratic Unionist party. Once again, no thought was given to the effect on relations with the republic and the European Union. The bland assurances have continued right up to the present, even though the EU has made absolutely clear that “sufficient progress” on the Irish border issue was one of the three preconditions to permit the next phase of talks on future relations. If good neighbourliness, a feeling for the history of these islands and a clear understanding of the UK national interest truly informed the government’s approach, Mrs May would have said from the outset that Britain should remain in the EU customs union. This would have benefited manufacturers and jobs, and would have largely solved the Irish border problem. Above all, the civic healing between the republic, the north and Britain would continue uninterrupted. This is still what should happen. The moment of truth will be at the December EU council. In marked contrast to the Irish government, which has warned that the governments are diverging not converging, the British government position still lacks political or moral seriousness. This is a disgrace. To much of Europe, Brexit appears to be an exercise in British self-harm, which it is. But in Ireland Brexit is potentially lethal too. If the UK government’s policy is followed, the border between north and south will become hard, not soft; guarded, not unguarded; controlled, not free. The consequences of this change could be deeply destructive to the peace process. But, even more than that, they would be a gratuitous act of hostility towards the Irish economy and people. Even if the history did not matter, that would be unforgivable. Yemen A shameful catastrophe Twenty years ago, Tony Blair acknowledged the British government’s responsibility for the Irish famine that killed 1 million people. Now we are on the brink of another famine – perhaps the worst for decades, says a UN aid chief – and Britain must again bear blame. The UN called Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis even before Saudi Arabia decided to blockade the country earlier this month. Now the heads of three key agencies have warned that millions are on the brink of starvation. Unicef fears that 150,000 children could die by the end of the year. Twenty million people, more than two-thirds of the population, are in urgent need of humanitarian supplies. An impoverished country has been destroyed by what is both a civil and a proxy war. Houthi rebels, allied to Iran, drove out the internationally recognised president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, allying with his predecessor, who had been ousted in the Arab spring. Since then 10,000 lives have been lost, many to heavy bombing by the Saudi Arabian- led coalition, with arms and military support from the US, UK and others. The blockade has taken this terrible, futile conflict to a new depth. It seeks to starve a population into submission – a crime against humanity horrifically familiar from its ongoing use in Syria as well as elsewhere. Britain’s staunch support for Riyadh makes it complicit. The ultimate solution is political, of course. But prospects for a deal look even further away than they did a year ago. Players on the ground are profiting from the war, while others starve. Saudi Arabia’s rivalry with Iran is intensifying and expanding. Britain is resolute in its longterm alliance with Saudi Arabia and its determination to shore up arms exports – £4.6bn ($6bn) worth of weapons sales to Riyadh have been licensed since the war in Yemen began – especially with Brexit pending. Britain should stop selling arms to Riyadh and shout out the need to end the blockade. To do anything less is wrong and shameful. History will not be kind. The departure of Gerry Adams may not matter Malachi O’Doherty The maxim that all political careers end in failure will not apply to the retiring Irish Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. He has managed his departure in such a way as to avert any demand from the party that he go. No one in Sinn Féin was thought likely to step forward as a challenger; this is not a party that caters for the dissenting voice. Adams was seen as having stayed on too long and lost his focus. The prospects of the party governing in coalition were undermined by his leadership. So all sides understood it was time for Adams to go. But this had to be managed in such a way that the party could be assured he really was stepping down without it appearing to turn against him. Adams has been stepping back in recent months. But he has also been politically busy in Northern Ireland, where he pulled down the institutions and stirred the party into action. Ostensibly, it was the decision of Sinn Féin’s Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness to crash devolution by resigning and forcing an election. When Adams came north to embolden the party, the issue suddenly became deeper and wider. It became about the Democratic Unionist Party’s inability to accord equality to republicans, to Irish-language speakers, to victims of the security forces, as well as its record on gay and lesbian rights. Battles long lost, or paused, were resumed. A March election brought Sinn Féin almost level with the DUP in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Despite the greatest advance in republican politics in the North, Adams chose to prolong negotiations to force a DUP humiliation. Sinn Féin is a party fostered by the IRA and that for most of its history took instructions from the IRA. But now there is to be a procedure for replacing Adams as president, we will see how transparent that process is, or if it really is so unnaturally coherent as a political party that no alternative vision exists within it. Adams’s ultimate achievement may be to have shaped Sinn Féin in his image so firmly that his departure will make no difference. Malachi O’Doherty is the author of Gerry Adams: An Unauthorised Life The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 23 Reply Briefly One wonders where Natalie Nougayrède has been hiding all her life, after reading her piece Russian cyberwarfare threatens democracy itself (10 November). After reading for decades about US support for coups around the world, the training of murderous dictators at the US-based School of the Americas, the handing of lists of thousands of communist sympathisers and civil rights activists to Indonesian murderers for execution in the 1960s, and working to ensure the demise of democratically elected rulers it dislikes, such as Chile’s Salvador Allende, she claims some Russian ads on Facebook and the revelation of Hillary Clinton’s emails may have huge “ramifications … The US and the UK … may have had their political integrity compromised by hostile foreign meddling … If that turns out to be true, then we are looking at an entirely new world.” The “new world” that she envisions is simply one where a few sneaky computer manipulations, which at the most hoped to “sow discord and confusion”, lead to horrific outrage, while our support for and training of murderous campaigns and the destruction of civic society is seen as a paragon of democratic integrity. I wonder what term George Orwell would use to describe this? Richard Abram Sydney, Australia • It is surprising that none of the articles in the Guardian Weekly that discuss the Catalan referendum (3 November) refer to that classic of the Spanish civil war, Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. Relevant to today’s issues, the hospitality of the Catalan people should be noted, as well as the rigours and pointlessness of the battle. Louise Joy Heathcote, Victoria, Australia • Natalie Nouygayrède’s commentary on the Russians using social media to influence not only the US election but also the Brexit referendum matches Andrew Simms’s back-page essay (10 November) on using folktales and myths to “guide us out of the dark woods” that such clandestine sleights of hand can lead us into. Simms mentions in this regard “the charismatic trickster”, a familiar figure in shamanic mythology who has the power to manipulate and fool others to achieve his own sinister ends. Sound familiar? Richard Orlando Westmount, Quebec, Canada Letters for publication email@example.com Please include a full postal address and a reference to the article. We may edit letters. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions, see: gu.com/letters-terms Editorial Acting editor: Graham Snowdon Guardian Weekly, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, UK Gary Kempston The real threat to democracy Let’s talk about immigration Both Carlos Lozada’s review (3 November) and the book he was reviewing, Sasha Polakow-Suransky’s Go Back to Where You Came From, perfectly, if unwittingly, show us why many voters are now turning to xenophobic far-right parties. These voters are overwhelmingly ordinary people who are not themselves xenophobic or rightwing but are fearful for themselves, their families, their communities and often their jobs. And where else can they go but to those extreme parties, when no one in positions of power on the centre or centre-left will take their fears seriously? Not for a moment, in either the review or the book, is the possibility seriously considered that they might have a point. That immigration might need to be controlled for the good of those who are already in the UK and to help prevent the decline of general conditions – welfare, employment, infrastructure and (not least) the environment – not only for natives but for immigrants too. That there is a genuine discussion to be had about all this, whose conclusions are not already foregone, as they clearly are for Lozada and Polakow-Suransky. Merely pretending to listen, as the latter recommends, isn’t going to fool anyone. So if xenophobia does become mainstream, step forward, self-satisfied upholders of enlightened correctitude! You will have done your bit. Patrick Curry London, UK To contact the editor directly: firstname.lastname@example.org On social media facebook.com/guardianweekly Twitter: @guardianweekly Subscriptions You can subscribe at subscribe.theguardian.com/weekly Or manage your subscription at subscribe.theguardian.com/manage • The excellent article by Fintan O’Toole on disparities in wealth (27 October) reminds me of a quote from Plutarch, “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” The level of inequality between the “haves” and “have nots” seems to be increasing at an exponential rate, in terms of income and wealth. How fitting that this article should appear just days before the release of the Paradise Papers. It would seem too many of our republics are suffering from this ailment. But will it prove fatal? George Hanna Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand • I do not consider the commemoration of two world wars via Remembrance Day to be wallowing in the past and meaning it is time to move on, as Simon Jenkins suggests (17 November). We are also remembering those who continue to be maimed, killed and starved in ongoing wars. We can stop wallowing in the past when our present stops killing men, women and children and when millions of refugees no longer have to flee for their lives. Susan Watson Jurbise, Belgium • Regarding Theresa May’s political woes, first Michael Fallon went, then Priti Patel had to also go (17 November). I feel Oscar Wilde might have observed that “to lose one cabinet minister may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness”. Alan Williams-Key Madrid, Spain Or contact: UK, Europe and Rest of World email@example.com +44 (0) 330 333 6767 USA and Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org Toll Free: +1-844-632-2010 Direct line: +1-917-900-4663 Australia/New Zealand: email@example.com Toll Free: 1 800 773 766 Direct line: +61 (0)2 8076 8599 From the archive 24 November 1960 Wedgwood Benn renounces his title Mr Anthony Wedgwood Benn – as he prefers to call himself – has formally executed an instrument of renunciation of the Stansgate peerage and has returned the letters patent to the Lord Chamberlain at Buckingham Palace. He plans to petition the House of Commons asking it to consider new arguments why he should not be disqualified from remaining a member of the Lower House. Yesterday, at a press conference, he objected to the description being given to him, “the reluctant peer,” and said he much preferred “the persistent commoner.” Mr Benn distinguishes his case from those of previous MPs who have inherited peerages in that no one before has ever tried to renounce his peerage in order to stay in the Commons. In fact it was quite normal to try to renounce titles until 1678 when the House of Lords laid it down that no peer could renounce his title but mainly on the grounds that the Crown was trying to bring pressure to bear on certain individuals to do so. Now there can no longer be that excuse. Mr Benn is not anxious to have the right of sitting in the Commons as a peer. This was what Lord Hailsham proposed, to Lord Attlee, when he succeeded to his title. Naturally Mr Benn would not refuse the opportunity to stay in the Commons as a peer. But he would much prefer to renounce his title. If the Government takes a rooted objection to Mr Benn’s stand then it can quite easily thwart any of his proposals, but the important point about them is that they are argued closely along constitutional lines. [The Peerage Act 1963 allowed Benn to disclaim his peerage for life] Corrections and Clarifications • A closed-down Toyota plant mentioned in a piece about Australian Holden cars (3 November) was in Altona, Victoria, and not Geelong as we stated. The Guardian Weekly’s policy is to correct significant errors as soon as possible. Please give the date, page or web link: guardian.readers@ theguardian.com or The readers’ editor, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, United Kingdom. 24 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Eyewitnessed Work nears completion on a massive underground cemetery beneath Jerusalem. Tunnels stretching more than a kilometre in length beneath the city’s main cemetery have been excavated to m A tide mark left by flash flooding in a house in central Greece. At least 20 people were killed by the floods as the Athens government announced emergency aid measures AP Riot police in Nantes are splattered with paint as protesters clash with officers during a demonstration against the French government’s economic and social reforms Reuters The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 25 make room for 22,000 graves. The project is scheduled for completion next year AP Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, looks on at the Asean-European Union summit in Manila amid growing concern over the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine state Reuters A woman pauses for a selfie in China’s futuristic new Tianjin Binhai library, which has floor-to-ceiling shelving, media rooms and 1.2m books on display Fred Dufour/Getty A field worker extracts raw opium from poppy buds in Afghanistan. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says the country’s opium production increased by 87% in 2017 EPA 26 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 My travels in white America On a trip from Maine to Mississippi, former US reporter Gary Younge found a land of anxiety, division and pain – fertile territory for the far right J eff Baxter’s enduring memory, from childhood, is the glow. Coming down over the hill overlooking the coke plant in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the molten iron would make itself known – both as a vision and an aspiration. “It’s like the sun landed there,” says Baxter, a burly, bearded retiree, who achieved his boyhood dream of becoming a steelworker. Today the plant, like the one Baxter worked in for 30 years, stands derelict – a shell that represents a hollowing out not just of the local economy but of culture and hope – as though someone extinguished Baxter’s sun and left the place in darkness. Buildings in the centre of town that were once testament to the industrial wealth produced here stand abandoned. More than 40% of the population now live below the poverty line; 9.1% are unemployed. Cambria County, where Johnstown sits, was once a swing county. Al Gore won it in 2000; George W Bush took it in 2004; it went to Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 – each time by fairly narrow margins. Last year Donald Trump won it in a landslide. ‘I voted for Trump and what’s he done so far? He hasn’t done anything’ Baxter, who once backed Obama, voted for Trump, the first time he had ever voted Republican. “I liked [Obama’s] message of hope, but he didn’t bring any jobs in … Trump said he was going to make America great. And I figured: ‘That’s what we need. We need somebody like that to change it.’” Over at the century-old Coney Island Lunch, this once-bustling institution famous for its chilli dogs and sundowners is virtually empty. “A lot of people have left town,” says Peggy, who has been serving at the diner for nine years. “There are no jobs. If you’re going to have a life or a steady income, you know, you need to get out of here, because there’s nothing here. I expect a lot of towns go this way. You know, when the steel mills died and the coal died. It’s sad, it’s very sad.” Across from the counter, Ted sits in a T-shirt emblazoned with a Native American in full headdress. He thinks white America is getting a rough deal and will soon be extinct. “There’s not many white Americans left. They’re a dying breed. It’s going to be yellow-white Americans, African-American white Americans, you know what I’m saying? The cultures are coming together,” he says, with more than a hint of melancholy. “Blending and blending, and pretty soon we’ll just be one colour.” Ted also voted for Trump. “I liked him on TV. I voted for him, all right, but it was because he was supposedly going to make America great, and what’s he done so far? He hasn’t done anything.” Two days after I spoke to Ted and Peggy, Coney Island Lunch closed down. In the 12 years I reported from the US I saw no end of white journalists opine on black America. This The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 27 A dish best not served at all? How revenge can leave you cold → Discovery, pages 32-33 Privileged? the Trump House in Youngstown, Pennsylvania, left. Below from top: a derelict steel plant in Johnstown; the opioid-hit city of Williamsport; a heroin user in Philadelphia. Inset, neo-Nazis in Charlottesville Getty summer I took a trip through white America, driving from Maine (the whitest state) to Mississippi (the blackest), to flip the script. Talking only to white people, I attended a white supremacist conference, accompanied an emergency health worker who sought to revive people who had overdosed, and went to a comedy club in the French Quarter of New Orleans to see the “Liberal Redneck” perform. I was told the Ku Klux Klan were liberals (they weren’t), that Confederate general Robert E Lee didn’t own slaves (he did) and that I could not be British because I’m black (I am). It was a few weeks before the disturbances in Charlottesville, when a mob of white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and Klansmen, converged on a college town in Virginia, terrorising protesters and leaving one dead and many injured. Just seven months after the US had bidden farewell to its first black president, his successor said there were “some very fine people” marching with the neo-Nazis who chanted: “Jews will not replace us.” A poll shortly afterwards showed that almost half of white Americans thought they were “under attack” and one in three thought the country needs to do more to preserve its white European n heritage. Any reckoning with how the US got to this point, politically, demands some me interrogation of how white America a got to this place economically and culturally; that takes into account both their relative privilege and their huge pockets of pain. White Americans make up a majority of the country. Compared with other races, they may enjoy an n immense concentration of wealth and nd power. But these privileges are nonetheetheless underpinned by considerable anxiety. Their health is failing (white people’s life expectancy has stalled or dipped in recent years), their wages are stagnating (adjusting for inflation, they are just 10% higher now than they were 44 years ago) and class fluidity is drying up (the prospects of poor white Americans breaking through class barriers are worse now than they have been for a long time). Out-traded by China (in 2016 the trade deficit with the country was $347bn); soon to be outnumbered at home (within a generation white people will be a minority); and outmanoeuvred on the battlefields of the Arab world and beyond (neither of the wars launched in response to 9/11 have ended in victory), these vulnerabilities are felt at home and abroad. