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When an election is won convincingly, it’s said that it’s the settled will of the people that the country is governed by the winning party – even when that party wins a minority of the votes cast and the country descends into riots.
The 1980s and 90s were marked by mass opposition to what the government was doing. The rest of the population dumbly accepted it or weren’t really paying attention. A handful thought it was great. But a notion that Thatcherism was inevitable and is immutable has become an unchallengeable narrative.
Now it’s said that the people don’t know what they want so will vote for a coalition, as though a fragmented populace is a coherent mass. Coalition is not a box on the ballot paper. No one elected the last one. People who vote Lib Dem are voting for a coalition by default, but not all of them, few though they may be, are enthusiastic. Many are voting tactically, or vacantly, or because it’s something to do.
This is probably the first election in a long time when Labour’s only hope of a convincing win would have been to offer something boldly radical. But Blair made more of an impact on Labour than he did on the country. Most people would rather not think about him any more, but Labour is still stalked by his ghastly henchmen, and still traumatised by having been in thrall to a madman for so long.
And now it’s lost Scotland and would need the support of its main enemy there to pass any legislation. The SNP will look convincing in Scotland because it’s managed to clothe nationalism in something that looks progressive – not difficult when Labour offers so little.
My bet is on the Lib Dems rescuing Cameron again, and ‘better us than UKIP’ being their feeble boast.
Michael Coates reviews a new film revealing the shocking state of housing inequality in the UK.
The vicious media campaign against trans people is part bigotry, part strategy, writes Roz Kaveney
Jon Trickett MP reports on 'Dickensian' levels of poverty and hardship felt across the UK.
Natasha King busts some myths around the No Borders debate
He was once a radical icon, but now he's a mouthpiece for racism and nationalism. Time to get off stage, writes Michael Calderbank
Consensus seems to have shifted, but austerity is far from over. The chancellor has committed us to yet more years of misery while the rich get richer, writes Richard Seymour.
Frustrated at the idea of another royal wedding? You're not alone. Joana Ramiro argues we should stop idealising a fundamentally undemocratic institution.
Liberal elites are using Russian interference to minimise their own political failures, writes Matt Turner
Nick Dearden from Global Justice Now argues that after years of colonial domination and dodgy trade deals, the UK must make amends and support Zimbabwe in this uncertain time.
Last month's mass far right demonstration can be linked to a toxic mix of government tolerance of fascism and neoliberalism on steroids. Ewa Jasiewicz investigates.
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism
Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists
Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson
As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win
The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution
Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.
‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition
#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny
Meet the digital feminists
We're building new online tools to create a new feminist community and tackle sexism wherever we find it, writes Franziska Grobke