On Grenfell Tower symbolism for austerity


“ That tower is austerity in ruins. Symbolism is everything in politics and nothing better signifies the May-Cameron-Osborne era that stripped bare the state and its social and physical protection of citizens. The horror of poor people burned alive within feet of the country’s grandest mansions, many of them empty, mothballed investments, perfectly captures the politics of the last seven years. The Cameron, Osborne, Gove Notting Hill set live just up the road ”

Polly Toynbee, ‘Theresa May was too scared to meet the Grenfell survivors. She’s finished’, The Guardian

On going beyond anger to counter neoliberalism


“ While we are all clicking and fixing our eyes on the never-ending Trump show – the handshake with Macron, the hand-holding with May – he is, she argues, enacting policies that are systematically moving wealth upwards, and crucial questions are not being asked loudly enough: Is your social security safe? Is your healthcare safe? Are your wages going to be driven down? He benefits so much from that focus away from economics (…) Anger and rejection of the status quo will never sustain people on its own. The triumph of neoliberalism is the idea that the alternative is always even worse. To overturn that there has to be a boldness and a recapturing of the utopian imagination. If we can’t do that, then I really don’t think we have a chance against these guys ”

Tim Adams & Naomi Klein, ‘Trump is an idiot, but don’t underestimate how good he is at that’, The Guardian

On Corbyn’s strengths and May’s weaknesses


“ Despite so many years of protest, Corbyn’s greatest strength lies in proposition rather than in opposition: his gentle style is better suited to explaining his own vision than to contesting his opponent’s. The more exposure he receives, the better he looks – while the cameras expose May as charmless, cheerless and, above all, frit. She won’t stand up to anyone who wields power. She will say nothing against Donald Trump, even when he peddles blatant falsehoods in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in this nation, exploiting our grief to support his disgusting prejudices; even when he pulls out of the global agreement on climate change. She is even more sycophantic towards this revolting man than Tony Blair was to George W Bush. She won’t confront Saudi Arabia over terrorism or Yemen or anything else ”

George Monbiot, ‘I’ve never voted with hope before. Jeremy Corbyn has changed that’, The Guardian

On May’s electoral campaign


“ First she said there would be no election campaign; then she said there would; and it turned out she was right the first time. She had no campaign. She has done something I didn’t think could be done so fast, or so surely, by anybody: ended the Conservatives’ aura of inevitability ”

Zoe Williams, ‘This election reminds me: I can take the despair – it’s the hope I can’t stand’, The Guardian

On May’s response to terrorism


“ The blowback theory, which blames Islamist terrorism directly on western expeditionary warfare, is both facile and irrelevant in this case. By bombing Libya we did not enrage or radicalise young Muslims such as Abedi: we simply gave them space to operate in (…) But it is the job of a government to do more than decry things. It has to deal with the mess created. And to do that, it has to ask a question May never bothered with: are cuts to the police and defence budgets sustainable in the context of the increased terror threat? May’s response, to the rooms full of police federation reps who did raise it, year after year, was to reject the premise of the question. Now, with the terror threat at critical, she has had to deploy troops to guard key installations ”

Paul Mason, ‘The Libya fallout shows how Theresa May has failed on terror’, The Guardian