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter protesters are in the streets over police brutality, football players are taking a knee and the movement to bring legal status to large numbers of undocumented people grows. White Americans feel more pessimistic about their future than any other group. Almost two-thirds of white working-class people think the country has changed for the worse since the 50s. I covered the last presidential election from Muncie, Indiana, once seen as the archetypal US town thanks to the Middletown project, a sociological study first published in the 20s. Many of the white working-class areas on the south side of Muncie were similar to Johnstown. The head of Middletown studies at the city’s Ball State University, James Connolly, told me this was the area he had found most difficult when it came to finding contacts. Whereas African Americans in the northeast of the city had strong churches and campaigning organisations, he explained, the poorer white areas had few champions. “Nobody speaks up for the poor,” said Jamie Walsh, a white working-class woman who grew up in Muncie, explaining Trump’s appeal to those she grew up with on Muncie’s Southside. “There is systemic racism, but black people have advocates. Poor white people don’t. They’re afraid. They’re afraid that they’re stupid. They don’t feel racist, they don’t feel sexist, they don’t want to offend people or say the wrong thing. But white privilege is like a blessing and a curse if you’re poor. The whole idea pisses poor white people off because they’ve never experienced it on a level that they understand. “You hear privilege, and you think ‘money and opportunity’, and they don’t have it. I understand how it works but I don’t think most people do. So when Trump says stuff, they can understand what he’s saying and he speaks to them in a way other people don’t. And then you’ve got people calling them stupid and deplorable. Well, how long do you think you can call people stupid and deplorable before they get mad?” For many white Americans, their racial privilege increasingly resides not in positive benefits of work and security but in the sole fact that it could be worse – they could be black or Latino. In other words, their whiteness is all they have left. In few clearer than the opioid epidemic, areas is this cl which is disproportionately affecting white America. Wander down Oxford Street, home to one of the main shelters in Portland, Maine, and sh you can see people, distraught, yo disoriented and desperate, d openly struggling with their ado diction long into the night. di “In the past we might go months and not have an overdose mo call,” said paramedic Andrea Calvo, as we drov drove around the city. “And we had a day, not to too long ago, when I think we did 14 overdoses … the majority of people, certainly in this area in this state, probably in the country, are somehow affected by addiction issues.” A member of her family struggles with addiction. She constantly worried that one day she would be called to assist her. Andrew Kieszulas was a 22-year-old sports star from a middle-class family when his doctor first prescribed opioids for a back injury. With his thick neck perched on top of mountainous shoulders, he had the air of an all-American boy from an all-American family. But behind the facade things had started to go wrong. “Very quickly, the prescription drugs were removed and I was left with an emotional addiction, a mental addiction and a very physical addiction to the opiates – and, very quickly, I transitioned over to street drugs,” he said. Kieszulas has had to struggle hard to remain sober these last five years. His achievements are his own. But he would be the first to tell you that being white helped. When black America was blighted by the crack epidemic, it was understood as a crisis of culture and treated as a problem of crime. African Americans were locked up in unprecedented numbers, leaving more Americans in prison than had been incarcerated in the Soviet gulags at their height and more African Americans in prison than had been enslaved in 1850. “If you are white and middle class, it’s much easier to remove the negative consequences of a use disorder,” Kieszulas said. Continued on page 28 → 28 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Weekly review ← Continued from page 27 “You’re less likely to go to jail, less likely to have any kind of negative criminal consequence. I myself don’t have a criminal record. I did some very interesting things to support my habit and to find relief. And transitioning out of that without a criminal record at all? I think it speaks for itself.” Thanks to contamination through needle sharing, the opioid epidemic is also turning into an HIV crisis, which is particularly acute in rural white areas. Of the most vulnerable 5% of counties at risk of an HIV outbreak, almost all voted for Trump. In late October Trump called it a “public health emergency”, while offering little in the way of new funding. When your privilege equates to this amount of pain, no wonder you can’t see it. But just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. If there’s one thing that 200 years of slavery and 100 years of segregation did for African Americans, it was to temper their investment in the myth that the US is a meritocracy. The notion that if you worked hard and kept your nose clean, you would get on was always stymied by the grim realities of racial barriers. “America was never America to me,” wrote the Harlem renaissance poet Langston Hughes in 1935’s Let America Be America Again. “There’s never been equality for me / Nor freedom in this ‘homeland of the free’.” What’s new is that Trump has emboldened the bigots in a fashion not seen in modern times But for many white Americans the expectation that each year would be better than the next and each generation healthier and wealthier provided the core for optimism. However, with those assumptions being eroded, the mood is now more reminiscent of a post-colonial country. People are looking back for a sense of hope. Ask Trump voters when they would like to go back to if they wanted to make America great again and they will give you a date. Jeff Baxter wants to go back to the glow of the 60s, Ted to the 80s, others to the 50s and beyond. There are, of course, many white Americans looking forward, fighting for their place in a more equal and just multiracial future. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, was killed while protesting against the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville when Violent struggle ... injured counter-protesters at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville a car, allegedly driven by a neo-Nazi sympathiser, ploughed into the crowd. “She wanted equality,” her father, Mark Heyer, said. “And in this issue of the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate.” Her mother, Susan Bro, refused to take the president’s condolence call. “I’ve heard it said that the murder of my daughter was part of making America great,” Bro said. “The blood on the streets … is that what made America great? Attacking innocent people with a vehicle … is that what made America great?” When American Renaissance, a white supremacist group straining to put a veneer of intellectualism and respectability on its bigotry, came to Montgomery Bell state park near Nashville in the summer, they were met by a crowd of mostly white protesters, chanting: “No Klan, no hate, no racists in our state.” One told me that Trump’s election had shaken some white people out of their complacency. “We were asleep at the wheel,” she said. “We can no longer find comfort in silence. We have to dig up all the courage we have, to take a stand for what’s morally right.” On the journey back to Nashville I stopped at a secondhand shop on the roadside, selling Confederate paraphernalia, owned by Nikki who had a complicated relationship to the stars and bars. “I’m a proud southerner,” she said. “But you and I both know the [American] civil war’s basically about slavery,” she told me. “Thank God we lost, thank God … but it doesn’t mean that we still don’t wanna honour our dead.” Trump did not create this anxiety nor this division. References to the civil war and the Klan illustrate for just how long white America has been riven by its sense of moral purpose and material privilege. What is new is that Trump has emboldened the bigots and channelled their thinking in a fashion not seen in modern times. A president who draws a moral equivalent between neo-Nazis and anti-fascist protesters, who baits black athletes and black journalists, brands Mexicans rapists and Muslims terrorists. One of those to whom he has given confidence is Richard Spencer, the intellectually unimpressive, historically illiterate huckster who rallied the far right in Charlottesville. Spencer, who wants to create an “ethno-state” for white people, claims to have coined the term “alt-right” – a sanitised word for the extreme right. In July last year Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, boasted that his website Breitbart News was a “platform for the alt-right”. When I encountered Spencer at Montgomery Bell park, he emerged carrying a glass of what smelled like bourbon and an entourage of adoring bigots soon surrounded me in the car park. More odious troll than eloquent polemicist, he claimed, among other things, that Africans had benefited from white supremacy and that, despite having been banned from 26 European countries, Europe would always be more his home than mine. “If Africans had never existed, world history would be almost exactly the same as it is today,” he claimed. “Because we are the genius that drives it.” Like a vulture preying on the anxiety, and with few alternatives on offer – as much as people cited Trump as the problem, few offered Democrats as the solution – he felt confident. “People are now aware of the term ‘alt-right’ … I don’t think Trump shares the ideal of the ethnostate … But he wouldn’t have run the campaign that he ran if he didn’t feel some sense of loss, that America has lost something,” he said. He felt he was gaining influence. This was one of the few accurate things he actually said. And by far the most chilling. Taking civil rights back to the streets Amid growing US anxiety, one preacher is reviving older tactics to raise hope, writes Oliver Laughland T he Rev Dr William Barber stands at the pulpit where Martin Luther King Jr preached 50 years ago, issuing an impassioned call to arms, his deep baritone filling the church. “It’s time for a breakthrough,” he calls, almost howling, sweat dripping from his brow, as an organist punches frantic chords in accompaniment. “We’ve got to break through the silence. We’ve got to break through the hate. A breakthrough until every poor person has a guaranteed income.” “Hallelujah!” the 600-strong congregation cries. The walls of the Stone Temple Baptist church almost seem to shudder. “A breakthrough until voting rights are secure, until we are truly one nation,” he calls, hurling his notes from the lectern and hauling his almost two-metre frame across the stage. The oration is infectious, Barber’s brand of liberation theology fusing constitutional politics and biblical principles of love and mercy. It makes not just the hairs on your neck stand on end, but your whole body sway. The 54-year-old pastor from North Carolina is not just here to preach h – this is the start off what he hopes will be a nationwide nwide movement to complete the work that King ng could not. It is the first organised campaign of civil disobedience in the Donald Trump era. Its aim? To bring about a “moral revival across the US”. Chicago was the eighth stop on the pastor’s exhaustive tour of 14 states, ates, laying the foundations for a new Poorr People’s Campaign – the last movement ment of the civil rights era, which eff ffectively ended after King’s death. ath. The 1968 campaign attempted ed to push Congress into passsing an economic bill of rightss including a package of guaranteed income, equitable housing and funds for poorr communities. But this time me around, with the new campaign gn in its infancy, the aim is broader: der: to unite the disenfranchised groups oups in the US – across the spectrums of race and sexuality – under a common cause. “We The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 29 Kicker here like this Then a short description here like this → Then Section and page XX have to remember that the civil rights movement did not just end,” says Barber before the evening service. “It was assassinated by killing the leaders, it was assassinated through division. Throughout our trips, what we’re finding is there is still a need for that coalition that Dr King talked about in 68 in coming together to address the evils of racism, militarism, systemic poverty and ecological devastation.” We were driving through the streets of Chicago’s West Side as the sun was setting, and Barber’s point was perhaps best made simply by looking out of the window on to some of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. Fifty years after King came to Stone Temple Baptist church as part of his campaign against slum housing, some areas here still have a poverty rate of 60%. In a neighbourhood a few kilometres from the church, the life expectancy is just 69 years. “Some issues are not about left and right, Republican and Democrat – they’re about our deepest moral values,” says Barber. “And we believe that you have to have a campaign, a movement, that seeks to reshape the moral narrative.” the past four years as the The pastor has spent th backbone b ackbone of the Moral Mon Mondays campaign in North disobedience movement that balCarolina, a civil disobedien of state voter suplooned after fighting a series ser pression laws, which disproportionately dispr affected poor people of colour. The movement now covers progressive issues. The sustained a broad range of progressiv campaign began commanding comman national attention when, every Monday, Monda scores of protesters the state capitol building started entering th and laying their bodies down for arrest. More than 900 people were arrested the campaign; Barber has throughout th lost count of how h many times he was handcuffs. placed in ha The movement scored major mo victories, victori culminating in a supreme suprem court decision ruling state v voter laws unconstitutional, tional and the unseating of the R Republican governor Pat McCrory in 2016. M Barber – who cocchairs the campaign with Demonstrators at a Moral Monday protest, above; right, William Barber arrested again; bottom left, Barber campaigning Main photograph Martha Waggoner/AP the Rev Dr Liz Theoharis, a pastor from New York City – hopes to sign up 1,000 people in 25 states and DC for a season of civil disobedience in the spring. Protesters will stage sit-ins at state capitols and Congress under a “moral agenda” encompassing issues from LGBT and voting rights to immigration reform and access to healthcare. The campaign has partnered with dozens of local groups across the country. It is perhaps the most ambitious civil rights campaign since the 60s. A few days after the service in Chicago, Barber is back at the Greenleaf Christian church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he has led the congregation since 1993. Despite the campaign’s rigorous schedule, he tries to come back for Sunday service every weekend, tending to his flock in one of North Carolina’s most racially segregated cities. These days, he is no longer just preaching to the 200 or so in the pews, but tens of thousands online. In 2016, he gave an electrifying speech at the Democratic national convention, calling for “moral defibrillators of our time” to “shock this nation with the power of love” – it was an address that thrust an already well-known civil rights leader on to the global stage. That morning he gives a sermon titled: “How can I love those who are doing things that I cannot like?” This was the day after Trump told the Voter Values Summit, an annual meeting of conservative activists, that he was “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values”. The president went on to renew a pledge to “step by step” remove Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation that offers insurance to millions of low-income Americans. ‘I do not have deep hatred for the president … but you can’t boast about taking people’s healthcare’ Barber is at his magnetic best again, offering a thundering rebuke. “Their values are cash and not Christ. Greed and not grace. But I do not have any deep hatred for the president, because there is so much potential for good. I love him as a human being. But I can’t like, because what the president did was irreligious and irreverent. You can’t go boasting about taking people’s healthcare. That’s not Christian.” The congregation applauds. “You’re right pastor,” they shout. “Amen.” Barber views this new movement not just as a challenge to the extremist Republicanism embodied by Trump’s presidency, but also to what he describes as “white evangelicalism and its connection to white nationalism”. This hardline Christianity has arguably been the dominant religious force in US rightwing politics for decades. White evangelicals are the religious group most likely to vote Republican, holding substantial voting blocks in swing states such as Florida, and voted overwhelmingly for Trump, following a string of high-profile endorsements from denomination leaders who were buoyed by his commitment to rolling back access to abortion and protecting the second amendment. Barber, a mainstream Protestant, brands it a “heretical form and presentation of faith to cover up for people’s greed and desire for power”. The Bible, after all, he says, contains little on abortion, but has thousands of passages on how to treat the disenfranchised. 30 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Weekly review Turning the tide on global warming The battle to avert catastrophic climate change looked lost, but coordination of seven megatrends oﬀers experts hope, says Damian Carrington E verybody gets paralysed by bad news because they feel helpless,” says Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the landmark Paris climate change agreement. “It is so in our personal lives, in our national lives and in our planetary life.” But it is becoming increasingly clear that it does not need to be all bad news: a series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming. From trends already at full steam, including renewable energy, to those just now hitting the big time, such ic cars, to those just emerging, as mass-market electric ed such as plant-based at, alternatives to meat, hat these trends show that ions greenhouse gas emissions can be halted. g linear “If we were seeing y good, progress, I would say but we’re not going to o make it s, now the in time,” says Figueres, on 2020 iniconvener of the Mission hat the world tiative, which warns that has only three years to get carbon emissions on a downward ward curve and on the way to beating global warming. e seeing progress “But the fact is we are that is growing exponentially, entially, and that is what gives or hope.” me the most reason for No one is saying the battle to avert catastrophic climate change – floods, droughts, famine, mass migrations – has been won. But these megatrends show the battle has not yet been lost, and that the tide is turning in the right direction. “The important thing is to reach a healthy balance where we recognise that we are seriously challenged, because we really have only three years left to reach the tipping point,” says Figueres. “But at the same time, the fact is we are already seeing many, many positive trends.” Michael Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, agrees. “The good news is we are way better than we thought we could be. We are not going to get through this w without damage. But we can avoid the worst. I am optimistic, but there is a long way to go go.” Also cautiously hopeful h is climate economist Nicholas Nicho Stern at the London School of Economics. “These trends trend are the start of somethin something that might be enough – tthe two key words are ‘star ‘start’ and ‘might’.” He sa says the global clim climate negotiations, w h i c h r e c e nt l y ttook place in Germany, and aiming to implement the Paris deal, are crucial: in the Paris “The acceleration embodied embodi agreement is going to be critic critical.” 2 Renewable energy Time to shine Production costs for solar panels and wind turbines have plunged – by 90% in the past decade for solar, for example – and are continuing to fall. As a result, in many parts of the world they are already the cheapest electricity available and installation is soaring: two-thirds of all new power in 2016 was renewable. The International Energy Agency’s annual projections have anticipated linear growth for solar power every year for the past decade. In reality, growth has been exponential. China is leading the surge but in Germany earlier this month, there was so much wind power one weekend that customers got free electricity. In the US, enthusiasm for green energy has not been dented by president Donald Trump committing to repeal key climate legislation: $30bn has been invested since he signed an executive order in March. 1 Methane Getting to the meat Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the main greenhouse gas, but methane and nitrous oxide are more potent and, unlike CO2, still rising. The major source is livestock farming, in particular belching cattle and their manure. The world’s appetite for meat and nd dairy foods is rising as people’s in-comes rise, but in the last year, a potential solution has burst on to the market: plant-based meat, which has a tiny environmental footprint. What sounds like an oxymoron – food that looks and tastes just as good as meat or dairy products but is made from plants – has attracted heavy investment. In the US, Bill Gates has backed two plant-based burger compaompanies and Eric Schmidt, formerly CEO of Google, believes plant-based foods can make a “meaningful dent” tackling climate change. Perhaps even more telling is that major meat and dairy companies are now piling in with investments and acquisitions, such as the US’s biggest meat processor, Tyson, and multinational giants Danone and Nestlé. The Chinese government has just put pu $300m (£228m) into Israeli companies producing lab-grown meat, compa whic which could also cut emissions. “We are in the nascent stage,” says Alison Rabschnuk at the US sa n nonprofit group the Good Food Insstitute. “But there’s a lot of money moving into this area.” m Plant-based meat and dairy produce is not only environmentally duc friendly, but also healthier and avoids frien animal w welfare concerns, but these benemake them mass-market, she says: fits will not m “The products themselves need to be competitive on taste, price and convenience – the three attributes people use when choosing what to eat.” 3 King coal Dead or dying The flipside of the renewables boom is the death spiral of coal, the filthiest of fossil fuels. Production appeared to have peaked in 2013. The speed of its demise has stunned analysts. In 2013, the IEA expected coal-burning to grow by 40% by 2040 – today it anticipates just 1%. The cause is simple: solar and wind are cheaper. In pollution-choked China, there are now no provinces where new coal is needed, so the country has just mothballed plans for 151 plants. Bankruptcies have torn through the US coal industry and in the UK it has fallen from 40% of power supply to 2% in the past five years. The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 31 Kicker here like this Then a short description here like this → Then Section and page XX 4 Electric cars In the fast lane Slashing oil use – a third of all global energy – is a huge challenge but a surging market for battery-powered cars is starting to bite, driven in significant part by fast-growing concerns about urban air pollution. China, again, is leading the way. It is selling as many electric cars every ry month as Europe and the US combined, with many from home-grown companies such as BYD. US-based Tesla is rolling out its more affordable Model 3 and in recent months virtually all major carmakers have committed to an electric future, with Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover announcing that they will end production of pure fossil-fuelled cars within three years. “We have a domino effect now,” says Figueres. These cars are “now being made for the mass market and that is really what is going to make the transformation”. “I don’t think it is going to slow down,” says Viktor Irle, an analyst at EV-volumes. Vikt com. Drivers can see the direction co of travel, he says, with a stream of o cchoked cities and countries from Paris to India announcing future P bans on fossil-fuelled cars. ba It is true that global sales of electric liftoff, quadrupling in cars have now achieved a the past three y years, but they still make up only 1.25% of all new car sales. However, if current growth rates continue, as Irle expects, 80% of new cars will be electric by 2030. 5 Batteries Lots in store Batteries are key to electric cars and, by storing energy for when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing, they are also vital when it comes to enabling renewable energy to reach its full potential. Here too, a megatrend is crushing prices for lithium-ion batteries, which are down 75% over the past six years. The International Renewable Energy Agency expects further price falls of 50-66% by 2030 and a massive increase in battery storage, linked to increasingly smart and efficient digital power grids. In the UK alone, government advisers say a smart grid could save billpayers £8bn a year by 2030, as well as slashing carbon emissions. ‘We could power down European energy use by about 40% in around 10-15 years’ Warming Images/Rex Shutterstock “Last year, I said if Asia builds what it says it is going to build, we can kiss goodbye to 2C” – the internationally agreed limit for dangerous climate change – says Liebreich. “Now we are showing coal [plans] coming down.” Still, a second tipping point is needed. That will occur when renewables are cheaper to build than running existing coal al plants, meaning the latter shut down. If renewable costs continue to fall as expected, cted, this would happen between 2030 and d 2040. 6 Eﬃciency Negawatts over megawatts Just as important as the greening of energy is reducing demand by boosting energy efficiency. Good progress is being made in places such as the EU, where efficiency in homes, transport and industry has improved by about 20% since 2000. Improving the efficiency of gadgets and appliances through better standards is surprisingly important: a new UN Environment Programme report shows it makes the biggest impact of any single action bar rolling out wind and solar power. Prof Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester says: “We could power down European energy use by about 40% in something like 10-15 years, just by making the most efficient appliances available the new minimum.” In countries with cool winters, better insulation is also needed, particularly as natural gas currently provides a lot of heating. 7 Fores Forests Seeing the wood The race against time The destruction de of forests around the world ranching and farming, as well as for for ra timber, causes about 10% of greenhouse gas tim emissions. This is the biggest megatrend em not yet pointing in the right direction: annual no tree losses have roughly doubled since 2000. tre This is particularly worrying as stopping deforestation and planting new trees is, in theory at least, among the cheapest and fastest ways of cutting carbon emissions. But it is not getting the support e it needs, says Michael Wolosin at Forest Climate Analytics. “Climate policy is C massively underfunding forests – they m receive only about 2% of global climate rec finance.” Furthermore, the $2.3bn committed to forests by rich nations and multilateral institutions since 2010 201 is tiny compared with the funding for the sectors secto that drive deforestation. Will things move fast enough to avoid the worst of climate change? Anderson says it remains possible, but is pessimistic that the action will be taken. “We’re pointing in the right direction but not moving [there]. We have to not just pursue renewables and electric vehicles, we have to actively close down the incumbent fossil fuel industry.” Stern is cautiously optimistic: “There are some tremendous developments so I am very confident now we can do this. Will we have the political and economic understanding and commitment to get there? I hope so.” 32 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Discovery Revenge is a dish better left unmade The urge to get even may be natural but it won’t make you feel better, explains Jennifer Breheny Wallace A colleague steals your idea and then undermines you in front of the boss. It’s human nature to want revenge. But will getting even make you feel better in the long run? People are motivated to seek revenge – to harm someone who has harmed them – when they feel attacked, mistreated or socially rejected. Getting an eye for an eye, Old Testament-style, is thought to bring a sense of catharsis and closure. A growing body of research suggests it may do the opposite. While most of us won’t engage in the type of vengeful displays that grab headlines or warrant prison time, our everyday lives often include small acts of retaliation such as gossiping about a neighbour who snubbed you, lashing out online after poor customer service or engaging in the endless Twitter tit for tat typified by certain elected officials. Evolutionary psychologists believe we are hardwired for revenge. Without laws and prisons, our earliest ancestors relied on the fear of retaliation to help keep the peace and correct injustices. “Acts of revenge not only sought to deter a second harmful act by a wrongdoer but also acted as an insurance policy against future harm by others, a warning signal that you’re someone who will not tolerate mistreatment,” says Michael McCullough, a professor of psychology at the University of Miami. In modern life, betrayal and social rejection hurt. The desire to repair that pain and improve our mood may be one of the things that motivates us to seek revenge, according to six studies published this year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In one experiment, researchers asked 156 college students to write a short essay that would Winemaking ‘goes back at least 8,000 years’ Ashifa Kassam and Nicola Davis A series of excavations in Georgia has uncovered evidence of the world’s earliest winemaking, in the form of telltale traces within clay pottery dating back to 6,000BC – suggesting that the practice of making grape wine began hundreds of years earlier than previously believed. While there are thousands of cultivars of wine around the world, almost all derive from just one species of grape, with the Eurasian grape the only species ever domesticated. Until now, the oldest jars known to have contained wine dated from 7,000 years ago, with six vessels containing the chemical calling cards of the drink discovered in the Zagros mountains in northern Iran in 1968. The latest find pushes back the early evidence for the tipple by as much as half a millennium. “When we pick up a glass of wine and put it to our lips and taste it we are recapitulating that history that goes back at least 8,000 years,” said Patrick McGovern a co-author of the study from the University of Pennsylvania museum of archaeology and anthropology, who also worked on the earlier Iranian discovery. The find comes after a team of archaeologists and botanists in Georgia joined forces with researchers in Europe and North America to explore two villages es about 50km south of the capital Tbilisi. The sites offered a glimpse into a neolithic culture re characterised by circular mud-brick homes, tools ls made of stone and bone and the farming of cattle, e, pigs, wheat and barley. Researchers were particularly intrigued by fired ed clay pots found in the region – likely to be some off the earliest pottery made in the Near East. Indeed, d, one representative jar from a nearby settlement is almost a metre tall and a metre wide, and could hold ld more than 300 litres. What’s more, it was decorated ed with blobs that the researchers say could be meant nt to depict clusters of grapes. You’re only hurting yourself … revenge does not lead to sustained emotional satisfaction, but rather to negative feelings Imagebroker/Alamy be submitted for comments. The essays were randomly assigned to receive either positive feedback (“great essay!”) or negative ones (“one of the worst essays that I have EVER read!”). Afterwards, all participants were given a test that measured their emotional state, and then offered the chance to retaliate by sticking pins into a voodoo doll that represented the grader of the essay. Researchers found what we might suspect: getting revenge felt good. After sticking their dolls, the vengeful participants, whose moods slumped after they read their negative feedback, reported a rise in their moods to a level on par with those who had received the positive comments. In another experiment, 167 participants were invited to play a video game where some players were snubbed by others. Rejected players were given the chance to seek revenge by increasing the volume in the other players’ headphones. But before they could retaliate, some received what they were told was a cognition-enhancing drug (actually, a placebo) that would steady their mood for 60 minutes. While most wronged players turned up the volume, those who took the placebo – and presumably thought they wouldn’t get a mood boost for doing so – were less likely to retaliate, supporting the notion that we choose revenge because we think it will make us feel better, explains David Chester, a Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor who studies the psychological and biological processes involved in human aggression. Revenge may provide a lift, but the positive effects appear to be fleeting, according to research by Chester. “Revenge can feel really good in the moment,” he says, “but when we follow up with people five minutes, 10 minutes and 45 minutes later, they actually report feeling worse than they did before they sought revenge.” Seeking revenge can backfire – but not for the reasons you may think. University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy Wilson and colleagues conducted a study in 2008 on the “paradoxical consequences” of revenge. Study participants played an investment game where they were told that they could earn money if they all cooperated but that if one player betrayed the group, that person would earn more and the other players would earn less, an experimental construct known as the “free-rider paradigm”. Researchers staged the game so that players were double-crossed and some were given the chance to retaliate. When asked by researchers how they imagined they would feel after seeking revenge, the players predicted it would make them feel better. But when surveyed , those who had retaliated reported feeling worse than players who didn’t get the opportunity to punish and so had “moved on”. Seeking revenge may remind us of the pain we experienced when we were wronged and can make an event appear even larger in our minds, Wilson theorises. “By not retaliating, we’re able to find other ways of coping, like telling ourselves that it wasn’t such a big deal,” he says. Ruminating about getting even – stewing over what the person did to you and what you would like to do in return – can interfere with day-to-day wellbeing and happiness. “When someone persists in revenge fantasies, over time they can develop anxiety and remorse, as well as feelings of shame,” says Californiabased psychotherapist Beverly Engel, who treats clients who have been abused and often struggle with vengeful thoughts. These feelings can also take up important cognitive resources, depleting you of time and energy that could be better spent on healthier ways of dealing with anger, such as learning to accept the injustice, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes or acknowledging that you, too, may have hurt someone in similar ways, says Engel, author of the book It Wasn’t Your Fault. Research suggests that when it comes to valuable relationships, “what the angry mind ultimately wants is a change of heart from the transgressor”, McCullough says. He points to studies showing that when a victim receives an explanation and an apology, the desire for revenge weakens. It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the most helpful thing a wronged party can do is to create conditions that make it easier for the person who hurt you to be honest about what they did and to take responsibility, McCullough says. “You’re not giving the person a free pass,” he says, but it may be in your best interest “to stay open to an apology” and “to help pave a road” that would allow the offender to make it up to you. Take this year’s baseball World Series, for example, in which Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish was the victim of a racially insensitive insult and gesture by a Houston Astros player. Instead of retaliating, Dervish accepted the player’s apology, tweeted that “no one is perfect” and asked fans to “stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger”. “Revenge may make you feel better for a moment,” McCullough adds, “but making the effort to repair a valuable relationship can pay bigger dividends over a lifetime.” Washington Post To explore whether winemaking p of life in the region, the team was part focu focused on analysing fragments of pottery from two neolithic villages, pot as well as soil samples. Radiocarbon d dating of grains and charcoal nearby suggested the pots date to n a about 6000–5800BC. The team then used a variety of techniques to explore whether the soil or the inner surface of the vessels held signs of molecules of the vesse correct mass, or with the right chemical signature signatures, to be evidence of wine. The res results, published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal th that for eight of the fragments, including the two previously unearthed, the team found traces of tartaric acid – a substance found in grapes. Tests on the associated soils largely showed far lower levels of the acid. The team also identified the presence of three other acids linked to grapes and wine. Other evidence indicating the presence of wine included ancient grape pollen found at the excavated sites – but not in the topsoil – as well as grape starch particles, the remains of a fruit fly, and cells believed to be from the surface of grapevines on the inside of one of the fragments. The findings suggest the sites were home to the earliest known vintners, besting the previous record held by the traces of Iranian wine found just 500km away and dated to 5400-5000BC. Davide Tanasi, of the University of South Florida, said the results of the study were unquestionable and that the findings were “certainly the example of the oldest pure grape wine in the world”. Dispatches The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 33 Even one Facebook ‘like’ can lead to targeted ads Online ad campaigns created by academics in Britain and the US have targeted millions of people based on psychological traits perceived from a single “like” on Facebook – demonstrating, they say, the effect of “mass psychological persuasion”. More than 3.5 million people, mostly women in the UK aged 18-40, were shown online adverts tailored to their personality type after researchers found that specific Facebook likes reflected different psychological characteristics. The bespoke campaigns boosted clicks on ads for beauty products and gaming apps by up to 40% and sales by as much as 50% compared with untargeted adverts, according to the researchers. The work, carried out for unnamed companies, was designed to reveal how even the smallest expressions of preference online can be used to influence people’s behaviour. Breast milk and eczema Breastfeeding could reduce the risk of eczema in children, according to research into the impact of programmes designed to support new mothers in feeding their babies. The World Health Organisation recommends that babies should be fed just breast milk for six months to help protect them from infection, prevent allergies and provide nutrients. Experts say the latest study highlights the benefits of breast milk, finding that children whose mothers attended a hospital where a breastfeeding support programme was implemented had a 54% reduction in the risk of eczema as teenagers. New DNA test for Down’s Doctors have developed a more accurate DNA test for Down’s syndrome and two rarer genetic disorders. According to a report in Genetics in Medicine, the new procedure detected 101 of 106 pregnancies affected by the disorders, or 95%, compared with 81% for the conventional test used in hospitals. Compared with regular screening, the new procedure avoided 530 invasive tests to diagnose the disorders. Australian frog app The Australian Museum has teamed up with IBM to count the country’s native frog population via an app that records their calls and sends them to experts for identification. FrogID will give the public the chance to carry out Australia’s first such national count and is intended to support efforts to save endangered native species. Australia has 240 named native species of frog, but the museum wants to identify what it believes are dozens more. 34 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Books Oppression’s child sails into the heart of darkness Joseph Conrad’s life gave him a unique insight into a globalised world, writes Patrick French The Dawn Watch by Maya Jasanoff William Collins, 400pp The Dawn Watch will win prizes, and if it doesn’t, there is something wrong with the prizes. Is this a biography of Joseph Conrad? Not entirely. Although it follows the chronological form of his life, there are elisions and diversions. Is it literary criticism? No, though Maya Jasanoff gives bravura renditions of the novels, laying down a story, quoting lines, revealing their essence and showing the links to Conrad’s own experience. Is it a study of globalisation, a historical commentary on our times? Yes, but this is done so deftly that you barely notice. The links to the present are not stated, just left there fizzing like a late 19th-century anarchist’s bomb. Conrad’s early life was unbearable, the sort of personal tragedy that is happening now to families in countries such as Syria or Myanmar. His parents were devoted to each other, and their love extended to a shared, romantic nationalist dream of liberating Poles from the Russian yoke. “My soul yearns for that ‘Young Poland’ of our dreams, which you will create, rouse to life, and lead into the future,” wrote wife to husband as he made his revolutionary plans. Instead, the local tsarist police chief “appeared in disguise, without ringing the bell, at the gate of Terechowa, and questioned people in the stables”. We are in the world of Conrad’s Under Western Eyes, a novel oddly absent from The Dawn Watch. For Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski this was normal life. An early piece of writing has him thanking his grandmother, “who helped me send pastries to my poor Daddy in prison”. In 1862 a military tribunal convicted his father and they were all sent into internal exile. Soon afterwards an uprising in Poland was quashed by Russian troops. Uncles and aunts had been killed, arrested or exiled. His mother died of tuberculosis. “The little mite is growing up as though in a cloister; the grave of our Unforgettable is our memento mori,” wrote his broken father. Then Daddy’s lungs gave up too, and the 11-yearold orphan could be seen heading a procession of Catholic mourners through the streets of Krakow. To say Conrad ran away to sea is too simple. Placed in the care of a pragmatic and didactic uncle, he escaped a life of service to an oppressed, landlocked country by leaving to see the world. After getting into debt and shooting himself in the chest in Marseille, he reversed into Englishness, seeing Britain as a land of political freedom where he might make his way. He mastered the language and began to write in a way that became all his own. For some, this was not enough. As with Nabokov, his outsider’s interrogation of the English language made his originality possible. “I don’t know what would have become of me if I had not been a reading boy,” he wrote. The odd, correct locution (“a reading boy”) is characteristic Conrad. Not yet 21, he found himself on the Duke of Sutherland, a ship bound for Australia, in the company of Barbadians, Swedes, Canadians. Jasanoff uses shipboard life as the ideal liminal space to examine the melding of worlds and peoples. Conrad described himself as “a Polish nobleman cased in British tar”, and wrote: “I had thought to myself that if I was to be a seaman, then I would be a British seaman and no other.” He spent 20 years in the merchant navy, eschewing as far as he could the new technology of steam in favour of sail and tradition, usually finding work that was below his professional status, a captain forced to be a second mate as he dipped and dived across the oceans. What was the alternative? He had nowhere to go back to. It was not until July 1914, by now accompanied by his wife and two sons and with a financial security that had previously eluded him, that he returned to Poland. History blithely reappeared in the form of a troop of Austrian cavalry and the outbreak of the first world war. The Conrad family were trapped among refugees in central Europe, far from home. In a globalised world, Conrad’s writing has a new applicability; he writes about quandaries that we know. Over-influential in the development of others’ opinions of distant lands – and Africa and south-east Asia in particular – his critical reputation ‘If I was to be a seaman, I had thought to myself, then I would be a British seaman and no other’ was eclipsed in the 1970s with Chinua Achebe’s attack on the racism in Heart of Darkness. The racial distancing in Conrad’s prose is undeniable, but equally his critique of imperialism as it played out in remote jungles and riverbanks is, for want of a better word, savage. His English seaman narrator, Charles Marlow, sees a group of labourers “were dying slowly – it was very clear. They were … nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom.” As the European scramble for overseas colonies accelerated in the lead-up to the first world war, so the spread of progress became more terrifying. An imperial venture exchanged “rubbishy cottons, beads, and brass-wire” for ivory, and in the name of the king tore treasure out of the bowels of the earth, “with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe”. His writing was implicitly political, but he had seen too much on his travels to put much faith in politics. As the United States grew in stature, Conrad believed “material interests” would supersede idealistic liberal imperialism and determine the fate of the new nations that were in the process of emerging in the early 20th century. As Jasanoff notes: “The real question for the world’s future, in Conrad’s theory, wasn’t what would happen. It was when and how.” The global settlement that he foresaw may still be coming into view, in all its complexity. The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 35 From Telemachus to Harvey Weinstein Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard Profile, 128pp Rachel Cooke World traveller … Conrad eschewed new technology of steam in favour of sail and tradition Lebrecht Music and Arts Photo Library/Alamy This book is a mere slip of a thing, small enough to fit into the most diminutive of bags or even the pocket of an overcoat. But size, in this instance, is irrelevant. There are two things you need to know about it. The first is that what Mary Beard has to say is powerful: here are more than a few pretty useful stones for the slingshots some of us feel we must carry with us everywhere we go right now. The second is that most of its power, if not all, lies in its author’s absolute refusal to make anything seem too simple. Even as she tries to be concise and easy on the ear – the book is adapted from two lectures, one given at the British Museum in 2014, and the other earlier this year – Beard knows that the matters with which she is concerned are extremely complicated. Before she arms you, then, she makes you think. In this sense, if no other, Women & Power deserves to take its place alongside Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics, the text that first suggested literature as a medium for consciousness-raising. Beard’s primary subject is female silence; she hopes to take a “long view on the culturally awkward relationship between the voice of women and the public sphere of speech-making, debate and comment”, the better to get beyond “the simple diagnosis of misogyny that we tend a bit lazily to fall back on”. Calling out misogyny isn’t, she understands, the same thing as explaining it, and it’s only by doing the latter that we’re likely ever to find an effective means of combating it. The question is: where should we look for answers? Beard acknowledges that misogyny’s roots are deep and wide. But in this book, she looks mostly (she is a classicist, after all) at Greek and Roman antiquity, a realm that even now, she believes, casts a shadow over our traditions of public speaking, whether we are considering the timbre of a person’s voice, or their authority to pronounce on any given subject. Personally, I might have found this argument a bit strained a month ago; 3,000 years lie between us and Homer’s Odyssey, which is where she begins, with Telemachus effectively telling his mother Penelope to “shut up”. But reading it in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it seems utterly, dreadfully convincing. Mute women; brutal men; shame as a mechanism for control; androgyny and avoidance as a strategy for survival. On every page, bells ring too loudly for comfort. Through the example of Telemachus we learn that silencing the female was once an essential part of growing up as a man – though shouting at a woman was only one way of achieving it. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Io is turned by Jupiter into a cow, and Echo’s voice reduced to a mere instrument for repeating the words of others. Beard urges us not to see this “muteness” simply as a reflection of women’s more general disempowerment in the classical world. Their exclusion from public speech was, she writes, “active and loaded”. Their voices were subversive, a threat to the state. What I relish about Beard’s approach is that once she has told us all this she doesn’t simply sink down into disapproval and hand-wringing (the fatal flaw of so many recent feminist texts). She wants to know: how can we be heard? And her answers are radical. Why should we settle only for exploiting the status quo – for instance, by training our voices, as Margaret Thatcher did? Progress, if it is ever to happen, will require a fundamental rethink of the nature of spoken authority, “and what constitutes it, and how we have learned to hear it where we do”. Frontiers of glory Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly Knopf, 387pp Marcia Bartusiak Washington Post For many of us, the childhood fantasy never went away. We grew up glued to our grainy black-and-white TVs, watching with awe as Alan Shepard and John Glenn rocketed into space in blazing glory. It was easy to imagine that, someday in the future, we’d have the same chance. Few have gotten that opportunity, but Endurance, astronaut Scott Kelly’s memoir (written with Margaret Lazarus Dean) of his record-setting year on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015, offers Earthlings an informative and gripping look at the adventures and day-by-day experiences of living in a metal container that is orbiting Earth at 2,800km/h. Yet at the same time, Kelly brings our dreams crashing down to Earth. It’s not all beautiful views of our planet and restful floats in zero-g. There’s the mould and dust, the never-ending hum of equipment, the build-up of carbon dioxide when the scrubbers sporadically malfunction. “If we are going to get to Mars,” Kelly writes, “we are going to need a much better way to deal with CO2. He and his colleague, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, were human guinea pigs, hoping to learn the longterm effects of space isolation on mind and body. Given Kelly’s history growing up, the book’s biggest surprise is that he even made it into space. He was about to flunk out of college until he came upon Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff. He was immediately drawn to the book’s “young hotshots catapulting off aircraft carriers, testing unstable airplanes, drinking hard, and generally moving through the world like badasses”. Almost overnight, he knew he wanted to join them. In 1995 he was accepted into the largest astronaut class in Nasa’s history: 44 in all, including his twin brother, Mark. Within four years, Kelly was in space, aboard the space shuttle Discovery sent out to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Piloting the space shuttle had been Kelly’s sole ambition. But when asked, he served. He reluctantly agreed to stay on the station for six months in 2010-11. That experience made him especially qualified for a repeat performance, but this time for an entire year, with his personal quarters on the station no bigger than an old-fashioned phone booth. Upon opening the Soyuz hatch to enter the ISS, Kelly senses something familiar: “A strong burned metal smell, like the smell of sparklers on the Fourth of July. Objects that have been exposed to Continued on page 36 → 36 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Books ← Continued from page 35 the vacuum of space have this unique smell on them, like the smell of welding – the smell of space.” During his year in space, three unmanned supply ships exploded after launch, forcing the station inhabitants to ration for a while. More horrific is the space junk, the myriad debris and old satellites that buzz around the Earth. Most are tracked, and the ISS’s engines are fired to move the station out of the way. But sometimes there is too little time. All aboard once took shelter in the Soyuz capsule for 10 excruciating minutes. “I realize that if the satellite had in fact hit us,” Kelly writes, “we … would have gone from grumbling to one another in our cold Soyuz to being blasted in a million directions as diffused atoms, all in the space of a millisecond.” But every astronaut and cosmonaut willingly accepts such challenges for a reason: to secure the future of spaceflight. “It will be very, very difficult, it will cost a great deal of money, and it may cost human lives,” stresses Kelly. “But I know now that if we decide to do it, we can.” Blown away Brolliology by Marion Rankine Melville House, 176pp Alexandra Harris Among the Japanese yokai, or monstrous spirits, one of the most prominent forms of apparition is the kasaobake: the umbrella ghost. It is always an old umbrella, well used and long ignored. One moment ment it is quietly rolled in the hallway ay stand, the next it is leaping and leering eering. From among the folds a single eye gleams with sinister life. An 18th-century haiku by Yosa Buson uson catches the mood: “Oh, the winter rain/On a moonlit night/ When the shadow of an old umbrella shudders.” I must say, I’ve never felt haunted by y an umbrella, but I wouldn’t open one indoors, and Marion Rankine’s tour through umbrella culture suggests how widely this apparently simple accessory ory has been regarded with reverence, superstition n and fascination. If you’re surprised by the thought ught of a whole book on the subject, be assured d that there is already a substantial reading ng list. The story of ancient ceremonial ussage, of sky gods, of Thomas Coryat’s return to England with news of the Italian an sunshade – all this has been much retold old and refined. The histories on the bookokshelf are joined by social analyses, such ch as Dickens’s inquiry into the conditions ns of umbrella manufacture, and contemmporary studies of sartorial sign language. ge. And this is before we open the floodgates es to painting, poetry and fiction. Rankine is a thoughtful anthologist ist. Not content for her book to be merely quirky, y, she mixes her brolly facts with strong feelings about shelter, containment and changefulness. She is drawn, she says, to the umbrella’s “everyday actss of transformation”. The change is simple and complete: mplete: from furled to unfurled and back again, open pen to closed. “Like a flower”, she suggests, which iss a little fanciful, though it’s pleasing enough to imagine agine a street of jostling brollies as a vase of giant blooms ooms. The umbrella can become, in an instant, a walking cane or a defensive weapon. Only Mary Poppins can make it fly, but anyone forcibly lifted from the ground on a windy day will know why early aeronauts were interested. Joseph-Michel Montgolfier experimented in 1779 by putting a sheep in a basket attached to an umbrella-style canopy. He pushed the whole assemblage off a tower at the Palais des Papes in Avignon and watched it float safely to the ground. The parachute was born and the hot air balloon would not be far behind. For most of its long history, the umbrella has been a protection from the sun. For centuries it has shielded faces in China, Japan, Spain and Italy. Its name in English still recalls its origins as a small shadow, but in this country it is almost always a shelter from the wet. The French name parapluie tells the truth of umbrella use in a northern climate. It was cumbersome, leaky, only for women, and remained an object of uncertain ridicule into the 19th century. But by the 1850s it was a much valued accessory for all, and when steel ribs arrived it became ubiquitous. Once lost they can become altogether more interesting. In EM Forster’s Howards End, Leonard Bast’s umbrella may be “appalling … all gone along the seams”, but he can’t afford a new one and must visit Helen Schlegel’s house to reclaim his own. Nietzsche left a note among his papers saying only: “I have forgotten my umbrella.” Today’s cheaply produced and easily broken varieties are rarely worth a journey across town to recover them. Millions of near-identical black brollies are swapped and swapped again – on trains, at cloakrooms, at bars and concerts. Yet something of the old intrigue remains. Rankine has taken a series of photographs of abandoned umbrellas lying limp in gutters and at kerbsides, spokes jutting out, coloured canvas slicked with mud. One feels, for a moment at least, her attraction to the sad, soaked relic of what was once a welcoming shelter, or to the near-animate presence of a handle protruding from a bin. Perhaps it’s not so surprising that the Japanese imagined old umbrellas to have lives of their own. Luminously beautiful Winter by Ali Smith Hamish Hamilton, 336pp Stephanie Merritt Think of a classic winter tale, and Dickens’s A Christmas Carol might be the first to mind. It’s clearly one of the models for the second part of Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet, a novel of great ferocity, tenderness, righteous anger and generosity of spirit that you feel Dickens would have recognised. Sophia Cleves is a Scrooge for our time, a retired businesswoman whose work always took precedence over family. Now holed up in her 15-bedroom house in Cornwall, she is, as her estranged sister Iris observes, “an old miserly grump who had nothing in the house for your son and his girlfriend for Christmas except a bag of walnuts and half a jar of glacé cherries”. But Sophia has not been alone; as the story opens she is chatting to a child’s disembodied head that bobs cheerfully around her like the dancing light of Christmas past. Like Scrooge’s ghosts, the head is a shape-shifter, at times taking on the form of the Green Man of legend, at others appearing more like a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, one of the novel’s other tutelary spirits. Midnight chimes over and over for Sophia on Christmas Eve, as the narrative cuts between past and present as if being shown to the reader in a vision (“Let’s see another Christmas …”). Names are freighted with meaning and irony here. Iris, “the wild one”, a former Greenham he Common protester and lifelong activist recently Co returned from helping refugees in Greece, is nickret named “Ire”. Wisdom is the one thing Sophia lacks, na and must learn. Her son, Arthur, in this Cornish setan ting recalls England’s once and future king, except tin that we are told on the opening page that “romance th was dead. Chivalry was dead.” Instead, he is known wa as Art, offering plentiful wordplay; he fancies himself as a nature writer, but his blog, Art in Nature, is se made of fabricated memories and journeys (“Fake ma Art”), and his day job involves destroying artists by Ar reporting them to a multinational corporation for rep copyright infringement. co Into this fragmented family arrives the enigmatic Lux, a Croatian student, whom Art meets at a bus Lu stop and hires to impersonate his girlfriend over sto Christmas so that he won’t have to tell his mother Ch they’ve split up. Her name recalls St Lucy, whose th day used to coincide with the winter solstice, pad ttron saint of light in darkness. As in Smith’s novel The Accidental, it is the stranger in their midst with Th a licence l to speak the truth who shines a light on a family’s faultlines and brings healing. fam And over the whole story falls the long shadow of the EU referendum, as it did with her Man Bookerth shortlisted predecessor, Autumn; there’s a painsh fully accurate comic portrait of a Christmas lunch fu fraught with tension between family members on fra different sides. Lux’s faux-naif pronouncements on migration can feel a little like a manifesto, though mi heartfelt. “Smith is engaged in an extended process he of mythologising the present state of Britain, and Winter is at its most luminously beautiful when the W news fades and merges with recent and ancient hisne tory, a reminder that everything is cyclical. tor 38 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Culture Got a list of great films? Rip it up, and read on Movies seen as classics are largely made by men. But with Hollywood in turmoil, Melissa Silverstein says it’s time to rewrite the canon. We asked women for their suggestions F or as long as most of us have been around, the canon – those books, plays, films and television series anointed as the most important of their kind – has been defined by a singular commonality: most of it was created by white men. When I entered graduate school in theatre management and producing in the 1990s, we were required to read a series of books entitled Famous American Plays of the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s etc. Everything I was assigned, except for two plays – Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding and Lillian Hellman’s The Autumn Garden – was by men. Sadly, it hasn’t changed. When I spoke to female film students at the University of California, Los Angeles a couple of years ago, they said the films on their curriculum were virtually all by white men. These students were made to believe, through the films they studied, that women – our experiences, thoughts, decisions, passions and ideas – don’t rate. Women’s lives are pushed from centre stage into a corner. It is pretty full in the corner, because half the world is stuck there. This is an all-pervasive problem. It is about how most of the critics are men. It is about how nearly all the talking heads on television are men. If you can’t get the attention, the critical reception, the accolades, you can’t rise to the next level of recognition. So you are stuck with a group of privileged, white, mostly men, who continue to rise to the top and become the purveyors of the culture. In the early days of the film business, women thrived. The first acknowledged female director is Alice Guy-Blaché, and the most prolific and highest-paid screenwriter in the 1920s was Frances Marion. Women were successful across the industry until the rise of the studio system, when men imposed their rule and pushed women out. Look at the Motion Picture Production – or Hays – Code, which was in effect from 1930 until, technically, 1968 (when the MPAA started its ratings system) and required stars to conform to a series of morality clauses. These rules were used to neuter women and their sexuality as well as to enforce other forms of censorship and moral policing. There were decades where nary a female director is to be seen. By the 70s, when the term auteur had become more widely used, male directors such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, who still dominate our landscape, rose to prominence. They became stars themselves and their films became those that everyone wanted – and wants – to emulate. These are the films taught to students because these are the films that their teachers, who are still mostly men, learned are the ones that mattered. But no more. Women and people of colour are demanding the canon be rethought, since it was not based on our shared culture, but on the experiences of one group that became the dominant voice. The allegations against Harvey Weinstein have caused the floodgates to open. Let’s use this opportunity – a time when people are searching for change – to create at least one positive outcome: a new and inclusive canon for the future. Howards End (dir James Ivory, screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala) Period drama fans know Merchant Ivory, but just as important to the success of their movie-making powerhouse was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala – the novelist who penned many of the scripts, including this adaptation of EM Forster’s Howards End, for which she won the second of her two Oscars. Yentl (dir Barbra Streisand) Streisand directs, co-writes, sings and, of course, stars as a Jewish girl who must live as a man in order to receive the education she deserves. Suspense (dir Lois Weber) A 10-minute-long thriller that Weber directed with her husband, Phillips Smalley. She stars as a woman alone at home with her baby when a tramp attempts to break in. Selected by Pamela Hutchinson Critic and historian of silent film An ingenious home-invasion thriller by one of the great directors of the silent era. Weber went on to make far more ambitious films. But this still raises the blood pressure a century after it was made. Selected by Amma Asante Director of A United Kingdom 3-yearYentl had a profound impact on me as a 13-yeary old. I knew who Streisand was because my dad was a big fan of her music and, subd sequently, so was I. So, when I discovered she was directing a movie that she had also co-written and was starring in, I was e blown away. Yentl might be the first movie directed by a woman that hit me, in a world ld where I ha had learned that such a thing was very rare. It was epic with enormous themes, s, bea ers beautifully drawn characters and performances, and stununnin ning production values. But ut it w was important because itt show ld showed what a woman could achiev achieve, given the opening. Sell Selected by Jingan Young Playwright and journalist Jin Gr Growing up in Hong Kong, I was inspired to pu pursue a career as a writer by Howards End. Ge German-born Jhabvala’s Jewish émigré backgr ground and life in India undoubtedly affected he her writing, which expertly and intricately we weaves the political beneath the emotional. Wit Without her, there would be no Merchant Ivory. The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 39 Lost in Translation (dir Soﬁa Coppola) Coppola became just the third women to be nominated for the best director Oscar with her dreamy valentine to Tokyo, starring Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. Selected by Melanie Lynskey Actor, Heavenly Creatures I saw it in the theatre when I was 26, and it was the first time I’d seen an older man/younger woman narrative told from a female perspective. It felt empowering, romantic and sexy. There’s something about the way the camera takes in Johansson in that movie that feels undeniably feminine. The film balances a lot of complicated p things delicately elicately and with complete honesty. Plus it’s hilarious.. I love it. Monster (dir Patty Jenkins) She’s now best known for Wonder Woman, but Jenkins’s 2003 portrait of serial killer Aileen Wuornos presented a very different version of female power. Denis’s spellbinding ballet of a film provides a woman’s take on men-only environments. It’s set mostly on a French Foreign Legion outpost in east Africa, aand Denis Lavant is the grizzled sergeant major recallin recalling the events that led to his court martial. Selecte by Selected Lynne Ramsay Director of We Need to Talk About Kevin Direct The darker da side of masculinity, immaculately realised. Man’s dance between life and death real and resignation, so many emotions. Denis is a an master, one of the world’s best film-makers. m The Ascent (dir Larisa Shepitko) Selected by Penelope Spheeris Director of Wayne’s World Such a tough subject matter, so brilliantly handled by Jenkins. She told me quite a few years back that she was determined to make an “action movie”, even though we ladies aren’t allowed. That wonder woman is unstoppable. Soviet director Shepitko’s fourth and final film is a haunting war drama, following two starving partisans across the frozen wastes of Belarus in 1942. Monsoon Wedding M (dir Mira Nair) (d In Indian director Nair said that she wa wanted to make a Bollywood film her wa way – and she hit the jackpot with th this big-hearted boisterous wedding m movie, which swept along audiences ar around the globe. Selected by Gurinder Chadha Director of Bend It Like Beckham Entertaining, deeply steeped in the cultural specificity of its char-acters and searingly political in addvocating social change to make the depicted characters’ lives better. Daughters of the Dust (dir Julie Dash) Recently rediscovered as an inspiration for Beyoncé’s Lemonade, this is a visually sumptuous, narratively distinct family saga about African-American womanhood on a South Carolina island. Selected by Nadia Latif Writer and director Dash’s much-loved but little-seen 1991 gem was, horrifyingly, the first film directed by an AfricanAmerican woman to gain theatrical release. Based in par part on Dash’s own family the film is mainly written history, th in Gullah creole. Watching it forces abandon how you ordinaryou to aba understand film, and makes ily under you submit subm yourself to something primal. Maybe it’s OK to not more prim understand everything, to let go. It’s a joyous celeb celebration of black womanhood in all its forms, and a total escape from the broken b black bodies one is used to t seeing in mainstream western cinema. we Beau Travail (dir Claire Denis) Selected by Sally Potter Director of The Party Shepitko – who died in a car crash after making this – took on one of the most difficult subjects for Russians: war’s catastrophic effects on individual psyches – explored without limits and directed with aestheti aesthetic precision and daring. The Babadook Th (dir Jennifer Kent) (di First-time director Kent Firs trans transforms themes of maternal exhaus exhaustion and isolation into the cult horror horro of the decade. A sleeper hit that th t leaves l l l you sleepless. Selected by Emily V Gordon Screenwriter of The Big Sick The Babadook is a gorgeously told female-focused story of grief, longing, loneliness and what mourning can become. And it has one of the most iconic monsters of any movie in the past 20 years. Red Road (dir Andrea Arnold) Vagabond (dir Agnès Varda) A young drifter (Sandrine Bonnaire) wanders though southern France in winter, meeting various people before continuing her travels. Is this a freedom to be envied? Or feared? Selected by Pratibha Parmar Producer, director and writer Vagabond is a stunning, austere cinematic poem and belongs in cinema’s universal canon. Centred on the story of a young woman, a vagrant and an outcast, Varda’s brilliant weaving of fiction, documentary and musical set pieces is a work of sublime grace going beyond story and into the crevices of the human condition. With her debut effort, Arnold announced herself as one of British film’s biggest talents – taking social realism and thickening it with something deeper and darker. A drama of obsession and revenge, it stars Kate Dickie as a Glasgow CCTV operator with a dark secret. Selected by Sarah Solemani Actor and activist Red Road by Andrea Arnold is undoubtedly the most masterful thriller I’ve ever seen. Every beat of the film meticulously builds the mystery towards a dazzling plot twist, making Hitchcock look like panto. It’s muscular, powerful, disturbing and female to its core. 40 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Culture The unlikely return of PP Arnold Once the darling of the swinging 60s, the soul great is back with a lost LP, writes Alexis Petridis I meet PP Arnold in the top-floor restaurant of a hotel in London’s West End. The windows offer a panoramic view of central London, which turns out to be perfect for illustrating her conversation. You can see Regent’s Park, where Mick Jagger took her for a walk after lunch in 1967 and convinced her to leave her job as a backing vocalist for Ike and Tina Turner and become a solo singer. Over there is Soho, where Arnold recorded umpteen sessions, gradually notching up one of the most extraordinary CVs in pop. Arnold is back in London from her home in Spain to promote a new solo album, which in itself seems astonishing. The last time she released one, it was 1968 and she was, as the slogan had it, The First Lady of Immediate, author of a string of Summer of Love hit singles: The First Cut Is the Deepest, Angel of the Morning, If You Think You’re Groovy. To complicate matters further, the “new” album she’s promoting is actually 47 years old. Recorded in 1969 and 1970, but shelved as a result of what she describes with a sigh as “politics, politics, politics”, The Turning Tide is fantastic, blessed with a supporting cast that gives you an idea of the regard Arnold was held in by the era’s rock aristocracy. Half of it was written and produced by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, the rest by Eric Clapton, with the nascent Derek and the Dominoes as her backing band; the Stones’ touring saxophonist Bobby Keys performs on it, as do Elton John’s sometime backing band Hookfoot. After it was shelved, she says, she spent years trying to track down the master tapes and attributes its eventual appearance, at least in part, to taking up meditation. Hang on: meditation? She nods. “I was thinking about retiring, I was getting stressed out with work. So I stopped and I just worked on myself. I really got into meditating and doing affirmations. And then it seemed like that all those affirmations, I suddenly became them – I started being more positive and started attracting positive things and here I am, you know?” If all this seems extraordinary, pretty much everything about PP Arnold’s career is extraordinary, not least the fact that she never intended to become a singer. At 17, she was already a wife and mother of two, working two jobs and trapped in an abusive marriage in California, when two friends called and asked her to accompany them to an audition for the Ikettes. “She goes: ‘Pat, you gotta help us, the third girl’s dropped out.’ I said, straight away: ‘I can’t go, my husband won’t let me.’ They came anyway, and the next thing I know I’m at Ike and Tina’s house and we’re singing Dancing in the Streets. Tina says: ‘Right, you got the gig.’ I’m like: ‘Oh no, not me, I’ve got to go home, my husband doesn’t know I’m here, he’s gonna kick my butt.’ Tina said if I was going to get my butt kicked for nothing, I might as well ride up with them to Fresno and see the show that night. So I went, and it was amazing, and I didn’t get home until six the next morning. My husband was waiting for me at the door. Soon as I walk in, it’s: Bam!” – she mimes throwing a punch – “and it was like he knocked some sense into me, really. I thought: ‘This morning I didn’t have a way out, I was praying to God to show me a path out of this hell I’d created for myself, and now I’ve got a way out.’” She left her children with her parents and went on the road in 1964, touring the chitlin’ circuit at a time when the south was still segregated – “It was eye-opening: bathrooms for coloureds only; we couldn’t stay in Sheratons or Hiltons, no one would get off the bus when we stopped at a gas station” – and experiencing what she tactfully calls “the pros and cons” of life as an Ikette: “The music was great – the shows, the musicians – and even though he was who he was, Ike was an amazing bandleader. But Tina had kind of saved me from my scene, and I had no idea that she was living the same thing. Ike had all these women and there was physical abuse. Watching her go through that was really hard, because I had already been a victim.” The revue fetched up in the UK, supporting the Rolling Stones, with whom Arnold quickly became friends – “I was the one everybody least expected to do that, because I was so shy and introverted, but I hadn’t had a teenage life, because I had kids real young, and I just decided to have fun” – and who encouraged her to stay in the UK. Within six months, she had sent for her children to join her: she was a star and a fixture ‘I was getting stressed out with work. So I stopped and got into meditating’ on the London music scene, nicknamed PP by hip photographer Gered Mankowitz, collaborating with everyone from Rod Stewart to the Small Faces. But after her label folded and Barry Gibb and Clapton’s manager Robert Stigwood blocked the release of The Turning Tide, her career floundered. She spent the 70s trying and failing to get new musical projects off the ground while doing sessions as a backing vocalist. She worked on some incredible albums, not least Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter, but her solo career became a mass of frustrating dead ends, exacerbated by personal tragedy: her eldest daughter Debbie was killed in a car crash in 1977. It was a similar story in the 80s: she appeared in Starlight Express and sang with Peter Gabriel, but another car accident left her temporarily unable to walk. By the end of the decade, she had developed an unlikely sideline singing on house and hardcore hit singles – everything from Altern-8’s E-Vapor-8 to the Beatmasters’ Burn It Up and a succession of tracks with the KLF, whose name causes her face to cloud over: “The deal was that if they used my solo bits for anything, I got 5%, then they went and burned up all that money before they paid me my 5%.” It took Britpop’s obsession with the 60s to really reinvigorate her career. Leaving a Birmingham theatre where she was appearing in a musical one night in the mid-90s, she found the members of Ocean Colour Scene waiting at the stage door to pay homage. “They had all these flowers with them,” she says. “They wanted me to come with them to their studio around the corner. It was truly a beautiful thing.” The band’s guitarist Steve Cradock is currently producing a solo album for her, to be called The New Adventures of PP Arnold; Paul Weller is among the contributors. For someone thinking of retiring not that long ago, everything seems to be happening again: this old album, that new album, a forthcoming autobiography, a tour. It has always been like that, she laughs, from the moment her girlfriend rang telling her to come to Ike and Tina’s house. “The unexpected always rules in my life,” she says. “Destiny takes over. I just put it in God’s hands and the unexpected brings some kind of situation that’s good for me.” PP Arnold, past and present ... ‘The unexpected always rules my life’ Sandra Vijandi/Handel & Hendrix Museum The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 41 Culture Reviews Kicker here like this Then a short description here like this → Then Section and page XX Film Paddington 2 Theatre Network I am normally wary of people ransacking the movie archive to make plays, but this version of the Oscar-winning Network is an almost total triumph. Lee Hall has kept the best of Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 script while excising its excesses. Bryan Cranston, pictured, best known for the hit series Breaking Bad, brings a wiry magnetism to the role of the TV news anchor, Howard Beale. Ivo van Hove and his designer, Jan Versweyveld, have also transformed the National Theatre’s Lyttelton stage into an extraordinary blend of television studio and restaurant. The most obvious point to make about the Chayefsky script is how uncannily prophetic it seems. It is famously based on the idea of a veteran newsman experiencing a public breakdown. Having first threatened to kill himself on air, he launches a series of on-screen jeremiads, which turn him into a pop Savonarola and rescue a failing network by achieving astronomical ratings. As a satire it hits several targets dead centre. But Beale’s success lies in articulating public rage and persuading people to open their windows and shout: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more.” Even if the internet has now replaced network television as the new reality, Chayefsky foresaw how power could be achieved by tapping into popular anger. Pop Taylor Swift Reputation S ome versions of the sixth Taylor Swift album come complete with a sleeve note, penned by the 27-year-old singer-songwriter. It opens with some general thoughts on social media, moves on to the pressures of life in the glare of the media’s spotlight and offers a swift rebuke to those who might attempt to interpret Swift’s songs as being about her personal life. Certainly, if your thing is songs that leave you wondering who or what they might be referencing, then Reputation is the album for you. At their best, these songs have a fizzing, pugilistic energy that recalls Britney Spears’ brilliant, screw-you-all 2007 album Blackout. At their least appealing, they’re still decent pop songs. Jan Versweyveld T While preserving the original’s insights, Hall has subtly altered the balance of the story. He keeps the focus strictly on Beale and downplays the subplot, always the weakest part of the movie, about the affair of an ageing colleague, Max, with Diana, an ambitious TV exec. If this is very much Beale’s play, it is also because of Cranston’s haunting presence. With his seamed features and troubled integrity, constantly seen in closeup, he actually looks like a plausible news anchor. But even when Beale turns into a raging TV prophet, Cranston avoids rant and suggests the words are being painfully wrung from him. His achievement is to suggest that there is an element of residual sanity to Beale’s apparently demented diatribes. It’s a tremendous performance enhanced by the decision of Van Hove and Versweyveld to treat the stage as if it were a studio. Tal Yarden deserves credit for the video design and even the decision to put a real restaurant on stage, initially distracting, pays off in that it gives Beale a visible audience to whom he can play. But the success of the show, which runs for two hours without interval, lies in its capacity to use every facet of live theatre to warn us against surrendering our humanity to an overpowering medium, whether it be television or invasive technology. Michael Billington At the National Theatre, London, on, until 24 March But at the heart of Reputation lies a sequence of songs that chart the he rise, fall and fallout of a fleeting relationship lationship and offer a masterclass in pop songwriting along the way. Gorgeous, Getaway Carr and King of My Heart are filled d with fantastic melodies. Meanwhile, Dancing With Our Hands Tied fruitfully returns rns to the AOR-inspired sound of 1989, while the closing New Year’s Day proves oves an exception to the general rule that hat the piano ballad is the low point nt of any pop album, and exposess musical roots that Reputation conceals elsewhere: you don’tt get anywhere on Music Row unnless you know how to knock out ut a romantic weepie that hits them m where it hurts. Alexis Petridis his year’s Christmas treat has arrived early, and Paddington Bear has incidentally shown us that Blade Runner isn’t the only film around capable of giving us an exciting and impressive sequel. This is the follow-up to the first Paddington movie of 2014 and it’s a tremendously sweetnatured, charming, unassuming and above all funny film with a story that just rattles along, powered by a nonstop succession of Grade-A gags conjured up by screenwriters Paul King (who also directs), Simon Farnaby and Jon Croker. Their screenplay perfectly catches the tone of the great master himself, Michael Bond, author of the original books. The film is pitched with insouciant ease and a lightness of touch at both children and adults without any self-conscious shifts in irony or tone: it’s humour with the citrus tang of topquality thick-cut marmalade. There’s a sight-gag involving the spurious breaking of a valuable vase that I particularly enjoyed. And although one could say its work on diversity is not complete, the film has a fair bit of material – now more pertinent than ever – about the way a confident, happy nation welcomes immigrants. The DayGlo primary-coloured design gives the movie a storybook feel, at some places a little like Wes Anderson. The uproarious finale, meanwhile, has something of Mel Brooks. It may be bad form to begin with any character other than the young ursine hero himself, but Hugh Grant completely pinches this, with an outrageously scene-stealing turn as the appalling villain, Phoenix Buchanan. He has just moved into this elegant west London neighbourhood, which is more or less as it was when Grant was here for Richard Curtis’s Notting Hill in 1999: picturesque, and evidently not yet the preserve of the super-rich. Meanwhile, the Brown family are tootling amiably along as ever. Ben Whishaw is excellent voicing Paddington himself: curious, puzzled, innocent, but with a clear sense of right and wrong. Hugh Bonneville is the paterfamilias Mr Brown, experiencing a midlife crisis. Sally Hawkins is quietly excellent in the unpromising role of Mrs Brown, and the same goes for Julie Walters as the housekeeper p Mrs Bird, a job description that announces, like nothing else, that PaddingComedy age. Sanjeev ton originated in an Ealing C Bhaskar is a forgetful neighbour and Richar Richard Ayoade is an eccentric forensic forensi scientist. unspeakable Phoenix The unsp steals a pop pop-up book from Mr Gruber’s sh shop: a book that contains coded clues to where a fabulous cache cac of treasure may be found – and he frames Paddington for tthe crime. In prison, Padding Paddington, pictured, finds solace in friendship with hot-tempered the prison’s p coo cook, Knuckles, played by Brendan Gleeson. Together, they are to To pl plan a daring escape. It’s very silly, but very likable able, the kind of thing that looks easy, but really isn’t. Peter Bradshaw Brad 42 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Diversions Notes & Queries Nature watch Rio Almonte, Spain If I didn’t take a photo of the Taj, then was I really there? • Great tension. Who’s going to win? Pat Phillips, Adelaide, South Australia Would people travel as much if they could not take pictures? Probably, plus a boon for us who stay home: there’s only so many Taj Mahal snaps we can handle. Marilyn Hamilton, Perth, Western Australia Meditating upon chess What most useful skill would serve well when carried into old age? Meditation. Maurice Gauthier, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada • If you visited a new place and didn’t have a selfie showing yourself there, would you really have been there? David Isaacs, Sydney, Australia • Yes, for they would collect other souvenirs. Philip Stigger, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada • I’m sure that the refugees of the world are not transient for the sake of selfies. Neil Johnson, Birmingham, UK • The ability to enjoy one’s own company. Ann M Altman, Hamden, Connecticut, US Say cheese … tourists in Paris • Yes, but there would be fewer requests for cheese. Roger Morrell, Perth, Western Australia • Listening to others. Bob Barton, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada • Chess. Adrian Chaster, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Afghanistan is the real loser • Balance. Adrian Cooper, Queens Park, NSW, Australia • I remember travelling with someone whose mother was blind and who wrote wonderful descriptive accounts of her trips. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a detailed written journal is priceless! Avril Taylor, Dundas, Ontario, Canada What makes a great game? A formidable opponent. R De Braganza, Kilifi, Kenya • I can’t picture it. Malcolm Campbell, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia • Sportspersonship. Charlie Bamforth, Davis, California, US What’s the difference between a pal and a friend? Donna Samoyloff, Toronto, Canada • Yes. They’d be less distracted and more mindful of what they came for. Richard Orlando, Westmount, Quebec, Canada • This was the term given to British meddling in Afghanistan in the 1830s; things have gone downhill. Joan Dawson, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada What was your favourite childhood Christmas decoration, and why? William Emigh, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada • Probably, but they mightn’t remember so well where they’d been. Lawrie Bradly, Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia • The constant possibility of a sudden change of fortune. David Kettle, Northcote, Victoria, Australia • Fair play. Avril Nicholas, Crafers, South Australia More Notes & Queries See additional answers online bit.ly/notesandqueries Any answers? Send answers to weekly.nandq@ theguardian.com or Guardian Weekly, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, UK Good to meet you David Hannis I first came across the Guardian when I was a paper boy in Bristol, England, almost six decades ago. I was 12 years old. Every morning I would drag myself out of bed and ride my bike to the paper shop before beginning my deliveries. On a good day the weather was fine and the newspaper train arrived on time. The vast majority of the papers I stuffed through letter boxes were of the tabloid/mass circulation type. Occasionally I would glance at a front-page story but generally I went about my deliveries with few distractions. There was one exception: the Manchester Guardian. This paper There were all sorts of exciting birds overhead, including vultures in elegant spirals and clusters of crag martins spooked up by a hunting sparrowhawk. Yet the group’s attention had been called to a hole in the ground by the picnic table. The hole was 4cm across and had an untidy circlet of dead grasses arranged in a silk-knotted perimeter. By chance I had just read about the occupant and how it could be lured into view with a grass stem drooped into the burrow entrance like a fishing line. Sure enough, within seconds, book learning was turned into startling experience. Amid a volley of involuntary expletives, there, suddenly, we could see camel-haired legs, an array of black eyes, a pair of beautiful marmalade-coloured palps, about 50 young spiderlings and the largest pair of spider jaws you’ve ever seen. intrigued me and I would spend as much time as I dared reading it. From then on I was hooked. In 1975 I moved to the Canadian prairies and for four decades I endured Alberta’s harsh winters with the Guardian Weekly as my constant companion. As a social work educator I often shared stories from the Guardian with my students. Nowadays I live in a cohousing community on Vancouver Island where I am able to pass along my Guardian Weekly to my neighbours. I appreciate the fine analytical writing as well as the short informational items. The photos are a welcome break and I enjoy doing the quick crossword. The diversity of writers on the back page is also appealing. The Guardian Weekly is a gem. If you would like to appear in this space, send a brief note to firstname.lastname@example.org A fellow diarist, Matt Shardlow, informs me that it was a Lycosa hispanica, but let’s not split hairs. It was a tarantula: the Spanish form of L tarantula, which is, oddly, unrelated to its larger, hairier namesakes of the new world and is actually a member of the wolf spider family. The French entomologist JF Fabre (1823-1915) found its venom fatal to sparrows and moles, but it is relatively harmless to humans. Yet the creature still inspired an extraordinary cultural history, partly, one surmises, because of its shocking appearance. Tarantism, named after the southern Italian city of Taranto, was a malaise that has passed in waves around the Mediterranean from the 11th century on. Individuals, sometimes whole villages, would fall victim to lethargy, depression and bodily pain brought on, so it was said, by the tarantula’s bite. Most remarkable of all was the prescribed cure – vibrant music and dance that has steadily morphed into a distinctive Italian folk song, the tarantella. All this from a spider that makes of its broad back a papoose for its offspring and is so curious of callers it can be lured harmlessly on to an out-stretched palm. At least, by those that have the nerve for it. Mark Cocker Read more Nature watch online bit.ly/naturewatch The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 43 Quick crossword 1 2 Cryptic crossword by Pasquale 3 4 Across 5 6 7 8 10 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 1 7 8 10 11 13 15 17 18 21 22 23 1 2 3 4 5 6 9 12 Across Salad plant (10) Robbery at gunpoint (5-2) Scatter (5) Smell strongly (4) Fatal – tram line (anag) (8) Satellite of Neptune – minor sea god (6) Zorba’s land (6) Cut (8) Woodwind instrument (4) Be jubilant (5) Ardent (7) Antibiotic (10) Down Chess player moving first (5) Capture (4) Torn (6) Culinary herb (8) Peculiar (7) Writing desk (10) Gnu (10) English Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter, d. 1882 (8) 14 Encompass (7) 16 Russian wolfhound (6) 19 Labour PM, b. 1951 (5) 20 Tumble (4) S P A K I N I M I A G A I N O A R O Y I N E T C K O R R A N N G U S T A M N E L A A R G C E O R W E T D A L N E N S T E S H S O W D E R S N D O W A D R B Y L C E S S A T U A T R T L I L L L E O R Y A S A P S Q D U E S M P E E R A E D O F R Y A U O Last week’s solution, No 14,804 First published in the Guardian 25 October 2017, No 14,810 Down 1 Our backers who watch over us to keep us safe? (8,6) 2 Hold back material about German police force (7) 3 Who is upset, first to cry, a bit cowardly? (9) Futoshiki Easy Fill in the grid so that every row and column contains the numbers 1-5. The “greater than” or “less than” signs indicate where a number is larger or smaller than its neighbour. ©Clarity Media Ltd 4 ∧ 5 5 1 3 < 4 ∨ 1 2 ∧ 2 < 3 < 3 > 2 ∨ ∧ 2 < 3 1 5 ∨ 4 Last week’s solution ∨ ∧ < 2 < ∧ 4 ∨ 4 5 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 20 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 4 State of a girl halfcut, having obtained two degrees (7) 5 Learner-driver and vehicle flipping over in river – disaster! (7) 6 Republicans want it done away with – an audible torrent? (5) 7 Dance follows final game (7) 8 Theresa is repeating bid to sort out national problem (7,7) 14 Cheerful end to negotiation after manoeuvring – an impossible treat? (4,5) 16 Dig in Derby maybe, having turned up in a shawl (7) 17 Muscular problem the old man has to fight against endlessly (7) First published in the Guardian 31 October 2017, No 27,342 18 Thief who can be heard going through papers (7) 19 Some from Provence with piano tune conveying gloom (7) 21 Be enthralled by this person’s contribution to framework (1-4) A O B A R B U I T A S T O F A N B E D O G G U R P R E T M A L L E N I D U N K A S M L U F C A R I A N O N A R N I U N Y N O T O R I O L E I P E L T S T A T I B E G E O W A D R E S N E O E N D F U N E R D A O A R G I S T M A R O N H I I S G O O D S E N E S M T G B I R A U S O N A E T A A L I E X S E S Last week’s solution, No 27,336 7 ∨ 5 1 2 Sudoku classic Hard 1 2 ∧ 4 > 3 1 1 Merseyside singer, fellow associated with Parisian group, getting a fiddle (14) 9 Everyone out of bed, mum brought round flask (7) 10 Skin problem requiring British surgeon (7) 11 What’s thrown game – his handling of the ball? (5) 12 Like jargon about final aim that’s gaining influence (9) 13 Four in a car sleep when it’s warm (9) 14 Son in Brittany collects English records (5) 15 A desire that a cockney may initially lack? (5) 17 Thus the dinner was complete, as forecast? (9) 20 Awfully large lad is losing energy in dances (9) 22 Combat zone held by royalist supporters (5) 23 See one taking rest – unfortunately doesn’t get on with it (7) 24 Insect in road nibbling end off a plant (7) 25 The anthem’s roar disturbed this writer with centuries of meditations (6,8) ∧ < ∨ < ∧ 3 9 8 3 6 9 6 5 6 3 4 7 1 6 5 4 1 3 1 7 4 5 8 9 6 9 Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. We will publish the solution next week. Free puzzles at theguardian.com/sudoku 3 8 4 1 5 7 2 6 9 9 7 1 3 2 6 8 5 4 6 2 5 8 9 4 1 3 7 1 3 9 7 4 2 5 8 6 7 5 8 6 3 9 4 1 2 4 6 2 5 1 8 9 7 3 Last week’s solution 8 4 3 9 6 5 7 2 1 2 1 7 4 8 3 6 9 5 5 9 6 2 7 1 3 4 8 44 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Diversions Shortcuts China’s leader idolised Mattel unveils Barbie for planting a tree wearing a headscarf Tributes to the man now seen as China’s most powerful ruler since Mao have come in myriad forms: Xi Jinping tapestries, oil paintings, pop songs, exhibitions, university departments even. Now he has received a hardwood homage with reports that senior Communist party officials have made a pilgrimage to a tree honouring their country’s increasingly supreme leader. Following what Donald Trump termed Xi’s “extraordinary elevation” at last month’s party congress, officials in Henan province decided to express their allegiance by gathering around a Paulownia tree planted by their chief back in April 2009. As the cadres, including the provincial party chief, Xie Fuzhan, gazed up at its branches earlier this month, “they were immersed in thought, filled with deep emotions”, a local propaganda report described. “The tree is big, verdant and tall,” the author of the story gushed. “[Locals] warmly call it the Xi Paulownia tree.” An accompanying video showed a group of almost entirely male leaders being escorted towards the arboricultural accolade by a female hostess. “Eight years have passed [since Xi’s visit] and the tree has grown enormous and leafy,” she says. The Xi tree is the latest exhibit in what some see as a mounting body of evidence suggesting a nascent Mao-style cult of personality is being built around China’s leader. Tom Phillips Mattel, the maker of Barbie, has just unveiled its 10th doll in the Shero collection, designed to create a fuller representation of humanity and offer greater aspirations to its impressionable young customers. The 10th Shero is the first Barbie to wear a hijab. She is modelled on Ibtihaj Muhammad, the fencer who, last year, became the first American to compete and win a medal in the Olympics wearing the hijab. “Today, I’m proud to know that little girls who wear a hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don’t, can play with Barbie in a headscarf,” says Muhammad. “I know that the more diverse dolls are offered, the many more inspiring stories girls will be able to tell.” Muhammad, pictured below, was presented with the first doll off the line by Ashley Graham, the plus-size model and activist who was the basis for last year’ss Shero, number nine. The very first first Shero was a one-off, created ted for Zendaya Coleman after er she wore her hair in dreadlocks eadlocks to the 2015 Oscars ars and the presenters off the Fashion Police show caused outrage by commenting ing that they must smell “of of patchouli or weed”. ”. Six more dolls folollowed, including ding ones for the actor Emmy Rossum, Tony ny award-winner er Kristin Chenoweth and director Ava DuVernay. The last – which had the dreadlocked director clad in her customary polo neck, jeans and trainers and sitting in her director’s chair – created such a demand that Mattel put it into production. It sold out online within minutes. Lucy Mangan The crab’s behaviour of actively hunting and killing a large, vertebrate animal has never been witnessed before and has significant implications for how the crabs may affect their island ecosystems. Anna Livsey Coconut crabs seen feasting on seabird New Zealand chatbots are foiling scammers A large, land-dwelling crustacean known as a coconut or robber crab has been seen hunting and killing a seabird, the first time such behaviour has been observed. The phenomenon was witnessed by a researcher, Mark Laidre of Dartmouth College, while he was studying the giant crabs in the remote Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, New Scientist reported. According to Laidre, the crab climbed a tree and attacked the seabird in its nest situated on a branch close to the ground. The crab broke the bird’s wing, causing it to fall out of its nest and then took to the bird with its claws, breaking its other win wing and leaving it incapacitat incapacitated. Other coconut cra crabs arrived and pulled the bird a apart in described as scenes Laidre descri “pretty gruesome”. Coconut crabs are the la largest landdwelling invertebrate. inv They can weigh up to 4kg a and grow up to one metre wide. They wide are common in coral atolls across ol the Indian th and Pacific an oceans. oc Thousands of online scammers around the globe are being fooled by artificial intelligence bots posing as New Zealanders and created by the country’s internet watchdog to protect it from “phishing” scams. Chatbots that use distinct New Zealand slang such as “aye” have been deployed by Netsafe in a bid to engage scammers in protracted email exchanges that waste their time, gather intelligence and lure them away from actual victims. Programmers at Netsafe spent more than a year designing the bots as part of their Re:scam initiative. Within 24 hours of launch this month 6,000 scam emails had been sent to the Re:scam email address and there were 1,000 active conversations taking place between scammers and chatbots. So far, the longest exchange between a scammer and a chatbot pretending to be a New Zealander was 20 emails long. The bots use humour, grammatical errors and local slang to make their “personas” believable, said Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker. He says if scammers aren’t astute or paying attention, the exchanges could go on for a “very, very long time”. Eleanor Ainge Roy GASCONADE a) bombardment with gas canisters b) early form of lemonade mentioned in the works of Dumas c) Gascon processional dance d) grandiose form of boasting BANDURA a) Ukrainian lute b) knotted handkerchief c) bullet belt d) Russian politician Jumblies Maslanka puzzles 1 “Fulsome you ignoramus! Or are you being devious, you sacked minister?” This was the anguished yell accompanying the trampling of yet another cute little DAB radio under the hob-nailed boots that Pedanticus has taken to donning before The World at One. Why was he full – and then some – of rage? 2 The average of the digits of the two-digit number ab (yes, in base 10) is equal to a.b. What is the number? 3 A pair of minimalist dividers having legs of identical length meet a line as shown. The angle between the legs is θ. Show that there is another angle the legs can make so that the area of the triangle included by the legs and the line has the same area, except for one angle. Which angle? What value of θ maximises the area? Twitter: @ChrisMaslanka Wordplay Wordpool In each case find the correct definition: CHYTRID a) cunning alien b) mimic c) rough and scaly d) type of fungus Same Difference Identify two words where the spelling differs only in the letters shown: ********* (what the letters are as yet?) **DI******* (“atomic”— as originally construed?) Rearrange the letters of … PICADORS … to make another word. Missing Links Find a word that follows the first word in the clue and precedes the second, in each case making a fresh word or phrase. Eg the answer to fish mix could be cake (fishcake & cake mix) and to bat man it could be he (bathe & he-man) ... a) bank mop b) barn leader c) ten keys d) town gent e) imp house f) limpid cute ©CMM2017. For solutions see page 47 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 45 Kicker here like this Then a short description here like this → Then Section and page XX Mind&Relationships Oliver Burkeman This column will change your life Feeling lonely and unpopular? The truth is, we’re all in a similar situation, only we can’t see it P sychologists are regularly berated for spending their workdays reaching blindingly obvious conclusions about the world – an accusation that isn’t entirely unwarranted. (My favourite recent finding comes from the journal Psychological Science: “Depressed individuals may fail to decrease sadness.”) At first glance, it’s tempting to respond that way to a new study from the University of British Columbia, explaining why people tend to assume that their friends have more friends, and lead less solitary lives, than they do. Can you guess? That’s right: because every single time we see our friends, they’re socialising. By definition. Assuming you don’t spy on your friends via telescope from treetops, you never see them at home alone in their pyjamas, eating comfort snacks while watching the X Factor and feeling sorry for themselves. You’re never there when they wake in the dark at 3am, wondering where their lives are headed. Or, likewise, consider those happy throngs you glimpse through the windows of the bar you pass each day on your way home from work: doesn’t it seem like they’re always meeting friends at the bar? In fact, it’s a mathematical oddity that your friends do have slightly more friends than you do, on average. (Essentially, this is because people with large circles of friends are more likely to have you as a member of theirs.) But the main culprit, this new study confirms, is an observability bias. The more instances of something we encounter, the more significant we naturally assume it to be – and though we encounter our own solitude frequently, we never encounter other people’s. The distorted judgments we reach as a consequence have real emotional effects, the researchers Illustration by Michele Marconi; right, Lo Cole What I’m really thinking The mother of a redhead found, leaving people with lower wellbeing and less of a sense of belonging. So, yes, the fact that we only ever experience loneliness when it’s happening to us is blindingly obvious, I suppose. But blindingly obvious in an almost literal sense: it’s so self-evident, we barely ever see it. And the bias isn’t limited to loneliness. It’s at the core of impostor syndrome: you assume you’re the only one with a constant inner voice of self-doubt, because you never hear anyone else’s. Assuming you don’t spy on your friends, you never see them at home alone in their pyjamas, eating comfort snacks It’s also probably why other people’s problems seem so much easier to solve than our own: we see only the main features of theirs, in outline, whereas we see every tiny complicated detail of our own, so they seem unique and therefore more challenging. This bias may be too fundamental an aspect of our experience for us ever to overcome completely. Still, when faced with almost any distressing problem, it’s worth asking what you might be missing not through stupidity, or error, but because you’re systematically denied certain kinds of information, as a result of being you, rather than anyone else. At the very least, it’s something to ponder on those evenings you so often seem to spend on your own. email@example.com My son and I are frequently stopped by strangers who comment on his appearance and make assumptions about his character. Why? Because he is ginger. This happens almost every time we leave the house. “Oh, look! He’s a ginger knob.” “Where does he get his hair from?” “Does he have a temper?” Mostly, these are followed by: “My aunt’s stepson’s cat is ginger.” As if being related to a redhead legitimises their prying into my child’s genetics. While these comments are often well-meaning, they highlight his difference, and I worry what effect this repetitive “othering” will have on a four-year-old who would ordinarily have no reason to consider his appearance. You could argue that these people are just being friendly or making conversation. But I would disagree. Take the lady who chased me across a car park to tell me about her ginger daughter’s heartbreak when none of her four children was born red-headed. Or the midwife present at his birth whose first words were: “Look, he’s ginger.” My son never gets comments on his good behaviour, he never has the privilege of choosing his own topic of conversation, because the go-to subject is his hair. It isn’t considered ableist or racist. We are not supposed to be offended. Yet if you replace ginger with any other unusual body part, it suddenly seems less acceptable. Only 1-2% of the world’s population have red hair. It makes my son special, unique and beautiful. But it does not define him. Tell us what you’re really thinking at firstname.lastname@example.org 46 The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 Sport Care’s cameo helps England to soar Lions beat Australia 30-6 and look promising in lead-up to Six Nations Rugby Union Robert Kitson Twickenham It is just over two years since Australia beat England 33-13 in London to knock the hosts out of the Rugby World Cup. Since then it has been entirely different: played five, won five at an average of just under 35 points per game. The squad floored by the Wallabies in 2015 has bounced back with a vengeance. As Eddie Jones is well aware, there remains further scope for improvement. But this was a highly significant win psychologically, despite the fact that the 30-6 scoreline – a record English margin of victory – disguised the tightness of the contest. Even New Zealand do not have a more consistent recent record against the Wallabies and, if Samoa are put away on Saturday, England will have won 22 of 23 games under Jones’s stewardship. As well as enhancing their selfbelief it also ensures they remain the world’s second-ranked team, tucked in behind the All Blacks with power to add in 2018. As the lock Joe Launchbury, having enjoyed one of his more satisfying games at this level, said afterwards, the players are convinced there is more to come. “To get to where we want to get to you can’t afford to just sit in the shirt and put out mediocre performances,” the Wasps captain said. “If we want to be the best side we can be, we have to beat these teams around us.” On a damp, difficult afternoon England were indeed in a higher gear than they managed against Argentina, defensively right up for it and sharper with the ball in hand. Among the great unanswered questions, however, is what would have unfolded had the Wallabies been awarded one or both of the contentious non-tries which, along with the first-half yellow cards for Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale, fundamentally shaped the contest. Imagine if a more experienced and intuitive referee such as Nigel Owens had been in charge or footage of the ball clearly brushing the touchline whitewash had been available before Elliot Daly’s match-turning 54thminute try. There is every chance Owens would have awarded Marika Koroibete’s try on the basis that Stephen Moore’s obstruction of Chris Robshaw was minimal or, at the very least, pinged England for an earlier offside. Hooper’s disallowed score was also marginal as the flanker made at least some attempt to stop and play himself back into an onside position. Beale’s binning for a supposed deliberate knock-down might have been only a penalty on another day. All were fractional calls and could easily have gone either way. Rather than being 13-6 ahead with 10 minutes left England could have been 20-6 behind with Michael Cheika purring up in the stands. Would they have scored three tries in the last nine minutes under more pressurised circumstances? If they had done so, it would have been the finish to end them all. In their five successive wins against Australia under Jones, England have scored five first-half tries to the Wallabies’ six. After the interval they have registered 12 tries to Australia’s five. Regardless of a touch of good fortune here or there, England are regularly finishing stronger than their opponents, one of Jones’s non-negotiables. Smart thinking … ‘You get in the contest in the first 20 and then you win the contest in the last 20,’ says coach Eddie Jones Nigel French/PA Scotland run All Blacks close The other autumn internationals saw Scotland run New Zealand close in Edinburgh. In a game where the home side never looked outclassed, it took a brilliant lastplay tackle by Beauden Barrett on Stuart Hogg to seal a 22-17 victory. Wales ground out a 13-6 win in Cardiff over a Georgia side seeking to further claims for inclusion in the Six Nations. In Dublin, Ireland needed two late penalties to beat Fiji 23-20 after the visitors fought back from 17-3 to draw level. South Africa, meanwhile, scored a win for the southern hemisphere with an 18-17 win over France in Paris. “We trained to finish that last 20 minutes hard, whether it was the starting guys or the finishing guys,” the head coach confirmed. “You’ve just got to go through New Zealand’s record in the last five or six years; how many Test matches they’ve won in the last 20 minutes. That’s when it counts. You get in the contest in the first 20 and then you win the contest in the last 20.” The only caveat when a replacement performs as outstandingly as Danny Care, whose deft kicking set up late tries by Jonathan Joseph and Jonny May before he scored one himself, is that maybe England would win games earlier if one or two of them started occasionally. Jamie George, Harry Williams, Sam Simmonds – all have put in enough hard work this Bravo, France, but at what cost to rugby’s integrity? Inside sport Robert Kitson I t is worth keeping in mind on these occasions that rugby union usually strikes gold with its World Cup hosting decisions. Australia proved a runaway success in 2003 despite New Zealand’s deselection as co-host, France staged a grand tournament four years later, an entire nation of rugby-mad Kiwis rose to the logistical challenge in 2011 and the record sums generated by England 2015 were matched only by the intense interest levels. Japan will be next up in two years’ time, offering Asia a deserved slice of the action. And now, in 2023, it will be France once again. Plus ça change. The verdict will not go down well in South Africa or Ireland – and that is a major understatement. No one doubts France will put on a good show but at what cost to rugby’s reputation for transparency and integrity? The lure of more dosh, not for the first time, appears to have trumped all else. It is a deeply uncomfortable outcome, too, for World Rugby’s high command, whose formal recommendation of South Africa was not ratified by its own council. Some of the lobbying behind the scenes put even the Eurovision Song Contest’s partial voting patterns in the shade. Somebody had to lose – and all three bids had their merits – but what on earth was the point of the whole in-depth independent technical assessment if voters were ultimately too blinded by self interest to worry about the nitty-gritty? And where does that leave South African sporting morale, with both the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a Rugby World Cup now having been offered only to be snatched away? The emotional favourite would have been Ireland, but France was The Guardian Weekly 24.11.17 47 Sport in brief • Tributes were paid to the former Wimbledon women’s tennis champion Jana Novotna, who died from cancer aged 49. The Czech player won the 1998 singles title at the All England Club. The WTA chief executive officer, Steve Simon, said: “Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her. Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA.” In the men’s game, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov won the season-ending ATP World Tour finals in London, defeating David Goffin 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. It was Dimitrov’s fourth title of the year, adding $2,549,000 to the $3m he had already gathered from 44 match wins, and 1,500 ranking points to lift him three places to No 3 in the world. presented as the sensible fiscal choice. More money for all, but at what price? The last thing World Rugby wanted was to be bracketed with Qatar, awarded the 2022 football World Cup despite numerous concerns. No one is suggesting any Gallic impropriety but rugby does seem increasingly keen to follow, so to speak, in football’s slipstream. Bravo, France, but rugby cannot allow naked self-interest to run rampant. Winner … Jana Novotna in 1998 Heather Knight’s side in the multiformat series. “It is a great feeling,” Rachael Haynes, the victorious Australian captain, said. “One of a little bit of relief and one of excitement as well for our team.” • West Bromwich Albion became the latest English Premier League club to jettison their manager, sacking Tony Pulis after a 4-0 home defeat by Chelsea. Gary Megson was set to take charge on a temporary basis. Elsewhere, Chris Coleman quit Chess Leonard Barden The Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) began its new season this month at Telford where it left off, with a new demonstration of Guildford’s supremacy. The Surrey, England team, replete with grandmasters, took its opening matches by 8-0 and 7.5-0.5, and has now won 46 matches in a row in a sequence stretching back to 2012-13. The German Bundesliga is a much stronger competition, where several teams field 2700-rated elite GMs. Even Anatoly Karpov played, but the former world champion is now 66 and lost rather tamely to China’s Li Chao. Another Bundesliga top board is the English IM Lawrence Trent, best known as a prolific online commentator, who hopes for his first GM norm. However, he became a victim of a fast-rising young Russian when an opening blunder cost a piece. Daniil Dubov v Lawrence Trent 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 g3 g6 3 b3 Bg7 4 Bb2 d6 5 d4 O-O 6 Bg2 c5 7 c4 cxd4 8 Nxd4 d5 9 cxd5 Nxd5 10 O-O Nb4 11 Na3 Bxd4 12 Bxd4 N8c6 13 Bc3 Qxd1 14 Rfxd1 Bg4?? 15 Bxb4 1-0 • In the Rugby League World Cup, England moved into the semi-finals with a flattering 36-6 quarter-final win against Papua New Guinea. There they will face Tonga, who narrowly held off Lebanon. Hosts and hot favourites Australia trounced Samoa 46-0 to set up a semi-final against Fiji, who stunned New Zealand with a 4-2 quarter-final success. • Tommy Fleetwood finished top of the European golf Tour’s order of merit after Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour Championship event in Dubai. The outcome was affected by a late collapse from a hitherto nerveless Justin Rose. The Englishman’s back nine score of 38 meant a share of third place and the handing of the European tour leadership to Fleetwood by 58,821 points. Maslanka solutions 3521 How can White (to move) win this Richard Reti endgame? An early Guildford win showed the strength of a routine GM strategy: develop the c1 bishop outside the pawn chain, keep a closed centre, and attack with the f pawn. Nick Pert makes it look simple. Nick Pert v Kevin Bailey 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Bf4 c5 4 e3 Nc6 5 Nbd2 e6 6 c3 Bd6 7 Bg3 0-0 8 Bb5 cxd4 9 exd4 Qc7 10 Qe2 Bd7 11 Bd3 Ne7 12 Ne5 a6 13 0-0 b5 14 a3 Rab8 15 Rac1 Bc6 16 b4 Nd7 17 Nb3 Bxe5 18 dxe5 Nb6 19 f4 Nc4 20 Nd4 Bd7 21 f5 Nc6 22 f6 g6 23 Rf4 1-0 3521 1 Rf3! g2 2 Bf1! g1Q 3 Rh3 mate. autumn to merit a prominent role against Samoa, particularly if Jones, as he probably will, decides to cut his Lions players some slack. Come the Six Nations, either way, selection will be fascinating. Mike Brown does not need telling that competition in the back three is intensifying, Launchbury is now a successful Test lineout caller and an increasing driving force all round, Courtney Lawes is undroppable, as is Maro Itoje. Billy Vunipola should be back from injury, along with the Lions Ben Te’o, Jack Nowell and Kyle Sinckler. If Lawes or Itoje switches to six, that leaves Robshaw, Sam Underhill and Simmonds competing for one place, with Hughes also rumbling off the bench. With the whole squad now reassured that their hard training-ground work is paying off, their opponents should be wary. • As one Ashes series got under way between England and Australia’s Test cricketers in Brisbane this week, another was resolved. The Women’s Ashes will remain in Australia, the hosts romping to a six-wicket victory with 25 balls to spare in their first of three T20 internationals against England. The tourists’ bowlers badly misfired in what was a must-win encounter for the Wales manager’s job after failing to take his country to the World Cup finals. Coleman has opted to take over at Sunderland, who are bottom of the English second-tier Championship. Italy’s Gian Piero Ventura also lost his job as national coach after the Azzurri’s humiliating failure to reach the World Cup finals in Russia next year. 1 A full apology is not the same thing as a fulsome apology. Fulsome means “slimy, brown-nosy, arse-licking, Uriah-Heepish, insincere, flattering”. “Ah,” you reply, puffing out your chest — “but there is no central authority; and language changes.” Both are true, but irrelevant. There is authority in language. There is good use and bad use. Or else why pay editors? Why have dictionaries? Why suppose one author to be better than another? And just because something changes does not imply that it must change for the better. Johnson said it well (ie, not badly!): “Tongues, like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration; we have long preserved our constitution, let us make some struggles for our language.” 2 Let the two-digit number be ab; then (a + b)/2 = a.b > (10a + 10b)/2 = 10a + > (5a + 5b) = 10a + b > 5a = 4b; so a/b = 4/5. But a & b are digits, so a = 4, b = 5. 3 We reflect the diagram in the horizontal line. Then it is easy to see that the P area of the upper triangle APB is the same as triangle PAP’; so the triangle with angle <APB A C B = θ is equal to that with angle <PAP’ = (180° 2(θ/2)) = (180° – θ). For θ = 90° the corresponding angle is the P same, and the area is a maximum. (How do you know?) Wordpool d), (from Greek, chytridion = little pot; from the shape of the structure releasing the zoospores); d), a) Same Difference INVISIBILITY, INDIVISIBILITY Jumblies SPORADIC Missing Links a) bank/roll/mop b) barn/dance/leader c) ten/don/keys d) town/plan/gent e) imp/ale/house f) limpid/prose/cute Guardian News & Media Ltd. All rights reserved. Published by Guardian News & Media Ltd., Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, UK. Acting editor: Graham Snowdon. Printed by Trinity Mirror Printing Ltd, Watford. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Annual subscription rates (in local currencies): UK £120; Europe €196; Rest of World £192; US $240; Canada $240; Australia $312; NZ $392 Quarterly subscription rates: UK £30; Europe €49; Rest of World £48; US $60; Canada $60; Australia $78; NZ $98 To subscribe visit gu.com/subscribe/weekly gu.com/subscr Put a pin in it Why revenge is never Wh the best solution Discovery, pages 32-33 Disco Owen Jones We should all work a four-day week. Ending excessive hours will improve our health, boost the economy and help ﬁght climate change I magine there was a single policy that would slash unemployment and underemployment, tackle health conditions ranging from mental distress to high blood pressure, increase productivity, help the environment, improve family lives, encourage men to do more household tasks, and make people happier. It sounds fantastical, but it exists, and it’s overdue: the introduction of a four-day week. The liberation of workers from excessive work was a pioneering demand of the labour movement. From the ashes of the civil war, American trade unionism rallied behind an eight-hour day, “a movement which ran with express speed from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from New England to California”, as Karl Marx put it. In 1890 hundreds of thousands thronged into London’s Hyde Park in a historic protest for the same demand. It is a cause that urgently needs reclaiming. Many of us work too much. It’s not just the 37.5 hours a week clocked up on average by full-time UK workers; it’s the unpaid overtime too. According to the TUC, workers put in 2.1bn unpaid hours last year – that’s an astonishing £33.6bn ($44bn) of free labour. That overwork causes significant damage. Last year, 12.5m work days in the UK were lost because of work-related stress, depression or anxiety. The biggest single cause by a long way – in some 44% of cases – was workload. Stress can heighten the risk of all manner of health problems, from high blood pressure to strokes. Research even suggests that working long hours increases the risk of excessive drinking. And then there’s the economic cost: over £5bn a year, according to the Health and Safety Executive. No wonder the public health expert John Ashton is among those suggesting a four-day week could improve Britain’s health. So the renewed call for a four-day week from Autonomy Institute is very welcome. “We want to shift people’s perspectives, to better work and less work,” says the thinktank’s Will Stronge. Indeed, a deeply unhealthy distribution of work scars our society. While some are working too much, with damaging consequences for their health and family lives, there are 3.3 million or so “underemployed” UK workers who want more hours. A four-day week would force a redistribution of these hours, to the benefit of everyone. This will be even more important if automation in sectors such as manufacturing, administration and retail creates more poorly paid work and more underemployment. A four-day working week could also help tackle climate change: as the New Economics Foundation thinktank notes, countries with shorter working weeks are more likely to have a smaller carbon footprint. This is no economy-wrecking suggestion either. German and Dutch employees work less than the British but their economies are stronger. It could boost productivity: the evidence suggests if you work fewer hours, you are more productive, hour for hour – and less stress means less time off work. Indeed, a recent experiment with a six-hour working day at a Swedish nursing home produced promising results: higher productivity and fewer sick days. If those productivity A campaign could encourage men to use their new free time to balance household labour gains are passed on to staff, working fewer hours doesn’t necessarily entail a pay cut. Then there’s the argument for gender equality. Despite the strides made by the women’s movement, women still do 60% more unpaid household work on average than men. An extra day off work is not going to inevitably lead to men pulling their weight more at home. But, as Autonomy suggests, a four-day week could be unveiled as part of a drive to promote equal relationships between men and women. A campaign could encourage men to use their new free time to equally balance household labour, which remains defined by sexist attitudes. It is heartening to see the resurrection of one of the great early causes of the labour movement. Germany’s biggest union, IG Metall, is calling for a 28-hour week for shift workers and those with caring responsibilities. That said, on its own the demand is not enough. Now that socialism is re-emerging as a political force that can no longer be ignored or ridiculed, the struggle for more time for leisure, family and relaxation should be linked to broader fights. Increased public ownership of the economy should be structured to create more worker selfmanagement and control. If technology means a further reduction in secure work, a universal basic income – a basic stipend paid to all citizens as a right – may become ever more salient. Sure, work can be a fulfilling activity for some. It strikes me, though, that few would disagree with the notion that we should spend more time with our families, watching our children grow, exercising, reading books or just relaxing. So much of our lives is surrendered to subordinating ourselves to the needs and whims of others, turning human beings into cash cows rather than independent, well-rounded individuals. Our social model means economic growth all too often involves concentrating wealth produced by the many into the bank accounts of the few, without improving the lives of the majority. Growth should deliver not just shared prosperity and improved public services, but a better balance between work, family and leisure.